One Year as an Intentional Texan

We close our eyes and the world has turned around again,
We close our eyes and another year has come and gone,
We close our eyes and the world has turned around again,
We close our eyes and dream…
     -Oingo Boingo
One year. More song lyrics spring to mind, but I’ll spare you.
We recently returned from a trip to California (helping our daughter move into her dorm for her sophomore year of college). As we landed at DFW airport, it struck me full force that it was the anniversary of the first time I landed there, when I stepped off the plane into the unknown of my new life. I might add here that my arrival last September I opened a text I received in-flight, my new down the street neighbor (now a very dear friend) warning me about snakes in my backyard.  Oh. My. Goodness. It’s a wonder I didn’t turn on my heel and walk right back onto that airplane.
But back to my California interlude. I wandered my old hometown while visiting sweet family and friends, but things have shifted. As they do. The place hadn’t changed dramatically, things were still familiar, but didn’t seem like home. It was strange, but I felt no pull to drive on autopilot to our house of 16 years. Hit by the surreal nature of the experience, I pondered as I drove through town, “I don’t live here. Home is somewhere else.”  And it was ok.
Really truly better than ok. I love our Texas life, though I miss my people in California, but I have been intentional in embracing my new home.  I intentionally set out to find my people and my places. I intentionally looked for beauty all around me (and found it!). When God led us to a wonderful new church family, I intentionally plugged in, joined a small group (or two) and started leading a small group in our home. I intentionally bought cowboy boots.  They’re black and really cute and very comfortable and go with more than you’d think. I intentionally looked for a doctor who would be able to help me and God led me to someone wonderful who DID help me. (read this if you haven’t already) I intentionally explored and fell in love with Fort Worth and all our small towns surrounding it.
However. This whole moving-to-Texas-thing has been one of the toughest things I’ve done.  Don’t let all my intentionality lead you to think otherwise.  It was SO. HARD. Hard to leave, to walk out in faith, going to a place I’d never seen far from everyone (except my husband and son) and everything I’d known for 49 years, leaving my friends, my family (including my tiny baby daughter at college in California), my church home, my doctors, my safe places.
But walk out we did. And tears were shed. And loneliness crushed down sometimes and I would forget to breathe for a moment. And I kept getting up, kept making our Texas house a home, kept reaching out to people here and people in California, my tribe old and new. Kept finding ways to embrace where we were and choose to love my life. Kept being intentional. Home, you see, isn’t just a place, but a gradual process, a thousand little steps, sometimes hard-won. It’s not overnight but it is worth the effort.
You’ll always find what you’re looking for, someone once told me.  If you’re looking for the good, there it is right in front of you. If you’re looking for the worst in every situation, it will be there, staring you in the face.
But as a year has passed we have learned so much. You can choose your home and what home feels like. You can choose to move forward instead of being stuck looking back; you hold onto the precious things you already have and carry them into a new season, a new place. I’m told by some of my Californians that I have developed a bit of an accent, which makes me laugh. Sure, I’ll embrace it.
I haven’t written a lot about the move itself and our whole transition, largely because it felt too raw and too much in flux, but the thread of God’s leading and His blessing has run throughout.  The logistics of the move were so smooth, our deals to sell and buy houses went without a hitch, and we all got back here safe and sound, as did our stuff. It was the thousand degrees of letting go that were so hard and kept sneaking back in to remind me of what was lost. But not really lost, is it? Those who were dear to me still are. And those dear to me in Texas would remain unknown, as would the joys of so many things purely Texan, if I hadn’t trusted God’s leading and walked through the doors He opened.
Be intentional wherever God has you and make home where He directs.
Kathleen Tysinger

I’m a Christian girl on the journey through an adventure-filled life, a blogger, writer, speaker, and mom to two college students. I am blessed to be married to my high school sweetheart and we make our home near Sacramento, California. While I spent years as an English teacher and in the business world, I was given the gift of a “different-paced” life through the onset of a chronic illness in 2015, and my adventure continues…

1 Comment

  1. I always find comfort and most times direction and answers in your words. I am blessed to call you friend, blessed to know your kids, and kind husband. Love Donna
    PS… sorry about the snake warning

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