Instead of answering all the emails and phone calls… this might be a good way to share how we are doing.
I underestimated a couple of things with this transition. I knew it would be tough, but there were some parts that I didn’t anticipate.
First, I knew emotionally it would be a challenge. What I didn’t completely calculate was how it would affect everyone else in the family. That’s not to say that I would not have made the decision to relocate, no, just didn’t realize really how big of a change it is for everyone else.
Thankfully, early on, someone encouraged me to seek out “family debriefing” which is what missions agencies do for missionaries and their families when they return to the US from another culture. You would think that the Canadian culture is so similar to the one in the US and so it shouldn’t be a big deal. That’s true. But, the difference is the transition. When we went to Canada, we were excited, and it was an adventure, and we had lots of hope and expectation and wonder. This transition is different. We didn’t want this one, it’s not all that exciting, there doesn’t seem to be much adventure, and we all in different ways mourn the loss of what we had.
We are scheduled for “family debriefing” in a couple of weeks. My prayer (and I hope yours too!) is that each member of our family would have an opportunity to process all that’s happened to us, so that we can be ready and open (and have an attitude of adventure) for what’s next.
The other thing that I didn’t calculate was how much paperwork is involved. Our society is intense on the maintenance of life just in paperwork. And, because of the pandemic, it’s slow. There’s government documents, identification documents, licenses, tags, insurance, banking, tax returns, phone numbers, addresses, two factor authorizations. On top of all of that, we trip over things like app stores and blocked IP addresses to get things done.
What complicates that further is that it’s still not clear what’s next for us. We don’t know where to settle down yet, and I don’t know yet what’s next for work.
I finished officially at Calvary Ottawa on December 15th. I’m grateful for what a blessing that whole process was for me and my family. I hope it was a blessing for the church as well. Pastor John Cowan and his wife Laura are a gift from heaven distributed all around.
After that, we threw ourselves into anniversary, birthdays (2 on the same day!), and very different ways of celebrating Christmas and New Years. There’s no snow. It wasn’t even cold. We all missed “Christmas in the Park.”
In that period of time, we did get around and started visiting potential schools for Olivia. She’s done well at home with the A.C.E curriculum, but we could see how she would really thrive to be in a school that offers that curriculum in a dedicated “learning center.” Just before the holiday break, we visited a small school in St. Petersburg that looks like it will be a good fit.
We enrolled her and one of the big reasons I’m able to write this post is because she’s on her third day there, and it appears to be going swimmingly. She LOVES wearing a uniform and has already made a couple of acquaintances by bringing her bubble mixture and wand for the times of recesses.
My heart is full of gratitude for people that pursue that calling of investing in children, and do it well, because they love the Lord.
While we wait a few weeks to ensure that it’s a good fit, I’ve been connecting with a couple of local pastors and volunteering. I’m happy to report that I was able to teach the Bible on Wednesday morning to a group of young people including my eldest daughter at Zeal School of Ministry. That was a real delight. I haven’t taught since October 17th in Ottawa. Well, I did share for a couple of minutes at the U-Turn Ranch in California… but not a full Bible Study.
Oh yes, and I’ve been reading some interesting books. I’ll share some reviews in upcoming posts.
We’ve also been visiting churches in the area. We wanted to see what was going on down here in the Calvary Chapels and we’ve even visited some churches that aren’t Calvary Chapels… just to see what’s going on, what the Lord is doing. I doubt I will write publicly about that, maybe I’ll make some general observations about the culture at some point.
Oh… and I stopped drinking coffee a few months ago. I don’t want to change my blog name though! LOL. I still love it. The problem was I loved it too much, and the caffeine was wreaking havoc in my body.
So, that’s the update. And, if we went for coffee today and had some time we would likely hit all of those topics at some point.
January 6, 2022 at 10:34 pm
Andy! So good to receive an update. No doubt this transition has been difficult for each of you, and probably in different ways. You loved many people in Ottawa, and they loved you, Gen and the kids. It is going to take time, but hang in there, it will come. Be blessed!
January 7, 2022 at 8:39 am
Tim, it’s always great to hear from you. Thank you for these encouraging words.
January 9, 2022 at 10:21 pm
Thank you for taking the time to do this. It’s good to hear about the family, the journey and get a little insight into such a unique time in your lives.
In God’s hands you’ve placed your heart, your life and all you’ve loved. You’ve given Him the work you’ve done and whatever future you may have. And though the light you see doesn’t seem to reveal enough, and the lamp in the distance may at times seem dim, the path you’re on, and every step, leads most certainly to Him.
January 10, 2022 at 9:43 am
Thanks Dan. You’re very encouraging. I appreciate it.