In high school, I played Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, a musical comedy about a man-eating plant. A florist on Skid Row, Audrey longs to settle down with her kind, but nerdy, coworker, Seymour. She imagines their future home in her song, “Somewhere That’s Green.”
After high school and college in my home state of Maryland, Jesus took me on one adventure after another—to China to teach English and study Mandarin, to North Carolina to attend seminary, and, finally, to Illinois to serve at a multi-site community church and then a century-old Chinese church. In Chicago, I also forged forever friendships, met and married my incredible husband, Mark, and had two daughters.
Then the Lord led us home. (Read the story here.) We moved to Maryland on May 1st, and Mark became the Minister of Youth and Young Adults at Greenridge Baptist Church. Though we’ve only been here a month, we already see what a marvelous match God made for our whole family.
Though Mark misses his friends, family, and the youth he poured into for six years, he absolutely loves his new job. The position’s perfect, he likes the staff and feels comfortable with them, and he appreciates having a ministry assistant plus great volunteers who free him up to preach and counsel more. Because most of the congregation lives within 20 minutes of the church, he can have Bible studies and do lunch with people throughout the week.
Angelina digs the nursery and Michaela, her three-year-olds class. Plus, they love spending every Thursday with their seven Carter cousins (all under the age of five) and getting to see their Culp cousins more often.
Personally, I’m being fed by the passion, preaching, and perspective at Greenridge [tweet that!] and am enjoying family dinners and marshmallow-topped snowballs at Aunt Debby’s. Instead of stop-and-go traffic through a concrete jungle, every drive seems like we’re taking the scenic route.
My family’s excited to have us—especially our kids—and the church seems happy, too. The youth have been warm and welcoming, the pastors encouraging and enthusiastic, and the administrative assistants helpful and hilarious.
During the months Mark was interviewing, I was searching for a house online. In February, when he returned from a promising weekend meeting the pastors, elders, and search committee, I showed him a beautiful rancher on an acre of land off of Green Valley Road. In March, we toured that house and, this Friday—Lord willing—we get the keys.
Serving at Greenridge and living off of Green Valley Road, we’re finally settling down . . . somewhere that’s green.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:1-3, ESV).