Monday, May 2, 2011

Home Sweet California

I moved to Southern California from a small mountain town in Montana. I loved it. I loved the mountains that surrounded us. I loved spring when the grass was turning a vibrant green and the mountains were still capped with white. I loved that the checker at the grocery store knew when our dad was out of town when she saw half gallons of ice cream in our cart. I loved the freedom to go anywhere at anytime and feel completely safe. I loved the thunderstorms that rolled in on Summer afternoons and the way they cleared up in time to watch the sunsets. I loved the little stream that flowed through our yard and driving to our property on the mountain over looking the town.

It was home. I lived there for 17 years until I moved to Southern California for college.

The day I moved for college I actually threw up, cause I was so upset about leaving. I begged my dad to stay, but he just kept packing the car. Once I got there all I could think about was how much I hated California and wanted to go home. California was a big slab of cement in my opinion. Everything was artificial. People weren't entertained unless they were at a mall or the movies. And I'd never eaten out so much in my life...don't people cook in Cali? And the freeways, I'm not sure where to start. They scared me so bad I don't think I drove for two years. I never felt so lonely and yet, people were everywhere. There was no escaping them.

I complained about California so much I'm sure there were times my friends wanted to ship me back to Montana.

It was a long hard lesson, but God taught me to be content where he had me. I started to make some great friends and got involved in my church. My church was the first place that made me feel at home in this strange place. I still always thought I would leave the second I graduated, but I was starting to realize there would be things I would miss about California. I had grown accustom to my rainbows and liked that my snow jacket hadn't seen the light of day in a while.

Well, long story short, I've now lived here eight and half years. I can't believe it. I met and fell in love with Caleb here. This is where we moved into our first home together. We brought both children home from the hospital here. We've made our best friends here. This is where Caleb and I became a family and is the only place our children know as home.

We have dreams of moving someday. We just don't feel like this is where God has us long term. But the other day I realized that driving down the 5 feels as natural to me as anything else. I'm not sure what I'll do if I move somewhere without a Trader Joe's or 
In-n- Out (the only burger I'll eat) and I know I'll have some serious adjusting to do when I have to where more that just my rainbows outside.

California is still the same. Traffic still adds hours to your drive. Smog still covers sky line and I still haven't escaped the crowds, but my heart has changed. God taught me so much about being content in all situations and finding beauty in all things. I know someday I'll miss being so close to the ocean. I know I'll miss 80 degrees in March. I know I'll miss flowers that bloom year round. I know I'll miss incredible friends and wonderful church. So, I'm soaking it all up. Enjoying every day I'm here, whether it be a month or another  eight and half years. 

Philipians 4:11
"for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content."


meme-and-he said...

glad you are finding peace in where God has called you right now...
I am loving your blog! Your little family is adorable!

katygirl said...

love you. love your rainbows.

kenzie said...

you wrote this after hanging out with us huh! ... haha ... i'm going to miss it all too!! :(

life chasers said...

I had no idea you were from Montana?! I could so relate to this, being from a TINY town in North Dakota. There just isn't anything quite like it, is there?
But I also completely relate to the other side, now living near Seattle. We are moving to ND next year and it is SO bittersweet. I am in LOVE with our church and the relationships here. (and yes, no Trader Joe's in ND!)
My aunt told me the other day that the Lord isn't going to ask me to make a home of one place or the other, but He's enlarged my heart to have two homes. I like that :)
ps (where at in MT? if it weren't for my family in ND, MT would be our dream state)

Mamasita said...

Love this post sweetie!!!
Isn't our God so good at helping us realize the need to adapt, yet he gently reminds us it's ok to long for home... I am longing for home lately, but also realize what a blessed life I lead here!
Thank you for your words...

the fox family channel said...

i love this post. and by the way...your story of how you and caleb met is precious. i have a caleb too :) such a great name. have a wonderful day new blog friend!

Jami said...

I have the same flip flops! Cali is lucky to have you. You aren't allowed to move until we actually meet in real life! ;)

Erin said...

I've lived in cali my whole life & love it. I'm guessing you live in Southern? Northern is better. ; )
Montana is an amazing place, though. Your childhood there sounds sweet!

rachel porter said...

wow. where you grew up is beautiful!!

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. Love your blog!

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