Monday, February 2, 2015

moving forward. it feels good.

last night our house was filled with 15-20 rutgers university students. if you are new to this space here is a quick recap. my husband has been on staff with Young Life for 8 years and we recently made our third move with YL to new brunswick nj. we are helping to start YL at rutgers university and the surrounding high schools and middle schools in the area and eventually the whole state. we moved from a place we loved. harrisonburg, va. left many people we loved and a new home and a life that felt so good in so many ways. i miss it everyday. but the lord made a way for us here and we moved this past august. 

bc of hard work, prayer, courage, and the lord our home was filled with rutgers students we love. the only common denominator is jesus. 5 months ago we didn't know a student on campus. i still don't really. my husband and our dear friend morgan have paved the way. meetings, coffee, events, conversations, prayer and the lord...we now have 20 plus college students going through the YL leader training program to begin ministry with students in our area. 

since the beginning of all this i have been on board. not just a little bit but all in. selling our home, most of our stuff, saying goodbye to people i love, and starting our adventure in nj. no friends or family near us. but the lord made a way. he always does and he always will. but my heart. my heart hasn't been all in. i desperately wanted it to be. but i felt a separation between what justin was doing actively on campus and what i was doing at home. i am not currently serving in a specific roll with YL i didn't really know any of the people justin was meeting and what he shared never seemed to be the same secondhand. 

but i am watching my heart grow. my desires to invest in people and care for them and build new relationships. i think i needed this past semester to grieve a little. miss the people we left that had become family and cared for our girls and cared for me. it was really hard to leave. 

i couldn't or i didn't allow myself to be all in here. i needed some space. some time. i felt insecure and intimidated around people. it is hard to be uncomfortable in our skin. but haven't we all been there? i was fragile at times. 

i wanted to open our home. i wanted friends. i wanted to be brave. but instead i hid a little bit. i spent time decorating our new place. being more present with the girls. worked on our marriage and basically got to know a new city. how to get to target and costco and ikea. my time and energy was spent simply adapting to this new place. i am not beating myself up. it was what it was and now we move forward and reflect a bit.

but i am seeing growth. a desire to be bold. to take risks. to be uncomfortable. to ask questions. to invite people in. to share our home. to feed people. to love others. like in a real way. not just a "supposed" to kind of way. i think i was a little selfish. i was focusing a lot on me and often thinking...what about us? doesn't anyone care that we are new and starting over? but to be honest for the most part i was ok with it. more time with my husband as his work pace looked so different since this is more of a start up phase to his job. our family grew. our marriage grew. so it wasn't a waste. i know that. none of it ever is when we use it to grow and learn.

thankful for what is to come and for a home full of people who are willing to take a risk for jesus through the ministry of YL. i like to host. i like to feed people. even if it is in the form of lots of costco food where i can basically just use my oven to heat it up. but it doesn't matter. our home was full of laughter and knee football and joy and christ and fellowship and community. we all want to be apart of something. so i am in. i will begin to believe what the lord says is true. i am brave and i am ready and i am also scared and a little uncomfortable. praying for vision and bravery in my life and yours too. what a difference we will make if we start being honest and real and trusting the lord in every tiny little way. he is good. so good. trying to be grateful for all it. mostly the tough stuff.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


I am back. More tomorrow. I swear. My heart is stirring and overflowing. I started exercising this fall and it's changing me. Watching my body do things I never thought it could. I felt so strong Friday as I was running and listening to oceans by hillsong. I was actually crying pretty hard while mouthing the words. I wasn't embarrassed bc maybe people thought it was just a lot of sweat on my face. Either way I am feeling alive and grateful and passionate. I haven't felt that a lot this fall but The Lord is working in me. I can feel it and I love it. Listening to oceans on repeat has been this continuous reminder about what is true. About Jesus and me and what he wants for me and what he has more me and that in my trust of him and the story he has for me...well it's hard and big and small and scary and awesome. I want more Jesus in my life and my actions and my heart. I am not that good at it. But I will never stop fighting to give every ounce of my fears and insecurities and frustratation and jealousy and judgement at the foot of the cross. It's all we have. It's all I want (and some new trendy boots i just saw online).

when I was sick people came out of now where and showered us with the most love I have known. Tomorrow a woman I don't know with a little baby like Ava starts her first round of chemo. Pray for jenna. May she feel clothed in prayer and comfort as she begins her cancer journey. Our journey was doable because of you. So thank you. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

the crossing guard made me cry.

so a few weeks ago i cried in the car-pool line. it isn't actually a line. it is almost funny how it difficult the simple task of picking up your child from school seems to be. due to lack of parking spots, one-way streets, and my inability to be on time. if you aren't at the door at 2:55pm she is in the office by 2:58pm crying because she was forgotten. it only has happened once. we all survived.

it was a rainy afternoon and the girls and i were headed to NY to spend the weekend at a young life camp called lake champion. i was a tiny bit rushed to pack the car and wake lyles from her nap and get to school on time to get aves and get on the road before the traffic got bad. the traffic in NJ is almost always bad but i was trying to avoid awful. so i am on my way to get her and the van in front of me stopped because it wasn't sure where to go for pick-up so as she was talking to the lady at the cross walk i sort of decided to go around her on the left side in an attempt to cross the street before i was going to be late. instead i got yelled it...she asked me to back up...what was i doing...not sure how they drive in VA (i still had va plates) but in NJ we don't do that. kind of a lie as drivers are crazy here but whatever. then another mom on the side of the road yells..."welcome to NJ get used to it." i am not entirely sure what that meant. was that welcome we love you so glad you are here or little harsher like...pull it together momma this is NJ and you need a thicker skin. i think it’s latter but i wanna give people the benefit of the doubt. so the crossing guard and i have an exchange. not heated but i wasn't super kind either. finally i am on my way (late) and the tears start coming. i pull it together to grab ava and get her in the van.

why are you crying libby? over and over i say this to myself. what is wrong with you? toughen up. this isn't VA and no one is against you and also no one really cares that you just moved here pull it together.

i wanted to scream...hello people. cut me some slack. i just moved. i need a second. left people i love. a house, friends, and nice little town. please someone give me a prize for being strong and selling stuff and moving for Jesus. please. anyone? anyone? 

in my tears and anger i decide the best thing to do is to pull ava out of this school and send her somewhere with adequate parking and kind crossing guards. that will fix it. maybe a nice little christian school...not this big bad public school.

so i call my people. i call a few women in my life who know when i need truth. not...oh, poor libby you got yelled at? oh, so sad for you. your life is so hard. i love you and you are awesome. sometimes you need that. of course we need that. find those people and hold on to them. they are a treasure. encouragement from people we love is so key. but not this time. this time i needed some truth and some perspective. 

i love when you dial those people and they don't pick up and you get pissed because they should know you need them like right now. but then one does. she listens. she is caring. she loves me. but then she points me to jesus and truth and what this is really about. it has far less to do with school and a crossing guard. but much more to do with myself and my heart and feeling alone. not like alone alone. just a little like....i want to scream to everyone...please be nice. i just moved. this isn't easy. go easy on me. 

the thing i have learned in these short two months is that no one really cares. (clarification. people care. my close people care. they call, text, email, visit, they love me. i know this. so thankful. truly). but the big bad world...well they do not really care. not in a bad way necessarily. just in a matter of fact kind of way. everyone has stuff going on. everyone is walking in something. in the midst of it or just got through it or man can't seem to move past it. we are all working through something. that is life. that is our nature and it is normal and real.

i require perspective a lot. i need to get outside of myself and my own head and my own woes sometimes. not in a way that is like...pull it together, be tough, you be strong, come on you can do it. i think its both and all of it and everything in between. i believe the fact that i cry easily is because i feel deeply about things and people and life. i am thankful that sometimes i am fragile and emotional and not very strong. i want that. i am ok with wounded and broken. my intimacy with the Lord has grown the most in the midst of suffering. not all the time. but as i reflect i see my own heart and perspective on life, my calling, and my passions seem to be shaped in my brokenness.

also i am prideful. i sometimes want a prize or some recognition. you see me? you see my family? we take risks. we leave what is safe, comfortable, and what we know. and we go. we leave it all. for Jesus? yes of course. but what if i have missed it and it is sometimes about being noticed and receiving praise. that is embarrassing to admit to you. but it is true. it is what i feel inside and some days i sit in it and get lost there. 


i choose to get out. to see what else is going on here. what in all this is about my sin? my pride? my selfishness? my comfort? my desire to want the world to fill me? praise me? care about me?  i think it is normal and human to feel and have these emotions and feelings. who wants to be a robot? i want to feel things deeply and passionately. even if in those places i get lost and see things about myself, admit to things about myself that are hard and ugly and gross.

i am learning that when it comes to this stuff. this move. the crossing guard. being uncomfortable. first impression after first impression and the game i play in my head afterwards...was that nice? did i ask her enough questions? wait did i sound rude? did i talk about myself too much? it is exhausting. starting over is exhausting. i am tired. i want deep and authentic friends here and that takes time. but more than that i want a deep and authentic life and i think it happens in seasons and months and years. but i do not want to miss the moments and hours and days either. they are rich too. when the tears and loneliness come and i get lost in my own head and begin down that slippery self-loathing slope. i want to feel those feelings. express them. cuss about it. cry about it. share it. hand it over to Jesus and yell out loud..."does anyone care?" does anyone care that this isn't easy and you know what? thank goodness HE does care. He cares deeply about my heart and my tears and my fears and my pride. and that my friends is enough. i may not always believe it or live it out. but man in my core i believe it with every ounce of my being. i pray it is more than enough for all of us. because people will fail and they will miss it and wont ask how we are doing or maybe they can’t ask. maybe there own pain and hurt is too deep. but it makes me more and more thankful for a God who has a capacity that is never ending. 

all these thoughts and feelings i have written down are not able to be tied up in a nice little bow. i can't reconcile it all or make it all come together. because i think we need to feel. feel the hurt and pain and sadness and joy and frustration and gratitude. but alongside all of that is learning how to climb out of it. maybe it is slow. for me i got the feelings thing down. i can feel. i feel a lot of things. but i do not want to be defined by a feeling that is very real and has merit and deserves recognition and attention to be all that i am about. the world is not about me and my family and our moves and our starting overs and the exhaustion that comes with the newness of it all. that is a part of it. but a far grander part is that we are all living a story that the Lord is writing. 

but i don't want to be stuck in my own stuff forever. it is the tension of...this is about me and also this really isn't about me. can we have both? i think we must. who we are and what we are about is very real and very personal but i also desire a life that looks outside of myself. learning to love people deeply because Jesus did. i want to be about things that matter. eternal stuff. big stuff. i think this one life it is all about bringing them both together. i want it all. i think you can have it all. if your ALL is in Jesus. He wants to give us every ounce of Himself to better understand ourselves.

what a God we serve. i will take it. the hard the ugly the being yelled at...when it is about stretching and growing my heart for Jesus and who is creating me to be. forever and ever. 

Friday, September 5, 2014


when i talk to friends i keep describing our place as "airy." not even sure what that means. but i guess to me it means open, white, uncluttered, simple, a little tidy (some days). it is also higher in the sky because we are on the 8th floor so i do feel a bit like we are in the air being as we are above the trees. we lost the place i instagrammed above chipotle so we are in an older peoples home and i love it. i promise to take some pictures as it comes together.

in this "airy" place i am finding that our life. at least mine. my husband is starting a lot of new things and meeting people and making connections and doing a lot of detail type work. just imagine all the things...the big and little that come with a "start-up" of any type of business or work or ministry. so he has full days. but they look different. for now our nights are a bit more open. we are accustom to many at least 3-5 nights a week where he or i would have commitments. so this change of least for me is a treasure. a little gift. as things begin to grow (the lord willing) i know our schedule will change again and it may look more like the past 7 years that we have grown to know and love. but for now. for this little change of season i am welcoming it with open arms. making dinner. eating as a family. taking turns putting the girls to bed, spending time together alone at night...just us.

back to my heart. this time and this new place has felt surprisingly not as lonely as i feared it would be. starting over is never easy. i know that. but for now it doesn't feel hard or scary. it feels right and ok. spending intentional time with the girls during the day. taking walks. running errands. going to the gym (i have started working out regularly for the first time in nearly 8 years). watch out. discovering our new home, finding parks, checking out the library, farmers markets, and lots of target runs. it feels nice. it feels slower...because it is slower. but with a lot more traffic.

monday ava will start school. that will give our life and schedule a little more structure and a welcomed routine. but mostly i am just thankful. thankful that this...this big, fat, scary, i didn't really want to move...this whole "thing" well it is going well. we are adjusting and i feel content. slowing down, less busy, and hectic than i have been in years. i think our family needed this. i just didn't realize how badly.

our apt is smaller than our house. we sold a lot of things and the simplicity...not that it is that simple...i have made several ikea and target runs. but still it is less stuff, with less going on. and for me, for now a little less going on. it certainly will not last forever but it is a cherished gift. it is teaching me a lot about how i have lived my life in the past and where i want to go next and what the Lord has for me in the midst of it all. every season of life holds growth and truth. i learning about where i have found my worth in the past and how much of my identity i find in the magnitude of what i have going on and how busy i am and how needed i am. right now in nj not many people even know i live here or even care. so it has basically been about our family and i like that. but also ready to see where the Lord opens doors and where new friendships will begin to grow. i am certain nj has some good mamas i just need to meet them.

my writing view because i like to see where people live. 
again i will not be posting many pictures on the blog so instagram @libbyryder is the best place follow along with us.

Friday, August 29, 2014

where we've been.

this is for my friend ashley. who we lived with almost all summer and did life with almost everyday. she told me to write, to blog, and to share. i never did. this is for you. thank you for being one of my best friends and for pushing me to write and share my heart. i am so thankful for you.

so here we are. it's been a while. but it is good to back. i have been thinking about writing almost everyday for the past 3 months but never sat down to do it. its funny how i work like that. think about something. something i am passionate about. even write posts in my head at night when i am laying in bed. but for one reason or another they never made it to this page. but today they will. ava has been waking up really early and it frustrates me so much because i know around 3pm she will be exhausted and crabby and if she naps she will never go to bed. but today after asking to her to go back to bed several times and she was not capable of doing so...i decided to get up. the house is quiet. she is playing in her room. i made coffee. texted with a good friend who is in a very similar life change as we are...nice to have people in your corner. even from separate states.

so here i am. living in highland park NJ, in an apt (in a building with all old people. it is funny and they are kind). we are unpacked. it is just the decor and organizing part left. i like our home. we have a great view and the girls love the elevator.

before we head into where we are right now let me quick share about where we have been. we sold our first home very quickly. praise the Lord. we sold a ton of stuff. i even sold our king mattress to the termite inspector. we had a giant garage sale with 3 other families and packed it up and moved. justin had to get to MI for young life camp in june so he left a few days before the girls and i. that was crazy. thank you to those who helped me with the girls, move boxes, clean, donate stuff, cut our lawn, clean out our fridge, and the million tiny things that come with moving out of your house and storing your goods for 3 months while you head to MI for camp and then live with friends for july and then move at some point in august. honestly it was all so crazy that there really wasn't time to process it all. i cant lie and say i don't like stuff or furniture or clothes. because i do. i really enjoying decorating and making a house a home. but i found freedom in the riding ourselves of stuff. even with all we gave away and sold we still have so much. i don't want to miss that. i know we can't take any of it with us but when you spent weeks assembling a truck load of furniture and then you sell it off...i just needed a little second. but now i am over it. it's just stuff.

so packers and movers came (thank you young life) and took our stuff to NJ to store. i then loaded up my van with my bestie laura and our 4 kids and drove to MI to meet our husbands to spend a month at a YL camp. our van was exploding with stuff but considering we had a 4, 2, 1.5, and an 8 week old...our kids are awesome and so is a DVD player. this month is something special. i came into it all worn out and exhausted from the past 6 weeks but am thankful how we were swooped up from the chaos of our lives (our friends were moving to charlotte, nc for yl later this summer as well). i needed that break. to breath. to be present. to think about what had just happened. not in a bury inside kind of way but in a perspective kind of way. change is hard. duh. and we were about to embark on some serious change and i loved that we were taken out of our daily lives and brought to camp where someone prepared our meals, cleaned our rooms, relationships developed, kids played, students heard and started a relationship with jesus, my husband made me laugh, and i got spend a lot of time with other women who are wiser than me. i like that. most of my family made the trip to camp and experience a week of camp. having them see what we do and how funny justin is and how its all for the joy of the Lord is such a gift. thank you for coming and for supporting us as we move and walk in faith and it's scary and unknown. i am grateful you are in it with us. it makes the difference.

after a great month we drove home and pulled into a residence inn in harrisonburg b/c we were homeless by choice. got up at 6am the next morning to take ava to get her tonsils and adenoids removed. i always thought tonsils were like no big deal. i learned that yes surgery wise it isn't anything serious. i know that. but man the drugs they put ava on made her crazy. honestly it was like someone had taken over her body. we had to stay over night in the hospital so made it all seem way more serious and real than it actually was. physically she healed so well but one of the hardest parts was having her stay at minimal to no activity for 2 weeks. note to self...tonsil removal is way easier in the winter when you are stuck inside anyways. she was irritable, mean, inpatient, and bedtime was the worst. on a few nights she told me over and over how much she hated me and hated her life and her friends and i was the worst mom and she was the worst person. it was scary and awful. tonsils were way harder than i had prepared myself for...just an fyi.

we moved in with our friends ashley and greg bellamy. a separate post should be written for them. but considering my writing track record for consistency i wouldn't hold your breathe. but they gave us a home, freedom, food, help, friendship and joy. thank you for taking us in and for so long. for caring and loving our girls. it wasn't always easy...but not because of them. since they are easiest humans to live with on the face of the earth but more for myself. living in harrisonburg. our home. but not having a home so it felt like i was there but wasn't. justin went to yl camp right after we got home from MI with all the high schools in our area. great week for him and leaders and students but for sure the beginning of his transition out as we prepared for our move to NJ later in the summer. it is all so emotional and difficult because you are leaving people and a place that you've grown to love to move to place where no really cares you are there. it's not like when the movers arrived in NJ anyone was like..."oh, we are so happy you are here. heard you sold your house and most of your stuff to come here and start YL. we've never heard of it but i am sure it is great or maybe it's not. we don't really care. oh, you left people you love...sorry about that." now that would have been nice. but instead it is all about faith. the Lord opened this door and brought us here and will not leave us. it may have challenges but i know that life is full of hard stuff. thankful two of our good friend's from Syracuse came down and made our move in weekend even possible. thank you katie and billy truly. i needed you here. not just for ikea assembly but having familiar faces in an unfamiliar place really helped me our first few days. thank you.

but i skipped a little bit. living with your bestie is fun. justin kind of likes his own space and i do too but mostly i like hanging with my friend, ashley whenever i want so that was a perk of living with good friends for almost 6 weeks. wow that is awhile.  but they travelled and we travelled so we weren't on top of each other for days on end. i tried to soak it up with friends and with ashley b/c i knew that friends. the real, deep, special ones don't happen over night. i am thankful that we didn't live in someones basement for the summer (we were offered that i turned it down only b/c i knew that would make me sad and very separate from all our people) but instead shared life with some of our dearest friends. i mean who doesn't want to drink diet coke, watch each of your kids love one another and fight but mostly love, watch hgtv, e, friday night lights, and parenthood at night with your friend on your old white couch that you bought for your bedroom and sat on twice and then sold to your friend because you were moving to a smaller apartment. see i want all those things and i got all those things. thankful for the friendships in harrisonburg. the forever friends. those are the best kind. please come visit.

i didn't want to move to harrisonburg. it was not easy at first. but to think what the Lord provided and did in 3 little years...well that gives me great hope for our new home in NJ. i miss people in harrisonburg and leaders and friends at jmu. i have a heart so of course it is sad. but. but it is getting better here. everyday. i am thankful for my husband and for my girls and for ava and how resilient she is and how she transitioning just fine. i am so grateful. lyles has no clue the difference. praise the lord for that.

before we moved we had our annual vacation to flordia with justin's sister and her family. we changed it up this year and rented a house in seaside fl. before we met up our family spent a couple days in atlanta and we loved that. a little mini vacay before it all really began. seaside was magically. bike rides, great good, pool, ocean, kids playing (loudly) and being with some of our favorite people. i thankful for the summer vacation tradition that justin's dad started. we don't plan to ever stop. i am thankful for a sister like sara. our time together is always real and fun and easy. i love vacation. it wasn't restful and kids got up early and we swam all day but these years of little one's is precious and i don't wanna miss it even though the whole concept of adult conversation is a rarity. it's how it goes with 5 kiddos under 5. thankful for family.

it is hard to recap 3 very full months of our lives. so about a thousand things were missed. but this was a summer of joy and also heartache. trying to stay on the same page with your husband when you don't have a home and are living out of a suitcase and your kids are wild and you are terrified for the future and starting over. but in the midst of arguments or frustration with the kids or mommy guilt about the chaos of it all. i tried to stop and remind myself of truth. it is all ok. we have each other, food, a place to live, clothes, and about a hundred other things we take for granted daily. this time of change was constantly about perspective. a lot of times it felt very #firstworldproblems. meaning things really were not that bad. the Lord is for us and in this with us. that is where my hope is found. it isn't all easy but when is it ever really "easy." this time has been refining for our marriage. who i am as a mother to these 2 girls. i am more present than maybe i have ever been. i don't have anyone to hang out really but them. honestly i love that. i mean i don't always love playing kids stuff like when ava wants to pretend she is dog and i don't feel like it. i dig. i dig deep inside and engage and pretend and explore and take walks, get ice cream, cuddle. it is all a gift. it doesn't always feel that way. but i don't always feel like a lot of things. so i will show up. everyday. as a wife and a mother and a women and a friend. we are not alone. no matter how hard it feels.

more to come this weekend on NJ and what we are up to and how we are adjusting. just wanted to recap our last few months. thanks for stinking in this with us and for praying and supporting us in this new endeavor.

to see our summer in photos check out my instagram feed: @libbyryder 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

from grace...let's rally. for real.

Hi everyone! My name is Grace, and I’ve hijacked the blog for today (thanks Libby!)

I met Justin and Libby a few years ago when they moved to Chesapeake to lead Young Life at our local high school. I could spend this entire post writing about how amazing and inspirational Libby is….but if you read this, you already know that. Instead, I’d like to tell you about something she’s inspired me to do - The RALLY Campaign.

When Libby was diagnosed with lymphoma, it was the first time anyone in my life had been touched by cancer. But just a few months later, one of my close friends from high school was also diagnosed. And then a coworker. And then a friends’ mom. After every diagnosis I felt helpless –  people I cared about were fighting for their lives and there was nothing I could do to help. So I started running marathons with a program called Team in Training (TNT). TNT trains (slightly crazy) people for "endurance events" - mostly marathons, half marathons and triathalons. In exchange, the participants raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). Fundraising for LLS made me feel as though I was making a small difference....while I couldn’t make my friends feel better after a chemo appointment, I could raise money to help find a cure, and to help make life a little easier for current patients.

Earlier this year, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society honored me with a nomination to run for the 2014 Woman of the Year award. Woman of the Year is a 10-week fundraising campaign in which candidates compete to raise funds for LLS.  At the end of the 10 weeks, the candidate with the highest fundraising total wins the title of Woman of the Year. While the title itself means very little to me, raising an incredible amount of money for this organization would mean the world. With the support of my team, The RALLY Campaign, we’re on a mission to raise $150,000 in just 10 weeks.

We’re 8.5 weeks into the campaign at this point, and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. I wish I could share our progress with you, but candidates are asked to keep everything confidential until the end of the campaign. What I can say is that I’ve been amazed at the generosity and support from our friends, family, and even complete strangers. The RALLY Campaign has brought so many people together to pursue a common goal: to raise an insane amount of money. We’ve hosted multiple events, asked hundreds of people for donations, and applied for countless grants and sponsorships. And now we’re asking for your help as well.

I hope you will consider joining The RALLY by making a donation in support of our campaign. All donations are fully tax deductible, but must be received before 10am on June 5th to count towards our total.  No donation is too small – every dollar counts in this fight.

Thanks in part to campaigns like this, we’ve made huge strides in the fight against blood cancers. But despite the significant progress, the fight is still an uphill battle. Every four minutes someone is diagnosed, and every ten minutes someone dies. Blood cancers are the third most fatal form of cancer in North America, and cause more deaths than any other cancer among children and young adults.   

I rally because almost four years after their diagnoses, my friends are all alive and healthy. And Ava now has a little sister. I rally so more families can celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and first steps. And fewer families have to sit through chemo. I rally for the families who had to say goodbye too soon. I rally so future families don't have to. But mostly, I rally with the hope that one day, we won't need to rally anymore. Will you rally with us?

Please visit to donate, or to learn more about our campaign. If you have any questions, comments or would like to learn about other ways to be involved, please email me at

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Moving ahead...

Our house sold. Our first home. Well not our first home. We've lived in 6 different homes since we were married 7 years ago yesterday. Whoop whoop for marriage and my husband who surprised me with a night away and a 10 course meal tasting. To which I was nauseous with a headache and barely ate. I asked him last night when I was starving if we could try again...maybe next year. But our first purchased home is sold and we move out in a few weeks. Store our stuff for two months and live elsewhere for June and July. Thankfully June we will be at a young life camp in MI so our housing is set and we will find a place here for July. It's a lot of logistics and storage units and movers and details. But it's coming right along. sitting in my living room after a morning of a school drop off, a dr appt, target, screaming lyla (teeth are hurting her), calling storage units, emailing the moving company, selling items on Craigslist, and catching up on the one with friends. Now I am sitting in my living room. My favorite spot in the house because of the incredible light and feeling a little paralyzed. With a growing list of things to do and needing to shower and laundry to put away...I am here. On this blog. To share a bit about where we were are at...because right now feels like a lot. Not too much. Not stressed. A little anxious. Not sure where to begin or if I should begin or if sitting here is ok. as I teared up a second ago my mind was filled with relief. This is not it. This isn't what we life for. Houses and furniture and stuff. All fine things. Houses are precious and full of life and gifts and memories. But this isn't it. Our life is about a life beyond this world. An eternity in paradise. But today I am experiencing both. The peace that this isn't all I live for alongside with the need to make plans and pack boxes and possibly buy a house in New Jersey this weekend. The two exist together and I love that. 

My desire for control has really come to the surface when the "plan" isn't precise or efficient or even known. We just keep moving and show up and do what needs to get done. In times of change and transition and moves and houses and plans...I sometimes wanna quit and pretend it isn't happening. But it is and I am in and I am up for change and adventures and surprises. I want that. I am ok with risk and uncertainty. Maybe not everyday or all the time. But I am learning to live a daily life that truly rests in trusting The Lord. Trusting him with the big stuff and the tiny details. It doesn't mean I sit back and assume it will all come together. It takes action and plans and emails and phone calls and conversations. I can handle that. But I have a peace and a trust that regardless if this process is seamless or packed with bumps and mistakes we will keep moving forward. I believe that this move is right. Not just for me or my husband or our family or young life or Rutgers or anything. It's about Jesus and He is moving and stirring in this place and we will go and be apart of what he is already doing and will continue to do. Easy and hard. It will be both and a million things in between. I believe that The Lord is going before us and in the midst of my tears and lack of motivation to pack and prepare...He is with me and that is enough. Making plans and having it all tied up neat with a bow isn't real and isn't usually how it goes. Thank goodness for the freedom.

Today I am thankful that our house sold. Quickly. That is a gift. I don't want to miss that because I am so focused on storage units and move dates and details. I think both can happen because both are happening. The Lord is taking care of one piece of this transition at a time. I want to rest in that and live out of that. One thing at a time.

If you pray and think of us this weekend I would ask for guidance as we look at homes to purchase and to rent. clarity for to both Justin and I. 

Thank you for entering into our lives. Maybe it started with our cancer journey or with lyla's birth or this move. Whatever the time or season I am grateful for a place to share and be real and know that people from all over are in this with us and the community that has been created is real and authentic. I am thankful for you and for this life and what is next...