Three Year Move Update

Happy Thursday, my peeps! So, I read this article that had some really great things to say about being vulnerable and I felt compelled to share this story with you. As always, I went back and forth about posting it, I do believe it is good to share the good, but also the struggles and the not so good. So, here, we go!

It’s been a little over 3 years since we moved to Houston. It was such a leap of faith and it has been hard at times and easy at times. I spent a lot of time the first couple years trying so hard to feel settled, trying to find a group of friends, trying to make this place “home.” However, I have realized it doesn’t happen that way, but it will always happen in God’s perfect timing. Now, if I can just remember that every day…

I remember leaving my mom’s in March of last year and looking at houses in Orange County most of the plane ride home, because I really thought maybe we were meant to move back to California. I missed being in driving distance to my family (they’re all there except me!). But, then one morning, I woke up and felt a huge sense of peace that this is where I’m meant to be. I can’t even explain it, because it was just a sense of peace and listen, I worry all.the.time. Being peaceful is something I pray and strive for on a daily basis and it’s rare for me. I’m an over-thinker, a worrier, I need to feel like I have a sense of control (hello, part of why I am not a fan of flying on airplanes!). So, bottom line, peace is not something that comes easy for me. So, imagine my surprise when I woke up and felt at peace with us living here. Thank you GOD for that. I needed a little slap in the face to remind me just how great we had it here. I knew that our current home was not where we were meant to be. We had always said it would be a 3-5 year place. So, being at peace with being here, we knew it was time to list the house and see what would happen. I never went into the details until after we moved. Hello, privacy issues…but, anywho, we listed the house, got a contract on it, then got screwed over by these people who put a contract on our home, only to cancel the contract at the last minute (they just put a contract to hold it in case they couldn’t find anything cheaper…awful. We didn’t know this at the time or we wouldn’t have accepted the contract.) and so we went back to being on the market. It was an awful market here in Houston…not much was selling, but we stuck it out and eventually it sold and here we are today.

So, back to the move and being at peace. Throughout all the stress of having the house on the market, I knew in my heart this town is where we are meant to be. I truly believe that. And I am thankful for it. I have moved a lot in my life and I know I can be okay anywhere, but it does change some as an adult, especially after you have kids. It’s hard to find friends that think like you, raise their kids like you, those true friends who love you, flaws and all. I always say you only get a few of those true friends in your lifetime. You get lots of friends, but only a few of the trues! 2015 was tough in the sense that I lost both of my grandparents within months of each other. I was so close to both of them and it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was and is so hard to even comprehend being here without them. Just the other day, I picked up the phone to call my grandmother. It was the weirdest thing. I still sometimes don’t remember that they’re in heaven. I struggled with being far away when this happened both times. I couldn’t make it in time. I didn’t really get to say goodbye. My grandmother did request to call me a few hours before she passed away. I’ll be forever grateful that I heard her say “I love you, Smash” one last time. So, the point is, losing them and not being there, sent me on a bit of a spiral about how I needed to be back in California to be close to my family. Being a plane ride away always complicates things a bit. But, like I said, in early 2016, I finally came to this place of peace with being here. I truly love our town. I thankful to have community here. We have a wonderful church that I truly believe is a huge part of the reason that we are here. Mr. Fancy says he has prayed for years that we would find a good Church home. He just did not realize it entailed moving across country.

It might sound crazy, but I think it’s true. It was no accident that we ended up where we ended up. I know we are where God wanted us to be. Here’s why…When we moved here, I called our church preschool and they had ONE spot left in the 4 year old class. I said we would take it, without even seeing the school. I had heard great things, so it seemed great. They called me back twenty minutes later and said another administrator had already given the spot they promised me, away. I was so upset. They said that if this family didn’t show up for their tour a week later, then the spot was mine. It was a long week of praying (and worrying of course) that we would end up where we needed to be. Well, they called me a week later and said they didn’t show up for the tour and that the spot was ours. So, if I could go back to that moment and truly know that it would be that life changing, I think the past three years might have gone differently. But, again, it’s all part of the journey, I know, so at the same time, I wouldn’t change it. But, starting at that little preschool, in turn had us ready to try out the church several months later. We went once and between the sermon and the worship music, we looked at each other and said “this is it!” Our kids are thriving here and are happy. They have sweet friends, a great school and activities that they just love. And here we are three years later and happy to be here. I’m not saying my life is all unicorns and puppies, no ma’am. I struggle just as much as the next guy. I have the awesome ups, the awful lows, we all go through it all. It’s just that I know this is where we are meant to life right now and I think that is a pretty great feeling.

So, I guess the reason I wanted to share this with you today, is maybe you don’t feel settled. Maybe you don’t feel like you’re where you’re meant to be? Maybe you just embarked on a new journey and where you are doesn’t feel like home. I just wanted you to know, that I’ve been there. I understand how you feel. I spent a lot of time thinking that I wouldn’t ever feel settled here and ready to call this place home. It did take time. Mr. Fancy always says we are constantly growing and evolving into the people that God wants us to be, whether we understand it at the time or not. I never used to understand that until the past few years. Now, I get it. You have to go through the hard stuff on your journey to come out on the other side. Whatever your journey is, I hope you know how much you are loved. I will end this by saying that if you are considering finding a church home, but haven’t, go out and try a few. It was life changing for me, for all of us really. I am truly thankful for this place and the people that is has brought into my life. And just to think it all started with one spot left in a 4 year old class.

xoxo,

Ashley

 

 

 

Photography by Melissa Parsons

23 Comments

  1. Kate wrote:

    Thanks for sharing this Ashley, I moved last July and have moved lots with my husbands job, your right about the highs and lows. It is difficult to find your group and it takes time. I found it so refreshing that someone else shared their journey. All my family are in the U.K. so I hear you and understand how hard distance is. I am even thinking we might live in the same area, I pray that I will wake up and feel the comfort and peace of being settled and found home! Have a great week!

    Posted 2.23.17
  2. Elizabeth wrote:

    Thanks for sharing this! I’ve moved from Texas to NJ a few years ago and have felt (even still sometimes feel) the exact same way! I needed this – this morning, so thank you!
    Xx
    Elizabeth
    http://stripesandsolitaires.com/

    Posted 2.23.17
  3. Keisha Dawson wrote:

    Thanks so much for sharing! I’ve been in the same town most of my life, but I know there are many others that struggle with this same things. Praying many are touched by you sharing!

    Posted 2.23.17
  4. Donna Evins wrote:

    You have no idea how much I needed to read this – I can’t tell you how grateful I am for you sharing. We recently moved because of my husband’s job, and while it wasn’t across the country and we are just several hours from family- you described me to a tee – the feeling if not being connected to anyone, wanting to go back to where we were living, the kind of friends we have there and it is so challenging to find friends like you, etc. I cried and cried as I read this. We are currently searching for a church home, after being at our previous one for over 10 years. Thank you thank you thank you. I kind of wish I was in Houston so we could be friends.

    Posted 2.23.17
  5. Leanne wrote:

    this is why I read your blog. you are real. I so relate to your story even though I’m living in the same house for the last 15+ years raising my family. I too have prayed for peace. peace for me, as a stay-at-home mom for the last 16 years, and wondering when and where my transition into a full time job will happen. In all of this, God is in control. I love how you mentioned the peace He gave you. only our loving God can bring that peace and it’s always at the most unexpected yet perfect timing. continue on your journey. you are reaching so many people…even me- a mom in the OC raising her two teenagers.

    Posted 2.23.17
  6. Erin Hines wrote:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I had a similar situation but I came from the East coast. This is a big overwhelming city sometimes and it took a long time for me to feel content and comfortable and to feel like this is all part of a plan. This post reaches to so many people at different stages of life; Thanks, Ashley!

    Posted 2.23.17
  7. Kristina wrote:

    It sure if it’s the pregnancy hormones or what, but you made me cry. Beautifully said! Glad you have found peace.

    Posted 2.23.17
    • Kristina wrote:

      Not**

      Posted 2.23.17
  8. Shelley Schulle wrote:

    Loved this! It made me smile!

    Posted 2.23.17
  9. amy wrote:

    Oh thank you for sharing a piece of your heart with us. My husband & I are in a transition phase. We are feeling stagnant where we are at, but haven’t committed to going elsewhere yet. You know, the whole finding a new job thing. 😉 Anyways, this post really resonated with me & was just what I needed to read today. Thanks!

    Posted 2.23.17
  10. Amanda wrote:

    Ashley! We met at swim last year and I’ve happened upon your blog since. What a beautiful and vulnerable post. Thank you taking the time to share your heart, your faith, and your journey. I think all too often people see pretty pictures and don’t realize that we are all the same…far from perfect, people with ups and downs, People with messes just trying to figure it all out. There is always beauty in the mess if your eyes are looking up. I’m so happy that you’ve found such peace and joy! Be blessed!!

    Posted 2.23.17
  11. Kelli wrote:

    I’m so glad you shared this. We have been living in Houston for 2.5 years and are debating moving closer to my family but lately when praying I feel like God has us in this city for a reason. It is so hard to make it feel like home. We continually pray for a strong community here. I love what you said about true friends – we are so lucky to have good friends but my heart is still aching for some true momma friends. Feeling settled certainly takes more time than I thought it would.

    Posted 2.23.17
  12. Christine wrote:

    This post spoke to my heart in so many ways. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Posted 2.23.17
  13. Melissa wrote:

    Thank you so much for sharing!! It really spoke to me and was exactly what I needed to hear today!

    Posted 2.23.17
  14. I loved reading this so much! It kind of made me miss it in a way 😉 I definitely miss seeing you every week and I miss our church home! I’m so happy to read that you’re feeling peace and like you’ve found home. Love you buddy!! xoxo

    Posted 2.23.17
  15. Jenna wrote:

    Hi Ashley,

    I feel like I relate to everything you just wrote. I’m an over-thinker and constant worrier who also made a big move almost 3 years ago from Illinois to Massachusetts. Sometimes I don’t think this place will ever feel like home and it’s so scary to imagine that. I’m praying that I will eventually feel that sense of peace like you have. Thank you so much for sharing your story!!

    Posted 2.23.17
  16. Mary wrote:

    Thanks for sharing your journey. I too, have moved multiple times and have realized that each move has its purpose even when it is difficult. You are so right about finding the right place to worship???? We are about to move again. I’m a little nervous, anxious and hopeful of our future home????In the end all that matters is having my family ( husband and kids). As long as we’re together we will be just fine????

    Posted 2.23.17
  17. Tamara wrote:

    You have no idea how fitting this was for me this morning! I just told my husband last week that I no longer feel like our church home for the past 8 years feels like “home” anymore. I want to try out some different churches, yet I felt nervous and scared. After reading this post I know that we must move forward. It’s also very refreshing to know that other women out there listen & pray for God’s direction & wisdom in their lives.

    Posted 2.24.17
  18. Alexis Bailey wrote:

    Thank you for sharing this…I am struggling big time with our recent more to Germany from Michigan…it;s been 6 months and it’s so, so hard. We’ll only be here for 3 years, but it’s not easy being so far away from our family and friends…I keep reminding myself this time is going to be so great for our family to just grow together (we have four children who are 8, 7, 3 and 2) but man it’s tough being the mama and keeping a brave face for everyone!! Thank you for sharing your heart, it’s so nice to know we’re not alone in these struggles and I’m so happy to hear your family is so happy where you are now…can’t wait for th pics of your new kitchen to be shared!! haha!

    Posted 2.24.17
  19. Cara Payan wrote:

    We moved to the Houston/Woodlands area a year ago and I have struggled with similar feelings. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It helps to hear about someone else going through the same emotions. My husband and I have been struggling with finding the right Church home here. We’re Catholic and have tried all the Churches nearby and none feel as much like “home” as our previous Church. My husband has gotten to the point of researching other Christian Churches in the area. I’m happy your family found a good Church home and I hope we can find ours as it seems to be the missing piece of our puzzle.

    Posted 2.24.17
  20. Tracy W. wrote:

    Ashley,
    This was a wonderful post. I haven’t felt settled in over two years….I went through a divorce, am a single working mom, bought my home last year, etc. Trying to keep it all together is really hard and I sometimes wonder if I will ever get to that happy place. I know that life is a journey, bringing us ups and downs. But, like you, I just want to be at peace. It is my hope that God has a special plan for me too. Thank you for sharing.

    Posted 2.24.17
  21. Kathryn wrote:

    Ashley, thank you so much for sharing this. I moved to the midwest a few years ago with my husband. Both our families are back on the East Coast and it is so, so hard. I am constantly struggling with feeling settled and secure here. It’s hard not having a true friend here who gets me. I pray it gets easier and that God puts the right people in my life soon. It also is really reassuring to read all the comments knowing that I’m not alone feeling this way. Thank you!!!

    Posted 2.27.17

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