I just looked up a calendar on Google because it doesn't seem that 29 weeks have passed since we left home...because, to be honest, it feels like a LOT more. But...29 can be a big number when you multiply it by 7 days a week!
To best explain what I mean by an emotional journey, here is an excerpt from my journal...
Emotions are running high this week – or maybe its hormones…probably both. We’re 6 weeks from being home and I think our brains and hearts are trying to process the change that is happening, let alone the change we will have when we get home.
Life doesn’t go back to normal for us when we set foot back in Washington State. We have to find housing, Josh needs to find a job, and I await what my hip surgeon will say about the condition of my hip and my constant and continued pain that affects what I want to do and us as a family.
God is providing along the way and I know He won’t stop doing so. We actually have a place to stay for 6 weeks when we arrive home, house-sitting. This will give us time for Josh to find employment and get our housing in order while settling into a new normal. We are definitely ready to not live out of suitcases!
During this transition we try to mentally prepare for the future while still trying to live right where we are, but it’s as if we can feel the ends coming undone and at some point we have to let our grip go and trust in the process. We have to grieve what we can’t control – what things we will miss of this crazy lifestyle and what we long for now – stability and comfort of a place to call home and the security of an income. We have to let go of the fears – sometimes daily- of how we will afford to live and wondering if things will get as hard as they were before, with not enough money for haircuts, used clothes and many other things.
God has brought us through many tough times. It has not always been easy. We haven’t had all we want, not even on this trip, but He always provides what we need and often shows His love and blesses us with the funds to get a meal out for all of us, items needed provided for, as well as many amazing experiences.
When at home, God provided by honoring our discipline with money and providing for us to make ends meet when it seemed near impossible, and I know He will do it again or provide something else.
When I depend on Him, I feel closer to Him. I hear his voice more and am sensitive to the needs of others. The more independent we get, the more we forget how much we need Him or how much we can help others with what we have. I know this, but no ones wants to be in that place all the time. Still, I accept and embrace and trust - and that is where I want my heart to be.
NOW onto what we did this last week!
This past week we stayed in Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maine, Vermont and had a short stop in Connecticut.
Josh had a TV interview in New York earlier this week and while he stayed in NY, the girls and I were blessed with hospitality by a family in New Jersey. They were so kind, feeding us well, making this swing just so the girls could enjoy their time outdoors, and giving us their bedroom so we could have some privacy.
Any free time we had, the girls were outdoors. I love that they seize EVERY opportunity to be outdoors instead of settling for electronics or even books, because they have so much time in the car and hotel rooms for reading and school time. ;)
We don't have time to stay in every state, but we do attempt to visit each state capital as we drive through.
Below are photos of the Connecticut State Capital. I LOVE the outside detail of this building. Life size figures of famous men, all made of marble, are placed above the front and back entrance. The inside was beautiful too!
On our day in Maine, the State Capital was closed due to Patriots Day - a holiday we do not celebrate on the west coast. But we did stop and get a photo of the building.
The big plans for that day was to tour Acadia National Park. We underestimated the time it would take and ended up in the car most of the day and not a lot of time at the park due to how cold it was, but I have a few photos that capture the memory.
Rhode Island! We toured the capital, found some good seafood for lunch and took photos of the first Baptist church in America - for all my Baptist friends. :)
If you know me, you know I have a love for making bread! I love mixing it and kneading it through my fingers, I love the smell as it rises and the color and texture went it comes fresh out of the oven. I find so much joy in a kitchen and sharing food with others...So it seemed fitting to visit the King Arthur Flour Co while in Vermont!
We ended the week with a visit to a famous cemetery today. It's famous because many of the tombstone makers came from Italy and they would often design their own tombstones before they died. Some are very ornate!
We also had THE BEST maple syrup of our lives today!! Vermont is famous for it and now we know why! Here are some photos of the maple farm we visited.
We head off to Quebec and Ontario this next week. We live just an hour south of the British Columbia border so it will be fun to visit the other side of Canada!