At this very moment, Chris is taking his last final (!). In just a few days, our apartment will fill up with family and we will head over to campus to watch Chris walk across a stage in a big black robe and, just like that, our seminary days will be done.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been in a bit of a funk.  I think it has been the perfect storm of much to do, change and transition looming on the horizon and spring days that aren’t quite warm enough for my liking.  As I have sat in this funk, I’ve been trying hard to really name what it is in this season of endings and beginnings that feels so overwhelming for me.  Change is rarely easy but it is so central to our human experience.  It grows us, stretches us, sometimes breaks us and sometimes heals us.  But change happens, wether we want it or not.

This chapter of life has been a good one for our family.  Really good.  We have been surrounded by a great community and part of such loving church families.  We have loved being closer to grandparents and have reconnected with many friends.  There are thrift stores galore within walking distance and frozen pizzas to be bought at the grocery store.  We have an immensely awesome small group and live in a building with neighbors who quickly became friends and are now very much family.  There are many reasons why this season has been good.

Along with all of these really good things, I think that this season has also been unique because I think that we started to really figure out us.

When Chris and I got married we had a five-year plan (ha!) that was quickly blown out of the water a year later when I found myself pregnant.  An apartment flood that ruined much of what little we owned found us living in my mom’s basement when B was born.  Living with my mom was FANTASTIC on many levels (I am a strong supporter of a 3 to 1, adult to infant ratio and also hope that intergenerational living is somewhere in our future).  We left her to move to Ecuador, which was also fantastic in many ways.  But as new parents who had yet to live on their own with their kids who were now thrown into the maze of navigating a new culture and ministry, there was little space left to figure out who we were or who we wanted to be as this little unit we call a family.

Here’s the thing.  Life is almost always full.  There are always layers that are shifting or changing or not coming together quite right.  Sometimes the layers are heaped on in such a way that if you crawl into bed in one piece, you call it a win.  Sometimes the layers just are what they are and they function and we are grateful.  But sometimes, the layers come together to create a environment for uncovering something great.

These years in seminary have been a season of great layers for our family.  Not all easy or tidy or perfect, but it has been an environment where we have started to find our rhythm as a unit.  It has been the right combination to really make habits that are life giving for us.  Even with all of the excitement that this new chapter brings, part of me just wants to hole-up and live in this space forever.  Live with these layers that have been so good.

But I also don’t want to get stuck. So Chris will come home in an hour with the hard work of his seminary world behind him and the layers will start to shift. And so we walk into this next step of the journey ready to shake things up with the faith that some of what we have learned will stick and that a few of the layers will translate well.

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