an update on settling in

so far, it’s felt more like another visit than a move.

because we don’t have a place to call our own, only the hospitality of family and friends to shelter us. because i don’t have a job other than some photography sessions lined up, which means my time is rather unstructured. and because my husband hasn’t been here for these first 10 days of my time in MI, so it’s been only me, again in this familiar place with familiar people, but  missing my other half. i can’t wait until he returns on monday night.

but i am marked by peace. wrapped up in a thick blanket of it. even with so many pieces yet to fall into place, i am utterly at rest! i know that He’s doing it, and i’m not anxious or fretful about it all.

jobs

tim has [another] interview with Hope Network next week. this time for a position that we think is the best fit out of any of the others he’s looked into. Hope wants to hire him, they just want to be sure to put him in a position where he’ll be most fully utilized and not wasted (he’s over-qualified for many of the other positions). this new position would be one-on-one with [developmentally disabled] clients, helping them work on personal goals for their behaviors, work, and life. tim would be perfectly suited for it, i think.

i am still unsure what’s going to happen in the arena of employment for myself, though there are a few intriguing possibilities that i’m exploring, each in different areas. it could be working for a non-profit organization devoted to feeding hungry kids, doing health counseling out of a wellness center, or picking up more photography work, both freelance and for my own business. but i don’t feel in a rush about any of it, and i know God has something good.

AND, this thing that i have not yet mentioned publicly, is that we have been offered and have accepted a part-time job with the Stockbridge Boiler Room. a position made just for us. this has been an unexpected and very wonderful blessing! my part of the job has to do with hospitality: organizing food supply, overseeing volunteers, and cooking for the weekly Love Feasts, as well as co-teaching a course on forming communities of hospitality this fall. and tim’s part will have to do with college campuses and prayer in the Grand Rapids area, very much in keeping with what he’s been doing with Campus America. there may be more, but we’re still in the process of discerning what, precisely, is the work God is giving us to do here. (btw, read jenn’s latest post about the SBR family here).

housing

right now we’re at justin and marguerite’s house in the southeast part of GR, and probably will keep this as a home base for the month of august, while the SBR is on sabbatical for the month anyway. tim and i are spending one week at the hytta (site of the first few days of our honeymoon) and another at a cottage with the Roost family, which means only two weeks of the month will we be in the city anyway, and we might as well rest with justin and margo for that time.

for september, we’re feeling the nudge to get ourselves down to the Stockbridge neighborhood by one avenue or another, so we’re looking into a few options for where that will be, precisely, while we wait for closing on our house. wherever we end up beginning in September, it will hopefully be quite cheap and quite close to the Boiler Room. the reason this matters is that things will get started up afresh with the SBR in the beginning of September and we know that being close will be important for our full participation.

relationships

this has been easy. coming back into regular time with my family has felt great, and it’s been particularly nice to live with justin and marguerite and sweet baby claire. the SBR and Crossroads family has also been amazing. so many hugs and “welcome-homes”. and how nice it has been to be able to part ways after hanging out and say, “see you tomorrow” or “see you soon!” last week i got to participate in a day of reflection and a day of dreaming with the abbot, the prior, and all the interns of the SBR. it’s was so fun to hear about the road they’ve traveled while i’ve been gone, and to listen to God together for where He’s leading us all in this upcoming year.

before we came here, one madison friend got a picture in prayer of our return to Stockbridge as being like jumping on a trampoline. we jump on, are caught and cushioned, then catapulted up and out toward God and His purposes for us. The deeper in we jump with the community, the higher up we’ll be sent into God and His plans for us. i love this picture and sense it’s truth.

and, it has been pleasant to find the memories of Madison friends and family flit through my mind from time to time, and feel a swell of appreciation for the gift we have in them, and how beautifully we were loved and then sent by them. there are great relationships behind and before us!

thus ends this rather newsy update. the deeper things of the spirit and heart will wait for another, separate post.

ps: we are being tempted by a dog (as pictured above). can’t quite decide if we’re “dog people,” but do love the idea of a contented, companionable, part-pittbull dog living in our midst. we have no idea how to be dog parents. any advice is welcome.

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6 thoughts on “an update on settling in

  1. Awe, this was so good to read. there have been moments when i think…how are tim and brooke settling in…is this a good time to ask them? so here it is, all in this beautifully written post–an answer. i say, “yes”! you are dog people. quite capable of loving and being loved by a dog. i encourage it because i love my dog and life with a dog is more…[fill in the blank here]. or less if you filled in [space on the bed]. but i don’t recommend the latter. anyway, wish i could hug you! love.

  2. It sounds like it’s been a good homecoming for you so far 🙂

    Your job prospects sound exciting and a good fit for you guys, whatever way they work out. And the made-for-you position at the Boiler Room sounds fantastic! I can’t wait to hear your stories and reflections about what God does there.

    And I love the trampoline picture! It’s a great reminder of the treasure of community, but also that community itself isn’t ultimately the goal.

  3. How wonderful that there are positions being created to fit who you are! You’ll flourish as a hostess, I’m sure. Even though I’ve never talked to you in person, I can imagine from what I do know of you. You’re so welcoming. 🙂

  4. Wow, those jobs DO sound made for you! It sounds like even though you’re not totally settled in, roles are waiting for you. Which is to be expected from following God’s leading, isn’t it?

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