It’s been a year…

June 10th, 2016 was our 16th wedding anniversary. It was also the day the packed up what we hadn’t gotten rid of, our two youngest children and headed to the mission field.

We left a lot behind. The only home we had lived in as a married couple, the one all of our kids were raised and being raised in, our parents, our three oldest kids, our two small granddaughters, almost every friend we had…the list of loss is long. We didn’t really feel it at the time.

In the moment it was pure adrenaline. The excitement of our dreams coming true combined with having friends and family with us, helping us move was fun! Two days after settling into our apartment, our family and friends left and then the mission teams came and we were so busy there wasn’t time to think about anything other than what was happening on a given day and who was in charge of making sure our kids were fed, alive and still on the property. Busy was an understatement.

We all survived summer, mostly. Little did we know God was about to shake us up to the very core. Shortly after summer the hard reality of leaving it all behind, living in a place that’s not our home, having new jobs and roles and a slew of other things (including the kids melting down because reality was hitting them too) and it was ugly. It came out in different ways for all of us. Crying, silence, withdrawal, rebellion, anger…almost in every way you can imagine it came pouring out of at least one of us – usually all of us in different ways all at the same time.

I’m sure our friends here, the ones I wasn’t crying to for hours a day (you know who you are!) saw it too. The struggle was clear: our family was breaking down from the inside out. Our marriage was a wreck, we were struggling in our new roles, the kids just wanted to go home and it was a mess.

But. But God. But God has a way. A way of working after all you guards are down, all your dreams are in a pile of tears and you feel lost. He just knows exactly what’s needed and it always seems that we take the hardest route to get to it. He stepped in when we sat down in defeat and saved. Saved our dreams, saved our marriage, saved our family.

A year later we have finally hit our stride. I am doing what I love, what I’m good at, being stretched to do the things that God wants me to do & loving Him more than I ever have. I can’t speak for the rest of my family but what I see is good. Jeremy is leading & loving us like never before, Jace is growing into his new life with new ideas and dreams and Ryan is stepping into the leadership qualities God has given him. It is good.

God is good. Life is good. Mexico is good. We have all made friendships that are growing stronger every day. We are closer as a family than we have ever been and most importantly, loving and learning more about God than we ever have! If you have prayed for us, thank you. If you haven’t, please start! There are still lots of things pending: I’m teaching a Women’s Bible Study at our church, we aren’t sure what the boys will do for school in the fall, Jeremy is feeling a tug in ministry and our general health & safety is always on our prayer list!

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One of {almost} everything…

a1 a3a4 a2

One. It’s the smallest number (for those of us who are not mathematicians). It was a super exciting number…at first. Now, it’s also the freakin’ scariest number. Let me explain.

Since last year I have felt smothered. Like I can’t breathe. All the stuff we have in our home has been closing in on me. It’s everywhere! We have a hall closet. FULL of STUFF. Tons of kitchen cabinets. FULL of STUFF. Closets in every bedroom. FULL of STUFF. And I’ve never noticed any of it before. I’ve been surrounded by all this crap (honestly I don’t even know what is in most every cabinet) and it has never bothered me. But in the past year it all started to close in and all I think about is getting rid of it all! I really think The Lord is preparing me for #mexico2016.

Fast forward to the here and now and I’m freaking so excited about having one of everything!! Like one set of measuring cups (not the 17 haphazardly placed, mismatched sets floating around somewhere), one set of teaspoons (with ALL of them present) and so on. You can see where this is going.


Less. Less stuff. Less crap, #downsizing. Yesssssssssss. I’m longing for it. Looking forward to one of {almost} everything. Almost everything because a girl can’t go with just one pair of undies, you know? But less in the areas that require more than one. Less clothes (that we don’t wear), less toys (that aren’t ever played with)…less, less, less I say!!

But then I realized one of everything applies to more than all of our material possessions. We have one Christmas left in the only home our children have known. The home we have lived in for 15 years. Where all of our memories are. All of our struggles have happened here, in this place. Our triumphs have reverberated within these walls. One: Christmas, one more set of the boys’ crazy double birthdays, one more Father’s Day BBQ with all the kids…one more year at home.

It hit me. Hard. One of {almost} everything just became about time, memories and the reality that we are leaving it all behind to run the race that has been set before us. We are leaving the memories, family, friends and even our older children (who are and will be on their own paths in life next year) behind. Wow. That strikes a chord I haven’t dealt with. I’ve been so focused on the posesssions that the “one” of what really matters hasn’t even registered.

My prayer is – “Lord, you know. I feel you preparing me, but please be there when it hits. When I realize my mom isnt next door and the place I’m laying my head isn’t my home that I’ve known for over half my life. When I start longing for things I couldn’t wait to leave behind, God comfort me. Set my feet on firm ground in what you have laid before us.”

One of {almost} everything just became real as hell.
“Things to Do Before You Move Your Whole Family To The Mission Field”

See #’s 1-2 in previous post.

#3. Decide where you are going to live. After shopping around both online and in person we decided that we will live on site. In the third floor apartment over the medical/dental clinic (God willing) at Open Arms. It’s a two bedroom & one bath apartment. The benefits far outweighed the negatives of this decision. So, check that off the list! (In depth post about housing later!)

So Many # and So Many Explanations

A couple of weeks ago I added the hash-tag #weremoving. Subconsciously I guess I was trying to be sensitive and soften the blow both to those who know our plans and add crying emojis after everything remotely related to #weremoving and those who had no idea what I was talking about. We haven’t been keeping a secret but now its a reality #weremoving…in one year. Well, one year (ish) only because we don’t have a number date. We are chalking it up to “next summer, summer 2016 and one year”.

This isn’t some spur of the moment decision that we are mulling around. This has been a move in the making for 7 to 10 years! Really. We went to Mexico for the first time in 2005, many of you reading this were with us. Little did any of us know it would literally change everything. We began to feel then that we “could” see ourselves living in Mexico. You know, after “the kids grow up”. It was a nice thought. That’s not what God had in mind. After a few years and connecting with our friends at Open Arms (check it out at because we will be living there and it’s an awesome ministry!) we began to see a different future unfolding for our family.

Long story short we knew we were called to full time missions after Garrett and Bailey graduated high school. That’s happening. June 2016. See where this is going? That leads us to that #weremoving post. I  used it when we sold our 9 person suburban. That suburban had seen all five of our kiddos through many, many years of family travels. We downsized to a Chevy Trailblazer. Smaller car (5 people). Less gas (for those long trips back to Visalia). This was our first step to #downsizing (another # I used in said post). Our first public announcement of our departure.

10391807_101527933204637_4121333_n            Mexico

(These pictures are from 2009, the first year we went to Open Arms as a family!!)

It was met with questions, honest opinions, great support and raw emotion. It was a game changer in a way we never expected. Good and bad. The only thing we can say is – this is God’d decision. Not ours. Honestly I would do the selfish thing and up and move to Idaho with sweet Chelsea! REALLY. In a heartbeat. If only it hadn’t been for this path God put us on. As the year moves on and we prepare, downsize, realize the sacrifice, adjust emotionally, help our friends and family adjust and search out how God wants this done: pray for us. All of us. Jeremy & I, the kids (all 5), our parents and friends that have become family.

This isn’t easy. It’s exciting. It’s an adventure. It’s amazing. It’s also: kind of sad, hard to let go and a HUGE adjustment in mindset. I plan to blog about this move. About us personally, our ministry here in Visalia, our new ministry in La Mision, Baja California and everything in between! I’d love to share this with you and anyone who is interested in watching (or reading about) us as we look ahead to all God has in life, family and missions for us!

On a side note for all those who love lists and want to know EXACTLY what it does and will take for us to make this happen I’m starting a “Things To Do Before Moving Your Whole Family To The Mission Field” list=)

1.) Sell your gas guzzling ride for more functional, smaller, more gas mileage friendly wheels. As I said above we sold our monster suburban and downsized to a 2003 Chevy Trailblazer. I love it. 5 seats. Less gas. Perfect for this move. Although in the next year we will have to raise funds to buy all terrain tires – essential for the roads of old Mexico=)

2.) Sell you CA King size bed because it IS NOT fitting in your 900 sq foot on site apartment! So we went with a queen that was almost brand new and given to us. As we sell things we are socking the moolah away so we can do one of two things: buy things we need before we go (think bunk beds, all terrain tires and the like) or save it if we can and use it as support as we trade in our income for the generosity of those who believe in what we are doing in Mexico!

So far that all we got besides dreaming big, talking about how this will look in one year and praying our hearts out!