Flinter and a free agent .

I love when Fall has made her presence completely known. There's an incredible sense of excitement for me when I feel the beginnings of crisp mornings and I spy the first changing leaves of the season. But when it's truly Fall it means that we've gone to the pumpkin patch. It's just really not full-on Fall until we've crossed it off our list. You too? We went three weeks ago and here I am just now telling you about it. Truth be told, I think I was holding out because I wanted to include pictures of our beautifully carved pumpkins. I'm being sarcastic here: I greatly lack in the pumpkin carving skills department! But since they are still sitting on our front porch, uncarved and no doubt growing more uncarvable by the day, we'll stick with the following pictures instead.

Like a lot of people, I love this season of sweaters, warm drinks, brilliant color, and pumpkin everything. I don't particularly love change, but I make a venti-sized exception for my pal named Fall. This exception is hinged not only on Fall itself but also on the anticipation of what will follow. I absolutely love, with a capital L, Fall and Winter. My inner nerd came up with a word for these favorite seasons: Flinter. Yep, just one lo-ong season of wonderfulness.

I think, to an extent, change of any kind carries that same sense of anticipation and wonder. And, well, if I'm honest, worry too. When we moved to the pacific northwest, we moved here with a sense that we would raise our children here and grow old and gray and cranky here. (And we just might-- I've already crossed gray hair off the list. Sad.)  We don't know what the next couple of months and years hold for us, but we do know that God is changing our season of life. 

Over the past year, God has certainly grown our understanding of patience, his goodness, and trust.  Sometimes our view of these things was like seeing a beautiful, back-country road in the Fall. I felt like God was showing us these amazing insights into who he was and is and what he wants for our lives. Everything was crystal clear and vibrant and full of life. And even though the lessons were difficult, we could and can see the beauty of it all. At other times, our view was of that same back-country road, but only that-- the feeling of being out in the boondocks, on a bumpy and less-driven path, sometimes hitting a pot hole, and sometimes completely knocking off a tire, bringing everything to a screeching halt-- in the middle of nowhere and with no help in sight. And that was hard. Is hard. 

Here's what I mean by that back-country road analogy: We moved to Oregon fresh out of seminary, wanting to be mentored and taught. We were really sad when the teaching elder of our church moved away a year later to plant Restore Church in Detroit, Michigan, but it's kind of useless to kick against God's sovereignty! After that, Steve became a part of the teaching team at our church, Grace and Truth, and about six months later, he became an elder. Needless to say, life has been busy as my husband balances family, work, and church. I think to put this all in short form, we are so thankful for the opportunities that we have had here but we know God is moving us on.

We jokingly tell our friends that Steve is a 'free agent' of sorts. I think when God is making his will for our lives known, day by day and week by week, he builds our desires that are grounded in himself. I've watched that in my husband over the last couple of years. It is a beautiful yet painful process. It's beautiful because you are so thankful for God's leading, yet painful because you struggle and wrestle in the 'already not yet'. You long to be free from the purple and orange company, the one with the really cool hidden arrow in their logo, because you want to spend all of your time doing what God has given you the desire to do. But, you realize that God hasn't opened up a new door of opportunity yet and so you wait. And pray. And fight for joy. 

Recently, my husband and I had the opportunity to go to the Desiring God National Conference in Minneapolis. I generally think that I could live anywhere. I love the pacific northwest. I was born and raised in California. I'm just a west coast kind of gal, but I have thoroughly enjoyed living other places too. But funny thing-- I stepped off the plane in Minneapolis and about five minutes later I looked at Steve and said, "I'm willing to move anywhere but the midwest!". I apologize profusely to all of my midwest friends! (Wait, do I still have any after saying that?) Ultimately, we would love to stay in the pacific northwest, but we would also love, love, love to be closer to our families.

I am sorry for the information dump. It's kind of difficult to sum up three years of life into a blog post. But I hope that this catches you up in some sort of way. We would be so grateful for your prayers and I look forward to sharing with you how God answers those prayers! Just as long as it doesn't involve moving to Minneapolis. . .

Happy Flinter, reading friends!


  1. ok. dork. Flinter? hahahahaa!!! That's great. Also, you realize you will soon be moving to Minneapolis, right? Ya know, back in my old fundy days I thoroughly believed that if I said the actual words "I will never be a missionary in Siberia" that God would definitely make me move there. Anyway, PULEEEEEEASE don't think of me as a "midwest friend". That's offensive. :) I'm a Tennessee girl at heart and I have a feeling I'll be a world travler before my time is spent here. I'm a pilgrim. This world isn't home and DEFINITELY not Minneapolis. :) I'm praying diligently for you.

  2. haha! Beth! Your comment made me smile (and laugh!) so hard! So many great things in that comment. . .just wish that you were sitting here on my couch so we could laugh together about my dorkiness and your midwesternness, ha! :)

  3. "Flinter." I love it! It's not feeling like fall too much here in the South but it should be soon.

    Your photos are beautiful. You seem to capture life so well.

    I'll be praying for you and your family as you seek to go wherever He would have you -- where you will glorify Him most.

  4. First, to Beth, I love the phrase "in my old fundy days." I like you, ha! : )

    And to Sarah - I was shaking my head while I read this post because you wouldn't believe how similar it sounds to the conversations Tim and I have been having recently or to the way we've been praying for the Lord to make next steps known. I'm honestly feeling so thankful for a God who sovereignly gives me a blog post like this one to remind me that He really is in control, leading you guys, leading us, managing the universe, right down to the tiny details of encouraging me with a similar experience in your story. Thank you for writing it. He has used you again in my life!

  5. Sarah, I'm convinced that you could find the beauty in any new spot! Can't wait to hear how God leads your next steps!

  6. Rachel,
    thank you so much. I am excited to share with everyone how God leads us! And, I am so glad that you like the term Flinter :) I hope that you get some Flinterness in your neck of the woods soon! :)

  7. Shanna,
    I think I should ask God to move us to Nashville. I need to have you as a a real life friend. However, I am just so grateful that we can at least be friends from afar. I'm so glad that you commented how you did-- I love praying really, really specifically for people and now I will be praying for you and Tim in that way. I'd love to hear more too, when you have time. And, p.s. I'm going to that blog party-- I SO wish you were here to go with me-- thank you so very much for telling me about it. I'm so excited!

    You are so optimistic and sweet! I will definitely keep you all in the loop! Kiss that sweet boy of your for me!

  8. I'm so glad you had the freedom to share. I have 2 blog posts awaiting in the wings.... patiently. kind of. :)But you already know both. :) I am however totally offended that you did not fall in love with Minni....but I guess we can still be friends. hehe. I know, know, know that God has something perfect lined up for you just as he did for us when we would not have known. I look for the day that you are free from purple & orange! Continued prayers for you guys as always. And I'm just hoping that wherever it is, it will allow our paths to cross much more! :)

  9. Beautiful pictures (as always :)

    Praying for you guys! Thanks for sharing all of that. We can agree to disagree about the Midwest :) :) I LOVE the midwest...haha- just tonite Dave and I were talking about dream vacations and (you are going to laugh) I said Minneapolis is the perfect place for me...museums and art and thrift shopping, and quaint little food places....parks to run in...

    anyway- praying God moves you SOUTHEAST !!! :)

  10. ^ This, (dramatic pause) THIS is why I am so thankful for the extended body of Christ and for my family. Thank you, friends, for your prayers. I wish I could hug each and every one of you, especially my midwest friends that I have offended, ha!, and thank you in person for your prayers and for your encouragement.

  11. Oh, Sarah, I KNOW this is a hard place to be in. . .kind of strange how our lives have taken rather similar paths, lately. I understand what it is to be so very thankful for God's provision and leading so far, but still long for Him to show you more of the path that is ahead. The phrase you used "fighting for joy" really struck me. That has probably been my biggest struggle during this time. How amazing it has been, though, to see our gracious God give joy, peace, and grace through this time of waiting, when I just ask. I know He will do the same for you. Praying for you much.

  12. Thank you so much, Amy :)

  13. Oh wow! Maybe big changes ahead for you, too? Uncertainty is definitely in the forecast for us. I just read this: "every shadow is evidence of sun."

    Your phrase, "fighting for joy" -- did you read Piper's When I Don't Desire God? Good stuff!


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