Three months ago this morning Liz, Méabh, Brenna & I touched down in Dublin. Melissa & James Garza, as well as Ann Marie Kerr (all 3 are part of the Vineyard church plant in the Liffey Valley) picked us, and all our bags up at the airport (I’m still not sure how all of our stuff fit in their cars).

And now, somehow, we fast-forwarded 3 months and are living on Dublin’s northside, in our own place.

When we were first thinking about moving to Ireland, we were told that everything in Ireland takes twice as long as it should. On the one hand, our search for a car took a lot longer than it should have. Our search for a place to live took longer than it should have…and our job search…well…since I haven’t done one in a long time, I guess I can’t really speak to what twice as long is.

At the same time, the really important stuff…like obtaining residency…took a couple of hours. Even setting up our banking, something we were warned would take months, resolved in about a week. So I guess if you average everything out, it’s been relatively smooth. Being able to look back over the past three months helps give some perspective in fact to the job search, as well as the eventual process of planting a church.

While the car/house searches, were stressful to go through and seemed like they took F-O-R-E-V-E-R…we’ve been in our own place for about half of the 3 months we’ve been here.  This whole first part of the journey seemed never-ending going through it…in hindsight, it wasn’t really that long.

Speaking of journeys.

One of the things I’ve done since we’ve gotten settled here is watching Lord of the Rings with Brenna. She had never seen it & we wanted to get her up to speed for The Hobbit when it opens.

It was interesting to watch it over the course of several weeks with someone who has never seen it or read the books. Who doesn’t know how the journey ends. Who doesn’t know at the end of Fellowship of the Rings if Gandalf is really dead or not?

In re-watching it for the “I don’t remember how many-eth time,” there were times when I’d get a bit distracted…some of the suspense was gone for me. But not for Brenna…she was far more engaged in the movie than I was.

When I was looking for an image to go with this post, the one I ended up using jumped out at me. On the one hand, it felt celebratory (3 months, yeah!!) On the other hand, it felt a bit messy. Our journey, as I think any journey worth taking, has had a bit of both….stuff to celebrate…and a bit of messiness…some of which you could clean up…some is just there…like a monument to your brokenness.

At times I’ve felt myself feeling like Brenna watching Lord of the Rings…”Please just tell me, is this going to work out?” “What happens here?” “Just tell me about this one thing over here.” “Does everybody make it?”

At other times it seems like the trees clear a bit, you can see further down the road, and the excitement and challenge of what lies ahead help you put the questions aside and trust that if Jesus is the one who’s called you on this journey…it’s all good.

Obviously, we’re 3 months into a long journey. And we’ve made it this far!!

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us…thank you to those of you who written or contacted us to encourage us…and thank you to those of you who have supported us. This is journey could not have even begun without all of you!