Thursday, July 28, 2011


July has seemed long and short at the same time.  I feel like we have known we were moving forever and then at the same time, it seems like yesterday.  We have gone into "have lots of fun before we leave" mixed with "get lots done before we leave" mode.  Seriously, I can't even remember all the projects we have to do!  I decided to tackle potty training the beginning of July along with being the visionary component of Titus' big boy bed/guest bed.  We also have been refinishing some furniture for our bedroom bought off Craig's List.  Ryan has been working like a crazy on a 5k he is hosting.  It is called The Patriot Run.  

Titus and I did VBS last week and had lots of fun.  I think we both know all the songs by heart by now!  I loved getting to help in a class with a friend along with getting to see an awesome VBS in action.  Seriously, so so so well done.  Our church is not super big (over 600 weekly is my guess) and they had over 460 kids along with 160 volunteers.  I love how emerged in the community Grace is and the fact is...they are reaching their community for Christ.  I'll have to do a separate post on just awesome things they did.  So intentional and quite genius!  Titus and I also headed Lebanon, OR to visit our sweet seminary friends.  We treasure the McKay family like crazy and dream about one day getting to do ministry together!  Titus loves his bud, Simon too!

We then hurried off to a little camping getaway with my in-laws.  We rented a cabin although it was quite rugged with no electricity or running water.  We did have a propane stove and a wood burning heater thing.  It was quite cozy and we had a blast.  Titus loved it to say the least and we did too.  Maybe I can be a nature woman when I need to be after all!

So that was July!  I am trying to get on my A-game with this move.  I feel slightly overwhelmed but really don't want to be so I'm just telling myself to be proactive, not stress and enjoy our time here knowing.. we'll get it all done!  I am turning over a new leaf and trying to only stress about really serious things.  Because in reality there will always be little things to stress about and I don't want to live stress to stress! If there isn't a really serious thing to stress about.. then I'm not stressin' (or will try really hard to not)!  :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


You heard it right.  The Epp Family is moving to the state of North Carolina!  I can hardly believe it, and reality will really set in when the orders are in hand and the moving truck is packed.  Ryan is taking an active duty Army job attached to a reserve unit.  The program is called AGR.. Active Guard Reserve.

 We have been praying for over a year on where God was leading us.  We feel relieved to know where and I am very grateful for a stable job.  For the past year after Ryan gave his painting notice, he started getting on short term orders with his unit.  Sometimes these orders came through and sometimes we didn't know if they would until a couple days before.. or a week (or two) after they were suppose to start.  That was really stressful for me.  I feel like God has stretched me in many ways during the past season.    Although he could have stayed with painting, we knew this wasn't best for our family (weather and economy wise) and for Ryan's spirit.  We have seen God provide over and over for us.  We have seen his active hand in our lives and I will treasure our time in Portland.

Last month we were offered a job in Little Rock, AR.  I actually really like LR, but after we both prayed on it, we didn't feel peace or since that was a good fit. When we declined, we had no idea, the NC job would open and knew his orders would end September 7th.  This job will be starting September 19th.  This is a huge answer to prayer.

This feels pretty bittersweet.  Although we have known for a while, we felt like our time here was ending, we know we will miss so much about Portland.  My nose starts to sting when I think about leaving my in-laws.  I want them to follow us everywhere we move.  I am so grateful I have gotten the chance to live near them and grow close to them.  We will also miss family that lives a few hours away along with precious friends and a great church.  Portland is a fun city and I will miss the food, shopping, and parks too.  Ryan has fulfilled his residency requirements and will be finishing his mdiv via distance.

Obviously, I am looking forward to more seasons and less rain.  I can't believe I will get to play outside with Titus through the winter.  It will be a huge blessing to hop in the car and drive to my family.  This spring has left me wishing I could help out during such stressful times at home.  Maybe Titus will even get an accent?! I am thankful a big city is near when I need a fix.

 Tonight, I am thinking about how Ryan has told me over and over...

"One day Jess, I'll get you back to the south... just give us a few years in Portland."    We are praising God for this new adventure...