Over the Next Year

this leg of our journey has begun...the emotional unknown, yet becoming-so-real part of our journey as the small collier tribe: the looming possibility of moving from pittsburgh.

and although the actual (hypothetical) move wouldn't happen for at least another 9 months, there are so many moments in my week where the thought of a move or loosing or gaining something crosses my mind. perhaps this is our last summer here in pittsburgh...

of course i don't want to live my days in all gloom (and i won't), but it's so easy to start feeling like this home of ours, this little family of friends that we've intertwined our lives with, is slipping away. and because i don't want to cheat myself out of feeling the real emotions that come with loosing something so wonderful like a place that we've lived in for five years, i am taking the time to think about what it means to leave. or what it will mean to stay.

earlier this summer, ben and i started to imagine together what this next year would hold for us, for our family. planting ourselves firmly in the life of our city and community would mean giving up the chance to see our wisconsin/michigan families more often. to know that sophie wouldn't grow up seeing and playing with her cousins as often as i was able to. she might not have her aunts and uncles and grandparents attend her recitals, birthdays, or graduation...events that i remember involved my extended family. and i was gaining a sense of "okay-ness" with that. her childhood will be different than mine. it doesn't mean she won't get some of those same experiences, but they will be fewer and further in between.

see, we started this blog when we found out we were pregnant with sophia. we knew that she was so real to us, and we wanted to share that with our families--for them to see our daughter grow up. of course it has been through photos and videos, and stories. and through this process of posting year after year, i realize that it doesn't take the place of having our daughter seen in the flesh at least once a month. for our families to see how much she's changed by being able to hold her in their arms instead of what her parents can describe.

i felt a resolve earlier this summer, more than ever, to stay put in pittsburgh. for a job to open up for ben that would secure our placement here. i could start planning, start preparing to raise my daughters in this city. find a pre-school for sophie, think about going back to school for myself, grow with our young church family, and gain the depth of friendships that a long time in one place can give. i was ready. the thought of being here while our daughters grew up was becoming more real. this is the place where my daughters were/will be born in! and i was settling-in.

but in the recent past, with alone just seeing how many job positions that opened up in wisconsin that would be suitable for ben, we have started to shift in our five-year pittsburgh roots. we have started to imagine what it really could be like to move back to wisconsin. and it's scary and wonderful at the same time. and the small, tiny, longing that i had come to terms with earlier--the longing to be back in the familiar with those who share my history--has surfaced. and it's tearing my heart in two. we have seen many dear friends move out of this place and continue to cherish their friendship from afar, and we have some incredible friends who will remain here, and of course we could never find replacements for them elsewhere. this is the longest ben and i have lived in one place. we set out together, brave and ready to carve out a life for ourselves in pittsburgh. and to think that we too may be among those who "move back" to the place they are from is difficult to imagine right now. but somewhat comforting as well.

we have started to resolve in our hearts that this is not about us. and that is what i hold to right now.

it's not about us, ben said. God has something for us and we have to trust him. so, for this part of our journey, with the bumps and life-changes that will happen along the way, we will cling to God. for He has our best interests at heart. he has sophie's and little baby's best interest at heart and knows where they should be! what a beautiful promise. and over this next year, i will try to listen and we will follow. for the real-ness of life is that it will mean loosing some things, but will mean gaining lovely things as well. but the real-ness of life also means trusting in a real God and his promises to us.