… the mountain casts a spell over people who live near it. When one leaves the area, the spell causes that person to never really leave, but at least continue to return.
We left the area about six weeks ago, then returned to retrieve a vehicle we’d left behind. Our conversations revealed we each felt happy to be back in town, driving the streets, seeing a few friends, enjoying the sights and having food from several favorite places.
Let there be no mistake. We know our new home, the region where we live, the town we’re part of is exactly where we are supposed to be and we’re thrilled to begin this new adventure in our life journey.
We’ve returned to locations from our past homes because of the people, but never experienced the feeling of simple happiness by just being in the area. Perhaps there is a spell on us from the mountain, or maybe it’s because we each experienced so much personal growth and deepened our spiritual lives here; made many friendships and memories. We changed living here. We’re not the same people we were when we moved here. We smile, knowing we’ll be back again.
Have you ever felt like living somewhere changed who you are?
This season finds us preoccupied with houses, selling one, acquiring another. What do these different house styles say about us?
We joined our lives together, each owning a ranch style home.
Together we sold those homes, then combined our assets to purchase the lake house. From the street it was a beautiful ranch home that morphed once you entered into a three-story home that overlooked the lake and embraced the glory of sunsets all year long. It was the house where we thought our children would come to make memories. Not so much. Instead, we made lots of memories ourselves there. It was the house with the impeccably manicured yard and beautiful plantings. We enjoyed the changes of the seasons, the wild wind off the lake, the opportunity to sail whenever we wanted, and even the sound of our winter guests who set up shacks on the lake for ice fishing.
From there we moved to the Colorado house, described as an old-style mountain home. We gave up the yard and the effort it took to maintain for more natural and rugged living. This house towered above the ground with the front prow encased in glass. Once you entered the home, you felt as though you could soar into the heavens. Your gaze always drawn into the sky. The air at this elevation was dryer and the skies clearer. All the seasons here seemed to arrive earlier than we expected, but each was a welcome change. Wildlife lived in proximity and sometimes challenged our abilities to cultivate anything green. The wind here surprised me and often prevented us for utilizing our outdoor spaces. It often caused me to ponder the ruggedness of life for the early settlers and wonder how they endured. But even more, I found myself surprised and mesmerized by how close and plentiful the stars appeared; I thought I could reach out and grab one… It was here that we would lie on the deck and watch shooting stars (a first for me).
Now we are relocating, even further west; something I never imagined. This time we move to a Mediterranean style home, in a rural location with different vegetation from anything I’ve known. Our trips these last eight years to California have introduced me to some of these plants so they don’t appear as foreign as they used to, but I know nothing of their care. Something new to learn. The daytime climate outdoors may be warmer, but the house design should keep us comfortable. The more temperate climate and house design should provide the opportunity to utilize outdoor living more—something we’ve both wanted. A dedicated art room instead of repurposing a room will be a fresh experience and the location where you may often find me. Many of the critters I’ve become accustomed to in Colorado will also live there, plus a few new ones. Our new home will allow an opportunity to absorb the new landscapes and vistas, which will thrill me. Enough space to entertain, yet enough private spaces for us to enjoy living in our comfort zone. Who knows what adventures await us there?
Change and change and change. Each house so different from the one before and each filled with pleasant thoughts. I expect the fresh change to continue to offer adventures, hope and another place for us to share our love.
To those asking questions about my last post, I’ll share some answers. First, I need to provide some history to show you the story of our journey of saying “YES.”
I’m unable to provide human response that makes logical sense for this move. This relocation is the result of saying “yes” to what we feel God is asking us to do.
In 2012, we moved to Colorado. After looking for a retirement location, I fell in love with the Roaring Fork Valley. We settled in, and the beauty and grandeur of this location continued to captivate me. My faith relationship continued to develop. I’ve gained friends who’ve become like family. This valley has been my home—and that feels secure.
During this faith journey, I’ve come to gain a greater understanding of just how much God loves each of us; meaning, even me. As my understanding of that love has grown, so has my desire to be where God wants me. One of my lessons has been the power of saying “yes” when God asks you to do something. Those “yeses” have stretched and changed me. (For insight on those experiences, you might want to look at my posts about Haiti and Ireland.)
Back to the current questions.
We visited family in California in July and returned home, refreshed. Both of us were feeling urgings of God saying, “I want you in Southern California.” This birthed conversation between us, causing us to ask questions about what such a move would look like; why; what happens; etc.?
I love living here—yet heard God saying, “Do you love me? Do you trust me?”
Again, we talked and my husband was experiencing similar thoughts. We’ve learned the best response to God is “YES” when he asks you to do something. So, we are taking one step at a time, following God’s leading. We don’t know exactly where we’ll land, but trust God has something for us. He provided our Colorado house, and all others in our past.
For anyone reading this, I encourage you to evaluate your faith relationship. Do you know you are loved beyond measure? Does your faith relationship influence your daily life? Do you feel challenged to stepping out of your comfort zone? (Stepping out looks different for each of us, so I encourage you not to judge your responses to someone else’s, and especially not to our journey.)
For our friends living in the valley, know that the relationships we have here are meaningful to us. We will miss you. Geography doesn’t have to change friendships, they just look different.
There is power in YES; there’s adventure, and there’s the unknown. Faith journeys always include perceived unknowns.
Please leave a comment in response to any of the questions. Happy New Year!
Do you read my blog because you too are a writer, or just interested in what I write about?
Either is good; I’m just curious.
If you write, do you have writing goals?
How to you track your goals and evaluate your progress?
Does this motivate you?
I use writing goals. It’s a process I’ve refined over the years. It started with generic lists for big projects that I seldom looked at and by the year’s end; I found I accomplished little. Not very satisfying!
My process evolved and suspect will continue to evolve.
It’s important for me to break down a project into tasks; this level of detail ensures things don’t fall through the cracks and provides a more accurate view of the work and time involved to accomplish the project. Making that simple change to my goals has allowed me to be more realistic in what I can accomplish.
As I contemplated 2019’s goals in creating my goals for 2020, I realized how frequently you, my followers have been part of the process. Thank you for taking time to read my posts, for choosing to “like them” or make comments. Those efforts encourage me, as a writer.
My hope for you is that as you reflect on 2019, you enjoy good memories. I look forward to 2020 and hope my writing will bring a smile to your face, or provide something for you to contemplate.
This last weekend I attended a Heroine’s Journey writing program. The program is designed for women, to help them identify where they have come from, what they have overcome and who they have become. All the while you accomplish this, you learn skills to improve your writing. It was an amazing, intense and crazy wonderful weekend.
The following is one of the writing prompts used during the weekend. Some of you may already recognize me in some of these chairs and some of you may learn new things about me.
Thank you to all the beautiful ladies who made the weekend so special! You know who you are….
Excuse me! This is my seat.
Excuse me! This is my seat. This seat is reserved for one who has endured hardship inflicted by others and recognized that to stop the abuse, you have to take the control away from the other person. Sometimes that is accomplished by putting space between you and the other person and sometimes it is accomplished when you recognize you only THOUGHT they had control. This person has learned forgiveness, both for themselves and for others.
Excuse me! This is my seat. This seat is for one who has learned you must determine for yourself the things that are important in your life and live for those things. Not to spend your life just collecting things others say are important. This seat is for someone who sees the beauty of the world around them without thinking they have to own it.
Excuse me! This is my seat. This seat is for one who has struggled against the control of others trying to hold them down and recognizes that only happens if you allow it. This seat is for one who has learned that sometimes you have to shut a door to find freedom, and remembers God never closes a door without opening a window.
Excuse me! I believe this is my seat. This seat is for one who has worked for another. Has spent much time and effort developing and creating things for another’s benefit. This person has learned to work with different people in different situations to accomplish the goal or task at hand. This person has learned to plan, both for the benefit of their employer and for themselves. This person can also determine what is important to self.
Excuse me! This is my seat. This is for one who has been given the gift of love and recognizes it is not something that just comes along any day. This person has learned to cherish the gift, accept the freedom and responsibility that comes with receiving and giving this type of love.
Excuse me! I believe this is my seat. This seat is for one who has learned to treat herself with gentleness and forgiveness. One who accepts her weaknesses and knows her strengths. One who knows what things will bring healing to her soul and who wants to help others find that healing also.
Excuse me! This is my seat. I am a woman. That does not mean I know everything, it means I’m okay with me.