The whole process was easy peasy, by far the easiest home improvement to date. Of course, that's because we hired a professional and I'm so glad we did. I don't think we could have done it. We've read how to do it but 1. we don't have the tools 2. we're burned out beyond belief on house projects and 3. I'm afraid we would have gotten the window partially out and then had to call someone- and we know now that it takes weeks to get new windows. Besides being energy efficient they have some super- cool features, like being able to slide the screen to the top part of the window and open the window from the top. That way the cats can't get out and (as a friend pointed out this morning) your kids can't accidentally fall out the window either. All in all I'm pleased with the whole thing...except that the window for our master bedroom was the wrong size so Trav and I still have the old nasty window. Patience is a virtue I guess. When the installer told us we actually started laughing. Like really, really laughing. I don't think that was the response he expected.
There's something else I have to talk about though. I've been debating about it for a while and I just have to get it out. Travis read my posts and comments at Christmas time and he said that what I was saying didn't really match up with where my heart was in regards to FL and wanting to be there. I said I wanted to be home but I wasn't going to think about it. And at that point that's where I was- but I left out some details. It wasn't just about my wanting to be home or being homesick. I should probably mention that I haven't been homesick since we've lived here. I'm sure I complained about Tennessee and the fact that I could drive 15 minutes in any direction and be in the sticks and the lack of things to do or the fact that any of the things that there are to do cost a lot. I haven't wanted to move back to FL in forever, I don't remember how long. It's been at least as long as we've lived in Franklin because I've loved Franklin so very much. It's like living in a Norman Rockwell painting except with traffic. In fact, when we went to FL for Amanda's graduation present (this past May) I realized that I hated everything about FL. I hated the pine trees and the cement block houses and the cockroaches (I swear, they're always in the bathtub) and the palmetto bushes. And the memories, I especially hated the memories, the bad stuff that happened to me there. And the whole time I was in college I wanted to run away. I wanted to be Amy without a past. To just be Amy.
Fast forward to the Friday before Christmas. I was getting ready for shopping and such since we'd been involved in church stuff and Travis had walking pneumonia and we just didn't have time to get ready for Christmas. But the whole day I had a gnawing in my gut and I couldn't really put my finger on what was going on. I went to the grocery store to get stuff for Christmas dinner and I just felt like God wasn't letting me buy anything. Yes, it sounds nuts and I thought so at the time. I went to the produce section and looked at the citrus and felt all sentimental and mushy over a bunch of tangerines. I thought I was losing it. And I bought some tangerines. And I started thinking that we could go home for Christmas. It was really short notice but we could pull it off. And the whole time I had a sense that it was time to go home. But not just for Christmas; it was time for us to go home. And I felt that the whole time we were there and it was hard to resolve all of that. But I didn't think about it all the time because we were too busy doing lots of stuff.
Anyway, I don't have a clear picture of what's going to happen. I'm at peace and turned upside down all at the same time. I want to be part of Newsong but the only thing that I think I know is that we're called to be with our family. I have no clues or details about how or when. I do know that our families on both sides are going through a lot of really hard things right now. I won't go into details on that. Our families have gone through lots of hard things since we've been gone and we haven't felt compelled to go back until now. In counting the cost of leaving, it's hard to think about. We have amazing friends that we love dearly. In reality though our two sets of friends are the only people that I'm close to. I've never felt at home at church (although I love it) or Life Group; I still feel like an outsider every time we go. We just refinanced a house that is probably 3 years out from being completely remodeled when I think about it realistically. And moving to another state is really hard even if you've lived there before- while getting a job is nearly impossible.
In praying I have heard the Lord say that I shouldn't fret about the process that he has every detail worked out. And I just have to trust that. I want to say that I'm not anxious to leave but if I'm going to be very honest I have to say that wanting to go home is this huge gnawing in my gut. I want to be home badly. I want to see restoration between my brother and me. I want to see restoration for my nephews and nieces. I want to see restoration for so much more that I can't really write about now. The fact is that our God is a restorer of things broken and I have seen so much devastation in my family and I know that God has in mind to fix it. I don't think that I can just waltz in and fix things that are broken, it's not my job, I just want to be there. I want to love my family unreservedly and somehow show them that and see God fix it.
I know that I do not have the power to make this come to pass. Our financial state is too fragile, our emotions too raw from 8 1/2 years of struggling. We're just starting to see the pieces of our family come back together; there is no way we can take something like this on in ourselves. God has to do it or it won't get done. So I wait. I'm kind of tired of waiting.
Things like this deserve a phone call- they do. But I can't. I can't do it again. I'm waiting for this thing that, I believe, is going to be wonderful all the while waiting to say goodbye again. To have my heart ripped out again....and I just can't. So I think that's it in a nutshell. I knew it would come pouring out eventually.