20 thoughts and feels from a not so good pastor’s wife about having to (probably) move again.

How do you like THAT title? You like it… You like it….
Warning grammar nerds, I have not adequately proof read. I’m sorry. Can we deal? 

Pew Selfie, New Church.

Pew Selfie, New Church. hi.

I laid in bed last night for a while after Kel fell asleep, feeling deeply sad. The sort of sadness that comes from knowing you have to let go of something, even though you don’t want to. Even though all you want to do is channel your inner four year old and dig in, screaming until maybe… just maybe you get your way.

We are moving again. It’s not officially official but it may as well be. Yes, there is a five percent chance (or less) that we could get to stay but since my thirties is forcing me to be an adult about things (boo forced maturity that comes from three kids and home ownership) 

photo copy 4

Big sister, little sister storytime.

I want to grow claws somehow and dig them into the drywall, hissing at anyone who tries to remove me from our home. I want to go buy 7 spirit hoodies from Noelle’s school and wear them on repeat to represent how very much we are NOT leaving. I want to make mimosas and day drink and whiny text all my friends about how hard this is, because yes I know there are people dying and starving but we have to move. again. dammit. dammit. dammit.

Pass me another mimosa. Or scotch, someone bring me scotch maybe?

OOOH Or Put Big Metal Chicken on my porch Blogess Style? 

This is not, by the way, how a “good” pastors wife handles moving. I am pretty sure they sigh and say something about the will of God and how blessed they are to serve no matter where.

Maybe I’ll get there. Maybe the mimosas will help.

PS I’m not really day drinking. If I were I’d be Netflix binging on Scrubs, Parks and Rec or Gilmore Girls. Or all of the above…. WWLGD? What would Lorelai Girlmore do? 

Probably drink more coffee and kidnap Rory for a trip to boston to eat Chowder in her Jeep.

This is not helping, or is it….?


So I’m not day drinking or Netflix binging, I’m doing the much more helpful, cathartic thing and whiny blogging about it to you guys.

What am I doing?

1) Being appropriately sad and whiny.
2) Drinking a latte even though it’s lent and I’m not supposed to. Jesus understands probably.
3) Researching montessori schools and praying one will offer us a full ride for first grade.
4) Wrapping my mind around homeschooling if needed.
5) Making a list of all the things we need to do to the house to sell it.
6) Hoping one of you want to buy it as is.
7) Listening to sad music.
8) Staring out the window.
9) Being a little mad at God but realizing that I’m sure he’s got this… somehow.
10) Being happy for Kel because his new job is way better than it should be.
11) Contemplating a private pin board for what I want to do to the parsonage.
12) Wondering how the kids will handle it
13) Hoping I get a new, consolation bathtub out of the deal
14) Realizing that I will be painting forever, again.
15) Being glad that at least I’m not pregnant this time.
16) Hoping my friends won’t forget about me and make time to do the 1.5 hour drive and come visit.
17) Reminding myself that we have each other, and that’s all I really need.
18) Being jealous at all the people who get to stay in Grand Rapids, that’s a lot of people.
19) Thinking about buying a pair of TOMS, they’ve helped me in grief before.
20) Blogging, blogging has always helped.

Calvin Kids

So we are moving about, probably almost certainly. I can’t and shouldn’t officially announce where yet, but it’s not too far so that’s okay. And it has a nice parsonage so that’s nice too, I’m told they may give us free cable, I wouldn’t mind that.

I feel the weight of unrealized dreams. Dreams for the church plant, the house, the school I adore and want to chain myself to whist wearing more than one hoodie at once. The curtains I am certainly not going to let the new owners have. Unless it’s one of you… maybe.

I worry about the School situation for Noelle with her Sensory Processing Needs, which are real. She’s reading at a 4-5th grade level and I don’t see her sitting well for 7 hours in the “traditional classroom.” She’s too beautiful to be broken by an educational system that doesn’t fit her needs.



Kel is thrilled, he doesn’t want to move of course, but you should see him try to hide a grin when he talks about how exhausting Easter weekend is going to be. He’s happy, and I don’t want to smoosh that, he hasn’t had that in years.

I am worried how the kidlets are going to handle a third major transition, we’ve had one every spring/summer for the past three years. I am worried how I am going to handle it, I hate learning a new kitchen, even though this one has a dishwasher.

This blog doesn’t resolve. Life doesn’t resolve. That’s okay. Thanks for being on this journey with me.

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  • Natalie Hart

    Just hugs. For you.

  • http://www.jamiewrightbagley.com/ Jamie

    Oh. I would be listening to all the sad music, and staring out the window, and having allthethoughtsandfeelings too. I so get that. Transitions are challenging, esp. with three kids. Hugs to you. Grace to you.

  • Patricia

    Oh Leanne…I’m a little weepy, I so relate to this comment: ‘This is not, by the way, how a “good” pastors wife handles moving. I am
    pretty sure they sigh and say something about the will of God and how
    blessed they are to serve no matter where.’ My pastor hubby and I just celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. In six years, he’s been in three different churches, we’ve lived in three different houses, and we’re quite probably looking at another move this fall or winter. We don’t have the heartache that comes with uprooting and re-settling kiddos, but, still…my heart aches for you! Moving IS hard. The gratitude and acceptance will come…in fact, I suspect they are there somewhere and will come out, like seeds blooming into plants, when the time is right. In the meantime, remember that Jesus’ heart ached with and for his friends, too. I really do believe He understands and will be with you, with love and compassion, though this change, helping you care for the heart full of feelings that God gave uniquely to you. Hugs and prayers across the miles, Patricia

    • Patricia

      p.s. When I said that gratitude and acceptance will come, I didn’t mean to imply any time soon! 😉 In my experience, sometimes they didn’t arrive until we were through it and on the other side. Sometimes, you just make it through, first… and that’s enough.

  • Stephanie B.

    I’m pretty sure this is how REAL pastors’ wives handle yet another move. Grace and peace.

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      Oh thank you :)

  • Pam Worcester

    Oh how many times have I said those exact things (well, almost exact, replace mimosas with diet coke and tons of chocolate). And just this morning I was drawn to Psalm 119:54 in my Bible study. Just about threw the Bible across the room – oh dear, did a pastor’s wife just say that?? Oh – I thought Methodists called their parsonages “manses” – I always likedthat – it sounded so much more like a mansion … and they were always nicer than any parsonage I ever lived in. Prayers for a great transition for everyone … breathe mama … breathe …

  • Lindsey Stefan

    This ministry life is oh so hard. My hubby and I figured out that our five year old had lived in five different places as we both finished school, he completed his internship, and we started at our first church.

    Transition is tough every time, so blog on! We hear you and we understand. :)

  • Sarah Joslyn

    I don’t have anything comforting to offer, but I feel like. I have wanted to throw a tantrum before when life feels like it is THE WORST. Sorry, friend. Maybe go have that mimosa.

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      Thanks friend, I may do just that :)

  • Mark Allman

    It is with a degree of sadness I am feeling for you as I know both the known and unknown in moving is tough…. moving is so much more than into a new house… it is really into a new life for you are in a different community; a different job; a different daily have too’s…. I’m not helping am I. :) At the same time we hold onto the old until we can’t any longer. I bet that your kids are able to see this as a joyful journey instead of a maddening move. It is a journey with curves and some straight stretches like all of life is. May we relish where our journey takes us… screaming if we must but at the same time looking on with open arms for gifts not yet seen. I pray that it goes well for you Leanne.

  • http://simply-rea.blogspot.com Rea

    Big hugs. I’m not a pastor’s wife, but out of all the difficult things that pastor’s wives have to do, I’m pretty sure that moving away has to rank right up there near the top. Prayers that your new church will love, welcome and support you and your husband, and that you will build many friendships and memories there.

  • http://dontstopbelieving.me/ Brenda W.

    You guys have really been through the wringer and I continue to admire your honesty about it all. Just prayed that this will all work out and there will be pleasant surprises!

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      thank you. I love being in your prayers and it’s a real honor to have your support.

  • http://www.addingaburden.com/ Jill – addingaburden.com

    This post brings back so many memories about how sad I was when we had to move from Grand Rapids. I hated leaving that wonderful city behind! I still miss it sometimes. Something that helped me was focusing on WHO I wanted to be (rather than where) and how I could make that happen in a new place. It didn’t make the transition easy but it gave me a way to focus my energy in a more productive way.

    Also I was convinced I would never ever make friends like the ones I was leaving behind. Thankfully that turned out exactly opposite and I’ve made very precious friendships here. Praying you are surprised by joy in your move like I was four years ago. You can do this!