HOMELESS (SORTA) IN OUR MINIVAN
Tuesday, June 19 – Though we’ve been on the road for almost two weeks, this date is special because it marks the date that we officially became “homeless in a minivan”, by choice. Until this day, we still had possession of our home in the suburbs, north of Seattle. Until this day, when people asked where we lived, we weren’t sure exactly how to answer. As of this day, we are officially homeless, living in a minivan, hotels, with friends, etc, as we travel across the US, looking for where we will plant our roots next.
In case you are new to following us, or maybe you haven’t heard the whole story, I’ll share our back story. My husband and I are from the south – him from Alabama, and me from Texas (okay, technically to southerners, Texas isn’t southern, but whatever). After he finished his seminary degree, with a newborn and very little to our name, we moved to the beautiful Pacific NW to help plant a church north of Seattle. Over 12 years there, we met lots of amazing friends, became coffee snobs, hubs became lead teaching pastor, had 3 more kids, learned about healthy food choices, shared Jesus with the local community, loved people hard, became crunchy-granola essential-oil users, started a business, and so much more.
Over time, we started to struggle with the grey weather, needing more Vitamin D. We were content with the work God had us doing, but we also longed to be CLOSER to family. We trusted our hearts in God’s hands and served Him as faithfully as we were able, until one day the Lord whispered a word to my husband, releasing him from his role as pastor. At this point, God had blessed us financially through our essential oil business to the point that we could afford to live on my income.
We began to pray through where the Lord would lead us from there. Because we both surrendered our lives to following and serving Jesus while in college, we have always had a conviction and desire to work with young adults. Neither of us had strong spiritual mentors so we are passionate about helping others make wise choices regarding career, marriage, and more. There’s a lot of noise in this day and time and it’s uber hard to siphon through all of it. We’ve made our fair share of mistakes, but because we’ve ultimately surrendered our lives to obediently follow Jesus, the Lord has blessed us abundantly by always being with us and for us.
My husband began to make phone calls and connections with ministry leaders all over the US, asking questions about opportunities, predominantly in the south/southeast. We knew we wanted to live near a major university and where there is more sunshine. Beyond that, we really just wanted to find somewhere where we could put our gifts to good use, building up the local Church, teaching those that want to grow in their faith, and bringing hope to those that are without.
We plotted over a US map for quite some time. We read statistics, blogs, and polled our friends, all to discover which city might be calling us. We prayed. A lot. But at the end of the day (really several months), we decided that the best way to discover where we should move would be to sell our home, pack everything up, and drive off with our 4 kids in our minivan to tour the cities we are considering. Our family enjoys adventure, we knew we would build lots of lasting memories, and we wanted to experience firsthand what it would be like to live in each city, working alongside churches, and ministering to students at the university. After lots of convos (and I mean lots), we settled on 8 cities to tour and discover, with several other stops in between and along the way.
It was exhausting to say our goodbyes, pack our home, get it ready to sell, help the kids finish school, continue to run my business, and so forth as our time in the PNW came to an end. With a couple setbacks in listing/selling our home, we drove off with some things still unsettled. Finally, weeks later, everything fell into place and here we are, with the sale completed, the house closed, money in the bank, and a huge sigh of relief on our part. Believe it or not, to finally be homeless, living out of our minivan is freeing in so many ways and we are ready to discover what the Lord has ahead for us as our adventures unfold! One thing we can say, with full confidence, is that there’s no greater place to be than living the adventure-life with God at the helm!