I have spent the last few days reflecting on the things that I post on my blog. It occurred to me that since we've been in Georgia, most of my posts have been simple, filled mostly with pictures and updates on the progress of the new house. It seems the days of posting about the hard stuff or anything that requires me to spend any amount of time or effort to get a post up are long gone.
I guess in the beginning my excuse was simple....I was just too busy. Too busy homeschooling. Too busy decorating.
Too busy for the truth.
I took some time tonight to read entries from last year on my own blog. It was sort of like looking at photo albums from years ago when the girls were little. I spent so much time taking those pictures and carefully organizing them into countless albums, and yet, years later, they simply take up space on a shelf. We rarely take the time to look at them, and they sometimes feel as though they don't even belong to us. Who are those people?
I realized that it's the same thing with my old posts. As I read posts from last August, before my husband lost his job and our lives were turned upside down, I found myself in awe of the stories that filled my blog. We had a life.
We had a life.
And just like the photos in the albums, it doesn't feel like it was us.
Something happened when my husband lost his job. I can't tell you exactly what or why, but it changed us. And we're no strangers to upheaval. If you've spent time reading here, then you know that we've moved more times than I can count. I've moved more times than I can count. Growing up in a military family and then marrying a military man has left me experienced in the ways of picking up and starting again. After all, home is where the heart is.....right?
But this move was different.
I have yet to put my finger on the why. Maybe it's because my husband lost his job for the first time ever. Maybe it's because we had been there longer than we had ever been anywhere in our entire lives. That four and a half years was the longest I had ever lived anywhere in my ENTIRE life. Or maybe, just maybe, it's because for the first time in our lives, we felt as though we had a life.
When we first moved to Kansas, I was pregnant with Jacob....sweet, precious baby #7. Within hours of moving into our house, we had neighbors knocking on our door with offers of help and meals. What an incredible blessing! I was cautious however. I've learned from experience to keep my guard up, especially when it comes to my heart.
We quickly grew into our new community. Parties and book clubs opened up new doors for me....doors that I had previously chosen to keep closed as the threat of yet another move always seemed to loom miserably on the horizon. The years passed, the kids grew, we added #8 to our gang, and the gift of friendships brought new meaning to our existence. We gradually began to settle into our surroundings, eventually adding an addition onto our house to make it fit us even better.
We were happy.
We were home.
Home. A strange concept to a girl like me who's used to moving every 1-2 years....3 if I'm lucky.
And I let my guard down. And maybe that's the why. Maybe that's the why.
You see, it wasn't the place. It could have been anywhere. Kansas or Timbuktu....it just didn't matter. What mattered was that for the first time ever in my life, and in the lives of my older children, we allowed ourselves to call something home, and we forgot about that looming and ugly horizon.
Until that day my husband called me on the phone to tell me he had been "downsized." I'll never forget it. Never. My heart was ripped in two. I sobbed and sobbed as I tried to make sense of it all....
why now God? why now?
With a daughter just beginning her senior year in high school and one in her first year of college, why now? With the boys finally happy in an affordable private school setting, why now? With a house that fit and neighbors we adored, why now? Why now?
Over all our years, we've always been given a choice to move. For the most part, our moves have been military and corporate, coming from necessity or a promotion. And we were always willing. Willing to move on you see because we had not put our roots down. We had maintained a good distance and had kept up our guard. So while others decided to skip promotions to live near family & friends, we were happy to pick up and go....we had nothing to lose.
But this time was different. This move was NOT our choice.
not our choice
And perhaps that explains my horrible attitude during those first few days and weeks in Georgia. I was miserable, and I blamed it on everything.....including the kitchen sink ;)
I hated our new house. I hated our neighbors (the ones I didn't even know!). I hated the traffic. I hated and I hated, and then I hated some more. Nothing compared to our life in Kansas. Nothing.
I didn't want to homeschool. Fear and misery set in when I thought about the weight that had been placed on my shoulders. But there were no other choices. Private school was out of the question due to cost and the public schools here leave much to be desired. How on earth was I going to do it all? And where would I find the will? Not only did I have to try to make a new life for us here, but I had to spend my days teaching my children.....something I had already tried and failed at in the past.
And it wasn't just me that was affected....it was my children too. Gone were there friends and their activities. Gone were their schools. Gone was their desire to try once more. It's been the hardest on them, and my heart grieves as I watch them continue to struggle.
The girls have yet to find jobs, despite several months of looking. Allie had to give up her college courses for the spring semester, and now that we're here, we can't find an affordable school that is close enough for her to attend. In Kansas, she was taking classes at our community college just up the road- extremely affordable and close to home. Sophie has been forced to do her school online, after having grown up in the public school system. She has lost the ability to compete in cross country, basketball and lacrosse (and yes, I've checked into other programs through private schools and church programs, but there are none in our immediate area and we simply can't spend 2-3hrs per day driving to activities). The girls aren't eligible for the Georgia HOPE scholarship as they didn't attend high school in GA, and Sophie won't be eligible because she's in a private online high school.
And yes, I DO know how blessed we are to have food on the table and a roof over our heads.
But sometimes, sometimes that is little consolation, even if it is the truth.
And I'm not here to try to convince you that our struggles are so much worse than others, or that we won't survive this turmoil. Obviously, we have our health and we have each other.
And we have our faith.
And it's a good thing, because that's about all that's carrying me through this time.
But despite our blessings, we are human. We feel pain, and we feel fear. And that pain and fear has shown through on my blog, although the truth behind it has remained a mystery, even to me.....until now. And with this latest shake-up in our lives, we now have the horrible sense of the unknown hanging over us once more, pressing like a weight on our shoulders, forcing us to make choices we're not prepared to make.
Weren't we just here?
I think we've lost a sense of ourselves somewhere along the way. Just when we had finally decided who we were, it was taken away. Just as we finally lowered our guard and opened our hearts, the floor fell away from beneath our feet. And like a puzzle carelessly tossed on the floor, we have yet to pick up the pieces and to try to discover once more...
who are we?
3 hours ago