Monday, July 9, 2012

Making a Major Move Very Soon on Short Notice

YES! We received definitive confirmation today that we are, indeed, moving quite a ways away from all that our young children have ever known, and we are doing it in a hurry! Literally, as of today, Erik has to report to his new post in two weeks. There may be some wiggle room there, I don't think it's set in stone, but either way, it will be very soon.

I am elated, scared, excited, thrilled, anxious, worried, short, I am calm on the outside and MAJORLY freaking out on the inside. And why, you might ask? Perhaps you have moved a few times in your life, or perhaps you have even moved your family a few times, or even just one major move. Well, then you would have a leg up on us, since our only moves since having more than two very small children have only involved moving a few miles down the road in the same town just to adjust for growing children. We have only done those minor in-town moves a couple times, and no more often than every three years. We have been in our current residence for three years this month, and the place before that for four years. Also, our current residence is the first house we have lived in, so we have that much more stuff than last time, even though comparatively we don't really have very much, it's still a house full of stuff and not an apartment. So yea, the thought of the actual move terrifies me. Five children, one big dog, two small cats, four rooms, kitchen, garage, backyard, closets...all of it- packed in an orderly fashion and moved in a timely manner. I am somewhat doubtful that it can be done well, but I am hopeful that it will all work out. Only time and God's good grace will tell. Also, lots of help from loving helpful family who really want to help.

Aside from just packing our home, cleaning, and discarding of things we can't bring, this move is a major climate change. I'm sure it is probably hot right now, in the middle of July, wherever in the US most of you are, and it is no exception here in Bakersfield where the high temperatures predicted for the rest of the week hover around 105. That's pretty average around here for July and August. Where we are going the average high for July is 65. Let me tell you, I can not wait to get the heck out of here and put on some pants and enjoy that cool weather! What a dream, I tell you!! The only problem with that right now, is that no one in our household has clothing for cool weather. Even in the winter we are lucky if it gets into the low 60's, and it doesn't stay that cool very long, only a couple of months. Up there in the Redwoods it is like that year round.  Dressing in layers is a must, flip-flops and cami tanks will not cut it, and neither will pant-less, barefoot, bare butt little two year old boys, but I digress. I don't even know where to start with the shopping, I generally avoid it at all costs and my poor children barely have enough to get through the week. It's just too many people to shop for, too time consuming, boring, and irritating....oh, and there's the part where it costs a ton load of money to buy anyone anything remotely decent, so I just don't shop.

Lord willing, this will happen. The packing, cleaning, shopping, organizing, last minute visiting, and child-rearing. I am certain there will be some cooking at some point, as well.

As a reminder of why we are going so far away, consider this:

Beautiful Del Norte County has the redwoods, two major rivers, and the pacific ocean. It's the trifecta of natural wonders and family recreation. Beautiful doesn't even begin to describe the area. I grew up there until the ripe old age of nine, but the experience of living there has been with me my whole life and it is something I am so blessed to be able to soon share with my own children.

Blessed, that's a good thing to be.

Monday, July 2, 2012

On blogging, the unknown, anxiety, and prayer

I really want this blogging thing to work out for me. I want to make the time for it, I want to remember later in the day the great idea I had for a post earlier in the day. Like yesterday, when I had something really fantastic I wanted to write about after the great homily I received during Mass. Or like every day last week, when I wanted to write a post for each of my awesome children, to remind myself why I am so blessed and that there is much to be grateful for. It's all there, these great topics, floating around in my head, just waiting for me to make the time to write it up and share it for posterity. Unfortunately, this blogging thing is way more time consuming than I anticipated, at least at the beginning; my biggest hang up right now is the picture issue. Picture problems on the great interwebs seem to follow me everywhere I go! I have pictures here, pictures there, pictures everywhere; except, it seems, in a convenient location that works seamlessly with everything.

Aside from the day-to-day difficulties that are life with a family, we have had extra on our plate as of late, including but not limited to a broken family vehicle, searching for a replacement vehicle, possible and likely move hundreds of miles away, and the hemorrhaging of money that goes along with all of those issues. It's just life, we know that, and tough stuff always seems to happen all at once, and we're used to that, but that doesn't make it any less riddled with anxiety. It's all time sensitive stuff this time, and it's all full of unknowns, and it's all serious stuff. It is consuming our thoughts, actions, conversations, and generally draining us of motivation. I realized I am so riddled with anxiety I have canker sores in my mouth. Apparently, I don't do well when there is unresolved major life-altering stuff hanging in the air.

Now that I know the problem, I need a solution, and I am keenly aware that my solution should have mostly to do with prayer, thanksgiving, and faith. Most recently there has been nothing but stumbling blocks every time we try to accomplish something; the simplest of things has been made difficult by piddly stuff blocking our path. Then I read a post by Simcha Fisher about prayer a few days ago, Praying In Your Native Tongue, and shortly after reading that revealing post my priest gives a homily that obviously was written with me in mind. Now there is no way for me to deny that my ability to let go, to give it to God, whatever it is, is severely lacking. I  have always secretly prided myself on how I thought I was able to easily hand over my problems and just relax, I am good at just letting things go and not being a stress case, but the big things we have right now have more than amplified my weakness, and I am humbled. 

I now know, personally, that it's not enough to just talk about praying, or to just think about praying, but actual prayer is in order. The homily this week about faith, trust, and having the freedom to go where God calls you RIGHT NOW cut me to the core. When things got tough, I turned inside myself, trying to figure out how I can make everything ok, instead of asking God to lead us to the solution. All the stuff right now will be unimportant, probably sooner rather than later, but it can be a permanent lesson in patience, humility, and the strength of prayer and faith.

In short, life is hard, prayer is the answer, never doubt the Lord your God.

And all that awesome stuff that Simcha says about prayer is good to have on hand.