An Update on the Life of the Odor Family, Part I.
I've realized over the past month that I've done a really crappy job of keeping my friends updated on what exactly is going on in our lives. This is an attempt to be a better friend by communicating more. Now I just need my friends to read it...
Last August, after five amazing years in Cincinnati, our family (Judi, Jenna, Liam and I) moved to Wilmore, Kentucky. Judi had completed her Master of Divinity degree from Cincinnati Christian University (mine is still in progress) and applied to two Ph.D. programs. Asbury was our first choice, and when she received a generous financial aid package (to a program where only eight people a year get accepted), it seemed like God was pushing us out of Cincinnati, over the Big Water and into Kentucky.
This terrified me.
I had a great job at the Cincinnati Vineyard... fantastic people, fantastic church. I loved our house, I hadn't finished school, our kids were thriving, and my parents had just moved to the area. Why leave?
The answer, of course, was that I married a True Scholar and that we're in it together. So I started applying for jobs in the Wilmore/Lexington area. Over a 6-month period from February to August, I applied for everything that looked remotely plausible, and got no hits. Two good opportunities where I lost the job in the interview (more on that another time), quite a few "don't call us, we'll call you," and lots and lots and lots of nothing at all.
But we were sure this is where God was calling us. So on August 20th, 2010, I locked my office for the last time, turned in the key, and left my dream job. We spent the following week packing up, then rented the truck and drove back in time 50 years to small-town Kentucky. We moved into a little duplex that felt more like a dorm than a house. I put my resume in at all of the local temp agencies. And I prayed like crazy that we hadn't made a stupid mistake.
It's embarrassing how little I trust God (more on this another time).
Three-quarters of a year later, I can honestly say we've never had it so good. Judi is thriving at school; soaking up Biblical languages and doing more between the kids' bedtime and her own than some of her classmates do all day. Our kids are fantastic; seminary towns are filled with fertile young couples with similarly-aged kids (and Christian-college towns are full of amazing babysitters). The duplex has been perfect; I can imagine more but I don't need it. And my temporary gig has turned into something pretty amazing... I'm an Advanced Technical Specialist for a small engineering firm specializing in Mass Emergency Notification (more on this another time). But the best stuff is the fam. Daddyhood continues to be amazing, and Judi and my alliance has hit a whole new level. I feel like I've hit a new level with God, as well. There's a trust there now that I don't think I had a year ago. Thriving, baby. If this isn't what it feels like, it's close.
Short version? Life is beautiful. We miss our friends in Cincinnati (and elsewhere) and there is a part of me that wonders what life would look like if we were still there. But when I was in town last weekend for the CCU Small Groups Conference (more on that another time), I realized I couldn't imagine going back a year and NOT making this change. I have no idea what the future holds for us (seriously, I have absolutely no idea) but for now, we're safe and we've landed.