The Big Move Announcement (our quasi Abraham adventure)

Since November we’ve had a for-sale sign in our yard.  I’d give it a glance every time I pulled in or out of our driveway, when I got the mail or when we played in Noelle’s room with the windows open.

I wondered just exactly when the right person would drive by it, had they done so already?  What did they think or our home from the outside?  They couldn’t possibly know it’s potential like I do, all the memories and warmth we’ve cultivated so carefully.

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For the past 4 months we’ve been waiting for the right person drove past that sign, because when they did everything would change. Our time in Oklahoma would draw to a close and our journey back to Michigan would begin.

And last week it happened, someone bought our house.

Yes, that’s right, after an almost 6 year stint living in both Kentucky and Oklahoma, the Penny family is finally returning to West Michigan.  We close on our house on May 8 and we will likely move the weekend before.

So, deep breath, because I know you have questions, so do I for that matter.

1) Where will we live?  We will not be buying a house right away, we will be renting while we figure things out.  We don’t know exactly what part of West Michigan we will plant roots in for the long term.  I’d like to dig into Holland and never let go… but our prospects may be pointing us closer to Grand Rapids proper, who knows!

2) Does Kel (or I) have a job?  Shouldn’t we start with that?  At first we thought that would be the way to go and we sent off resumés galore.  That didn’t pan out and we began to realize that we could work anywhere and pay bills for a while (deliver pizzas and work retail if needed) but we couldn’t pay for 2 houses.  So we prayed about it and decided that the sale of the house would be the moving point.

As far as whether or not we have jobs at this point, technically… no but there are a lot of exciting prospects for us and we have a feeling that good things may be just around the corner.  Sometimes it’s very hard to justify this move financially, logically, but we know that God’s leading on this and that he will show up.

Sometimes I falter, often I freak out, the unknowns are many but the excitement is huge.

3) Why West Michigan? It feels like home and it’s where a large majority of our family is, and Kel is family to them as well.  Even though Oklahoma is technically home for him, he feels quite happy and at home in Michigan and lived there for over two years while we were dating.

I’m one of 25 first cousins between both sides of the family and over 90% of them all still reside in the West Michigan area, and we miss them.  I’ve also kept in contact with many friends from college that are as good as family as well.

Also… All these reasons too.

Michigan CollageSo we know it will be West Michigan and we know it will be early May, other than that we are praying, wondering and working out all the details.

I’ve been told by a dozen people that we’re like modern day Abraham, we believe God is calling us to go somewhere and we’re following his lead with all the details.  It’s true that our move is a God-led leap of faith, but you have to understand we aren’t going somewhere unknown where we know no one.

I’m not sure we deserve Abraham level credit.

We’re going home, and all four of us right down to 2 year old Caedmon, feel this way, Michigan is where we belong.  

So, all that being said, if you would like to employ a member of the Penny family please let us know.  Kel and I have a myriad of skills from writing to pastoring to rolling enchiladas.

Caedmon is available for baby modeling and Noelle will gladly do the music at your next special gathering.  She’s very talented in singing Gagnam Style like a kitty and you can pay her in strawberries.

So, guess what guys?  We’ve moving 1,000 miles and so many things are about to change.  Whoa.  Crazy, eh?

Yes to now

because the oil-rig Oklahoma sunsets aren't forever.

because the oil-rig Oklahoma sunsets aren’t forever.

This evening we gave the grill its annual test run.  As Kel came in to check on the sweet potato fries some leftover grease flamed up and filled the patio with billowy smoke.  This left us with crispy asparagus and hamburgers which were pink on the inside, but charred on the outside.

But we didn’t complain, we were too busy chewing in amazement that this spring day arrived and brought with it so much summer.

Crazy at it sounds for March, the kids spent the afternoon in the sprinkler simply because the lawn was freshly cut, the temps hit 80 and it seemed cruel to say no any longer.

Right now I find myself curled up on the couch with the final chapters of Shauna Niequist’s new book Bread and Wine.   I’ve been savoring like you do a regional food favorite you know you won’t get again for a while, you don’t want to swallow that last bite, even though you can’t stop eating.

That’s how Shauna’s books are to me.

As I lay here, the sun comes through the patio window, over the love seat and onto my face, just enough to be delightful and not so much that it’s blinding me.  I can hear the sounds of my children dancing around the backyard and when I look to check on them all I see are blossoming pear trees and sun haloed children.

Seriously, could right now be any lovelier?

To top it all off my son runs in buck naked and announces that he has put his diaper in the sink, then as I go to take care of it he commandeers my computer and sits on the couch, giggling and naked typing.

In a little while the kids will get a good wipe down and they will snuggle into their beds and Kel and I will pop a bottle of champagne because guess what?  Today we accepted an offer on our house here in Oklahoma.

Today the dream of moving home to Michigan took a great big step into reality.

I’ve spent all day looking up rental houses and estimating moving costs, a day defined by dollar signs and worry.  Will our savings get us by until we’re back on our feet again?

This comes on the heels of a week that was defined by the big house showing, we scrubbed, staged and planted Pansy borders.  I went through more homemade febreeze than any one person should in a lifetime.

But tonight?  It’s a sun warmed and obvious gift, tonight I say
yes to now
yes to burgers
yes to Oklahoma sunsets
yes to sticky naked babies (No to diapers in the sink)
and yes to reading a book on the couch in the midst of dishes and chaos.

Yes to Grace

This next season is bringing with it a thousand unknowns but tonight I can say yes to now.

This season is coming to a close and I want to savor it, like a bottle of good wine or a Shauna Niequist book.