Years ago, Haley was challenged to choose a word of the year instead of a New Year’s resolution. In 2011, her word was trust, to trust God and to trust others. Now, as we sit attempting to summarize 2016, we return to the concept of a word of the year: This year has been a year of transition.
While each year brings with it new adventures, changes, and challenges, 2016 was perhaps our biggest yet. To kick off 2016, we made the decision to follow God’s call on our hearts to move to the Twin Cities. While Haley looked for a job in the Cities, James met with pastors in search of an internship, hoping to find one that would align with his heart for intentional community and outreach to the surrounding neighborhood.
In late May, Haley left her first full-time job at the Rochester Salvation Army and took on a temp position in Roseville as the Online Communications Manager at The Salvation Army Northern Division Headquarters (DHQ). In June, James left his first pastoral job as the Director of Student Ministries and Worship Leader at Rochester Covenant Church. James and Haley then moved into his parents’ new house in Farmington for the summer months.
During the summer we were able to find our new home church, Awaken Community, where James is interning for two years. Amidst James’s first week of school, we closed on our house, cleaned up the place, and moved in our belongings. While there are always surprises with home-ownership, we’ve been able to make some updates and have quickly made it our cozy dwelling.
Haley officially took on her new position as Manager of Donor Offers at Salvation Army North at the end of October. She creates letters, videos, emails, and whatever other communication you can think of to best demonstrate appreciation and stewardship to donors. She enjoys being creative and having a supportive team. Haley also continues to grow her photography business over at haleyearley.com (shameless plug, y’all).
James continues his schooling at The University of Northwestern Saint Paul. He just finished the fall semester and remains energized as he digs into biblical commentaries and engages in ongoing discussion of all that God has to show us. In May, James will graduate with his B.A. in Pastoral Ministry, and after a two-week break, he’ll jump right into one more year of studies until he receives his Master’s of Divinity.
Phillip is enjoying the fenced-in backyard and has adapted to our new home. It took Phillip a little longer to adapt to our newest four-legged addition. Riley joined our family in November and has brought lots of liveliness and constant awareness to our space. She loves to play with Phillip (who has just started reciprocating play-time), eat leaves and sticks, and has recently started digging holes in the backyard. She’s equal parts independent and snuggly, and all parts adorable.
Our little family has been so incredibly blessed in 2016 by smooth transitions and God’s continuously guiding hand. We are eager for all that 2017 has in store for us, and sincerely hope that seeing your smiling face will be part of it.