It was three weeks ago today that the Sims family pulled into Virginia. We didn't know a soul the day we arrived, but we've already visited three churches and attended Ben's Varsity football game. Next week we will watch Emma's first cross country meet. And this afternoon 15 year old Mary is making a speech at school to convince the class of 2016 why she should be their Vice-President.
To put it simply, we're divin' in.
Captain Fun and I have lived in five states since the day we said "I do", and I'm convinced that whether you move once or a dozen times, diving in is the only way to survive a move. That's why when the nice folks from the Presbyterian church called and invited me to their "Moving On After Moving In" small group, I told 'em to count me in--and oldest daughter, Bethany, too. It's why I found a MOPS group right away as well as a mid-week ladies Bible study, which Bethany also attends with me. Small group groupies, we often joke on the way home.
Yes, I have boxes (but don't I always have boxes?). Yes, it is getting "a little nippy" outside as my dad use to say and I am not positive we all own coats after living in south Florida. But boxes and coats can wait--a little while, anyway. I have learned what I need for myself and my family to feel connected in a new place, and that is relationships.
And I must pause to say that the people of Virginia are accommodating. From the grocery store to the playground, folks are friendly. The bus stop is my favorite--with a dozen kids and half a dozen moms, it is like a little mom pep rally twice a day. Being the people person that I am, I have wondered if I come on too strong. I have been gone from my familiar Florida friends for three weeks, after all, and my talk tank is low.
We were quite fond of Florida by the time we left. I won't forget the friends I made there. And what a privilege to live 8 miles from the beach for a year; to have baby Hope in December during the mild winter. And, oh, how it blessed me to walk into First Baptist Church of Stuart on that first Sunday in Florida only to discover I knew the pastor's family well thanks to our Memphis roots.
Hind sight has shown that God navigated our move to Florida. And while I am already falling in love with Virginia, I anticipate watching His plan unfold in this new place.
Hello, Virginia. We're off to a good start.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
--Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)