The Big Move: One Year Later

move collageOur family made the cross-country move from Oregon to Michigan one year ago this week. Reflecting on this past year I have a few thoughts and lessons I have learned along the way.

1 Grieve the Losses
Leaving is sometimes difficult and it’s ok to admit it. One loss I had to grieve in our move was the kids’ bilingual immersion school and the ethnic diversity of our town. That loss was hard for me and I just had to let myself be sad about it.

connecting2 Embrace the New Life
I have seen people move to a new church, school, or town and everything in their life is constantly about where they used to live. They may even keep their dentist and hairdresser that is over an hour (or a state) away! On the flip-side, I have a friend who has moved her family to multiple states and I always see her embracing their new location quickly. I’m sure there is a time of grieving, but she doesn’t live there.

zip line3 Laugh and Have Fun
Finding the good, the laughter, and the fun is a good thing in life and an extra good thing when experiencing big change. The book of Proverbs says that laughter is a good medicine, and it is so true. A good laugh, some fun playing a game around the table, or a fun new tradition goes a long way in moving past the grief and loss.

4 Try Something New
In our new location there are many new things to try and enjoy. We have taken full advantage of the snow (like Buddy the Elf) in our new home tubing, walking, sliding, building forts, etc. We’ve visited new restaurants and created new traditions. This adds to the fun and has helped our family embrace our new life.

sharing the load5 Connect to the Community
Every community – church, camp, or town – has its own uniqueness. There are festivals, events, and local restaurants that help in connecting to a new community. In our new Village where we live (about 25 minutes outside the “big” town) we have become well-acquainted with the two local restaurants and the last-minute-stop-and-shop Lake Ann Grocery, aka LAG. By doing simple things (eating and shopping) within our community we feel connected.

building friendship6 Build a Relationship
I have changed schools, towns, homes, and states a number of times in my life and it is easy to keep relationships at arm’s length. When I do this I truly miss out on an opportunity to meet some wonderful people. I also miss out on an opportunity to serve others. The pain of moving away from close relationships is real and difficult, but never having those relationships in the first place is an even greater loss.

7 Enjoy the Moment
Be here. Be present. Don’t let the seasons – snow, rain, sunshine, and storms – pass without your awareness. There is beauty, wonder, laughter, tears, joy, and pain to be experienced. Be with those moments. The life we have on this earth is short and to live extraordinary is to be an active part of each day.

I would love to have you share a lesson from your journey in the comment box below. You can also read Joe’s (my husband and extraordinary companion on this journey) perspective by clicking here.

Be Extraordinary!

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14 comments on “The Big Move: One Year Later

  1. artoornstra says:

    Well we’re the opposite of you guys and did Michigan to Oregon. But one thing I experienced was about 9 months after moving here was the hardest. The honeymoon period wore off and we weren’t the new family anymore. I was lonely for a little while but I did not allow myself to be lonely. Sometimes I think loneliness is good. And it didn’t last. Also I joined things even if it doesn’t generate close friends at first…or ever. Like I went to a scrapbooking group for awhile, joined a gym, went to a Friday morning coffee group, and recently joined a triathlon club. BTW – Favorite places near your new neck of the woods: Cherry Bowl Drive-In in Honor, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Sutton’s Bay, tubing the Platte River, and you’re not too far from Ludington and Silver Lake (Mears) which were my family’s summer spots.

    • tracicast says:

      Great thoughts Amy!
      I, too, experienced some loneliness and it was probably around the 9 month mark as well. It feels difficult to make the effort to break out of that loneliness, but it is definitely worth it (even if it doesn’t produce a best friend).
      We have been to Cherry Bowl Drive-In, Sleeping Bear Dunes (many times), and Sutton’s Bay. We will add the others to the list for this summer! So much to see!

  2. Dan KOrhorn says:

    Lake Ann Grocery. “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it!” When you need a big city, just come down to GR. I have a really nice place to eat too. Ask Joe all about it.

  3. Tamara says:

    Finding a church family is important when you move. Our hardest move was the time we moved and never found a church we could fit into.

    I think studying about Paul’s missionary journey and realizing all the friends he has because of his travels and moves can be encouraging.

    • tracicast says:

      Yes, Tamara! The church part is huge. This was our first time looking for a church since Joe has always been a pastor. Felt so good when that decision was behind us. Great point about Paul – never thought of it in terms of the moves we make today.

  4. Kara says:

    What an adventure you’re on! I love seeing pictures (on Caleb’s FB) of your beautiful scenery and views, and of course of all the snow. I’m glad to be able to stay in touch, if only blog-to-blog:-) Blessings.

  5. Aimee says:

    Great statements and reflections of your time here in northern michigan even after this brutal winter! It has been a blessing having you in our Wednesday night group! I can’t imagine making a move like you did although I have daydreamed of it often this winter! Thank you for sharing your experiences, I/we look forward to running that half marathon with ya.

    • tracicast says:

      Thanks Aimee! Wednesday nights have been a huge part of our getting connected and building relationships. We are so thankful!
      After my slow, difficult 2 mile jog yesterday I continue to be thankful the 1/2 isn’t until October! 🙂

  6. Being married to a military man, I had to move my family a lot. You are on the right track. You have to embrace where you are. The hardest thing for me was finding churches wherever we were moving to. God has always blessed us and placed us in the church that met our needs at that current time. It’s okay to be sad, and to look back fondly on where you lived, however, it’s good to hear that you are settling in!

    • tracicast says:

      Thanks for your words Diane! After all of your moving, do you find it hard to truly settle in, long-term? After moving many times as a kid and changing colleges several times I found that I got restless when Joe and I were in our last home more than 10 years. I didn’t know what to do with myself! 🙂

  7. […] you didn’t catch my wife’s blog on the anniversary of our move, I encourage you to check out. Looking back over the past year, I […]

  8. […] the extraordinary life is taking the family on a mission trip to South Africa, moving across the country, or inviting someone to join your […]

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