9.04.2013

The Big Shift

I lived in the same little spot in Houston for 37 years. A quaint little neighborhood called West University....a small town in the big city that served as my bubble all of those years. It was dreamy as far as big city living goes. It was HOME. And I thought it always would be.

Standing outside St. Paul's with my girls.
{The church where I got married.}

But a crazy, unexpected shift has occurred, and it hit me like a ton of bricks while we were "home" for the wedding: Houston is no longer home. I don't belong there any more. In fact, every affection apart form the people I love has faded. Even one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants no longer satisfied my cravings. {And for a foodie, that's saying a lot!}

As I drove from my familiar neighborhood to the hotel where we were staying across town, I sensed that apart from our family and a few friends, God no longer has a plan for us in Houston. And if I needed any clarification, the location of the hotel was proof enough. It was on the corner of busy and busier. {I-10 and Beltway 8 for those of you in Houston.}

Does that look stressful to anyone?
And that's only HALF of the chaos.
I call it "The Spaghetti Bowl."

This farmgirl nearly had a panic attack on those freeways! {And to think I learned to drive in that city!} The only time I go anywhere near a freeway these days is to pick someone up at the airport. My daily drive to school includes one stop sign and one stop light. That's IT! Quite a change from the traffic insanity in Houston.

Now don't get me wrong. I loved Houston while I lived there. I even learned to see beauty in everyday life. Keep in mind, I started this beauty hunting adventure in the heart of Houston, not in the blissful countryside of Tennessee. I had to strain the eyes of my heart, but I found it!

In front of St. Paul's with my husband all these years later.

But now I know that Franklin is where I belong. God called us here, paved the way for us here, and has closed the way for us in Houston. It couldn't be any more clear. Houston has lost its hold on me, but I count that as a blessing. There's no way I could embrace my new hometown if I was still pining for my old one. I'M FREE! Free to be right here in the present moment.

And my reason for sharing that with you today? Just in case you're pondering a big change or even a move. God will go before you. And He will come behind you. He'll do what you can't do for yourself. Let Him surprise you! It may take time for you to see the larger story {mine is still unfolding a year later}, but you can trust Him with your story.

My biggest regret this weekend was that I didn't take my camera. {Gasp!} I'm not a big fan of the iPhone camera, but it's what I had, so here you go:

Trying to recapture a moment from our wedding.
{I hope the official photographer got it!}

My girls with the bride.

Celebrating the newest Hasenbank couple!

Fun time with the family before the wedding...
with my crazy husband front and center!

When we got back to the farm, I spent five hours in the barn just to decompress and recover from all the overstimulation of the city. And that's not to say the city is bad. It was home and it had my heart for all of those years. But now...the farm is where I belong.

With great joy,

P.S. I've got some new dreams stirring in my heart these days. Can't wait to share more. Farm related dreaming!

33 comments:

  1. So...you've inspired me and given me a little comfort. This past weekend we went and looked at a 170 year old colonial. It's outside of town (and an hour drive to work and the closest target). But it's beautiful. I can imagine living there for 20 years. It's full of charm, my chickens can make all the noise they want, and it's got an original front door. The past few days I've been stewing over this house and thinking "can I really move that far away from a mall? and Target? and a Panera?" You've totally made me think I could. We're going back to look at it again in the next day or two.

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    1. nicole!!! jump and the net will appear!! seriously, follow your heart!! can't wait to see ur new home!! ;) xo, tessa

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    2. I'm with Tessa. Of course, you probably already knew that since I've jumped. YES to following your heart!

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  2. funny isn't it? the rewards of taking really big risks. it's so hard to do, but once you get through the pain and worry of it all, such beautiful things start to take shape. so glad you trusted your heart and found the home + life you were always meant to find. xoxo

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    1. SO hard to do, but so worth it. And yes, it does feel like we're living the life we were meant to live. Love that! xo!

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  3. I'm so glad you didn't stop blogging. What a loss it would be to NOT be able to read your words.

    This post made my heart smile. We never know what God has planned for us when a door opens because we are so busy looking at the door we are closing and focusing on it that we cannot see what is waiting for us if we just trust Him.

    Thank you for continuing to share your RAW but real words.

    ~ Lisa from Indiana ~

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    1. I so appreciate your words of encouragement, Lisa. Thank you. For now, this seems to be the place where God is calling me to share my story. And if it blesses or speaks to someone else, it's worth it. :)

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  4. so happy for you & such a beautiful post

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  5. Hi Linsey,

    I'm glad you found the place where your heart says is home. :) I live in your old 'hood in Houston and while it still has a hold on us, for now, I'm dreaming of moving back to the deep south where I'm from. I love what you said about the Lord going in front of you and that He will also be behind you {reminds me of a song I heard recently called "Whom Shall I Fear" by Chris Tomlin}. I'm praying for it and know that it will happen in His time not mine just like everything fell into place for you.

    I hope you don't mind me sharing that last week I was at my nail place in the village and your husband brought your two girls in. It was such a sweet thing to see...a father bringing his girls to get their nails done. :)

    Blessings,
    Nancy

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    1. Well, Nancy, I've always said that neighborhood is the very best in Houston. A small town within the big city. But I totally get your heart's longing. Praying you'll either see that longing fulfilled or embrace a new longing where God has you!

      And how WILD that you saw my husband with the girls! Such a small world! He was taking them to get nails done for the wedding. Very sweet indeed! Thanks for sharing that with me!

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  6. What a wonderful trip for some closure on H Town ;) I hear what you are saying though....I live in Clear Lake (1/2 way between Galveston & H Town) Grew up here, moved away, then back....but someday I know we will leave. I can't imagine anywhere else as home, but like you I know that I will learn that where my heart is will be my "home".

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    1. Hard to imagine something different before the right time has come!

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  7. I can certainly relate to this post! After moving away two years ago, in early August we returned to our former home. I expected to be sad, and not want to leave a second time. I found, however, that nothing was as lovely or charming as I remembered.....it was no longer home. It was the best trip:we visited family and friends, but also completely let go of my former life and embraced our new one.

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    1. Isn't it crazy when that happens?!?! I never expected it, but was relieved in some ways. Thanks for relating part of your story.

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  8. I love this! So sweet. My brother graduated from the Naval Academy in 2003. We travelled to Annapolis several times and it was such a beautiful place. I'm glad you feel at home here. :-)

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  9. I heard a quote about Baylor Homecoming that I will paraphrase--Homecoming, ironically, is the time to come back so that you can get perspective in your present life. I used to think Homecoming was coming back to renew the memories of the past, but we have always gone back to places we have moved from, and instead of looking back, it makes you appreciate where you are and put closure to the past. It's always amazing to me how it helps you move forward when you go back after having been away. Glad you were able to have that opportunity, and I'm glad it made you appreciate your new life--they really are so different! I was born in Houston and lived there until I was 8--it's funny how my parents tried to go back for so many years, but we ended up staying put in Arkansas. Even though it's a lot smaller there, it opened up so many opportunities that I would never have had in Houston. God definitely picked our family up out of Houston and planted us in Arkansas for many reasons my parents did not understand at the time (for my brother and me as well). He has a purpose for you and JD, but He also has your girls' lives and purpose in mind. By putting you where you are, He is shaping their lives for their future as well as working on your heart. BTW Your girls look so beautiful!!!

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    1. I love that perspepctive...that a return isn't about reliving the past so much as learning and gaining perspective in the present. Awesome!

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  10. Great post Linsey and hit me in the heartstrings. After living in Texas for 16 years we will soon make a move back to the East Coast. The only thing I am not looking forward to is the cold weather. Have a great day. Your pics are darling.

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    1. Oh, boy. Winters are hard! But there are lessons that the seasons teach. And beauty to be found even on the coldest days!

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  11. beautifully written Linsey! Your posts are all I need some days to use as my bible study for the day. Thank you for sharing your heart and home. You, JD and the girls looks stunning.

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    1. Sweet, Deana. Honored that my words would minister to you in that way.

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  12. love that confirmation that you got while being back in TX.
    it feels great to know that you are where you are supposed to be!

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  13. i know friend..i know
    AND God seems to use you to speak confirmations to me...so crazy how just out of the blue..there it is.
    i am noting it and if it comes to pass i will share it:)
    as for your dreams...sigh
    love.you.friend
    xo

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  14. I can feel the weight that has been lifted from your heart. How wonderful! Cannot wait to hear f your farm dreams. :)

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  15. You may not miss Houston...but Houston misses you!! :) So happy that y'all are loving Franklin, though!! Xo!

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    1. Aww. Thanks, Kara. Sweet of you to say. Houston seems to have moved along just fine without me, but it's not the city that matters so much as the people. :)

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  16. Oh Linsey,

    I cannot wait to hear about your dreams for the farm! So exciting.... As I've said many times - you're living my dream - so thank you for sharing it with me. I have a reluctant spouse- loves where we are and never wants to leave. So, I shall live through your eyes and grace!

    Love, Love your blog!
    Angela

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    1. I have to confess that I was the reluctant spouse. My husband is the big dreamer. But I finally came around. The Lord had His way with me! You never know what He'll do with your husband!

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  17. So happy for you, Linsey! Your words make me look forward to the day that I can look back on all the changes that are occurring in my life and realize I feel peacefully at home with them... and I haven't even physically moved locations!

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    1. Oh, but you are on a new journey with homeschooling! And that requires dependence upon the Lord in a whole new way!

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  18. Linsey thank you for your post, it is beautiful. I am a newer empty nester and in this season of life....I go down memory lane a lot...it's all good but bitter-sweet also. As you are....I am counting my blessings, and thanking the Lord.....for His loving mercies which are new every morning.....now waiting for those grandbabies. Karen from acapecodnest.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your parallels as an empty nester. It's nice to think that as I practice giving thanks in the challenges, I'm actually preparing for times ahead...like being an empty nester. (I have 8 years, but as you know, time flies!)

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  19. I love Houston..the city..but not the traffic...Used to go there often with my hubby when he had clients there...I can see that Franklin is truly your home now...where your heart is...a beautiful place that you have created a wonderful life for you and your family....congrats to the Bride and Groom....and your girls looked beautiful!

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"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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