It’s better. There’s no doubt about it: life here in Bartonville is better. It’s slower, more peaceful and even the dog is happier. The way we live is better and where we live is better. It’s amazing how a change in jobs and a move can make such a huge difference.
It’s quiet. We don’t hear people coming and going from our building any more. There’s no longer a small child living above us running around and crying. Instead we can hear the birds chirping in the morning. There is the occasional car that drives by our house. Other than that, it’s silent.
And we have space. Milo and Diesel have room to play without fear of being trampled. Milo has long stretches of uninterrupted floor that he can roll and squirm across. Don’t even get me started on our yard. Diesel is a dog in heaven running around in the backyard. Even Milo loves exploring the outdoors. I’m starting a very modest garden. It’s just a couple tomato plants, a bell pepper, basil, and mint but it’s a start.
Life as a family is better. We have dinner at the table every night. (Confession: until Milo was 6 months old, we had never eaten at our table.) Most nights of the week, we go for a family walk after dinner.
I love my work at home. Milo can be challenging at times, but it’s amazing getting to watch him learn and develop. More and more personality is showing up and I truly delight in spending so much time with this little boy. I’m also getting to explore the handy/crafty side of myself. Already this week I made a valance for one of my kitchen windows (cost me $3!!!!) and painted a pair of lamps to go in the master bedroom. I love having the time to do these projects.
Nick is happier. He comes home every day proclaiming how much he loves his job. He’s really jumped right in to these churches and is getting very positive responses. He’s loving and caring for these communities in ways they have felt for many years. He is definitely in his element.
Yes, life is so much better for us here. But just like any place this side of heaven, it has its challenges. And I think it’s fair to say, in our household, I’m the one who’s struggling.
I still don’t know how I’ll make friends here. It would be easier to meet people if I was working; that’s a sacrifice I knew I was making. Fortunately, Nick has some good friends here and they’ve befriended us.
I’m also struggling to find my place in the church. I was very active at Windsor Road; not just because I was staff, but I was also involved with the high school ministry. I really love my high school girls and feel called to work with that age demographic. We don’t have any students at either church. Milo is the only regularly attending child, so I don’t know how to get involved. Nick is working to develop a pastoral ministry in the church who will visit our shut ins. That’s not my giftedness; I’m not exactly a people person. So for now I’m the pastor’s wife. I’m just another person in the pews. That’s really hard for me.
And then there’s the ongoing struggle for balance. How do I not feel like all I do is work? And how do I work in order that Nick might have times of rest?
It will just take more time. My father-in-law was texting Nick and I the other day and he made the comment “find the blessings every day.” So that’s my goal: to quit worrying about everything I don’t have figured out and to enjoy the joys each day offers.