Monday, February 22, 2010

Welcome (back) Home

I have hoped many times to fill in the gaps between the last post and today’s post but after a few futile attempts, I think I’m just going to have to come to terms with the fact that none of you are probably going to know the details of our lives between August and December. Sorry for that. Things have been a little crazy.

The title of my post can be interpreted a couple of different ways. If could be welcoming me the writer, or you the reader back to the blog after my nearly 7 month absence or it could be referring to the fact that I, Mandy, have essentially moved back home. Mind you, I am not living WITH parents (praise God) but I am living in my parent’s house. With my family, of course.

As most of you know, sometime around the end of September, God laid an opportunity on our hearts to relocate to Olympia, WA where my parents had a vacant home. Now, it has always been my desire to return to my home state, but my husband was never really keen on the idea. So imagine my surprise (and his) when it was through him that God revealed the plan. We weren’t sure how it was all going to pan out but we agreed that we would take steps forward to test the validity of what we thought we had received. We sought counsel and requested prayer from trusted, seasoned, Christian mentors in our lives and we started doing our research. 

As we ventured out in faith, God met us at each step in the journey and revealed more of his plan. By the end of November, our house was on the market, I had accepted a job in Washington and Kenton had been approved for a transfer with Fred Meyer, to a store only minutes from our home. It appeared we HAD heard God correctly and this was the direction we were to go. So, on December 7th, I started my new job and on December 12th, “Mattos Family Moving Day” commenced. We had some great friends send us on our way, and some even joined us for the journey to our “new” home.

We celebrated Christmas in our new two bedroom townhouse (a bit of a downsize) and later with my parents, whom I am now only a three mile drive from. I have come to treasure this fact, especially on the days when I feel the need for someone else to have the privilege of listening to the nearly constant chatter and imaginings of a 3 year old after I’ve been at work all day.
It’s taken a couple of months, but we are finally starting to get settled in. All of the boxes that were in the house have been unpacked, though the garage is a different story. We’ve had dinner guests, overnight guests (with more on the way) and some great time with family, including my father’s wedding on Super Bowl Sunday (WHAT were they thinking?!?!?!)

Everyone seems to be adjusting well to the new surroundings. As in most cases, some days are harder than others. Especially in the area of friendships. All of us have struggled with our own levels of loneliness, including Jillian who is still a little too young fully grasp the distance that is now between her and all of the friends she left behind in Oregon. But, we have started attending a local church and Jillian has taken well to her new Sunday School class. If all goes well, she will be attending part-time pre-school there two days a week, starting next month. 

Kenton and I made what will quite possibly be MY last trip to the house in Cornelius this past weekend to finish getting it cleaned out, in preparation for the house cleaners to come this week and the sale expected to close next month. This was the last piece of the puzzle that we needed God to complete for THIS chapter and it is truly bittersweet. We are sad to be leaving behind our first home, one that we saw built from a tilled, empty lot. But as we reminisced, we looked back with joy on the parts of us that will always be there, from the prayers that we wrote on the studs of the framework, to the structural changes we asked the builder to make that are unique only to our house, to the rose bush we planted after we brought Jillian home from the birth center and the memories we have of raising her there. Not to mention, all of the amazing times spent there with friends over the years. We’ve hosted birthday parties, baby showers, New Year’s Eve parties and impromptu get togethers with some of the best friends in the world. The house will surely be missed, but the memories made there will be treasured for MANY years to come. 

Thanks to all of you who supported us, loved us, and encouraged us through this transition. You are rarely far from our thoughts and we miss you VERY much. As we move forward, we are trusting that God has placed us here for a reason and has GREAT plans for us in the future. I cannot wait to be able to look back and see just what God was preparing us for in bringing us here, but in the mean time . . . I am trying hard to learn contentment, practice discipline and live with hope and expectation of whatever the future holds!!