Monday, September 26, 2016

When Your Fresh Start Falls Flat

We moved cross country at the very end of July.

"Yippee!" I thought. "A fresh start, right before the beginning of the school year- I can put my best foot forward, start living the way I mean to from Day 1 so that the habits just stick, and be awesome. The end."


I planned to blog regularly {duh- what else would I be doing with no local friends to spend time with?!}, eat healthily {"we just won't buy any junk or processed food at the new house"}, get our home beautifully organized and decorated, crack down on finances, FINALLY start going to bed earlier, etc.


Call me naive, but I've never moved cross country before. In fact the most extensive move I've ever done previous to this one was from our first apartment to our second apartment... next door. So I am truly clueless.

Reinforcing my naivety was how little stuff we had- "I can't believe how easy it was to pack all your stuff!" My mom would repeat in a bewildered tone. "I have so much more stuff than you!" Within a week of living at our new house, every single box had been emptied. So that minimalist challenge totally meant I would excel in everything else... right?

Turns out not so much.

What I didn't plan on was how unsettling it would be to find yourself in an entirely new place. How demoralizing it is at the end of a day to be tired, discouraged, lonely, and not even know where the nearest coffee shop or grocery store is.

I didn't plan on how inconvenient cooking would be at first, and how much we would end up eating out or grabbing convenience food. How we still are doing that more than I'd like.

I didn't plan on being so busy- settling in; attempting to find my way around; researching, calling, and registering kids for dance lessons and co-ops; getting to know our new church family; Niall learning a new jobs and starting classes again; endless errands to run and paperwork to fill out . How much there is still to do.

I didn't plan on grocery shopping being so dang complicated. The good news is that Aldi is ridiculously popular in Kansas City. There are about 20 of them within a 30 minute radius of us! The bad news is, no Wegmans. This is meaningless to you if you don't live in the Northeast. But if you have a Wegmans, just think how much you would miss their inexpensive store brand organics, bulk grains and nuts, club packs of meat, and glorious shopper experience... and then shed a little tear for me.

I didn't plan on how long it takes to settle into a new house. Sure, every single box has been unpacked, but I have yet to figure out how on earth to make this new kitchen functional, the optimum set up of three kids in one bedroom, and where to put our linens. The stack on my bedroom floor really isn't working for me.


Having lived in the same home for five years {right before the birth of our first baby} I didn't realize that creating a comfortable home for your family from scratch is such a science.

I didn't plan on loneliness. I've been on an emotional roller coaster for the last two months and I'm probably allowing that to control my behavior more than I should.

So there you have it. Not quite the fresh start I envisioned.

On the bright side, there are so many blessing to thank the Lord for. We were given His certain direction in coming here. Kansas City is a fantastic area, with so much to see and do and enjoy as a family. Both my husband and I feel more at home in the more laid back, open and friendly midwestern culture. We have a big fenced in backyard for the kids to play in, a dishwasher for me {yippee!}, and many other "creature comforts."

The best of the best is that though we desperately miss our old church family, our new church family prayed us here and has welcomed us with open arms. Sunday is the highlight of our week, a glorious beacon of light to look forward to and back on in the middle of the week's challenges. We are so thankful for the Lord's provision and grace in this!!!

I'm going all Anne of Green Gables now and hanging onto the fact that every day is "fresh with no mistakes in it". Every morning can be a new blank slate, a new fresh start. One step at a time, moment by moment, I can put my best foot forward... then seek His forgiveness and new mercies when I stumble.

As long as we wear these mortal bodies we will be plodding. Lot's of fresh starts {some slow and hard, some quick and easy... maybe?}, lots of mistakes, ups and downs, good days and bad days... and we will find that His grace is still sufficient.

My not so smooth new beginning? A humble reminder that I'm a sinner in need of tons of help, just like everyone else. I probably need this reminder more than I needed an instant victory, being prone to pride as I am.


How is your new school year going so far? What encourages you when life isn't going as smoothly as you'd like?

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