an unusual move prt. 4 – finding a foothold

I admit that this blog post is well overdue, considering that we have been in Redding for almost eight weeks and all I’ve shared in this blog series is where we stayed the first night we were in Redding. Needless to say a lot has happened since, which partly serves as the explanation of why I haven’t shared much yet.

I have written a few drafts, but things seemed to change at such a rapid rate that by the time I was ready to share something, half of the content was no longer relevant or true. In a time where the world seems to be functioning in slow motion, Wes and I find ourselves in a time in life where a lot of things are chaning –  fast. Every other day we’ve turned a corner or found a dead end on some big decisions and it’s been difficult to know what to share and what to hold on to for now. In this chapter I will try to fill in the gaps of our whereabouts for the last few months. The story of the unusual move to Redding was left hanging on Monday morning, the 10th of Februray as we woke up to take on the first day in our new city. Here is the continuation:

We drove to the store to find some breakfast. Roamed all the aisles because we love grocery shopping and we had lots of time. At the bakery we found three bagels for a price, bought some cream cheese and peanut butter. It was consumed roadtrip style, out of the back of our car with a plastic knife and napkins that we didn’t know where came from. A rush ofexcitment for being in a new place swept over me. That’s what we do best, Wes and I. Show up new places.
Wesley was waiting for a call from a solar company that wanted to have him in for a little interview. It took them a while to contact him so we spend our morning walking around HobbyLobby discussing why big pink plastic flamingos were in style for home decoration. We didn’t find any answers.
Then we got a call and at 11.30 am we pulled up at PowerHouse Solar and went to meet the boss. He invited me to come in to his office as well, and I ended up sitting in on a full on job interview with the CEO and the sales manager. They expressed interest in working with Wes, but finished it off by saying they actually didn’t have a job opening at the moment. Maybe they would call him back later in the week, but no promises were made. We left without knowing what to expect.

Later that afternoon we rolled down the hill to a friend’s house. Jacob and Lexi, whom we had met in Costa Rica a few months before, had offered to house us for a week while their mom was out of town. What a blast it was! With their other friend Cody there was five of us (and two huskies) living in the house for a week.
Not only were they great fun to be around, they were also very generous and super helpful to answer all the questions from us newcomers. We went hiking, watched movies, played games and cooked together. In the daytime when they were at work Wes and I would go on different trips. One day we went to the library. Another day we went to visit a counselor at the community college. We sat at coffe shops. We went on a lot of walks. It’s a new thing we do for fun. We pick a neighborhood and we take a walk and look at all the houses and views. It’s really a great way to get to know a new city.

The days went by so fast. Sunday morning came, so we had to pack our bags and say goodbye, thank you and see you soon. It was an odd feeling, because we still hadn’t managed to find a place to stay for the following night. We had tried hard but with no success.
We went to church at 9 am. It was great. We went to tacobell for lunch. At 1 pm we went to a service again, but another church this time. That, too, was a good experience, but in all honesty my mind was starting to focus on other things. Silently I was praying in my mind. “God, could you please make someone walk over to us and ask us of we need a place to stay?”

The service ended and we walked around the foyer and the coffee area for a while, unsure what to do. Where would we go from here? We called a lady we had met with earlier on in the week. She had some extra rooms, but we weren’t able to pay what she asked for. We called her to see if she would let us stay for just a night or two, but unfortunately her rooms had been booked by someone else.

What should we do, babe? We can sleep in the car if need be. But I think it would be best not to”.
“Yeah, I agree. But we don’t really know anybody. Should we drive back to your parents?”

We were clueless, to say the least. Wesley went to the bathroom. I sat and stared and kept hoping that someone would get a word from God that they were to take us home and house us for the night. Or better yet, they would have a little place for us to rent.

Maybe we should text Shane again? He knows a lot of people. He might be able to get us in touch with someone,” Wes said when he came back.

“He might.. I just don’t want them to feel like they need to take us in. They’ve already helped us so much by housing us the first night we were here. But.. I guess we don’t really have a lot of options”.

So we sent Shane a text. The balance of urgency while not sounding too desperate was hard to find, but we typed out a message and sent it. Looked at each other, not sure which face to put on.
*diiiiiing* He texted back.
So you have not place tonight?”

“Not yet” we wrote and added a silly smiley. Tried to play it cool.

“lol. What if you guys came and stayed with us?”

I let Wes do the typing, because at this point I started crying. Shane was so kind and helpful and such an answer to prayer.
Wes gave me time to collect myself before we, humbled and happy showed up on the doorstep where we had been exactly a week before. We were welcomed in with open arms.
Making the bed in Shane’s office was a very theraputic expereince. They invited us to watch a movie with the family and then we went to bed, a little tired from the emotions of the day and deeply grateful for a soft blanket and a roof over our head.

The following week we started reaping the fruit of sending out job application. In a matter of four days Wesley got four different job offers. We went from only hoping for a job to having to pick between options. It was a few days with lots of reasoning, calculating and praying. Thursday Wes had a determining conversation with the owner of the solar company. He got hired over the phone on Thursday and Tuesday he started working for them.
The days in-between we spent figuring out a better living solution. Again we experienced how community works wonders. A friend’s friend with a big house agreed to rent her master bedroom to us for a month or two while we figure out the city and what we want for our long term living quarters.
In this friend’s friend’s house we got more privacy than we’ve had many of the other places we’ve lived together since we got married. We have our own entrance, our own bathroom, a couch, a bed, a desk. Personally I feel like I have a lot of space here. The two ladies living in the house with us are very easy to get along with, let alone live with.
It’s been a massive blessing for us. The home is only a few minutes away from Wesley’s work place. It’s located in a safe neighborhood and has a big yard so I have a chance to spend time outside while Wes is at work. It’s been a tremendous blessing to have a place that, though not quite our own, feels like home. God knew I needed that, especially know that the months of being together all day every day has come to a sudden end with a job.
He is so good. He cares about me! And you, in case you had forgotten. God really cares.

So far so good. Before the end of February we had found a job and a temporary place to live. Next I’d like to tell you about our plans to buy a house, our wonderful realtor and how hard it can be to motivate yourself when you’re home alone for 9 hours a day, which I am sure many of you guys are also dealing with, now that we are all sent into isolation due to the virus. It’s tragicomic how everybody involuntarily came into my boat of feeling trapped in the house without much to do. If you have any good ideas how to keep you head high, please reach out.

See you next time!

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