It’s Time to Move On…

DSCF0415There’s a great song by Jason Upton on his Family Music Album called, “Time to Move On”. It’s written for little kids and has a fun, light melody.  It goes like this,

“It’s time to move on baby, it’s time to move on we’ve been too long in this house hunny, it’s time to move on. Hush now my darling, wipe all those tears from your eyes, tomorrow morning we will leave this old house far behind. It’s time to move on…”

Four years ago I put this song on in our minivan as we drove away from my family’s home in New York. I turned around in the passenger seat and sang to my son as he stared at me through glassy wet eyes. I eventually got the smile I sought.

It’s time to move on again, Makaio.

On May 16th, my husband is going to graduate from Moody Bible Institute with highest honors (sorry have to brag). And after that we are headed on our next big adventure.

More school…

This time though, both of us will be students.

Let me share the story:

After I graduated from college back in 2000, I knew I wanted to further my education. I wanted to earn a Master’s degree in Psychology.  It had always been a deep interest of mine and the idea of studying Psychology from a Christian perspective was fascinating. I had one problem though. I hadn’t earned the right credits during undergrad and was required to go back to a community college and take 4 more classes.

I got a waitressing job to pay my tuition and I enrolled. I was determined to attend Bible College in California.

I loved school and did well.


In the meantime, a friend spoke to me about going on a mission trip. I felt God was tugging at my heart to go and so I did. I headed to Greece for a month to serve on an International Street Cleaning Team! Yes, I went to Greece and picked garbage up off the side of the road in the blazing hot summer sun!  Only God could speak through all that dirtiness and inspire me to serve him longer term overseas.  Shortly after that, I joined Operation Mobilization and lived onboard the Doulos for two years.

I was fulfilled and enjoying the world, traveling, working and serving the Lord while He poured His life into me.

On the ship, I met Wouter and right after our commitment ended, we got married.

I forgot about all those classes I took as my life went in a new direction.

Until recently.

Halfway through Wouter’s time at Moody, he felt led by the Lord to change his major from Theology to Pre-Counseling. It was an odd shift for him since he was very interested in pursuing Apologetics which can be very cerebral. Somehow though, he felt strongly that God wanted to do a work in him through the Counseling classes he would take. As he studied more and more, his passion for people began to flourish and his calling to Counseling was solidified.

Since his graduation was on the horizon, we began looking into Graduate schools where he could earn a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from a Christian perspective. While visiting a school in Florida, a lightbulb went on in my mind. I looked at the admissions counselor and asked her if it would be possible for me to apply for the program too even though I’ve been out of school for 15 years. I then asked her what prerequisites were required for admittance and, well, wouldn’t you know… I had already taken every single class needed to get in!

God had brought my husband and I together in an entirely new way.

I looked at Wouter and said, “Well, looks like we are going back to school together! Doesn’t that sound amazing!?!”

God led me to take those classes all those years ago. God put it on Wouter’s heart to change his major to Counseling and, we both believe that God is calling us to study together and eventually, minister together. We hope that our time at Denver Seminary will better equip us to reach out to hurting people.

Our passion is to see marriages and families thrive in this crazy world. We want to reach  young professionals and influence their life direction and inspire high school students to serve the Lord whole heartedly!  Anyone and everyone who needs a healing touch from the Master…

Our big adventure begins on June 15th as we pack up our little apartment and move to Denver. We will living on campus with many other families who are pursuing similar paths.

We are so excited! We walk by faith. We know that He who has called us will indeed provide for us in every way imaginable as He has for the last four years here at Moody and even before then!

We know there will be new challenges as we learn to be there for one another while balancing school and keeping our marriage and children number one. I’ll only be taking six credits to start. That way, I can still be with my little ones most of the time.

Please be a part of our prayer team. No need to sign up, just pray for us when we cross your minds. Also, pray for our kids, too! This will be a huge change for Makaio and Mikayla but we believe God is preparing their hearts already and will continue to bless them as we step out in faith and obedience to His will for us!

Our time in Chicago has been amazing; the friends we’ve made, the church we’ve grown to love, this crazy city…all of it has forever touched and shaped us. Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye. Sometimes it’s hard to move on.

But it’s that time again.

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6 Responses to It’s Time to Move On…

  1. Barbara Maurelis says:

    I am so proud of you both and count it a privilege to continue to be a part of your prayer team! Love you all and miss you but we are with you in prayer and in spirit! ❤ 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Delilah DeJesus says:

    I will miss you guys time is flying by to quickly will be praying for all


  3. Erika says:

    Praying for many blessings for you, wouter and the children! I have no doubt that God has anointed you for this. You were my Christian counselor before I know there was such a thing!


  4. Vicki Prentice says:

    Will be praying. May you and the family be blessed richly in your service for Him. May your obedience be blessed too. He has it all in hand, we just need to trust and obey! Love to you all. Xx


  5. Kevin Smith says:

    Hey Jen,
    I don’t often get to FB but I did read your blog via the link and I wanted to say that, if I can make it, I will have finished my masters from Liberty U in Education in a couple of weeks. I only have a couple of weeks, but I’m still wondering if I have enough gas to make it. My South African bride and I have two little ones (3 and 20 months) and will have another in two months, Lord willing. It has been hard to go to school and work, but the Lord has been faithful. You will be in my prayers. The X factor will be the assurance that you are doing exactly what the Lord would have you to do. Blessings to you and yours. Congrats to Wouter.
    Kevin Smith


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