After a lot of prayer, consideration and council, Shelsy and I have come to a decision. It's a really big decision that's going to affect a lot of people, but it's one that we truly believe God is calling us to make. We're moving...to Florida, specifically the Orlando area. I'll give you a second to get used to the idea. :-)
This is something that I've had on my heart for years, as many of you know. I've been saying I wanted to live in Florida ever since our first family vacation there in 1995. But more recently it's been a desire that I felt God was laying on my heart even more. So shortly after we got married, I asked Shelsy to pray about it. Her initial reaction was, "Well, I'll pray about it, but no way." More recently, she told me she'd been praying about it and that she was more open to the idea. So we began to look into it. As we further pursued the idea, our desire to actually make it happen got stronger. We told our parents about it, and got some pastoral advice. Everyone was very encouraging and supportive, but obviously sad.
God continues to open doors for us as we pursue this decision. And while the big questions like where will we live and work haven't been entirely answered yet, we have very promising prospects for both. That was part of the reason we went down there for our vacation in January. We visited Metro Life Church near Orlando and really liked it. We spoke with one of the pastors down there and got some advice from him and I have since been emailing him and another guy in the church about possible places to live.
As we considered the pros and cons to moving, the one big downside we kept coming back to was that we'd be leaving family and friends. I would want you all to know that this isn't a decision we took lightly. We believe it is what God has for us and we're going in faith that He'll be with us. I also want everyone to know that we are not moving in an attempt to escape or get away from anyone. We have a lot of friends here and we're going to miss all of you.
I know everyone says this and it's somewhat cliche, but we would love it if you guys came down to visit. We're in the process of getting a 3 bedroom apartment so we can keep a dedicated guest room so we're always ready for visitors. :-) Even if you want to stay with us while you vacation at Disney World, that'd be awesome! (We'll only be about 20-30 minutes away, by the way). :-) We are very serious when we say that we would love it if people visited all the time.
We'll be moving sometime toward the end of May. Once we have more concrete details, like our new address, we'll let you all know. I've actually set up a website where we'll be posting regular updates, pictures, videos, etc. Definitely check it out:
You can subscribe to the site's RSS feed if you know how to do that, or there's also a box on the right side where you can enter your email address and get an email every time we update the site. Pretty nifty. :-)
If you have any questions or just want to talk to us about this, feel free to email or call either of us
Ryan and Shelsy