Where Am I?

image courtesy of lusi via sxc.hu
You'll never guess where I'm writing this from.

Well, some of you who know us will know what's going on.  But so much as happened in less than three months, that it has all seemed like such a blur.

Have you guessed yet?  If you're brave, say it out loud.  (Do you think people literally "laugh out loud" whenever they write LOL?  I did once, reading a really funny text from a friend while in Panera Bread Company.  It was a little embarrassing.)

OK, ready?  I'm in Allendale, South Carolina.  Actually, right now, I could be in a number of places in Allendale County (which is near the SC-Georgia border).  Whereas Allendale is the county seat, the next major town is Fairfax.  And let's not forget about Ulmer or Sycamore. I might even be in neighboring Barnwell County.

You may be wondering how I wound up here.  There's a lot to the story, that I'll be glad to share, so please feel free to ask any questions.  But for now you can know that it all started last October, on a Sunday night, as Joanna and I had just lay down in bed.  We had spent a few months trying to discern what God wanted from us, what our next step would be.  I uttered these now-infamous (to us) words:
"I have a crazy thought."
(Guys, just as a heads up -- the best time to get into a life-altering discussion is probably not at 10:30PM on a Sunday night.)

Joanna and I started there and continued talking over the next few weeks, and the next thing you knew, we were considering moving to Allendale.  And the next thing we knew, I was applying for and then (just one day later) accepting a job offer with the Boys and Girls Club for Allendale County.  As soon as we get our ducks in a row, we'll all move down here permanently.  Or, whatever "permanent" means in God's timing.

You may have figured out that this is one reason I conducted a poll the last few weeks, about what type of place you grew up in.  It was a small sample, but over half grew up in the suburbs, and about one-third of the people taking the poll grew up in a small town or rural area, as Joanna and I did.  But in that post I left out this part of the story about our family visiting Cincinnati -- as we walked out of the city, I distinctly remember telling my wife,
"It's funny that both of us grew up in small towns, but our kids will never grow up in a rural area."
(Guys, another heads up -- be careful when you say that something will never happen.)

For about a year now, we've been trying to figure out what the Mission is that God has for us.  More exactly, since we pretty early on discerned that it most likely involves equipping the next generation, we have just been trying to figure out how to live out that adventure.  In this opportunity in Allendale, we think we found the intersection of:
  • our skills (of working with children and leaders of children), 
  • our passion (to reach the hearts of children for the sake of Christ),
  • our experiences (especially since we both grew up in small towns), and  
  • opportunity (since our church has already partnering with people here for almost 2 years). 

(I'd like to say that it was very obvious and easy to figure this out, but God had to shut some doors pretty hard in order to get our attention.)

I figured that this adventure in our life fits nicely into this blog, because it is "A Different Way" in these ways:
  • It is in many respects a very different place to live and parent, compared to Greenville, SC.  Rural doesn't even begin to describe much of this county.
  • We know that we'll learn a lot about what's really important in parenting, no matter where we may live.
  • Through the Boys and Girls Club, we will definitely learn a lot about working with children.

So, stay tuned to the new label on this blog called Fairfax Friday.  You can stay connected through email updates or RSS post feeds (see the gadgets to the right).  And please forward this on to anyone you think may be interested.

Lots more to say over the next few weeks and months.  Any questions or thoughts about Allendale?  Have you ever been there?

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  1. Congratulations on your new position Joey. Excited for you as you all begin this new adventure along your journey!

  2. So excited for you and the whole family. we will miss you but know we will stay in touch on fb and reading your blogs. Please include us in any of your email letters, etc. We wish you all the best in your new adventure. love mike and ginny

  3. This is wonderful! I will be praying for your family during the transition ~ God is going to use each of you there!!

  4. I am excited to see what God does in and through you and your family in this exciting new adventure!

  5. Thanks, everyone. It's so great to be a part of this, how God is working through Grace Church.

  6. WHAT?? That's crazy! Congrats!

  7. I forgot what I said, but i bet it was funny! thanks for your posts, it's great to hear how you are processing it all and what God is working out in you and through you!