Deacon Pat's Books

Deacon Pat's Books
The sale of our books help support our mission / projects. Click on any of the book photos above to see our book site.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

WHY did we move to Idaho?

A few friends have asked why we moved to Idaho, this Meridian/Boise/Caldwell area of Idaho, etc., and I'm hoping and praying I can answer the long and short of these questions -- actually, short & long.

And to be honest, I'm hoping this will help me process 
this move more deeply in my own head & heart.

First of all, I must warn y'all that hubby is the writer in our family. 
I. AM. NOT. 
You've been warned. I type like I talk... Incomplete sentences. Incomplete thoughts. Rambling. Again, you've been warned!


Basically we had some family needs that we discerned we should come back to the USA to help out with. 

Despite having to cut our time short, we are so thankful for the 8+ months of  a much-needed sabbattical for hubby.

We were beyond blessed with 8ish months in Guatemala which I hope to share more about in future posts. I also believe that it's much easier to discern God's gifts and blessings of mission (or retreat, etc.) once you're out of that possibly now I'll be able to add to my mission journaling and share some of God's blessings and my struggles with you all.


1. We discerned the best way to come back to the USA & really listen/understand where & what the Lord wanted of our ministry would be for hubby to work temporary travel-nursing assigments in various states for approximately 13 weeks at a time. Our plan.
2. That never came to be. Instead hubby ended up with a permanent full-time job in Caldwell, Idaho. Wanna make God laugh? Just tell Him your plans!
     a) One major perk for hubby is he'll work 3 days weekly and have 4 days for hiking, fishing, etc., which was a top goal of his for employment post-sabbattical.
    b) We are a one-day driving distance to our family back in California & OLM family & friends.
3. Pat's job is in Caldwell, but we rented an apartment in Meridian which is the town between Caldwell & Boise (sorta). Hubby will have an adjustment of having a commute to/from work of approximately 20 minutes & opposite traffic, thankfully. But I'm sure on the non-rainy days he'll be loving the commute on his new, big Yahama Stratoliner motorcycle. In Redding he drove a whopping four (4) miles, maybe.

We have not been here long enough, so we don't know much about the area yet.

It is odd judging an area after living in Guatemala for 8 months -- in both a positive and a negative way.

Compared to the pace of life we had in Northern CA, the pace here is a lot slower, which is exactly what we wanted.

However, having lived in such a beautiful, peaceful pace in Guatemala I must admit, I'm still a little overwhelmed at the pace of life here, and everywhere in the US.

The people we have met here so far, many of them also escapees of California (LOL), have been very kind, and a lot like Guatemala, because the pace is slower they have --and take-- the time to talk with you.

It has been suggested that we rid ourselves as quickly as possible of our CA plates and IDs cuz not all Idahoans are pleased with Californians moving in here in droves. I'm debating telling people I'm from Guatemala. HA HA. Just kidding.

Caldwell's population is approximately 48,000 -- a lot less than Redding.
Meridian the population is about 75,000 -- a little less than Redding -- is still a little bigger than we want for the future, but it's a great location for now.
Boise's population is a little over 2x's Redding.


Here's how our steps of discerning/deciding where to move after Guatemala.
You may or may not know that before leaving on mission, we sold our house and most of our belongings -- so as not to have to pay for storage, not to have to move them, AND MAINLY so that we could minimize our possessions as part of our decision to simplifing our lives.
Before we left California for our mission year we knew that we wanted to live in another state than California for a few reasons.
1) Less expensive cost of living
2) Slower-paced life
3) Less hot weather than Redding (but Liz was hoping for not as much snow as North Dakota)

Discerning from Guatemala where to move, and discerning in a short amount of time due to our need to return somewhat quickly.
Funny story...
We discerned that the best option back in the USA would be for hubby to work "Travel Registered Nursing" jobs -- this would allow us to spend approximately13 weeks in each state, and while there we could discern if this was/was not the state God might be calling us.
However, we've all heard the saying 
"If you want to make God laugh just tell Him 'your' plans."  

This was true with our discerment -- 
we discerned, we decided. 
...yet this temporary travel nursing job was not happening 
God's plans, possibly? I guess we'll see. 

Beause of a major delay in RN paperwork processing for hubby's 13-week nursing assignment in Washington State that particular job option could not happen.
Hmmm. Now what? much for our *want* of getting to temporarily live in a town to get a sense of whether or not this is truly God's will.
Thanks, Lord, another lesson in trust, detachment, surrender. Yippee :-) .

Yet, at the very same time a DIFFERENT JOB for hubby came up in the Caldwell/Boise/Meridian area. God's plan? Possibly!
* This job was *not* temporary -- as we had discerned would be a great way to decide where to live without major committment.
* This job seemed like a great fit for hubby's work 'wish list' after this past nearly-year of sabbattical for a few reasons:
     a) Three 12-hour shifts weekly (you get the drift, 4 days off work weekly! Hey he worked hard for many years, he deserves this!)
     b) Non-management (after 15 years of Director of Nursing for a 99-bed locked psych facility he was ready for a change).
Well, it seems this *might* be where the Lord is calling us, so we prayed & agreed, "Okay we'll go." Blindly trusting. Thankfully, though full of Christ's peace.

And as for the area of this new job, it's in Caldwell, Idaho, which is about 20-30 minutes from Boise.
1) When in Guatemala living and witnessing the beauty of their family closeness, we realized that although we may *want* to live in any state, it might be a better choice for us to move within a day's driving distance from family (my dad, my oldest daughter, and Pat's 5 brothers) so the Boise area was an option on our list of possibilities.
(Side note for those of you who know my spirituality at all... 
Looking for jobs & housing near the CFRs defaulted 
to looking for our new home city/state
within driving distance to family. That was huge for me!!)

2) Caldwell is a smaller town, smaller than where we lived in Redding, CA, and a smaller town was definitely something we wanted.

3) Caldwell is close enough to Boise for the 'extras' one might want/need from a city...we've also found out that it's next to Meridian -- which is the city between Caldwell and Boise, and it's also said to be the fastest growing city in Idaho (all those darn Californian's heading up here! LOL)

4) This area has an abundance of outdoor activities and possibilities for us to explore, especially hubby who is now hiking 10 miles daily or as many days per week as he can.

5) We decided to rent for our first year of living in this area, and due to a couple reasons we ended up renting in Meridian -- close to Caldwell. TBH, we hope to buy a place on the outside of Caldwell where we can have a little property. 
But as with all things, we'll see if that's God's plans for us or not.

On the diaconate & ministry side of our lives this move to the Treasure Valley area has a couple funny stories.  My kids often tease me because when things happen, I will often jokingly say, "It's a sign from God!!"

While in Guatemala still but realizing our plans were changing from 'temporary' to 'permanent' I began checking out the local Catholic church websites
-- uuuhhhmm Pastors,
it's a really important tool you should utilize & update
(and if you'd like a website quote, I have an excellent recommendation
for your website just comment & ask or email me).
So the first parish I look at is, of course, Caldwell. I was VERY IMPRESSED with their website, the content (faithfully Catholic), current, active, and I even noticed they had a procession (something Guatemala has forever imprinted on my heart).

One thing that I tend to look at about a parish is how often the Sacrament of Confession is offered, and Our Lady of the Valley in Caldwell has three, yes 3, separate days per week that Confession is offered. That was definitely a step in the right direction for me.

Secondly, in looking at the website of OLV I realized there are Masses in English AND Spanish!! This is good for us not only for us to, God-willing maintain and hopefully improve upon our 8 months of immersion Spanish speaking, but also because serving in the Spanish-speaking community had been such a beautiful part of our parish life back at OLM.

So after driving our belongings from storage in Texas to Idaho, we had 3 days here to: 
(yes, when leaving for Guatemala, we had thought
we would be living in Texas after Guatemala)

   a) get Pat in for his pre-employment physical, medical tests, etc;
   b) rent an apartment;
   c) order furniture -- cuz remember we sold all of ours in CA??
   -- and
   d) we invited the Caldwell pastor out for a meal to talk with him to see if he even had a desire or need for another permanent deacon.

It is *NOT* the choice of the deacon where he will serve his ordained ministry. He is given 'faculties' and assignment by his Bishop. We felt very blessed after meeting with the pastor of Caldwell's Catholic church. It felt like a nice fit. Mass there was wonderful. Very reverent. Such a joyful pastor.

Moving dioceses requires a little work on the part of the deacon.

The way it works for Catholic Permanent Deacons 
-- this is my understanding & paraphrasing ONLY, don't quote me!! ;-).

Permanent Deacons are given 'faculties' by their Bishop. If/when the deacon moves to another diocese they must receive both permission from their current Bishop to 'take the faculties' to another diocese (i.e. that the deacon is in fact in "good standing"),
but also the Bishop of the new area must approve receiving the new deacon and granting the deacon faculties in the new diocese.

The ultimate decision of which parish hubby will be assigned to is up to the Bishop of Boise (the entire state of Idaho is in the one diocese).
**We are just now beginning this process, 
so your prayers are greatly appreciated! 

These were our thoughts and experiences when moving to Idaho...
As for now, we're just trying to follow what we believe is God's will, and we'll continue to trust as we follow this ride to wherever He is calling us.

One thing I know for sure...
We don't have all the answers, 
we're just doing our best to make 
the most out of this new stage of our lives. 
Prayers much appreciated!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. =)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. Please pray for Liz and me and for our mission. May you be filled always with God's love. Deacon Pat