Our Journey (part 5) – When You Come To the Fork In the Road…Take It

We had decided in the spring to move from Ithaca to Trumansburg to get our kids in a different school district. Although it had been 2 plus years since the attack on our one daughter had taken place, it was clear she needed a new start in a new place.

by bob

Jul 17, 2013

tburgOur return to Ithaca was eventful. Here are just of few of the things we had going on…

Houses & Schools

We had decided in the spring to move from Ithaca to Trumansburg to get our kids in a different school district. Although it had been 2 plus years since the attack on our one daughter had taken place, it was clear she needed a new start in a new place.

We’d tried to sell our home in the spring. And we did. Sort of. However, the buyer’s funding fell through. We had already made an offer on a home in Trumansburg, but obviously, that fell through as well.

While our realtor kept trying to sell our house in Ithaca while we were in Ireland, there was not a solid lead until the week we arrived back in Ithaca. Within a matter of days we’d signed the paperwork and had a closing date for the end of October.

We then went and found a place to rent in Trumansburg starting in mid-October, and took our signed lease to the school to see if they’d allow our kids to begin attending even though they wouldn’t be living in T-burg until 6 weeks later.

The answer was “No.” (it seems like we were hearing that a lot at this point)

We talked about it for a bit, contacted the landlord, and got our move-in date changed to the first day of school, and got the kids enrolled in their new school. It meant we were paying a mortgage and rent for 2 months, but it got the kids into their new school and helped us to downsize a bit.

A New Member of the Family

The biggest change for us though was that we were moving from a family of 5 to a family of 6.

While we were in Ireland I kept telling Liz she should take a pregnancy test. She didn’t. I told her she was pregnant…she was sceptical. Upon arriving back in NY, we went to visit the midwife who had delivered 2 of our kids and found out that we were going to have kid number 4 in the spring.

(side note: not only did I know Méabh was on the way before Liz did, I was also closer in picking the due date than the midwife was…just sayin’)

(side note #2: For some reason, when you exceed a certain number of kids (3), or when you are having a kid beyond a certain age (40), the comments random people feel at liberty to make about your sex life, and decisions made by you and your spouse is amazing. The number of people who felt it was their responsibility to tell us that Méabh was a mistake still baffles me.)

Ithaca, Ireland & me

While our “deadline” to discuss if Ireland was in the future, it was seeming less and less like it was going to happen.

I began to think about what my role at the Ithaca Vineyard would look like if we were to stay in Ithaca rather than heading to Ireland…I knew it couldn’t be what it had been up to that point. I’d been talking with our church council throughout this process, and we’d talked about everything from us moving to Ireland, to me remaining one of the leaders of the church but getting a different full-time job, to working to reexamine who were as a church (vision/values/etc.), and how we could implement some changes we believed needed to be made.

For our initial step, we chose the third option.

We started meeting with some key leaders and holding a series of strategic planning meetings that I was finding very helpful.

After a few months or working through this, we decided that we’d begin sharing those plans in January.

The Family Meeting

Before that, however, in mid-December, we reached the 6-month mark for our family. I was not as certain as I had been about Ireland. There was still something there, but I knew without the kids on board, it couldn’t happen.

I wasn’t very hopeful that they would be.

To my surprise, Brenna told us, “I don’t want to move, but I think we are supposed to. I had a dream & I think we’re supposed to go.”

Not at all what I expected…Ireland was back in play.

For a few minutes at least…

Erin said, “Nope,” and so did Hannah.

The next step was obvious. After the holidays, we’d call our realtor and begin looking for a house in Trumansburg because we were clearly going to be here for a while.

What about Bob?


I grew up in Western New York and have started and led missional church planting efforts for a little over 30 years. As you might gather, I have opinions about the church, and I share some of them here.

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  1. Stacey Oh

    Speaking of dreams, two years ago, I had a dream about your family moving away from Ithaca and I’ve always wanted to share it so this seems like the right time.

    I had the dream in 2011 in April. I dreamed that you and your family just picked up and moved out-of-state to start a new life. In the dream, I was surprised that you moved because you were so rooted in Ithaca that to leave it seemed like a drastic change.
    When I woke up from the dream, I was wondering if you had any plans to move in real life, but then quickly dismissed the thought because you had three older kids and seemed settled enough in Ithaca, pastoring a church in a new building space. “There’s no reason they’d make such a big move like that,” I thought.

    So when I first heard that you were moving to Ireland, that was definitely a shocker!


    • Bob Wilson

      Very cool. Thanks for sharing Stacey. We had a couple other people with similar experiences…Seems to have encouraged people to be praying for us, which made a huge impact!


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