Good evening, TSS readers! I’m so thankful for your continued patience as this blog has slowed down of late and all your email questions have continued to pile up in my inbox. Today (Wednesday) my wife and I closed on our home in Maryland, capping a 1,600-mile journey over the past couple of weeks. The Lord was kind to give us a wonderful Christmas week with family in Omaha and excellent traveling weather from Omaha to Maryland. Along the way my family and I were blessed with some stunning sunrise views of West Virginia and the Appalachian Mountains (note the moving truck pic my wife took).
But the journey ended this morning here in Gaithersburg. My wife and I emptied our pockets and drained the ink from two pens to close on our home in Maryland. This afternoon we moved in. It’s quickly feeling like our home, thanks to the very kind and gracious servants from Sovereign Grace Ministries and Covenant Life Church. The moving truck was unloaded in a little over an hour and our joyful friends were even so kind to order pizza for lunch, help assemble beds, watch our kids, shop for groceries to fill our refrigerator, and plan out meals for the next few nights.
I’m constantly astonished by the willingness and loving kindness of my friends within Sovereign Grace Ministries. They are busy folks and their willingness to serve is humbling. Take for example Nora Earles. Nora serves as C.J. Mahaney’s personal secretary, and keeping his schedule organized and efficient must be a major task. Yet today she pre-ordered our pizza lunch before arriving at our home to orchestrate her coordinated team of unloaders (and I think she carried more boxes than anyone else!). Nora is never too busy to serve. It is a joy to have such kind friends in a brand new town. Thinking they probably just provided labor to move boxes, these friends probably don’t know the extent their willing and joyful service transformed our new house into a warm home.
And tonight as we transitioned from lugging boxes to opening boxes, we stumbled over a curious small box that found its way into our new kitchen. We opened the box to find it stuffed with letters and gifts from our small group in Bloomington, MN. Apparently when the small group was helping load the moving truck, they snuck this little gift in when we weren’t looking (I’m certain a fingerprinting would point to Ruth Whipple or Dianne Holland-Tuve as the co-conspirators of this operation). We were surprised, encouraged, and yet a bit saddened to be reminded of those great friends. But that’s the kind of care you receive in a Sovereign Grace Ministries church, whether you are in Minnesota or Maryland or (from what I hear) anywhere. So being cared for by two Sovereign Grace churches from two regions at the same time is an especially unique experience that humbles Karalee and I.
But now as I look around, I see that my books tower into a small mountain of boxes in the basement (disclosure: movers are always pre-warned of the number of books I travel with, so if they show up to help they are especially generous and loving). Tomorrow I look forward to getting my library out and shelved. It’s been 2 years since all my books have been out and it gives me great joy to anticipate seeing all the volumes out of moving boxes.
As I type this evening, silence pervades as the kiddos are asleep in their new bedrooms upstairs. Karalee and I are celebrating the silence with our first pot of decaffeinated Starbucks brew from our overworked coffee maker. We’re surrounded by blank walls and a colorful assortment of boxes, multicolored tubs, overworked suitcases, and half-assembled furniture. Pretty much everything in our home is a project-in-process except for our four beds. The beds have been carefully assembled (thanks Larry!), the covers are made up, and the pillows all arranged perfectly. And so now after a long day that’s where I’m headed.
Thanks for your prayers and your patience. And to my new friends, thank you for your joyful and humble sacrifice. The home is cozier because of it!
Well, good night.