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The One About Community

| Posted by Harlan

One year.

As much as I think about it, it’s still difficult to put into words just how much we’ve been blessed, stretched, and refined over the last 365 days. A year ago today, we touched ground in the U.K. – where we’d spend the next six months. Our family relocated, our possessions sold, our faith put into action. From day one it was an adventure – one where we knew where we were supposed to be, but not at all what we supposed to be doing.

For six months, we walked in faith, made new friends, served a local church, grew as a family (and Yvette and I as a couple) exponentially, and generally doubted nothing. We were exactly in the path God had laid out for us. God gave us the means and the circumstances in which we could remove the daily distractions of our lives and focus in on growth. Adjusting is always a challenge, but truth be told, we shifted to life in England quite easily (much of which is due to the amazing reception we had there), and we found ourselves soaking in everything we could from these amazing people that instantly opened not only their country, but their lives and homes to us. I could go on and on about our experience there, but words won’t do it justice. (To those who shared their lives with us in Watford, we’re eternally grateful for you. We think of you constantly, and hope to see you all again very soon. And all your new babies!)

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Husband. Father. Amateur Entrepreneur at @paradigmdfw, @orsorealty, & @grymttrs. Collector of hobbies. Facebook | Twitter

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#VivaLondon — Joy

| Posted by Harlan

In less than 24 hours, we’ll be getting on a plane to begin our journey back to the States. It’s been an incredible experience, and we’re so very grateful we’ve been able to be a part of it. We’re sad to leave, and excited to be home. But mostly we’re joyful. We can’t thank you enough for reading and supporting us. We love you.

We’ve been watching a lot of Inside Out at our house lately. I love that movie. It’s equal parts visually striking and a deep, poignant look at what makes up a good amount of why we behave the way we do — our emotions. If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t worry, I won’t be giving any spoilers or reviews today. (But do yourself a favor and go watch it!)

What I want to share about here is joy. I realized that my last couple of posts have leaned on the low side. Admittedly, it’s been a challenging journey to transition to life in the UK, and we’ve now been faced with an equally tough transition back. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the beauty (and joy) of what’s happened here for us. And the fact is, we wouldn’t feel any sadness or fear about going home if we didn’t experience heights of joy while we have been here. After all, those “negative” emotions only exist because we know we’ve found something worth hanging on tightly to.

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Husband. Father. Amateur Entrepreneur at @paradigmdfw, @orsorealty, & @grymttrs. Collector of hobbies. Facebook | Twitter

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#VivaLondon Updates – Winding Down

| Posted by Harlan

It’s hard to believe that we only have about 10 days left here in the UK. In some ways it seems like this journey is just beginning, and we’re only now starting to become comfortable in our surroundings. On the other hand, as we mentioned in our last post, there have been some challenging times for us, where we weren’t sure what to do.

We’ve seen some awe-inspiring things, met some truly amazing people, and have been privileged to be a part of ministries and a church that is such an inspiration to us to live a more Christ-centered life. Without question, these are relationships and memories that we’ll cherish the rest of our lives. And we can’t wait to share all of that with our American friends and family over coffee or lunch (probably Mexican or BBQ, let’s be honest).

People keep asking us how we feel about going back to the States. I wish there was a simple answer.

I wish I could just say we’re happy or sad or indifferent about the whole thing. But it’s not simple. It’s complicated. And I’m not sure we ever expected to be as emotionally disoriented as we are.

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Husband. Father. Amateur Entrepreneur at @paradigmdfw, @orsorealty, & @grymttrs. Collector of hobbies. Facebook | Twitter

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#VivaLondon Updates – When the Homesickness Rears its Ugly Head

| Posted by Harlan

It’s been a little over a month since we last updated everyone on what’s been happening here for us in the UK. It’s been a completely life-changing and perspective shifting experience for us, and it’s a challenge to really capture everything. That said, we don’t want to leave anyone in the dark, and we definitely want people to share in our experience and learn from it. Who knows, maybe you’re next to step out into the unknown and see what God does!

With all that in mind, I thought I’d share a few experiences and thoughts from the time spent here thus far. Again, you won’t get the whole picture, but at least you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of what it’s been like for us to be here.

Side note…the image from this post was taken at NYE in London. Remind us to tell you the story of how we ended up with the most amazing spot to watch the fireworks. Fun times.

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Husband. Father. Amateur Entrepreneur at @paradigmdfw, @orsorealty, & @grymttrs. Collector of hobbies. Facebook | Twitter

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#VivaLondon Updates – Halfway Point

| Posted by Harlan

With Photos! 🙂

So we’ve officially made it to the halfway point of our journey in the U.K. It seems somewhat strange to say that, as on one hand this time has passed rather quickly, and it’s hard to believe we’ve been here three months already. On the other hand, we feel more and more comfortable with our daily life here every day.

Quite a lot has transpired since we last updated all of you…so I’m going to try to catch up on as many things as I can. Apologies for the list format – it’s just easier to get it all out that way.

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Husband. Father. Amateur Entrepreneur at @paradigmdfw, @orsorealty, & @grymttrs. Collector of hobbies. Facebook | Twitter

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Fear is a Liar

| Posted by Harlan

We’re reeling, and understandably so.

Another tragedy has hit too close to home and we find ourselves in a state of shock, anxiety, anger, and fear. It’s natural to be afraid. It’s natural to hold tight to the things that make you feel secure – the things that make you feel safe. After all, no one wants their loved ones to be in danger, and no one wants the security of their life to be at risk.

Nonetheless, we live in a climate that promotes and fosters anger and fear. In the search for headlines and views and clicks, we’ve positioned our news outlets and social media feeds to shout at us. The shouting has infiltrated us like poison, and has spread to every facet of our lives. We breathe and drink and soak up every bit of fear and anxiety we can – and worst of all, we encourage others to consume that death as well. And then we wonder why the world is so broken.

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Husband. Father. Amateur Entrepreneur at @paradigmdfw, @orsorealty, & @grymttrs. Collector of hobbies. Facebook | Twitter

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Reinvention

| Posted by Harlan

We’ve spent nearly two months now in England, and it’s been an amazing journey so far. You can feel a tide shift in our family unlike any that we’ve experienced before – conversation after conversation between Yvette and I about what our life looks like, not simply in location, but in philosophy as well. Anytime you step out of your comfort zone and stretch your limits, you invite the spirit of God to mold and shape you in ways you never imagined. And that is exactly what has happened.

We’ve arrived at a state of reinvention…and it’s a very good place to be.

It’s taken me longer to write a new post this time around, and I’m struggling to come up with words to describe why. I suppose there’s a bit of settling that has occurred over the last few weeks, that has taken us from the daily excitement of new places, new people, and new experiences, into what a day to day life looks like for us here. Also, there is a bit of repetitiveness I’d like to avoid – constantly sharing (or perhaps oversharing) the pendulum swings and heart tugs can get a bit boring. Nonetheless, I think it’s really about that reinvention.

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Husband. Father. Amateur Entrepreneur at @paradigmdfw, @orsorealty, & @grymttrs. Collector of hobbies. Facebook | Twitter

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