I am a California girl, through and through. I was born and raised there. I’ve never lived anywhere else unless I count the year my family lived in Colorado when I was just a baby. So, yeah. I’ve never known anything else and neither have most of our kids. Fortunately, my husband, Brandon, had been able to keep us in California throughout his Navy career (he definitely had to pull a few strings . . . but he knew, for many reasons, that we simply could not leave). So, go to Iraq for a year to guarantee a stay in San Diego? Sure, I suppose we will do that (we were all quite used to deployments at that point, not that it made it any easier). Miss out on amazing opportunities to be stationed overseas? Yep, we will do that, as well. Miss out on jobs he really wanted? Yes, that too. He is a pretty amazing guy, my husband. He sacrificed so much to keep us in one state for so many years.
So, imagine my surprise that, after 24 years, he finds a job in another state?! To his credit, the last year or so of his Navy career, he kept telling me it was quite possible that we’d need to leave California after retirement. Nah, I thought. He will find a job in San Diego. I just kept telling both of us that! After a while, though, I began to realize how much better living somewhere else might be. And, not to mention, it would certainly be cheaper. Sure, I’d miss my family and friends terribly. But, we did struggle financially and Brandon knew that it was going to be even harder after he retired (I was in denial for a long time). He wanted better for his family. He wanted us to thrive, not just survive. So, I prayed. And prayed some more. Job possibilities came up in Alabama, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. Yikes! It was becoming very real. One day, I prayed a very simple prayer “Lord, I truly want to go wherever you want us to go. I know if we follow your lead, everything will be ok. Difficult, but ok.” Simple right?
Well, in June of last year, Brandon received a call from Raytheon for a job at the Fort Sill Army Base in Lawton, OK. They gave him a great offer right there, over the phone. Plus, the position was for what he had previously done in Iraq. So, he was very knowledgeable in the field and really enjoyed the job back in 2010. After that call, everything became a whirlwind!
At the time he received the offer, our family was on summer vacation. When we got home, Brandon and I made plans to fly to Lawton to begin our house search. My mom and stepdad drove to our house from Arizona to watch the kids. After looking at 13 of them, we prayed over our favorites (4) and felt led to what is now our current home. We then hurried back to California and put our house on the market. Amazingly, we got an offer in three days. The real estate market is crazy in California! We sold our less than 1300 square foot house for MORE than we bought our current 3600+ square foot house.
Stay tuned as I share about our new adventures in Lawton, OK.
Keep the faith,
Hi! My name is Tamra. I’m married to an amazing man. I have five kids (21-10), and 1 grandson. I’m a very blessed woman!! My husband recently retired from the Navy, after 24 years, and moved us to Oklahoma to begin his next career (I’ve lived in California my whole life!) I will be sharing our journeys on my blog. I hope you will join me and you will be encouraged.