My friend Rebekah who is from California and recently moved to TN asked how we ended up here from Orange County CA ourselves. Since so many folks have asked me that same question I figured I would just answer it here. Hubby and I both grew up in Southern California, in that face paced "gotta have everything", "keep up, no, rather one upping the Joneses" lifestyle. Our lives as young married adults was surrounded with fast paced money, pride, alcohol, expensive drugs, beaches, and everything that went with it. As we started leaning towards Jesus, (I was convicted, hubby was still just having fun,) things began to change a bit. I got saved, and we got married. We owned an upscale hair salon where women spent hundreds of dollars to look good in the mirror. The closer I got to the Lord the more I shared about being beautiful on the inside but things were starting to get contradictory. We bought a house in neighboring Riverside County, in a town where there were more horses than people, things were a little slower and cheaper there. We got hooked on the country lifestyle, and were still close enough to commute to our business. Then hubby got saved, and just in the nick of time, because things were getting really rough. We had 1 small child at the time, and another on the way. Things got rougher but at least we had Jesus to lean on together. We decided to move 1 mile from where we lived. It was like a new start. It was wonderful, and peaceful. Yet we really started to long for "real country". Where your children could play outside and the neighbors weren’t drug dealers. We had relatives in Arizona and went there looking for a place to move to several times but the Lord shut the door every time. Then the Rodney King event happened and there were riots everywhere and even though we didn’t live that close it just confirmed our wanting to get out of CA. Hubby worked in LA and was way too close to danger but he loved being able to minister to homeless folks. God was using him as an evangelist even then.
Finally one day in ’93 my Grandma was visiting for the day and going on and on about how she wanted to go "home" (TN) for a visit. She would just go on and on and on about TN, I really don’t understand why she ever moved to CA when TN was "home". Finally Jim said he would come back with her for a week if that would help. She was ecstatic. When he got off the plane he called me from the airport and said, "sell everything without a heartbeat, we are moving to TN" , I had a yard sale before he even got home. We bought a horse trailer, we found a beautiful huge rental home on 30 acres through a series of very miraculous events. He started working tons of overtime for about 4 weeks, we banked enough to carry us for months. We loaded up 2 trucks, 3 very small children, 1 horse trailer with 3 horses, another gutted out travel trailer, as much household goods as we could fit in it, 2 dogs and a registered pot belly pig and headed out of CA. I missed my parents terribly, and my brother, and hubby’s family, but it was the best thing we ever did. It was great for our family, great for our marriage, and we grew in the Lord by leaps and bounds. We love the country lifestyle in TN and ended up having 5 more children. We know that we know this is where God wants us. It is our "promised land".
That was the very very short version. The long version will be in a book someday 🙂 .