Sunday, February 13, 2011

what will I take with me?

It's starting to sink in how much we'll be leaving behind when we move.

Our totally amazing church. Spirit-infused worship. Challenging preaching. A place we feel right at home, where neighbors and friends worship side-by-side. A place that has helped us grow by giving us a place to belong.

Our fabulous neighbors. People who mow our lawn when we're away without being asked, look out for our kids, make time to hang out together, and who care about us.  Neighborhoods like this one are hard to find.

Our kids' great schools. Good Shepherd Preschool and River Gate Elementary School have been outstanding places for our kids to learn, to be loved, and to make friends.  Leaving both behind will be sad.

Our first house.    This house has been such a peaceful place, and I couldn't imagine a better fit for our family.  We spent countless hours making it "ours" when we moved in.  And soon it won't be ours any more.  In almost 13 years of marriage this is the longest we've ever lived anywhere (that is, almost 4 years now).  It has felt so good to be settled, with all of our things under one roof.

There are other things ... Gordon-Conwell, the SIM community, and more ... that have made this a rich season for us.  And those losses will have to be grieved.  But today I've started to think about what I'm taking with me.

What will I carry with me as we leave Charlotte that I did not have when we came?

Memories of people and places. I don't plan to take a southern accent along, but it has been wonderful to have friends who speak with a drawl even when they're not telling jokes.  We've met a lot of great people here, and though they can't all come along, we can treasure them in our memories.  We've camped, biked, and driven all over the Southeast, and we've seen a lot of natural beauty.

New perspectives. I see things differently now in a number of areas: women's roles in ministry, eschatology (that's the study of the "end times"), the function of the Old Testament for Christians, Christology (that's the study of Jesus), even the gospel itself.  Don't worry, I'm more convinced than ever that the Bible is God's Infallible Word, I am more deeply in love with Jesus than when I came, and I am experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in greater measure. These four years have added so much to my understanding of the Bible and my relationship with God (and, as Danny will tell you, the weight of my library!).

A family of five. We came here with a 4-year-old and a 4-month-old.  We'll leave with a 10-year-old, a 5-year-old, and a 3-year-old. We'll be leaving behind the 'baby stage' and taking three great kids with us. I'm so thankful that we get to keep on being a family no matter where we live. Our marriage is stronger than ever, with a sense of teamwork that has made this intense season truly a joy.

This blog.  And all of you who read it.  I have loved sharing this journey with all of you, and you can join me for the next season of learning. We still don't know where that will be, but we're trusting that God will open the right door for us so that I can continue my studies. Check back mid-March for the big news!


  1. Praying for you and your family as you make this huge transition! I am glad to hear you will keep blogging. As I have shared before...I look forward to hearing your mommy musings and biblical insight as I read your blog. You may not think it's much...but I appreciate your shared family moments (makes my family feel normal too), words of truth and Spirit led wisdom. Just completely down to earth and real. Thanks for sharing your journey. I love seeing my Google reader pop up with one of your blogs.

    I was reading the Psalms recently...PS 119 is one of my favorites...many of those verses express the longing of my learn and understand HIS word better. Going deeper, learning more...about HIS character, but also about HIS desire/plans for me. In reading your blog regularly over the last year (or so)your passion for The WORD of GOD is so apparent and real (like the Psalmist says in 119:14-16). I think HE has used you to ignite a stronger desire in me to KNOW him more. For now...that means just diving into HIS word and "listening" to what HE is saying to me. HOwever, I have also considered going further...Biblical studies, etc. We'll see.

    Carmen, I have never even met you. But I appreciate you and your blog. Thanks.

  2. Makes me sad to think of all you all will be leaving behind, yet, happy to think of all you are moving toward!

  3. Rochelle,

    I'm excavating my inbox and came across this wonderful comment from you that I utterly failed to answer. Thank you for writing, and thanks for sharing this journey with me. I'm humbled and blessed to have you along for the ride. Blogging has been a wonderful way to prevent intellectual and spiritual stagnation. I love sharing life with people like you!