Well, shoot. This is a little awkward. I haven't published anything in almost a year and left you hanging. My bad...really. I had every intention of finishing the "Home" series and then, life happened. What happened was we got the green light to officially move into our new home, after eight plus months of renovations and living in a limbo-land rented space that made our transition to San Diego both easier and more difficult at the same time! But also, I faced some personal challenges in caring for my parents and supporting my kids during a hard transition phase in their lives and our life together as a family. So, you understand, I'm sure, and I appreciate your patience with me. And if you're new to Voice of ReJoyce, welcome! You haven't missed much! I'm just playing a little catch-up.
So, to recap, a little over a year ago, our family of four packed up and moved to San Diego. A place my husband and I have always called home, even though we had been displaced from the area for 16 years. We left the city as a newly married couple without children and returned with two kids entering high school and middle school, respectively. I got some flack from people I considered to be my friends about my seemingly poor decision to make this kind of transition at pivotal times in their lives. While I understand from an outsider's point of view why the decision seemed odd, poorly timed and even selfish, I hope that people who claim to have faith in Jesus understand that sometimes there is a call in your life that doesn't seem to make a whole of sense to people, but makes so much sense in the grand scheme of things, even if you don't see it for years to come...or at all on this side of eternity.
I can say that after a full year of living in the San Diego area, we have found a lovely community with people we love and trust, who have embraced us and have leaned in to listen to our stories and support us moving forward. We belong to a church plant that is fun, relaxed, and eager to be a safe place for people much like us, to reveal scars and wounds that are still healing. Our kids are loved and supported, at every performance they have and on any given Sunday they are loved on with hugs and laughs and the beautiful formation of inside jokes. Mike and I are serving in ways that have given us life again and affirmed us of talents and gifts we at one point or another, doubted we might have ever really possessed.
I began a health and fitness journey that has led to lots of gains (and good losses)! For years I struggled with managing some chronic conditions I have and was always ashamed to even discuss. I am now able to say that in coming up on my 44th birthday, I'm the healthiest I've been in over 13 years. I don't take that for granted and am deeply humbled to even utter those words. I have a great little community at a barre studio I belong to. For someone who always hated to exercise, I bounced around to so many different styles of exercise before finding the one that was both enjoyable and sustainable. I've improved my flexibility, balance and strength through this low-impact, high intensity in ways high impact work outs left me injured and feeling defeated.
I still travel often to the Los Angeles area to visit and care for my parents and will continue to do so. Overall, they have done pretty well during this pandemic and throughout all of their own difficult transitions. Change is hard for anyone, but for the elderly? It's a herculean feat.
I'm safe and comfy in my new city. Whenever I take a drive over towards the ocean, not too far from my house, it still takes my breath away to see the sparkly blue water. I never tire of the sight and I'm always reminded of God's vastness and might. I'm also comfy in my new home. My dogs have found their favorite new places to nap and hang out around the house and backyard. We enjoy relaxing in our new space and love having people over. We have ample space for kids, adults and tons of food. What warms my heart is that even little kids like to be here. They play pickle ball and checkers in our backyard. They find my speech therapy toys like pretend food and Potatohead sets and go to town. We never had little kids in mind when we designed this space, yet it's all good. They're happy when they're here and even a little sad to leave. For me, that's a huge unexpected win and blessing.
It took me 21 years to find a place I called home, and then another 20 years or so to come back to it. You could say "better late than never," or just say it was waiting all along, I just needed to experience a few other things in life to really appreciate it. No matter where I end up, my home has been a place in my heart where I've learned, grown and healed and now I can say with comfort and confidence that the peace I find myself in now is where I truly lay my head.