Losing Community :: Getting Ready Part II


The movers come to assess what we have to move to storage this week. I've started decluttering my craft closet-the most difficult of the purges yet. We have our flight. We find out word about housing this week, as well. We're selling our stuff in the Target Parking lot to craigslist responders. Eowyn thinks that we just keep going there to run free. In some senses we are.

Cash in our pockets and more and more space in our home. It is freeing.

When I went to my beloved TJ's ('trader joes' for all you who have yet to make its acquaintance) for groceries today,  I saw these pretties instantly. I hesitated thinking we just might have too little time for flowers. But then I was like " Who has too little time for flowers!?!" 

There's a running joke in our family. Every time flowers magically appear in our home (usually purchased by myself,)  I'll often thank Ben for them, informing him that he bought me flowers today.  He always responds in turn with some sort of sweet response.  He's got good taste and an awesome sense of humor. (He does buy me flowers himself as well. But we have one car..so..surprises are kind of difficult with those things.)

They're beautiful aren't they?

Thanks Ben, I love them.

Now on to the heavy stuff.

I've told a few friends this, but I want to write about it here. Getting rid of stuff isn't so bad, not really. It becomes easy when I realize I was just a steward over it for a short time, and now it's going to someone else.

The hardest part is the goodbyes, or rather not dodging goodbyes. I struggle to work through emotions when people look me in the eye and say "this might be the last time we see you." I feel a sort of deep need to schedule something, to tell them we'll be back, to make light of the reality of it all. More so for me than for them. Yet, I'm learning to not dodge the reality. We're moving away permanently. We probably won't return to MPLS to live here again. I'm making room to let the sting  be felt in my heart. I'm learning to let the hug linger and to actually share my heart with them. Just incase weekends don't work and it isn't until the other side of heaven that we see their faces again, I need to be brave enough to speak truth.

One of my most dear friends told me, "If your goodbyes are hard, that means you loved well." It makes my heart feel a bit lighter every time I remember this. The reality is our community has loved us well. You've taught us how to love by loving us so deeply.

Grace at our rough spots. Teasing gently and speaking to our shortcomings when you could have avoided us because sin is uncomfortable. Grace and encouragement and humor and hands and feet. Babysitters for free dates and knowing glances. Food during miscarriages and bringing it up even though it hurts and shared tears and newborn clothes when a baby came a month early and I was told not to buy anything newborn "because they come out big." A million times moving us from apartment to apartment. Pointed questions about how our marriage is doing, how our hearts are beating. Making room for honesty about how parenting can suck sometimes and how marriage is even harder. All of it.

All of the love we've felt over the past five plus years is overwhelming at its least.

Ben and I are simply different human beings because of the way people have moved into our lives beyond opinions and casual conversations. Our marriage is good because of it. Our family is stronger because of it. We love Jesus deeper and understand him better because of it. We have tasted and seen what real community can be like. You just don't come back after that.

It's scary to try and find something like it again.

In less than 3 weeks and we'll be in another country and start from scratch on new community. In some ways it's nice in that those new relationships don't have to deal with so much of the struggles I've brought into previous relationships. But then I remember that this move will bring its own struggles, its own grief. Our new community will be built on sorting through what it means to make a fresh start entirely. They'll still see us vulnerable and unsure. I don't even know what that means. To be honest it's straight up scary.

But God is the God of Helsinki inasmuch as He is of this city. He took such good care of us here, why would he stop now?

So, if you want to know how to pray for us. Pray for community. Pray for grandmas and grandpas and friends and babysitters and spiritually wise counsel and a community of awesome friends so we can be real and grow. Pray for our girl that she would be loved well by others and would grow to know the same kind of kindness she knows here. She has like...five mommas here. All of them lover her so deep.

Pray for our marriage, that we'll be kind as we struggle through growing in a new place. For our parenting, that our frustrations with not knowing what we're doing in this land wouldn't translate to being frustrated with our little when she struggles through her own emotions.

Pray for God's timing in trying for another spraguelet. For his hand on it and that he would give life.

Pray for our families. It's sad when miles separate. Skype is nice but hugs are better.

Pray that the spaces we leave here will be filled by people that can be loved well and benefit just like we have and bless the ones pouring into them.

Pray for peace.

As always thanks for reading and even more thanks for loving our socks off-both metaphorically and literally. You've made us feel like home.

P.S. Eowyn knows how to sniff flowers now, which is adorable. But she also thinks it's funny to lick rocks....so...she's weird.


  1. It was both happy and sad to read this post! So excited for you guys, but I can see where it must be difficult to move and say goodbye to everyone. I will definitely miss you. Thanks for being so real with me and always pointing back to God. You're beautiful!

    1. Thanks Kara, You will be sorely missed! Excited to keep following along on your adventures across the pond!