Remember those "Love is" cartoons by Cathy Guisewite? That's how I feel right now! By the way, Cathy Guisewite is a distant relative of mine. I've been told she descends from the same Guisewite family that settled (long ago) in Lancaster, PA. My Guisewites wound up in Mt. Carmel, Illinois. And I think (if I'm remembering correctly), there was a Lancaster, Illinois in between the two (named by my ancestors). I'm not 100% sure on any of this, but I do remember a little history my grandfather (Delmar Guisewite) shared with me years ago. This is probably more than most of you care to know about my ancestry. (But if anyone ever searches for Guisewites, my blog just might come up and who knows where that could lead!)

I don't really have time to be on the computer. That, however, does not totally stop me. I have to take breaks from working on this big move. This is my 7th day of packing. I have spent some days working from dawn until bedtime. Yesterday I only worked an hour when I got home from spending the day with the kids. But I have not let a single day go by without making progress. I intended to do more last night, but I was just too tired.

Moving is such a big job. Nobody enjoys it (I don't think). I certainly don't. But I always surprise myself at how well I do it. You have to be methodical and just keep plodding along. I spent a month packing a little each day the last time we moved. And I much prefer having the time to do it that way. But this time I don't. Fortunately, I have a safety net under me. The moving crew will come the day before they load my stuff and finish packing what I don't have time to do myself.

My emotions are (mildly) bouncing around all over the place. To my surprise, there is a part of me that is really excited about this adventure with John. I like the idea of moving someplace where neither one of us has ever lived and making new friends. I'm not a business person, but I enjoy my role as "the woman behind the man." It feels good to know I am a support and an encouragement to him in everything he does. I don't think he ever doubts that I am behind him 100%. Even when something is not easy for me.

The first time he took me to West Virginia to check out the area, I cried half the time we were there. I was behind him and agreeable to relocating. But every time I thought about leaving my family, my grandkids, my friends, my church ... I just couldn't stop the tears from welling up in my eyes (and sometimes running down my cheeks). Selfishly, I cannot say that I wanted to go anywhere. And if there could have been an equal opportunity that did not require us to move, I would have been ecstatic. But we both prayed a lot about this; specifically, that God would block it from happening unless this was His will for our lives. And several times when it took God to work out a detail, He did. So it helps me a lot that I believe in my heart this is "meant to be" for us.

We both believe there are reasons why God leads us in certain directions that have nothing to do with the reasons WE see. And I believe with all my heart in the promise of Romans 8:28.

Nevertheless, I have had difficult moments over the past several months. Especially early on. And in those moments, I just told John he'd have to understand that I had a lot of conflicting emotions to process and work through. I am not the quickest to embrace change, but I am (ultimately) very adaptable. But I don't handle anything by denying my feelings.

I'm thankful that I am now feeling a lot of happy anticipation and excitement. I still feel some sadness about being a day's drive away from my sweet grandsons. And when someone reacts to the news by saying, "You're LEAVING your grandchildren?????" I notice that I feel a little defensive inside. As if I'm doing something wrong. But when you love your spouse unselfishly and take your vows seriously, there is no question of who must come first. I have always given my son that same advice. And I have always seen the danger in living life through your children. They have their own life to live. And there is no guarantee that they won't have an opportunity materialize that requires a move. My healthy role as parent and grandparent at this stage in life is simply to enhance their lives as much as I can, but not to try to make them my life. That burdens them. And I am convinced that I can be just as much a loving grandma and mom / mother-in-law a day's drive away as I am an hour away. As busy as their lives are, I truthfully don't think I will be missed as much as I will miss them.

I was so glad yesterday that the subject of moving never came up with the boys. Danny told them last week that Grandma Shari and Poppy John were moving to another state and showed them the state on a map. Andrew immediately asked to see Florida. LOL. Joshua said he felt like he was going to cry. I never want to make my grandchild cry, but healthy emotion is good. And I'm thankful I have been enough of a positive presence in his life that he feels that emotion. However, if he had said that to me yesterday, I think I would have cried. A part of me feels some kind of weird, false guilt. That is the unhealthy part of me. Those abandonment issues are still tucked away. I recognize the co-dependent inside! I never want anyone I love to feel that I am abandoning them. But that is not the case. And my grandsons are never going to feel that from me.

I have always chuckled at people who don't like saying the word goodbye. I didn't get it. But suddenly I do. For me, it may also be a bit of an age thing. I am so aware of my mortality these days and the shortness of time. I don't think I'm morbid about it. But I think about how precious our time is A LOT. I find myself not wanting to say the word goodbye to anybody as I approach this move. Especially my grandchildren. I'm determined that I will see them no less than every two months. The only thing that could slightly interfere with my plans is winter. It snows a lot where I'm going.

I am not saying goodbye. I'm saying "See you on Facebook and on my frequent visits to Tennessee." Even my friends who have moved back to California, I do not feel I have said goodbye to! That is one of the greatest things about Facebook. We may live in different places and see each other physically only on occasion, but we are interacting with each other almost daily. As I have processed the changes this move is going to make for me, I have been so thankful for that online contact and the assurance of my friends continuing to be visible to me!

As moving day approaches, I am feeling some extremely conflicting emotions. I am very emotional about the leaving part. But I am also very excited. I am so thankful God has blessed John with health and a new business opportunity. I know John works as hard as he does for US, not selfishly for his own agenda. He takes care of me and loves me in a way I had never experienced prior to meeting him.

I never dreamed my life with John would take me to West Virginia. But whatever is a part of the package is okay with me. Because I never could have dreamed of having such a wonderful marriage and husband or such a great stepdad and "Poppy John" in the lives of my kids.

Wherever God takes us, every day we have together is a gift!

And now I must get back to work.