This evening we said goodbye to Daddy as he traveled across the Tasman Sea to the mainland of Australia, on the first leg of his journey to Wagga Wagga.
In some ways it feels like it did some years ago when he went on ahead or us again interstate to begin what we thought would be a new journey then. The only thing holding us back at that stage was the finishing of our house and the sale of that house.
We had great faith and expectations that we would not be long in following Stephen.
Sadly that was not the case.
It did not work out that way at all and although I was blessed to have our oldest boys still at home and ready and able to take on new responsibility it really did not replace the role of Daddy in our children's lives.
In fact it was well over three years later that Stephen came home to us here in Tasmania.
In that time we have had three little blessings join our family and the realisation that those three years changed our family in a way that we really were not prepared for or had really anticipated.
This to me is a hard part of this proposed adventure!
For while we are certain of the reasons for this move: opportunities for our children and our selves in social, spiritual and emotional reasons, it still is, and especially will be a heart breaking experience to leave this home we have built from scratch and which our six younger children have only ever know as.........HOME.
It will be exciting and it will offer many opportunities for our children that they have not been able to have in our present environment.
We know it it is the right thing for us and it will certainly offer us the opportunity to see both our older boys who now have lives on the mainland, and in fact Braedon is actually in Wagga Wagga already.
Why is it dreaded?
Simply the cost of travel, either by air or ocean. It adds up quite quickly with the extra travel involved.
You would never know that Tasmania is part of Australia due to the cost of travel over that stretch of water. In fact as often as we tell our younger children they cannot get the idea that 'Tassie' is part of Australia.
We have encounted family dynamics that have changed due to the fact that Stephen was away for such a long time.
We have had our older children grow from young children to young adults and all the transition changes that go along with that.
We also have seen them gain a lot of skills and abilities with having been involved in building our home.
We have had four little 'Tassie babes' born at the same hospital, which up until then had never happened before.
Each one of our other eight children were each born in a different hospital in different towns.
We have also been blessed with the ability to help our special needs children through the support and friendship of a special lady, nay more than that, to our children an aunt, to me a sister that has been of most significant importance to our family.
To the dreams and aspirations we hold not only for our lives now, but for our lives in the future and the future of our children.
In this time of turmoil and change we need to keep our focus on where we believe we are being directed but also to the promise of the hoped for goals being fulfilled.
We need to keep focused on the value of family as we go through the day to day struggles of leaving the cherished past, the home we have come to love and move on to whatever we can grasp in the future.
I know we will be blessed in this endeavor if we continue with faith and hope!
I pray that I can keep it together in the coming weeks (without my dear love to support me) as we secure a house to go to. As we pack up our home and all the memories it contains and then pack it into boxes that represent our life and then deposit those memories in a new place, to hopefully grow and prosper and create as good and even better memories to unite with our past ones.
The seaside in Tasmania is cold in Winter and yet it has often been in these cooler months that we have taken our children for rock pool adventures.
Rarely have we actually been swimming in the ocean as the Summer here is brief and not very warm.
Stephen and I both grew up on the north coast with hot, humid summers and lots of beach and swimming time. Our older children do not fully remember a hot or humid Summer. They will have a very quick learnign curve ahead of them as Wagga gets extremely hot in the Summer.
However as we have not had hot Summers most of our children are not swimmers and so this is one of the most exciting aspects of the move for them.
In looking to rent a house we are also looking for one that has a swimming pool as taking a group of 10 children to the local pool is an ordeal I well remember, well of 8 at least.
The organisation for this is huge and thus it makes it less achievable than having the choice of swimming in your own back yard
And with the heat we will sooooo be needing it.
You all know I love the weather down here, that at heart I am truly a misplaced Northern Hemisphere girl.
Anyone who complains about the heat when we move will be in BIG trouble, just so you know those of you who are
As it was very late in the day there was not much activity and the tide was on its way back in.
I was able to get some very beautiful photos of the beach at this time of day as well as my favourite photographic models too.
Stephen just loves collecting the coal he finds on the beach.
I just adore the beach in Winter, especially with a wild wind, while walking along. For me it is a freedom that I cherish. And for fair skinned mama's who burn very easily it is so refreshing not to worry about the bright, burny sun!
Alas these days will end soon!
Our lives move forward and we pray for the patience to see this through, but also for the blessings to be with us as we go forth to the new and exciting opportunity that has been granted us.
May I ask your prayers for us on this our new journey:
that we find a house to rent that is just right for our family at a price we can afford,
that we are able to sell our house so we can move forward to our dream of small farm production,
that in this time of stress and excitement we can all remain patient and loving with each other,
that we remain thankful for the provision given to us by Our Lord
and that through all the trials and changes before us I can still create the loving home environment that I believe is so essential to our family's well-being.