Some things about me you may already know, and if you don’t, you should:
- For the entire six years of our marriage thus far, Paul and I have lived in a 650 square foot house. It is, according to some people, “adorable,” and truly, we have made a good life for ourselves in it. Paul has planted an increasingly amazing garden, and we live on a quiet and beautiful pond which is lovely to sit beside (or on, if you have a working boat) in the summer. We are aware that Tiny Houses are all the rage. They even kind of appeal to us. But most tiny houses aren’t 100 years old, and are laid out better. This one is pretty limiting when it comes to offering hospitality. Or actually having a place to put stuff away, to be honest. When we host family holidays, unless it’s blazing summer, we have to have people over in shifts so everyone fits.
- For a number of years, but increasingly insistently over the last one, Paul and I have been praying about moving, scouring real estate websites, taking day trips to neighborhoods in which we’ve been interested.
- I have parents who have engaged in ministry their entire lives. This past summer, they retired. They, too, have been praying about whether to move–out to my brother’s family (he’s got four kids)–or to stay in this area. Recently they finally decided they want to live nearer the grandkids while the grandkids are still young.
A week ago yesterday, my dad sent an email offering to sell us their house. We spent the rest of the week praying about it, and on Sunday afternoon, told them we’d buy it. Since then, one thing after another is falling into place in some really uncanny ways! We are really going to miss “our” pond, the garden, and the neighbors, but God seems to be clearly directing us to this move and this location for this next season (however long that is), and we are excited!
Even though the Pilgrimage is primarily an online ministry, from the very beginning Paul and I have wanted to offer hospitality. Now we will be able to invite people over for meals, for brief individual or small group retreats, for mentoring sessions, etc. Even the online portion of the Pilgrimage ministry will be helped by this move; when I offer spiritual direction or teach Stepping Into the Story via video chat, I will now be able to go into a separate room, with an actual door, and conduct truly private sessions, whether Paul and I are both home or not!
We are very conscious of and grateful for our new home’s history–which is that my parents built it in the 90’s intentionally as a place of ministry and hospitality. We love the house (and I lived in it for years, before I met Paul!), we love that we know “where it’s been” so to speak, and we love that, as Paul’s mom said when we told her about it, “There’s a lot of Jesus in that house!” There really is.
This move is pretty momentous for us as a couple and also for this ministry, and so we’d both be grateful for your prayers regarding a few things:
- We’re praying for a good buyer for our current house.
- We want to keep with the “mission” of our new home and have it be a warm, hospitable place where Jesus is still encountered. Please pray that God will help us foster this in the way He has called us to do–not duplicating my parents’ ministry, since we’re different people, but being faithful to our own callings.
- This would be a really good time for me to become fully financially supported for the work I’m already doing with the Pilgrimage.
I haven’t been particularly proactive in my “support discovery” over the last year as I’ve been using my part-time hospice work (and income) as an excuse to avoid it, because let’s be honest–asking you to help with my salary is awkward.
Lately, though, I’ve been feeling prompted to swallow my pride and take up the “spiritual discipline” of completing my support raising process. In the meantime, with a new mortgage and the need to furnish a house with more than a futon, I’m starting to see a real reason to finish support raising. I want to ask you to please pray that I will be faithful to do this and that the support will come in. Even more, if you’re not already on it, I also want to invite you to join my “Pilgrimage Outfitters” regular support team. Regularly scheduled financial gifts are most helpful, but special or occasional gifts are a great blessing, too. They’re also all tax deductible, and you can donate here. In addition, I’d love to increase the number of churches which support the Pilgrimage, as I really see the Pilgrimage in part as a ministry to churches. If you are part of a church and would like to see your church partner with the Pilgrimage, please let me know and let’s talk about how to make those mutually supportive connections.
Please contact me if you have questions about any of this, including but not limited to how the Pilgrimage might help churches, how the ministry of hospitality really has anything to do with the Pilgrimage, what’s the philosophy behind financial support raising, etc. I’m so grateful to you for being on this Pilgrimage with us and want to be a blessing to you, too.
[Note: The feature image was taken years ago, when I was renting The House from my parents. Oddly enough, I could probably take the exact same photo today, as we are having another blizzard and the trees already look like that.]