The weekend before we close, Zack and I had driven to London with the kids on Friday night, got up Saturday morning and packed a Penske truck, then drove back to Charleston the same day. It was a quick and hard trip. Not something I want to do again. But, in the long run it saved a lot of money, as everything packed in the Penske truck was less the movers had to pack and bring, and that is where the savings came in :) So, on the day we closed, we had a Penske truck packed full of our things to unload, and the movers brought the rest the following day. My mom's cousin's daughter and I connected on Facebook, and we found out that she lives very close by....like in the next subdivision! She and her husband were so kind and offered to help us unload the truck on Wednesday. She also took the kids over to her house and let them hang out so we could get some work done. Also, on that same day, my parents came into town to help out. I was so excited for them to see our house and well of course just to seem them!! So we had a great crew of helpers, and got the truck completely unloaded Wednesday evening. The next morning the movers showed up and brought in boxes as fast as they could. All of our furniture, boxes, everything we owned was either in the garage or our house in about two hours. Needless to say, it was two hours of total chaos.
That same week one of my dad's favorite cousins also happened to be in town! They were so gracious and on Thursday night (the day the movers came) brought us a wonderful dinner. It was so nice to see them and the dinner was much appreciated. She brought me a sweet framed reminder of My Ole' Kentucky home, and brought all the kids UK apparel....definitely needed down here!
We truly have felt very blessed with the help, support, and love we have been shown over the last couple weeks. We could not have gotten moved in and settled in the short amount of time we did without the help and thoughtfulness of so many. So a big thanks to all who have helped and prayed!!
We have spent the last week unpacking, painting, organizing, changing out light fixtures, decorating, and taking things to Goodwill. God help me not to buy anything else I DON'T NEED!! We really love our neighborhood and our house. It is actually less space than we had in London, but I honestly think the space we have meets the needs of our family just as well, if not better, in most ways. We don't have a huge yard, but the yard we do have is flat (of course, this is South Carolina :) and we are very close to our community pool and playground, and there is a huge field to play soccer, baseball, etc. So all we have to do is hop on our bikes and we are there in a jiffy! Speaking of bikes, it's a great neighborhood for bike riding as well. So here is the house....I think it looks more fancy and bigger than it really is. It is an older home, just a comfortable house. I don't have any pictures of the inside of the house to share yet....but soon :) We really love it and feel very blessed to have found it.
My amazing inlaws were here with us almost the entire week and were a HUGE help. We painted our kitchen (which wasn't as easy as it sounds because it was covered with wallpaper :) installed several light fixtures and ceiling fans, and of course checked out downtown and Charleston's amazing parks. They left today after church, and we all already miss them. We had a great time.
Speaking of church, today was the third time we have visited Summerville Baptist Church. The church is about 15 minutes from our house, right in the heart of downtown Summerville. It is a fairly large church, with two church services and soon to be two Sunday School hours. It is a very traditional Southern Baptist Church, so Zack and I feel right at home in that regard. We have felt very welcome at Summerville Baptist, and the kids love it. No tears at all for Emmie, which we honestly think God used to help us decide between this church and another church we had visited. The minute we would pull into the parking lot at the other church, Emmie would break into tears. There was no rhyme or reason for this! But at Summerville, Emmie just walked in, went straight into her class, and said "bye mom!". We have attended Sunday School each Sunday we have visited and the class is a good size group of 30 somethings, all that are in the same season of life as us. They have children's church for the kids, and Awana on Sunday nights, which the kids absolutely love. It has been fun watching them get excited about putting God's Word into their hearts. We haven't made it to a Wednesday night service yet, but they have a church choir and they practice on Wednesday nights (a must for me :) and the kids also have music and missions on Wednesday nights. Oh, and they have a church softball team (a must for Zack). Most importantly, we have found the teaching to be very Theologically sound.
So why did I title this post "Why Sundays are the Hardest"? I just told you what a great place our new home is and how great Summerville Baptist is, and what good experiences we have had here. What is hard about it? This is what is hard about it- On Sundays, I am reminded of this:
These people are not here!
And come to think of it, lots of other people we love aren't here either.....like these people....
And of course these....
Zack and I both agree, we are in some type of grieving season right now. We are faking it for our kids....I mean, they know we miss our friends, but we don't mope around and cry all the time. We try to be positive and encourage them, because they are doing awesome! But inside, we feel a huge hole. I am not sure if everyone has such a special group of church friends, co-workers, and high school buddies like we have been blessed with, but I have to think it is a pretty special, once in lifetime (or maybe twice in a lifetime :) kind of thing. They are the kind of friends that you want to have for the rest of your life. They are the kind of friends that you want your kids to grow up with so they can have friendships with their kids. They are the kind of friends that know you and still love you. They are the kind of friends that right now, seem like we will never have again. I know what you are thinking- you'll make new friends. And yes, I know that God is faithful and is capable of bringing new and wonderful relationships into our lives. He can do whatever He wants, and I do trust that He will meet all our needs. And I even believe that He is using their absences to create character in us that wouldn't have happened otherwise. But these friends will never be replaced. A piece of our hearts will always be with them, and with our church body at First Baptist London- we miss all of you terribly!
Zack and I both know God desires to work in our lives here in South Carolina. We are trusting Him to grow us, mold us, and lead us. He already has through this time of separation from family and friends. We are relying on Him more and more each day to guide and direct us as to how He desires for our family to serve Him where He has planted us. We have decided the only way to go about this is to go "all in" here in South Carolina, whether it is for a few years, or for the rest of our lives. So we plan to get involved in every way we can- church, school, community. We want to give God our best and let Him lead us. So many of you have texted or emailed to let us know you are praying for our family as we transition. To think that you would pray for us is just overwhelming and we feel so blessed. Thanks for your prayers.