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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Heading West

This Christmas, we will be heading to Bozeman, Montana to spend time with Matt's sister, Mindy, and her husband, Ryan. Ryan is the Director of Lion's Ridge, a retreat center that is nestled in the mountains just a few hours north of Yellowstone National Park. We spent last Christmas with them as well and fell in love with Bozeman...the town, the scenery, the adventures! We felt God calling us there...and had a deep sense that we would eventually live there, but we had so much to take care of before that could ever happen. We work for my family and Matt runs a significant portion of the company. At that point last year, we owned a house, had so much debt, and not much free time. Our dreams of a simpler life were still far away.

Well, a year later...God has opened doors for us and we will be making the trek to Bozeman for Christmas again, but this time we will be pulling our entire life behind us in a 4 x 12 trailer. Yes...we're moving! Our last day in Des Moines will be December 15. After that, we will spend a week in Brainerd, MN with Matt's family and then we will all head out from there. We will spend a couple weeks at Lion's Ridge in the cabin you see in the photo above...and then will travel to Boulder, CO to visit our best friends for a few weeks. When we return, we will know more regarding a job opportunity in full-time ministry there. I will share more with you as things become more finalized. What we have realized is that we need to be back in ministry, paid or unpaid. We know that Matt has been called to that...and we want to be obedient to his calling.

We have sold all of our furniture (yes, even our bed, kitchen table...everything!) and our bus and have only kept the things we love. That made for a much easier move! We are looking forward to starting fresh and trusting God to provide fun, "new to us" furniture and such when we arrive. It's definitely been a growing experience as I learn to release my earthly possessions and focus on where God is leading. We feel so light and free!

God has been so good to us...and we are so excited to be starting a new adventure. We have much to look forward to.
  • A wonderful church with which we are already acquainted with.
  • God-ordained friendships (a crazy story for another time!)
  • Family...Ryan and Mindy are so much fun, I am excited to have them so close!
  • Shops and restaurants galore!
  • An amazing co-op
  • Mountains!
  • A slower lifestyle
So now you understand why I haven't been posting as much lately...I've been busy packing! We moved out of our apartment a few weeks ago and we are spending these last days in Iowa with my parents at their house. Please bear with me during this transition, I'm not sure how much computer time I will have. But I am so excited to share every step with you all...telling of God's amazing provision as he leads us WEST!

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Isaiah 55:12


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh wow, Sara! I am excited and a wee bit jealousy of you. I've only been reading your blog for a few short weeks (Cat introduced me to you through a link in one of her blogs) and you have INSPIRED and CHALLENGED me in SO many ways. I truely will keep you in my prayers. Enjoy spending time with your family and have fun setting up your new home. We will miss your blogs but I am sure you will get back to the blog world as soon as you can.

God bless you,


12/07/2006 3:45 AM  
Anonymous Kim in IN said...

Congratulations Sara!! I wish you safety as you travel with your precious family and much peace and happiness when you arrive at your final destination. We cannot ignore God's calling can we?
Kim in IN.

12/07/2006 5:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How amazing. :-) I'm so excited for you and your family! God is good, isn't He? You all will be in my prayers as you move and begin your ministry. Montana looks like a beautiful place (I've never been there - just seen pictures). I love hearing stories about God's perfect plan for people's lives, and the joy that comes from being obedient to Him. Many blessings as you continue on in your journey with Him!

12/07/2006 5:32 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Isn't this funny... I feel sad about you moving, as if you actually lived in my community. Then, I suddenly tell myself, no, Sara will still be in my community. But, she'll be sending out all sorts of new pictures.

Blessings on your move... what a beautiful place!

12/07/2006 5:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a joy to be in the center of His will-- it makes all things so much easier, both logistically and in your heart! What a

12/07/2006 6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(What a silly idea for me to let Oliver sit on my lap and bang on the notebook's mouse while I type!) What an exciting venture; your family will be in our prayers as well.

12/07/2006 6:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an exciting time this is!! I love your heart and your desire to truly follow the Lord. I am praying for you and your family during this exciting transition.

12/07/2006 6:13 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

That is so exciting. I love moves like these. IT will be awesome to see how God changes your life (as He already is doing!)
I have a good friend near Bozeman (in Belgrade) if you need some more Christian contacts. :)

12/07/2006 6:26 AM  
Blogger km said...

I can't wait to hear all the amazing stories of your Christmas time transitioning into your new life!

12/07/2006 6:54 AM  
Anonymous Laura O said...

ahhh sister...I am so proud of you guys for everything that you're doing. It makes me get all emotional (and we know that doesn't happen much) :)
I'm going to miss you guys living so close, but I definately feel and know that you guys are following God's calling...I love you guys!

12/07/2006 7:10 AM  
Anonymous Catherine said...

Sara! I am so very excited for you all! Blaine and I will be praying for you all and look forward to hearing about your adventures which I know you will enjoy each and every moment of it all! :O)

xoxoxo Cat

12/07/2006 7:19 AM  
Anonymous Melissa - WA said...

Sara -

That is awesome! I have been to Montana, and you are right about a slower pace of life! Best wishes on your new adventure. I have no doubt God will bless your decision as you are obviously following his nudge. Many blessings to you and your family.


12/07/2006 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How amazing!! I have so enjoyed all your photos of your little life in Des Moines and look forward to watching the adventure of Montana now. What a merry Christmas!! :)
Enjoy the journey with Jesus, Matt, and Bella!

12/07/2006 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Sara,

I have been reading your blog for about a week now, and so enjoy your posts. Very inspiring! Best Wishes on your move! Montana looks beautiful, and... who couldn't benefit from a slower pace of life??? Congratulations!

12/07/2006 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anna said...

Sara, I'm so excited for you and your family. I will keep you in my prayers.

12/07/2006 11:34 AM  
Anonymous Leslie said...

Jesus, I just pray for my blog-friend Sara right now. I ask that you go before her family and make a way for them. That you cover them with protection and that you make them sensative to your calling and voice. I just thank you Lord for these new chapters that you are writting in her lifestory. Bless...protect...provide and show her your faithful hand. In Jesus's name...AMEN!

Sara, I wish you the very best! Your blog has been such an inspriataion for me. Thank you for allowing the Lord to use your lifestyle to teach this little 24-yearold in California what life was intended to be about...JESUS! :)

12/07/2006 11:35 AM  
Anonymous The NON-Superwoman said...

LOVE reading your sweet site. And was so encouraged by your move and how you are stepping out on faith. May God bless and continually order your steps.

12/07/2006 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Ela said...

Sarah! How exciting life is when we listen to God's call!

I pray that you and your family will be blessed during this change in your lives.

Keep us posted!

12/07/2006 12:41 PM  
Blogger A JoyFull Life said...

I am so excited for January!!! Tea shops, consignment stores (we have the best!), mountains, snowboarding?!, lots of fun. Love you and always praying for you, friend!

12/07/2006 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Sara!
Such an inspiration you are...such a obediant heart for His call.
So many changes for you this year-can't wait to hear about your wild time in the west! Is Bella excited?
Happy Christmas to you and yours.

12/07/2006 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


What a small world, We are also in ministry. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to the days and months ahead of your transition. That word used to be so foreign to me and now I am intimate with it. You know how that goes...the good parts and the bad parts.

I will pray for your travels and for the ministry (known and unknown) where you are going. Have fun settling in and dont forget to take lots of pics! :)

God Bless...Anna

12/07/2006 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Lots of change in one year. How long did you live in that beautiful small apartment?? Do you think you'll miss it? Well good luck and God bless. You have been an inspiration to me. Can't wait to hear of your upcoming adventures.

12/07/2006 2:27 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

We lived in our little apartment for just over 2 months. It was a glorious 2 months :) I loved every day of it. I know that God has been preparing us for this move for a long time. Over 2 years ago He placed a desire in my heart to LIVE SMALLER and ever since then, we've been pursuing that. We have learned so much through our downsizing...about God and about ourselves. I can't wait to find another small place to live in! I would never have thought I could live in such a small space...but now I know anything is possible.

12/07/2006 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YAAAHHHHHH!!!!! I am so happy for you guys! Montana Rocks!!!

I totally know what you mean about falling in love with a place. I am sure your family will miss you-well, Bella terribly! It will be so fun for them to visit you out much to take in.

God's hand of creation never ceases to amaze in that part of the country.

We'll pray that you have a blessed journey west! Keep us posted!

*please let me know if there are any specific items that you would like covered in prayer in the coming weeks


12/07/2006 2:36 PM  
Blogger the green mama said...

You are simply amazing! Best wishes for your new journey. What an adventure!

12/07/2006 6:11 PM  
Anonymous librarygirl said...

I enjoy reading your blog so much,very inspirational,thoughtful
and brave. Good luck for your life changes, hope you are posting again soon -
librarygirl in Melbourne, Australia

12/07/2006 8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what specific plans God has for individuals, but central to my identity as a Jew is the concept of "tikkun olam," which is Hebrew for "healing and repairing the world."

Your journey toward less consumption and simple living is inspiring and has motivated me to focus on how I can better heal and repair our society and the world around us.

Good luck with your move!

Best wishes, Laurie

12/07/2006 11:06 PM  
Blogger La Libertad said...

How exciting! I hope that this journey is fulfilling for your family. I feel excited but also a bit jealous. Our simple living "plan" also includes a location that is a bit slower. It is still a dream but I'm happy to see that yes, it can be done!

Keep safe in your journey! I wish you all the best of luck!

12/08/2006 1:49 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/08/2006 2:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We moved from Montana to Ohio 2 years ago, and I long for the slower pace and simpler life. It'll come. Congrats to you and blessings for the coming months. :)

12/08/2006 5:39 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Pivec said...

Wow! I only just found your blog last week and have enjoyed it a great deal. We are from Minnesota - transplanted to Florida! Say hello for us on your way through! :) Many blessings to you on your new journey. How exciting! I have linked to your site in my most recent post about your compacting journey ( a different and equally exciting journey). Stop by and say hello if you get a free moment. :)

Merry Christmas and God bless,
Mrs. Pivec

12/08/2006 7:32 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Wow Sara!! I am so happy for you and your family. You have such a wonderful faith in God that it just inspires me so! I hope you have a happy and safe trip during all your travels. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!!

12/08/2006 7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently found your blog while surfing around. Let me say welcome to Montana! I live in NW Montana about 5 hour drive from Bozeman - it's a great state to live in.

12/08/2006 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness gracious!
How amazing this adventure in your life will be. Sold nearly everything, wow. How does that feel?

You will live closer to where I live. If you ever want to visit the desert of Washington State...

12/08/2006 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what awesome things God will do in your life! I've recently discovered your blog and just like others have said, you are an inspiration to us all, encouraging us to constantly check our hearts. May the Lord richly bless your family on this new journey!

12/08/2006 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW!!!! You will be rewarded for being obedient. I have seen it time and again.
Please don't stop blogging.
Have a safe journey to this new chapter of your life!!
God Bless.

12/08/2006 12:44 PM  
Blogger momteacherfriend said...

That is incredibly awesome! It is exciting how to see how God has been leading and preparing you these last few months and years. Letting go and preparing you to live smaller has freed you to make the choices you are now making. God is so good. And what adventures lie ahead for you.

God bless!

12/08/2006 1:02 PM  
Anonymous chasmyn said...

Wow, Sara, that's wonderful! I can't wait to read about your adventures!

12/08/2006 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sara---I hope you have a great move WEST. When you get to Bozeman, check out a great band called STORYHILL or CHRIS and JOHNNY (their earlier name). They are fantastic and from that area. They have quite a local fan base and have frequent concerts.
Peace to you this Christmas.

12/08/2006 4:01 PM  
Blogger Deeapaulitan said...

Hurry up and get here! LOL!

I am so blessed to know God placed me as a part of His plan for you ( and vice versa)! What an incredible, amazing, awesome, crazy journey this will be. Glad we get to take it together in a way!

12/09/2006 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Dana said...

I had to delurk for a moment and congratulate you and your husband! God has blessed your family and I'm looking forward to reading about your journey as time goes by.Be careful and have a safe trip on your way to beautiful Montana.

12/09/2006 7:04 PM  
Blogger meLanie said...

it is surreal to stand back and see a vision that God placed in your hearts come to be. praying for your family, how exciting! it is awesome that you leaped into Him and to see the next page in your story unfold! blessings to you!

12/09/2006 9:49 PM  
Blogger carolyn said...

Wow! Amazing! God bless your move!

12/10/2006 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Have a great move...

12/10/2006 9:24 PM  
Blogger Here we go... said...

Woo-Hoo! # 45!! What a ministry you have here Sara! I am so proud to be a close personal freind of yours when all these ladies are so inspired by your words on life. Of, course I am always so very inspired, as well. I cannot wait to here about the adventures I have always wanted to visit the North Country!!!

12/11/2006 8:00 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Thanks so much for the kind words my friend. I miss you!

12/11/2006 12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me be the first to say, "Welcome to Montana!!"

12/11/2006 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

I hope you have a wonderful time in Montana!!! I don't think I've ever posted on your blog before, but I read it all the time. I think you are such a wonderful woman and that you have such a beautiful soul!

Melanie (MelanieMC on MDC)

12/11/2006 6:03 PM  
Blogger Charity Singleton said...

Sara -- Just wanted to be one of the many to say blessings for the journey. I am looking forward to reading about the new things you find to do and learn in Bozeman.

12/12/2006 12:42 PM  
Blogger Mama-to-many said...

I've been loving reading your's so nice to find someone else living in a similar manner to me - I don't feel like I'm swimming upstream when I read your journey!

I've got to ask you this - isn't *all* of life "ministry"??? We Christians can be the worst at having a "God box", at living with a (false) dualism - but everything we do needs to give glory to Him. When we take a walk with our kids or give someone a plate of cookies or write our blog or share a photo or read stories together or knit a jumper or work faithfully at paid's ALL for His glory. We minister to each person who God brings across our path.

What do you think?

12/13/2006 1:30 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Thank you for the nice comment. Yes, I do agree that all of life is ministry and that you can work unto the Lord in all things. However, I do feel that some people are specifically called into vocational ministry and there is no doubt in my mind that my husband falls into this category. He has a degree in youth ministry and has always known that is where God had called him. This was a short detour in our life (after already having been in full-time ministry) to help pay off debt, take a break, etc.


12/13/2006 7:19 AM  
Blogger Faith said...

Wow, You have had so many people saying the same thing - WOW!! I am so excited for you & your family!! We lived in Montana from October 2002 - February 2003 and they were AWESOME days. God built our faith, and gave us rest and confirmed our heart for ministry. He called us back home again but now we say that it took a shout from God to take us to Montana but it would only take a whisper from Him for us to go back. W lived in Eureka which is the last city on Hwy 93 before Canada. It was a wonderfully little, quiet place with an awesome Pizza place called "Bullwinkles" - their bread was amazing!! But what a change from living in the suburbs of Atlanta.
One of the funny things that happened while we were in Montana was that we went to the "big" movie theatre in Kalispell to see on the of "Lord of the Rings" movies and the big theatre had only one screen!! (where we live even the small theatres have like 12 - 14 screens) Anyway... it was funny at the time. Hope you enjoy life in one of the most beautiful places in God's creation!! I look forward to seeing you photos!!

12/29/2006 6:24 AM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

The world thinks that following God will result in a really boring life... thank you for showing them that following Christ is actually an awesome adventure!

1/14/2007 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Amanda said...

After seeing your link for your friends in Boulder, I ended up calling them about their church :) I just moved to the Boulder area, and we have been hunting for a new church. They look great! I'm a little concerned that it won't be AP friendly (they are doing a parenting thing that is from a very non-AP book), but other than that it looks really cool :) Thanks for the recommendation!

1/24/2007 2:29 PM  

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