Today marks the one month anniversary of the Crabtree’s moving to England. It has been one of the hardest, yet enriching moves we had made in our time together. Our little Crabtree family has grown more close to one another in the last month than we have in years.❤️
Moving to England was totally God and ALL his GOODNESS! We are so thankful for this opportunity to move to a new country and see what God is going to do in and through our lives! As you probably can imagine, living in the midst of the life, culture, and ALL things new here in England has not been the easiest. Yes, we have posted about, seen, and even visited some beautiful places. Yet, we know we haven’t even scratched the surface of what this country and it’s history has to offer.
But for most people (including me now), the reality of what FaceBook portrays is not reality at all. I have failed to show you only the nice and happy parts of our journey thus far. Whereas, most day we worry about how we are going to make it and I (Kristina) am completely bored with having nothing to do, ha! (If you know me at all, doing nothing is not my strong suit.) We are learning everyday to trust God and not worry so much! We are seeking his Word, reading and repeating his promises, and I (Kristina) have even began to journal what the Lord has been doing in my soul during this season. Jonathan is finishing up his first assignment in his dark corner of the library!
EVERYTHING is difficult, but we are making it. We have hit roadblock after roadblock, but there is always a new way waiting for us. We are moving forward everyday! We miss home and we miss our families terribly. Some days we just want to move back home (because that would be easy), but more days than that we know this is where God has called us too! As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are not called to live an easy life, but a life filled with complete trust in what God is doing in our lives (EVEN IF HE MOVES YOU TO ANOTHER COUNTRY).
Jonathan and I have always said that no matter where we move, we will always be the outsiders. No matter if we moved to seminary in another state (or do a PHD in another country) or appointed to a church, we have always felt like outsiders (no matter how inclusive and awesome the places/people are to us). Moving across the ocean brings “Being an outsider” to a whole other level. Getting a place to rent, trying to find jobs, figuring out how to use the public transportation system, trying to use the right words (English over here has a whole different meaning) and trading in our American dollars for pounds (which stinks right now), SCREAMS in your face, “You are an outsider and you don’t belong.”
Today, though, as we do our daily routine of walking to school, I am reminded that even though we are outsiders to the world we are living in, our family/friends, support team back home, and the new friends we are making here make it much easier.
The Spirit reminded me today that being an outsider (per say) is merely a worldly way to look at life. Knowing that you belong to God and those most important to you is all the security you need. BELONGING is deep down in your soul and cannot be so easily removed. We know we belong! We belong to God! We belong to our families! We belong to our support team back home! We belong to our new life in England! We love you all!
As I was dropping the kids off to school this morning, the kids reminded me, “Don’t forget our blessing mom!” Jonathan and I say the Moses blessing over our children everyday when they go to school! I say something like “May the Lord bless you and keep you. Make his face shine upon you and help you have a great day at school and give you peace.” I added a little extra line, but my kids don’t ever forget it, even when I do! They expect it. It gives them peace! It seems to bring comfort in the midst of this new life and all it’s many challenges.
Today though was DIFFERENT!
As I said the blessing over both my children, Dani did her normal animal purr noises and trotted off to join her new friends waiting to go into class. Jon Andrew and I have to walk back over the other side of the school for his class. As we start walking, Jon Andrew says, “Momma, I want to bless you.” At first I didn’t understand, but he said it again and it took a minute to register that my four year old, wild monkey of a child, wanted to “Bless” me when we got to his class.
BE STILL MY HEART AND SOUL.❤️
As we get there, sure enough he looks at me and I bent down to his level. We are now facing one another eye to eye. He puts his little hands on my shoulders (one hand on each shoulder) and bows his head.
Jon Andrews says, “May Jesus bless you and keep you, and bring you back to pick me up and bring me snacks.”
The most sincere prayer I have ever heard. I just sat in awe of what just happened. I thanked my little buddy. He grabbed his bag and juice bottle, went into the class, and never looked back. Literally, I sat there and couldn’t move. I felt the Spirit so tangibly in those little hands. I wish I could have frozen the moment in time. In that moment, all the fears and worries of the days have passed. I knew that I belonged to that little boy as his momma and my purpose of life was given back to me. I wonder if that is what it feels like for my children everyday in this new world we are living in. I wonder if this historic prayer that Moses prayed over his people takes away all the fears and worries of the day and replaces it with peace.
I BELIEVE SO MY FRIENDS!
Honestly, I have not missed being a pastor for many reasoning I am still working through, but today I miss being a pastor! I miss the opportunities to bless people, to pray with people, to do life with people, and to teach his Word! So today, I want to be a pastor (even if it just for a fb post/blog read) and pray this blessing over you who are reading,
“May the Lord bless you and keep you. May his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May his face turn toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
KNOW that you belong to the God most high. YOU have a purpose. KEEP him first. TRUST in God. SEEK his kingdom wherever you go and whatever you do. YOU ARE a living blessing to someone today. Don’t forget it!
We love you and covet your prayers as we continue on in the journey seeking after the kingdom of God first and his righteousness and all other things with be added into us. (Matthew 6:33) Pray that we have ways opened up to share amonkst the table for change amonkst the world!
One month down!