We have decided to call Laguna Beach, Florida our home for the next year. We will be leaving the first of May. We have been blessed with an ideal situation where we can rent the beach home that we have been so fortunate to vacation in over the years while my sister and brother in law rent our house here in Nashville. We made the decision while on vacation but have had to tie up some loose ends here before confirming. Amazingly everything has worked out so perfectly that we are left knowing this is definitely the right decision for us at this time.
While we were away Chris & I had much time to talk. We discovered that although we often expressed ourselves differently and handled our situation differently over the past 9 months, we both walked away with the exact same feelings about what Bella meant to us and what she means to our future. We know we are not the same people we were going into this. We have new goals for life, new dreams and new needs. We feel that instead of struggling to get on with our life as it was before, that we need to embrace all that we have learned and experienced. We need to take the time to find our new purpose in this life. We want to slow down and open up our hearts and minds to God's will for us and allow ourselves the time to heal. We want to invest in memories with Dylan and each other instead of college funds, savings accounts and a retirement plan. We have learned the hard way that memories are the only thing that truly matters in the end. They are the only real solid investment. We don't want that lesson to go to the way side by getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the life we had before. We have a unique opportunity to go somewhere that will allow us to work towards becoming stronger physically, mentally and spiritually. And hopefully by taking care of ourselves during this time we can return and give ourselves completely to the many causes and needs we have come to know from Bella. We have so many ideas of how we can better ourselves and the world around us from our experience. We have talked of fostering medically fragile infants, adopting a special needs child, starting a non-profit to help those that follow in our footsteps or advocating for a chronic care facility here in Nashville. Whatever we decide we know that we want to do it prayerfully and with full conviction. We believe that as we heal, meditate and open up our lives more fully to the Lord that the answers will come.
Bella's life and death has given us a new set of eyes on the world around us and the life we lead. Hopefully in surrounding ourselves with the unfamiliar we can put this new perspective to the best use. The things that seemed to matter so much before seem of little importance to us now. We would like to think of this as a sabbatical of sorts but we don't have the luxury to stop working all together. We are just going to change our focus to work to live, instead of live to work. For Chris this means only keeping the clients on board that he can manage from afar and travel back to Nashville when needed. For myself, this means finding a job that allows me the time to indulge in the reasons we are moving in the first place while giving us the income needed to live a very minimal lifestyle. We don't need much at the beach and we look forward to challenging ourselves to cut out the unnecessary in the pursuit of happiness. We are moving forward with hope and trust that the Lord will open up the doors of opportunity to make this work.
Our hearts are heavy to leave those that have supported and surrounded us with love throughout this. However we are excited to offer everyone a place to visit and get away from the madness. We look forward to quality time over quantity with our family and friends. Our door is open always, the dinner table set, the waves crashing on the shore and Bella's beautiful smile can always be found in the sunset, so come on down....
I look forward to continuing the blog while away. I am in hopes that our experiences over the past 9 months can help at least one person. I am hoping to reflect and share insight with those that may follow in our footsteps. Mostly I pray that I can share with everyone the many ways that the Lord continues to bless us and guide us. And selfishly I hope to keep all of you near as we continue to heal and learn to live life without the physical presence of Bella. It does and will prove to be a challenge. I also truly hope that thru this blog you will share with us other prayer needs. We WANT to pray for others. We know the power of prayer, we know the comfort in having others pray for you and we need to grow as Christians. We need to be able to give back the most amazing gift we have ever received. Please comment with prayer requests or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. These will not be shared with anyone but our family and the Lord unless you want to share with all of these amazing folks on here that have carried us in prayer.
Much love to you all