We sold our home of seven years last week and moved into a temporary house to hold us over for the final few weeks in Raleigh. With this, Perry lost her first tooth, the kiddos finished school for the year, and we're officially in a season of "lasts." Here's a little more about all that's going on...
We Sold Our House
Last week was a tough one for our family. We worked through Mother's Day weekend to prepare our house for closing. On Monday and Wednesday we loaded the crate for international relocation as well as had some items moved into storage. Throughout, we made a million decisions about small things: what to sale, what to keep, what to give away, what we wanted London to look like, what we didn't know what to do about what, and on and on. It was lot and God kept us together through it all.
The kiddos have been resilient through the move. Tuesday night was a hard one for Perry, Elizabeth had a hard time walking out of the house on Wednesday, and Thomas had a hard day on Thursday. Shepherd is somewhat unfazed by what is going on and that seems to be a grace.
We love our house so much for all that God did in us and through us during the time that we lived there. We brought both of our babies home from the hospital and to this house. Our house was ground zero for vital seasons of college ministry. As a couple we conducted hundreds of hours of general counseling counseling but especially marriage counseling within those living room walls. We've loved one another, hosted other people, and met with God in our house. Also, we love our neighbors!
It's not easy letting go of something you love so much. Yet God has a way of leading His people to let go of some things they love in order to pick up other things that we love even more. We love seeing the lost become found, the outsiders become insiders, and the dead come to live. We love the local church and seeing it planted among unreached people.
We are incredibly grateful for the gift of this house. Pastille Lane is a special place for us and forever a part of our story. We continue on to London without this gift but we still have the Giver - so we go with Him.
We Went To The Mountains
We closed on the house on Thursday and drove to the mountains on Friday. Thomas officiated the wedding for Erik and Kaylee - two of our former students from college ministry. It was just the weekend away we needed: fresh air, fresh perspective, visiting with friends, and lots of time together. We were able to come back to Raleigh with clearer perspective and recharged spirits.
Life Goes On
Shepherd finished his year of preschool on Monday and Perry finished kindergarten on Tuesday. In the midst of this, Perry lost her first tooth! The more remarkable thing is that Elizabeth was the one to pull it! We're actually glad to cross some milestones in a place that is not our home because it is teaching us a few things. It's not about being in a certain physical house - it's about being together and practicing the presence of God that makes a house a home.
Thomas and Daniel and finalizing the final few aspects of the "back office" of the church: setting up healthcare, meeting with lawyers and accountants, and preparing for monthly rhythms of the plant. We also just established an Advisory Board which will provide financial accountability and help us make strategic decisions in these crucial first few years of the plant - we look forward to introducing you to the board in an upcoming post.
The Season Of "Lasts"
We're officially in that season of seeing people for the "last" time. We know that in the Kingdom we don't ultimately say "goodbye" but simply "see you later." Having God in common allows us to step aside from friendships and rhythms with greater ease and trust that God will reunite us again - on this side of eternity or the other. In this, we're training ourselves in the difference of saying "see you later" and "goodbye" by remembering the difference between the two.
On Sunday night we gathered at Providence to celebrate Daniel Evans' ordination and Thomas was recognized for his seven years of ministry at Providence. Given our travel schedule over the next couple of weeks, we will not be back at Providence before the move. We are grateful for Providence and the season God gave us there.
With all of this being said, we are officially seeing friends for the last time before the move. Starting on Saturday we will officially have our last Saturday, Sunday, and Monday etc. in Raleigh before the move. These moments are not easy. Varying levels of bitterness and sweetness mark the interactions. We do not want to leave but we're thankful for the memories God has given us. We don't want to leave but we are still looking forward to all that God is going to do in London.
Pray With Us
Would you pray with us in the week ahead? There are three items really on our hearts...
Pray with us for God to deliver the Visas quickly and smoothly.
We're working with an immigration attorney to be sure that we don't miss anything. Paperwork should finish in the next couple of days and we should then move into the process of sending paperwork to different offices to obtain the necessary approvals. We're aiming to depart for London on Tuesday June 18 and the Visa timetable will allow or prevent us from making that departure.
Pray for our time with friends in Raleigh.
We want to finish well. We want to celebrate. We don't want to run past the moment without really processing what is going on and finding ways to appreciate the process itself. Every dinner is scheduled out at this point and the lunches are getting booked one by one. It's slated to be a full and busy week.
Pray for our time with Thomas' parents this weekend.
We're headed to Pinehurst to meet Thomas' parents for the weekend. Pray that we would all be able to relax, create a few good memories, and enjoy our time together. We will see both sets of families in different ways in the weeks ahead - more to come on that in the next few posts.
Through it all, we are eager to reach the unreached living in London. Here we share but a few parts of the journey between here and there.
We're sorry for the long(er) read but eager to share our journey with you! Thanks for reading, praying, and encouraging us towards London.
The Lord is my Shepherd; I have everything I need.