Friday, February 28, 2014

Part 6 - Events Leading Up to Our Move - The Big Move

This is Part 6, the final segment in a series telling about how we came to the point in our lives where we were willing to sell half of our belongings, give up our lifestyle, and move away from family and friends, including our 3 teenage daughters, and move to the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia so my husband, Chad, could go to seminary. For earlier posts see:

Part 1 How we reconciled our marriage.
Part 2 How we found Dave Ramsey.
Part 3 How we got out of debt.
Part 4 How we desired to live a more simple life. 
Part 5 How we made the decision to sell our house and move to Virginia.

Chad and I sat in the Realtor’s office on June 8th, 2013, just 22 hours after listing our home.  In front of us sat the purchase agreement with an offer for our listing price.  This was the price we needed in order to make moving away to seminary feasible.  The only stipulation in the contract was that we needed to close in just 6 short weeks. 6 weeks!  We didn't even know where to begin.  In a matter of a day everything had turned upside down.  Chad had been fortunate working for a wonderful company for 11 years.  Over the years they had promoted him so he oversaw 12 different banks and had over 70 employees.  He was very, very good at his job.  We had a lovely home in a beautiful neighborhood and no financial worries since getting out of debt in 2011. But by signing the purchase agreement to sell our home we were basically giving it all up.  It would put in motion the plans to give up our lifestyle, his well-paying, stable job, moving across the country, away from our families, and enrolling in seminary.  Oh, and in the midst of all that, getting our 17 year old twin daughters settled in Tennessee, where one would be in college full time, while the other worked full time for a year while she decided what she wanted to do for a career.  Talk about a lot on our plate!! 

I will take a little step aside now and tell you how I hate stress.  Hate it!  I do everything in my life to avoid it.  I like knowing what is happening day to day and do not like the unknown.  I love my quiet, stress free life that I typically have.  But on the other hand I work extremely well under stress. So well in fact that in a matter of weeks not only was I able to travel to Virginia and obtain a for our family, but also an apartment in Tennessee for our 17 year old daughter.  I also rented the U-Haul, sold half of our belongings, and packed up the rest of our house. Chad was still working during that time 60-70 hours a week, so basically the move was up to me.  It is still somewhat of a blur in my mind looking back.

When looking for a place for us to live in Virginia I had one stipulation if I moved:  I wanted to live in the country. I grew up in the country and had longed to move back for years.  Not only that, I still had a desire to have a garden, raise chickens, and hang our wash on the clothesline; something that isn't too feasible in town. Also, with a 12 year old boy who loves anything and everything to do with outdoors and our yellow lab, Koda, a country house seemed ideal for our family.

Because of Koda and our limited budget, house after house fell through.  Most rentals do not take large dogs, something I could understand, but they didn't know MY dog.  

He is well behaved and a part of our family.  I call him my 5 th child.  (Yes, I’m one of “those kind” of dog owners.)  Finally, I found a country house in our price range, but of course it said “no pets”.  I decided to email the people anyway, telling them our story, hoping the idea of an older seminary student and his family would help our case.  After visiting with the lady on the phone, and driving 1,200 miles out to meet her in person, I was able to obtain the quaint little country house on lease.  And when I say quaint, I mean basically original to 1910 when it was built, with the narrow doorways, low ceilings, and chipping paint.  But it suited our needs.  It was in a beautiful, safe location just a short drive from Chad’s school.  It was surrounded by fields with mountains in the distance, giving me the peace and quiet I desired.  And it had a big yard for our son as well as ponds and hunting grounds for him to explore.  The house, while simple and shabby, had plenty of room.   The kitchen was big enough for me to do the cooking I loved and it had a yard the landlords said I could till up for a garden and raise chickens.

Chad had given his notice when we listed our house, but his last day was not until August 2nd.  With our closing being in 6 weeks, that meant we needed to be out of our house by July 15, leaving us a good three weeks in limbo.  On closing day we pulled out of our cul-de-sac and lovely neighborhood saying goodbye to our life we had lived for the past 11 years.  I cried a bit, but was excited for the future.  After 2 days on the road we arrived in Tennessee where we unloaded and kissed goodbye our 17 year old little girls, and traveled on to Virginia.  We spent a few days there unpacking our belongings before heading back to Nebraska for 2 weeks for Chad to finish up work.  We were able to stay with a friend and had a few weeks to spend time with our friends and family, especially our oldest daughter, Oksana, who was 19. On August 5th Chad, Rem, and I pulled out of Nebraska and headed off for Virginia and our new adventure.

We have now lived here a little over 6 months and it feels like home.  Chad greatly enjoys his classes and we love the beautiful area we are in and the people we are meeting.  We do miss our family and friends though, especially our girls.  But we know that this is where we need to be at this point in our lives.  We get asked a lot if Chad plans to be a pastor.  After much discussion on the matter we both have agreed that is not the career path he will be taking with his degree.  He certainly wants to work in some kind of Christian field, perhaps in a college environment, either teaching or working with outreach ministries within the school.  He currently works part-time for the college he attends now; placing undergrad student with local churches, and loves his job. His job is flexible enough so he can balance school, work, and family time, for which we are thankful.

So that is our story….It is amazing how we were brought from one place to another.   


  1. I love your house, and the ending with a new beginning! We are close to that spot. Freaking out cuz it looks like God really has called us to Wilber, which isn't as far as Virginia but feels like it sometimes. So your story resonates with my heart right now.

    1. New beginnings are always hard, especially when kids are involved. But I know you know that if it is the Lords will for you guys to go to Wilbur, He will work it out perfectly. We'll keep praying for you guys!

  2. My fur baby is my only child. :) She acts like a child!

    Your house is precious. I love it! Remember...Proverbs 3:5.

    1. Thank you! You are exactly right; trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding!! God's ways are higher than our own, we just have to rest in the fact he has a perfect plan for our lives.

  3. Oh my gosh, that house is SO cute! I totally get how your dog could be your 5th child. Our golden retriever is definitely that status too. Hope you have a great weekend!

  4. Wow! Just read your entire story. Amazing! God has been so faithful to you and you guys have been so faithful to him! Very encouraging.

    1. Thank you for taking time to read my story, Andrea! God IS faithful. :-)