I've now been in Richmond for a little over a week with the kids. It feels to me as if we're still "trying on" this place; figuring out how we fit here and how here suits us.
As I look at the week past I am thankful that most of the boxes are unpacked and the foundational pieces are in place (dishes, laundry, beds, etc.) There are systems to smooth but overall I feel good about these.
We are loving the trail system that allows us to bike and take walks to the park frequently. This has also given us the opportunity for more exploration and independence... which has resulted in some consequences and loss of privileges along the way. (A few scary moments for me as a mom when I didn't know where my children were!)
We have visited the same church twice and have many good things to say about the fellowship of believers there. The kids went to Sunday school today and I felt that twinge of discomfort for them as they entered new rooms with all new people. It was similar to what I was feeling for myself- uncomfortable, not knowing quite how or where I fit. And our family of seven isn't inconspicuous, either. (And interesting that everyone tends to guess that we home school. . . )
After this first week we know where the post office is, the library, a PCA church, the grocery story (and Trader Joe's!), the farmer's market, the "Good Food Grocery," an herbalist, the neighborhood parks and pools, Target (bookshelves) and Lowe's (misc. supplies and rugs). All the important things, right?
This week we'll prepare for the school year, finish unpacking the books, register for a few fall activities, find a dry cleaner, set up recycling service, restock the kitchen pantry, and make a huge batch of granola to share with our neighbors. (Lord willing! And we shall see what else comes up.)
I'm sure that as the days go by we will become accustomed to all these new things and our surroundings won't feel so unfamiliar. I'm looking forward to that. Kind of like breaking in a new pair of shoes. This is the life we have and I need to make it work for us- which involves the practical side as well as my attitude of embracing this place and season. Even as I chafe and miss so much of our life in Lynchburg, may the Lord use this time for even more refining and fitting us more closely to His image.