I have a story to tell. And it’s personal.
It’s not an awesome recipe or an easy DIY. And to bare it all here on the web where everyone can see it is kinda scary.
But I’m hoping that by sharing it, you’ll see that I’m just like you. I struggle. My family goes through hard times and we have to make tough decisions too.
Still, there is hope to be found.
It’s hard to know where to start really, but with any story, it’s best to start at the beginning.
In April 2008, when my son was six months old, we set our sights on California and put our house on the market.
When other houses in our neighborhood kept dropping in price and not selling, our house sold in two weeks – a near impossible feat.
While we waited for the house to close, we looked for another place to live. Randomly and out of the blue, I somehow reconnected with an old friend and roommate.
She was going through a divorce and was worried about making her mortgage… and we needed a place to stay where we didn’t have to sign a lease or deal with the costs associated with moving utilities.
We rented two bedrooms and set a goal to move in 8 weeks.
Do you know how hard it is to get a job out of state? Getting your resume past the screener in human resources is practically impossible.
As recruiters saw Texas as our current address, they would automatically say no. They didn’t want to pay for relocation. They didn’t want to take a chance on someone who might not even like the area and weren’t going to give the qualifications of the candidate a second glance.
Yet one manager did and called my husband for a phone interview… and offered him the job.
We shipped 20 boxes, packed up our two cars and drove 1600 miles in 2 days.
What we set as a lofty goal to move halfway across the country in 8 weeks, God made happen in 6.
Moving to California was one of the best things that could have ever happened to my family. We found friends, grew close to family and most important of all, we all came to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
But about five years into our life on the West coast, something started to tug inside. There was a desire to move – to where, we didn’t know. But we knew deep down that California wasn’t going to be our forever home.
We started looking at jobs outside of California. There was an opportunity in Mississippi, another one two hours down the coast and countless interviews. My husband began to fit job descriptions perfectly, as he went back to school and later took on positions in management. A few of them came with salaries more than we had never even dreamed of making.
We prayed for an opportunity that would be good for the family, but none of them felt right. So we said no to all of them.
In November 2013, my step-mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She started treatment 2 months later and we decided to stay in California through her treatment, one way or the other. We stopped looking for jobs and put relocating on the back burner.
In January of 2015, we were given the opportunity for my husband to work from home. It came with a pay cut, but we lived well within our means and had already paid off our debt a few years before. The amount of flexibility the new job offered and the increase in time together as a family felt like an answer to a prayer we hadn’t yet asked for. We took the leap and said yes.
At the end of March, my step-mom became very, very ill. She spent one week in the hospital before coming home on a Thursday. Monday morning, she was admitted again. My dad and I stayed at the hospital until she passed the day after Easter while my husband was at home with the kids.
Early Summer 2015
As we all began to find our new normal, home prices started to skyrocket, jumping up by $25,000 every few weeks.
Our rent went up. Then 2 months later, it went up again.
We looked for more affordable options in the area and in our search, saw a vacant unit in our complex listed for more than what the latest increase was. This meant a third rental increase was inevitable, and our rent will have gone up $600 per month in the past 2 years. Despite this, we were still in the cheapest three bedroom in town.
The rapid increase in rent made living within our means incredibly difficult. The other option was to take on a $500,000 mortgage for 30 years. We felt stuck.
Mr. Crumbs and I were in DISASTROUS debt when we first got married, and we worked our tails off to pay it off. We refuse to be in that position again, so we started looking outside California again.
We tossed out states like Oregon, Washington, North Carolina and Maryland… applying for more jobs than we could count, knowing that we’d have to overcome the “you live in another state” issue again. We prayed for opportunity, for patience and for guidance.
At the end of one particular job interview, my husband was asked if he was interested in Georgia. We honestly hadn’t considered Georgia before, but given the job hunt odds were against us, we were willing to give any opportunity a fair shot.
Two days after the interview they offered him the job.
We had been in this spot before – considering a good job opportunity that comes with sacrifice.
We would be leaving friends who have helped us to raise our kids and taught us what true friendship was. Friends who shared the Gospel with us and showed us what it meant to walk in faith. Family that has housed us, clothed us and fed us on a weekly basis for my daughter’s entire life.
But there was something different about this one. There was anxiety and fear, but there was peace too.
In all my praying, I’ve asked God to close doors that aren’t meant to be open, and make it incredibly clear the path He wants us to take. And that’s exactly what He did.
Mr. Crumbs starts his new job in Georgia the week after Thanksgiving. The kids and I will join him 2 weeks later. Our emotions are like a bag of jumbled up marbles, but there’s something deep down inside of both of us that tells us this is the right thing to do.
Difficult, yes. But right.
My favorite view of God is hindsight, seeing how His hand has been working to prepare us for the road that lies ahead.
There are so many instances and events that if they had not happened, we wouldn’t have been able to do something else.
I have always tried to be as transparent with you as I possibly can – to be personal and let you into my home beyond the kitchen table – but sometimes pretty pictures and Google-friendly search terms get in the way.
One of my goals for next year is to be intentional with my hospitality. To open my door for you more often so you can see beyond frugal food and easy DIY’s. So you can see the good, the bad and the difficult. And I figure there’s no harm in getting a head start on that goal.
For the rest of this year, I’m sharing a more personal post on Fridays. I’ll be open about what’s going in our lives as we pack up (literally) and move from California to Georgia. Between packing, shipping, selling, driving, eating and everything else in between, I have no doubt there will be plenty to talk about!
The Crumbs family began a new chapter in November 2015, and I’m sharing the story as it unfolds every Friday here on the blog.
Here are the rest of the posts in this chapter:
- A New Chapter in Crumbs
- The Art of Selling Everything You Own
- Viewing Your Life in Terms of Boxes
- How to Live Minimally for Two Weeks
PS – Many of you knew we were making big decisions and you’ve emailed to express your thoughts and prayers – can I just say thank you?! I am seriously BLOWN AWAY by your outpouring of love and kindness. You have absolutely NO idea how much it means to us – thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! Despite not being able to reply to them all, I read every single one of them, cherish the kind words and encouragement you are sharing, and I am sincerely thankful for every single one of you!
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