This summer has been the absolute best summer we have ever experienced. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, then the “We Moved. To Montana.” blog post is something that you’ll want to read, and my Instagram highlight folders are LOADED with stories of our recent Montana adventures!
But let’s just say that moving to Montana for the summer was something that “just felt right”.
All Good Things Must Come to an End. Or Should They?
We always knew that living at the ranch in Montana was just for the summer months, and to be honest, we weren’t sure WHAT we were going to do after the summer was over.
- Would we go to Texas where it’s warm in the winter — you’re lookin’ at a gal that doesn’t handle the “cold” very well.
- Would we entertain the idea of moving to Seaside Florida where I always said I wanted to go?
- Or would we randomly select some state that we would try out for a while and just wing it?
But the closer we got to the end of the summer, my husband and I really began to have serious conversations about where we should go and where we wanted to raise our “babies”.
We’ve always known that God brought us to Montana for the summer, for some reason… even though we weren’t sure exactly what that reason was, so we kept our minds open in case God would give us a clear signal of where to head to next.
Why Did God Send Us to Montana?
Well, I’d be lyin’ if I said,
“Oh! It’s as clear as day… it was because __________ (fill in the blank).”
because there’s not ONE particular reason that stands out.
But I DO know that in these few short months:
- we grew closer as a family. — THIS… this right here is worth more than gold and I don’t think we would have had this kind of growth in the same atmosphere we were in. (Although we miss the heck out of our extended family.)
- we were able to spend more time with our closest family and friends than we ever have, (so many came to visit us!) and it is something that our family will NEVER forget.
- I saw my little boys learn so many new things and experience way more than I ever imagined they would.
- my heart melted every single time that I saw my husband’s face light up with joy, being in the place that he loves, especially after watching him go through so much hell these last few years.
- I was able to meet so many new people, share our story with them, and LISTEN. Listen to their story and (what I hope) be a glimmer of hope and inspiration for what they’re going through.
- we are feeling refreshed, recharged, and ready to build a life somewhere with a whole new perspective on life.
So did God send us out here for all of these reasons? None of these reasons? I don’t know. But I know in my heart that it still feels right and God’s not done with us yet… whether that’s in Montana or somewhere else.
→ Update: Are we still living in Montana? You may want to see this.
So Now What?
I’ll never forget the first time I looked at my husband this summer and said,
“Honey, please don’t make me leave.”
After the confused look appeared on his face, he said,
“Leave where? Here? Montana?”
“Yes. Montana. I think my heart belongs here. Maybe not forever — but let’s see how it goes, especially after I try and survive a winter here.” Haha.
He smiled (almost as big as the smile when I told him last year that I wanted to visit Montana) and said, “Jessica, we don’t have to. Let’s try it out, see how we like it, and go from there.”
Let the House Hunting Begin
Since we didn’t have a TON of time to house hunt and we didn’t want to rush in to anything, we decided to try and find a place that we could rent for the winter. Hopefully, this will give us an idea if we DO want to stay in Montana “forever” or at least help us decided where in Montana we want to settle down.
We’re Not Picky But…
After going through so much of what we went through these last few years, we’ve realized that “stuff” is not what makes us happy. So when it came to “house hunting” our only “must” was that it was furnished… because we left all of our stuff behind when we made the trip out west.
So as long as it had furniture, things to cook with, electricity, water, and HEAT… ALLLLL THE HEAT (for this winter) we were golden!
So we were incredibly thankful when a couple of wonderful property managers nearby found us a home that we could rent for a little while, that was furnished.
Eeeek!! Look at those mountains and that mountain view from our back yard!
It’s a beautiful home and although I’m itching to get back to my own cookware and dishes, haha, we are so, so lucky to have found a home and not only a home… but a home that’s big enough to homeschool in, big enough to have my own “office space” and a kitchen that’s going to be a JOY to cook more recipes in, for the blog! Woot!
“But What About Those Beautiful Views You Used to Have?!”
Don’t worry. If you loved following along and seeing the beautiful sunsets, snow-covered mountains, “adventure Mondays” and all the things I’m sharing… you’ll be seeing plenty more of that!
We will pay a visit to the ranch occasionally (my husband is going to guide a few elk hunts this fall — so make sure to follow him on The Dude Blog) and we are SURROUNDED by beautiful mountain views in this new house, and we can even see them from inside the house! This gal is looking so forward to a fire in the fireplace, hot coffee and staring at the mountains! (Along with writing blog posts to share with you too of course!)
If I can imagine what you’re thinking, you may be saying,
“Jessica, how can you just bounce around like this? Live in a new place suddenly, just up and move and do these types of things?”
Well, as a “planner”, normally you’d think this would stress me out. But I have to tell you…
The joy that I feel, being able to blog (work, and make an income) just about anywhere I go and being able to homeschool our kids (wherever we feel is a good and healthy atmosphere) along with the opportunity to experience this unbelievable place… all fill one of my core values in life, and that, for me, is “freedom”.
So although this may seem “random” or like we’re “flying by the seat of our pants”… we’re really not. We’re building a life. It may not look like the typical “life”, but that’s ok with me. At least for now and at this stage in our marriage/family life.
What’s next? I don’t know! I truly do still feel like God is working on something in our lives and since He makes waaaaay better decisions than I ever do, I’ll choose to be patient, open my eyes/ears and listen for God to tell us our next step.
Finding True Joy
I shared with you a very real and personal post on Instagram the other day about my “values” and what that means for discovering the “real joy” we’ve experienced lately. So I thought I’d share that post with you here too because it ties in so perfectly with today’s post… and it may just help tie some things together.
View this post on Instagram
I’ve never wanted you to think that everything is, well, “fantabulous” all the time for me and that it should be for you. But I have wanted to encourage you to LIVE your best life, and make it more fantabulous… in a way that YOU desire. So what is it that YOU want in life? What do YOU value? For me? To make life feel a little more “fantabulous” each day, I value: • faith • freedom • financial security • family • certainty …and to ensure that that these find a way in to my life, I have to work on it. Be held accountable. Intentional. Organized. Encouraged. Because when those “values” are met, my life is overwhelmed with joy. Real joy. Not just fabricated joy. I so want this for you too. The type of joy that YOU desire. It doesn’t have to mean that we have the same values. Your joy can look like many different things. But until you figure out what that true joy is, what you really value in life… what you really WANT out of life… you can’t really work towards it. And I want to help you figure out what that looks like for you. I want to help hold you accountable, be your cheerleader, encourage, explore, define and inspire you to live your best life. A life that you desire. There are only a couple more days to join our small group of like-minded gals in the 2-month, Fab Society Workshop where we are going to focus on YOU! Can you imagine 2 whole months of a community of women, focusing on ways to help you discover happiness and where you can play a part in helping them find theirs too? This workshop is built by a busy gal, for busy gals. I know you don’t have extra time in your day so we operate in a way that’s there for you, when you need. Our LIVE videos can be joined, or can be replayed. (We’ll meet LIVE multiple times and the meetings will be held at various times – mornings, afternoons and evenings – and they will NOT be mandatory to attend. Come to the meetings that you can, or watch the replays when you have time!) Our exclusive Facebook group is private, and a place where you can come, 24-7 for support, without judgement. You can also expect teachings, real-life, the behind-the-scenes, of what I did wrong (continued in comments)