Called to the Crazy


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“Yes, God, but we’ve moved soooo many times. How can my kids handle yet another one?”

This was my questioned prayer last week, when my husband and I finally decided our family’s next steps, which we’ve been praying over the past year. The change in ministry and work felt good (a perfect fit, in fact), but it would involve another move. Another.

Since 1995, I have lived in 23 homes. Several were in other countries, peppered between worldwide travel. Our six-year-old has been on 49 planes and counting; 8 different countries. Our second-born was delivered in the Middle East.

We are modern-day nomads.

I’m not complaining, mind you. I love the calling God has on our life. I love that our kids have seen cultures, tried foods, and endured ambiguity and long lines that I never tasted until my twenties. My heart pumps wildly with adventure as we navigate foreign airports with a Smart Carte, loaded with suitcases and sprinkled with children delighting in a ride.

But I also love home. I love nesting. I relish those days when the agenda involves staying in jammies, playing board games, and even folding laundry. Regular life. The stuff of liturgy, where I worship over the simmering stovetop.

But for me, these moments seem sandwiched between visa issues, ferry rides hopping islands to head home, and enduring coffee sludging down my throat, thick as molasses, as I’m told in another language that I don’t dress my children warmly enough.

So we celebrate the recent one year of being suddenly stateside by planning another move. It’s not so much a cross-cultural move as it is a geographical one, but it’s still major. It means making new friends from scratch, uprooting my daughter from her routine at school, and unpacking bags again.

“Yes, God, but we’ve moved soooo many times. How can my kids handle yet another one?”

He reminds me that my children are resilient — far more resilient than I give them credit. More resilient than me. They are young, and they still trust their parents with an innocent delight — we say “move,” and they say, “yay.”

I’m reminded of several conversations I’ve had with my daughter over the past year:

“Mom, I’d like a treehouse, but since we move so much, we should cut down a tree, put it on a trailer behind our car, and build the treehouse there.”

“Tate, your friends’ mom speaks German because she’s from Switzerland. We used to live not too far from there.” “Is that as far away as Oregon?”

“Mom, Asia [her friend] lives in Cambodia, but she comes to America to visit like we do. We should invite her over for a playdate the next time she’s in America.”

And recently, when we were watching Rick Steves’ Europe about Slovenia — “Mom, that looks like a nice country. Maybe we can live there next? What do you think?”

My kids are fine with uprooting because as a family, we’re grounded. The glue remains our trust in God, who leads us daily, whether the agenda involves boarding gates or playdates.

He reminds me that I’m resilient, too.

This is true for every one of us. God calls us often into the unknown, the uncomfortable. The crazy. It’s not really that unusual, actually.

To Abraham — “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” (Genesis 12)

To Noah – “So make yourself an ark of cypress wood…” (Genesis 6-7)

To Esther (via Mordecai) – “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4)

To Jonah – “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” (Jonah 1)

…And the list goes on. These people in the Bible are people just like you and me — normal people, wanting to trust the God of the Universe as best they can. But it’s not always easy. He regularly calls us to the crazy.

God has my children in His hands, just like He has me. And you. And everybody. So when He calls us to the crazy, we can follow knowing His plans are for His best.

When did God last call you to the crazy? What were the circumstances? Was it hard to follow? Fun?

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  1. 1
    Kristie says:

    Crazy. That is exactly how the few people I have shared this with have responded. But I feel the call on my heart and in spite of the craziness of it all, I feel deep, sweet, refreshing peace.

    What is this crazy I speak of? Before I tell you, you should know that:
    -My husband left almost 2 years ago and our divorce has been final for just 5 weeks.
    -I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis just after he bailed out. It is under control, but still a factor in daily living.
    -I have a crazy patchwork quilt of part time jobs that keep me with food in my belly and a roof over my head. None of them make much sense, but together they work and the Lord continues to provide.

    This constant tug, this crazy calling, this peace that passes all understanding is that He has called me to be a foster parent. In spite of most around me who say that I can’t possibly do it, I am doing it anyway because He called me. My primary job is as an apartment manager. Therefore I am home all day long. My other jobs are doing admin support work for a couple of girlfriends from my old job. Again, I work from home. I don’t love these jobs. I never wanted these jobs. But He provided me with these jobs so that I could have a roof over my head, pay my bills, keep food on the table and unbeknownst to me at the time; provide a home for a child in need.

    Crazy. :)

  2. 5

    I think God calls me LIVE crazy every day. In 2006 I packed my world into two bags and moved sight unseen into a war zone in southern sudan with no money, no contacts, everyone calling me “the crazy white woman” but a whole lot of promises from my Papa in heaven. It was the 3rd time I have moved clear across the world knowing no one and definitely the wildest. Since then I have taken in 110 kids to live with me and am regularly called to go into areas most NGOs are not allowed to go… a few weeks ago we saw 490 police trainees give their lives to Jesus! Every moment feels to be a call to step out father out of my mind and into His! We now have hundreds of children in our schools and community care programs and around 50 churches in our network here. Every step seems a step farther out in faith, walking on the invisible substance it is… a wild dance with Jesus through this beautiful harvest field of His.

    Bless you as you move again and your roots grow deeper into the only place that is truly stable: His heart.

    ~ Michele

  3. 6

    Currently facing a calling to “step out and find out” on a career change. Thank you for this post. I needed it today.

  4. 7
    Lisa H says:

    The crazy I am thinking about is finding a way, the courage, to share my story to the right people. This is not me at all! I do not share whats hidden inside of me with many people. But He put a friend in my life who helps Him push me a long. She will not let me sit stagnant for very long. She pushed me to speak to the highschool kids at church when they had their series on what are you thankful for, I survived it. Now we have a seminar called OPEN this weekend coming and its about learning how to share your story of how Christ worked in your life. In hopes to help brings others to Christ. Without my friends encouragement, I am going to sign up. This is all God’s encouragement and guidance this time. Again-it terrifies me- to even consider telling people about me.

    So to me this is the crazy he is pushing me into!

  5. 8

    Thanks for this great post. This is the kind of crazy Hubby and I thought we would live with our 3 boys, but God has never allowed us to actually do the leaving part. Perhaps the crazy part is the constant planning with no movement??

    Anyway, it FEELS crazy to stay put, in a dead end city with no economy and few job prospects. To stay still in a church that can be very uncomfortable at times. To put our oldest son into a school district that’s failing and going through a season of upheaval, when the plan until recently was to homeschool.

    • 9

      monica, i can relate to your situation. we spent 2 years of our lives planning to move overseas as missionaries with our children, but instead God placed us in a new state, not a new country. it feels weird sometimes, especially since not every piece of the puzzle seems to fit (but when does it ever?). even so, He is good.

  6. 10

    Sorry, I accidentally hit the submit button w/o finishing. All I was going to finish with, is that our life now is a totally different kind of crazy than I expected, which makes trusting the Lord that much more challenging.

  7. 11

    Yes, I’ve noticed God does not seem committed to my comfort zone! So glad He promises to be our comfort, strength, hope wherever we go. Great post!

  8. 12

    Thank you for writing this. I needed to read it. One never knows when God is going to say, “get up and go”!

  9. 13

    Thanks so much Tsh. We are preparing to move overseas and my kids are 3.5 and 1.5…and already on a few planes;) {not 49!}

    My mother-in-law to help calm herself about this, just recently said ‘as long as they are loved and with their mommy and daddy they’ll be fine.’ which is what I have been carrying in my heart and what you’ve affirmed about your own journey.

    This meant a lot. Thank you! {and LOVE that you listen as He calls! even if it’s ‘crazy’ in this world’s eyes}

    • 14

      My children were just about those same ages when we moved overseas, and many a people tell me: “Their home is wherever you are.” I doubted it at the time, but in house #6, state #3, and country #2 (and back again), I think it’s more true than we as moms realize. :)

  10. 15

    Tsh, I love everything about this post. I can relate on so many levels as an American expat family raising five children in Hong Kong. Yes, many think we are CRAZY!
    Our kids (ages 14, 11, 8, 5, and 5) have stamps from nine different countries in their passports. And we have only been passport holders for three years. I am living proof that God transforms His followers when we surrender our plans for His. This former homebody who thought she could build security in predictability has become a global gal and adventurous for all things news. And this family of seven is blessed to be “home from home” in Hong Kong!

    • 16

      Wow – I love this “This former homebody who thought she could build security in predictability…” We do try awfully hard to build our own security rather than resting in the security that comes only from God, don’t we?

  11. 17

    Love this. Love love love it. Thanks, Tsh.

  12. 18

    Called to the crazy – I love it! My husband and I just had a conversation yesterday about how God will always call you out of your comfort zone. I’m very grateful He does – there are so many things I would have missed out on!

  13. 19

    “So when He calls us to the crazy, we can follow knowing His plans are for His best.” and a message about Holy tension and cleaning house are all ringing in a similar message. Thank you for encouraging those of us feeling that life is a tad “crazy” to focus on the fact that He is indeed using us in the crazy. LOVE it. Thanks Tish.. and also.. your book Organized Simplicity… rocking my world. Just sayin’.

  14. 20

    Wow. Your words, your story, blessed my heart. We, too, have moved dozens of times–even though I’m a homebody and would love to have put down roots. God and my husband had different thoughts, though, about how I would spend my life, and despite my protestations and tears, God has SO richly blessed me and taught me so much. The hardest moves were to South America (taking my 4 and 6 year olds far from grandparents) for 3 years, and later, as empty-nesters, moving to Africa for 8 years. But as I waited on God and prayed and died to self and my own plans, God made it clear that He wanted us to move to Africa. I went out with many tears but as God said in His Word, those who go out with tears will return with songs of joy. I promised God I’d give him time to turn my tears to joy and He did, oh, yes, He did! Someone said, I think it was Hinton, something like this: “If we give God our best, He will give us His better.” It’s true.

    Blessings to you and your family, Tsh. I look forward to following your journeys.

    Linda

  15. 21

    So I sat here and cried as I read this. I get it. We just moved back to the states after living overseas for five years. I thought we would move back “home” (aka: Minneapolis)…but no. God gave my hubby a job in a city where we knew no one. Thankfully, God met us where we were and has given us new friends and a church and so many of those things that we needed to feel like we were “home”.

    But I hang onto the word “home” loosely…because just as quickly as God called us to come back from overseas, He could call us again. My heart is ready to be settled and “home” for awhile, but I have to remind myself that this world really isn’t my home.

    Thanks so much for writing this. I needed it today. :)

  16. 22

    So awesome Tsh. I envy you to a degree. I would love to have traveled as you have! And I hope that it will work into the plans that God is laying forth for the next chapter of our lives. We’ve had some major changes within the last year, along with some health challenges, plus we will be empty nesters before too long. Thank you for opening my mind to the possibility that what calls us to may seem crazy. And I pray that he prepares our hearts to hear when he calls.
    Bernice
    Don’t live your life in default mode

  17. 23

    I can soooo relate to this post! I was the kid who moved around with my parents—who then went on to move around with my own husband and kids.

    One summer when I was a kid, all seven of us lived in an 8X40 travel trailer. WithOUT air conditioning. LOL! All of that prepared me for living in an old village house with gravel floors.

    God has a way of bringing us along slowly on our journey so none of it comes as such a shock.

  18. 24

    I’m in the middle of transition – again – another ministry change – another move. Thanks for the reminder and the encouragement. I love your kid’s perspectives. I wish I always had that same simple trust of my heavenly Father. The treehouse made me laugh. :)

  19. 25
    Anonymous says:

    Oh, my heart is sooo right there right now…right smack in the middle of yet another move, ourselves…and feeling that God is directly nudging it! Hard part is leaving again, because I just love where I am at. Love. Not like, love it here, finally starting to feel “settled” or nested. A friend asked me why I wasn’t liking the prospect of moving 16 more hours away in another new direction…she just didn’t understand – my heart is here. It’s easier when your heart doesn’t feel attached. Love the part about your kids…my kids have some similar stories and yours encourage me that mine are just fine, too…because they are in the palm of His hands. Now, it’s just me I need to get over, LOL:) Blessings!! Thank you so much for sharing this – I know I needed it:)

  20. 26

    Loved this blog… everyday is crazy for me… people in my life don’t always (or often) get why I do so much… spread myself so thin…. but for me NOT to do what God is calling me to do would be SOOOOOOOO much more painful than the stress of all I take on.

    God bless you in your new endeavor and THANK YOU for sharing this morning!

  21. 27
    Paola Pacheco Rarick says:

    I have to say that this is totally inspiring and gives me such a peace that God will provide the answers and the peace in the crazy!!! Thank you for blessing with this post.

  22. 28

    Love this post, and can really relate. As a military family, we are quite often called into the crazy, and we trust that God will watch over us and send us where we are supposed to be. Thank you for sharing this!!!

  23. 29

    I’d love to experience other cultures by living overseas, but that’s not been my calling. So instead, I bring people from other cultures into my home. It’s a lovely alternative. Many blessings to you (and I know he is already blessing you richly) as you live in obedience to him.

  24. 30

    My heart was shouting yes, yes, YES as I read your post. We’re in the midst of crazy ourselves. When my son was 2 and my daughter was 3 months to the day – we boarded a plan to sub-saharin Africa where we spent the last few years (the latest in a long list of moves and international adventures). We returned stateside just before the holidays and set up a temporary house – and we’re anticipating a move within the next few months. I’ve loved the call of nomadic living for Christ and also readily admit now that my kiddos are getting school aged I worry about so many transitions for their young hearts. God’s been quick to remind me – that wherever He calls me and my husband, He’s called my children as well. They aren’t just along for the ride – but our obedience to His leading is about His best for them, as much as it is for me. So…. onward!

    • 31

      Amy – Wow, I love – “God’s been quick to remind me that wherever He calls me and my husband, He’s called my children as well…”

      Hubby and I are getting ready for our first-time international move for hubby’s work along with our two baby girls – 2 1/2 years and 9 months. I’m giving up my regular income and becoming virtually a stay-at-home Mama for the first time as well. God is so good and we feel so affirmed of His plan in this move. Your “comment” really spoke to my heart this morning as we’re getting super close to our move. Blessings!

  25. 32

    After a long season of “normal” (the past 7 years or so) God is calling us to Crazy once again. And I think it may look that way now for years to come. The call that moved us to Maine originally was to live communally with other believers. That didn’t turn out .. and there have been adventures since then but none so crazy as what we’re about to do in the coming months. ANd I gotta say, although I too love the liturgy of home life (loved that metaphor) I also love hearing a calling and being available.

  26. 33

    Growing up, I envisioned my life much as you’re describing yours. Instead, my husband and I have an organic farm which means we will likely not leave this general area (although we are open to God’s call). I have been struggling lately with finding friends who don’t think I’m crazy for homeschooling and/or being careful about what we eat. This post was a welcome reminder that perhaps, like Esther, it is our time to step forward and be crazy.

    • 34

      This is where my husband and I are at. We have lived in a top 3 city for 9 years but we are feeling God calling us back to our roots which is literally the middle of nowhere.

      It seems backwards but I am so encouraged to know that our crazy might be normal :)

    • 35

      Sarah,

      I just wanted to encourage you about homeschooling and being careful about what you eat. (Why are chocolate donuts being served to my 4 year old on Sunday morning during class??! How about an apple? A banana?) Sometimes, we can feel like an island! But, if we were neighbors, we’d surely be friends. Kudos for homeschooling and the organic farm. You have my prayers for connecting soon with others who share your ideas.

  27. 36

    I love this post! It’s so true and even, uncomfortable. God’s teaching me a lot about this right now

  28. 37
    Hillary says:

    Called to the crazy…yup! Divorced last year, Ex off the radar, now I just lost my job after TWELVE YEARS of service. Downsizing. I am impressed God thinks I can handle all of this with a smile and grace. He certainly thinks I’m stronger than I think I am!

  29. 38

    Don’t worry – we’re here to welcome you with open arms and warm cookies! Oregon rocks!!! (even if we have to mail them since we don’t know where God is calling us either!)

  30. 39

    I LOVE THIS POST!!!!
    My own family has been all over the place (in ministry) too!
    I know it seems weird….but we’ve been praying FOR A MOVE too!
    For the last 3 years actually!
    My kids have been the NEW KIDS in 6 different schools.
    I love the line…. My kids are fine with uprooting because as a family, we’re grounded!
    That is even true with my high school/college aged kids!
    They trust HIM!!!
    Thank you Sweet Lord!

  31. 40

    Thanks for your post, it really touched me today…I feel like God might be starting to call us to the “crazy”, whatever it is and I’m terrified…We have a stable job, a house, 2 small kids and another on the way. I have to admit that right now, I’m resisting and God and I need to have a serious conversation, I need to let go…

  32. 41

    Brilliant post!!!

    I have lived here in the states for ten years,in that time we have lived in three states and five homes.It’s a good job that I enjoy the challenge and make friends easily:0)

    There’s alot more to our story that makes me believe even at times when I am questioning for other reasons but i’ll save that for a post of my own:0)

    Be well,
    Natasha x

  33. 42

    It’s so interesting reading everyone’s own “call to crazy” because they’re all so different. Sometimes I look at my very ‘normal’ life as a mom of two little ones, playdates, and finger paints and think “holy cow! this is crazy!”

    I think I was sort of the opposite…expecting a life of globe trotting and business suits. Who knew how crazy and adventurous the call to suburban life could be. :-)

  34. 43

    Tsh, Thank you for this encouragement and exhortation back to God’s Word!! We are a military family and this just ministered to me in an awesome way. Our comfort, strength and joy are in the Lord, it is only by Him we can do anything! “My kids are fine with uprooting, because we as a family, we’re grounded.” Amen! God is our solid rock and foundation….thank you Jesus! No matter what, He is our constant and helping us through each step. Marriage, family and God’s love take on a whole new meaning when you are “called to the crazy”. Blessings…

  35. 44
    Rebekah says:

    This was really a blessing to me this morning … sometimes I feel like crazy is my new normal … in the past three and half years, I have gotten married, moved halfway across the country and then back again, started two new jobs, been surprised by a pregnancy, given up my job to stay home with my baby and adjusted to my new role as mommy … We’ve moved houses a total of 4 times. We had to go church shopping and settle into a new community. I was in a car accident. We’ve wondered repeatedly how in the world we were going to pay for everything that needed a share of our limited income. It’s been crazy. And now we’re considering yet another move, maybe even out of state again.

    One thing I’ve learned is to think of my husband and daughter as “home.” As long as we are together, that’s all that really matters. Learning to invest myself in relationships, instead of being emotionally tied to a particular place or situation has helped me to be flexible and approach change positively. It’s hard, because I think it’s natural to cling to a city or a house or a job. But I can look back through all the crazy in my life and see how God has always been leading and guiding and making my paths straight. His plans were always right. Without the crazy, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

  36. 45

    Thank you for sharing your life’s experience. Although we have “moved” as much as you have, we travel an extensive amount with our ministry. Changing place to place, hotel to hotel, can take it’s toll on a family.

    I appreciate your accepting spirit. It proves a reminder to me that this IS the life God designed for us. I really wouldn’t want to do anything else!

    Stefanie

  37. 46

    I’ve come to believe quite firmly that “common sense” has become the god of most Western Christianity. When did God EVER call someone to do something that made any sense whatsoever? If He had, it wouldn’t have been an act of _FAITH_. Gideon is my favorite example of the crazy – 300 men who lap like dogs (or didn’t – I always forget which he kept) who had a pot and torch in one hand and a trumpet in the other (no mention of a sword at all!) attacking a horde that was so large that “their camels were more than the grains of sand,” all led by Gideon, youngest son of the smallest family in the weakest clan of the smallest tribe who was HIDING when God first called him. And they won handily. Crazy, man!

  38. 47

    What a great great testimony. I couldn’t agree with you more. God calls all of his children to have a heart for different things, which of course leads to a different way of living life here. There really is NO normal when we obey his calling and lead a God filled life. I have realized over the last decade of my life, that if what is ahead of me seems to be crazy and weird, then that is usually the path that God would have me go. Although, I DO NOT know how you do without good coffee!

  39. 48

    We’ve got plane tickets to Uganda for May 15! Heading to the mission field with a 4yo and almost 3yo! We like to call this our crazy wonderful life! And it is- because He is good to us!

  40. 49

    I know that a ‘good attitude’ makes a huge difference, but I do wonder how we can exult in our calling, rejoicing in God’s goodness and plans when reality so often bites us.

    I too have moved, but not so successfully. We made a difficult move BACK to our own culture – displaced, disenfranchised inwardly while outwardly we looked – and were expected to be – ‘normal’. The children were teenagers, enduring grief, separation, loneliness, bullying…our lives were crazy but, save that ‘God works all things together for good’, not ‘crazy good’. It was an awful time which we struggled to be positive in.

    I wish we could have had a better, more trusting attitude. It was just really, really hard and I suspect is so for many.

  41. 50

    God has definitely called our family to the crazy! We adopted a special needs little girl from China 2 years ago and He has called us to adopt a special needs little girl from China again. We have no money, but He has promised to provide it. I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds!!!!!! We’re hoping to travel by the end of this year.

  42. 51

    Excellent, excellent post, Tsh. So encouraging for me right now, and I know for many others as well.

  43. 52

    Wahhhhh! We just met! Now you’re moving away?!?

    Ummm, I mean … Amen to all you shared.
    Yes, that’s what I mean.
    Yes.

  44. 53

    I sooooooo understand. My husband and I have been together 30 years, and most of them were spent moving. Missionaires, youth pastors, “senior” pastors, servants- all involve being God’s gypsies. And though I have had doubts at times, I know that the call was too loud, too strong inside in the deeps to deny it. It wouldn’t have worked any other way! Blessings and thanks for sharing!

  45. 55

    I so needed to read this. Feel not so alone in our endeavors to follow God, broaden our children’s cultural and geographical horizons, and then try to answer the little questions they ask that ping at our heart muscles. Thank you.

  46. 56

    Simultaneously unrooted and grounded! It’s a crazy life, but a good one. Thanks for sharing this part of your story. I love your daughter’s quote about inviting her friend over for a playdate the next time she’s in country! I love TCKs!

  47. 57

    Crazy is good. People think we are crazy every day. I’m days away from delivering my fifth child (in my fourth country), I will have five kids age eight in under, we live in a third-world country, we homeschool (even with access to a free Christian International school), we have moved houses every summer for since we have been married (11 years), and have big dreams of even more “crazy.” We don’t do it just to be crazy, but we don’t let the fact that others think we are crazy stop us from doing what 1) We feel God would have us do and 2) What is best for OUR family. We’ll keep walking in the way we need to and let others worry about themselves.

  48. 58

    i really love this tsh. especially since we just moved. thank you for sharing this.

  49. 59

    I had to laugh at this, “…I’m told in another language that I don’t dress my children warmly enough.” In the Middle East, I don’t think anyone can dress their child warmly enough. At first I cringed at the sight of all those babies buried in blankets in the middle of summer. But I think it makes sense for their culture – certainly those children grow up not minding the heat in their sweltering countries!

    I moved a lot as a child. School transitions were always the toughest for me growing up – going from a class of 16 to a class of 800 toward the end of 6th grade was the worst socially, though I always did well academically, and I ended up gaining some great friends at that big school. Other school moves were nearly as hard. Church moves were challenging, too, though not quite as difficult since I spent less time there. My day-to-day life became quite lonely. Toward the end of high school I decided not to put in the effort required to invest myself socially in groups that I felt I might leave at any moment (and some I very much wanted to leave!). I always had my nuclear family, and that was essential, though not necessarily ‘enough.’

    There were good aspects to moving a lot, such as becoming more empathetic to the “new” people in a group, and getting familiar with how people treated me as a newcomer, as well as what I could do to ease the transitions. I also became a good penpal and thankfully had formerly-in-person friends who enjoyed writing as well.

    One gift to give to a frequently-moving child is a long-term focus. Then the temporary setbacks, heartbreaks, and inconveniences can all be put in perspective as the child works toward _______________. Family goals are important, too, but to have something unique for each child would be a great help especially as they grow older.

  50. 60

    This was almost hard to read. I have really been faced with how much comfort is an idol for me. I live in fear of not having electricity or become flustered when the house is cluttered. I want all things to be comfortable and in order to feel like I have control of my life. Thanks for reminding me that I don’t. I admire your journey.

  51. 61

    I’m laughing with you on this point:
    “enduring coffee (milk tea for us) sludging down my throat, thick as molasses, as I’m told in another language that I don’t dress my children warmly enough.”

    We’ve lived in Northern Asia for the past years. I can never seem to dress my kids in the right thing, usually i don’t dress them warmly enough, sometimes in the summer I get lectured they should be wearing a hat!

    Anyhow, I was comforted by your post. We have very similar lives, my children choose toys and special things because they are small and light and they will fit in a suitcase. We are also in the midst of change in America waiting for a new call and direction.

    May God bless you as you follow!

  52. 62
    Chantal says:

    Called to the crazy, yup and then some. Me and my parents moved out to Calgary from London Ontario three years ago after being there for all of my life. My heart is still out there, to be honest. Moved out here with no friends whatsoever and no place really to call home. Sure we’re renting from my sister, but really it doesn’t feel like home. Fast forward two years (and a heck of a lot of experiences I wouldn’t wish on myself in a million years). Dad having issues with blood clots, I being pushed into a program by my sister that I totally wasn’t suited for, and too many others. Most recently my dog of thirteen years (there was question whether he would make it out here) had to be put down. However, in the last year or so I’ve made some incredible friends through an organization I hadn’t even heard of out east through a domestic mission and through University of Calgary. They’ve stuck by me through thick and thin, and if I had been shown I would go through that much stuff back east , I would’ve said, God, you’re nuts.. But I really think now that God has called me out here for a reason. The most recent call me crazy moment is I’m sure God is calling me to cover full-time hijab-style. And I’m terrified, to put it mildly. My mom is none too thrilled about me covering anyways (I have curls that people love) and I know my mom (though she claims she’s open-minded) doesn’t like Muslim women who cover and “I’ll be mistaken for a Muslim, when I’m not,” and my answer to that is, so?! I want to so bad, since I know God is “calling me to the crazy (love that phrase)” in this, but I can’t quite just do it. I’ve prayed about it that God give me the courage and all that, but above all I’m called to be humble and trust Him in this. Pray for me that I just do it, and to heck with my parents (I am of age and have been for quite some time).

  53. 63

    Called to crazy! Me too! I have also moved around a lot and I know God has called me into ministry but the how and the where and the when are unclear. People always ask me what my plans are – and I just don’ t have one. I really don’t! That’s where people think I’m crazy. But, I don’t need to have it all worked out, that’s God’s job. Mine is to trust him and lead where he follows. And besides, as the saying goes, “if you want to hear God laugh, make plans!”

  54. 64
    Sarah H says:

    I had to laugh out loud when you mentioned people telling you in a different language that your kids aren’t dressed warmly enough. My husband and I moved to the Middle East a little over a year ago to share the Gospel and we get those comments ALL THE TIME. I even got one this morning when I took my two year old with me across the street to the bread shop. It’s a little rainy and chilly today (though not even worth thinking about comparing with Minnesota, where we come from), and my boy was bundled up and under the canopy of his stroller, but I still got a comment from a man as we entered the bread shop. Oh well!

  55. 65

    Thank you for this, Tsh. We moved to South Asia three months ago, and one of my greatest struggles is fear that I am ruining my children’s lives by denying them their grandparents, beloved church nursery, clean air, public libraries … the list goes on and on.

    It so encourages my heart to hear from moms whose children are joyful and thriving in the midst of cross-cultural and cross-country moves.

  56. 66

    This post – Tsh, I love it. I am so much more comfortable and happy at home, “worshipping over the simmering stovetop” But. Oh, the but. I love what you say about these little ones, how they trust their parents, how you move and they say ‘yay.’ It makes me think so deeply about some things my husband and I have been dreaming about lately.

    Can’t wait to pick your brain more on a looong plane ride soon!

  57. 67

    God has called me to the Crazy in a different way — rather than being on the move, he calls me to be still, to face the hard truths of my past, to build a future for my little family in our inner-city neighborhood, and to touch the lives of others in small but (I hope) meaningful ways on my journey. As I face the Crazy from my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood, I can see more of God’s plan for me unwinding — there is a lot I need to do for Him, but maybe it’s not so crazy after all.

  58. 68

    Wow – I’m always intrigued when I hear of “western” women giving birth in foreign countries.
    We are uprooting here as well. I have two boys and they’ll be 2 yrs and almost 4 yrs when we move to Uganda in August later this year. We’ll be living there for 2 years (that’s our hope) and then we’ll see what happens.
    I actually hope to get pregnant and have another while we are there.
    Do you have any resources or thoughts/advice on giving birth in a foreign country? I would love to hear all about it!
    Thanks!

  59. 69

    Thank you for this post Tsh. Right now my “crazy” is within my current surroundings. It’s hard to think of it as a calling when you aren’t actually moving anywhere or towards anything but even a storm of circumstances that comes in and overtakes you can be a calling for a season. Thank you for reminding me that I should respond to this season as a call of God.

  60. 70

    Same thing happening here. Uprooting 2 schoolaged kids, moving away from our support network. Moving away from grandparents and friends. Selling our home and downsizing to a little rental. Leaving our church. Me going back to work fulltime (for a while) in a new job, in a new city. Hubby will be studying theology fulltime by distance and working in a new parish in a new diocese with a view to ordination, whether that be the 400 person village we are going to be living in – I moved in yesterday as I started my new job a month ago, or in the neighbouring city of 30,000 where I work and where the boys will go to school, we don’t know yet. Another of His mysteries.
    I’m using your book Tsh as my resource, and it is so helping me keep my focus on this life that He has planned for us – being a planner tho, I wish He’d let me in on it!!!!

  61. 71

    What a touching post! It’s so lovely to see a family so grounded in their faith. You make these moves sound so easy when I’m sure they’ve caused some anxiety along the way. Good luck with this one!

  62. 72

    It’s so nice to read this post and all these comments. I am so happy to know that I am not the only one who feels crazy! We live in northern Thailand and have moved 7 times in the past year. My 18 year old posted the other day that she had moved 36 times in her life. I sometimes feel so guilty for turning my kids into such gypsies! I just have to keep thinking that the Lord called us here, and he’ll call us back when it’s time. I love Thailand, but boy I sure miss the little things. (an Arby’s melt would be so yummy right now!)

  63. 73

    I was 5 months pregnant when I left a high paying job, a recently bought house and the country I called home for 30 years to move to the US with my husbands family. He had lived with me, in my country for 4 years away from his family and wanted us to have our first child close to his family. This was all good, except, it meant I had to leave my family, who I had lived with my entire life. I had to leave them to move 10000 miles, all the way to the other end of the globe. When we moved here we had no jobs, no money and a baby on the way. We were starting a new business together that came with it’s own uncertainties and hurdles. The timing couldn’t have been worse. We waiting for funding for 4 long months. I was full term when we finally found investors for our new startup. On my due date we opened doors to our new office. Two weeks after the baby was born, I was already spending 8 hours in office, trying to breastfeed and care for a new baby and spending relentless hours at work. My daughter is now 6 months old and still comes to work with me everyday. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s not a sacrifice we made for our family. We just made a story about love and togetherness that we can share with our daughter to teach her the values of family and faith.

  64. 74
    Kevyn Sarmiento says:

    I just have to say that this post was very comforting to me. My husband and I are in the process of starting a family, but we feel called to travel and be missionaries. However, as I am a Child Development major, the common belief is to stay stationary for as long as possible to avoid “damaging” a child emotionally. This belief is obviously a direct contradiction to what we want to do. It was very encouraging to hear you share your heart and to hear how well your children are doing, despite how much you move. I know that with God, all things are possible, and when He does decide to bless us with a child, I can take comfort in that fact. As long as my husband and I are rooted and grounded in the Lord, our children will be just fine, no matter how many times we move.

  65. 75

    “My kids are fine with uprooting because as a family, we’re grounded. The glue remains our trust in God, who leads us daily, whether the agenda involves boarding gates or playdates.”

    Sooooo good. I’ve been working with TCKs in Beijing (China) for 6 years and one thing I’ve seen over and over is that a strong, grounded family makes the life of an international kid much easier. It’s not always easy, even for the most well-grounded child in the most loving family – but then again, life isn’t easy on a teenager no matter where you grow up. I maintain that despite the difficulties they face, the advantages on offer outweigh them.

  66. 76

    This is a wonderful post, Tsh, and I wish I had read encouraging words like these when we were setting out on our own international move at the end of last summer. I did fear a lot for my older son (when we moved the boys were 27 months and 6 weeks old), but you are completely right – they are so resilient! And also, I have been surprised at my own resiliency, too.

    It is hard to have moved to a foreign land, having come not knowing the language and not having any family or friendships yet in place. But through this experience I’ve learned so much – one thing being that God REALLY DOES live here, too, and another is that the scariness of the unknown is so much more bearable when it’s approached as an adventure, rather than something be “gotten through”.

    Lastly, I thought this was hillarious: “… as I’m told in another language that I don’t dress my children warmly enough.” Here in Germany, I’ve had several comments and disapproving looks given to me regarding my children’s unfit attire, as well. One time an elderly woman even came over and pulled the hood of my baby’s hoodie over his head:)

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