There is always a story waiting to be told.
Grab a cup of coffee and join me as I share some Salt & Light.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

33 Miles

We physically moved a many a more mile than 33. More like over one hundred or so. 33 Miles is a favorite Christian group of mine. Where am I going with this? To better understand, take it from the band’s MySpace page, “their name, [is] a simple metaphor for the 33 years that Christ spent on Earth, and how He lived them. “He was a friend to the friendless, He loved the unlovable, and He gave of Himself selflessly by dying on the cross in our place so that we could live forever,” Jason explains. “We want to follow Christ. We want our ‘Miles’ to have purpose and meaning and to make a difference for the Kingdom of God. We aren't promised a certain number of miles, so what are we going to do with the "Miles" that we are given?”

I truly feel that this move is the beginning of my “miles” that are going to count. Not that my previous years’ “mileage” hasn’t. When I started this blog, it was the eve of my thirtieth birthday. So much was happening. I was changing. I was beginning a relationship with Christ. I found it of significant meaning that I was coming into Christ at the supposed age Jesus was baptized. Luke 3: 23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph… I have read that in order for Christ to begin His ministry, first he most likely had to be washed with water – baptized, and anointed with oil. Since my thirtieth birthday I have a new appreciation for my own baptism, and I have submersed myself in the Word. And I have never looked back. The reason I bring this up, is that this May, I turn 33. And funny, look where we are.

When the opportunity came up for our family to make this move, I laughed at Mark and said %*!# no! Then, I opened my heart. I also Googled. And what do you know – my thoughts changed. We were moving! This was a complete act of God, and we have completely followed His lead. Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

It’s hard to believe that a week ago I was driving up here with Angel (again, her name, the irony), our lab mix, and a truck filled to the gills with all of our belongings. It’s a good feeling to be here. It is surreal to be here. I have arrived!

What a week it was. The kids started school straight away last Monday. It was brutal. School starts an hour earlier here than in Illinois. Seeing as we didn’t get the trailer unloaded and dinner on the table until after nine at night, getting up at 6ish was quite a feat. Amazingly, and with excitement, they did it! We were very unprepared though. We couldn’t find the Ziploc bags for lunches and snacks. We ended up sending the kids without anything for snack at all! I felt like the total deadbeat mother. Luckily, the school gave them back-up snacks. We were to report to the school office by a quarter to eight. We arrived at about 8:00 am. I got to take the kids to their classrooms and get them all settled. It was great to see the classmates so excited to meet their new friend! As we walked to their classes they announced the arrival of Remy and Dax, and the kids got to hear their names on the loud speaker. Neat. I met with the school nurse then, and went over all of Remy’s diabetic needs. The school nurse has a son in the same class as Remy, whom also has diabetes. I wasn’t too worried about leaving either child that day. If anything, I knew it would be fun and different for them. However, my little guy was going from a 2 hour 45 minute Kindergarten day, to a 7 hour 15 minute day and lunch at school, to boot. He loved it. Well, the first day a girl did share her cookie with him. I was more worried that when I got home to the empty house, I was going to finally break down. I had been holding things together pretty well thus far. And I was fine. I had so much to do, I couldn’t think about being depressed. I did find the Ziplocs though!

By Tuesday, both kids were getting hot lunch. Dax was like an old pro at it! Remy announced she had a new total BFF. The kids have enjoyed gym, music, art, Spanish and library time. The author of “Frankie, the Walk n’ Roll Dog” came to talk with the kids. Frankie, her dog and inspiration for the book, came along! The kids loved it; Dax even got a lick on the cheek from Frankie. Both kids got a copy of the book, signed and paw-tographed to them. Friday, Dax got to bring home the class chicken, named Checkers. We need to show Checkers a good time this coming week, but I think we could stand to have him show us around a bit! This week also means that Dax is the Star Student and gets to do all kinds of fun things and help his classmates get to know him better.

Over the weekend, Dax learned to ride his bike without training wheels! Mark and the kids went down to the trail along the ravine that has a winding path with stone bridges that cross over the little creek. We ate at a great little drive in (which I learned of in Checkers’ journal!) and had shakes and got groceries at the Piggly Wiggly. The weather had the neighbors outside on Sunday and we got to know each on either side of us better (their canine companions, as well). We live next door to Candice. Is that crazy or what? At least I can remember that!

Friday after school on the walk home, the kids did ask if we could go back to Illinois to visit Grandma and Grandpa for the weekend. They miss them and the constant contact. Already. There were quite a few phone calls last week to report on school, lost teeth (Remy on Tuesday) and riding without training wheels (Dax called on the spot with Dad’s cell phone. I have pictures of the phone call to go in the scrapbook along with Dax on the bike)!

Like I said, I have been waiting for reality to hit and the depression to set in. It’s surprisingly been at bay. What with unpacking all week, and having the house to myself, I haven’t had to worry about anything outside our four walls. Saturday felt more ‘weird’. We were out running errands and driving around. I was removed from my element, my comfort zone. Naturally, I started to get that “what if we made a mistake,” “Did we do the right thing?” feeling. I then realize it’s the chemical imbalance talking loud and clear, and what I need to be doing is listening for God’s whisper. If I worry, I am not trusting God. I have to pray, unceasingly, and just have FAITH. Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Now, I know you are asking the burning question (but, remember this is my blog)… Mark is doing great at his new job. He is bringing organization and refreshing changes with him to the department. He deals with issues that the previous manager simply wouldn’t do. Mark has shown others how to do things the previous manager told them was not even possible. More importantly, he is building friendships. For all involved, things are good.

The neighborhood is reminiscent to me of the town I grew up in. Unique brick houses, with stucco and color and great old limestone churches. The Kohler clock tower chimes the hour! There is so much charm here. The houses have... personality! We walk the two blocks to school and can ride our bikes pretty much anywhere. The classrooms in the school even look like my old elementary school rooms. The community pool is the summer hangout. That was a favorite of mine as a kid. I look forward to making our roots here, and for the kids to have the small town life we hoped for them. It is nice to have the comforts of Big Box stores and trust me, I NEED my drive-thru Starbucks (By the way, THANK YOU Fran!). But I like to think the kids can have that small town life in modern times. We truly do want the ‘miles’ ahead of us to have purpose and meaning. This path, a new journey, an adventure. Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."


Anonymous said...

Candace-we miss you!!!

Glad to hear y'all are off to a good start up there. Take one day at a time and don't look back.

I can never remember my log in stuff, so i have to be anonymous, but you know who I am.

Anonymous said...


I just have to tell you that I think you are quite magnificant. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. I know I haven't seen you in forever, but the picture of you at the top of the page is probably the happiest I've "seen" you in a long time. My guess is that it's a recent picture? I love you Smandace! Best of luck to you, Mark, and the kids. Everything IS going to be JUST fine.