This past year has sure brought its fair share of joys and woes. Joy at the birth of our son; woe at losing yet another church and another job, and feeling utterly confused at the direction God wanted us to take. With all the options before us, we finally decided to just move back to New Jersey. It seemed ridiculous, and also so sensical at the same time. Yes, Jersey is still about ten times more expensive than practically anywhere else in the country. And yes, it is the place we were so desperate to leave three years ago. I don't think we really knew what we were leaving behind though. It is also the place where we actually have roots. It's where we grew up, met, fell in love, and got married. Our parents are there. We had the opportunity to be a part of some incredible ministries, too. We figured it was the best thing for us and Colton to be close to family again and attend a church where we're plugged in. The job opportunities are also much, much better and pay more.
So I turned in my two week notice at work, we started packing boxes, rented a moving truck, and Gregg began sending out resumes to companies all over Northern NJ and NYC. He contacted a buddy of his to find out if he knew anywhere to rent that wouldn't break the bank. It ended up that friends of ours who got married the same year as us just happened to have an empty house they said we could live in until we found something more permanent. On Thanksgiving, Gregg's parents drove down to PA after having dinner at his aunt's to help us move.
Bright and early the next morning, we were loading the truck, packing the rest of our stuff, and cleaning. We had to tow the minivan on a dolly behind the truck, unfortunately, because on his way home from putting gas in it the night before, Gregg lost the brakes. It was a really good thing it happened then, instead of sometime on the way to NJ when I would have been driving it with Colton in the back seat. We got the van fixed that Saturday, which set us back about $300. Ugh. When we arrived nearly four hours later, our friend Jim who owns the house we're staying at came to help us move in. We discovered that he and his wife Laura had also bought us groceries and left some money on the counter for whatever else we might need! Gregg and I were just overwhelmed at their generosity.
On Sunday we went back to the church we had attended before moving to Florida, and it was like we never left. I didn't think people would recognize us after all this time, especially now that we have a baby in tow. But walking down the hallway to the sanctuary, we were instantly flagged down by some people who were having coffee in the fellowship hall. Throughout the morning, a lot more people greeted us and said how glad they were that we were there. An announcement was even made from the pulpit that we were back in town. During worship, I looked over at my husband who had tears in his eyes. He is not an emotional guy, but he was so moved by the fact that everybody remembered us and welcomed us so warmly.
It was truly like coming home. We had been such an integral part of that church- Gregg served on the Tech Team, I taught elementary school-aged girls Bible lessons on Wednesday nights, we were involved in a small group, attended adult Sunday School. It was clear to both of us this past Sunday that we had been missed and touched many people's lives. I had really missed our worship experience at GPBC. The people were always so genuine and spirit-filled, always looking for a way to help others and pray with them. They also really value family and children. There are so many wonderful programs for kids. I know Colton will have a solid Biblical foundation growing up in this church.
Recently I had been aching to be a part of this kind of fellowship again, with our church search in Chambersburg coming up dry every time. I kept feeling like more and more of an outsider every one we went to. And here we show up at our old church, and within the first five minutes are blown away by the most incredible reception. I joked that next week it's going to be in the bulletin that we're back.
After service, we went by Gregg's parents for Sunday dinner which is always a treat. His mom cooks enough for an army and the food is excellent. I had really missed that, too. I like that Colton will grow up surrounded by family, knowing his grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousin. Gregg's brother's daughter, Katelyn, was so excited to see "Coltie". My SIL Liz and I hope they grow up being close since they're only 15 months apart.
The one thing missing here is that Gregg hasn't found a job yet. He's had a couple of good leads and one interview already. We figured he can always work at one of the large computer or electronic retailers in the area in the meantime. We have some money in the bank that will last us a little while. The plan is for me to stay at home with Colton, if we can afford to. If I need to go back to work part-time or something, at least Gregg's mom can watch the baby so we don't have to put him in daycare.
It's really good to be back here. I love being a SAHM. I like the fact that I can just call up a girlfriend and get together for a play date. I did have my doubts, because of the high cost of living, and because of the risk we're taking by not having a stable income source right now. We've struggled financially before though, and have always made it through. God has always taken care of us. We could have moved elsewhere for a guaranteed job, but we'd have had to get used to a whole new area, find a new church, and make new friends all over again. I dreaded the idea of starting over, but I was willing to do it if it meant I could stay at home. I would have been so isolated though. Here, I know the lay of the land and there's no awkward learning curve. I already have friends and plenty of activities at the church to get involved in. There's an amazing women's Bible study on Wednesday mornings, with nursery provided, that I would love to join again.
We have already seen such an outpouring of blessings since our move only one week ago. Now we just need Gregg to land a job!! And for Colton to feel like himself again. My poor baby has been sick with a cold since Tuesday night. It's awful watching him suffer. He's waking up two to three times during the night screaming because he can't breathe. We moved the swing into his room so that he can sleep somewhat upright. He doesn't have much of an appetite, and just wants to sleep and be held. I feel so bad for him. I have to keep using the nasal aspirator (or "snot sucker", as my husband calls it) to clean out his tender little nose, and he hates it. He screams like someone is trying to kill him. Colton also has a case of "goopy eye", which seems to be getting better now thankfully.
I've decided to stay home from church tomorrow and take care of him. It wouldn't be fair to bring a sick baby to the nursery, and I don't want to drag him out into the cold when he already feels so yucky. I'm so glad I'm not working right now, because I feel like a zombie. Since Colton started sleeping through the night at two months, I've been spoiled with a full night's rest. Not so much this week. I should really be catching up on sleep right now while my baby sleeps, but instead I'm blogging. Go figure. :)