between a rock and a better place


Today is our anniversary. We’ve been married 11 years. I’ll be honest, we aren’t spending the day together like we have in a lot of past anniversaries. We didn’t pick out cards or gifts. And we didn’t make any big plans to go out after work.

Texts of encouragement are enough for today.

Still, today feels momentous. Seems an appropriate time to get real about the changes going on around here. A lot has happened in the past four weeks. At the top of that list is the sudden news that the Army has decided to move us along to another location. Here’s the part where we should be excited and joyful… because promotions are generally considered a good thing. And moving on a regular basis is just a simple fact of military life. Except that during the past 10 years promotions have meant we could remain with the same unit. In fact, we have been with this unit longer than anyone else currently there. 8 years we have lived in the same house. That’s somewhat of a miracle for a military family. Don’t think I didn’t know how blessed we were.


The new location is only 2 1/2 hours from where we live right now. Too long for a daily commute, too short for us to feel like we absolutely have to move. The irony of the situation is all the options we have… and still feeling completely stuck. In the week after Caleb brought home the news I went through every stage of the grieving process. I dove into a frenzy of activity trying to get the house ready to put on the market. I painted, I cleaned, I removed every personal photo from our walls and I upset the balance of our kids’ routines. I let normal every day things go by the wayside in favor of cleaning out closets and caulking around the baseboards. For several weeks my life was dominated by paintbrushes and cleaning supplies.


Just when I had reached the point of accepting our forced move, we hit a major curve when it became pretty evident that selling the house would not be a good option for us. The housing market has not recovered enough in our area to indicate we would be anything other than paying someone to buy our house from us.

The home that I had so desperately been clinging to suddenly felt like a ten pound weight around my neck. It’s funny how your perspective changes when the doors start closing. I realized I’d put up a lot of conditions in my head and while I felt like I was doing a good job of accepting and trusting, I really wasn’t. Okay, I’ll move away from here as long as the kids can still go to a good school. I’ll live in a less than perfect house as long as the neighborhood is safe. I’ll give up my country lifestyle and my chickens as long as I’m close to Caleb.


In all of my bargaining I never reached the point of Okay, I’ll stay here and only see my husband on the weekend and just be grateful that he has a job. You could say I’m learning a lot… maybe learning it the hard way, but at least I recognize that I’m learning it.

For now it looks like we will keep our little house in the woods. We’ll enjoy our chickens and our fire pit a little longer. We’ll finish some of the house projects we’ve started. And we’ll be glad for a home that is quite possibly cleaner than the day we bought it. I don’t know where we’ll be six months from now. I don’t know if we’ll have another house. I don’t know if we’ll still be tied to this one. All I know is that I will choose to let my faith take control of my uncertainty. 


In the midst of grace is the best place I can hope for so I’m trying to start there.


Marian Frizzell said…
Oh, Jackie. This is hard. I'm praying for you guys, for wisdom and grace and open doors where they are needed and for blessing on your marriage and family no matter what happens and for little joys along the way to strengthen and encourage you.
Anonymous said…
Good to get a new blog. Someway it will work and you will look back in 10 years and be amazed at all the good changes. I will be glad to have you closer. Party!
NANNY said…
Praying for adjustments-
Love & prayers
Anonymous said…
Congrats on your anniversary, Caleb and Jackie! (Is your couple name "Cackie"?) Praise God for your strong marriage and loving family!

So my mom is a sleep-deprived real estate agent who could offer helpful tips for selling your house quickly and honestly. If you're interested. :P

Anonymous said…
Oops, the anonymous comment above about real estate Mom is from me, Joanna. Sorry I forgot to sign it!
Andrea said…
:) Love your updates no matter where you're at :)