Monday, March 24, 2008

What on earth are we doing?


(WARNING: this is a long and boring post, so don't feel obligated to read.)

Why would we move?
If you think it's totally random that we're leaving (especially since people never really move away from the Central Coast), we HAVE known for a long time that we wouldn't live in Santa Maria forever and ever. Just a temporary place to be where Kevin could keep his job in Santa Barbara by commuting, and so I could finish school at Cal Poly SLO.

Over the last few years God's been stirring our hearts to do something new. We tossed around different ideas, even considered moving to Africa to do some sort of humanitarian work. But we didn't really feel like that's what God had for us right now. (Maybe someday.)

One conviction we really came to have was living in/near an urban area. We'd been really impacted by some of Tim Keller's stuff, and having transracially adopted children, we felt that we wanted to raise them somewhere a bit more diverse than California's Central Coast. (If you live here too then you know it really wouldn't take much.)

Kevin's cousin and then his brother moved their families out to the Denver metro area awhile ago. In looking at the different cities across the country, we decided Denver seemed the best option. It was affordable for us, there were some good schools, lots of living options, we had family there, there's a huge Ethiopian immigrant population and therefore some cool cultural opportunities, it's more diverse.

All along the way we've prayed that God would open the doors if this was the right thing, and close them if it was the wrong thing (He tends to be good at that!) Kevin was able to find a job opportunity. We randomly stumbled across an amazing church in downtown Denver that is committed to so many of the things God has been showing us, and reaching the city with the Gospel. Things at Kevin's current job have slowed down, and he's ready for a change. Commuting's getting too difficult, especially with four kids. Living 35 minutes away from church has gotten really old. Basically, things have started to feel like they're winding down. It's time to move on.

Why would we move to Denver itself?

When we visited in August we planned to buy a home in a suburb; there are some super nice ones there, and having a family, it makes good sense. Our realtor did take us to one neighborhood in the actual city of Denver however, the very last home we looked at with her, that I totally fell in love with and was my favorite. It was built in the 1900s in a historic old neighborhood filled with brick bungalows. We never really further considered too seriously that neighborhood (except for me nagging Kevin on a regular basis that I wanted to live in an old bungalow. But it was farther from his potential job, the school wasn't quite as good, etc.)

WELL, flash forward several months, and we had to face the idea that if we moved to one of the suburbs, our kids would not regularly be exposed to people of other races, socioeconomic classes, etc., and that is a huge value for us, and part of why we were moving in the first place. Not to mention a lot of the homes WEREN'T overly close to Kevin's workplace.

SO we started looking elsewhere and found a suburban-type neighborhood RIGHT BY Kevin's office (as in 2 miles away, a recovering-commuter's dream!) and assumed that's where we'd buy, based on proximity, and that we'd somehow find a way to expose our kids to other types of people. BUT God slammed THOSE doors shut because every home we looked at there had floors that were sloping and buckling because of expansive soils. Lovely! (And, now what???)

Meanwhile I was still obsessed with the older homes and that neighborhood in Denver, so I still longingly looked at them on realtor.com, and one day there was a relatively large home whose price had dropped to our price range. It zoned to an extremely good, highly-rated, diverse school in the Denver Public Schools system. We realized that somehow, this neighborhood and house made the most sense, and that when we felt like God wanted us "in the city", He apparently did. (This part of Denver isn't really high density or overly urban-feeling. It's a desirable neighborhood that should hold value well. And it's so full of character, I love it!)

SO that has been our journey. I'll share updates about the house itself another time, in part because this post is way too long already! And hardly any pictures either, that is brutal!

20 comments:

Lara said...

Is that an actual picture of the neighborhood you are moving to?

I'm SO excited for you guys, and SO sad that you are leaving.

Rachel said...

I just looked at it online. My little advantage of being family! The kitchen in amazing. I hope you love it even more after seeing it in person this week. It is also exactly 30 miles from us so I didn't lie in my post. I am still guessing closer to the 45 minute range tho0ugh. Let's face it, that's about as close as you want family anyway!

A friend of mine goes to Denver Seminary and she said there is another Downtown church called "Scum of the Earth" that would be worth google-ing (how do you spell that?) Anyway I thought I would pass that along in case you really wanted an edgy church. It sure would be a conversation starter!!!

Carrie Haughey said...

sounds wonderful! We will miss you here though!!

Brianna Heldt said...

lara, that picture is of the neighborhood, but it's not the same street or anything. i'm excited too, and sad too. :(

rachel yeah the kitchen will be great, especially once we do new cabinetry, appliances, and paint. we're going to have to seriously prioritize the changes we want to make, as there are several.

i actually heard about scum of the earth from somewhere (maybe a book i read???), and it's definitely a happenin' place. (i'm thinking we'd probably be way too dorky though, heehee!)

Stacey said...

This really does sound so exciting. I also would love to live in a place that offers much more diversity than our beautiful central coast, but I don't know if I could actually bring myself to move...that is unless the Lord directed us of course.
Keep the post coming...very exciting!

Kristen Borland said...

i want to see more pics of that neighborhood you like... so intriguing! i'm so excited. such an adventure!

i so love thinking of you as a city girl. i think it will suit you (just as much as thinking of you in creston does--what with the snakes in your house and all). and i fully expect to see lots of pics of you doing big city things, and i especially want to see pics at christmas time in the city, so don't forget! how great is the word "bungalow"?! i love brick houses. i just hope it's big enough for your growing brew.

not a long or boring post at all!

hmm... maybe we'll have to visit you someday!!!

Angel said...

Great post!!! I am going to have to check out Tim Keller. Gotta love youtube for that kind of thing. I am a youtubeaholic. :0) Angel

Rachel said...

Maybe I was looking at the wrong house. The cabinets looked good to me... I wasn't on one of those 360 sites. Just a plain old fashion site with interior pictures. Hmmm...

Melissa said...

That's really exciting for you guys, and I loved reading the thought process and the way God led you there. It's amazing the way He can close doors, and create paths in His time.

We've moved an awful lot in our married years, and have seen God's hand in every move.
You'll be in our prayers!

Sando said...

K & B ~

I am so happy for you guys. Going to be a great change for you, spending more time together, and being near family. Plus CO is just incredible.

I hope we get to see you more often as well, since we visit quite often.

Congrats!!!

Renee said...

How EXCITING!!!

I am Katy, said...

How exciting! That looks an awful lot like a neighborhood we walked through when we were in Denver a few years ago. I insisted that we walk from our hotel in downtown out to the Zoo. It was a long walk, but totally worth it to look at all the old architecture.

The MSILF said...

I don't really know you, but I'm really hoping it all works out and that you get a home of your dreams with character that will bring you family memories for years to come.

shell said...

I have become hooked on Tim Keller too! We are actually going to a conference in FLorida at the end of April and will hear him speak! Once again, we are on the same page-LOVE IT! :) I am so excited for you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shana said...

Well I read to the end of your post and wasn't bored at all. :) I can't wait to hear more about your new adventure, and see more pictures!

Hauswife said...

WOW, that is so exciting! I'm thrilled for you guys. Even though I would LOVE to live where you are right now, I completely understand all your reasons, especially feeling like God was doing something new. Wonderful!

Wendy said...

As always, I am inspired by your sense of faith and your example of asking Him to guide you in figuring out where to go next. I am excited for you all and your new adventure!

dillyweed said...

I've commented here before, but it's been a while, but I wanted to say hi again and comment on your exciting news...
What a great opportunity for you all to be closer to family and to have your husband close to his work. And I'm inspired by your faith in God with opening the right doors for your family and trusting in His provisions. What a testimony! Good luck to you all!

p.s. If you don't remember me from before, I came across your blog from a post you left on another blog when I saw that we have the same name. Then I was even more excited about finding your blog when I realized that you lived in Santa Maria (I was born and raised in Lompoc myself).

Auntie Sharon said...

Hi

I'm so proud of you and your family. I will certainly see you alot more than now when your only one hour away. I go to Colorado about 5 times a year. Can't wait I will see you in May!! This is the time in your life to take these steps - your young, resilent and filled with hope and love - you go Heldts!!!

Tempting Weddings said...

i will alwasy be on your blog reading yoru beautiful life and what wonderful people you both are, as this is really sad, i knwo lara will cry a ton, and Grace will never be the same without you, i think you made a wise decision for yoru family and children, and that is really what god wants us to do, I love you all a ton adn wish you the best life there. I still remember your weddign leaving adn you look like the ahppiest girl in the world, tons and tons of blessings to you all.

 

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