February 29, 2012

How Do You Begin To Say Goodbye?!

I have tried writing the first sentence of this post over and over again. Twelve different times in fact. This is perhaps going to be the most emotional thing I have ever written on here (okay, maybe since the birth of our daughter...That was pretty emotional) so I am just going to come out and say it...

We are leaving White Mountain.

We are leaving the region.

The last four years have been an amazing adventure and has become life changing for both my husband, Clint and I. I have been changed as an individual, a wife, a teacher, a mother. It is within the last four years that I found out who I am. I have become more independent and more aware of what I am capable of. I have taught nine preschoolers and two kindergartners in the last two years. I have traveled around rural Alaska by myself. I have learned how to hunt and fish on the tundra. I have learned how to start and drive a four-wheeler and snow machine. I have learned to raise an infant in the most coldest conditions. Most importantly, it's here where I found my faith again.

It's hard to say, but we are leaving a place we have called home. We are leaving a place where we have made lifelong friends-friends who are like family.

We are moving back to Ketchikan.

We made our final decision when we found out I was pregnant again (back in December). The news about baby love #2 was confirmation from God (for us) for both Clint and I that we have made the right decision for our family. I couldn't see life being very vibrant for the kids and I if I am at home constantly and not able to get out and about with two little ones. I had a fear that I would be stuck inside our house all the time. I'm not saying it's difficult and impossible to raise two little ones in the arctic (many, many people do it, and I applaud them) it just wouldn't be the life for us. And the financial burden...Well, lets not talk about that :)

The most important factor though is family. It's so important to me (and now Clint) that our babies are raised close to their grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins. Most of my favorite memories are of my childhood and being raised right next to our family, and I want that for our kids. I remember going to birthday parties, slumber parties, fourth of July (was a HUGE event,) even the every-week Sunday dinners. I want that for our family. I want them to be able to watch Bria and the baby grow up. I want Bria and the Baby to know who their grandparents are. This will also let us see Clint's parents in Arkansas a lot more than just once every other year! It has been difficult for both Clint and I to be so far away from them and this way, we can see each other more!!!

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."
Psalms 32:8

It has been a long road of wondering what we are going to do from year to year. All I know is that I have had a peace about every decision we have ever made because we wait for God to open the door. We wait for God to close the doors that we shouldn't go through. Sometimes, it means that we make sacrifices. Sometimes it means that we are scared or weary about the decision "we" have made... But that is where faith comes in. That is where hope comes in. 

When I am scared, I am always reminded of what Jesus says in Matthew 6: 31-34:

So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  

How comforting! Whew... It really puts my mind at ease and my heart at peace knowing that we will always be taken care of. So, as much as I'm sad, nervous, scared about leaving a place that is familiar the above verse is so comforting knowing that He is right there with us, guiding our every move if we let him. 

So now that I've rambled on. I have found comfort in the last few words in this post. I am able to look to the future with peace, hope, and faith! I am excited for this new season in our lives. Excited to watch my sisters grow. Excited to watch my babies grow. Excited to watch our family grow. 

I will leave you with one more verse for thought: 

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  
                                                       -Philippians 3:13-14 

So with that in your heart and mind...

Seize today! Give it everything and don't worry about anything!!

White Mountain, we have loved every second of being with you. We will never forget!

Here we come, Ketchikan. Get ready, the Shultz family is comin' back! 
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