I haven't talked much on the blog about our life in Texas and what our day-to-day is like. That's mostly because it's often met with mixed reactions, and since a blog is a ONE-way conversation, and I can't enter into an actual conversation with whoever is reading, I've avoided writing about it altogether. I suppose that the reason we moved back to Texas, and specifically WHERE we moved in Texas, could seem kind of crazy if you haven't journeyed with us the past few months. But here I am. Wanting to write about my life. We're currently living in Waco, TX. Neither of us is from here and neither of us has lived here before. But here's a bullet point version of our life right now:
* We moved here to be a part of the Hope Fellowship Church/Community. Not in an employment situation. Simply to share life with the group of people that is Hope Fellowship. When we first heard about Hope Fellowship (from our friends Josh & Candace), we felt very drawn to this faith family, and wanted to scope it out and see if it might be a fit for our family. Getting here was a months-long discerning and praying process for us and we felt like God was drawing our hearts here. We arrived the first week of August.
* Neither of us has jobs yet. That's a little scary. But we are trusting God that something will happen. And we are hoping that it will happen soon.
* Since we arrived, we haven't actually spent too much time in Waco. We've been on a whirlwind tour of Texas to visit family-- weddings, birthday parties, and quiet visits with grandparents. We missed out on a lot of family time during our Kentucky years, and it feels good to be spending time with family again. We loved sitting at the breakfast table with my grandparents, drinking a cup of coffee with them. We loved celebrating Billy's cousin getting married, and laughing and talking during the reception. We loved getting to attend THREE birthday parties in ONE week on my mom's side of the family. We are now exhausted. But it's very very good to be so close to family again.
* We are currently living with another family here in Waco. They are a part of our new church, and they have been generous to us. We had only met them once (now you're probably seeing why a lot of this whole thing seems "crazy" to many of the people we know) prior to moving in with them, but we felt great about the situation. And still do. We are living with this family only temporarily-- this living arrangement eases the financial burden for our family while we search for jobs. It also allows us the opportunity to spend some time in Waco and with the Hope Fellowship community before we decide whether or not this is where we'll put down real roots, without the commitment of buying a house or signing a lease somewhere. It allows us the time to consider houses we might wish to buy, and to wait for the right one without rushing into buying something simply because we need a place to live now.
* Most of our stuff is in storage. Some days I miss our stuff. Living with other people has its ups and downs. Some days are fun and fabulous and full of laughter. Other days bring frustration. Like when I go to make dinner and I'm in an unfamiliar kitchen with tools and gadgets that aren't mine, that I don't know how to use. But we're figuring it out together and navigating this new way of life. We're talking a lot about it as we go along-- what's working? What's not working? We're figuring out how to carve out personal and family time in the midst of life in a full house. We are living with a family that consists of a mom, a dad, a daughter that is 14, and a daughter that is 10. Eisley loves her new companions. She wants to be one of the big girls, and the big girls are wonderful with Eisley. Yesterday Eisley got to participate in the 10 year old's fashion show. She's still talking about it today. And though the pictures are a little fuzzy, here are some pictures of Eisley on the "runway":
* We love our new church. Everyone has been so incredibly welcoming of our family. We are still figuring out what life in this community will be like, but so far it has been incredibly rich. We've shared dinners with many of the families in their homes, shared in a common meals with the church family, hung out with some of the kids from the church, and are getting plugged into a cell/small group. Sunday morning worship has been a tremendous blessing. I had so many questions about what it would be like before we moved here. Yes, we moved here to be a part of this church. But we moved here having never attended a single worship service (Again, crazy, I know...). I have absolutely loved Sunday morning worship. It's quite different from anything I have experienced before-- but still there is a certain level of comfort and familiarity.
* Waco itself isn't the greatest of towns. Well. Maybe that's not true. I'm just not used to it yet. The shopping certainly leaves something to be desired, but hey-- without a job, I don't need to be doing any shopping anyway! In reality, Billy and I are pretty committed to a very simple way of life. So the shopping isn't that huge a deal. It's just that I'll have to figure out all the best places to get things I need, and that is going to take time since a lot of my go-to stores don't have locations in Waco.
* I hate the grocery stores here. Sorry. I know H-E-B is supposed to be a really great company. But so far, the grocery store has only brought me headaches and stress. Of course, that may have something to do with the fact that the last time I went, I unknowingly went on Senior Discount Day and the place was a madhouse.
* Several months ago I posted about training for a half marathon. Yesterday I went on my first group run with the Waco Striders Running Club. I found them on the internet and emailed someone from the group. I know that if I am going to be committed to my training, I had to find others to run with. That was going to be essential, especially once my weekly mileage increases to mileage I've only ever dreamed of running. I had a GREAT experience with the group! I showed up to run with complete strangers, and they couldn't have been nicer or more encouraging to me. I look forward to spending my (very early) Saturday mornings with these folks in the coming weeks.
All in all, we're settling into a very comfortable way of life here in our new town. There are certainly days that my heart aches for Kentucky. There has been a definite time of grieving the loss of the community we found there and it has been harder on me than I even anticipated it being. But we are glad to be here, beginning a new adventure and finding out what God has in store for us.