Life

Carolina In My Mind

Bon VoyageMy husband, Nate, and I recently moved to North Carolina as part of an adventure we quite literally signed up for. Nate received a job offer that would require us to move around for two years, and as a newly married couple, we jumped at the opportunity to see new places, meet new people, and make new memories.

For the years we lived in State College, Pennsylvania, we were the ones saying goodbye to those leaving town to pursue the next part of their story. While we knew that moving would mean leaving behind familiarity and comfort, we both felt strongly that it was our turn to pursue the next part of our story.

Moving meant different things for both of us. For Nate, he would transition from life as a student to life as a full-time engineer. He would leave behind his closest friends and the premier fly-fishing streams of central Pennsylvania. For me, I would transition from working my first full-time job to a part-time job that would allow me to take charge of managing my own time by working from home. I would leave behind a beloved community of women and the town that became more to me than simply “where I went to college.”

I honestly didn’t know how I was going to react to moving to another state. Historically, I have not dealt with transition well because I found change to be synonymous with instability. And since we moved, I have definitely had my down days. Tears have been shed, my heart has ached, and sometimes lying depressed in bed felt like the only possible thing to do. I miss my friends. I miss knowing how to get anywhere without using a GPS. I miss the ease of just knowing a place and having people.

But.NC Sunset

Over time, with growth and the Lord’s diligent work in my heart, I think He is teaching me to face new things with fervor and intention. And this was happening long before we moved. He was preparing me and strengthening me for the next chapter through each prior circumstance leading up to this one and through encouragement from close friends and family members. He was telling me: Why hide behind closed doors when there is so much joy to find on the other side of them?

Maya Angelou once said,

I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.

The concept seems so simple, but it is a piece of truth that points to something much bigger. The longing we feel for home, for comfort, for familiarity can feel lost in the chaos of learning a new place, a new circumstance. But it’s not lost as long as we look toward our ultimate home in heaven. Someday we won’t ache for that feeling of home.

Jesus said:

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
John 14:2-4

Knowing this promise, it frees us to live intentionally in this world instead of living constantly on guard. As humans, we will have times in the dark when we will need to cry out to Our Father. And by His mercy, He hears us. Nate and I have been blown away by the prayers He has answered and humbled by His timing in our lives through this transition.

Our time in North Carolina is limited (for now – who knows where we will end up?). Nate and I agreed that we would take this time seriously, and I think, so far, we’re doing well.

For instance, what better way to feel at home than add a pet into the mix?! Say hello to Watson!WatsonHe’s pretty awesome. And a little crazy. But that’s why we love him.

We also…

…visited Tanglewood Park – they have horses!

Horse

…discovered Krispy Kreme was founded here.
We may or may not have downloaded the Hot Light app and gone on more than one occasion to buy a dozen hot & ready glazed donuts. :)

Krispy Kreme

…attended the ACC Tournament semifinals where UNC beat Virginia and Notre Dame beat Duke.

ACC game

…got creative and started painting furniture.
Chalk paint works wonders, you guys. The photo of the chairs is a sort of before/after shot. I finished all four chairs, which are white with a “distressed” look. Nate helped tremendously with the dresser-now-TV stand. We have a kitchen table and a bookshelf left to paint!

Chairs Dresser

And there are other things we plan to do. We even have a little bucket list started. We got bikes, so we plan to explore the NC biking trails. At some point we hope to visit a winery, attend an outdoor concert, buy a piece of art to commemorate our time here, see other parts of the state, among other things.

So, overall, what I’m learning through this transition is that God is our stability, and He is watching over us through each and every adventure and every bump along the way. All He asks us to do is trust and follow, and our eyes will open to see each unique part of His creation.

Until next time!
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8 thoughts on “Carolina In My Mind

  1. North Carolina is a wonderful state!
    Your dad lived there from November 1963 to November 1965. In fact, we moved during the week of JFK’s death and burial–what a sad time! I taught at the Camp Lejeune Dependents’ School on base while Clyde spent a lot of time in the Caribbean training Marines to build roads and Quonset huts. Tim stayed home with Miss Bee and Brooke attended first grade across the street from our little house on Timmerman Place. Lost him for a while one day when we went to Onslow Beach. Wrote a poem about it. Scared me to death! He decided to take a stroll down the beach, and a stranger walked him back to Brooke and me! He probably doesn’t remember the incident!
    Ashville is worth a visit–home of the Biltmore estate. Incredible place–Clyde and I went there on our honeymoon in 1953. Went back with my sister Wanda and her husband Bert at Christmas in the ’90’s. Nearby is the Cove, a beautiful place I’ve visited with First Baptist during senior week–wonderful music, teaching, food, and fellowship! Billy Graham and his family established this religious facility. His daughter Anne Graham Lott is the female incarnation of him!! Powerful speaker with mannerisms and message of her father. Franklin Graham’s involvement with the Christmas boxes we fill for children all over the world is chronicled there. Great family!!
    Charlotte was the place my brother Jerry chose to live during one of the times after he left the Air Force that he was searching for a job. I remember the city only as eternal road-building stretch on our way North. Had an interesting encounter coming home during Race Week one time–we stayed in a hotel that was full of raucous race fans and had a fun time with them.

    1. Oh, I love these stories!! So funny about my dad. Nate and I are definitely planning to visit Asheville at some point. A few people have recommended the Biltmore Estate, so that is on our bucket list to see, and there are some good biking trails there, I believe. I had no idea the Grahams were influential there – very cool. I miss you & love you tons!

  2. My home state! Where are you all living down there? Glad you have discovered NC’s contribution to cosmic glory – Krispy Kreme. Asheville is definitely a nice area. Also recommend the area around Boone, and even just driving and stopping to camp and hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Also a treat for northern folk who are down there – if you go to the NC beaches, you can experience ocean water that is actually warm! :)

    Enjoy!

    1. We are in Winston-Salem! Thanks for all the tips. We would love to check out Asheville and some NC beaches sometime. I’ve seen photos of the Blue Ridge Parkway and it looks beautiful!

  3. I lived in NC for 2 years after leaving Clemson. Others have already mentioned it…I can highly recommend visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville to tour the home and grounds…and the have a winery. Also, Chimney Rock state Park is beautiful – especially in the fall! Wilmington is awesome and if you love lighthouses you can make a pilgrimage to find all the lighthouses still standing along the NC coast :)

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