The Best of 2023

As I look through my photos from the past year and reminisce I can’t help but find the amount of change in the last 12 months staggering.  The year started with a normal January but in the beginning of February we rebranded our ministry as The Company (which was no small feat!), revival broke out in a corner coffee shop in Cambridge, and and we felt the first nudgings to move.  By March our minds were made up and we found ourselves shopping for a new space for The Company in the next town.  

April and May were spent house hunting and alternating between excitement and grief over the massive shift our life was taking.  We sold our house without having to list it and bought a house that wasn’t up for sale.  

In June we said goodbye and it was both heartbreaking and exciting.  We spent almost two weeks living with my in-laws while we waited for the new.  July began in Cambridge and we fell headlong into a full summer of late evenings with kids filling our yard, days at the pool, and lemonade stands.  

August brought exhaustion as we finished renovating the schoolhouse and fully moved our office here.  September was a fresh start with new apprentices and a gratefulness that The Company‘s schoolhouse was now operational.   

October was a month of writing and chasing sunsets, trying to spend as much time spent in the waning beautiful weather as possible. In November a sadness, or perhap discontent, began to creep into my heart.  I wasn’t sure why, but I felt that it had to do with the massive change our life had taken and the slowness to finally process it.

Since we moved I often asked myself “Do I like it here?”  and generally the answer had been “Yes, this is really good”.  There was still this nagging voice in the back of my head that warned me that maybe this wasn’t good.  I knew my my feelings would eventually catch up, but I still had a lot of sadness over missing routines and memories from our previous life. 

December was full of Christmas preparations and getting outside even when it was cold and I didn’t want to.  I made sure to let go of any Christmas traditions that didn’t matter in order to keep my sanity and focus on Jesus.  

On Christmas Day the answer to my question became clear, I do like it here. 

Christmas Eve and Day were both gorgeous 50-60 degree days.  This is nearly unheard of in Ohio and we took full advantage of them with walks.  Every person we passed during our strolls said “Merry Christmas” or waved hi and the beauty of it all hit me hard.  This is the community and the human interaction that I had really started to miss on our 6 acres.  What was a good retreat from a difficult inner city house 9 years ago had actually become a place of loneliness.

I sat on the porch drinking coffee on Christmas Eve and smiled at the different kids I could hear shrieking and giggling and having fun.  I could hear neighbors chatting and dogs barking and town life felt so full.

Last night as I was going to sleep the Lord asked me what I missed from our other house.  I gave him a list of things like solitude, and walks in the woods, and the crows that would fly by every winter evening.  Then He did something that surprised me and asked me what we would have missed if we hadn’t moved.  Almost everything I named was actually a someone. 

We would have missed out on the people.

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