Wednesday, October 2, 2013

31 Days: The First Thing to Do When Considering a Relocation!

Welcome to 31 days of Relocating Home!

Yesterday, I recounted day one of our home relocation process (third time's the charm!) that began in February of this year.

Today, I thought I'd recount day two. And no, do not worry! I really did not document the process on a day to day basis, and I won't be sharing them in chronological order. Whew!

Now that that's been settled, I can tell you what we did the day after we received the job offer. It's pretty simple, really.

We prayed.

More specifically, my husband told me "I need you to pray, and I need you to start right now!"

I decided that a day of prayer and fasting was called for in this circumstance. Fasting is not something I do on a regular basis, but there are times in life when it seems like the proper thing to do. I needed to clear my head and become mindful (or as LeAnne says, a little more "remindful"! I LOVE that one! Thanks, LeAnne!).

Make no mistake about it. Relocating home is a BIG decision. If you are single, it is a BIG decision. If you are a newlywed couple, it is a BIG decision. If you are a couple with children, it is a BIG decision. If you are looking for a place to retire, it is a BIG decision.

In our case, we are a family unit that consists of me, my husband, three sons, and a black lab named Maggie.

The dog will move wherever we go, as long as biscuits and belly rubs are involved. But the children? That can be tough. I had two sons in college in Indiana, one son in elementary school, and our job move would take us to Pittsburgh.

There are a lot of factors to consider:

* Are you moving far from family and friends (always tough), or close to family and friends?
* Are your children in school? If so, is it an awkward time to uproot them?
* How are the school systems in the new city?
* How is the cost of living in the future city compared to the current city?
* Are homes in the new city more affordable or more costly?
* How is the real estate market in your current city? Will you have a difficult time selling?
* Is your home prepared for the market?

Uprooting the family (again) is not easy. I needed wisdom.

I read my morning devotion, put on my tennis shoes, and bundled up for a frosty morning walk. Our house backed up to a nature preserve and walking trail. I like to talk to God while I walk, and we had many a conversation together out on this trail. It is the place where I prayed for my husband, prayed for my children in school, prayed for my family near and far. And sometimes, I would just listen to the quiet in the woods, listening for that still small voice.

As I walked and prayed and asked God for wisdom, He brought something to mind.

"Remember last week when we talked on the trail?" God said to me. "Remember when you prayed that I would bless your husband in the workplace and show him favor?"

"Oh yeah!" I said. "Now that you mention it, God, I do remember that."

"Well, this is me, answering that prayer," God said.

That night, when my husband came home from work, he asked me "Did you pray?"

Yep, I did.

"And?" he asked. "Did God tell you anything?"

As a matter of fact, He did.

I told my husband the story of my walk and talk with God. Somehow, it reassured both of us. We knew, right then, that if God wanted this move for our family, then He would make the move as seamless as possible. If He opened doors, we would go through them. If He closed doors, we would pay attention to that as well.

We were at peace. We moved forward with confidence, knowing that there would be hurdles, big and little, along the way. But in the end, we felt God opening a door, and we were ready to go.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

RELOCATING HOME TIP! Research! You can learn a lot about a city from real estate websites like Zillow and Check out housing prices, property taxes, school ratings, public transportation, nearby amenities and attractions all from the comfort of a laptop. Need to know if a community is walkable? These websites will often give a house a walkability rating. Keep a notepad handy and write it all down. When you finally begin touring the city, you will have a lot of information to help you make better assessments of possible neighborhoods.

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