By time this blog publishes, we'll have less than two weeks left before we leave Boise. When we moved up here we knew no one outside our team, and we had only spent a few weeks with them six weeks before we arrived in Boise.
But now, well, now we have family here. The truth of life is that we have family every where, brothers and sisters in Christ surround us at every turn. Spending nearly a year away from our home and our blood relatives has shown me just how much family is around us, even if they aren't blood.
Our teammates are the ones who watched Monkey when I gave birth to Mistletoe. Our teammates are the ones I text late in the night when I desperately need a prayer or a listening ear. We've been there for each other, through homesickness, doctor's appointments, date nights, two births (our team director's wife also had a baby this year), deaths in the family, and everything in between. These sweet souls who I didn't even know a year ago have become nearer and dearer to me than I ever thought possible, so much so that I wonder what life was like before I knew them.
Each in their own way, our teammates have stretched me, have spurned me onto holiness, to questioning my assumptions and deepening my convictions. They've loved me, challenged me, prayed for me, cried with me, played with my kids, eaten my food (and I've eaten theirs!), walked through my door without knocking, laughed with me, and so much more. I could tell you my first impression from meeting each and every one of them, but you know what? I was wrong. That's right. I can still tell you the snap judgments I made about each of them, but as I've gotten to know them, as I've shared life with them, I've come to see a beauty in them I missed the day I met them all. They all have wounds, just like we all do, but they are all striving for holiness. What I saw on the surface - which was really just my own close-mindedness - was nothing compared to the depth of their hearts, the fierceness of their souls, and the power of their love.
My mom used to have this calendar that had a different saying or quote for each day. On the day that my Papa died the quote was "we are a part of all we have met." I was only 13 when he passed, but that quote has stuck with me. These teammates of mine have certainly changed me, they have softened my heart and opened my soul. They have breathed life into me, given me hope, encouraged me, and made me a better person, a better wife, and a better mother. They are certainly a part of me and I'll take them with me, wherever this journey takes me. This isn't goodbye, this is more like, thank you for changing my heart and soul, I'll take you with me wherever we go (and we better Skype or Monkey will pester me every day until she sees her besties). <3
The day we met our team - June 2016
Regional Gathering - Couer D'Alene, November 2016
Escape Room - December 2016 (we've added TWO babies to our team since then!)