It has been awhile since I have written, far too long really. I had great intentions to pick up blogging when we lived overseas in Czech Republic, but the timing wasn’t right. I have the best of intentions in starting to blog again; we will see how this goes. I have grown over the last few years, in so many ways, I have come to realize that everyone has a journey and a season of life that they are given, and during those seasons our hopes, intentions and reality may not collide. My journey these past few years has been about purpose, being intentional, realizing that good doesn’t mean best, learning that I have to die to my selfish wants and needs if I truly want to serve my family, honor the Lord and serve others.
This is my journey, and during this season of my life I intend to share it with you. I think of it as an electronic journal of sorts. I have always loved journaling, but like I mentioned, I have had to learn that my time can be better spent doing other things in place of that, therefore I had to set writing my thoughts out aside for awhile, until now. Let me start my blogging journey by saying that I don’t intend on being an eloquent writer, because I am not. I know that I will write with error, and I am completely happy doing so because I write in weakness. If you can excuse my grammatical errors, my lack of creativity and my imperfections in writing then I think you might actually read my postings. Ha!
So here I go, today Pantrylane isn’t just about food, travel and interior design, it’s about my life, my journey in this world and all that the Lord is teaching me. I hope you will join me here.
Hitting the RESET button
I feel like the reset button has been hit (again) on my life. I woke long before the sun rose this morning in Burke, Virginia. The unseasonably arctic cold seeped through the windows bringing a chill in the room as I staggered out of bed to turn off my alarm. It had finally come, the day I had been in denial over, the day I had to say goodbye to our life in Northern Virginia and the sweet blessing the Lord had given us there. I knew it would be heart wrenching leaving this place, and it has been. I cannot begin to tell you just how special our time was there, I don’t mean to gloat, but rather reflect on the treasured relationships and solid church we were honored to be apart of.
We moved from New Mexico to Northern Virginia in June of 2013. Our “plan” was to live in the DC area for a short 18 months stent, yet the Lord had other plans (as He always does). Upon arriving in Virginia, we quickly settled in on a rental and a church, Immanuel Bible Church (IBC). IBC quickly became our home church and the biggest blessing we would receive from the Lord during our time in Virginia, and really over the course of our marriage. From the moment we began attending IBC we were blessed by other believers, by the teaching of God’s Word, by the fellowship we received there, by other church ministries and by serving within the body of Christ. Our love for IBC grew so quickly that my husband took a permanent position in the area so we could remain there for some time. And so, what started out as a short-term relocation became our home.
As I reflect, I realize I could write a novel of a blog post when it comes to the last four-and-a-half years of our lives. Our DC adventures, our friendships, our year-long quest in finding us the right house, why we chose to homeschool, our journey overseas, personal growth and lessons learned, what my purpose is as a wife and a mother, how can my experiences be used to help others, the list goes on and on. Maybe I will address these topics, here, one post at a time. Whatever I share, I intend for it to connect with others and build them up, honesty from my heart to yours.
So let’s be honest, leaving the place you call home with the people that you love sucks, for lack of a better word. Heart wrenching tears poured down my face this morning as I sat down on the plane, denial lifting, and reality setting in. Bittersweet thoughts flooding my mind as I reflect on what we have had and look forward to what the Lord has next for us. Among the sadness hope dawns, as did this new day, both being a gift from the Lord.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
– Romans 5:3-5
I realize that moving across the country is a #firstworldproblem among many but because I hold my relationships in VA so dear, I can’t help but grieve the loss of doing life there. So, these verses in Romans encourage me that our move is intended for our good, as we allow the Lord to establish our steps and pray He uses us for His greater purpose, and for His glory.
And so, the reset button has been hit, the next chapter of our story is being written and there are many things I hope to do as we start again, in a new (and might I add, warmer) location, with new adventures, building new friendships, serving in new ways, among a new church; this will all be new to us, yet it is not new to our great God, He planned this for us from the beginning, He has gone before us, and for that I am grateful.
Processing all of this transition in a post has been helpful for me. Yes, there is pain and suffering in this life and moments that make you question everything, but there is also hope and comfort that is found in a personal relationship with Jesus and knowing He is sovereign over all things. This truth is where I place my hope and find my comfort, not in my circumstance.
With all that said, please join me here, whenever I get around to posting. Finally, I’d like to say THANK YOU to the many friends who have poured into me in the last four-and-a-half years. Your words of encouragement, wisdom, prayers, discipleship, accountability, hospitality and openness have been a tremendous example in my life and I strive to build other women up as the example set before me. I am forever grateful for each and every one of you.