Tuesday, April 9

Richmond, VA

Well, the decision is made and we are headed to Richmond, VA.  We are hopeful that the move will be early this summer, but there are still pieces that need to fall into place before the move can commence.

This year has been riddled with discernment for us.  An opportunity to perhaps work at Swiss L'abri - our dream job in so many ways, but far from family, and paper work to get Italian citizenship (in order to get a visa) has taken hours of work and weeks of waiting for documents... this still isn't resolved and won't be till fall.  It didn't feel right to wait for this uncertain possibility.  The thought of working at a college in Lithuania - what a vision the school has, what an amazing adventure that would be.  An arts pastor in Illinois?  A upper school teacher in CA, TX, OK, ID...?  All thoughts that have been tossing in our heads and taking so much imaginative energy and thought.  There were times when I wondered if we would ever be truly content choosing any one of these jobs.

But, in the end, a small (but growing) k-12 classical school in Richmond, VA just seemed right.  It is close to my family (at least in comparison to Scotland).  Opportunities for Jim to teach college or seminary classes seem like a possibility.  The school has a vision for community that is in line with ours... the vision of L'abri (hospitality) came up in conversations and Jamie Smith's book Desiring the Kingdom was on the headmasters desk.  Jonah will go to the school, which we are excited about (I'm sure I'll write more on this later).  And with a nine month contract, summers to write and travel are very alluring.

It is funny, because I think if you had told us a year ago that we would be genuinely excited about Jim taking a upper school teaching job I would have been surprised.  But, we are so excited, and not just to have this job, but to be moving to this place at this time.  We have a vision of putting down some roots in this place and building community in Richmond.

We feel content with this choice.  More than that, I feel a peace that this is the right choice for our family right now.  And, while I feel sad that we won't be at L'abri this year and that other interesting adventures are not ours, more than anything I feel grateful for all the options and choices that have felt overwhelming through the year.  Somehow in this crazy process of thinking about what is next, we've figured out where we are to be and it is somewhere in all that imagining that we became confident in this choice.

So, there it is my friends.  Another grand adventure lies before us.  Richmond, here we come!


EricaG said...

Congratulations! You must feel wonderful to have a plan. Kristy is going to flip when she reads this! Just a couple of years ago you could have been neighbors. I'm sure she and Jake will have restaurant recommendations. :)

Lauren said...

Hello. I realise you don't know me at all, but I've been lurking here on your blog for a couple of years now. When I saw this post, I just had to come out of hiding. I lived in Richmond, VA for most of my life (ages 5-20), and then I moved to England 13 years ago. Richmond is a lovely place. All my family is still there and we go back to visit as often as we can (which isn't nearly often enough).

Just wanted to wish you the best with the move and getting settled in and everything. I feel we have a bit in common... I'm a homeschooling mama to three as well, and we do a lot of Godly Play type stuff at home and in our church. I hope that all the loose ends come together for you and your family is very happy in Richmond. :)

Margaret said...

Oh Emily! I just loved this post. Congratulations to you and Jim! What a wonderful opportunity. I can't wait to see pictures of the place you'll call home!

Kristy said...

That's great Emily! We loved living in Richmond. It really has all the benefits of a city with a small town feel. I can't wait to hear more!

The Egan Family said...

Congratulations again! I'm looking forward to hearing about your experiences - so similar to mine! Nice to have a friend on the journey.

alison said...

Congratulations! I hope your family will fall in love with Virginia, as I did when we first moved here at age 9. :)

Katie Coons said...

Congrats Emily! I've written a family-- Dan and Sara Kennedy, who live in Richmond and I think are connected to this school a note you are coming... they already knew:)
Blessings on your journey!

Sara Kennedy said...

Dear Watkins family,
A friend in Shanghai follows your blog and suggested I 'check out this neat family moving to Richmond' - how wonderful to realize you are the Watkins family we just hired at Veritas! Jim - we spoke briefly when you interviewed with Keith Nix - I am the Dir of Operations/Communications/Community Engagement - VERY excited to welcome your whole family to RVA. God is doing amazing work among His people; I know He has purposed to bring all of you, your gifts, insights and passion to bear in our beloved city. Do let us know how we can make your transition easier. Feel free to connect off line with me at skennedy@veritasschool.com.
Warmly from Richmond,