I had hoped to write a post to bring closure to my time in Kansas before leaving the great state. However, moving turned out to be way busier than I anticipated. We hired movers (which was the BEST money we’ve ever spent), but getting the house prepared for the movers was time consuming and exhausting! I only wanted to move with what we needed/wanted, and I can honestly say I did great….we only have one small bag of things to give away! The process to get to that point was difficult, but I am so glad I did it before I left.
I plan to print off my blog, then I will start a new one to celebrate my move to Florida.
We closed on our house, without any trouble, on June 21. We could not move into our new home until July 1. We took a ten day roadtrip, staying with friends and family along the way. It ended up being pretty nice, because we took our time driving halfway across the country. (My uncle drove our other car).
I am so thankful for our gracious friends and family (Victoria, Donna, Wendy, my parents, and Brett’s parents) who hosted us along the way. My kids had a blast meeting new friends and family members. Caleb looks just like one of my cousins, which we now affectionately call “Uncle Twin”.
Even though I am very happy to follow the Lord to Florida, I LOVE Overland Park. That is where Brett and I started our life together. Our first dates were there. I moved into our home on 152nd Terrace as a new wife. I brought home my 3 children to that house. All of my dreams came true in that home. Looking back, I cannot believe how faithful God was (and is) to have blessed my life so completely.
I learned how to be a wife in Kansas. I had few friends our first year of marriage. Neither of us worked from September to February that first year, and all we did was hang out….going to the movies, out to dinner, to Starbucks. If its true that your first year of marriage is your hardest, then, wow, we are fortunate. It was a great first year. Five years later, I feel like I barely even knew Brett when we got married….I love how much we have grown together as a couple. We have changed so much, but we have changed together. And I could not be more thankful.
I learned how to be a mom in Kansas. I really struggled through Caleb’s first 6 months. It was not until I joined my MOPS group that I began to figure out the mom thing. I struggled with so much guilt and not knowing really what to do as a mom…until I met friends in the same stage of life I was at. I could not have dreamed the impact that group would have on my life. Most of my closest friends came from that group. From those women, I learned how to decorate a home (if you could have seen my home the first couple of years…it was awful…not that I am great now, but I have definitely improved)…I learned true hospitality…fun things to do with kids…how to be a better wife. So many domestic life skills were imparted to me through my friends. The fact our kids were so close was just icing on the cake!!
I learned the joy of a growing church in Kansas. City Life Church started in our living room, before I was even in the equation. To see where God has taken it makes me smile. My other closest friends came from church. Women who blessed my life beyond measure and inspired me to grow in my faith. God used City Life to make me truly figure out who He created me to be. There was so much opportunity in a small church, so I had to often seek God for His will, not what I “should” do. Thankfully, I have become so confident in my giftings. Things I used to want to change about myself because my strengths. I learned the power of prayer. And how prayer changes situations. Jesus did miraculous things in my life. I cannot even believe it. I saw God do things I could have only dreamed out before.
It seems so goofy, but I feel like I became a woman in those 5 years. I can remember my first year of living there (I was 23), and I was SO immature. I can only laugh at the goofy things I said and did. Not that I am the poster child for maturity, but I have come a long way.
Overland Park is a wonderful city. It was just voted the 7th best place to live in America, but I truly believe its #1. The area is so safe. People are friendly. Homes are big and inexpensive (comparatively). Stores are nice, clean, and uncrowded. I have great friends there. My family lived a short trip away. Life was good. Comfortable. Fun.
But, yet, God’s grace has been so sufficient. South Florida is SO different. Buildings are old. Houses are small and expensive. Crime is high. People are weird. Really weird. In my first two weeks, I have seen some ODD things. People have been rude.
Yet, I am excited for what God has in store. When praying about our move, God spoke to me and said, “All of your physical dreams have come true in Kansas. But your spiritual dreams will come true in Florida.” What could be more awesome than that?! I have big dreams of what I hope to see God do in this city, and His promises are faithful!!
I do have to pray much more. I have to trust God more. I mean, I saw a guy get arrested while stopped at a red light a few days ago.
The mantra “We’re not in Kansas anymore” keeps replaying in my head. Moving has been a weird feeling. I feel like we’re just on an extended vacation. My home decor looks so goofy when it changed venues, yet we are in a rental….so I do not want to invest too much in the place!
Settling into a new area is hard. Finding new doctors, new places to donate items, new routes to parks, new grocery stores. I will say I have quite loved the amount of water parks here. And, of course, the beach is AMAZING!!
The weirdest part of moving in July is that Florida summers are like Kansas winters: everyone stays inside to avoid the extreme temperatures. I know it will be so much more fun in a few months!!
Unpacking and settling into our house was exhausting! It took a lot longer than I anticipated, but I am mostly unpacked. Our garage needs to be organized, but all boxes are unpacked. Everything made it, except one box of kitchen items remains missing. I have no idea how it did not get packed, but it is missing. I am surprised how much things have changed since we got everything 5 years ago. Measuring cups and spoons are magnetic now. Very cool!
So, all in all, life in Florida is good. Different but good. We only have a few friends here, so we’ve had a lot of quality family time. I have enjoyed it a lot!! Brett has had some awesome ministry encounters already.
God is so good. I know South Florida will feel like home in no time!! I have waves of homesickness (similar to what I felt when I moved to college), but overall, I am doing pretty good. I miss the comfort and routine of my old life at times, but I have enjoyed the change in other ways. It has been fun to configure my furniture in new ways and things like that.
I am not sure where my new blog will be, but I will post it soon!! I am hoping to get one with a cuter background. I read blogs in Google Reader, so I have never paid that much attention. But when I click onto blogs, I see everyone else has beautiful pages!!
So, for the last time from sew56.wordpress.com, thank you for reading my ramblings. I look forward to seeing you on my new blog :).