May 16, 2012

The Influencers

Things are winding down. The "Michiana" chapter of our family book is coming to its completion. It's so deeply saddening, and yet so confirming as well.

This September it will have been seven years since we purchased our first home in this area. A home we planned to live in two or three years, not because we'd be moving a block away, but because we'd be moving to Indianapolis. But, God, in his infinite wisdom, had something far better for us here. And now, 6.5 years later, I can see it too.

Our lives have been deeply impacted by so many different people. Here, we went from young marrieds to a young family, and God strategically planted His people along the way to encourage and bless us.

Neighbors- Helen, Roger, Gary, Tom, Barb, Muff, Kim, Jason, Holly, Joe... I could go on and on. How is it possible that in owning three homes we could have been blessed by such amazing neighbors?? You cut our hedges that were on your property... made dinners for us as we attempted parenthood... mowed our grass just because... and showered us with free babysitting and endless children's clothing. In a nutshell, you taught us, mere children, how to be great neighbors. We will carry your friendships with us throughout our life.

Pastors- Rick, Brent, Kyle, Jay, Collin... you guys are so amazing! God put us under your wings to learn what it means to be members of a church. You shepherded us through periods of incredible growth in our individual walks with the Lord, and as we figured out what that meant as a couple. We are so thankful for each of you, and pray God's richest blessings as you continue in your various calls to shepherd His flock.

Uprising Class-  Our first friends as Mr & Mrs. We never treasured enough our short time together-- especially those days pre-kids. ;) Game nights, cross-country skiing, dessert at Yesterdays- we cherish the memories. And now, even as we're scattering to all parts of the country, we remain thankful in our prayers for you. Those that are still here, we've clung tightly to... and those that have already moved have given us hope for what's next for us on this earth. We love you.

Grace Church Family- You are our people. You are our family. What can we even say to express how much we love you. You have encouraged us, prayed for us, spurred us on, loved us. We have loved serving with you and for you. Granger is being touched by you. Blow the walls out. We can't wait to come back and worship with you. Pray for us.

Small Group Peeps- Past and present... our brothers and sisters who know our deepest grime, yet still love us and want to be in relationship with us. Tuesday nights have always been our favorite. Doing life with you all has blessed us more than words can express. Thank you for your prayer covering as we go forward.

MOPS gals- It has been a mere two years....not nearly long enough. However, you have taught me that I'm not insane. I walk into that room on Thursday mornings, and instantly I'm normal. Thank you for your willingness to come alongside me.

BSF women- How good is our God? I just had to look around my discussion groups to be reminded. All different walks of life... all different past experiences... all learning about the same God. God used you to teach me so much. Genesis, Romans, Isaiah, Acts of the Apostles... four incredible studies that rocked my world.

Cressy & Everett Associates- Why you let a cocky, young know-it-all like me in to those doors is beyond me. You are professional, courteous, educated, wise... I could go on and on. Six months ago I hung up my Michiana Real Estate hat, but it will forever hang on your hook. You taught me, and even let me train you. What a blast. And Sue, you're one in a million. There are no words to express how thankful I am for your leadership and example.

WSBT co-workers- In nine years, there have been many of you. Thank you for taking my Hubby in, allowing him to do what he loves, and sending him home relatively unscathed. He has been challenged and grown, and remains passionate about good journalism. Thank you for never making me feel like an outsider... and for trusting me to sell so many of your homes. ;)

Boyfriend, turned Baby-Daddy- You are my very best friend. We started this journey as individuals, and are on to the next adventure arm in arm, and with two beautiful Blessings in tow. How are we this deserving? Thank you for your encouragement as I've attempted to figure out what it means to be your wife, and the mother of our kids. I thank God for every single morning that I get to wake up next to you. My only expectation is that you please keep pointing me to Jesus. If anyone knows how desperately I need that, it's you. Okay? Alright. Lets do this, Love.

Michiana, you've been good to me. My life is different because of the 6.5 years I've lived here. Thank you.


  1. LOVE this post! I still remember the Sunday morning I turned around to greet this new couple in church...little did I know then that we would become fast friends. Sometimes you just "click" with people and I'm so thankful that we "clicked". We have greatly enjoyed your friendship over the years. We cannot wait to hear and see how you impact your new circle of friends! God uses passionate, sold-out people, Stacy, and you and Dustin certainly are that! Will continue to pray for you, Friend!

  2. I'm sitting here with tears rolling . . . Thank you for the impact you have had on our children. We will be praying for you as you start a new adventure.