So, where was I? Oh, we’d just made an offer on a house that was accepted but the homeowners couldn’t close for a month and a half. Got it.

I was sitting in the master bedroom of my daughter and son-in-laws condo. When our Realtor relayed the news about the closing date I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped. We were closing on our current home January 18th and they wanted to close on February 14th and as we pressed further they said that they’d close absolutely no sooner than February 10th. They hadn’t expected their house to sell so quickly but there was a baby on the way and a C-section scheduled so we had only two options 1. take it and figure out what to do for three weeks or 2. keep looking. We had pretty much exhausted every decent house available in our desired location so we’d have to expand our search area maybe even into a different city. I learned something very important in our last move though that kept option #2 from being a real possibility. When we moved from Franklin to Spring Hill we had a very similar dilemma, house prices had risen very drastically very quickly which meant that we could sell our house but we’d have to move to a house that was too small again or buy another fixer upper or move to a townhouse. I didn’t have it in me to do any of those things so we looked farther out and landed in Spring Hill. Our home was large a beautiful and brand new and I loved it and our neighborhood but I didn’t really like living in Spring Hill. It was a nice town and I loved the people that I met but even though we were only 25 minutes south of where we lived previously it changed all of our relationships. And since relationships with our family was a driving force in our move we knew we had to keep our preferred location.

So we prayed about it and felt like we should move forward. Our Realtor had suggested an apartment that we could rent by the week but we couldn’t have our dog, Daisy with us. She also checked with all of the rentals they had listed with their agency but nobody wanted to rent to someone with a dog. We felt like it was too much to ask anybody that we were related to to watch her for that long and we’d never kenneled her for that long either. Since she has high anxiety when she’s kenneled I didn’t think that was a good option either. But since we knew that we were supposed to proceed I called our Realtor and said that we’d do it and that we’d figure it out. Approximately two minutes later I realized that we didn’t actually have to be in Lakeland for those three weeks. The girls take their school with them anywhere and Travis works from home so we could literally be anywhere. After Travis shot down my suggestion of staying at a cabin in Gatlinburg for three weeks I suggested that we ask my parents who live in Birmingham if we could stay with them. And, of course, they said yes. Sometimes you don’t get an answer to your questions until you step out in faith.

After that we had the holidays and a host of frustrating house closing things. Our whole 16 1/2 years of living in Tennessee was one frustrating/disappointing/heartbreaking situation after another (I wish I was exaggerating) and this was no different. Adding to the stress of the holidays was the stress of needing to pack the house but being unable to because we had a house full of people visiting. And we also waited for a very long time for our house’s appraisal to come back due to the VA financing of the new owners. Long story short, our house didn’t appraise after a weeks long process and it looked like everything could fall apart at the last moment. It was frustrating because the house should have appraised with no problem and I was very, very tempted to just cancel the contract and start over. But having your house on the market is such a stressful process and the girls and I just didn’t have it in us to do it all over again. And after our Realtor did some finagling we’d only be making about $1,500 less. It was definitely a moment that I had to swallow my pride and not let my frustration take over.

So, after all of that we had to plan our actual moving trip which looked like this. We packed up the truck and my car with everything we owned including the dog, drove to the Title company, signed a bunch of papers and drove to Birmingham. We dropped off the kids, luggage and bedding that we’d need for the next three weeks and went to sleep for about 4 hours. The next day we drove to Lakeland intending to put all of our stuff in storage but got stuck in traffic and didn’t make it there in time to unload the truck. So, we parked the truck at my brother-in-law’s house, went to our daughter’s condo and promptly passed out. The next day we unloaded the truck which ended up being a family reunion of sorts and then passed out again that night. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been so tired. Then we rested for a day and drove back to Birmingham in torrential rain and tornado warnings. Our phones were going off every few minutes with that emergency sound, it was jarring and nerve-wracking but thankfully we made it back safely.

And then we started dealing with the emotional fallout of moving our teen and pre-teen daughters away from the only home they’d ever known. There was a lot of crying, often, for months….and we still deal with it from time to time.

So, I’m tired. I’ve been very, very tired for a very, very long time. And so I’m taking some time to rest. Clearly I’ve been taking time since so much time has elapsed between blog posts but I’m going to continue to take time. My health has been a struggle since my first job as a music pastor nearly 20 years ago and it got much, much worse due to the stress that I was under while we lived in Tennessee. I don’t want to be melodramatic in any way but I can say with complete honesty that there wasn’t an easy year the whole time we lived there. Maybe there were some years that were less hard. I look at those years with gratefulness for all that God changed in me and for how those hard times helped me to grow spiritually. But emotionally and physically it’s left me broken in a way. When we moved to Spring Hill I was talking with a friend who knew all the details of what we were going through and she said, “You two are due a nice long rest”. I wanted desperately for that to be true at that time but I knew that it wasn’t. But I do know that this current season is a season for me to recover. I’m starting to see some improvements in my health although I still struggle especially with insomnia. So what about writing? Well, I’m going to write but most likely with a different subject. Writing these blog posts has been difficult for a long time. I constantly hear people say, “tell your story”, and so I have thought, “I guess I should tell my story”. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t. My story is too heavy for me right now and it weighs me down. The only thing I really want to write about is something fun and I have and idea in mind. But I don’t intend on really starting that until after the first of the year. So, for those of you that are reading, thank you. I appreciate my readers whether it’s one or one hundred. See you next year…