Nick, Zoe and I at Panorama Point on Mt. Rainier. Picture taken by Dane Francis.
Hello everyone! Thanks for heading over to check out my new blog. Since we're in the Seattle area we wanted to keep everyone up to date on what's going on, Zoe and her crazy growing up and just the generalness that one misses out on when living away from friends and family. So here we go...
We've been up here about 6 weeks now and it's been a crazy time. The drive was amazing and such a joy; a true gift from God after a few crazy weeks preparing for the move. We arrived in Federal Way (a suburb between Seattle and Tacoma) on a Saturday and Jim (my brother who is stationed in Tacoma) helped us unpack and set up shop that day. We went to Mars Hill (the church we moved up here for) the next day and immediately met some great people. We were invited to a community group (similar to a small group, but with people that live in your literal community) the next night. Nick started work on Monday and we attended our first community group (CG) that night. Since then, it's been the same story each week, and we're loving the way we're growing in Christ, in this community and in our family.
The model of Mars Hill church is different from anything we've ever experienced; the organization of the church, the training of the leaders, it's focus on Jesus, teachings of the truth from the bible...it's been an incredible learning experience so far and we've just started! We came up here to prepare ourselves to better lead in the upcoming church plant, and we know that God has us here for a reason. I feel that this season of our lives is a season of growth; our family has expanded, our spiritual lives are growing, our skills as members of the church and community are blossoming and our marriage is gaining even more strength. The community group that we're a part of has members that are wise, learned and willing to share their gifts with the group to grow each of us in our relationships with Christ. Attending the church has been a huge blessing in our lives and we're excited to be a part of it, serving on teams and participating in the culture that this church is.
At home, we've decided that I will be going back to work for 3 months to finish paying off our debt. Most of you know that we were on the path to have it paid off this year, but after getting pregnant and my work schedule changing, this seemed impossible. But God provides! We were offered a travel contract in Tacoma (10 miles from us) and since Dane and Lauren (Nick's brother and his girlfriend) have moved in with us, we have a great babysitter in house. Though a little different from the original plan of me staying home full-time, we know that this is a God-given gift to be out of debt to serve and be on mission without restraint. The blessing of Lauren watching Zoe has made a huge impact in this decision for us; if not for her being here, I would not be going back to work. After the contract is completed we will return to the original plan of me staying at home with Zoe. And speaking of Zoe...she's already getting so big! She's sitting up in her Bumbo several times a day, cooing and babbling up a storm and making our lives more enjoyable just by her presence. Everyone says it, but there is no other love like that for your child; it's immeasurable! We're traveling all over the northwest and she's going with us every step of the way. We've been to Yellowstone, Portland, the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Rainier, downtown Seattle, the beaches in Tacoma and we're heading to the Olympic Peninsula this weekend. She loves being outside with us and we love taking her. We're pretty sure hikes are her favorite; she loves being outside more than anywhere else. Nick and I have gotten back into rock climbing and she goes to the gym with us and watches us take turns climbing. The staff at the gym say she's the best baby, and she really is. She just watches everyone and hardly ever even whimpers. Family time up here is going really well. Having my brother so close is great, especially after him living so far from family for the last several years. We try to get together once a week to catch up and hang out. Dane and Lauren moved in 2 weeks ago and it's a welcome addition to our sometimes quiet home. Spencer and Revis are happy to have more people around to love them and they're pretty much adjusted to the weather up here. (It's cool, all the time. During the day it's 75 on a warm day with sun, 60 on a cool day with clouds. At night, it's in the 50s and always feels almost cold)
So, that's how we're rolling right now. We'd love to have prayers for continue growth in our spiritual journey and following God's will while we're up here. We know that God has a plan for us; it's abundantly evident every day. I'm going to try to post once a week or so, and I'll have pictures posted too. Love and miss you all! I'll leave you with part of a song lyric that's been in my mind for several weeks now; it's speaking to me and my journey in where God's taking us.
I'm falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you
Forgetting all I'm lacking
I'll take your invitation
You take all of me now