This has been a crazy week, to say the least. My eldest daughter, Gabriella, came down with the flu last week. The flu hasn't hit our house since 2010, and for that I am grateful! Myself and Jeremiah (11) had a milder version of it but it appears we're all doing better and ready to get on with life.
To top it off, the weather has been rainy. Now, I love a good thunderstorm...especially in the middle of the night. But when it's gray for 4-5 days in a row, it makes for some restless children and a bit of a crazy mama.
My daughter Gabriella and I have been having lots of conversations about our decision to leave our current dance studio that we've been at for 9 years. When we moved downriver to be closer to our church and be part of the community last year, we decided to make the commute back to dance--a 45-minute drive one way.
The first few months killed me, but I ended up adapting--sort of. However, after our second competition, I made the announcement we were leaving. Well, it was too hard to leave since we'd been there so long and developed relationships. So we stayed. We began another season. But Gabriella and I both felt (separately) a few weeks ago that God was telling us it was time to move on. And coming from Gabriella, this is a big deal. She loves her dance studio and the friends she has there.
I was seriously afraid of how she would respond once I told her we were switching. I didn't want her to be upset because we'd made so many changes over the last couple of years. Her life had become hardly recognizable to what it was just 2 years ago. Changing churches. Moving farther away from our close friends. And now this. But the truth is, she came to me first and said she didn't see herself dancing there next year.
It's amazing to literally watch God move in our hearts. This is why I found keeping communication with our children open about why we do the things we do. We had conversations about why we felt led to adopt. We talked about why we were moving two doors down before our adopted daughters came home (more space and the house was set up to meet our needs perfectly. He is faithful!)
Then when God promoted us to leave our church, we talked with our children about it. We didn't just make a decision without discussing with them what God had laid on our hearts and doing that has helped them SEE God move in our lives. Because He has given us something so much greater than we could have imagined...and my children see that! They need to know we understand change is hard and God is walking with them through it.
And then moving closer to our new church. I mean, even my husband and I thought the idea a little crazy, but not completely. Because our church is so saturated in the community, you cannot be an active member of it without also being a part of the community. I don't mean that it's a requirement by the church. I mean it's a natural consequence of being a part of this church. The two just go hand-in-hand naturally.
The dance studio move is no different. The drive and stay in the studio for hours on end has put a large strain on our family. The other children are unable to get involved in extracurricular activities of their own because we are at the studio so much.
As the year begins to wrap up (we still have about 3 weeks left of dance, with extra practices and rehearsals thrown into the mix), I am losing a lot of steam and am honestly looking forward to its end.
I encourage you...keep your children in on the conversations when God asks you to make a leap of faith. This is such an amazing way for them to see God move in the most personal way. It helps them learn to trust Him as they watch Him work. He knows and sees more than we do. In every instance God has called us to step out, He has always had something way better in store than we had imagined. Talk to your kids! :)
I hope you enjoy my new column here on the blog: Coffee Break. It is more of a casual update on happenings in my life or what God is doing without putting it in a blog format. I like to think of it as taking a coffee break and simply having a conversation with a friend. :)