Friday, March 1, 2013

A view on Montana

Moving to Montana.  I was very excited for a new place, a bit of change, and chance to meet new people.  BUT, leaving our home, friends and family in Arizona proved much harder then I originally imagined it would be.  There were tears and doubts about our decision to move so far across the country for the first few weeks, and probably months, if I am really honest.  Yet, I have found that living in Montana has been a wonderful thing for my children, myself, and our family all combined.  We came here well over a year ago, and in that time I have seen my family grow closer to each other, to the gospel, and to themselves.  Moving to a place that was not saturated in LDS population was a shock and change for each of us in our own ways.  BUT, making this change has provided my children with many growing experiences.  They have been put in situations where they have proven themselves as little missionaries. 

It saddens me often that my children are hearing, learning, and seeing things far earlier then I ever did.  My middle schooler has come home asking about things I didn't learn about until college!  It hurts my heart to put my children out in such a world.  We live in a neighborhood that is not the best place.  We are surrounded by several broken families.  Several smoking, drinking, cursing-outside-at-midnight type people.  It is not a permanent place for us.  I do not want to raise my children in this environment any longer then we have to.  But, we are here.  We are supposed to be here in this double wide trailer.  And trying to figure out why, or what good will come of it is still a mystery of sorts. 

So, what have I learned by living here?  I have learned that young children are naturally attracted to happiness, kindness and love.  We spent much of last spring, summer, and fall (before the cold of winter forced most people inside) surrounded by the kids friends.  They come from all sorts of families.  Some wonderful, some not so wonderful.  I opened my home up to almost any of their friends, and began to see that they FLOCKED here.  Often.  Coming early in the morning and leaving when the sun went down.  In and out they went, and I loved it.  I love having my children around me, and loved having a small, but good, influence on their friends.  It was my way of being able and aware of what they were doing, and so I played the role of "cool mom", but also a supervisor to their many conversations.   

I have also learned that there are great, wonderful, friendly, GOOD people everywhere.  I have made friends that are forever.  I have learned that I have to be a friend to get a friend.  And I have also learned that you don't need family ties, blood, or relatives, to find people that feel like family. 

Our plans are not solid.  We both have a natural pull in our hearts that would lead us back to our family.  Back to Arizona.  Yet, there is a growing pull in our hearts to settle here.  To build our dream home and be HERE.  We have spent many hours and nights mulling over options, ideas, plans and dreams.  What-ifs, and what-if-nots.  I am finding myself happy here.  I find myself growing roots.  Small ones, but definitely roots here in Laurel Montana.  And I am okay with that. 

We had a family home evening several weeks ago where I taught about "establishing a house".  The kids were quick to point out that there is a big difference between a house and a home.  I asked them what they meant.  Nathan wisely answered, that a house is just walls and doors, but a home is where the family is.  So I asked them if they felt like they were home in Laurel Montana.  They each answered YES.


Amanda said...

I like this post. I wondered and worried about you all moving and not being in a "LDS bubble" like we are in here. I didn't grow up LDS, but I did grow up in a good home in Montana, now raising my kids here in Snowflake, I know of the differences you all would face. I like it fine here, but Brian and I both feel something starting to pull us away from here, I'm not sure if we'll be here forever, I would love to go home to Montana and live in the mountains, but we're not qutie sure yet what, when, or if we'll ever get to move. For now, we have a job and a home that we probably can't sell anytime soon. I love your little family and I'm so glad you have made your home there, and you will be a good influence on those kids around you. (Just think I took my first set of missionary lessons as a Montana teenager after spending summers with the wonderful Hammer family), then I had an LDS roommate when I moved to Phoenix and took lessons again, then I met and married Brian and took the lessons again and they finally stuck. I picked the church not because of Brian but more because it was a long time coming and it started with Myrna and Earnie, whom I hope are some of the great MT friends you are thinkig of when you wrote this post :)

Jewel said...

So fun to find your blog and see how you guys are doing!! I may or may not start stalking you now.
And, to comment on your post--I think it's a good thing to get out of the LDS bubble for everyone--it really does make you reevaluate what your testimony is.