Change

January 17, 2012

We might be moving to Wisconsin. In February. And I hate that I am still telling people “might.” I am an INFJ – for anyone familiar with the myers-briggs test – heavy on the J. I like to have things decided and so many things about life just don’t work that way. Especially right now in my life.

I spent some time this morning looking for apartments because, while we’ve been planning to live in my parents’ basement for awhile to save some money, the closer we get to actually committing to that, the more we question how great of an idea it would be for Henry to work with and partially for my dad and also to live with him. Also, we all might go insane.

So…I can search for apartments but there seems to be no end to the places we could live. Henry would work in Sussex, my parents live in Jackson, one of the churches we’d like to try is in Kenosha, one is in Nashotah and there’s a third church plant happening in Milwaukee. Inexpensive and beautiful housing abounds but I truly have no idea where to start when thinking about potentially striking out on our own right away. It’s all so overwhelming.

Plus, we haven’t heard from the company yet. We know the guys in charge met together on Friday, so we HOPE to hear this week but I’m not holding my breath. No…I’m not letting it out yet. I’ve been holding it since October. I can wait a little longer. Meanwhile, we’re transitioning Piggle into his own room since I haven’t had 4 hours of sleep together for a year and it’s time, so Kags is moving out tomorrow. After almost 5 months with us. I can’t imagine it without her. And then packing…oh the heart quails.

I’m inheriting some things from my Grandma Swank – who passed in November, pretty suddenly. The house they lived in since my dad was a little boy is being sold, along with the 16 acre farm, and I’m getting furniture and appliances. I would rather have my Grandma. I miss her almost every day. I really hated that house, with its dark wood paneling that never changed in all its years and the postage-stamp kitchen, but it’s hard to bear the thought of someone else living there. I had always dreamed of us moving there to raise organic wool and chickens and have a big garden and then maybe host weddings (there’s even a chapel on the property) and open a little handmade type shop. But there is next to no employment opportunity in LaPorte and we can’t just move there on a lark with our finances the way they are. So I have to move my dreams elsewhere. To Milwaukee, it seems. Don’t get me wrong, Milwaukee is a great city. It’s just that I never dreamed of hosting all my friends’ kids in that field on the 4th of July for homemade firework displays – like we did for years when I was a kid – in Wisconsin.

It’s weird how God moves things about. When we found out about this job possibility and that it was a non-traveling job (which is our line we won’t cross), I finally started praying that if God meant this as a blessing and it wasn’t just us holding on to anything to get out of debt, He would change my heart about moving. I would never have believed a story someone once told about God changing her heart toward her future husband despite her will if I hadn’t experienced it myself. For so long when we’d talked about moving, I’d responded, inevitably, to Henry with, “but if we don’t have our community, we have almost nothing,” speaking of all the positive changes a move might make. But I started to think how we’d manage if we did move and then God stepped in to that little crack in the door and it was all over. I saw this blog about an AMIA church plant in Riverwest; an artsy community in the city. I started remembering how often I’d said Milwaukee was the only city I’d ever seen myself living in. I started looking at rental properties and homes for sale and what once seemed like a pipe dream in Glen Ellyn looked like a doable thing in a year or under for Milwaukee. Plus Milwaukee is truly great. Wisconsin is great. They recognize CPM’s (certified professional midwives) there, unlike Illinois, who will dispatch a swat team to shoot one down if they know one of them has helped you give birth at home. Milwaukee has a world-class library and 168 (something like that) miles of bike trails through the city. It has a beautiful waterfront and lots of diversity. And beer! And local farms in abundance! Anyway, for us it also has my family, which is a huge thing considering that we have a child and the intention to have more children and the desire to sometimes go out on our own! So it looks very much like – wherever we end up in Wisconsin – so many of our prayers will be answered at once it’s overwhelming: a new job with lots of challenge and upward mobility for Henry, proximity to family (who wants to babysit) will allow me a bit more flexibility to work on a business again, the ability to get out of debt, the eventual ability to buy an actual HOUSE that is actually BEAUTIFUL, and many many auxiliary benefits which I’m sure we have yet to discover.

It’s just that we’re leaving, *probably,* the only place I’ve called home as an adult and the central location for our primary community. All of our best friends. At 30 I’m starting over again…experiencing that “freshman at life” feeling I had as a recent grad. And I’ll missing all of YOU. Well, some of you don’t live here, but you know what I mean. As I’ve been telling everyone: I’ll keep you posted. I really will. This blog will probably become more a lifeline. Get ready for excruciating detail of my parents’ basement! And gardening! 🙂 But really…I’ll keep you posted.

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5 Responses to “Change”

  1. Brady Says:

    Hey Jenn!

    Moving is so hard, but you’re making it sound kind of exciting! Wisconsin sounds like it could be a great place for your family. I really want to visit Milwaukee sometime soon!

  2. trynsimple Says:

    We are praying for the best outcome to happen. And yes, we’re happy that you’re thinking about Milwaukee! Closer to US! Wisconsin is GREAT! Praying…

  3. Gregg Says:

    Sounds like it could be an exciting adventure! I’ll be praying for you all.

  4. Kirsten Guidero Says:

    we’d love to have you all around! let me know if you need anything, especially help scouting out apartments, etc. can give tips on neighborhoods in the city. can give you some info on churches, too. there is a LOT of urban agriculture happening right now, plus two places raising fish symbiotically with veggies. plus loads of really good CSAs for meat/eggs/cheese/milk. i’ll pray God gives peace and clear direction, either way!

  5. Henry Says:

    Well, we’re in Chicago for the foreseeable future. What does that mean? We’ll find out. Right now it’s a disappointment that stings a little less each day since I found out the job wasn’t really open in the first place (that’s a whole story in and of itself). Meanwhile, we’re waiting for God to show us other exits from the financial mousetrap we’re in 😛 We’ve got some great help in the form of Stephen Gauthier at Rez.


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