One of the speakers at church today spoke about how God is in the details of our lives. The part of his talk that stood out the most to me was when he talked about wind. Winds of inspiration, winds of adversity, winds of trial, winds of change, etc. We can trust God with all these winds that come our way. Then he said to trust the wind at your back. God is behind the wind at your back. We take a step into the dark, operating on nothing more than faith. God directs the wind to help our path become successful.
His examples spoke to me because of what has been going on in our family for the last little while. I know that God is in the details of my life. I have been in a state of remembrance for some time now. As I look back I see the hand of God all over my life, directing me through it all.
We have been taking steps of faith recently. We would pray and still not know what the right direction was but know it was time to act. So we would take another step into the dark having faith that the wind at our back would guide our steps toward success. It has been an amazing journey.
Now that we are at a point where we feel comfortable making the story public, I wish I had at least draft posted my thoughts as the story unfolded. Time gets confused in my mind during these faith stretching moments.
For several months now Heath and I have been wondering if it was time to move. There were politics at work. I remember countless lunches at Chili’s where we discussed his friends at work and the things that were happening. What did it mean for us? What did we want to do? That’s where it started. Although looking back on it, it seems like a weak excuse for the moving bug to bite. We didn’t know so we didn’t openly discuss it.
Somewhere in the early stages of all this dreaming of moving, Heath told me about an opportunity to attend a conference in San Diego. It would be the last week of school. I was not happy about that. We started seriously considering checking our kids out of school early and going as a family. Heath could do his work thing during the day. The kids and I would play and then we could play more as a family in the evening.
How fun would it be to hit Disneyland or LEGOLAND on the way home? It would be a great kickoff to summer. Gavin missed his last week of 5th grade, maybe it could be a tradition! We were prepared to ask the kids their opinions when they got home from school that day. Suddenly we extinguished all plans for this impromptu family vacation. It didn’t feel right.
We had plans for a staycation in Santa Cruz for the boys birthdays. Even though their birthdays are in July we decided we would go to the Mystery Spot in late June. That way we were better set up for our family reunion trip to Seattle in July.
By the way, we had been planning on flying to Seattle all along. Just like the quick turnaround on a San Diego trip, we changed our minds about flying to Seattle. Honestly, I don’t remember what prompted the decision other than we felt we needed more flexibility. Driving would give us the flexibility we felt we needed.
One evening Heath came home from work and I felt nervous for some reason watching him walk through the door. He opened a letter from our landlord. My heart dropped when I heard, then read for myself, the significant rent increase. Anger was my first reaction.
The handyman has a list of jobs he has not completed, including fixing the hole in the fence. He is unreliable at best. There are many issues in this house that the property management company refuses to deal with. Otherwise they put the handyman on it. We had to move on. There was no incentive to stay. We would never be able to own a home here. Why stay? The dramatic increase in rent wouldn’t even bring us up to what rent should be for our home. It was only going to continue to go up.
Heath started applying for jobs. On the days that he was working from home he started browsing Zillow listings. Sometimes I would allow myself to get caught up in the excitement of it all. Other times it felt so overwhelming. I would tell him he had to update his resume before looking or things like that.
Somewhere in there my mom announced her engagement. The timing was anything but ideal. We sadly waved a final goodbye to our plans for a Santa Cruz staycation and The Mystery Spot. Gwen was upset because it canceled her father daughter camping trip. At first nothing consoled her. She was angry because even though she loves weddings, she couldn’t actually attend the ceremony because it would be in the temple!
The kids thawed quickly, including Gwen. Grandpa Steve, as they lovingly refer to him, was filling a hole in their hearts. It has never sat well with any of them that they were missing a grandpa. Going to that absent grandfather’s funeral two years ago kind of made it worse. Grandpa Steve to the rescue! Plus, he was from Florida. Their cousin Garrett is now serving his mission in Florida. Grandpa Steve must be awesome because he lived in the same state that their hero of a cousin was serving in!
Heath pointed out the irony that we were considering a move when another Clarke woman was getting married. If you remember, we moved to California two days after my sister got married. I admit I was a pretty skeptical of this whole moving idea until the coincidences really started to pile up.
I didn’t suddenly become okay with the idea like we suddenly changed our vacation plans. It was a gradual process. For several days in a row I was constantly feeling panic over the concept of time. The more I thought of the tight window we were hoping to make a move in, the more I worried. Heath kept telling me that we didn’t have to move this summer. It would be nice to move before the kids started school but we didn’t have to. We would wait and see.
There were a lot of those wait and see moments. They made me crazy because I could not shake this panic over time. I felt like we needed to do something and fast. Heath was not getting responses from job applications. Time was threatening to crush me. While I counted down the days till summer break, I panicked that much more.
Soon the time consuming end of year school projects eased. My mind did not. It only meant that Heath was leaving me for the last week of school. And my reward? A mother daughter Activity Days glam camping activity from 6-8:30 on the last day of school! I would rather do anything else than go to a tiny little house filled with 21 girls and their mothers on the last day of school eating food I was not the least bit interested in and playing games.
I did go. Maybe in another post I will tell about it or at least post pictures. We left early. I told myself I could do it until 8:30. My anxiety suppression expired at 8:45. Gwen was upset at first but soon realized how tired she was. She thanked me the next morning for letting her go home early and just go to bed.
That last day of school was eventful. Actually the last week of school was very eventful. On Friday June 3, Heath found a house on Zillow. He said it was a spec home and still under construction. I told him we had to look into that house. As soon as the words left my mouth I felt this pressure to do something.
We looked at the video tour of the house and fell in love with it. For all the beautiful, large, expensive homes we hoped we could afford, this house spoke to us. Compared to the other homes we had drooled over, this home was perfect in its relative simplicity.
We realized it was exactly what we needed. Nothing more and nothing less. It was the Goldilocks home. Just right. The price was in a much more comfortable range. The size is larger than our current home. I think we pick up an extra 900 square feet. With that we get an extra bedroom. The house is listed as having five bedrooms. Four official bedrooms and one bedroom or den. With this house the kids would all get their own rooms, we would have a home office/craft room, and a bonus room. Perfect.
Heath contacted the builder who got back to us right away. Could we swing by the next day to look at it? Being out of state made that impossible. Arrangements were made for Heath’s parents to look at it for us. Suddenly we had something to fast and pray about.
To be continued …