Flannels & Pearls

Waiting on Keys

You know what’s hard for me? Waiting. Waiting is SO hard. This week has been incredibly frustrating. I gave a couple of my friends this analogy – I have this shiny, souped up, crazy fast car in my driveway. I can sit it in, smell it, and feel it because it’s MY car. But, I can’t drive it. Seriously?! How is that fair? It’s RIGHT there!! Why can’t I drive it NOW?! This is how I feel about the dreams and desires God has placed in my heart. They are very real to me, but I’m not there yet.

I’m careful about who and how much of my dreams I share with others. I’ve been criticized in the past. I’ve been asked, “Why don’t you just move now?” or “What’s wrong with this community?” and “Why would you want to leave your family and your roots?” I’m feeling like today is the day to share some of my dreams with you. It doesn’t matter how you process them or if you even believe them. It matters that I share them. Because I don’t want you to ever stop believing in yours.

Let’s start with a little history. When I finished my grad school practicum 17 years ago, my husband, Josh, and I took a trip to Wyoming. I had a job interview. We decided we’d either take the Wyoming job (leave everyone we knew) or remain in the state and take a more local offer. As soon as we drove into Cody, I was hooked. Like, love at first sight hooked. I was home. I felt it in every fiber of my being. I knew we would live there for the rest of our lives. I took the job and we spent 10 glorious years (along with some EXTREMELY difficult times) soaking up the mountains – well, as much as I humanly could while starting a business and having 3 children. But, there was rarely a moment that I wasn’t IN the moment. I knew there was something special about my time there, so I purposefully remained present. Marinated in it, if you will. Even during some heartbreaking trials. I like to think I was born and raised in North Dakota, but I grew up in the mountains. Pain and beauty can do that to a soul, you know?

Almost 10 years after our move, my dad had a “small” accident on the farm in North Dakota. Thankfully, nothing life threatening. He took a fall in a grain bin and blew his knee into a few pieces. During his recovery, my mom called to report on his progress. She told me he was now using a walker. This was supposed to be a good thing. But, envisioning my strong, capable dad struggling to use a walker, was definitely not a happy thought. It was in that moment, I knew we were moving back to North Dakota. I had never been homesick while living in Wyoming, but of course I missed our family and my parents. They are cream of the crop people. This hard hit of reality – my parents growing older and only seeing my children a couple of times a year, was suddenly a huge problem. My kids will know their grandparents. And aunts, uncles, cousins (a couple of years ago, I counted over 90 close relatives in North Dakota, that’s just a few!).

It was not a fun transition. Who am I kidding, it was and is a daily struggle. I love my family hard, but the pull from the mountains never leaves me. I can try to ignore it, plan other local adventures, stay busy, meet up with wonderful people, fill pages of my journal, write, pray….nothing dulls the ache. I would honestly compare it to leaving the love of your life. Even when the miles separate two lovers, their attraction to each other never fades or lessens. Perhaps, it grows even more intense with longing. Fueling the desire for things to come. Plans and promises…

Present day. I purposefully create and engage in making memories with our family in North Dakota. Our children have developed wonderful relationships with family members during the last 7 years. That brings me great joy! Our kids will know how very special their family is. They will always have these years and memories to treasure. That means the WORLD to me. Truly. But, the mountains have never stopped calling me…

Frustrating, right? Have you ever felt anything like this? What do you do with that constant tug of war? After reading a certain book, I formed a pretty bold plan and pitched it to Josh. I figured he’d laugh at me or tell me I’m crazy, but I told him anyway. Once our oldest graduates high school, we’re moving back to Wyoming. During this 5 years of waiting (it’s currently 4 years, 4 months away), we will soak up as much time as we can with our family, this community, and save our pennies to buy our forever home (Josh told me he’s only moving one more time in his life, so we have to go big!). He looked at me and said, “Ok.” Stunned. Did he just agree with my plan? My dream? Oh baby. I’m running with this and I’m not looking back!!

I have filled journals with the details of my dreams, but the short version is, moving back to the mountains and establishing a special retreat for our family, friends, and perhaps even strangers to enjoy. And it’s going to involve food and a whole lot of nature. Surprise! 🙂 It might look like a bed & breakfast. I’m waiting on God to lead us in a specific direction, but until then, I’m working and planning. And working. Why is the mundane such a struggle? Sigh…So there you have it. I’m currently growing my private therapy practice (loving on and serving my clients and their families), as well as my LimeLife business, and I started blogging again. I feel like I’m supposed to take you on this journey with me. God only knows why He’s called me to connect and share this journey with you. So, I trust the process. And most importantly, I trust my Good Father. I won’t take my eyes off Him. He has my heart. And in it, He has carefully placed these dreams, visions, and desires. If He changes my course, I’ll follow. I only want to go where He leads.

So, to answer the question, “Why don’t you just move now?” God hasn’t given me those keys yet. Even though I battle daily feelings of frustration, sadness, and crazy bad home sickness, I know I’m where I’m supposed to be NOW. And while I’m in this hallway, I’ll continue to praise Him for giving us this precious time with family, friends, and this community. There you have it. And that was the short version! Thank you for walking with me on this journey. I hope someone finds value in it. I hope someone feels encouraged from my story and how it gradually unfolds. Keep dreaming. Keep showing up every day. Plug away at the mundane. Be present. Take small steps daily toward your dreams. You’ve got to put in the work, don’t shy away from it. You can’t merely sit back and wish for dreams to happen. And most importantly, let God be the wind in your sails. Allow Him to change your course. Even if it means altering your dreams. He knows what’s best for you. You just have to trust Him.

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