It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I left you all on a cliffhanger about where I going to go and what I was going to do with all the change happening in my life. The last month and a half has been crazy busy and brutal, but refining in ways I never imagined.

First let’s talk about the obvious things. After a last minute flurry of job opportunities through the agency I was working with, I ended up working for my aunt again. This job is two hours away from Orlando, which meant I was moving closer to the business.

Closer, but not with my aunt again (because what 30-something wants to live with their family? Not this one. I love them, but no thank you). I found and rented a one bedroom apartment in a decent area where I can continue my morning walks and am close to EVERYTHING in town.

The move was not without its complications. I ended up working through the week and going back to Orlando to pack and bring things down on the weekends. My body was tired and my emotions were all over the place. I was not happy to be leaving Orlando and the life I had created there, even if things weren’t going the way I wanted them to go. This single girl wasn’t anxious to move to a small city with few dating prospects, other job opportunities, and places to go on her days off. But this is what I had to do, so I may as well do it right.

I could tell you about the night I literally drove through a ton of crap on the road–as in manure. When I got to my destination, manure coated my tires, wheel wells and chassis. Strong smelling manure. When I drove past where it happened the next day? There was none on the road. That was a little present just for me.

I could tell you about two trips with two vehicles to move my things out with my family. The communication struggles were mad real.

Or picking up a few things from my ex’s place and having his new girlfriend helping us move things because my family had car trouble. Those were fun times.

Or how my new place wasn’t ready by the first so I had to wait an additional three days before I could move my stuff into the place (yay for moving twice in one week!). They thought they might be able to finish early, but the tenants (who promised they would be out early) didn’t leave until the last day of the month and left a huge mess. So I was pretty  much homeless for three days (which I spent in the lap of luxury at my aunt’s, for those prone to be horrified).

But I’d rather tell you about the better parts of the story. When I was packing, I found a printable from Lara Casey’s website where I’d written down some life goals. Some I had achieved (write a book! publish a book!), but most I hadn’t yet. One stuck out to me: I wanted to make my living space into a home.

Most of the places I’ve lived have just been places to stay. I haven’t had artwork on the walls and pictures on the end table. There isn’t a real design to the set up. Nothing about it feels like me. It’s like I took dorm life wherever I went, like I wasn’t allowed to change anything.

Looking at that item on my list, I felt conviction. This was my opportunity to make a HOME. Even if it is in an apartment. Even if it’s not with a husband right now. I don’t have to wait to make my living space cozy and warm and a place I love coming back to or welcoming others into. I can do that right now.

I went out and bought rugs. And piece of art for the bedroom wall. I found a doormat that reads “Love where you live.” I bought a new bed frame–headboard, foot board, and side rails–and a cube organizer to match (which I use as a TV stand and shelving unit). I bought new bedding and created a color scheme for the bedroom, living room, bathroom and kitchen.

I’m still not all the way unpacked, and moving in hasn’t been without its problems. I’ve been working on editing two books for a client, working a job, and putting together a home. It isn’t easy. But I’m starting to like this little apartment. A lot.

There’s so much more to tell. I am going to a conference this week (!!!) and have new products to launch. I can tell you about my two editing projects thus far and officially launching my editing and publishing services. I can tell you about the projects I’m currently working on. But in this entry, I wanted to sit with this idea of making my living space a home and not a place I sleep and shower.

Even though this season has been hard, it’s been refining. I’m working on life goals here! I’m stretching myself to pursue the things I love in a place I never would have chosen, physically or emotionally. But I’ve discovered something I already knew: God is here, too. He didn’t wave farewell to me as I drove down from Orlando; He welcomed me with open arms here. It’s like the song we sing in church–anywhere is home if Christ my Lord is there.

Learning to Love Where I Live,