I can’t believe tomorrow will mark our first week in Portland. We have been busy, busy setting up house and at this point, we are excited to be DONE unpacking! Just a few more days left until new carpet is installed upstairs and all will be right with the world….well, at least, in our house. This is a big ol’ old house we live in now. It seems the projects could potentially be endless in this place and I’ve been making mental notes to slow it down, be content with not getting everything done and settled by week one, and I’ve also been taking note that when we own a home someday, the projects can wait – because they’ll always be there. All this to say, we have a lot more space now – and it’s amazing. It’s funny, we’ve always lived in less than 1000 square feet, so we’re used to unpacking in a couple days and moving on with life. This house feels like a mansion to us in comparison to our cozy little places! We’re loving our neighborhood and our new brothers and sisters here. Also, we’ve met most of our immediate neighbors already and there are so many kids just steps away! Today, our next door neighbors brought a plate of cookies over to welcome us to the neighborhood. Their oldest son is five and let me tell you what, Jude is in heaven. Benny too. They have a mini playground in their backyard and a sandbox. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun next door this summer.
Maybe you’re wondering how I’m settling in? How my heart is doing. I honestly feel like I’m still in a little bit of a fog. Everyone knows that moving is hectic as can be. There’s all the packing beforehand, the saying goodbye, the anticipation…then there’s the moving in, settling down, feeling out a new city. There’s a lot to take in and I’ve been a slow mover. I have so much peace about making Portland my home. I don’t feel rushed and yet I do feel like there’s a little incubation period to be had, if that makes sense at all. Just time to chill a little, get our bearings, prayerfully consider who the Lord would have us minister to, get our family going on some sort of a routine again…I did have a moment last night while we were out a restaurant just up the road. I don’t necessarily miss Issaquah, the city. I love Portland. But it hit me that it really takes time to be known. And having developed some of the richest relationships to date in Issaquah, I’m encouraged to continue living a life that’s…available. Open. Honest. Vulnerable. True. With the help of Jesus – who so graciously imparts such loving friends in the first place – friendships will once again blossom and bloom here in P-Town. So I guess, it isn’t that I’m lonely or anything like that. Life is simply…different now. What’s coming is unknown, yet I love the adventure.
God’s really been working on my heart this week. I see that today. I recognize him showing me that regardless of any chaos, peace is available to me. Chaos need not effect how I talk to my children, how I talk to my husband. Where I live, what I do…these things don’t define me. Neither does a calm and peaceful house, obedient children, thriving relationships. Jesus defines me. In order for that to be true, I have to believe it. If I believe it, I stop amidst the chaos and give thanks to Him who has allowed everything to pass through his hands. Then, peace. It’s a beautiful thing, really. I may not know how this Portland life will pan out, but I’m reminded that neither Issaquah nor Portland is my home. Heaven is my home. I want everything I do to be done with that in mind. Sure puts life in perspective. God moved us to this place, there is no doubt in my mind about that. He will lead the way. Again, peace.
The boys are adjusting well. Mike has been working hard on the house and has, as always, been the steady rock for me. I ventured out with a new friend today and finally did a bit of grocery shopping. For those who know me well, I LOVE Winco. Bulk bins? Oh yeah, baby. (Unfortunately I didn’t read the price well enough on the darn pine nuts I bought today though. Sheesh! $13 for pine nuts! Oy.) Anyway, I was so excited to be grocery shopping, so excited to be at Winco, and so excited to be in Portland, I just wanted to talk to everyone. There was mucho joy in my heart. There is right now as I write. It may be a little frustrating not being able to unpack because of the carpet situation, but Jesus orchestrated that too.
Not much else to report folks. Your prayers would be greatly appreciated. The boys picked up colds this week and I’m sure would like to feel better. We’ve had amazing sunny weather here all week. Our house gets awesome sunshine and light and is super cozy. Can’t wait to get the fireplace going on the next rainy day.