When you leave a church and have been in that church’s active ministry, it’s hard. It’s hard, because so many people misunderstand. It’s hard because people tell people what they heard, leaving a long and confused string of thoughts and ideas about why the leavers left. It’s hard because it is a loss-both to the leaver and to the stay-er. The sense of loss on either end no doubt can be measured by the investment of time in the place, and the people of the church.
We moved from Indiana to Kansas on May 2. Every single day since then, I have had a lesson in the form of humility from one source or another. Every place I go, I have to rely on Siri or my instincts to figure out where I am and where I am going, and how to get there. The days I rely on my instincts, I get lost.
Other than daily getting lost or finding myself driving down the wrong way on a one way street, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Kansas. Our new church family, Westside Family Church, has welcomed us with grace and peace and so, so much kindness.
Every day is a new introduction. A new something somewhere. I am a deeply settled person. I enjoy roots, predictability, and the peace that comes from knowing what happens next. Learning the in’s and outs and shortcuts will take time, I’m sure.
As I am being humbled by learning all things new, I thought I’d take a minute to blog about what I DO know. These are the people I know best in the world–their in’s and out’s, their shortcuts, what makes them who they are. I’d like to introduce my family. Understand these are bird’s-eye-view introductions. Each one of us is incredibly complex. Our girls are very spirited–The dynamics of raising three girls in one family are intense, insanely fun, and keep Rob and I on an incredibly high learning curve .
Rob and got married 21 years ago when he was 21 and I was 19. We were close friends from the time I was 12 and he was 14. I still remember clear as day the first time I saw him. He radiated joy and warmth and he was the funniest person I knew (besides myself, of course)
Rob is a phenomenally gifted communicator and teacher of Jesus and His ways. He is a wonderful husband and amazing father to our three girls. He is patient and kind with them, leading them by his example and courage to follow Jesus wherever He leads. Rob is a guitarist and musician. Music oozes out of him wherever he goes. It’s in his soul and spirit. He’s a dreamer of really big dreams, and a huge believer in helping others implement their own. I’m proud to be his wife.
Maddie is 15. She is an old soul in a young body. She’s an introvert, a Noticer, and deeply compassionate. Maddie is wise beyond her years and can spot a faker in a second (someone who says they are one thing but really are not who they say they are). She’s deeply intuitive and an amazing photographer. She’s hilarious and fun, practical and precise. She is a wonderful role model to her younger sisters. I am so proud to be her mom.
Whitney is 14. She is the tallest of our girls, and is made of solid muscle. She’s a strawberry blonde beauty. She’s intense, incredibly fun, an extremely strong leader, bold, loud, confident, and courageous. Whit is the kind of kid who is a friend to literally everyone she knows and an underdog for the outcast kind of kids. She has a gift for making those around her feel loved, included and important. Whitney makes me laugh every day. I’m so proud to be her Mamma.
Isabelle Joy(Belle, Isabob, Corndog, LIttle Mac, Is., Peanut)
Belle is 10. She exudes joy and life like no one I’ve ever known. From the minute she wakes up until her head hits the pillow at night, she oozes life and radiates joy. She is so much fun, non-stop. She is a Rainbow Loom genius, making bracelets and crafts several hours a day. She is deeply sensitive, is easily hurt, but comes alongside those who hurt because she knows how it feels. Belle is a best friend and buddy to whomever she is with. She is the definition of joy. Her smile and laugh light up a room like magic. I’m so proud to be Belle’s Mamma.
Me – I’m 41. I’ve written for several magazine publications over the past 10 or so years about family life and spiritual matters. I am a mega introvert. I need lots and lots of time alone, and people often misunderstand this part of me as snobbishness or aloofness. I promise I am neither of those. I love people. I love Jesus.
I love my family with all of my heart. I love anything artsy or creative or fun. Driving my Jeep with the top down, taking photos along the way with the sun on my face (or even in the pouring rain) fills me up. I’m often in nature alone, photographing stuff that point me to my Creator. I see Him through my camera lens, and hear His voice in the wind.
That’s enough introducing for now. Your eyeballs are probably tired from this very, very long post. Go take a nap and give your eyes a break. It’s been so lovely getting to know you all. Thanks for being gracious and kind as we humbly get to know you back.
So, suddenly here we are, over the rainbow…in Kansas! Who would have ever thought that we would end up in Kansas? I wouldn’t have! For all the people that live here in Kansas, I am ashamed to say the only perception I had of Kansas was a black and white one from my childhood-Dorothy’s Kansas with farms and cyclones and crazy wizards living in trailers in the middle of nowhere.
I have been overwhelmed by the beauty of this place, the blue’s are more blue, the green’s are more green. We live a few miles from several parks that are breathtaking in their beauty. There are bluebirds everywhere, coyotes, and SNAKES! We’ve had so many adventures in the month that we’ve lived here. It’s been wild and wonderful.
Before Rob and I came to Westside to interview for his position, a friend texted me and said, “What do you think about moving to Kansas?” I replied sarcastically “I am NOT moving to Kansas”.
Famous last words. Ha.
The girls enjoyed getting to know their new schools for the last few weeks of the school year. It was a bit hectic exiting their old schools and entering the new, all at the end of the school year and during a cross country move, but on the other side of it all, we are glad we made the decision. They were each able to make some friends, as well as learn their way around their new schools and our neighborhood.
We love our new house. Belle’s school is just outside of our back gate, which means she can get to school in under a minute in the mornings, but it also means we have a gigantic playground in our back yard, and a beautiful path to walk in the evenings. We are beyond grateful.
We have also been getting to know our new church, Westside Family Church. It is one amazing place, with a wonderful staff and tons of extremely friendly people. Learning everyone’s names has been a challenge, especially in my now old age of 41, but people have been very gracious and patient. 🙂
We are still waiting for our house in Granger to sell, so if you know anyone who is interested in a fabulous house in Granger in an amazing school district, let us know! Also, if you are a person who prays, ask God to send the right family to love that house and neighborhood as much as we did.
We are grateful for all the love and support of our friends and family in this time of transition. It’s been an amazing ride to the other side of the rainbow, but we are happy, settling in, and finding our footing here as we march forward together as a family on this new adventure.