Wow, It is January 16, 2012. Our life has been so crazy as God starts us on a new journey. Over the last 6 months we have been praying about where we are in the season of life. What would God have us do and where? We have been feeling that it is time to move out of the Pittsburgh area. The “hooks” that were holding us here have been slowing coming undone. I didn’t mind the idea of moving out of this house, it has been the scene of a lot of tension and frustration over the 10 1/2 years we have lived here. I really had to allow God to move my heart to a place where we could say goodbye to our church family. Yes I know we will be back but it isn’t the same as seeing them when ever the need arises! One of the biggest hooks in this area is the fact that Tonia is buried here. Yes I know that she is not here, she is living in God’s reflection in Heaven! But the memorial to her is here. The place to take flowers and to remember. We are going to do 2 things to help me with being able to move away. First Rick has promised that we will come back once a year around her birthday to tend to her grave and to share the sweet memories. We are also going to set up a corner of our new land as a private Tonia corner. I am having a stone engraved with her name and a verse. I will have hydranga bushes planted there and I will have a chair so I can sit and read. It is good!
So we knew that we were being prepared to move but where and what would we be doing there? Where seemed to be the easier decision, Rick accepted a new job in September 2010. The company headquarters are in Glen Allen, VIrginia which is outside of Richmond. They were not requiring him to be there but they were encouraging him to seriously think about it. Well we did and we also thought about other places that we always said we could retire to. We are praying that this move would be the last one for a VERY long time. We want to build a ranch house that we can stay in, even late into our retirement years! So we thought about Tennessee and Arizona. We thought about lifestyle choices in each place. We thought about the weather. We thought about where Sean might eventually settle. We had to take where Sean may live out of the equation because he will probably be moving around as a pastor and as a Navy chaplain.
The more we talked and prayed about our future the more apparent it became that we were to head to Virginia! So in December we began to shop around for land to build on. Now the next question is what does God have in mind for us in Virginia. I know that we can’t answer that question completely but we think we can see the tip of the iceberg. We want to be able to run the marriage retreat weekends that we have facilitated here. We have had to rely on the generosity of others to open their homes for the weekend retreats. We want to be able to host them in our own home so… We will be building a home that can hold 3-4 extra couples in their own rooms. So the design is going to be a modified one. The main living space will be a ranch home that is accessible to someone in a wheelchair or walker. No steps to get into the house from outside or from the garage. There will be our master suite on the main floor with a guest suite with a handicapped accessible bathroom attached. We will also have a family room with a fireplace and the eating area of the house. The kitchen will have a pass through into the great room where we can watch movies with a group of friends.
The 2nd floor will have 2 guest bedrooms with a bathroom and we will also have a walkout basement with 2 more guest bedrooms and a bathroom. Rick’s workshop will also be in the basement. The basement will be accessible by a long ramp from the driveway for entertaining purposes also.
But ……… we have to find the perfect piece of land where we can build our home. We are looking west of Richmond in Powhatan and Midlothian Virginia. We know that God will show us the perfect place. In the meantime we are preparing our home to put it on the market. We have been putting “lipstick on the pig” as Rick says! We are painting the entire house inside off white. We have had new Pergo floors installed in the kitchen, dining room and foyer. New carpeting will be coming next month. Our target goal date to have the house on the market is March 20! Lots to do! My last day of work is March 15. We decided that with 2 dogs and 2 cats I needed to be here when the house is being shown. We are packing up all of the stuff that we have accumulated over the years. It is going into storage starting this week.
Photos of current home:
I am excited over the new season that we are starting and I am overwhelmed by the ideas of moving and starting over. My verse for this time is: The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. (Genesis 12:1 NIV). God is sending, we are going, He is in control!
In the meantime I am cherishing the time I have here with my church family. Every conversation is precious. Every hug is given and received with a little more tenderness! I am blessed!
Well I will keep you up to date on our big Adventure!