"Have you looked at a map?"
"Did you know it gets cold up there?"
"Northern Minnesota...are you crazy?"
Two years ago we announced that we would be moving a bit north. For the most part people just didn't quite know what to think of that one. Yes, we knew where we were moving, we knew that it could get cold and no we weren't crazy(or were we??).
I am pleased to announce that we have indeed survived not just one but two winters up here. Let's just say the cold sure makes you appreciate warmer weather and by warmer weather I mean anything above zero!
Two years ago, Brian and I pulled into the quaint little town of Roseau, MN. We had just said good-bye to one church family and were ready to say hello to a new one. We dove right into life up here, a 100 year celebration at our church, followed by a week of the Roseau County Fair; all the while trying to unpack and begin to feel at home.
We arrived in Roseau in ragged shape. We had not only uprooted our lives, we also had just entered a new phase of life...the empty nest. I was also struggling with some chronic health problems. Despite these things we did arrive here with eager anticipation. God was in this move from the beginning and because of that we knew we were exactly where we were supposed to be.
Our family has undergone some major changes in the past two years. We went from having one daughter married to all three of our children married. We have also added a granddaughter to the mix! There have been three college graduations to celebrate; two last May and one this May. I had surgery last year which marked the beginning of a positive health swing for me. I am no longer on any medicines! My digestive issues have eased up considerably; so much so that I can now eat food that is actually spicy. Two years ago, walking any distance wore me out; now Brian and I can bike more than 30 miles and enjoy it! I feel better than I have in years.I knew that I hadn't felt well in a long time, but now that I feel good I am amazed at how bad I truly did feel.
There have been some bumps along the way. That first year of the empty nest was hard. Hard because I went from being a homeschool mom to having nobody at home and being new in a community. There were days I would cry and felt so lonely. I knew that year would be hard, I knew I had to walk through the grieving of change. I was trying to figure out what God wanted next for me and for a season I needed that down time for Him to work in me. We also experienced another major loss. We went from the elation of expectancy of a second grandchild to the news that she would be miscarried. Faith's time was short, and we learned how much your arms can ache for someone you've never met. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of her.
In the ups and downs and even in the normal days; God is faithful. He has carried us. We truly feel we are right where He wants us to be. We love our church family; in fact we don't really consider them church family, but just plain family. We rejoice with them as they rejoice; we grieve with them when the grieve and they do the same with us. God is truly good and we are surely blessed!!! We pray for many more years up here in the north. It is just what we needed!!!
My favorite verses are Jeremiah 29:1-13. I feel it is fitting for this particular time in my life. God's plans are amazing and I am so glad that Brian and I listened to Him when He whispered Roseau in our ears. Had we not followed His plans for us we surely would have missed out on so much!
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.