We have been in Gillette now for an entire year. It almost doesn't seem possible that so much time has passed, until I glance over at my now 5 month old Gracie. Life is good. It's not perfect, but I am constantly reminded that God is in control and has purpose in all things. All things.
I knew a year ago that this was definitely God's plan for us, and I'm still certain of that. I'm so grateful for the friends that loved us so well in Harrisonburg. While I still refer to Virginia as "home," I also refer to Gillette as "home." One of the most difficult things about the move was watching Noah struggle in the beginning. He doesn't adjust to new things very well, (he's an introvert like his dad), so it was painful to see him so upset in new situations. But now he has friends. Good friends. Friends to build legos with, to play superheroes with, and to giggle about poop with. Chloe has friends too, but that's never been something she has struggled with (quite the social butterfly that one is).
I can say I have friends here now too. When we first moved here everyone I met was a potential friend, but if I'm honest, I was primarily concerned with finding friends for my sweet struggling boy. I also knew that the adjustment from working-mom to stay-at-home-mom would be difficult and that I needed to get involved in things outside my house (for my sake and for the kids). I'm grateful to Angie, for being the first one to come to my house for a playdate, and for being my first friend here. For Jessica, Jennifer and Theresa, who found me on fb after meeting me briefly at the first MOPS meeting I went to. For Jessica (again), who read a blog post I wrote and invited me to a bi-monthly book study/playgroup and to visit her church as well. For Josey, who asked me some intentional questions when I first met her and later that night invited me to come to the Bible Study that would be starting the following week. For Josey (again) and Bethany, who let an outsider join them for some playdates and whose kids I just love. God used all of you ladies to make my first few months here much easier and happier than they could have been. I am blessed to know each of you and grateful that you reached out to me even though I know how busy you already were.
I am also so grateful not only for the job that Matt has, but the people he works with and for. Bruce and Maryann have been so welcoming, even hosting us at their house for our first Thanksgiving. Everyone else at the store is always so happy to see us when we stop by. Brenda and her son helped us unload the moving truck. Lisa babysat the kids a couple of times and organized an amazing baby shower along with Janae for Grace. We feel incredibly blessed and well cared for by the Marshall Jewelry family.
Aside from Noah's adjustment period, the other difficult aspect of the move has been finding a church. We spent the better part of this year going to different churches and really missing our Covenant family back home. I was excited to visit churches at first, but then I was sort of in mourning for the loss of Cov Pres. We have felt firmly called to be at Living Rock for the past several months now, and are so grateful to be able to call a church here, "home." We're glad to be in a homegroup again and for the excitement of getting to know our new church family.
One year in and things are good, because God is good. He is intentional and is so kind to us when we don't even begin to deserve it.
This sinner doesn't do a very good job of keeping up with old friends like I should. But I also know that my sweet friends that I miss so dearly back on the East Coast will always be my sweet friends. Our cups of coffee or skype sessions may be few and far between, but you have impacted my life in amazing ways and I am so grateful for each of you. And though I may only say it occasionally on a cute picture of your kids on fb, I miss you. I really do. I miss late nights outside of Bravos, or just in my living room. I miss standing in the kitchen while our kids run around us and the husband tend the grill. I miss watching your kids grow up with my own eyes. I miss giving them hugs and knowing firmly that they'd be lifelong friends. I miss beach weekends and sitting up on the roof or outside on the porch swing. I miss road trips and loud music and staying up way too late. I miss getting to go to all the showers and weddings. So many good, happy memories to keep. So thankful for them. For you.
God is good.