Tuesday, December 27, 2016

We're in Alaska

Outside the snow twirls. Puffs of white appear as winter blows by. Bouncing branches shake off their dollops of snow. I stand at the window, watching the winter scene from inside, with a hot cup of tea. "I wonder why you need us here, God," I say. I'm not being saucy or sarcastic in my conversation with Him. 
I just wonder, that's all.

When I announced our plans to move to Alaska on social media, a friend posted a sweet comment, referring to us as a "Magi family".
I love that. In the Bible, the Magi (or "wise men") were guided by the Star of Bethlehem on a mission to find Jesus.
Our little family's journey to follow Jesus has led us here, to Nikiski, Alaska. It's always about the following, the seeking.
Because, without exception, that's what Jesus wants you to do: find Him.

It is Christmas Eve. We have lived in Alaska one week. And it feels odd that we are actually here. Like, HERE. Miles & miles away from previous contentments. All that I was accustomed to & familiar with no longer existing in a comfortable close-reaching radius. Which is fine. But, for whatever reason, right now it feels like I am just going through the motions. This doesn't feel like my life. I don't know, it's weird. I feel nothing. Maybe this is God's way of protecting me from overload, from feeling overwhelmed. He certainly knows what my sensitive little heart can handle.
Zoey often takes my face in her hands & looks at me with wide eyes, "Mom, we are IN Alaska!" She says it with equal parts shock & amazement. But always with a little smile.
That is my gift this Christmas: that she & her sister are willing to take the journey.

The girls & I decorated Christmas cookies, baked in an oven big enough to fit two pans at a time. This makes me happy. (It's the little things.) This year I cut the recipe in half, hoping it wouldn't be such an overwhelming task. It was still overwhelming. And it went down the same as it does every year: me telling the girls to stop licking their fingers, Pazely eating way too many sprinkles, & Zoey abandoning us halfway through.

The girls & I think it's pretty cool that right outside it is snowy & white & icicles hang from the roof all around our house.
"We're IN Alaska!" Zoey says again.

Yes, we're in Alaska.

I have paused in the unpacking to make space for Christmas. Five days is all I have to wrap presents, set up & trim the tree, bake, partake. But I make it happen. We all do. There is a small corner of my home that has been made into a cozy scene: couch + blankets + rug + piano + candles + Christmas tree. No cardboard boxes are allowed. It is my retreat. And I hide away here often.

I open the blinds every morning at the first hint of daylight, not arriving until well past 10am these days. But it's a different sort of daylight, covered in grey & shadow. Despite the sky's lack of a shiny, warm-colored glow, I am learning to love this light nonetheless. The days are just now starting to get longer. And pretty soon there'll be so much day. I am told that in the winter we rest, in the summer we play. How lovely that we have arrived during the season of rest. I am excellent at resting.

So, I feel like we have accomplished Step 1 in the plan: Go. That's huge, right? It still boggles my mind that we are here.
We're in Alaska.
I love that we have arrived at the onset of a brand new year. Everything is new: a new home, a new church, a new town, a new state. New ideas, new plans, new adventures.
(I love new things!)
And what comes next? I have no idea. Here's to the surprise, the "why", & the wonder!


  1. It is still mind boggling to the ones "left behind" that you are in Alaska. I want to see Alaska some day...maybe one of those cruises that I have only heard about. Ronda Koester

  2. well we're with you all the way nik! - although if i'm in the states any time soon, i'm not sure that i'll make it all the way to alaska. stateside was way more doable lol. happy new year! are the girls going to be homeschooled or is there a school?

  3. You have always had a way with words, so happy for your family to have this new adventure, and even more thrilled you're blogging about it! Thanks for sharing!