Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013

This last year has been full of many blessings and some sad losses.

Of course, Max Payne was born a healthy, happy boy.  Lexie hit her monster toddler stage of the terrible twos, and honestly I think we are mostly through it.  She is an amazingly intelligent girl, strong willed, and more importantly-loving.  She listens well, is usually obedient, understands the importance of being polite, and just wants to give loves all day long, to everyone.  She’s sensitive, determined, and passionate.

However, this year I also experienced the loss of a long time friend.  She was beautiful, smart, and is more than missed.  I think of her every day, and dream about her all the time.  Her mom mailed me some pictures she had in her room; the framed one sits in my kitchen.  

I never do new year’s resolutions.  I usually just reflect on the positive changes that have been made in my life the past year.  However, in this post I am going to talk more about the future.

The Bible tells us that if we live our life in God’s light, giving glory to Him, trying to do our best to be His child, then He will take care of us.  A favorite verse which I share with a very dear friend, comes from the book of Jeremiah: 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. -Jermiah 29:11-13

 (****This post was written earlier in December, and edited today, now that family and close friends know the news)

JTom and I have, through a lot of prayer and consideration, decided to make a big move to Nebraska.  He was offered a job there; we visited the town in November.  We took on the 12 hour drive with both kids so we could see what it would be like traveling back and forth.  It was a learning experience and a surprisingly easy not so difficult one.  Well, not as difficult as we had expected.

We are moving to the town of York.  A town of about 7,500 people, one school system, a walmart, one fancy restaurant, a golf course, and 3 seed companies.  It is literally 5 square miles.  It is a nice, small town.  J.Tom and I are both excited to raise our kids there, although we don’t expect family will be thrilled. (As it turns out most have been very supportive.)  Emotions are running high, tension is… well, as to be expected.  But J.Tom and I are very excited, looking forward to the change.  Looking forward to starting something new with our little family.

This was a big decision for us; we prayed about it non stop, were up many nights.  We analyzed every single aspect of the move.  We have talked about the pros and cons until we are blue in the face.  But in the end, we felt this was the right decision, something we were being called to do.  We are young, our family is young, J.Tom’s career is young.  This is a good time to make a bold move, as a family.

As we were talking about it, J.Tom asked me if I was really sure I’d be okay with moving so far away from home.  My reply- “My home is not these four walls on James St.  My home is where ever you, and the kids are.  That is home.  We can make anywhere home.”  And it’s the honest truth.  We will find a new church home (we were going to do that even if we stayed here).  We will meet new friends.  The kids will also make new friends.  There is a gymnastics gym, I have already called and Lexie will start there shortly after we move.  There are several churches, and I am sure we will find a great one to call home.  Nebraska has hills and plains, no mountains like Arkansas; we will miss that.  JTom already has a bird hunting “bug” so there will be fun things for him to do, recreationally.  There is a lot of camping there, and other outdoor activities we enjoy.  Who knows, maybe we will build that farm we want one day.  We know we will be “the new people,” dependent on other’s good graces for many aspects of life there.  We only pray we are met as graciously as we have tried to be to those who have been new-comers here.

We are in the process of buying a home, hopefully that goes smoothly and we can move in by the first of Feb, if not no later than the end of February.

But we will be 12 hours from our family.  This means more planned trips, and less random weekend visits.  But we had to consider what was best for us, what was best for our family.  We are ready for a change, something new; it’s a chance for J.Tom to try something new and I am proud of him for taking the job.  J.Tom has earned the right to try something new, separate himself from Hot Springs if he wants.  I  fully support him.  Like he said when we were talking out the decision at one point, “If we do it, we do it together.  And if we are miserable, we are miserable together.  No resentment later.”  We do realize family will be upset to be so far away.  We also can’t make our life decisions based on other people, all the time.  That sounds harsh, but isn’t meant to be.  I would’t raise my children to only make their life decisions based on what other people want for them.  We love our friends.  We love our families.  They have done more for us than we could ever thank them for.  We just hope after the initial shock, they can support us in this as well.

We have a strong faith, a strong marriage, a strong little family; we are excited to start a new journey together.  Hopefully things will only get stronger, better.  And if we come crawling back with nothing to our name in a few years, then we hope we have support then, too.  😉  But for now, we are aiming high, trying something new, and in good conscience.

We will miss Hot Springs, dearly.  We will miss our family, all of it- his childhood friends, my girlfriends, our church family, and JTom will miss his coworkes as well.  But as with anything in life, there will be progress, new friends, new “family”- none of which will replace the love we have for those here, but will build upon it.  In the last 6 years we have been so blessed, so loved.  We hope to carry that with us to Nebraska, to be good friends to new people, maybe be a blessing to someone there, as our loved ones have been to us here, and of course, find new blessings.  It will be different, hard and scary at times, but we are looking forward to all the good that will come as well.

So, as for 2012 we say goodbye to much more than just the year, but hopefully 2013 will bring many new blessings.

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