Reflections on Crossing the Country.

Six months ago today we boarded a plane.

We landed in Portland, beautiful and sunny. Much that's happened since has been new and unfamiliar. But much has been more familiar than I thought it would be. And God has been so, so faithful.

I have to admit I enjoy the familiar. I so admire my friends that want to travel the world and taste crazy foods and befriend people completely different than them. I genuinely want to be more like them in many ways, and it's my prayer that I am. But I also want to raise my kids in the same house and walk to the same breakfast joint every Saturday and build relationships that last for decades.

Moving to Portland felt like a kink in some of those desires. Which is good. Because while those desires are good, I don't want to idolize them beyond what God has for me. Endeavoring to joyfully follow Dave has blessed me in new ways.....I appreciate my family and the blessing they are to me more. I recognize my always-present-but-not-always-obvious need for God's grace and for relationship with Him.

Six months in, I can easily say the whole thing has been easier than I feared and that there are many evidences of grace! But this post wasn't supposed to be too serious.....

I mostly wanted to document the mundane nuances of moving across the country....how people take their shoes off in each other's homes more often. And how the super bowl will start in the middle of the day next week. How they still (although not as often) have Coke out here (hallelujah), and the food really is really good, and people really are more health conscious, and how there are bike lanes everywhere. How beautiful it is to see Mt. Hood from all over town. How winter is cozier with evergreens and rain, even if not with much snow. How it has been less rainy than I thought. How people don't have TV's, and how going to the beach is a *day trip.* How this is the land of no Wal-Mart. How I thought we would have tons of family time and no friends, but how that hasn't been the case. How we go to church, and sing familiar songs, and hear the precious old story of the gospel. How it's illegal to talk and drive or to pump your own gas. How there are more parks here per capita than anywhere else in the country (and probably more coffee shops). How the neighborhoods are filled with blocks and blocks and blocks of victorians & bungalows & tudors. How small the lots are. How Tennessee football just meant listening to the radio because no one out here cares (and we'll see how many years that lasts). How churches don't line the streets.

Truthfully, I spend a crazy amount of time at home just caring for our house and kids. I haven't seen a tenth of what this area has to offer....but it's a pretty sweet feeling to think of all the exploring we have ahead of us.

And I have faith for it. I have had some of the teary, weary days that I expected. I miss our friends and family sooo much. I miss our church & the care we received there. But I see God's sweet mercy here abounding to me and I am filled with faith. Filled with thankfulness for what He's given. Hopeful for the good works laid out for us to walk in.

Aaaaand, there you have it. Amen and amen.

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