We are Moving Home
Hi Everyone, if this announcement seems crazy or unexpected, then you are totally right! This all happened out of the blue and so fast that we don't know how to feel about it. But we have been praying and seeking wisdom from the Lord, so we do feel that this is His leading. I definitely do feel all the feelings about it; happy, sad, excited, frustrated, stressed, relieved, you name it I feel it!
So how did this happen? Good question! So as you may know, Layne and I currently work for Apartment Life, a non-profit, organization that bridges the gap between staff and residents in apartment complexes and opens the door for coordinators to share the love of Jesus with those in our building. We committed to that for two years and that commitment was coming to an end in August. We are so thankful for that opportunity as it helped us save a lot, but we are a growing family and our little 2 bedroom apartment was getting a little cramped (ha, no it was VERY cramped!) So as that was coming to an end we were starting to look for a house to rent here in Calgary. Calgary is very community oriented, I laugh at them when they say a 15 minute drive is too far for most people but it's true, most people will not drive to anything if its more than 10 minutes away. Our apartment is on the southeast part of the city and our church along with most of the congregation is on the southwest side (about 15minutes away) So with that in mind, we were really interested in three different communities; two of them were in the southwest of Calgary (closer to our church) and one was in the southeast closer to where we live now. I liked the one in the southeast partially because I signed Thaddeus up for a preschool in that same neighbourhood, plus this neighbourhood was close to all of the stores we frequent so there was a little more familiarity. This neighbourhood also just felt like a small town within the city which we loved. Anyway, so we were looking at houses all over the place but mainly in those three neighbourhoods. Im sure you know that the housing market right now is insane, which meant that every single house we were looking at would either rent extremely fast or was out of our price range. We literally came really close to renting three houses, we filled out the applications, toured them, and were ready to tell them that we would take it but those doors slammed in our faces. One house raised the price too high, one place rented to someone else before we even got home from the tour, and the other stopped returning our calls and texts. So I was feeling deflated at this point, I mean if you know me at all you know I LOVE decorating so after I toured these places I started imagining where our furniture would go and how I would decorate it, so I was beyond frustrated.
Another thing you need to know during this whole process is the state of lockdown Alberta was in at this time. Of course Covid has put a damper on everyone's plans so I know you understand my feelings on this matter. So the states had pretty much gone back to normal, but for Alberta we were still restricted to do almost anything. Most restaurants were take out only, entertainment (ie theatre's, gyms, libraries) were still shut down, and stores are limited capacity. Churches were only allowed to meet at 15% capacity, but for our church we meet in a movie theatre so we weren't able to meet at all. So I haven't been in a church service in 18 months. We have been doing online services this whole time, I was (and still am) sick of teaching to a camera. So I have been struggling with the thought of why did God call me up here right before a global pandemic? Why did he call me to a new country to sit on the couch? I couldn't even meet with our church family at all because indoor social gatherings were not allowed at all and you could only meet outside with a limit of 10 people. (most of this was during the winter, I ain't sitting outside in the snow) And every time AHS said restrictions would loosen, they didn't but instead got tighter. (YES TIGHTER) So this instead of 10 people outside, it became only 5 people can gather outside, and even smaller limits inside shops etc. So yeah, I'm sure you understand when I say, I seriously considered moving home. I mean going home to grandma so I can at least have a break from my wild, strong willed, toddler, whenever I want sounds super appealing. But I kept blowing it off because I know God called me here for a reason, surely He's not done yet. I barely got started before this stupid virus started.
Now yes, I do feel like God called us up here for a reason. I really think it was to meet the people we met during our short time and be here for them. Our closest friends became our friends because we moved up here around the same time, we were new to this city together and we helped each other cope. Plus I love Multiply Church, I have never felt so valued in a workplace more than I am here. I love the rest of the staff, I love my students, and I was really excited to make this children's ministry into something great. Hopefully I at least put it on the right track.
Anyway with all that in mind, yes I did consider moving home. But blew it off and blew it off thinking that was just my selfish ambitions, besides I love a lot of things about this city. (I'll admit I don't love everything about living in the city but I do love my job, my friends, and the mountains) Around this time Layne did happen to see this job opening in Springfield MO. but he blew it off too cause that's Missouri, we are in Canada. But a month goes by and we still haven't found a house to rent, restrictions are still in full force, and we are just feeling hopeless. That job pops up again and it still isn't filled, that seemed a little odd. So a few more days got by and Layne prayed about it and told me that he feels that he should go ahead and apply for it. I said sure go ahead, if you get it we can talk about it, if you don't then oh well, the Lord will work things out. Well on a Tuesday night he submitted his application, Wednesday they called him for an interview. Layne said that the entire interview he just felt really comfortable and it just felt right. Then Thursday they offered him the job! And not just a job but they offered him a house to rent at a discount, a relocation package, and nearly double his current salary. Which means that I wouldn't have to work but instead just focus on my babies. ( I mean yeah I will still work in a church at some capacity because I still feel like God called me to children's ministry and I know its good for my kids to see me working in the church.) But I can back off a little and just raise my current ministry of my own kids. So that all sounded great BUT they wanted him to start July 1st, and remember I said we were committed to Apartment Life till the end of August. So Layne told them that he would think about it, and that night we prayed, "Lord if this be your will then let it be known to us." (ask and you shall receive y'all!) That very next day, the president of Apartment Life Canada calls and tells us that our apartment complex has decided to cancel the program. He said that they were thrilled with the work that we have done but budget cuts meant they couldn't continue anymore) So we would be done with Apartment Life mid July. Y'all if that isn't the Lord working things out then I don't know what is. Layne called them back asking if mid July would be ok and they said yes.
So we are moving back to Missouri July 15th, will arrive in Springfield the 19th, and Layne starts his new job the 26th. I know this seems really fast or last minute, because it totally is. I've told Layne that I felt like I was pushing on the door to the next chapter of our lives trying to get in there and see what God has in store for us. But only God can open that door, so when He did, since I was pushing I feel like I fell in with how fast everything played out. Now yeah I am so excited to move back to the States, Missouri will always be home for me. But at the same time I am kind of like "but wait, I'm not done in that room (meaning Calgary) I kind of thought that this next door would lead to the next phase of Canada (a non-covid, living in a house phase) But its not even in this city? Why?" And you guys I am still struggling with this. Especially because, as of July 1st restrictions did a complete 180 and are finally lifted, things are open! The church is going to start meeting again July 18th. Not only that but Multiply has secured a permanent space that they can use 24/7. Why can't I be a part of that? And I still don't know. So I am calling on my prayer warriors to pray for me and my family during this. We are going to miss our friends and church so much, and are feeling overwhelmed with another out of country move. But still excited to see what the Lord has in store for us in Springfield.
Now for those of you that have financially supported us, thank you so much! I cannot express how grateful we are for your love and support, please know that your gifts did not go to waste. Right before Covid, our church hit a record high with over 100 people in attendance, we have 6 people waiting to be baptized, (four of whom were students of mine) and more people are waiting to join the church family. People at our apartment have said, us being there has made living in this building so much better. None of it was our doing, it was all our Heavenly Father's and I am just glad that I got to be a part of it, and I wouldn't have been able to do it without you. So as far as your monthly gifts go, my NAMB giving account will be officially closed on July 16th but for 30 days after that, any checks that come in will still go into that account. The way it worked was you gave to NAMB, NAMB gave it to Multiply, and Multiply would pay me. But any remainder or any funds that they have yet to receive between now and the end of that 30 days, will go to Multiply. And Multiply will use it either to hire a replacement for me or in their efforts to turn their permanent facility into an actual church (right now its a community college).
Again Thank You SOOOOO much for everything during this process, and please continue to pray for us as we prepare for the move. We love you all!