annie's second stop in life

After John and I were married, we decided to go for it and leave KC for a few years. John had gone to Loyola for college, so choosing New Orleans felt like a safe bet. I had only been once and truly it didn't tickle my fancy, but with the sort of excitement that John always had when he spoke of that place I had an odd sense of ease at the idea. It felt like a better choice than a city where we had no contacts. 

So to the shock of a lot of people who thought we were out of our minds, John quit his job at the Fire Department. That's the kind of thing you don't really do in that business. It's real bad hard to get on (took John a year and a half and his uncle was even on the recruiting team as a Chief!) and you basically seal the deal that you won't ever be able to come back. It was a hard decision.

And a sad day. Exciting day, too.

We put his house on the market which had been his grandfather's. i.e. super important in the memories of a lot of family and very, very emotional for them. However, also super important to sell if we ever wanted to leave KC. When it sold in the spring of 2010 we got in the car and and hauled a trailer full of stuff to Louisiana. 

We were there for a couple years and all the stories from that experience could fill hundreds of blog posts. Someday. 

But what I really want to talk about is this house in Branson that we found. Last fall after Annie had been alive no more than two months, John decided he wanted to go to seminary in Branson, Missouri. Yuck. I wish I could say that shows at Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede on date night and Bob Evans for lunch excited me in the city where we were moving, but sadly they didn't. 

Andy William's Moon River wasn't why John chose Branson, though. Actually, John never chose Branson. God definitely planned that one without any of our input. 

Our prayer that summer in New Orleans was that it would be ABUNDANTLY OBVIOUS where and if we would move. And I mean EXCESSIVE CLARITY, like slap you in the face doors opening. Because otherwise we weren't going. We loved New Orleans. But what do you know? God bulldozed through doors to bring us to the Ozarks. 

There are half a dozen ways in which He did, but here is one.

I mean look at this rental house! It was four hundred dollars less a month than what we were paying in New Orleans. Here's a little breakdown of how our two abodes compared:

bedrooms - 1
bathrooms - 1
garage - 0
stories - one floor
yard - zero
bikes stolen - 1
gun shots - frequent (namely when our neighbor got shot in our driveway...)

bedrooms - 3
bathrooms - 3
garage - 1
stories - 2!
yard - yes!
bikes stolen - zero! 
gun shots - none...perhaps due to the police station at the end of the block?

And get this. We could only afford a 2 bedroom for our budget in Branson. And the landlord agreed. And we signed the papers and we packed our boxes and we loaded our moving truck and we hit the road. 

Then the phone rang. He made a mistake. The 2 bedroom townhouse was not available. MOUTH DROPPING. HEAD HANGING LOW. 

He feels terrible, he says. So do we. Now where are we going to unload our lives? Well, he has a proposal. Why not move into his three bedroom for the price of the two bedroom. SOLD. DONE-ZO. No thinking required. 

The Lord provides. Why do I always doubt that? Why as John is looking for a job in Kansas City right now, am I worried that God doesn't have our back? 

Silly me. 


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