Leading a Spiritual Family Through Seasons of Change

A Change of Season

Here in Pawleys Island the weather is just on the edge of Autumn, there is a slight coolness in the mornings, and the leaves are turning gold and brown.

We are moving from Summer to Fall.

During this time we flipflop between high and low temperatures; the change is always slightly unsettling and hard to predict. One day you wear sandals and get your feet soaked, another day you wear jeans and wish you had worn shorts.

This year, the change of season is particularly obvious to me because there is also a season change at 3DM Central.

As I reflect on where we are in this season I realize Mike and I have been leading families on mission for decades and have gotten used to these changes. We have become familiar with the cost and sacrifice these changes bring, but feel confident and secure in the knowledge that God is faithful during these times. We can be certain of His provision for us but also know that we will have to go to the cross frequently in these times.

During these years I have also become a Mum to 3 children, a mother-in-law to 3 more, and a “Jolly” to two little grandsons; one who is in heaven and one who is full of energy and opinions. I have also had the amazing privilege and joy of becoming a spiritual parent to countless others.

We have lived in 13 houses over the last 34 years, each one very different from the last. One was a cozy cottage, while another was a rambling rectory, one had a desert mountain view and another had no yard at all. Each one had wonderful things we loved and yet none were perfect.

Dealing with Transition

When you move home, you move all your belongings, pets, and people from a place that felt secure and familiar, with your hopes, dreams, and memories lining those walls, to a new house that has not yet become your home. It’s called transition. It’s an unsettling and difficult time. Everyone deals with it differently.

It was during move number six, somewhere in the midst of packing boxes and brown paper, that I noticed this about our 3 children.

One wanted to discuss every detail of everything all the time. One wanted to have a picture of the colors and textures that would be on the walls and the third one simply needed to leave the old immediately and get on with the new adventure.

We learned to help them feel secure as they navigated these changes. In time Mike and I came to the stage in our lives when all the children had left us and we had become empty nesters. I couldn’t help but feel a little anxious as Sam waved good bye at the airport and we were left simply facing each other. This was another big life change a time for us to reassess, to take stock and to look towards the future.

3DM in Transition

3DM in Pawleys Island is going through changes now. The family on mission that once packed the hallways and sat on the stairs for daily prayers are moving out to the edges of the movement; to new frontiers to start households of their own. This will inevitably mean that everyone involved will need a new level of commitment to the vision and we will need to be steadfast as we see the families move out onto the horizon while those going will need to be strong and courageous.

It’s exciting and scary and understandably everyone is reacting differently. So, just as we did with our biological children, we pray and hope that each one of them get to the other side of transition knowing that we love them; but more importantly, knowing a greater sense of God’s love for them and a greater understanding of His character.

We know that it is only by going through these challenging times that the movement can go further. Hebrews 12:2 says “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfect or of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame and sat down on the right hand of the throne of God.”

If you have any questions about these upcoming changes, Mike and I will be hosting a webinar on Tuesday September 23 at 4pm EDT. You can register for that webinar by clicking here. We also look forward to answering questions and covering important topics about this transition during our Global Pilgrimage event in Fort Wayne towards the end of next week.

Hope you can join us for the webinar!

photo credit: vitroid via photopin cc


  • Ben Nelson says:


    Excited to tune in and hear how you are navigating these waters. Our family on mission is about to hit a season of change as well. Hoping to pull some good insight from this webinar


  • Helen says:

    What a strange thing that I should open this today in what is one of the hardest weeks I’ve had in a long time. Gave up my job, Hannah my youngest returned to Cardiff university and I found myself alone in a house that no longer feels like home, emptied of most if our treasured possessions. I have belongings in another place in Kent and am heading to a life in the Caribbean that I have no idea about. Ian went three weeks ago and I am here trying to tie up the loose ends before joining him.
    Your blog gave me food for thought as indeed you always have and I thank you once again. Sadly you are many miles away but blessed are those who have your presence around and there are times when there are those among us who gently need to be reminded that ‘handing it over to God’ is what is needed. Love you x

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