"God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specifically armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain." ~C.S. Lewis
Okay, so I know that reading my blog posts makes me seem a little bit bi-polar *wink*, but I believe there's an actual method to my "madness."
I want to share all the wonderful, important lessons I have learned from our experiences in Idaho:
1) We have idealized country living, and are not ready OR willing to do all the hard work that it requires. We also don't like living 20-30 minutes away from the city. The gas budget has been hit HARD! And then when gas money is non-existent, we end up driving to church on gas fumes and lots prayer. Lessons in FAITH!
2) Being the "spur-of-the-moment" kind of girl I am, I have gotten better about planning ahead. Out here in "the sticks," I can't just run to the store for milk or diapers when I realize we've run out. I am learning to be a more observant and careful homemaker. (But I am looking forward to being able to run to a Fry's at 11pm on a Saturday night if I need to! :-D )
3) Extended family relationships are IMPORTANT. We have been able to renew our ties with grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and it's been GREAT! And, having strengthened the ties we've reinforced, we are now more determined to make these friendships a bigger priority, even from a distance.
4) We belong in Arizona! :-) We like the climate, we like the city, and we want to raise our kids among the peers they had in the homeschool groups there. After seven years, we realize that we have become "one of them", and we are happy to be Arizonans again!
5) The culture of "teenagers" here has been really eye-opening for us and our young adults. Even the conservative homeschoolers in many communities around this region are obsessed with boyfriend/girlfriend relationships at too young an age for our family standards. We even had some interesting personal experiences and some great discussions in our home as a result.
6) Being self-reliant and financially supporting our large family is a HIGH priority. For some reason, it has been very difficult to support our family in Idaho. We now know from personal experience that starting a business from nothing has not been a viable option in this small community, and tech jobs just don't exist here. We are also now pregnant with our 11th child, and we have lots of growing children-- big and small-- to feed, clothe and house.
Our time living in Idaho has been very difficult, but has also been so rewarding! We have been through the refiner's fire in this journey, and we hope we are coming through it positively shining! :-)
Thank you, Idaho, for the amazing experience!!!