Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Winds of Providence

Remember this post in which we announced we were moving far, far away to Moscow (Pullman)?  What we originally thought to be just a little "let's try it an see" job opportunity for Josh, turned out to be a HUGE blessing for our family, and a place (and people) we quickly grew to love and call HOME.  

I remember when we flew up here to look for a place to live.  Diddles was just a few weeks old!  It was September, and the golden fields had been harvested and plowed, and as we drove the miles and miles of empty hills, they resembled a BAD haircut. I remember thinking how isolating it felt.  

I didn't know how a town could possibly exist in what felt like the middle-of-nowhere!  It was windy -  It just blew and blew.  There wasn't anything pretty to look at, and I burst into tears as we drove around Pullman and Moscow, realizing that NO ONE would make this long drive to come to visit us.  I couldn't imagine bringing my babies here to this lonely place so far away from family.

We made it through the dark, wet winter and then Spring came on the Palouse.  Oh, friends.  SPRING! A new beginning.  A new start.  New friends.  New callings.  New opportunities.  New challenges.  New growth.  That dull, dark, lonely winter turned into the most gorgeous spring and summer we've ever experienced - both literally in our surroundings and figuratively for our family!

May 2010

View from Kamiak Butte in the Spring

Six years.  That's more than half our marriage!  Diddles was only a month old when we moved here!  Boo and Monkey were both baptized here.  They've only known these friends and this school and this ward family.  In those six years we've lived in three different houses, each of which held many wonderful memories.  The professional opportunities for Josh.  The special services that Diddles required to help her communicate and learn were unmatched.  The teachers and friends who have influence our older kids.  The opportunities I've had for friendships and church service are things that only Heavenly Father knew were here --

 tucked away like a little treasure 
in the golden fields.  

But just like the fields, there are times and seasons.  After Christmas, Josh got the feeling that his opportunities to grow professionally were coming to an end here. The not-so-great thing about a small town is that there aren't a great number of employment options. I became increasingly concerned about my parents' health and well-being living far away from family, should there be an emergency and felt they required more care.  

After making it a matter of fasting and prayer, we decided that our decision was to move back to Utah.  Unlike the usual way I've prayed for an answer, "I don't know what to do.  Help me KNOW what to do," this was more of a "This is what we've decided to do.  Please bless our choice and make it what we need."  

We realized that if we were going to move back to Utah, after being so spoiled with our idyllic life here, we could never return to living in a big city.  Cache Valley seemed as close to the "real thing" as we could find.  This would put us close to my parents, and the thoughts of being able to help them and be close if they should need us still fill my heart with so much joy!  However, much like Pullman, there weren't very many job opportunities popping up.  Josh took matters into his own hands, and crafted a well-written e-mail to the President at Utah State, introducing himself, and including a "one-sheet" which summarized his achievements in the 10 years as president.  Although he didn't get a direct response, he was contacted the same day by the Marketing Director and asked to come "discuss opportunities"!  It was a miracle.

We took a family trip down to Utah in February, and Josh had several promising interviews with several different companies, including Utah State.  I quietly went on a little house-hunting trip and explored the various neighborhoods we could potentially afford, in which we could see ourselves grow.  Our lease in our current home is up at the end of May, and we told him we would not be renewing the lease, so we needed to be thinking ahead about relocating, even though we didn't have a job yet!  The only home prospect was a brand new home right up the street from our parents!  It had sat on the market due to it's steep driveway and smaller upstairs floor-plan.  It had a large but unfinished basement and would need considerable work to feel like we would have the space we needed.  I wasn't in love with the place, but of the options, it was honestly the best one.  We came back from the trip feeling hopeful, but still a little unsure how all of these things would possibly come together.  

Several weeks later a house popped up on the market as a "by owner", and Josh sent me the link.  I had quit looking at this point, and we had an accepted offer (at our max budget) on the one we had viewed near my parents.  The house looked really nice:  a large yard with a garden patch, chicken coop, six bedrooms, three bathrooms, but still modestly built and priced.  My Mom called that day, telling us about the SAME house that had just listed and said that they called the owners and had just taken a tour of the place!  "It's a really special house, " is what my Mom said.  Mom, never one to interfere in our decisions or plans, was very careful to contain her excitement for this house, while still SHARING her excitement about the house.  haha.  

We made an offer, which they accepted.  Sight-unseen except for the few pictures online and my parent's detailed recounting of the tour they took. The owner built the home himself.  They are such nice people!  He and his wife and their five children live there, but got the opportunity to buy some land from a family member, and had decided to move to the town just south of Providence.  He said they built it as they would have liked it - never having the plan to move from it.  He took us on a "virtual tour" via Facetime, and we were able to ask a million questions and see the house from top to bottom!  I am so excited about the place!

Last month Josh took another quick trip down there to do a freelance marketing plan for a building company in Logan, and did several second interviews, and closed on the house!  (Don't worry, friends!  It all works out in the end.)  Two formal job offers came the week after that, and although it's a pay decrease for Josh, we feel so incredibly blessed that he will have a job at Utah State, and benefits and that it will be ENOUGH to meet our needs, and to get us there. We're looking forward to being closer to family, the Temple, the mountains, and we can finally have PETS - What a gift!  :)

I can't help but think that just like the name of our town, "PROVIDENCE", that Heavenly Father has had us in His protective, providing care throughout this unconventional process.  He is mindful of us and our needs, as well as of others and their needs and how WE might be able to help.  

We're sad to go.  I've cried many tears, and it's more bitter than sweet for me.  I never thought we would leave here, and I'll miss it so much.  I'll miss this place and the people who truly feel like family.  But if the Palouse has taught me anything, it's that the same wind that blew us here six years ago, can also blow blow us back someday.  

You also NEVER know where you'll find a hidden treasure!

July 2014


Trish and Matt said...

Congrats, Amy! Isn't it amazing how things work out? We were in mason for six years and it was SO hard to say goodbye ... But we've come to really love it here, too. We've loved every place we've lived and I'm sure you have lots of fun times ahead. Best of luck with all the headaches of moving.

kthom said...

I'm so happy for you...and very envious, in a..."I'd move back to the Cache valley in a heartbeat" kind of way. I'm thrilled that you'll be so close to your sweet parents. Heavenly Father is so kind and mindful of our situations. I'm excited to see your new house!!! Congrats dear friend...this is good stuff!! xo-Kari

Dianna said...

It is good to know all the details of your decision to move back to Utah. Wow, what a leap of faith you guys took! We are happy you will be closer, but you make Pullman sound like a paradise. Providence sounds like a place that needs your little family. Good luck with everything!