The Times, They Are a'Changin.

So many things, I don't know where to start. But I'll start nonetheless.

First (and very happily), we're moving. Not a huge move... nothing like what we've done in the last few years (cross-world, multiple times), but still, a move. A new apartment to set up (the living room of which is pictured at right). New norms to become accustomed to. New friends to be made. New cabinets to organize. New neighbors to meet. New daily routines to figure out. New specifics in our house rules. New stores to find. New roads to get to know. New, new, new. All beginning this Friday! :)

Second (also very happily), I have begun a more intensive regimen for language study. You see, since we moved here, I have only gotten bits and pieces. Got a late start so that Doug could go great guns with it, then got a couple months' worth, then had our 4th child, and then time has been difficult to find ever since. Sometime this year, I'd also like to add in language study to our homeschool times as well, so that the kids can be more intentional in their language learning.

Anyway. This last week, I began lessons once again. And it feels good. But I can already tell that it may put a dent in how much time/energy/mental thought I can spend here. Until & unless you've tried to learn a foreign language in that setting, it is difficult to comprehend just how much of your brain power it consumes, and just how exhausting it can be. I know that spending my "free" moments here and there studying will all but eliminate my scouring of articles online, which means that Show & Tells will be scarce for a while (sorry to those of you who have said that's your favorite feature around here!). I hope to still have time to read-- for pleasure, spiritual growth, and being challenged-- but I'm not sure that I'll have time to do reviews of the books, unless I feel particularly impressed to do so.

I don't know in what form Making Home will continue for this season. Writing is so much a part of who I am, how I de-stress, how I work through issues/concerns of life, and how I examine Scripture & spirituality... that I'm not of the opinion that I can ever just stop writing.

But where does any of this that I've listed above leave any time to write? I have no idea. I think this is going to be a season in which I'll grab time when I can. I still hope to write, realistically maybe once a week. But we'll just see. Real life comes first. And while Making Home is a part of "real life" for me-- a way for me to engage with others, grow & learn, and authentically share what I'm learning/doing-- right now, it will take a back seat to other more pressing real life demands.

I hope to still hear from you all. It's been 2 & 1/2 years since I started Making Home, as a way to just get out random thoughts, and what I've received back-- in terms of personal growth, friendship with so many women around the world, being challenged to think & write carefully, and encouragement from so many of you-- has been a treasure.

This post is not a goodbye, or even a "pause"... but it IS intended to be a note that says something like, "I don't know exactly what's coming, but looking at the future realistically, I don't think we'll be able to talk as often as we have... but I sincerely hope we can still be friends-- friends that can pick right back up where they left off, and enjoy intermittent, random moments strung together to make for meaningful interactions." :)

Blessings to you all! And I'll see ya when I see ya.


We're Jared, Michelle, and Caleb. said...

I was interested to hear that you are moving. My husband and I just returned overseas to India (after 2 years in Nepal). We had our first child in October of last year. We are about to embark on our third move in one year. I would love to hear your thoughts on moving to a new place, organizing, all the while maintaining some resemblance of continuity and routine for your children. I have often joked that they need to write a Babywise book for people living overseas in a completely (unscheduled) different culture!

Jess said...

It's tough for sure.

Some basic things we do (for cross-world):
*Jump into the new time zone immediately (even from the first airplane ride, we set our watches and minds to the ending time zone)-- don't straddle the fence with naps, sleeping at weird times, etc. Stay awake with all our might during the day and sleep at night (we do sometimes offer benadryl to our kids the first couple nights to help them sleep well and adjust more gently).

* I think with an infant under a year, it can be way easier than with an 18 month/2 year old. A younger baby is used to following cues to go to sleep anyhow (routine, mom's voice "night night", lights off, etc.)... the latter is feeling very big things but can't express them very well, and certainly has a mind of their own beginning to develop. In my view, that latter group is the hardest age I've yet encountered, generally speaking-- but I think it holds true for moving as well.

We've often joked about writing a book for cross-world moving families too. There are so many things to think about; things that you often don't think to anticipate.

We just really try to jump in but at the same time, we can't do it all (move/get settled) as quickly as a couple without kids or a single person. More stuff, more things to assemble/get organized, less time, more demands. We just do the best we can... trading off "duty" with the kids so that the other can go attend to needs/demands... for example, Doug might watch the kids while I head for a trip to get curtains & that sort of thing... I'd be at home with the kids while he goes to set up the electric bills, etc.

It's tough for sure-- and things can easily take about 5 times as long as they would in the US speaking English... oh well, all part of the fun of culture shock. :)

Anyway, this is some of what we do for that.

Rebecca said...

Thank you and good luck on your move.

Leigh said...

I'm glad this isn't goodbye - I love your blog (although this is my first comment). God definitely gives us different seasons in our lives - may this season be richly blessed as you seek after His will! I will look forward to your weekly posts - or whenever they happen! ;)

Laura said...

I... I feel SAD all of a sudden! I so look forward to your updates, but I will be happy to hear from you every couple of weeks or even less, just to keep updated on your life. Know that I'm praying for your move and your studies. :)

Blessings, Bloggy-friend!


Rachel said...

I hope your move goes well (looks like a beautiful house!) as well as your language studies. Remember to rest sometimes ;) I look forward to hearing about your adventures soon!

Heather said...

Good luck moving! I'm also glad this isn't a goodbye post. I enjoy your posts and have been reading past posts to get homeschooling tips! Thanks for posting so many great things! I look forward to reading more.

Steph VG said...

Jess, I'm so excited for y'all - praying God's blessings on the move and language study, and as you try to incorporate language into the kids' schooling, as well. Much to undertake, but God is with you and will carry you through it all, for His glory! I'm looking forward to *whatever* you can post in the future.

Thandi said...

All the best. As one who's trying to learn kiSwahili, I can probably relate to your language learning issues.Time is really hard to find!Take care and God bless..and we'll keep visiting.

Di said...

Thanks Jess for all you do on this blog - it is such an inspiration and encouragement and I will miss the regular postings. But your life as a wife and mum are top priority, so go do and we'll be waiting here for the times you can get back.

May God bless you during this next season and all it brings,

Love Di xx

casey chappell said...

Keep writing. Don't expect too much of yourself or have time frames... just post when you can. I for one am blessed by your posts and I'll take them when I can get them. And I know in moving you will experience and learn new things that I hope you will pass on to your readers!
Thanks for your faithfulness to write.

Blessings, Casey Chappell
Raleigh NC

Ruth said...

Congratulations on the new house! I'm sure it will be a great blessing, and it looks beautiful. I have been encouraged and challenged by your posts. I relate to many of your life experiences i.e. growing up in a christian home and home schooling kids oversees and more. I will keep checking back for updates. Life seems to be full of ever changing seasons. Enjoy these new changes and please keep us updated when you can. :)

Ruth from Texas

Holli T. said...

I will be praying for you as you move and get in deep with your language studies.

I had to move and immerse myself in a foreign language, and I know they can both be tough.

Look forward to your updates.

Many blessings to you and your family,
Holli T.

Alison said...

Just wanted to let you know i've enjoyed your blog for about 6 months.. and even if you'll be writing less, I'm looking forward to reading much of your archives. Happy moving. :) We've moved a lot too.. it's a lot of work but I always love the time of transition, organizing, and new adventures!

Sandi said...

I've come to look forward to your posts but I totally understand. Though this is real life on some levels, it isn't on others...KWIM. The IRL stuff has to take the priority.

Language study is hard, we were learning me Rhonda! Long story.

I struggle to find time to blog living in suburbia with three children much less overseas with four.

I will enjoy what you share however often it works for you and your family.

Ivy in the Kitchen said...

Your new living room looks beautiful! On the matter of language, how are your children faring? I've often heard that young children have an excellent capacity to learn languages, especially if immersed. I agree with you on a more intensive study; though still in the U.S., I'm currently in an area that speaks A LOT of Spanish. :)

I am glad to hear you will continue to blog, frequently or infrequently. Your posts are a great resource for me. Though I'm still preparing for a career via college as per my parents' desire, I'm a 'recovering feminist' (I really like your term for that, by the way) as well; it makes for some interesting discussions on campus to say the least.

Hope your move goes well!

-Miss H.

sara said...

I learn so much and am encouraged when I come here. I also enjoy your style. Enjoy this new, exciting time and see ya when I see ya!

Roxanne said...

I've been reading your blog for a few months now and have never commented.

I wanted to thank you for such wonderful writing! You've been an inspiration in many ways.

Thank you!


Grace said...

WOW! Your new house looks HUGE! It is way bigger than my house here in Texas and I have 5 kids! Can I trade you? I didn't know that you could have a house that Huge!

on the eastern journey said...

Just thinking of you as you move (what a beautiful space) and get everyone in a good rhythm - including yourself. I will ask for wisdom in how you should use your giftings and be completely involved in the life there. Hugs.

Jess said...

Thanks everyone, for the kind words and particularly for your prayers-- I have seen again and again how God responds to the prayers of His people. So I am most appreciative of your kindness in that way.

Grace, LOL-- don't be deceived by that one photo. The living room/dining room/homeschool corner is indeed a large room-- the rest of the apartment, while nice (and we are very grateful for it), is quite cozy.

Miss H,
I too had heard that kids just have some natural ability to acquire language... and honestly, I'm not so sure about that. I'll say this-- I'm sure in an immersion type situation, it's much easier... for example, when we lived in the boonies in China, the kids both were picking up language fairly easily... but here, in a large city, where there's a homeschool co-op and thousands of English-speaking Americans/Brits/Aussies... not to mention English-speaking nationals, it has not been as natural for them. I think too, it would probably be very different if you had a national nanny or something taking care of the children... but that's not something we desire to do. I think, too, with older children who can go out to play by themselves (or even younger children in a village setting or something), who interact with national children a lot, it would differ significantly from what we've experienced.

I'm sure it differs from family to family, and from situation to situation... but for us, it has not been as "presto-magico" as many people told us it would be-- that they'd just pick up language so easily that we'd be envious.

Thanks so much. Are you a mind reader? :) That's exactly and precisely the perfect prayer for this time in my life. Thank you.

Homeschool Dawn said...

Hi Jess.
I don't often have time to comment but do enjoy reading your blog. I always respect and agree with your opinions. I respect this decision, too. Making Home is a great blog but is not as important as actually making home. I look forward to reading when you have the time to write. Love your new house, too.

The Vosslers said...

When we took a trip for a few months, recently, people told us the same thing ... that the kids would be instantly fluent. :) We didn't believe them. We homeschool, so they weren't immersed and that would have made a large difference. But our toddler actually remained language-delayed enough to need evaluation and we found he understood the other language far more than we realized. The other children have actually picked up quite a bit, but children don't have the ability to explain what they've learned. So you don't quite know where they are at until they surprise you with something (like translating something for someone as my oldest son did recently and shocked us). We are continuing our language study and we have found that they pick up a LOT through regular, short, daily lessons. And since I give the little lessons, I learn, too. :) We bought school books in our target language and just sit their with a dictionary and do the work (a page or so a day) along with DVDs and various other easy resources, we're heading right along. I have a private tutor through verbalplanet because we aren't in that country right now. I hope your language study goes really well. My best times of learning were when I went to a Bible study with others who absolutely couldn't help me in English. I learned so much. May it go so well!

Mom said...

Love you and praying for you!

Robin said...

I read your blog through a feed reader. Everytime I see you have a new post, I say a little prayer know that you'll probably be hitting me between the eyes with something.

You have a gracefilled way of encouraging us to be better, to live lives pleasing to our God.

Thank you.

I'll be praying for your move and your family.

And watching for new posts.

Lori said...

Jess, may I ask what country you're in? I loved the sheep photo. You new apt looks really beautiful: lots of windows and sunlight, high ceilings, and hard floors (no yucky 10-yr-old allergens under the carpet padding). Congratulations and good luck. I'm luckier than a lot of ladies here in that I have loads of archived postings still unread! :)

Shannon said...

Hope the move goes well and the language study too. Will miss you around here, but I totally understand!

Brandi said...

I don't know you personally but I feel like we could sit down over coffee/tea (depending on what part of the world we are in) and talk about how great God is! I have enjoyed your blog and have had you on my homepage tabs for a while. I have checked you the last week out of habit and have really missed the new posts. When you write your first book, let us know. I would like to purchase it! :-) ;-)
Praying for God to continue to use you and your family in a mighty way! Keep us posted on His work in your life!
Praying for you and yours~Brandi

Sanders said...


Excited for the 'new' things headed yall's way. I will be praying for you to find yet again a new normal and that you will enjoy your time studying language! Thanks for keeping 'Making Home' going.


Emily said...


My family and I live in SE Asia. I have been following your blog for a while now, and it has repeatedly been a blessing to me. So I too was sad to hear that the blot posting wont be consistent anymore. God has created such a beautiful heart in you. And I enjoy your honesty through struggles, difficulties, and blessings. I told my husband that my favorite blog was going to put on hold due to you studying language and he replied "tell her that women love that blog and she has to keep it up!" I replied "but Andy, if this was my blog I would totally understand." I too struggle with wanting to study the local language more, homeschooling, keeping up with our family blog, chasing three little children around the house, serving my husband, and etc. It is a load to juggle, and I pray that GOd will bless your language studies. And I pray ultimately that He will bless your time in the Word and prayer. And that He will use His Word to strengthen you throughout your long and busy, busy days! May GOd bless you sister.