January 5, 2015

Twelve Months : Zwölf Monate

Everything is changing. In the span of twelve months we have stepped into a divide, into a season of prolonged transition from Chicago to Berlin. I didn't update my blog regularly in 2014, so I thought you might like to see a month-by-month snapshot of our year!

January : Januar  Ice, snow, and record temperatures in Chicago. Josh and I decided to pursue the opportunity which had been presented to us in November—to serve as communications coordinators in Berlin, Germany! After a blur of personality tests, theological questionnaires, doctor visits, and reference forms, we submitted our application materials to ReachGlobal.
We both ache to explore a new environment together, to tell the stories well, to finally have the luxury of devoting our waking, working hours to creative endeavors. Is this what you have for us, God? Are we ready to leave our friends and church to immerse ourselves in German culture? 
– 29 January 2014
February : Februar  Josh and I packed our suitcases and drove to icy Minneapolis for three days of interviews. The ReachGlobal staff made us feel affirmed and deeply cared for, and we left with a sense of peace.

March : März  We were accepted as long-term staff members with ReachGlobal!

April : April  I spent weeks rehearsing a cantata to be performed at a Maundy Thursday service, and Holy Week stirred my soul for the first time in years. I turned twenty-four. Josh surprised me with a gorgeous hotel room in downtown Chicago and a brewery tour in Wisconsin. (Yes, I'm a good German.)

May : Mai  Josh and I took another trip to Minneapolis for an intense week of training. Later in the month, my dad came to visit us in Chicago!
We have truly turned a corner in this journey. From today onward, nothing will be the same. 
– 10 May 2014
June : Juni  We celebrated three years of marriage! Josh transitioned to a part-time job, and we began to ease into the fundraising process.
I kind of resent that You're asking us to do this—approach family and friends and coworkers and churches for money. It is strange and uncomfortable and almost... impetuous. I keep finding myself glaring at You with a knot in my stomach, hating every minute of this. 
– 02 June 2014 
July : Juli  Josh and his dad took a trip to the West Coast and I continued working full-time at Moody. It was a relatively quiet month, complete with plenty of grilling, porch-sittin', and late nights with friends. Josh and I booked our flights to meet the Berlin team!

August : August  Josh's sister got married in Maryland! One week later, we were off to Berlin to meet the team and explore the city. It was our first time visiting Europe (let alone Germany), and we absolutely loved it. You can view some of my photos from the trip here.

September : September  Josh and I came home from an incredible week in Berlin. A few days later, ReachGlobal officially finalized our placement with the Berlin team! I began to wrestle with the idea of being a missionary.
I want to run away from You and Your call and Your care but you have gripped me. The liturgy, the melodies, the warmth in the eyes of a friend, the stories handed down. Despite my doubts and fears and guilt and anger, I think my heart still beats for You.
– 09 September 2014
October : Oktober  Josh and I worked through a six-week, online class for ReachGlobal. As the days grew darker, time spent within my close community seemed all the more life-giving. I began to realize just how deeply I am rooted in Chicago.
These days seem tender. Tonight I flipped through my ever-growing binder of sheet music from our church to read the words and liturgy, and I paused occasionally to sing some of the songs. Then, I started. Pangs of grief shot between my lungs, and I glanced at the map on our wall. I measured with my eyes the inches between push pins, the miles between Chicago and Berlin. The romance of the adventure has cooled in my heart, at least for tonight. I don't know if everything is going to be okay. I pray for courage, for peace of mind, resilience and renewed love for You.
– 06 October 2014
November : November  We traveled to North Carolina for Thanksgiving! It was great to be reunited with our families, and Josh and I had the opportunity to give a presentation to the church we attended as kids. After the church service, we hopped in the car and knocked out the 16-hour stretch to Chicago. We collapsed into bed at 5:00 a.m. to sleep for a few hours, then I returned to work and Josh hopped in a different car for a road trip to the West Coast.

December : Dezember  While Josh was away, I took time to reflect on our trip to the South, on the past few years, on the diverse experiences which have beautifully layered under my feet to hoist me to this new ledge. Josh returned safely home to me, and we settled in for a quiet Christmas in Chicago.


We would love for you to follow our story as we prepare for ministry in Germany. If you'd like to receive a little update from us once in awhile, sign up for our newsletter here!

November 15, 2014

Everything is changing, v. 3

I just stumbled upon a journal entry I wrote in April 2013, long before Josh and I first heard about ReachGlobal in Berlin. My faith felt frail at the time, and to make matters worse, I was incredibly frustrated with my job. 

My cubicle at my former job, cleaned out on my last day.

I still remember the Spirit clamoring on that April evening, pleading with me as I washed dishes at the sink. Sit. Be still. Talk to me. As I slammed the last dripping plate into the dishwasher, I gave up the fight. I wiped down the counter, retrieved my journal, and took a seat in the empty living room. Rain pattered on the skylights and a candle flickered on the coffee table. I began to write.

College is done. That once unlived adventure—lived. Mystery and anticipation—gone. Now I sit in a cubicle and answer phones. Prospective students, kind donors, rude fundamentalists and desperate radio listeners… I don’t know what to make of all these interactions, but I always come home exhausted.
What if Josh and I just went for it? We’ve been talking about traveling, about making videos and recording music, about meeting new people and just living. We don’t want a house with a picket fence in the suburbs, complete with 2.333 kids and enough money in the bank to become subtly damned consumers.  
What if this season, this time in Chicago, is a brief period that will launch us into real life, an adventure? What if we took steps into the dark and groped for your hands and giggled with excitement? Oh God, please lead us. We do not want to be safe or culturally confined.
I desire to empower people with your story. You are powerful. You reach into corpses and infuse life. You step into our history and fix your eyes on every moment—on every glimmer or hint or outright crime of murderous self-lordship—and you forgive. I want people to know that. I want to pour out myself so that others can look and live. 
– 10 April 2013
This is part of the prequel to Berlin. This is part of my story, my desire to go and do that seemed so stifled at the time. 

Potsdamer Platz, Berlin

About six months later, Josh and I were made aware of the opportunity to live and work in Germany. It seems that this ministry has been handed to us as a gift—an answer to a half-forgotten prayer on a rainy evening—and I am speechlessly grateful.


We would love for you to follow our story as we prepare for ministry in Germany. If you'd like to receive a little update from us once in awhile, sign up for our newsletter here!