Life in Limbo

A glance back at 2018 and a look ahead at 2019

Photo Credit: Micah Marie Photography

We’re in this strange limbo between the end of 2018 and the start of our real lives in 2019. It’s still summer holiday in New Zealand, and we’re still wintering in the United States. So, we’re taking a few minutes to pause in the limbo, simultaneously reflecting and anticipating.

2018. What a year. This picture very much captures the sweetness and the silliness of this past year.

Photo Credit: Micah Marie Photography

This past year was full-on, as the kiwis say, and we were stretched in ways we couldn’t have imagined. Quentin started his first full year of school. We hosted grandparents, a wee cousin and his parents, lecturers, and librarians. We traveled as individuals or as a family to the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand’s South Island. Our blogging became significantly more sporadic during the second half of the year because we were otherwise occupied spearheading significant updates to our church building (hooray for new paint and carpet!) and hosting District Assembly.

Our youth group and SNU SIMS team in June + a glimpse of our building before the updates.
District Assembly + a glimpse at the building updates!

District Assembly was indeed a fabulous occasion. Over the course of the first weekend in November, nearly 400 different Nazarenes participated in one way or another. Check out the video below to catch a short glimpse of what it’s like when our district gets together.

The New Zealand District NYI kicked off our District Assembly on Thursday night.

We left just two days after District Assembly for 11 days of mixing work and play in Australia. It was one of our favorite trips as a family so far.  We love exploring new places as a family, and Q is a world-class traveler. (Our tips for making travel with kids as smooth as possible are here.)

Glass House Mountains

We returned to NZ with a one-month window for wrapping up the school year and enjoying all the year-end activities. We’re super proud of Q’s school experience this year. But we’re also delighted by what God has been doing in our play groups and brand-new youth group. We couldn’t have anticipated those things when 2018 started.

Mainly Music + HappyFeet Playgroup Christmas Party

Then, we got on a plane for the US. Good thing there are 12 days of Christmas! We crammed in all the family, festivities, and fun imaginable into every single day (and then some!).

Our very American Christmas looked a bit like this:

And, in answer to the question in this blog post, we did have a white Christmas… sort of. Kansas City—always beautiful at Christmas time—produced rain on the 26th of December but no snow whatsoever. But, the mountainous regions of New Mexico pulled through with a historic amount of snowfall. We spent the first days of the new year sledding, cave carving, and snowman building.

Q said, “God gave me everything I wanted and more. I didn’t even know to pray for sledding, and that was the best part of all!” Now, we’re making new friends and catching up with old ones as we visit churches across New Mexico and Texas. As we hang out in this time-warp between the end of our 2018 ministry and our return to New Zealand, we’re looking ahead to whatever God has for us. What’s in store? What’s already on the calendar? What are we hoping for?

In February, Q will start year 2 (the US equivalent of first grade). He’s excited about his new teacher and getting to spend another school year with the classmates he already knows. Plus, he’s looking forward to turning 7 (his favorite number), swimming, horse riding, and soccer.

We’ll kick off Kids’ Club with our annual S’More S’Mores event. We’re planning a trip to parts of the South Island we haven’t explored yet. We’re looking forward to another group of Uni students joining us in July. We can’t wait to work together to put on the best school holiday program ever!

We’re looking forward to putting the finishing touches on the NTC-AKL library and getting a student management system up and running. That’s been our goal for the past year, but the pieces are finally in place for it to actually come to fruition this year, which fills us with eager anticipation.

There’s so much to come that we can’t yet imagine, but it’s sort of like Q’s experience with sledding. The parts unknown—the ones we don’t even know to pray for— are often some of the best parts of all!

Parting Shot

These icy trees were stunning after a snowfall followed by a heavy nighttime frost.


  1. It sure is good seeing you and your family. When did your folks visit last? Our youngest, Mackenzie is at MNU studying nursing. She has final’s starting tomorrow and will be home on Friday. She was an RA this year and has enjoyed it. She will be a junior next year. Abbey, our middle child is 22 and not sure what she wants to do with her life yet. Jordan is 29 and is a Chef and doing very well. We are ok, some health issues but ok. Keep us up to date with what you are doing as you are able. Are you planning on having more kids at some point? What is Lisa up to?

    • Hi! So great to hear from you. What exciting stages your kids are in! We have been blessed with a few wonderful visits from my parents. My mom was last here a year ago and my dad was here last July. Normally, they do come together though. 🙂 Lisa lives in New Mexico with her husband and son. Our son and hers adore each other!

      • I just returned to Sacramento Ca from NZ on January 20, 2019.
        My first visit to NZ was amazing. I wish I had known to contact you while I was in Hamilton visiting the gardens. What a beautiful area you are in. I volunteered at the local Salvation Army Food Closet in Howick during my 30 day visit and met some wonderful, God fearing people. I look forward to visiting the South Island one day and hearing more about your ministers and adventures in Hamilton.

        • I am sorry we missed you, though it seems like we were in the US on home assignment while we were here. If you’re ever in our area again, please give us a shout out! We do live in a beautiful area and enjoy Hamilton Gardens frequently. We’re so thankful for the beauty of God’s creation all around us! Blessings!

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