They say you can never go home. And I guess in some ways that's true. We can never truly re-create what we had when we were children. Progress occurs. People move, grow older or pass away. Buildings are destroyed. Relationships change. Life happens.
Perhaps most of all, WE change. We come back as different individuals than we were when we left.
And yet this is exactly what Phil and I feel God calling us to do.
To go home.
Move back to the country. (yes, you could even say we're moving back to the sticks!) Be nearer our parents. Go back to our roots. Find a true home once again.
And although we will go back as different people than we were when we left Marshall County 27 years ago, we still feel a deep attachment to this area and to this way of life. I've had to face it. I'm a country girl and always will be. I like dirt roads and exploring in the woods. I enjoy waking up to the sound of birds and having SPACE. I'd rather wear flip flops than high heels. And I love to sit and look at the river - or better yet, get out on it and play!
So today is a very special day for us. We are seeing an answer to prayer before our eyes. They are breaking ground on our building lot that sits on a bluff on the east side of Grant Mountain (between Guntersville and Scottsboro but up on the edge of the mountain). By Christmas our house should be complete. And we'll be home again.
It's going to be different. Life will not be the same. We will certainly have to "remember" what it's like living so far from the nearest grocery story (or Chick-fil-a!!!). I'll have to plan a bit more to visit with friends. But we are extremely excited! We feel like this is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives - a bit of a fresh start, if you will. One we're looking forward to!
Since my resignation from The Brook in the fall of 2009 and the onset of "empty nest", we've struggled to find "home". Church has been hard. Living in Madison has - on some days - been full of painful reminders. Additionally, we have felt certain that God was preparing us for a move for some time now. We felt consistently drawn to the countryside and water, but couldn't feel true peace about where we should be. While we were at the beach this summer, on June 23, I wrote this in my prayer journal:
"I would like to live here or some place like this, surrounded by nature.... and a constant view of God's handiwork. Where do you want us to be Lord? Where would you have us to go? If it is a place like this, help provide for us and show us the direction to take. Light our path. I am seeing more and more that a place to call home is important. Sometimes I long for a fresh start, a place where I feel free to begin again and truly be myself.....I am longing for home."
Who knew that the answer to this prayer would be to move "back home"? So simple we almost missed it!
Things have fallen into place easily thus far and we feel a deep peace as we prepare for this move. And as you can see below, we have been given a beautiful place to build a home. We will certainly be "surrounded by views of God's handiwork"!
We thank God for all He has provided! And we thank Him for guiding our steps!
As you can see, we have a few trees to cut down! When we thin this out we'll have a gorgeous view off of the bluff.
It's hard to tell due to the trees but this is the bluff. I'm going to set my Adirondack chair (when I get one of course) here and have my quiet times underneath this tree!
**The photo above of the road was taken by my mother, Linda Johnson. Technically, it was taken in Dekalb County, but it was indeed taken "on the way home".**