Have you ever been in what feels like a movie? You can’t make the craziness up, but it never seems to end? Movies are great because of all the speed bumps the main character has to plow through to make it from the climax to the resolution. That’s exactly how our move from Minnesota to Colorado felt this past week!
Throughout the trip, I thought it would be fun to record my thoughts and our experiences, so periodically I’d share what I was thinking or where we were on the journey, and I want to share that journal with you!
On the podcast this week I share more about transitions and being called to move from the perspective of when we first started seriously thinking about leaving Minnesota and all the challenges along the way before we sold our house. You’re going to find some great mindset within!
Thursday, May 14, 2020
5:30 a.m. We say goodbye to our Minnesota home
We are driving right now on our way to our new adventure. We are moving from Minnesota to Colorado. Minnesota has been our roots our whole lives outside of a slight intermission in Texas where I went to college. This move has been a 14-year dream. Ever since Josh and I married, we’ve wanted to live in the mountains, but we’ve never actually gone for it. Every time we visit, we ask ourselves why we don’t live there.
The timing ended up being perfect, or it felt like it was.
God was opening doors for us to do this, so we jumped at the chance and decided it’s time to go! It was a hard decision, but it was a fast decision. It’s been less than three months since we talked about the idea of going to actually physically leaving today.
We really felt led. We felt like it was now or never, and timing seemed perfect. However, two weeks later, the Covid-19 pandemic presented itself. We went into this transition of, do we go or do we stay? Do we wait for everything to pass, or do we just continue to move and walk where we’re feeling led?
So … We decided to just keep walking.
We knew the door would close if it was supposed to, and we just kept praying, “Lord, close the doors if they’re supposed to be closed, otherwise we’ll continue to just walk and trust in you.” We had to have some faith.
We had a few obstacles we had to overcome, and along the way, God was faithful. All I’m thinking about right now as we’re driving is that we’re in transition, embarking on a new season, and there’s a time for everything. Right now is our season of change, and it’s a season of transition. It’s a season of slowing down.
Last year when I broke my ankle, God pretty much told me that I needed to start slowing down and let go of the things I can let go of and trust Him.
Let go and let God.
So I listened and started letting go of the different roles I had. Like an onion, it’s not easy, it stings, it makes you tear up, but peeling away those icky layers to find the good — not that those roles were icky because they’ve all been a part of my growth journey — but God said simplify. Each role served a specific purpose in refining me as a person.
Once I simplified, I realized that nothing was holding me back or holding me there in Minnesota. All of a sudden this door opened, and I realized I didn’t have a role or a job that said I had to stay. Last year at this time, if you asked me why I was simplifying and shredding these extra roles, I would have told you I had no clue. All I knew is that I was supposed to. I had no thoughts of moving, but in timing, in God’s perfect timing, it happened.
Transition is hard.
My family all lives within 5-10 miles of us, and Josh’s family does too. We’ve been really close, and I feel like my family has become closer and closer the older we get. One of the hardest decisions we had to make was leaving our nephews and nieces, and my parents, and Josh’s dad, and our siblings. The boys would have to say goodbye to their grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.
Leaving family is extremely hard, but we knew our move was right, and I’ve learned something about transition. When you’re called to change something, when you’re called to move, when you’re called to eliminate roles, when you’re called to simplify, or whatever it may be, it feels right. It doesn’t mean it’s easy because nothing good is ever easy. You can’t have victory without a struggle. You can’t win without a fight.
Transition doesn’t mean easy, but, if those transitions are right, it does mean you will have a peace in your heart, and you will know deep down that it is where you are supposed to be.
If those two things line up, even though on the outside it looks hard or impossible or family and friends are telling you no, if you have peace, and you know it’s right, then you need to move on that decision.
You have to do what you’re being called to do because it is right, and if you don’t, you’ll live with regret, or you’ll look back and question, “Why was I feeling that way,” or “What would have happened if …” None of us want to live with the “what ifs,” and that is exactly where I was at. If we didn’t do this, and we didn’t move when we felt called to and felt that it was right, I was going to look back and ask, “What if we did that then?” Because who knows if we would have ever moved otherwise in the coming years?
If you’re feeling a stirring in your heart (not that you have to move states) about something that you are called to do, or you’re being called to move out of a role or to simplify something, listen to that still, small voice.
Listen to it and walk in it, and walk in it until the doors close. The doors are open, and if they remain open, it doesn’t mean it is easy, it means that they are open, and you need to continue walking in faith.
1 p.m. Smooth first half of the trip, no hiccups, making good time
We’re about halfway to Colorado! We’re in Nebraska, and it seems like you’re really in Nebraska the whole time. It’s a long, boring state to drive through! I’m getting anxious to get there and see the mountains and where our new home is going to be. I can’t wait to create a new adventure and a new chapter in our lives and to see what God has in store. It’s nerve-wracking because it’s the unknown, and no one ever likes to be in the unknown. No one ever likes to step out of her comfort zone to try new things. New things are good, but they’re also hard.
I’m excited for the unknown, but it is a little nerve-wracking.
Are we going to meet some new friends? Are we going to fit in? Are we going to be able to do what we want to do? Are we going to get to go climbing and hiking, and is gymnastics going to open up anytime soon? All the questions running through my head. Where is our permanent home going to be since we’re headed to an in-between home until we figure things out? How long will we be in waiting? Where do we want to be for sure?
There are lots and lots of thoughts swirling in my head, but the one thing I do know is that if we’re not willing to step out of our comfort zone, if we’re not willing to step into the unknown, then some of our greatest blessings will never happen.
1:30 p.m. The van breaks down about 50 miles west of Lincoln.
When life throws you curveballs, there’s never a dull moment.
In the beginning of this trip I was talking about seasons and transitions and how things are never as easy as they seem. In the transitions, just because it’s right, doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. And then … this happened.
Our van broke down.
After our last gas station stop, as we drove back to the highway, there was a bump that I didn’t see. I wasn’t even going fast, but it sounded like I hit it just right, and the noise it made frightened me. I kept on going, not realizing anything was wrong, but anytime I put my foot on the gas, a noise would ensue. I called Josh at that point and let him know I think we need to have the van looked at. I hung up not really thinking much about it.
Then as I tried to give it gas, I realized I couldn’t get my van to go faster than 60 mph, then 55 mph, and slowing. I was petering out at 30 mph and slowing, and we were on a one-lane road because there was construction in the right lane next to us. I had no idea if I could get off the highway before my van would completely die. I tried calling Josh again, but my phone had no service (thank you Nebraska)!
Josh saw that I had slowed way down, so thankfully he took the next exit and waited. I was unsure I’d make it that far, but I was able to veer off into the exit lane and inch my way up the ramp. As I tried to turn right, my wheel froze up, and I had to use all my might to get it to turn. I ended up getting stalled, thankfully not on the side of the highway, but as soon as I turned off into the gas station, the van just died. Just like that.
Then we were in waiting …
Triple A took forever to get ahold of, and then, because we were in the middle of who knows where, it was hard for them to locate us. To make matters worse, because of Covid-19, they weren’t allowing other passengers in the tow trucks, and at that point, we didn’t know what we would do. We wouldn’t all fit in the moving truck.
Thankfully the two truck driver who came to our rescue was willing to bring us in the truck and was totally fine with it. Apparently, each tow company has its own set of rules for how they deal with Covid-19.
You can’t have a victory without a struggle, and you can’t win without a fight. So here we are, finding victory in the struggle and finding joy in the journey. I’m thankful I was off the highway and no one was hurt, so we’ll find out how long this intermission to our trip goes.
4:30 p.m. Waited for a tow to bring us back to Lincoln to an auto repair shop
We were towed 50 miles back to Lincoln to figure out what’s wrong with our car because that was the only auto shop nearby that could take our van in right away.
6 p.m. Not looking good for the van, but won’t know for sure until morning
Unfortunately, I think tomorrow we may be saying goodbye to my one and only minivan. An SUV has been calling my name since we traded in my beloved suburban … but we may be a one-car family for a while.
I’m grateful that no one was hurt, and I’m grateful I could inch my way up the exit ramp into a gas station. I’m thankful for a really nice tow truck driver, and I’m thankful for an honest shop owner who loaned us a car for the night and didn’t do any work without letting us know what we’d be getting into financially.
6:20 p.m. We witnessed a bike/car collision on the way to our hotel
Something else curious happened yesterday. As we were turning left toward the hotel, I witnessed a bike/car collision — a bicycle! I have never seen that before! It was an interesting experience, and I’m pretty sure it was the biker’s fault. He didn’t have the right-of-way, and what I think was happening, is that this car that hit him was getting ready to turn right and inching forward to see if it were clear for him to do so. However, there was a bush blocking his sight lines, which created a blind spot to this biker who was just flying, and it looked like he definitely wasn’t going to stop.
All I kept thinking was, “Please don’t turn left, Josh. Please don’t turn left.” My husband was right in front of me in the moving truck with a flashing yellow light, so he could have turned. If he would have turned left, he too would have hit the biker. It was an interesting experience in itself.
The driver hit the biker really lightly, which is why I think he was just inching forward and not actually turning right, but the biker was going so fast that the impact still hurt the car, and the biker went flying and fell onto the ground. I was so fearful for him in a way, my heart pounded out of my chest as I watched it happen in real time.
Thankfully, he was wearing a helmet, and he got up and walked around, I’m guessing he was more in shock than anything. He’ll probably have a lot of bumps and bruises, but man, that’s scary! That happened right after we dropped our car off at the auto shop, so it was a very interesting travel day. I will be thankful for sleep tonight!
6:30 p.m. We checked into the hotel for the night
Our goal was to be in Colorado around 7 p.m. tonight. With all the issues, we are stuck in Nebraska for the night, but we will be in Colorado at some point tomorrow!!! Here’s to a better Day #2! 🔥
Friday, May 15, 2020
7:45 a.m. We find out it will be about $3,000 in repairs because the whole motor and cooling system was shot along with the water pump needing to be replaced — not worth it
We spent the night in Lincoln, Nebr., at the Hampton Inn. We were so thankful they could accommodate us because we were waiting to see what the situation would be with the van. It looks like it will be way too expensive to fix, $3,000 at least to repair, and I don’t think our van is even worth that much at this point.
I knew it would be a matter of time that it would become a junker, I was just hoping to have another year with it. It had almost 250,000 miles on it, and it served its purpose for a few years. I’ve been rooting for another SUV anyway, so I guess that will happen before I had planned.
However, since Josh is working from home, and we only have one garage parking spot, we’ll probably hold off on getting a second vehicle until we really feel it’s necessary. No need to pay for something we don’t really need yet. Anyway, another thing to be thankful for!
8 a.m. Rented another van for $130
9 a.m. Loaded the new van with all the stuff from old van — Tetris skills
10:15 a.m. Junked the van at the auto shop and left with a $150 check in hand
We are working to enjoy the journey. We know this is all a process and will be a part of the memories we are creating for years to come. We will never forget our move from Minnesota to Colorado!
We got our rental van loaded, and we went back to the hotel to grab the moving truck. It took us a while to get the new van packed with all the stuff from the old one, but we did it, tetris-like, and we are ready to go for Day #2.
We have about seven hours left to go if all goes well, and we should be in Colorado. Little hiccups happen, but we can get through them. We just keep pushing and keep going, and we will make it through.
2:30 p.m. Our trip is going well, smooth again it seems
We just entered into Colorado a few miles back. Only a couple hours to go, and we will be in our temporary home. We cannot wait! It’s been a long drive, and an eventful drive that we will remember forever, but we are ready to relax. Relaxing actually means we need to unpack all these cars and get the rentals back to their rightful places. So not so much relaxing, but we will be happy to be home and done with this part of the adventure.
4:54 p.m. About 40 minutes away from our new home and a tire blows out on the moving truck!
We are about 40 minutes away from our new home, and a tire blew on the moving truck, and pieces flew back at me! Thankfully they didn’t hit us. We are in the rental van, and now we don’t even know what to do. Budget closes in 5 minutes, and he’s talking to them right now to figure out what our options are. More speed bumps! I can’t even tell you how many speed bumps are happening on this trip. Lots and lots of them. It’s been an adventure. We are on a busy road, but, thankfully, no one is hurt once again.
For the past couple of hours, I would see the moving truck sway back and forth. It was scary to me, and we thought it was catching the wind just right, but maybe it was a tell-tale sign of the blowout. Each stop Josh would check the tires, though, and they always seemed just fine.
5:30 p.m. Micah, Gavs, and I continue ahead to the house and leave Josh and Ethan waiting for roadside assistance.
6:15 p.m. We made it!! Well, partially.
Well, three of us are here… missing Ethan and Josh. About 40 min out of our destination a tire blew on the moving truck!!!! It was so scary!!! But, again, God’s protection is real and oh so good. Everyone is safe. Just another part of the adventure. I’ve been vlogging the whole thing, so it will be a comical video when it releases. I can’t make this stuff up!! Praying for their safe arrival hopefully in about 20 min!!!
To top it off, it started storming and hailing while Josh and Ethan waited for the roadside assistance! It was a 3-hour wait!
9:15 p.m. Josh and Ethan finally arrive!
Parking on the street with the moving truck and car tow behind it was a nightmare to say the least. It took another 30-40 minutes to figure out where and how to park that beast.
10:30 p.m. Everyone finally in bed!
Saturday, May 16, 2020
8 a.m. Drop rental van at shop (yay)
8:30 a.m. Drop car tow at other shop (yay)
Unloading day — all day — all hands on deck. We met some neighbors, and they were very friendly! Seems like a nice neighborhood we will be in.
5 p.m. Drop off moving truck (yay)
7 p.m. Chipotle for dinner and crash for the night!
We finally feel like we are here!!!
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Unpacking day! We hit the grocery store, took a walk to explore the neighborhood, and almost completely unpacked!
I get the comment about how I always seem to have a positive attitude about the circumstances that I go through, probably because I’m willing to post about them. Sometimes it’s good for people to see what we go through because they can relate and say, “I’ve been there,” or “I am going through that right now too!” It gives a sense of not being alone in our struggles and encouragement that if someone else can make it through her trials, we can too.
I posted on Facebook the car dying and what I was thankful for, and a lot of people commented that I’m always so positive, and my attitude is so good through all of this, and it’s true. But, I want you to know that it doesn’t mean that I’m positive all the time. I did get mad at first and was like, “Oh my gosh, what are we going to do?!” I started going negative, and that’s normal.
However, we all have a choice, and we have a choice to either be negative or a choice to be positive.
I fail a lot of the time, and I end up choosing negative. Much of the time I do wallow in my circumstances or thoughts. But, I’ve found, when I’m intentional, I realize I can decide (as can you) to choose positive and to choose to look at the gratitudes of what is happening rather than to look at the circumstance itself.
Things worked out, and we could have been frustrated by it — and we were a little bit — because it wasn’t in our plan. Our plan was to get to our new home in one day. But I’m thankful we weren’t in a rush and didn’t have anything we needed to be there, so we could take the necessary time. I was thankful that no one was hurt. We didn’t get in an accident in any of the three different situations.
When circumstances are bad, it’s finding those things that are good and looking for the positive so that we don’t wind up spiraling down into the negative because we get to choose the attitude we take on. It doesn’t mean we have no frustration. It means we have the tools in our belt to combat those frustrations as they come.
One thing I was thinking about while I was driving and we encountered these different obstacles, is that obstacles come to teach us something. Really, the giants in our way are there to teach us something, and we have to make the decision if we’re willing to learn — if we’re going to wallow in our misery or if we’re going to use it to propel us forward.
I think everything can be a learning moment. I had no idea I was going to learn all these lessons as we traveled from Minnesota to Colorado, but I’ve gained many different insights and lessons along the way, and I’m choosing to use them. Instead of taking the negative spin, I’m using them as learning moments. Our trip is going to be a great memory. We’ll be able to talk about it for years to come. I choose to use it as a learning moment.
Here’s to new beginnings and crazy adventures!
Step into the fire and come out stronger!
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