We closed on a new house this morning & just like that a new chapter begins.  This new chapter is one we did not plan or anticipate but are excited to see all that unfolds next.  In some ways not much is changing but in many ways it feels like a big shift- we are choosing to BE here. One of our last nights in this, our first house, J led us in a family meeting in our PJs over frozen pizza on paper plates.  We shared favorite memories in this sweet little home of ours- our home is bare but our memories are so full. This is a home where God provided amazing neighbors that became like family to us, a home where some have stayed for a short while another has come to join us for forever.  So many have blessed us by sharing meals and stories- and we have been changed by them.  So much laughter and so many tears. Am a whole lot of dancing.  A home where we watched our littlest go from baby to “a grown up man” (to quote Abishai), a home where we learned so much from those around us, a home where WE became a family of 6 forever (plus a fur baby), & as we shared memory after memory we realized all that has been good & difficult & wondrous about living here. And we gave thanks.  Sometimes I can be so forward looking I forget all that has shaped us into the right now so I was grateful for this time of looking back. 

 There has been a lot we did not choose over these last few years but not one space where we have not seen Jesus. We thought we would be here stateside for less time but it looks like God’s plan was to root us deeper in this community. We never imagined we would add 2 children to our family in such a short period but God knitted us together through pain, loss, & abundant joy.  We did not imagine stumbling and trying to find a new normal after a chronic illness diagnoses but we are determined to allow God’s Spirit to move in our neediness and not allow our joy to be snatched away. This community that we once assumed much about (#burbs) has taught us a lot about the world, ourselves, and more about how to welcome and appreciate all of our unfolding stories.  You all have become dear to us and allowed us to share messy life.  You have been kinder to us than we ever deserved.   J told me a few months ago that he is working through what it means to “choose what we didn’t choose” after being inspired by a message he heard.  We want to be ALL IN and PRESENT while not holding on too tight- to show up for life even when we thought things would look different. Sometimes courage looks different in different stages of life. Sometimes it means being brave enough to risk to pursue your passions and sometimes it looks brave enough to be all in right where you are & dare to find joy & contentment there. They are not mutually exclusive. I am always discovering that my dreams are short sighted but God is a God of more than I thought I had figured out.

We ended our time in silent listening prayer (well,  almost silent if you don’t count Abishai constantly making inappropriate noises) asking God what He has for us next; then we shared hopes & prayers for this new chapter in a new house knowing that what truly makes a home is not a bit more space or a newer kitchen but the people living and loving together inside- we all asked that God would open our home to others & that through that He would shape us, teach us, grow us, & allow us to be a blessing.

We are staying local & you are welcome to our new house as soon as I figure out what box my dishes are in- for real- roll up!
Blessings friends,
  

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