A Classic Tale of Telling God What You Won’t Do

I am sure you have heard a million times: “Never tell God what you won’t do because that is the very thing you’ll be called to do.”

I actually do not believe God is in the business of making us do what we do not want to do.  That is just wrong theology.

But.

I am doing exactly what I sad I would never do.

Five years ago next month, I moved to Kansas.  I left the Sunshine State and told my brand new husband that we would never move back to Florida.  (He grew up there, so this was a pretty bold statement for a new bride.  But I meant it.)

It is not that I dislike Florida.  College was such an amazingly fun time of my life.  But I just really love the Midwest.  I love being close to my family (I really missed them during my college years).  I love the seasons.  I love how nice people are.  I love that is only takes 3-4 hours to fly anywhere in the country.  In short, I love where we live.

If I had my choice, I would have lived in Kansas City forever.  It is perfect.  Big city with a small city feel.  Anything you could ever want….with everything you need within a 10 minute drive.  I have like 6 Targets within a 15 minute drive!!

But I told God what I would not do.

And He decided that is the very thing I would do.

So, in a few short months, my family and I will be relocating to south Florida.

Many people have asked how it came to be.  I usually give the short version of the story.  I will give the medium version here.

Last May, a friend of Brett’s called him and said, “I really think you should pray about the possibility of moving to Miami.”

Brett shared this with me.  I laughed (Sarah of the Bible??).  And said, “Absolutely not.”

Slowly, over the next couple of months, God showed up to me in profound ways.  I needed heavy convincing, and He definitely convinced me.  Basically, through a series of dreams, people’s encouragement, etc., it was very clear that we would be moving to Florida.

Some of our closest friends in the world live in Florida.  We have always felt that we would work with them in a ministry capacity, but we assured them this would happen once they left Florida to join us in the great state of Kansas!!  (They laughed and said, “Absolutely not.”)

Anyway, around August, we shared with our bosses at work that we felt God was calling us to move to Florida.  We did not have a timetable, but we just knew it would be eventually.  Their advice was to forget about it until Christmastime, then we would revisit it.  We knew we would not be leaving before Luke’s arrival, so that is why we “forgot about it until Christmastime”.

During the fall, we did our best to forget, but we never felt like we could commit to anything past May 2010.  When people would say things like “next year, we’ll do this….”, we knew in our hearts that we would not be here next year.  However, in our minds, we were not totally sure.  We only want what God wants, so we continued to pray.

Around December, we felt strongly that we were going to be moving this summer.  In tears, I told two of my close friends about the possibility of moving.  I could not imagine not living in Kansas anymore.  I have such deep heart connections with friends here that I just could not stomach moving.  When I told them, we still were not positive about our timetable.  However, over Christmas break, we prayed a lot. And we knew clearly from the Lord that we would be moving this summer.

So that began our journey of sharing with our friends and family our plan.  Telling people has been the hardest part of this whole thing.  I felt like I was betraying people I have built relationships with during the last 5 years.  That is not true, of course, but it just hurt that deeply to realize that I would not see my friends on a consistent basis.  I realize people move all of the time.  I moved away from amazing friends when I left Tallahassee.  Those valuable friendships have survived time and distance, so I know it is possible (it is just a lot harder that all of us have kids!).

Our friends have been so supportive, and I could not be more thankful.  Though I do appreciate when they let me know they do not want us to leave!

Moving to Florida is definitely bittersweet.  God has totally changed my heart, and I am actually excited for what He has in store!!  I am looking forward to stepping into the next chapter He has for our lives.  Living in Florida has it’s perks.  Beaches.  Pools.  Good shopping.  Diversity.  Did I mention beaches?

I am so sad to be leaving the place where we have built our entire life together!!  It will be so hard to leave the house that I first visited when Brett and I had been dating about 5-6 weeks (and feared it would be the ultimate bachelor pad with black lacquer furniture)…the house I moved into my first few weeks as a married woman….the house we brought home our 3 children to….the house that holds so many memories of the Williams Clan.

Yet, I hope in a God who has a new house for us.  With new memories.  And even more amazing friends.

God is so faithful.  As always, He knows what we need and want so much more than we know ourselves.  I love that!!

I guess I should also confess that I prayed in November (when it started to seem like we may be moving), “God, if you want us to move, this has to be the very worst winter ever so that I will be excited for the change of climate.”

So you are welcome for all of the snow :).

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Oh, yeah, I once kept a blog….

I have no idea why I used to update my blog every day, and now I am very sparse.  I could blame having three children, but I find time for much less important things….so that is not necessarily a good excuse (though it does contribute).  My kids are actually funnier than ever, so I really need to record more of what they say.  Blogging is the only memory I have of the last 4 years.  I have been in a perpetual child-induced fog.  I am sort of joking.  But I honestly used to have a really good memory; I never forgot anything.  Now, I struggle to remember everything.  I guess that is where blogging is beneficial :).

Anyway, life with three has been awesome, so far.  Luke is still a dream baby.  There are a few nights where he decides to stay up for like an hour at like 3 am.  Other than those few occasions, he is amazingly easy and is adjusting quite well to our family.  I have been keeping him up more during the day, which seems to help the nighttime issue.

Caleb and Chloe have adjusted much better to his being here.  At one point, Chloe asked, “When is Luke going to his home?”  When I asked where he lived, she replied, “Far, far away.”  In reality, though, she treats Luke great.  She just did not care for me for a few weeks, but that is getting much better.
Brett and I have made an intentional effort to give Caleb and Chloe one-on-one time, and that helps tremendously.
Caleb is so sweet.  He often wants to lay by Luke or hold him.  Then, he will say things like, “I sure like Luke,” or “Luke sure is cute.”  (Caleb uses “sure” a lot, which is cute!)
Caleb has also told me on two different occasions, “I have a lot of milk in my tummy, so can I feed Luke this time?”  The second time he actually specified that he had chocolate and white milk, so he was really full of milk.  (I did not use that opportunity to tell him where milk actually comes from, which actually is really fascinating that our bodies can produce milk on command, basically).

Chloe treats Luke like one of her baby dolls.  She tries to undress him and change his diaper, which he, surprisingly, is not a huge fan of.  She also likes to put her baby dolls in his car seat and swing.  (Let’s not mention the amount of diapers and wipes she wastes changing her dolls’ diapers!).

I am really happy with how my little family of 5 is doing.  I am still really tired most of the time, but it is just typical newborn tired.  Brett has been the most amazing dad and husband….and has done so much to ease my load.  I feel like all I do is take care of Luke (except when he’s at work, of course), while he takes care of the big kids.

Which, by the way, my kids seem HUGE compared to Luke.  Especially Chloe.  She is in that phase where she is chunking up before she grows in height.  She is just precious, and I love her little chunkiness (which is hardly chunky…just thicker than her normal skinny self).  Caleb will be 4 in a few weeks, and I can hardly figure out how that happened so fast.

I am really enjoying not being pregnant.  I never realize how miserable pregnancy is until after I am done.  Fortunately, awesome kids come as a result, so it is totally worth it.  But the thought of doing it again in 2-3 years is so unappealing (except for the end result!).  We plan to stop at 4 kids, so at least we are 3/4 of the way done.

Life is good.  Tiring but good.  My c-section recovery is going quite well, but I am not enjoying “taking it easy”.  But, if I don’t then I regret it later.  I am excited to be able to be 100% again.  That may be awhile, because as long as I have to wake up a lot during the night, I am not 100%, unfortunately.

God is so good.  We are loving life and excited to see all of our kids continue to grow and change.
Caleb is in the “why” phase.  He follows everything with “Why?” (even if he asks a question and I say ok, he still asks, “why?”).  I actually do not mind it much because I love to see how much he is developing.  He has a huge imagination and is starting to play make-believe.  I love watching him play with his guys….talking to them and using his imagination!
One neat attribute about Caleb is that he has the best memory.  He can recognize (by name) places that he has only been once or twice in his life (which could have been like 6 months ago).  It is crazy how visually aware he is!

Chloe is in the wonderful 2 year old phase (which I actually prefer to the 3’s).  She is so cute but boy, she is feisty.  Obedience is not her top priority.  She is so sweet, though, and in her own little world.  At home, she runs everywhere.  But out in public, she walks slowly and enjoys the scenery.  Chloe loves to pray and worship the Lord.  She is all that is girl–she loves make-up, doing her hair, and changing clothes during the day!  I love seeing her girliness come out….except in the form of screaming, which she does often.

At mealtimes, we always pray.  Caleb and Chloe each pray.  Caleb always says, “Dear God, thank you for our food.  Oh, man (instead of Amen).”  BUT, sometimes he tricks us and says, “Amen.”  To which he follows up with, “We are back to Amen.”  Then, a few days later, we will go back to “oh, man!”  You just never know :).  Chloe will pray silently then declare either, “Amen or Oh, man,” depending on which one we are on that day!  I find it very amusing and it makes me laugh every time!!

Well, Luke needs to eat.  Have a great day!!!