Oregon Trail*

My chickens watching the creek in Ashland, Oregon
My chickens watching the creek in Ashland, Oregon

So remember this post last Fall?

We were waiting for some for guidance around Shea’s job. Was he supposed to stay in his current position  where he was successful and respected, but missed working with people on a daily basis? Or should he go back to being an agent, where he got to work with people, and give up a promising career in leadership?

On the flight home from Hawaii, he sat next to a couple who used to live a few blocks from us. In the course of their conversation, he shared the uncertainty we had about his job. This couple then went on and on and on about how great their agent had been when they lived in our town, how wonderful and helpful. They had never met him in person but loved him and recommended him to all their friends.

“What was his name?” Shea asked them, thinking he would know the guy.

“Shea” was the answer. At which point Shea introduced himself as their former agent and we thanked God for such a clear answer.

Within a few weeks, a local opportunity for Shea to be an agent again came open. But I have wanted to move out of California for a while now, for lots of reasons, not the least of which is the trend in weather. My soul needs rain and the transitions of the seasons, and climate change is robbing Southern California of both.

So we asked God to please send an opportunity for us to move to Oregon, to be nearer to Shea’s parents.

In January, an opportunity came open in Portland. So Shea and I flew up there to check it out. It was lovely, but 250 miles from his parents’ home in Southern Oregon.

On the flight home, I told Shea that I would really rather live in Southern Oregon. We sent up a prayer for something closer to his parents.

A few days later an opportunity opened up 60 miles from where his parents live.

In March, Shea was offered and accepted the position, to start January 1, 2015.

We are moving to Oregon.

For me this entire journey of the last eight months has been a lesson in opening myself completely to God’s plan. In a way that is very unlike me. We sent the prayers up, and waited patiently, and one by one they were answered.

Yes, moving to someplace green and beautiful has been a desire on my heart for years now, and moving specifically to Oregon for over a year. But the way in which it has all fallen into place leaves no doubt that this is part of God’s plan for us.

And knowing that helps me deal with the sadness. Even though I am super excited to go, I am sad to be leaving.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology and social media, I’ll still be on the blog and I won’t lose touch with my nearest and dearest. But I am used to seeing mostly everyone I love within a hour’s drive. When we’re in Oregon, it will take much more planning.

Dana has promised to come, as has everyone else. And we will be back all the time, because there is no sandy seashore with pounding waves where we’re moving and my heart will miss that rhythm. Luckily my parents are within ten minutes of retirement, so they will be able to make that Allegiant airlines cheap flight—where they charge you to pick your seat and carry-on a bag—work for them. We are trying to find a house with a guest room so the Hotel Jen and Shea can carry on the hospitality for which we’ve become (sorta) famous.

My husband will be happier as an agent because helping people is what he loves. My kids will roam the woods and streams and see snow happen in real time, and while the summers will still be hot, the heat will end in the Fall.

Unlike here.

I’ll have lots more to report as we get closer to the move. We’re looking for a house, which has been a merry jaunt so far.

Or you know, the opposite of that. But whatever. It’s a grand adventure and we are ready.

 

 

* I wanted to name this post “Oregon, Ho!”. But then I just wasn’t sure about that comma. Seemed safer to stay away. 

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