Advent prep and a lesson learned
So I have been sort of blog silent for a while. I guess I was feeling anxious and I knew that it would come through in my writing. This is my therapy, you know. Next year is going to be crazy. And I don't mean our normal kind of Hough crazy that goes along with the territory of having 9 kids, a snotty cat, a geriatric dog and a hyper puppy. Nope this is a whole new kind of crazy. This is the kind of crazy that involves the husband driving 4 hours each day for his job, packing, painting and selling the house that has been our home for 14 years, a graduation, a First Holy Communion, moving the above mentioned kids and animals, finding a house that will not just be a house but a home, finding new doctors, dentists, schools and friends and so on and so forth... So I am sure that if you allow your imagination to fathom all of that, you are glad that I haven't been blogging, or at least that you haven't been reading about it. Here is the thing, I am so happy that Brian got his new job. He is so excited about it and I see a spark in him that hasn't been there for a while. It is wonderful to know that his new job isn't a job at all. It is truly his vocation. But here is the other thing, I hate change. I am very much opposed to new circumstances. They make me nervous and slightly nauseated. I love our home and our neighbors. Our families are nearby. And our church family is amazing. It is so hard for me to think about leaving, so I decided not to. I was going to just pretend that it wasn't happening and we were just going to throw ourselves into Christmas and all of it's wonderfulness.
Sooooo, I had decided before Advent began I was going to get as much of the busywork involved with Christmas preparation finished early so that my family could really enjoy Christmas and use Advent to intentionally prepare for Christ's birthday. (or intentionally avoid everything else) I made a Christmas binder (seriously, I really did). I decorated early (you can frown at this one if you want, but I still did it). I chose a few different Advent meditations and prayers that I could use for myself, as well as ones that we could do as a family. I got the advent wreath ready to go. I baked. I made list after list and checked them twice and thrice. I shopped online. I wrapped the majority of the gifts. I even bought stamps ahead of time to mail out Christmas cards. I was preparing to prepare. It was a bit insane, but let's face it, that's how I roll.
Alright, fast forward to two weeks into Advent... we have eaten most of the cookies, so I still need to bake again. I still have a few last minute things to pick up and wrap, so that still isn't finished. I have had to rewrite a ton of my lists. I still have the stamps for the Christmas cards, but they still haven't been mailed out (or written out. Who am I kidding!?!) We have done family prayers, but we are still several days behind. And I, personally, am feeling woefully unprepared spiritually for the tiny King's birth. And guess what, we are still moving to Oh.
Now here comes the good part. Last week was the Christmas party for the faculty and staff at FUS, so I went to work with Brian. The party wasn't until the evening, so I was able to spend the day shopping and sort of checking out the area. When I met up with Brian at the end of his workday, he had arranged to meet a realtor and look at a house with him, but we were also going to look at a house of one of the adjunct professors at the university. While we were totally not into the first house, the realtor immediately made a good impression. He is just a good guy. We had heard about what a nice person he was, but I was very relieved to actually meet him and see for ourselves. We were even able to schedule an appointment to see a few houses with him this week when I go to work with Brian again for his department Christmas party. I was starting to feel a little bit better about everything. And then we met the Padgetts.
Brian hadn't met Chris before, but his boss hooked them up because he knew that they were going to be selling their home soon. Chris and his wife Linda welcomed us into their home to check it out. From the moment that we stepped foot in their house I felt at ease. They were so warm and real. They have a house full of kids too and kept apologizing for things, but we laughed it off, because we know all to well what 9 kids can do to a house. But the thing is that the house was beautiful. But it was more than that it had history. The home was amazing. It was not only Hough-size with a million bedrooms, you could literally feel that it was loved and lived in. I absolutely fell in love. But I quickly realized that God had more planned for us than to just see a house there. We were given a little taste of what it means to be a part of the FUS community and family. Chris and Linda made us feel right at home and began to tell us a little bit about the neighborhood and the community. They told us about the Catholic schools and the public schools as well as the homeschooling community there. They shared with us how special the area is. They jokingly said that it is a place where people cry when they have to move there because they don't want to be there and cry when they leave because they don't want to be anywhere else. We left to go to the party and I was starting to get it. I finally started to see what Brian had been trying to explain to me all along.
As we walked around the party, Brian introduced me to many more people. Each person greeted me with the same welcoming smile. You could tell that they were genuinely happy to have us there. I felt very comfortable even though I normally would have wanted to hide somewhere. We happened to run into the Padgetts again and they introduced us to a few of their friends. We all had a slew of kids so of course the conversation turned to our offspring. I felt so at ease with them that I may or may not have admitted to losing DJ when we went to Disney World through Make a Wish. (Seriously, who loses their cancer kid?!? The Houghs of course!) It was exactly what I needed. The party itself was lovely of course, but meeting these people made me realize that the move won't be a bad thing. Of course I will miss my family and my church people, more than I can even imagine, I am sure. And nobody can ever replace my family or my FIFs, but I will be ok. (Thank goodness for facebook and the phone!) This community has so much to offer, so instead of being afraid and dreading it, I have a sense of peace about it. I am actually starting to look forward to what God has in store for us. I have also friended a couple of the women that I met and I look forward to staying in touch with them and eventually being a part of their community. The only sad thing is that the Padgetts will be moving out as we move in. But I am sure that is all part of God's plan too.
I am not saying that you won't see a million more posts from me freaking out about what is coming up, but for now, I am just going to enjoy the peace. It's kind of funny that all of the planning and preparing that I did in an attempt to ensure a stress-free and peaceful Christmas had nothing to do with what finally eased my anxiety. Who would have guessed that it would have been just opening up to God's plan for me?
(That was sarcastic by the way. They still haven't come up with a sarcastic font.)