Wow, almost two weeks without a post! There's a reason for that. It's been an extremely eventful couple of weeks, full of many twists and turns. I will spare you the details and get right to the part that matters: our family is soon to embark on a new adventure, one about which we are more excited than we can say.
It was about twenty years ago, in 1993, that we came to Illinois. At the time I only had one baby, a happy, healthy 10-month old named Trevor. Phillip was working full-time as a college music professor when Trinity Lutheran in Peoria saw something in him and asked him to be their cantor. After much thought and prayer, he said yes, and I decided I'd better go along to keep him out of trouble. ;-) Several things made it very difficult for us to leave Texas, not the least of which was my father's declining health (he died in 1994 of lung cancer). But we believed that God was calling Phillip to this work. So we said goodbye to family and friends as well as to our home state and headed north.
About 6-1/2 years later Phillip heard another call, this time to a church in the Chicago suburbs. By this time we had a cute, curly-headed little carrot-top named Caitlin. We had also in the intervening years discovered something called homeschooling. So this time we packed up not just a house but also a school. For the last fourteen years both operations have been humming along quite nicely here in Chicagoland. About four years in, our number increased as we were joined by a happenin' dude named Evan. Then last year we had another major change as Phillip moved his office, and we moved our church membership, to Chicago's south side. We will always be grateful for the opportunity to know and love the people of Trinity (yes, another Trinity!) Lutheran in Tinley Park and for all the love they have shown to us. Our lives have been enriched by our time with them.
It is clear to us, however, that God is again calling. And this time, twenty years after we moved north, He is calling us back to our roots, not to Texas, but to what our Southern kin might call a "kissing cousin." And we believe without reservation that it's where He wants us right now. So in the next few months we will be writing the final chapter of our Illinois story and beginning a new one in Oklahoma, at Immanuel Lutheran in Broken Arrow. We are looking forward to being closer to most of our family and to providing a warmer climate for my elderly mother. But more important, we are anticipating the possibilities for Phillip to share the Gospel through music that we are convinced await him at Immanuel. In a future post maybe I'll share a bit more about those. In the meantime, your prayers are appreciated for the dear ones we are leaving behind and for the ones we are looking forward to knowing better in the years to come.