Monday, July 25, 2016

An end of one chapter, a beginning of another

Last Wednesday, Julie, Joshua, our dog Dodger and myself loaded up and went back to Jacksonville.  We went with a mission: prepare to exit our Jacksonville home.  We've got a contract to sell it and it looks like we'll be out of it no later than Friday, August 5.  In order to make that happen, however, we had to go pack the things that meant the most to us.  Movers will come soon and they'll load it all up in a big truck and drag it to Midland.  But before they do, we were in our beloved Jacksonville home one more time.  
     It's funny how attached we get to houses.  But so much happened in that house.  We moved in there when Joshua was 9 weeks old.  He rolled for the first time on the living room floor.  His first steps were there.  His first tooth was lost there (he wouldn't let us pull it so when Julie brushed his teeth one night, it fell out and he spat it out in the sink!)  I't's where we learned to be a family in a whole new way.  It's where we came into the house for the first time and the entire place smelled like cat urine.  We pulled every stitch of carpet out before we moved anything in.  We lived on the slab for a year while we saved cash for new flooring.  It's where we wrote scripture on the slab while it was bare.  It's where we knelt to pray for the wisdom to lead Central and where we knelt to pray about coming to Midland.  
     I'll miss our place on Augusta street, but mostly I'll miss our neighbor Mrs. Betty Sheffield.  The day we moved in, she came and asked if she could mind Joshua for us while we got settled.  Thus began her journey as Joshua's surrogate grandmother.  Her love for our son is humbling.  He has two wonderful grandmothers, but they both live far away and don't get to visit nearly as much as they would like.  Miss Betty lives right next door.  AND she has a golf cart!  AND she knows where she keeps the Hershey kisses!  AND she lets Joshua have almost unlimited screen time!  For our son, when you put those pieces together, it's almost like Heaven!  Yes, it will be a sad day when we roll away from our Jacksonville home for the last time.  
     Now, however, we begin a new chapter of life and an exciting one at that!  Joshua will begin kindergarten this fall.  He's nervously excited about what that will be like.  We've got a contract on a home here - in fact, today we'll be at the house participating in the inspection.  It's a great house and we're excited about living there.  We believe firmly God has prepared it just for us, even down to some paint colors - two rooms are burnt orange!  
     I guess I thought after we'd been here this long - six months to the day today - we'd be more settled somehow.  But as I look back and look forward, I can say with confidence and clarity we're Midlanders now!  This will be our home and we'll enjoy this new chapter as much as we did the last one.  Thanks FBC and Midland community for making us feel so very much at home.  

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