The Newton Family in Champaign: One Year Later

One of our last family pictures at our house in CO before we moved

Just over a year ago, we packed up our belongings, loaded them into a moving van and left 8 years of family memories in Colorado for the unknown of Champaign, Illinois. We knew God was calling us to Champaign and we waited expectantly to see what the next year would bring. Here are some of the realizations of the past year (I note which ones are Hillary’s and Anna’s – Norah was too busy watching Yogi Bear to give her insights):

  • The move brought our family together as we had to meet to new people and put ourselves out there (Hillary)
  • Norah came into her own as Anna was at school during the day and developed an identity separate from Anna (Hillary)
  • Anna grew so much relationally, intellectually and emotionally as she made new friends and stepped outside her comfort zone in kindergarten (Hillary)
  • Sending your first child to kindergarten is really hard and involves a lot of trust – I was surprised at how hard this was for me emotionally
  • I found my sweet spot in ministry juggling multiple ministries and developing staff relationships
  • Illinois isn’t dry like Colorado and we know more of our neighbors (Anna)
  • Cups and soda cans  “sweat” during the summer because it’s so humid – this still really annoys me
  • There is no perfect church because there are no perfect people – First Presbyterian has it’s ugly parts just like any church but this is where God has called us and has given us hope for what could be
  • Working in a church 40+ hours a week makes it hard to form relationships with those outside the church – we have to be more purposeful about building relationships
  • We love the multigenerational nature of our church – Hillary was in a Bible study with women twice her age this past year and really benefited from the knowledge and experience of that group
  • We have met many wonderful people here – folks who embraced us immediately and have been a support and encouragement over the past year
This first year in Champaign was a really good transitional year for each of us individually and as a family. Now as we look to missionally move into the downtown neighborhood near our church at the end of July, we hope to build deeper relational roots into our community. Here is a view of our new rental house on 306 W. Vine. We are excited to see what the Lord does in and through us during our second year in Champaign.

About joelnewton

I am a husband to Hillary, a father to Anna and Norah

Posted on June 22, 2011, in Personal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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