We are on the move again…

I’m sure anyone who knows us is not surprised that the Mitchell’s are moving again, but we are so excited to be moving back home to South Carolina!

The way this whole thing came about is truly a God thing.

We’ve been in Columbus for three years now and the original purpose for this move was to be close to my parents and family down here. When after a year or so of being down here, my parents moved back to Chattanooga, we realized that our dream and reason for being in Columbus was no longer the same.

We still had my sister and Aunt, Uncle and Cousin here, so we weren’t totally alone but we really struggled in finding our place here. We weren’t really drawn to the area…it was the people in it that made us stay.

When I invested and became part owner in a self defense school here a year ago, we felt that this was an anchor to hold us here in Columbus. I loved my job and enjoyed working in the evenings.

But every time we would go back to South Carolina, Chris would say “Man, I really miss being here. Do you think we could move back?” And I would agree…it did feel like coming back home. But I own my own business and I can’t just drop that and move, right?

A turning point came in June when we went to the beach with Chris’ family at Harbor Island. It just felt like home. Being back with Chris’ family and being in South Carolina. That’s when my heart began to want it too.

We talked about it but dismissed it because there really wasn’t a way for me to step away from my job. We took out a loan to invest in it and had to make the payments on it.

Fast forward to August/Sep. We couldn’t get moving back to South Carolina off of our minds. Not only did we miss his family, but we also missed our church and community there. The Clemson/Anderson area is one of our favorite places in the world and we knew that’s where we want to put down roots and raise our family.

So we took a leap of faith and Chris sent out his resume. We didn’t hear anything for awhile which was discouraging but we felt like the Lord wanted us to keep being faithful where we were at and wait for Him.

He got a call from a job recruiter and he said he had some leads on potential jobs that would be a good fit for Chris.

We both kinda freaked out. Although nothing was in stone yet, just the potential of moving made me want to be upfront with my business partners to give them a heads up. We talked about it and it was received…okay. There was no promise of a good buyout but we really didn’t discuss details yet.

I ended up finding someone who wanted to buy my share of the business and I was so excited. This felt like a win-win to me because not only would my loan be covered but we would even make a little…and with our kitchen being completed gutted since July, we needed any extra cash to help cover those costs.

And by him buying me out, it wouldn’t set the self defense school back at all because they wouldn’t have to pay anything.

When I presented the buyout offer to my partners…let’s just say it did not go well. They didn’t want another partner and were not open to letting me out of my contract. They changed my work schedule without my knowledge and more than doubled the prior agreed upon classes I was to teach. When I called them about this they said they wanted “to be fair” and for me to start carrying my weight. I had no power because they had the majority vote and they let me know that. A lot more went on that I don’t feel comfortable going into on here…but it was pretty bad.

I had panic attacks and anxiety attacks because of all of this. One night I was up until 1am unable to stop throwing up or breathe. I kept crying and telling Chris “What do we do?! If you get that job and we move I’ll be in breach of contract and we’ll walk away with a lot of debt!” Chris told me that at this point he didn’t care. He saw how this was affecting me mentally, emotionally and physically.

We tried to negotiate some kind of buyout with them but they barely offered me a third of what my share was worth and none of the money for it would be up front. When things continued to escalate we talked to Chris’ parents and asked for their advice. “Are we stupid if we just walk away and get out of this toxic situation?” Chris’ dad said “Chris there is no price you can put on protecting your wife.” *tears*

So that’s what we did. I walked in there and gave them my share. Gave it to them. We took the hit and for the first time in over a year I have PEACE.

We know God will provide for us and we have no regrets.

(They did try to come back and offer me their original offer (the one that was less than 1/3 and it would only be a tiny check once a month for the next 5 years) but they wanted me to sign another contract that had so many stipulations and a gag order. We didn’t feel comfortable signing that and having any legal ties to them for the future.)

A week or so later after I walked away from my job, Chris got a phone interview for a plant in Greenwood, SC. They then scheduled an in person interview for that Friday. By the next Monday he received a job offer.

Our house is still under construction but the kitchen should be done just in time for us to list the house. I’m very sad I won’t even get to cook a meal in my brand new kitchen, but I know that God worked out that leak and mold issue to end up getting us a new kitchen that will be a huge selling point in our home.

We move in less than two weeks and he starts December 16th!

Everything fell into place and even though it was SO hard how it all happened, God resolved everything that needed to be resolved and took care of it.

I know that even though we aren’t in the best place financially right now that He will continue to provide for and take care of us. It’s been so cool to see His hand in all of this!

So South Carolina friends! We’re coming back to Clemson! We cannot wait to be back home!

Farmhouse Playroom Tour

So yesterday I went to Hobby Lobby and was so excited that their wooden wall art was 50% off. The empty wall above the kids’ book shelf was driving me crazy and I knew what I wanted to do in there, I was just waiting on the right time (i.e. Someone was watching the kids…) and for us to have the money for me to get the things I needed.

Well yesterday was the day! Carley let me run to Hobby Lobby and our tax return money came in, so it was go time! I texted Chris with a picture of my buggy (that’s southern talk for shopping cart) slam full of stuff and made sure he was okay with what was about to happen. (Ha)

Our playroom is technically the foyer in our house. But with three children and 1,500 sq. feet to work with, it has to have a dual purpose. This was really the only space that would work for the kids to keep their toys, since the living room is really tight.

The table my mom got for the boys’ birthdays last year (from IKEA) works perfectly in the corner. I found Rhett sitting on it yesterday reading books…I think he likes to sit places where his two younger siblings can’t touch him or mess with him. Bless him.

Also confession time…that plant does not live there nor do the pens in the mason jars. These were for the pictures only…and were quickly cleaned up after I took them. Multicolored wainscoting and a destroyed plant are not gonna happen…today. Ha

Carley and I found this shelf at Goodwill for $13. It was a brownish color and I just painted it with a basil green paint that I had on hand (well technically I stole it from my mom…love you momma!).

I think it fits well here and the kids love being able to get their books themselves and Elliot can play with the stuff underneath it. She loves to attack that metal basket and growls at it all of the time (and no Elliot is not our dog…she’s our child. Ha).

As I mentioned earlier, I had a game plan for the wall above the shelf and I wanted to do a “truth wall.”

I love having Scripture on the walls of our home and so I wanted that area to be something we would see every day and be a reminder of what is meaningful to our family.

I found these little houses at Hobby Lobby too and I looooooooove them. Rhett has a weird obsession with them and is always attempting to stand on his chair and get them. “Maybe I can touch them?” he said this morning while smiling strangely at me (that’s what he does when he knows he’s not supposed to be doing something but he’s hoping his smile will distract me from that fact).

The truth wall consists of:

– Psalm 91:4 which was one of the Psalms we clung to when we went through everything with Eli.

– Psalm 121:1 that our friend Danyelle from Danyelle Woods Designs made for us also during that time with Eli.

– 1 Corinthians 16:14 I love this verse because in the mundane duties of life I need to remember to do them with love. Love for my Father and love for my family.

– John 13:34 again a reminder to love as Christ has loved us.

– “Enjoy the little things.” It may seem cliche and cheesy, but it’s something Chris and I are learning to do in the monotony of life.

– the chicken plate is from my sweet sister-in-law, Ashley. It is one of my favorite things!

– the “Welcome please come in” sign was cross-stitched by my Aunt Christy and given to my Granny who had it in her house for years. She passed away and it’s nice to have something to see of hers every day.

– a picture of cotton because…well I’m southern and I love the dang stuff. Ha

– an “M” that is so pretty.

– “Great things take time to grow” is a lesson the Lord is really teaching me this year. I keep seeing reminders of it everywhere so I thought it was perfect.

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And that’s it! I am in love with the way it turned out, and I’m so glad to have that space finished.

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It Takes Time To Grow Roots

So as life has settled down and our new home and town are a starting to feel familiar and less “new,” Chris and I are trying to get plugged into some kind of community here.

We have been visiting churches, and even though we haven’t found one yet, we are trying our best not to become discouraged.

It takes time to make friends, build community, and cultivate meaningful relationships. And I have to remind myself of that a lot.

I want instant results. I want to move past the awkwardness of visiting a new church every week, or making myself “friendly” to new people when it’s not something that comes natural to me.

I am naturally a shy person when I first meet people, and I struggle SO much to think of things to talk about with people I’m not comfortable with. I remember praying back in my single days for a husband who was social and great at conversation…and the Lord answered! Chris makes new friends wherever he goes.

And I just stand there and awkwardly laugh and let every second of silence cut into my soul deeply. (Ha)

But I am learning that fighting through the awkwardness is worth it. I wouldn’t have met the awesome people who became dear friends in Clemson if I hadn’t put myself out there. I miss them all dearly now, and want so badly to just move them all down here so that I don’t have to make new friends! (You think I’m kidding…)

But the seeds I plant now as I meet new friends will eventually grow into deep roots. It just takes time and faithfulness in cultivating those seeds.

Community is worth the fight. It’s worth the uncomfortableness and the sweaty palms. It is necessary to our growth as people and as believers.

So I guess I just wanted to share this to remind myself that although this is hard, and I really have to push myself outside of my comfort zone, that one day I will look back at this post and be able to count the friendships that have come out of this “seedling phase.”

And I hope that it encourages you too if you are in a place of loneliness or not seeing the fruit of sowing seeds of friendship, don’t be disheartened. Keep working at it.

We truly reap what we sow. And I know that’s not necessarily what we always want to hear. I want others to take that first step and extend their hand. I don’t like going first.

But “a man who has friends must himself be friendly…” (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)

So let’s be brave. Ask that co-worker out for coffee. Make that phone call. Invite them over for lunch or dinner.

Let’s open our hearts and our homes to people and watch what the Lord does! Roots only come from seeds being planted.

Living Room Gallery Wall

One of the first things that caught my eye when we looked at our house was the beautiful fireplace and mantel. The brick and warm wood tones made me give Chris “the look.” We made an offer on the house shortly after. (Ha)

I could just imagine all of the beautiful decor on that mantle…a mirror with a wreath for Christmas, springtime florals, or candles that smelled of spice for the fall.

But none of those things happened. You see, I didn’t read the fine print on our marriage license that said, “The TV must have precedence over all of the pretty things.” ITS A BIG DEAL PEOPLE.

At every house we looked at, while I was swooning over beadboard and original hardware, Chris was standing in the corner, arms folded, figuring out where the TV would go.

Even though it killed me inside a little bit, we both did agree that the only place the TV would fit in our living room was on the mantel…which meant all of the “cable junk” went on the mantle too. Bleh. BLEH BLEH BLEH.

But I decided to try and make the most of it and while I mulled over several ideas, I settled on the idea of a gallery wall.

I bought some matted frames (Pinnacle 11FW1444 White 7-Piece Solid Wood Wall Frame Kit) from Amazon, and I decided to go with white because I felt like black would be a little overbearing since I was using so many frames.

I am happy with the way it turned out! I feel like it draws your eye up and keeps the TV from being the first thing you notice when you walk in the room. *praise hands*

And that means both of us are happy! My hubby can kick back and watch his (beloved) TV and I can stare at the sweet memories on our wall. Marriage is all about compromise right?!

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