Posted in Moving Moments, The Move

The One Where Lori Tries to Cry

My family & I are freshly back for 8 days in Fresno. It was quite the trip. We arrived Friday evening and were whisked away to an amazing, authentic Mexican restaurant where we made up for the lack of airline food. We had left at 7am (CST) so by 7pm (PST) we were faint with hunger. Well, okay, a mild exaggeration.

On Saturday there was a church picnic at a beautiful park. We had a chance to meet some new people, refresh some friendships, and eat fist sized strawberries. Well, okay, a very slight exaggeration. There were games planned by the lovely Alejandra who had devised games that kids and adults could play together. Pure genius, huh?

Most of the week was spent meeting with church people, looking at houses & one amazing apartment, and enjoying the California weather. Harold had interviews with 2 different property management companies. He is awaiting  a follow-up phone interview with the company who, coincidentally, owns the amazing apartment complex where we want to live. Well, okay, not coincidentally.

We got back to the ‘ville on Saturday evening and have been recovering ever since. Right before we left on our trip, a realtor in town had a couple who he wanted to show our house. That happened the day we left. Today we signed papers selling our house! It’s stunning how everything is falling into place so quickly. We will be out of our house on July 1st. Which is coming round the bend at a ridiculous rate of speed!

In the last several days I have felt at turns overwhelmed, overjoyed, exhausted and full of energy. Mostly I feel like a good cry would really help! (It’s a woman thing.) I’m sure I’ll get there soon.

Thanks to everyone for their prayers. We have felt them and needed them!

Posted in Personal Observations, Politics, The Move

Running Around In Circles In My Mind

REO Speedwagon certainly understood how I feel right now. So many things to do, to think about, to ponder, to decide. Right now there are to-do lists in several different categories which makes it a bit hard when trying to pick which one to tackle first. Today we are going to excavate Evan’s room which should be interesting. He is so much like his dad when it comes to keeping or tossing things. Me, I’m a pitch it kind of girl. I am sure there is some kind of happy medium but not in this family. Maybe we should have someone come over just to say “Are you sure you want to keep/toss that?”

We have 5 weeks to get the house ready to put on the market. Harold observed yesterday that in January it seemed like we had plenty of time yet now at the END OF MARCH (how did that happen?) it’s turning into a sprint! There are three bedrooms and 2 bathrooms to paint. Fortunately we will have help from our small group and my 11th/12th graders who offered, before I ever asked, to paint.

I feel like when we put that For Sale sign out front it will be a point of no return, a “this is it moment” in time. In a few weeks we will fly to Fresno to look for jobs, a place to live, and to get Evan signed up for insurance and a job. I have never been someone who can wait patiently, it’s just not in my DNA. When we return home it is quite certain that I will want to move immediately.

Several years ago a preacher named Kevin Leal spoke to our church about how transition feels like water being poured from one glass to another and you’re in the middle, free-falling. He was so right! I feel pushed in all directions, surrounded by things that must be done. I am grateful to God that I don’t feel horribly stressed just every day stressed.

Friday night I went to a Republican fundraiser, something I’ve never done before. My political history is Democrat>Republican> Independent. (I’d be nothing if they’d let me.) My best friend Patty invited me, so I went to hang out with her and a couple of other friends. So I got to find out who is running for what and why. I also got to see a real auction which was a blast and made me want to have one just because of the excitement.There are not many social invitations that I’m turning down. Soon it will be time for good-bye’s.

I will admit to being in a lot of Fibro pain so prayers are appreciated for that. In fact, I am home from church today which I do not like. So I dream and hope for a time when my pain will lessen or vanish for good.

Here’s the song that gave me today’s title. It’s also a song that Harold & I consider one of our songs.

Posted in Religion, The Move

The Floodgates

It’s funny how fast life can change sometimes. Sometimes the change is hard or scary or sad. As a family we have certainly experienced our share. During the last four years we have lived through long term unemployment (Harold for 14 months). There was life threatening illness (Evan’s 6 hip surgeries & subsequent staph infection that very nearly cost his life). My contribution to the stress pile was being diagnosed with the chronic pain of fibromyalgia which is at this time not curable. Whew! Time for some relief don’t ya think?

Let me be the first to say that sometimes we must live years with difficult circumstances. As a Christian mom of a child with special needs, I have become a bit of an expert at calling for more grace and Father God has never disappointed me. That doesn’t mean everything was instantly better. Patience is a learned virtue. And learn I did.

Then last week happened. And we saw the floodgates opened wide. We were given a blessing that enabled us to pay off all of our debt, save our mortgage. We had enough left to finish the repairs on our home and cover moving expenses. Oh, did I mention that Harold was given a wonderful car?

So for the first time in our 29 year marriage, absolutely all our needs are met and beyond! It is such a weird feeling. We look at each other in wonder, in awe of how God has everything wrapped up for us before we move. This has been truly more than we ever dreamed of and to say we are thankful does not begin to express what is in our hearts at this moment.

I encourage you to not lose hope, no matter your circumstances. As a preacher once said, the “now” of God will arrive in time.

Posted in The Move

Recharge Renew

Life, as I observed on my Google+ stream last week, moves fast. The older I get, the more I am aware of this fact. Last February, Harold met with a team of people who we deeply trust. To put it in business language there were some vacancies that needed to be filled and our team wanted to know if we were interested in filling any of them. We were indeed interested in one specific church that we felt we could help out. So the seed of decision was planted with details to sprout at a later date.

In our church circles we don’t really make decisions in a vacuum. There are no “lone ranger” leaders. There are several reasons for this. One, we believe it is biblical to seek counsel from people who know us well and are, yes, wiser than us, before making major decisions. Two, there are too many lives at stake to risk making a decision out of vanity, tiredness, boredom, ego, etc. When I say “lives at stake” it doesn’t mean someone will get shot & die. It means we are leaders and when leaders screw up it affects the people around them in a negative way. Harold & I don’t want  that to happen to the people we serve and live life with. We care about them too much.

As could be predicted the time between February and now flew by. Trying to get time to have long discussions between my husband and I was next to impossible.  Late at night, when we were bleary eyed and not long on patience or thinking ability, we would try to talk about our upcoming move. There were so many questions to answer: when, where, what to take, what to leave, how to transition our special needs son, and more. Ugh!

So Friday afternoon we jumped in the car and headed to Des Moines, where we hadn’t stayed before, to get some time to talk, pray & rest. I will say here that Des Moines is a difficult city to eat in. We had a heck of a time finding anywhere to eat. It also rained all of Saturday, canceling our plans for the zoo and botanical gardens. We both do well walking and talking at the same time so we like to do that. 🙂 One of  the best things was the time spent in the hotel jacuzzi because it brought my fibromyalgia pain level way down so I could walk longer. Where did we walk? In a ginormous mall of course. There were Labor Day sales everywhere so we picked up so cool clothes cheap. But I digress.

Saturday morning we spent talking about and listing each other’s “Things I Absolutely Know About Myself” and adding to each others list. When you’ve been married for 28 years you know some stuff about your spouse. It was fun. Then in the afternoon it was on to “If I Could Do Anything I Wanted for a Job What Would It Be?”  and “How Does That Fit” into the possibilities where we are going. We talked about things that the other should consider. Harold thinks I should consider going back to college to finish up my degree. Hmmmm. I wasn’t real keen on that but I was also dismayed that I thought of it 10 seconds before he said it. Yikes.

Saturday night we found an amazing Italian restaurant. I had the most delicious wild mushroom risotto that I had ever tasted prompting me to find a recipe so I can attempt it at home. We had Baskin Robbins ice cream (their rocky road in my favorite ice cream of all time) for dessert. By the time we got back to our room we were all talked out, but felt more solid on some details.

Sunday we had breakfast at Starbucks, shopped a little more, talked a little more, prayed a little more and got home by late afternoon. We are SO blessed to have a wonderful adopted* daughter, Kristen, who stayed with Evan so we could go out of town. She is the absolute best sister he could ever have. They crack each other up which is great, and she can get him to do all his chores which is helpful also.

While you might not have life changing things to decide, should you consider taking some time out also? It was a great time for us and I think it would be for you also.

*Adopted here means in spirit. Kristen lived with us for a year when she was a senior in college and is now considers herself a herlastname-Forbis. 

Posted in The Move

Excitement Is In The Eye of The Beholder

On Sunday my friend Shelly asked me if I was excited about moving back to California. My response, “Well, sorta.” was a bit confusing probably. Since we don’t have a set date to leave, or even a set city, (although that is narrowed down to two) that part of the excitement will happen later.

I was excited when the decision was first made. Crazy, over-the-moon, excited. Can’t eat or sleep excited. Then as the weeks went by, that feeling faded. As my pastor. Tom, put it, the honeymoon phase is over and now comes the walking out part of the decision.

When Harold and I got married we went to Hawaii on our honeymoon. It was more beautiful than I had imagined. The colors were deeper, richer, brighter than anything I’d ever seen before. We made beautiful memories and had a blast for 10 days. Then we came home and went about the mundane things that life is really made of. We went to work, fussed about our budget, and began the decades long task of rubbing the rough spots off our relationship. We still had a blast (most of the time) and loved each other like crazy. The difference was the Hawaii moments were fewer and further between.

That is how I feel now. There are 20 years of accumulated living in this house. We have lots of things to sort, toss, sell, or keep. Doing that will take some time and we’ll probably be finished right before the move date ! Do I get curl-my-toes excited still? Yes! But there is always a twinge of sadness mixed with the excitement as I will be leaving behind a community of wonderful, supportive and loving people who I’ve been with for a long time.

Thrilled? Sometimes. Sad? Sometimes. In transition? Always!