Moving Adventures

God is so good. All the time.

I should probably start with a quick “we made it” post. It’s been almost a month now and I haven’t had the time to.

Our drive up was eventful, to say the least. Stephen’s dad went with us to drive the moving truck.

About three hours into our drive, there was an accident involving the moving truck. Dad and my two big boys were fine. The other car involved flipped across traffic into the median. The driver seemed to be ok, with only a few cuts on his arm and forehead. They took him to the hospital to check him out. What greatly burdens me is it’s been a month now, and we haven’t heard anything about how he’s doing. I pray he’s fine, and that he hasn’t had to fight insurance to get medical care he needed and the replacement car.

We got on the road in a much more somber mood, and made pretty much decent time after that, other than needing to stop a lot for the kids and dogs.

I finally called to book a hotel once we got into Pennsylvania. We took the only one in our price range that had open rooms for all of us. Oh. My. Word. It was so scary. The building was incredibly run down. I’ll just say that I was grateful to have the dogs in the rooms with us, because I wasn’t sure we’d still have our truck and trailer intact when we got up in the morning.

Come morning, we got back on the road and stopped for gas. We opened the trailer to get something out of the cooler, because we had put all the coolers and snacks in there. The door broke. Open. We had to call roadside assistance, which helped close the door, but didn’t fix it. We drove to find a Uhaul place to exchange the trailer, but the place we found couldn’t help us either. So we continued up the road, with the trailer broken shut now, and no access to our food.

We were thrilled to see the Hudson River and all the states we’d never seen before. Maine was especially thrilling for all of us. It is so incredibly breathtaking.

Once we got to the town where we’re staying, GPS said we had arrived, but we couldn’t find the house. It was 1am, and we were driving up and down the road in the dark trying to read house numbers to find it. We did, after an hour. Come to find out, we have zero cell reception in the area, so the closest GPS estimate had us six houses down.

The house we stayed at is called the Haven of Rest, and it truly was. It was a breath of fresh air to be able to relax in such a beautiful and quiet location. We still had a lot of running to do, but it was restful.

We got new phone numbers right away, since there’s so little reception in the county. After we closed on our new house and moved in, we discovered our house is a dead zone and even with a new carrier, our phones don’t get reception. So we got a land line phone right away too.

It has been a big adjustment getting used to driving an hour to church. After living in the Bible Belt for 18 years, it’s strange to have to go that far to find a Gospel preaching church.

What amazes me is the house we bought is directly across the street from our new church. What an incredible blessing.

We are working with another church an hour north of us. Their pastor has been driving down to ours to preach Sunday afternoons, between his own services. We are continuing that schedule for a few more weeks, while we canvas the town to let them know our church has a pastor now. We will have a big installation service October 5, and then we will go to traditional service times at that point.

It has been incredibly humbling to hear of all the people who have prayed for a pastor for our church over the past two years, but more humbling to realized God chose us to answer that need. It’s been a joy to get to know our members, who have become dear to us already. I’m very excited to see what God does next.

God Always Provides

What a busy few weeks it’s been.

The fuel pump on the big van went out. We got a call before we took it into the shop, asking how much it would cost to fix. “I’ll bring a check by tonight.” And just like that, God provided the money for the van to be fixed.

We went to Stephen’s parents’ church Sunday night, to see everyone and say our goodbyes. Stephen was asked to share his burden about Maine and to preach, our family was asked to sing, and they gave us a special monetary gift for our trip as well.

Before we left, they had us stand at the front of the congregation for everyone to hug us, shake hands, etc before we leave. One person gave me a hug and said, “I know the church already gave you something, but God told me to give you this” as something was pressed into my hand. I opened my hand later to see that it was a $100 bill.

When God first told us to move, we knew He would need to provide for it. It’s already gotten much more expensive than we ever expected, but every step of the way, God has provided what we needed right when we needed it.

Faithful is He

It sure has been an interesting couple of weeks. All I know to say is my God is faithful.

Our house here and the house in Maine are both under contract. We’re having some back and forth with the bank about requirements for the new loan – there is confusion on whether or not the new house is multifamily or not. Lord willing that will be sorted out ASAP. If it’s found to be multifamily, I have to take some sort of landlord classes….and time is running out to be able to do that.

The official countdown is 22 days until we move.

Yesterday we got a call that the movers we were going to use can’t move us. That was a bit of a shock. I think our current new plan is to have Stephen’s dad drive up with us to help drive the rental truck, and we’ll fly him back home. The kids are thrilled with this plan, of course.

Then our family van decided to start acting funny. Turns out it needs a new fuel pump. One of our best friends is our family mechanic and he can get it fixed this week (which is good – we’re using it to haul a trailer to move Stephen’s grandma into a nursing home at the end of the week!).

It seems like everywhere we turn something is coming up to complicate things. Honestly we expected the devil to fight us, and fight he has. I’m so excited to see what God has in store for our family.

Well, that was fast

Things are moving so quickly with our move to Maine.

On Sunday, the church voted unanimously to have Stephen come as pastor. This was very exciting.

We put in an offer on the house we’ve been looking at. At this point, the offer has been accepted (with no counter!), we have a contract on our house here, and the appraisal has already been ordered on the new house.

We’re waiting to hear back from our buyer with when the contractor will be out here. We chose to work with Home Vestors (the “we buy ugly houses” people) because you sell your house as-is, and you set the closing date. Our house is an older mobile home, and we don’t have the time or skill to do the updates needed to sell the house with a traditional realtor. There are 8 of us in 1152 square feet….there’s no way we could replace all the flooring in the house while we live here! And that’s not the only thing they’d like done (we met with a realtor too, just to see our options). It’s just not possible with our family, the fact that we run our own business, AND are on a tight timeline.

So we are under contract for this house here as well as our new house in Maine. I’m so incredibly excited. The new house is more than twice as big as this house, so we’re all looking forward to having more room.


God has called our family to serve Him in Maine.

We are currently working with two different church planters. Stephen is taking a survey trip soon to see both ministries and to see where God would have us.

We’re very excited to see what God has planned in this next chapter of our lives.

The move

After praying for three months about whether or not to return to SC, God finally gave us an answer in January. We then prepared for the move and began packing, and waited for moving day to actually arrive.

Wednesday afternoon the mail came, and with it came a check that one of our previous churches had sent us to help with moving expenses. It was a huge blessing – we had already set aside money for moving, but it was nice to be able to go without having to worry how things were going to work out.

When the movers called at 8:30 Thursday morning, I should have figured that things weren’t going to go according to my carefully crafted plans. They were going to be at our house several hours earlier than we had planned. It wasn’t a big deal – we were mostly packed – but I will admit that at that point I panicked.

We had run out of moving boxes, so while I was at Dollar General getting a couple of things for the drive, I went out back and went dumpster diving for more boxes. Thankfully the dumpster was open and there were quite a few very clean boxes on top just ready for me to bring home. I’d never gone dumpster diving before; it felt really strange. But the boxes were free (I asked inside first before I took them) and they were clean so I was happy.

Then I went to get back in the van and broke the door handle. I had picked up one of the teen girls from church to help me watch Little man for the day, so she helped me open the door and I finished my errands.

When I got back to the house I went to switch a load of laundry I had started earlier in the morning. Right on top of the load was a washed pull-up. All of the gel had oozed out of the diaper and was plastered on the side of the washer. I was not happy. I scraped it out as best as I could with my hands and started the washer one more time to try and rinse the gunk out of the load.

I came back an hour later to put the load in the dryer. At the bottom of the washer was another pull-up that had gotten washed. Let me tell you – sending two diapers through the washing machine is not a good idea. Thankfully God gave me the grace to handle it without getting upset.

The movers arrived as well as some people from church and we finally got the trailer loaded. The movers left, we cleaned the house, and then we headed over to church where our pastor’s wife had gotten pizza for us for dinner. We spent another hour or so there fellowshipping with the church family one last time before we said our good-byes.

We had planned on driving through the night so we could beat the movers to our house. We finally got on the road just before dark. About 15 minutes down the road, our van became filled with one of the most horrible smells I had smelled in a long time. We had the dog in the van with us, and I was absolutely convinced that he had had an accident in the back. Stephen, however, insisted that it was just gas. Thankfully, he was right. I guess giving the dog your cleaned-out refrigerator offerings right before an 11 1/2 hour car trip is a bad idea. Well, ok, I know it’s a bad idea now, but that didn’t occur to me when I gave him the food. . .

For the most part, the rest of the drive was uneventful. I had told Stephen that I didn’t care if I drove part of the way, as long as I didn’t have to drive in the Smoky Mountains. Last time I drove through the Smokies I was completely stressed out from the trucks driving so close and so fast and the concrete barriers. . .

We traded on and off, and the time came for me to drive again, so we switched. About 5 minutes after the switch, I passed a sign: “Smoky Mountain National Park – next exit” Great. I ended up behind a rather slow semi so speed wasn’t an issue, and the fact that we were driving through at 4 am really helped with the traffic. It ended up not being stressful at all. I was very thankful.

The sun was rising right about the time we got off the interstate, and it was light enough by the time we arrived at our house that I could see my daffodils were blooming. I had forgotten that they bloomed this early here, but it brought a huge smile to my face.

We unpacked the van, and then got back in it to go see Stephen’s mom before she left for work. It had been six months since we’d seen her so that was a real treat. Then we headed home to get some sleep before the movers arrived. All three of us laid down on sleeping bags, but Little man thought we wanted to wrestle so we didn’t end up getting any sleep after all.

When the movers arrived here, we started unloading, but we let Little man play outside because it was so warm outside. He found the hose and decided to water the dog. This is what I saw when I walked out the door:

He decided to water his belly instead. Since he was occupying himself and really staying out of trouble, I let him just stay there and play in the mud. He was absolutely soaked!

Then once Preacher got here, he showed him how to ride his bike down the ramp on the trailer. He had a ball doing that as well.

Several people came to help us unpack the trailer, and some of them stayed to help us get started unpacking. We got a lot done that night. We still have a ways to go now, but at least we can see progress.

So. . .that is the long story. We are here, we arrived safely, and God has been leading and providing the entire way. We don’t know what’s next, but God does, and we’re excited to see what He has planned.

We're home

Just wanted to put up a quick update that we’re here. The cable guy was out here this morning to connect our internet, so now we have phone and internet again. We’re trying out internet phone this time – it’s so much cheaper than a traditional land line that we figured we’d see how it goes. This cable internet is nice and fast, so so far, so good.

I’ll update more later when I have more time. For now, Stephen needs me to do some secretary work for him before he goes to town. *grin* I type a lot faster than he does, so I do a lot of that stuff for him. . .

Change in plans

We have a change in plans. Things are moving a bit more quickly than we anticipated. This is my official notice that I’ll be dropping off the web for a week or so. We are moving on Thursday, so we have a lot to do in two days. The phone and internet is supposed to hooked up on Monday, but we’ll see how that goes.

Unless the Lord has other plans, Allison and Sara, see you in church THIS SUNDAY!

Chocolate for breakfast

I just realized I’d probably better put an update on us. I am so thankful – I am the only one who got the strep. Praise the Lord that Little man didn’t get it! We were a bit concerned about that, but he has stayed healthy.

This morning I asked him what we should have for breakfast, and he answered me, “Chocolate!” Yes, that boy is definitely my son! And yes, I did give it to him. We had oatmeal so I dropped a couple of chocolate chips into it when I gave him his bowl. We don’t do this all the time, so I thought he’d like the treat this morning.

Now we’re just trying to finish getting ready for our move. We’ve freecycled what seems like half of our belongings (not really, but it feels that way sometimes) and have boxed up so much stuff. Wow. We went out to the garage on Saturday and packed up things in there, so that’s one more thing we can cross off our list. Now all that’s left is to pack the rest of our everyday things here in the house. I took all the pictures and artwork off the walls on Saturday too and it was the strangest feeling – just the realization that we’re doing this again kind of slammed into me. Then when the curtains came down today. . .again, wow.

A friend asked me yesterday at church if we’re excited about the move. In a word, yes. We have complete and total peace that this is where God is leading us, so in that aspect, we’re extremely excited to be able to follow God’s leading. It has been amazing to watch as He has confirmed it for us through so many different ways.

As for the packing and loading and the unpacking, well, I can’t say I’m as excited about that. I did label the boxes really well, and I’ve gotten pretty good at unpacking though, so hopefully it won’t be too much of a chore this time. I have really missed living in my own house, and I must admit that I’ve been daydreaming a little about where I’m going to put things again and how we’ll arrange furniture this time.

Moving date and a blessing

This morning, we got a phone call that was a real blessing. It was our Preacher – the preacher of the church we’re moving back to. He wanted to know when we’d be arriving. He told me that he didn’t want us to get to SC and call him and say, “We’re here.” He wanted to have people ready to help us unpack the trailer when it arrives at the house.

How wonderful! My shoulders literally sagged when he told me that – it was a huge weight off my shoulders. Don’t get me wrong – I was not worrying about us moving into the house, but just knowing that there are going to be extra sets of hands that day is such a blessing. Moving is taxing enough as it is that it blesses me to no end knowing that one more thing will run smoothly that day.

Poor Little man. He can sense that there is change, yet he doesn’t understand it. He has been a totally different child the past few days. I haven’t been coping with stress very well lately, but after watching how he’s reacting to it, I know I need to be more careful. It is so easy to get caught up in planning. . .all while forgetting that children sense the stress too. We’ve told him that we’re going to go live in a new house, but with him being 2 (almost 3!) he just doesn’t understand yet.

Later in the afternoon, Stephen finally got in touch with the couple that moved us last March about moving us back to SC. We were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to move us any time soon, but that didn’t end up being an issue. Our move is scheduled for the week of March 12.

The timing works out really well. We have three more weeks to wrap things up here before we move. Our rent actually goes from the 15th to the 15th, so that is taken care of. Stephen was just approached last night at work about taking some overtime hours, so the extra money will be a blessing as well. One of my favorite things, though, is the fact that we don’t have to hurry to finish packing. A good bit of our things are already packed, so a box or two a day and we should be ready to go.

It is wonderful to see things falling into place so nicely!