>Building Nests


> So I haven’t blogged in such a long time! Sorry about that- things have been more hectic than normal around this place. Over the last couple of months Steve and I have made some big decisions about the future. And this crazy world we live in has responded saying, “Decisions! Ha! We’ll see about that!”. Let me explain.

During our Christmas break we took a little trip up to Asheville, NC, to check the place out. We camped there last summer and got a really good feeling about it, so we put it on our list of possible places to move to. For anyone who doesn’t know, we have been planning to leave Georgia ever since we got married, and the only reason we’ve stayed this long is so that we can both finish school. Now don’t get me wrong- I love GA and it will always be my home! I love being close to my family and friends and church, but after tasting the serene, calm life of mountain living, I just can’t seem to settle back into the chaos of the city. And the longer I’m here, the more my bones ache for a small town. And of course Steve, my mountain man, would love to just plop down in the middle of the wilderness with no one but grizzlies as neighbors. Now I might be an outdoor chic, but I’m not THAT much of a granola girl! So Asheville feels like the perfect compromise. There’s the city area, which reminds me of Athens- full of artsy stores, little cafes, tree-lined sidewalks – very bohemian feeling. But it’s not huge or overwhelming- no skyscrapers, nothing like Atlanta. And then the surrounding areas are full of mountains, trails, rivers, and campsites. It’s definitely the best of both worlds! We just fell in love with the town. Seriously. The day we came home from our trip, we literally started packing boxes!

So then we spent the next few weeks working on the house: de-cluttering the knick-knacks, patching up nail holes, windexing every square inch of the place. Until finally- ta da! – we put in on the market! Yayyy!!!!! And now it’s the waiting game. Anyone who’s watched two seconds of the depressing news knows what a struggling time this is to sell a house. To quote our realtor, on the day we met to sign our contract, she told us that just a few days prior, Georgia had been declared an “officially declining market”. But, hey, we like a challenge, right?? Ha ha!

On top of all that, we made another big decision for our family. Since Steve is graduating in May, we decided that I would not re-sign my contract and instead, I would be a stay at home mom. You guys know what a struggle it has been for me working (I think it’s a struggle for all working moms!) and over the past year I’ve just been thinking it all out- the pros and cons- talking to everyone I know- working moms and stay at home moms- and praying, praying, praying about it. In the end, I just had to listen to my heart and I feel like it’s what God wants for our family.

No sooner had we made this decision than my principal had a big meeting with all the teachers. The news he gave was bleak. Basically, due to the economy, the schools are running out of money. We’re pretty much already out of it for this school year. (Example: we have a paper shortage and now I can only make 50 more copies until the end of the year. No, you read right- 50 total. BTW – I have 96 students and 3 more months of school. ahhhhhh!!!). And as far as next year, the budget is going to be even stricter. One way they are thinking of saving money is by bumping up class sizes and getting rid of teachers. First to go from the list are “first-year” teachers. Guess what I am folks? So forget about hiring Steve, the job I am thinking of resigning from, might not be there to resign from!

I have to say that I do find a little humor in this whole moving/job situation. It’s just funny because I am not a planner at all. I’m just not. I didn’t start looking at colleges till spring of my senior year of high school….I didn’t decide to study abroad till a day before the application deadline……I don’t plan doctor visits b/c I don’t know what I’m doing in 6 months, so I just wait till my teeth ache or my contacts run out (I might need to start working on that one)……well, you get the drift. I’ve just always sort of lived my life as it came- no big plans, no worries, whatever. And Steve’s the same way. It sounds kind of hippyish, but we just kind of go with the flow. And so now, the one time that we do plan something, is the time when it all seems to be falling to pieces! Note to self- no more planning in the future! Oh wait, is that a plan? A plan to not plan?? Now I’m all mixed up….ha ha!

Well I’ve got to admit that I’ve had my moments of stress and frustration and fear. What if we never sell our house and are stuck here? What if we sell it but have to lose a lot of money in the process? What if Steve can’t find a job and I can’t stay at home with Little One? What if I don’t even have a position to stay in and we are both jobless? And the list can go on and on and on.

And then in the midst of my over-thinking, over-analyzing, and over-doubting, I remember the most important thing. I remember that my God is good. That my God is a BIG God. That my God is a mighty God. That my God loves me. That my God holds not only my heart in his hand, but also my future.

Steve and I have joined a class for searching Christians called Alpha and I have to say, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. On the outside it seems like “our plans” and “our little world” is in trouble, but the more I learn about God and the more I study and the more I fellowship with others, the more I realize just how secure my world actually is. I don’t know if that makes any sense or not, but it’s how I feel. It’s kind of like I’m in the middle of this wave pool with all the water slapping around me, high and fast, but yet I feel totally still and at ease in the middle of it. The verse that keeps coming to mind, over and over again is Matthew 6:25-27

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Truly, there is so little on this earth that is in our control. I mean we can plan and prepare and take the necessary steps needed to get where we want to go, but are we really confident enough to think we’ve got it all figured out and under control?? And doesn’t it seem like the moments we do start to feel that way is when the world throws us an incredibly squirrelly curve ball? How reassuring to know that we don’t have to always have it together, have all the answers, have it perfectly planned out? We can give it to the Creator of this universe and trust that He will take care of it. Not necessarily in the way we want it to happen, but it’s in His hands…..His perfect, loving hands. So that is my prayer these days. To look at the birds in the air- their delicate feathers, their knitted nests- and realize that like them, I will be taken care of. That’s my prayer for you too. I’ve had so many conversations with people lately about jobs and incomes and housing situations, and there’s so much fear and uncertainty out there. I pray that you find trust, assurance, and comfort in the Father. I write all of this is love.

PS- For anyone who’s every doubted, wondered, or questioned about the Christian faith, I would HIGHLY recommend taking an Alpha course. You can Google it and find where it’s being offered. It’s for unbelievers and believers alike and questions are very welcomed. It’s not “churchy” feeling and it goes into stuff like “how can you know God exists” and “how was the Bible created”, etc. It’s just a 10 week course and I love that it answers to questions of the mind as well as of the heart. Anyways- that’s my shameless plug! Ha ha!

PSS- The image at the top was taken at our old house off Moon Road. (We were renting at the time and thought we should buy so we wouldn’t be throwing money away and so we could sell and make a profit. Oh silly, naive newlyweds! hee hee). But anyways- we had about 5 acres and there were all these bird houses scattered around on the posts of the fence. During the spring we would walk around everyday and watch the progress of the nests being built, the eggs being laid, the babies being hatched, and then finally the birds flying off. It was so neat to see the whole process. I wish I’d of had my fancy camera then and taken lots more pictures!

3 responses »

  1. >I am so happy for you, making all these great, life-altering changes! Asheville does sound perfect for you guys. I’m a city girl so I would feel too isolated, but you are much more natural and in tune, and it sounds so great! And of course I’m so psyched that you’ll (hopefully) be able to stay home with Bailey.Not to be a downer, but I do have to say that I’ve never been a big fan of providence/”letting” things happen. Part of it is my worldly pride I admit, but part of it is what I’ve witnessed. No, the birds don’t worry about finding food, but lots of people do, and they starve to death. Kids starve to death every day, and horrible things happen. Of course I believe in free will and that’s why these things happen – suffering brings us closer to God. But I just have never bought the belief that God will ‘take care’ of things, because then why not for everyone? Why only some? My only answer is, he LETS things happen, but we are suffering because of the choices humans have made (our own mistakes, selfish people not helping others, etc.) I just don’t think that God micromanages us like that. But anyway, that’s just a difference in philosophy I suppose. The main thing is, I totally hear you on the worrying about the future. I’m definitely a planner, but I still worry so much! In this economy, like you said with the depressing news, there is a lot to be worried about – especially when you’re talking about houses and jobs, two major problems. Having said that, I do think that things will work out. Worse comes to worse, it will be a rough patch and you’ll have to cut corners and rely on others for a while. But you are strong and you guys can make it through, and you’ll always have your basic needs cared for. And, although your school district is having trouble, a) it looks like Obama will be increasing funding for school and b) teachers are never going out of business! Even if it’s in another district or another state, Steve will find work. As for the house, it may be a frustrating process. There may come a point where you have to choose between selling the house for a lower value just to get out, or staying there longer than you want and waiting for the market to improve. Either way, you are lucky that you’re not being forced into a decision (foreclosure, bankruptcy, sudden accident). Time is on your side. It’ll happen eventually. But I will be thinking about you and hoping your house sells!Ok well that’s my two cents. I’m excited for all the changes. I can really see you loving NC. I’ve only been there a few times but it’s always nice to have a bit of a change, and it’s supposed to be a great area. Keep me posted!

  2. >No I totally agree about what you’re saying Jen……evil, free will, etc. And also about not just sitting back and letting God take care of it. I mean, that would be lazy to just sit there, do nothing, and be like “oh it’s all in God’s hands”. Sorry if I came off sounding so naive. I mean I believe God gave us a brain and the strength to enable us to get things done and we should definitely use those things if able. And that’s what we’re doing- we’re doing our part- putting the house on the market, keeping it clean, advertising it, looking for jobs, and so on. But what I meant to convey (and obviously failed- ha ha!), is that I’m not going to sit around and stress and worry over it. Just like I’ve given God my future, my plans, I’m also giving him my worry and my doubt and my stress. (and luckily He loves me enough to care about those things) And even though at times things seem unclear and maybe a little scary, I have to trust and rely on God, trust that He will take care of me. Again, I can’t sit back, do nothing, and expect it to just happen. But I also can’t worry or obsess to death. And by giving it to God, I have to be willing to go through the doors He opens for me and accept the doors He closes for me. I certainly don’t have all the big theological answers, but I do know enough to know that I don’t know that much. But I feel that God does and I can trust him on that. Does that make sense? I honestly think we agree more than we disagree…..I think I’m just not as good at explaining myself as you are! ha ha! Let me know what you think!

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