The Engstrom crew is headed to North Carolina at the end of the school year!
All the feels but new adventures await.
This has been a long time in the making as we have sensed a need for change for some time, so after taking time to think, visit, research, fast, and pray we decided it was the perfect time if we were going to make such a big change!
Our oldest, Annikah, graduates high school this May and Evy graduates 8th grade and starts high school in the fall so it is THE summer if we want to move six people to a new state. We have deeply invested and loved hard where we live so this decision was not taken lightly but when it became clear that it was time for a change we prayed and I took a short trip there to see if I thought it was a good fit. I had never even been to North Carolina (only passing through) or the Raleigh area (where we are moving) but Jason travels there often for work and has a pretty good feel for the area and knows many living there.
There have been many confirmations that this is what is right for us. Of course that does not mean it will be easy, but knowing there is a clear leading for us helps so much in the transition. In early December I was in Miami with Monat as a Gratitude Ambassador for a week of volunteering and serving. One morning we created boxes for “Santas for Seniors” and we were each handed a stack of cards and picked three off the top and passed the stack on. One each card was the name and location of a senior in need of a care package who had a hard year. These submissions were from across the entire United States and the Gratitude Ambassadors took turns reading them to honor the person’s story then create a gift box with product and a personalized note for each one. I was photographing so did not preview my cards until it was time for me to read out loud the woman’s story on my card. She was from the EXACT smaller community we made the offer on the house. I started tearing up and barely made it through reading- THE EXACT community we are moving to. God was encouraging me in that moment through my work that this is the right next step for us and He spoke to me through something so dear tom- volunteering. I sent the picture to Jason who was also shocked and encouraged! (I would post but do not want her personal info out there but will forever keep that image as a reminder that God is in “coincidence”).
I never even saw the house we decided to buy- I know crazy! The older girls and Jason had taken a tour and they really liked it- especially Evy who asked so often if it was still available. Even sight unseen for me we decided to make an offer and then keep the news as a surprise for the kids. Jason flew down for work and also closed on the house and set up air mattresses and facetimed me to give me the full tour. After Christmas with my family we drove there and the kids thought we were just looking at homes again for the day and we walked in to their NEW HOME! It was an epic surprise! There are so few real surprises in life so we decided this would be the way to tell them. I felt so nervous because I was seeing the house for the first time AND I had no idea how the kids would react. (see video)
We have moved across the world and know that each time you move there will be amazing things and really hard things so it is very emotional for us all. But it is time for a change for the Engstrom crew.
This video marks a special time for us. The kids were excited, surprised- maybe shocked (I actually am shocked we pulled it off without certain nosey kids knowing!), and later there were and will be many tears because each time we move we leave friends that we consider family. We leave places and spaces that are sacred and known. We will need to be vulnerable and put ourselves out there again. But here is what I also know- in that process we see so much provision, so much leading, and new adventures to love and be loved, to contribute and receive from a community, and to meet people that will change our lives.
If you have been a part of this chapter in our lives we are so thankful for you.
New adventures await-We are grateful to God. Please come visit!