Thursday, June 4, 2015

Moving Again!

Now that Martin was working, we had to figure out where to live and get our children enrolled in school.  He works in Toronto.  Nothing around there felt right.  We prayed for direction.  Martin had always wanted to live in Barrie, Ontario.  He suggested Barrie and I said "I'm NOT living in Barrie!"  He asked if I would at least drive to Barrie with him.  Victoria (who was NOT happy about this move, but was so mature about it) and I went with Martin to visit Barrie.  We drove around and it might sound weird, but it felt right!

We decided to come back the following week to see how the commute would be for Martin.  It was definitely do-able.  We ended up living in a hotel for almost 2 weeks, while we found a place to live and got the kids enrolled in school.

In one month's time, Martin had found a job, the kids started school, we found a church and we moved into our house.  One Month!?!  Someone up there sure does love us!

As I sat in church last week singing the words to "I'm Not Alone" I began to cry.  Yet, this time it was for another reason.  I  really wasn't alone during any of the events of this year!  He carried me and sent people to help and care for me when I couldn't do it myself.

I am now on the other side (quite literally!! LOL!) and things are going well.  Life isn't perfect, but we are blessed.  Martin is enjoying his job, my kids are adjusting so well and I even started a job yesterday.  I really am NOT alone.

And by the way, those 3 pounds I lost, I found them again.

Moving Day!

February 28th, 2015 arrived.  The date that I was dreading began to excite me.  I had so many different emotions on this day!

We were moving back to Canada without jobs or a house of our own.

Starting at 8:30, people started to arrive to help us move.  We could not believe how many people came to help.  A special hockey friend took off work!  More people stopped by for one more hug.  It was the most amazing moving experience we have ever had.

One of the last memories I have of being in our house was standing in my son's room looking into our backyard and sobbing.  My kids had done so much growing up in that house.  It had been filled with love, laughter and wonderful memories.  My beautiful friend, Amy Isaacson found me in there and just hugged me and cried with me.  I will never forget those precious moments.

Thank you our precious friends for being there for us in one of our hardest times of our life.  We love you!

I am always nervous crossing the border.  I'm weird like that.  The custom officers were so amazing and kind.  There was a LOT of paperwork to complete, but they made it fun!  Who knew!?!

We arrived at Martin's mom's late that night.  His mother and step dad had opened their home to us for as long as we needed.  You hear many things about mother-in-laws.... I have the very best one.  She loved me through those first few weeks.  I cried a lot.  We changed her routine.  We had kids.  It was crazy in there.  Not once did she make us feel unwelcome.  She loved us through the changes.

Thank you to all those that helped us on the north side of the border with unpacking the truck and loading up those storage units!

We moved on a Saturday and Martin received a job offer on the Friday!  He started the following Tuesday!  We couldn't believe it!  We have been told by so many that you don't just get a job that quickly here.  God was taking care of us.

Learning To Be Canadian Again Part #2

It was decided.  We would be moving back to Canada on the last day of February.  There was so much to do and I wasn't one bit happy about doing any of it.  God sent some very special people to help carry me through this time.  I hesitate to start mentioning names, lest I forget anyone.  One name that has to be said is Heather Saroli.  If it wasn't for her, I would probably still be sitting in my house wondering where to start.  Heather was not happy about the move, but she put that aside and took care of so many things for me.  I was numb.  I was angry.  I was sad.  I had anxiety that was debilitating.  She carried me through.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

We were so overwhelmed with all the love and support we received.  So many friends came by to help pack, took us to dinner, talked with us, cried with us, one special friend of ours made sure we had every box we needed AND took Martin's car home with him the night before we moved to make a repair on it.  We were stunned.  There were so many of you that dropped by with hugs, gifts, Tim Horton's Gift Cards (best place ever!).  We did not expect any of this.  Martin and I would sit at night and talk about the love shown to us and just cry together.  If you must know, I"m crying now as I type this.

Some of our very best friends who we consider family were so upset that they were going to be out of town when we moved.  They came by the night before their much needed vacation to bring us dinner! The list goes on and on.  Friends threw us Goodbye Parties.  Another friend let me host a surprise birthday party for Victoria at her house with over 20 teenagers!  That is a good friend!

From the bottom of our hearts... THANK YOU.  Thank You seems so little compared to what you all did for us.  I'm humbled.  We LOVE YOU!

The last week of our life in MI was happening.  I was sitting in the very last church service as a member of Woodlawn Church.  I LOVED my church.  Why was God making me leave!?  As we worshipped, God impressed on my heart that everything was going to be ok.  It was time to not just get through this move, but to EMBRACE it.  I had a spiritual heart operation happen right then and there.  My spirit changed, my outlook changed.  All of a sudden, I actually felt excited about the move.  What a difference!

Learning To Be Canadian Again Part #1

Yes, it's been quite a while since I have blogged.  I have had so many thoughts running through my head, but I've struggled with getting to the place where I was ready to start typing.  We recently sang "I'm Not Alone" by Kari Jobe at church.  This song brought me back to earlier this year and I knew it was time to start typing and to share our experience.

I'm now ready!

It all started on December 31st, 2014.  I began to feel an unrest in my spirit.  It continued on through the celebrations of New Year's Day.  I tried my very best to ignore this feeling.  You see, I've had this feeling before.  This feeling always meant that big changes were on the way.  I don't know about you, but I hate change.  The older I get, the more I hate change.  Yet, it seems that the older I get, there is a lot more changes (and I'm NOT talking about the change of life!!!)

I felt like it had something to do with our living situation.  As most of you know, we were living in Michigan and were in the green card process for permanent status.  This feeling of unrest would not go away.  I finally told Martin that I had this feeling and felt like we would know in 2015 whether we would be staying in the U.S. or not.  Of course we would be staying in the U.S.  That's where we had built a life and we wouldn't be moving back to Canada.  WRONG!

Martin was in a job where he had the worst boss ever and was treated terrible.  Things turned from bad to worse.  This boss made a big mistake in his calculations.  He was pressuring everyone hugely to "find" more money and made the comment that they could "lose" some bills stating expenses.  His job was on the line.  Martin took a lot of verbal abuse from this man.  He wanted Martin to "fudge" the numbers.  Martin refused to do so.  L-O-N-G story short, Martin resigned the day after my birthday.  

Honestly, I was devastated.  I knew what this meant.  We would not be staying in Michigan.  Don't get me wrong, I was SO proud of my husband that he was such a man of integrity that he would resign from a very nice-paying job to do what was right.  However, I'm human!  I was stunned.  Life suddenly became very scary.  This should NOT be happening!  We followed your leading our whole lives Lord and this is what we get!?!  Yep, I had those thoughts.  Remember... I'm human.  

Some of those days seem like a blur.  My anxiety was over the top.  I couldn't eat or drink.  I sat on the couch and stared out the window and cried and then I cried some more.  I lost 5 pounds in 3 days.  I was in the "pit of despair" as Anne of Green Gables would say.  Martin shared Kari Jobe's song with me "I'm Not Alone".  I would sit and listen to it and sob.  I felt alone.  My whole life was changing and there wasn't one thing I could do about it.  I was scared.  I was angry.  Anxiety was consuming me.  On the flip side, Martin was so happy.  He had such a joy that I hadn't seen in quite a while.  He couldn't stop smiling.  I looked over at him one night and said "I've never seen you so happy to be without a job."  A huge weight had been lifted off of his shoulders.  He had chosen morals over money and that alone brings one joy.