Hotlanta, Here We Come!
Thank you all so much for your sweet comments, texts and e-mails regarding our big move!
I’m over-the-moon excited to officially announce that we are moving to Atlanta, Georgia! God is bringing us back south, ya’ll! Back to the land where streams of sweet tea flow, Chick-fil-a is off every exit and where grocery shopping is a pleasure (Oh, Publix how I’ve missed you!).
We are actually moving to a little town north of Atlanta called Canton, which is even better in our book. We didn’t want to leave NYC for another ‘city life’ because to be honest, we don’t feel like any other major city could even come close to living up to our expectations after Manhattan. We knew when we left NYC it would be when we had our fill of the city life. We are ready for something completely different. We always hoped we would settle down in a smaller town, close to the mountains where our kids could experience growing up in a tight-knit community and we think Canton fits that bill perfectly!
That’s the short story. Now, if you want the longer version, keep reading because I just have to testify for a minute about how all this came to be.
We loved living in New York, for so many reasons, but we also really struggled with certain aspects of life up here too. Well, I struggled. Dave quickly fell into a groove with his job and like a true New Yorker, he hit the ground running. He fit right in, built a team he was (and is) so proud of and he loved working for one of the biggest and best organizations in the world. I longed to be closer to my family though. I so desperately wanted help with the kids and a yard for our dogs. For all the amazing and surreal days we had in New York, we also had days where I struggled getting our stroller up and down the flights of subway stairs. Then there were those days I got stuck in traffic and waited 2 hours to go 4 miles with 2 screaming kids in the car. I’ll never forget the time Ob got so cold on one of our walks I literally carried her home from the park because her paws were freezing to the ground. There were many nights when Dave came home to find me a puddle of tears because life was just hard and there was nobody I could call to help.
After surviving my first NYC winter with a colicky baby I began praying for God to move us. I had no idea where I wanted to go or how it would all work out because Dave loved his job, but I kept praying for God to work a miracle on my behalf.
Several months ago, I left the issue at God’s feet though and I stopped praying for God to move us. I knew God knew I wanted out of the city, but I felt like I was being called to simply be content and wait on God’s plan to unfold. My prayers began to morph into, “Show me what you want me to learn from this experience and please don’t let me miss the opportunities I have been gifted during this season” rather than, “PLEASE get me out of here!”
Last November, after I put the kids to bed one night, I walked into our kitchen and as I stood over the sink eating spoonfuls of peanut butter (its part of my nightly ritual), Dave looked up from his laptop and asked, “Hey, have you ever heard of Canton?” With a mouth full of peanut butter, I said, “Canton, Georgia? Yeah! That’s where my sister lives. Why?”
“Oh, I thought she was in Atlanta?” Dave responded.
“No, she’s in Canton. Why do you ask?”
“There’s a job that just opened up there and it looks interesting.”
In that moment, I stood totally stunned and completely speechless.
In all my months of praying, I had never once prayed to move to Canton because I never dreamed that could be a possibility. My prayers had not been too big – they had been too small. We wouldn’t just be close to family – we would be in the same city as family…and not just any family, but my sister – the one we call ‘the baby whisperer’ (you can read about my sister & her family in this post). We would be a 2.5 hour drive from our favorite vacation spot (Highlands, NC). We would be a 6 hour drive from my mom, dad and other sister, as well as some of our very favorite friends.
That night standing in my kitchen with a mouth full of peanut butter, I felt the Lord whisper in my spirit, “Just watch me work.” I know that probably sounds crazy to so many of you, but I felt like His message to me was so clear.
I proceeded to ask Dave if he was interested in the job since I didn’t even know he was looking to leave New York and he said, “eh, maybe. I might look into it.”
Naturally, I wanted to be all, “UM, by ‘look into it’ do you mean you’ll submit your resume tonight?”
But again, I felt the Lord whisper in my spirit to just watch Him work. So instead, I said, “Cool. Keep me posted on what you decide.”
And for the next 3 months, I waited and prayed and tried my hardest to support Dave as he contemplated starting a new career.
I honestly didn’t think Dave would ever want to leave NYC and I never wanted to drive him out of his career because I couldn’t handle life in the city. One specific thing I prayed for through this situation was that Dave would be genuinely excited about this new opportunity, if it was where God was leading us. As Dave got further and further into the interview process in Atlanta, I watched his excitement grow. When Dave finished his final interview, he called me from Atlanta and said, “Ashley – I just feel at home here. The people are so wonderful – seriously, the nicest I’ve ever met – and this is the kind of organization I see growing in. I just felt so connected to everyone.”
And that’s when all the happy tears started flowing.
Several months ago, the leader of my Bible study group gave me this verse…
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged.” Deut. 31:8
I truly believe God went before us during this transition, which makes me all the more excited to get to Canton. I believe He is preparing a place for our family there and He has great things in store, both professionally and personally. God was so good to bring us to New York 3 years ago and He continues to be so gracious and faithful as He leads us down to Georgia.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3: 20-21
So that’s the long of the long, friends! We are now on the hunt to find us a house in Georgia! To God be the glory! 🙂