Thursday, April 24, 2014

the story behind our cross-country move.

So I've realized lately that many of you have no idea why we moved or the story behind it - and it's so important to me that I document this somewhere. I've been trying to write this post for three weeks now, but I just haven't reached the point where I feel like I've fully portrayed the emotions and excitement behind it all. For my sanity, though, I'm giving it my best shot. It's quite the novel, but it's ours and I love it.

About once a week, I remember how crazy it is that we actually live in New Hampshire. Before Jacob started the interview process for this new job back in the fall, I can pretty confidently say New Hampshire only crossed my mind when I got the hankering to sing the state song I learned in fifth grade. When he first mentioned he got a call from a pastor up here, I laughed. I didn't give it much consideration, partly because it seemed crazy, but mostly just because I didn't want to give the opportunity too much weight yet. It was too early and it wasn't just a simple move down the street, you know?

The job process slowly moved along, with phone interviews here and there and eventually a very long questionnaire about our lives and several of Jacob's theological stances. Very few people knew about the opportunity, still, because we thought it was too early and too crazy to tell people just yet. We were almost constantly thinking about it, though. And praying. So much prayer.

It was at this point I started feeling a little sad because I thought I'd have to quit my new job I'd only had for three or four months so far. I loved what I did and what the company stands for - it was a great job to get right out of college and I had already grown to love my coworkers dearly! I shared my life with those people, so you can imagine how difficult it was to keep my over-sharing mouth shut.

At this point, though, my parents didn't even know about the opportunity! We weren't sure it was serious enough to tell them and, well, New Hampshire felt a lot farther away from Ohio than Tennessee did... and we weren't ready to give them that shock quite yet. Looking back, I wish we had clued them in a little sooner, but we held back because we didn't want to put them through those emotions if we didn't end up moving.

But then the pastor called and said they'd like to fly us up to visit. And that's when we realized things were serious and we wished we had already told my parents. But the moment we did tell them was so, so sweet. We Facetimed them together and shared the story and our excitement. They couldn't have been more supportive. They prayed with us for our visit and the decisions to be made - both for us and the church - and told us how proud they are of us! Needless to say, I cried and felt a surge of excitement as our trip couldn't come quicker.

We visited at the beginning of December and were absolutely blown away by the Church. The people were incredible - so down to earth and welcoming... and devoted lovers of Christ. It was a packed weekend full of events and dinners and great conversations with many (soon-to-be) new friends and coworkers. After every single meeting or event, we left with the calm confirmation that this would be our new home. We were pumped up about how much God is moving here and using this church to love this city!! We were so exhausted, though, that we hardly talked in our alone time the first two nights! Any chance we had to sleep, we slept.

But the night before we were scheduled to fly home, we both confidently said we would be crazy to say no. We prayed again and went to bed with giddy, excited spirits. The next morning we met with the lead and executive pastors to "debrief" from the weekend and they offered Jacob the job. Although we knew we wanted to make this church and city our new home, we thought about it, prayed about it, and sought counsel from our parents for a few days.

Later that week, Jacob officially accepted the position as Student Pastor and we started the process of figuring out how to move across the country. We planned to move at the end of January, so we needed to quickly give our time at our current jobs. Both of us gave our time much earlier than two weeks, because we were in situations where that was most appropriate. Chickfila was so sad to see Jacob go - it was really fun to see how appreciated and loved he was there.

And although I was extremely excited for this new adventure, I was very sad to say goodbye to my new job and dreading the process of interviewing for new jobs. The day came when I had to tell my boss we were moving, though. I asked him to talk, shut his office door, and told him we were moving. I'm so emotional, I attempted to keep it together and not cry, but I'm sure he could tell I was on the verge. He was so supportive and told me how they would be sad to see me go, but he knew I'd move on to bigger and better things eventually.

But then he asked if I'd be willing to work remotely for a little while, to help with the transition while they looked to fill my position. I didn't tell him at the time, but I was kind of secretly hoping for that possibility. I was filled with excitement and gratitude that I wouldn't have to search for a new home and a new job all at once. I could see my stress levels deflating immediately.

All throughout this process, God opened door after door, leading us to New Hampshire. Even though moving across the country is a scary thing, I wasn't scared. He provided us with two jobs. We knew he was providing an amazing church family to welcome us in and love us. He provided a temporary housing situation for us while we looked for a new apartment. And the place we have now is so perfect for us - we needed to wait to find it.

Now we are 3 months in to living in New Hampshire - and we are still loving it. My "temporary" remote job has even morphed into a "keep as long as I want" temporary remote job. God has provided for us abundantly in every department and I seriously sometimes just can't even believe it. He is so good, friends. Even the times when I was unsure and doubted that where we were in that moment was right, he provided a way. He filled in the gaps. He connected the dots.

I'm so excited for what is to come. We are finally settling into a routine and feeling like this city really is our home. I'm ready to embrace it, roll up my sleeves and get to work.

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. - 1 Corinthians 3:6-7

This verse has been running through my mind often lately. I'm asking God to use our time here - to use us to plant seeds and water seeds, but even more I'm asking him to make things grow.

Thanks for hanging with me all the way through this story. I wish I could have articulated the moments of joy and trust a little more eloquently, but sometimes I can't translate those feelings into the right words. He is so good, my friends. Thanks for your support and encouragement through the beginning of this journey we're on!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

the truth about working from home.

My desk is red. Let me tell you, that brings me a lot of joy. No more gray cubes! Or gray desks! Red!!

I can sing and hum to myself for as long as I want, as loudly as I want.

The office coffee is always good.

If I wake up 10 minutes before start time, there's no reason to freak out. Unless it's Monday and I have an 8am video conference call.

My entire lunch break is mine... I don't have to travel anywhere except downstairs to my kitchen, or possibly down the street for some extra special coffee. 

I can do laundry all throughout the day.

I can take a mid-day run to give my mind some rest and get my stiff limbs moving... and I don't have to walk through the whole office in exercise clothes!

Slippers. Enough said, right?!

When it snows, I don't have to leave my heated apartment. That's probably the best part, if I'm honest.

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Just write.

Last night I sat in the recliner with my feet up and smiled at the coffee table covered in plates and empty glasses, the couch with pillows strewn across it and the blanket crumpled on the floor. The light is out in our family room, so I took a bedside lamp from our room and plugged it in on the floor downstairs in a feeble attempt to better illuminate our workbooks for discussion.

The night was filled with laughter and great conversation and young ladies. These are the nights I love love love ministry and I'm extra thankful for this season of our lives.

I also sat here so filled with these emotions and unable to put words onto this page. Not the kind of words that I felt could adequately describe my feelings, anyway.

That got me thinking - so often when it comes down to writing, I don't think I have anything to say. But so many of my favorite posts start out with a blank page and blinking cursor. And by the end, I'm surprised by what I've written.

So this is my reminder to you (but especially for myself!) to write. When you don't feel like it, write anyway. When you're tired and you have a million things to do, write anyway. If you love to write, or want to love to write, then write. Make time for your craft, because when you don't feel like it is exactly the moment you need to do it the most.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Weekend Reading #11

Well, the weekend is starting a day early in our house, due to Easter celebrations this weekend! I have the day off work and my parents are visiting us, so I'm very much looking forward to relaxing and showing them around our new city! I thought I'd go ahead share my favorite reads from the week to kick off the weekend and allow you to relax a little, too.

So happy Good Friday and enjoy your long Easter weekend!!

Good Friday
- Here's a great read to remind you of the significance of this day. Jesus was obedient, humbled, and full of love for us to his death. By his wounds we are healed.

Small business dreaming
- A guide to getting your first few clients - so practical and beneficial! 
- On planting an orchard instead of a greenhouse- great metaphor for a steady hustle for your dreams


- 7 daily habits to make more time for relationships. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Oh, the mysteries.

Sometimes I do very strange things, like shower at 1:45am, thinking it's time to get up for work.

Last night I woke up at 1:45, grabbed my phone quickly and turned off the alarm that was going off in my head. I did what I typically do - squint at the clock to decide if I can hit snooze a time or two - but realized I needed to get in the shower ASAP! I think the :45 is what freaked me out and got me moving.

I scurried to the bathroom, flipped on the lights and rubbed my eyes, still feeling disoriented. I glanced at my phone again, trying to figure out if I really needed to be up at this time, but for some reason 1:45am said time to get ready for work to my very drowsy self.

I turned on the water and started my routine - wash hair, condition, wash body, rinse conditioner, condition again, rinse, done. As I stood in the shower, though, I felt miserable. I even thought to myself, this is going to be a veryyyyy long day.

But by the time I started round two of conditioner, I started becoming slightly more aware, and I realized, I think the clock really said 1:45am. I finished my shower (quickly) and my hopes were rising that I just may be correct - that I could return to bed.

I dried off, pressed the "home" button on my iPhone and, low and behold, it said 2 am. Sheesh. After the initial shock that I just took a shower at 1am wore off, I gladly returned to bed for another 5 hours of sleep. It's no wonder I felt so miserable after only being asleep for one hour before my imaginary alarm went off and started this whole fiasco.

Ladies and gents, this is a completely true story. Needless to say, I gladly set my alarm for thirty minutes later than normal, since I had already showered for the day ;)

Hope you got better rest than I did and are getting excited for this glorious weekend that's coming up! He has risen, my friends!! Amen!

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