A.L.W.Y.P. (Adults Living With Your Parents)

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Sometimes it happens. Adults need to move back in with their parents. Dear ALWYP, we know how you feel. It’s not easy. You’ve moved back in with your parents after living life on your own – you don’t have to explain. We understand. When we moved from Ohio to Oregon in September, we began our Oregonian lifestyle by living with Adam’s parents… because we’re so cool. It might be hip to be an ALWYP … or … it might not. Either way, that’s what we did… for 7 weeks.

Adam’s parents graciously made room for our family of 5 in their 1,600 square foot house. We crammed ourselves and a lot of our crap into 2 small bedrooms and their garage, while the rest of our belongings spilled over into a friends storage space. It’s very humbling to be an ALWYP. You appreciate your parents opening up their home -again- yet you want to move out ASAP.

So our journey to finding a rental home began… We were looking for homes in the Portland burbs, an area nicknamed the Silicon Forest of the Northwest because many hi-tech and well-known name brand companies such as Intel and Nike are headquartered here. The rental market in this area is nuts. Places turn over fast. We found cookie cutter homes, with identical floor plans, and a 6×8 foot strip of grass for a “backyard”.  We found a place where the management company was showing the house from exactly 2:00-2:10pm, to our family and a “few” others. I mean 20 others showed up to see this house. We weren’t prepared for a brawl over a rental house, so we left. We found a place with “good energy” filled with fumes of incense and marijuana, Catholic altars and a picture of Jesus on every wall. I love Jesus, but…no. We found a place with a strange landlord and so many mirrors thru out the rooms, my hunch was it might have been used for porn movies. aaand… No. We found a place that was smelly and dark and the tenant had so much stuff in the home, we could barely walk thru it. As we toured the home, her two adult sons —ALWYPs— were on their computers glued to the screens playing video games in the living room / bat cave. Umm. No. I was bound to have nightmares if we would’ve rented that house.

After searching several weeks and becoming discouraged we might be ALWYPs, forever… we found a home we loved. With a ginormous backyard, a tree house, a chicken coup, and a hot tub, beautiful hardwood floors, an open living room, a wet bar – turned coffee bar, well taken care of and best of all – very reasonable rent. When we walked into this house we knew – this is the one! As we were leaving, another family was coming to see it. In Oregon, it is first come first serve. The first ones to have their application in have first dibs on renting the house. The landlord didn’t have an application printed, but she emailed one to us. We knew how quickly decent rental houses turned over and we should not waste any time.

We left the house and went to see one more property in Portland we had previously scheduled. As we were rushing around the city, dinner time was quickly approaching. Our plan was to see this last house, go to the church, print the application, turn it in, secure the house and get some dinner! We saw the last property and headed to the church. The printer was out of ink! So we went to the store for ink, grabbed a quick dinner, filled in our applications and headed back to the house. I called the landlord, and she still had not received any other applications. By the time we got back to her house, the other family had already applied……

Ugh. We were SO frustrated. For certain we’d be ALWYP’s forever… we went back to our friends home we were staying in while they were out of town. We were so thankful to be staying at our friends house, in the area we wanted to find a house. Our van was not working and needed new tires and a new battery, so we left it at Adam’s parents house for the week, and we were driving Adam’s car around, while staying at our friends house. Then his car broke down, and thankfully – we were able to borrow their car, while another friend was able to repair Adam’s.

Car-less and Home-less, we slumped down on our friends couch and prayed. We prayed the other applicants would fail their application or background check or credit check or all the other checks … and prayed WE would get this house! A selfish prayer – yes – but we were desperate! The next day, discouraged, Adam went to work and we went to homeschooling. After lunch, we got a call – the other applicants FAILED! Praise Ye the Lord, Hallelujah! The house was ours! I felt a tinge of guilt celebrating their failure and our win, but it passed quickly.

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Our story rages on. We are now moved in and so thankful to have this home. Built in 1949, It’s a quaint 1280 square feet. The floors are slightly slanted and they creak. The heat wasn’t working the first 2 weeks. We’ve had to call the furnace guy, the plumber, the locksmith when the front door knob came off, and fix the disposal. But it’s ours. Next door, they have a rooster, chickens, a dog and peacocks. All of our neighbors are very friendly and have young kids as well. We live conveniently close to everything, and there is a beautiful park within walking distance. We love it!

After living in transition for several months, selling our home in Ohio, moving across the country, living as AWLYP’s for seven weeks, unpacking and setting up house again, we have found a place to dwell and we are home. Thanks for reading and sharing in our story! In Him, Leslie

Birthday Boy

Yesterday we celebrated Adam’s Birthday. Born April 29th, 1975 we celebrated him turning 39 years old. Thirty. Nine. He’s practically a dinosaur. Although… he has a baby face. So he’s more like a baby dinosaur…? Nah. He’s really an amazing husband, father and friend. He is all this and so. much. more. He’s also a Pastor. Sometimes I like to call him Mr. Pastor Pants. He loves hates when I call him that. As I gush and write about this baby dinosaur, who I also like to call Mr. Pastor Pants, I want to tell you how I really feel about this Birthday Boy. . .

Grateful.

I’m so grateful to be Adam’s wife. I’m grateful to know him. Really know him. More than anyone else does. Being in the ministry, Adam is a transparent Pastor, but no one truly knows him like I do. So… lemme tell ya what I know… 😉 He’s transparent and authentic. He’s motivated and passionate. He’s intense and focused. He’s wholeheartedly in love with me, our kids and most importantly, Jesus Christ. And he lives his life committed to serving Jesus and Shepherding people into relationship with Him. Buuut… B.U.T…T, before you get any ideas about his near angelic qualities… let me emphasize, he’s not perfect. However, he is amazing… And, I am grateful.

“When I see him, my heart skips a beat. There’s love in his eyes for me, for our kids, driven by his relentless dedication to our family. There’s truth on his tongue, fire in his soul and conviction in his veins to serve the One he loves wholeheartedly, the only One he loves more than me. We laugh, we cry, we fight, we love. Happy Birthday to an amazing husband, father and friend, full of passion, honor, and strength. I love you Adam… always and forever.”

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I wrote this and posted this picture on our shared Facebook page for his birthday.

There are moments we don’t see thru the same lens. There are times we are anxious stressed and fight. There are hours we waste arguing grumbling complaining. There are days we grow discontent prideful and arrogant. There are seasons we lose sight of GRATE. FULL. NESS. 

But God. . .

He keeps us together when were falling apart. He whispers our names when we have a dear ear. He softens our hearts when they grow hard.  He pours out His love when our well is dry. In His kindness, His mercy, His grace ~ He makes us grateful. Grateful for one another. Grateful for our marriage. Grateful for our family. Grateful for our lives. Grateful for Him as our Shepherd Savior and Friend.

Our marriage is a gift and I am grateful to God for Adam. I am grateful he was born thirty-nine years ago… I am grateful he is not a dinosaur. I wouldn’t marry a dinosaur. I am grateful he is my amazing husband, Mr. Pastor Pants 😉

Overflowing with thankfulness for this Birthday Boy today… Thanks for reading and sharing in our story! In Him, Leslie

Giving Thanks in *all* circumstances {even the tough ones…}

The day has come and gone to give thanks.
December does not carry the expectation of giving homage for that. one. day.

but Thanksgiving is more than a Thursday, it is a lifestyle.

The scent of turkey and stuffing has dwindled.
Full of goodness, the pounds have been gained.
The dishes are washed up and put away after holding the delightful meal.
Loved ones have gone back to work, school, or their own home, some miles away.
Murmurs echo… ‘Who were the Pilgrims?’

The flood of thankfulness on social media has all but vanished…
and we are left with a decision. 
To give thanks in *all* circumstances {even the tough ones…}
To give thanks *all* the time {even when it is no longer Thanksgiving…}

When the tingly thankful touchy turkey feelings have diminished, and we are left with the reality of going back to work, school, chores, appliances breaking down, car trouble, stressing about money, caught up in Christmas drama, kids screaming, spouses arguing, sickness, depression, loneliness, losing loved ones, missing family far away … we are left with a decision.

When the voices shout ‘You are entitled! 
There is a whisper … Give Thanks. 
When the stores scream ‘Buy this!’
There is a pull … Give Thanks.
When the culture displays ‘It’s all about YOU!’
There is a draw … Give Thanks.
We live as if we are entitled to everything.
We glorify selfishness and call it success. 
We expect good things because we are ‘good people’.
The truth is – we do not deserve anything. I pray we will be content.
The truth is – selflessness is honorable. I pray we will be humble.
The truth is – ‘good people’ do not exist. I pray we will be grateful people. 

Give Thanks in *all* circumstances {even the tough ones…} 
When you are angry.
When you are full of hope.
When you are worrying.
When you are full of worship.
When you are weeping.
When you are full of joy.
When you are drowning.
When you are walking.  
When you are empty.
When you are fulfilled.
When you are sowing.
When you are reaping.
When you are in bondage.
When you are fully free.
When you are existing.
When you are fully living.
When you are scraping.
When you are fully thriving.
When you are dying.
When you are fully renewed. 
When you are lost.
When you are fully found. 

Give Thanks Always.
and this is tough to truly live, but. we. can.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in *all* circumstances {for this is the *will of God* in Christ Jesus for you}.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18

In Him, Leslie