Well – the DeFeo’s are packing up their Disney ears and heading west, THIS SUNDAY!!!
Dallas, Texas! Here we come.
Here’s the quick answer to “WHAT! HOW ARE YOU?” I could not be more excited or more proud of my husband. Plain and simple, this decision marks a really neat moment in our marriage. I am not just saying the words. I mean it. I am going joyfully for him and with him. We are absolutely on the same page.
More of the story.
I grew up in a suburb of Atlanta and lived there my entire life except for my Auburn years. So, when Ron got the incredible opportunity with Darden a few years go – and we moved to Orlando, it simply rocked my world. Full dramatic tale here.
A big move was all new. I loved my church, my community. I loved being right there with Ron’s family and mine. I loved ALL of those things, but I loved my marriage more.
It was super hard. And super emotional.
Yet, I never doubted it was exactly where God wanted us. I clung to that. We were prayerful and He confirmed it. I felt safe in His will for us, but still sad.
In Orlando, I found a great community, beautiful actually. Friends that loved us – even when I had one foot out the door the entire time. I found my literary agent and his precious wife in this town.
I found two wonderful schools (The Weekday School and The Christ School) and teachers that loved my children so well. I found the Werner family. And Summit Church. We lived it up at Disney during prime time magic years for our girls.
I wrote my book here and met Curlie and have so many precious memories etched in my heart.
And yet there was always an aching to go home to Atlanta. I missed my family – seeing my nephews and niece and our parents regularly. What I didn’t know that God had a bigger plan (as he always does) – bigger than my desire to get “home.”
Ron is always getting recruiter calls because he’s insanely talented, so I always knew there was a chance we could move again and was praying it might be in driving distance to family. Or specifically Atlanta, so I could just plop right back into my life again and sit next to Katie and Joy and Ashley at church.
Then, we thought there was going to be a very real opportunity to get back to Atlanta and I jumped on it emotionally. I was searching houses, calling schools – officially getting my hopes up. I would not suggest going this far until the deal is done. And, it never materialized. I sobbed, really sobbed. For about a week.
So, control freak here finally decided to hand that desire over to God – because he’s already aware. He knows my love for those people and how I miss them. I decided to stop demanding like a little kid and pray earnestly for His will. He loves me enough to know the very best for our family. So I decided he must, in fact, want us in Orlando with both feet.
So, I decorated my house. Ha! Isn’t that what everyone does when they decide to “bloom where they are planted?”
And I went to my pastor and asked how I could serve the church more regularly. I invested more in my friends and started looking at my city as a more permanent home then a temporary stop. I essentially let go and trusted God with where we were supposed to live.
Then, a few weeks later after this mental shift … Ron walked in with a look. I had seen this look before.
American Airlines had contacted him through a recruiter with a position in Dallas. It was everything he wanted. And all that he has worked towards. And truthfully, we both knew from day 1 it was going to happen. Something was just right about it. But we did our due diligence. We prayed together. We prayed separately. Ron sought wise counsel from several executives that have walked similar roads. We had our friends praying.
And he got the job.
And much different than the Orlando moment ….
I sent him this photo right away with the girls. And it said,
“ We are with you.”
Because something changed in my heart. I realized it was about us four – we were the family. (Kelsey helped me see this). And if I could trust that Ron was following God, I could always follow Ron. (Kristen helped me see this). He’s never steered us wrong yet. And I truly can’t imagine holding him back from something like this.
I wish it didn’t take me 12 years to grow into a supportive wife. It feels so good to be fully with him – physically and emotionally going to Dallas. Sure, there are details and it’s scary. Imagine what life would be for all of us, if we know our spouses had our backs and were behind us 110%? He is standing taller and more confident. I am looking at him different.
God showed up in Orlando for our family. And Dallas will be no different. I will be less anxious (like having a second baby), because I’ve seen Him do his work before. In fact, He has already been working – we found a great school in Grapevine and the girls start very soon. We’ve been there to visit and meet new friends and they are truly excited. We looked at some houses – this one had cows in the back, no joke.
We are trusting and holding on to each other tight. We are praying LESS about what we are going to GET in Dallas – and MORE about what we might GIVE. We want to shine a light on Dallas. So we are praying for direction on which community needs His love.
I am not scared. I am excited. I am praying for friendships and community for my girls that will grow them closer to God. Not in panic mode, but anticipation mode.
Ron’s new job has just been announced and I could not be more proud of Ron! He’s made for this job and we will get to take our girls to some neat places – including speaking gigs with mom and meeting our compassion girls. Praying how we can use this as a ministry perk and for God’s glory.
Looking back, you can see God laying the groundwork – I took the summer off blogging and traveling and needed all of that time to go back and forth to Dallas and get my house ready to sell. Speaking of – anyone need a great house in Baldwin Park? Holler! It comes with a lovely castle and ballet studio. And newly decorated first floor. 🙂
I’m going to fit right in.
And, in case you didn’t know – I did teach country line dancing in high school. And we have huge hair. Just saying. And I can pound tex mex. So, it’s all going to be just fine. And I might sweat in the summer still – but I can wear a scarf and boots in the Fall. Oh, Lord, you love me.
And, there’s Kay Wyma there. And God Centered Mom. And Kristine Hunton. And Katie St. Clair. And Wynter Pitts! And Shay Shull! AND my AMBER! I get to drive to Amber. I have many fun coffee dates coming in Texas.
And of course – I will be road tripping to see my other “friends” Jen, Jeannie, Big Mama, Chip and Joanna… a girl can dream. (I absolutely emailed chip/joanna to find us a house… I’m certain we will hear from them any second. #fixeruppercallcourtney)
Thank you Orlando. You opened your homes, schools, families and hearts so wide for this new loud family. And, you made an impact on our lives. I never dreamed we would find such rich community so quick. The most amazing cheerleading team for my book launch, business and personal walk with Christ.
This has NOTHING to do with Darden and everything with the best next steps for our family. That company is amazing and we have been proud to be a part of Darden (and will thoroughly miss the breadsticks).
Don’t worry – we will be back.
Ronald can’t stay away from Disney too long.