Often I have to look at my life from the outside to SEE the crazy...rather than just live it. I mean seriously people. You can't make this stuff up. The amount of change and upheaval and "surprise" that we have experienced is enough to throw just about anyone over the edge. And as one who has dangled fairly close to the precipice....trust me...I know.
Summer is often a whirlwind. Kids. Travel. Balance. Having a college age son home, along with three teenage girls has proved to be an interesting work experience for me. I love having my studio connected to my home, but the open door policy often means revolving door policy. Let's just throw that focus out the window shall we.
And about that beautiful, wonderful, amazing new studio I have. You know, the one connected to my home. I'll be leaving it. But more on that later. Let's talk happy thoughts first.
me and my girl NYC - photo credit Phil Hollows
Anneke and I had the amazing opportunity to go to New York City together. I attended the TypeA Parent bootcamp conference - and if you haven't been to a TypeA conference you
are missing out. The annual conference is in Atlanta in October - check it out here
. Anyway. I digress. I attended, she was the "official photographer" it was a blast.
But then. We had several days together in the Big Apple. As a Jersey girl who used to frequent the city in my youth, it was so great to get back and eat...I mean explore the city. And it is so different. Safer. Cleaner. And nothing beats the vibe of NYC. We ate, I mean explored our way through the city and created the best of memories!
On the very heels of that trip something in our world flipped, or flopped, or just twisted upside down. An idea. A thought really. Followed with some crazy affirmation. It is time for the Lehmann six to move. Again.
We knew moving was inevitable. Fort Wayne is not home. But ideally a warm climate was in the plans. The Carolina's? Tennessee? Florida? But no. That's not the way God works with us. He certainly likes to challenge and stretch and pull us in directions that are horribly uncomfortable. This time? North. Back to Michigan. Back to family and friends and place where we will always feel accepted and loved. And quite frankly, after the last 8 months of hell we experienced...a little love goes a long way. Instead of moving directly back into the thick of it in Grand Rapids, we are heading to Grand Haven. The beautiful lakeshore. Thirty five minutes from where our 2 oldest "small people" attend college. Thirty five minutes away from familiarity. Thirty five minutes away from family. Thirty five minutes that allow us to still be "us" with a side of comfort minutes away.
I can't even begin to explain all the pieces and parts that have fallen into place. It's crazy and cool and utterly amazing.
This is one of the hardest moments of parenting I have experienced. The two smalls still under our roof are entering their junior year of high school and 8th grade. Pivotal. Critical. Important years. And although they are willing. I know. I know how absolutely hard this is for them and my mother's heart is breaking. Even as I type this I can barely stop the tears from flowing because I have watched them sob. I see them trust us as parents yet hurt so deeply. And my spirit weeps.
Knowing what is the "right" thing. Doing the "right" thing. These are hard decisions. It would be easier to just stay...for them. But the silent death that is taking place in my soul in this place will begin to permeate our family. There is more to our story...so much more. But throwing stones just ends up with a lot of brokenness. We have seen enough of that pain and we do not need to add to the wreckage. What we need to do...for us...for our small people...is leave this place. And God has opened the doors for us to do just that. He just tends to work in our family in very sudden ways. We never get to just walk by faith. We leap by faith. Maybe that has to do with my love of fitness. Who knows.
So. Within the matter of a few weeks. The two oldest "smalls" head to Cornerstone University to continue and to begin one of the greatest adventures of their life. And we will pack up suitcases. Move into a rental home near the beach. And begin yet another adventure of life. Did I mention the beach?
A home to sell. A studio to move. Jobs to secure. Students to enroll. But a family that is strong and capable and will cling to each other and the God that we trust and we will LEAP back to Michigan.
Are you ready West Michigan? The Lehmann's are coming home.