A new Season
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Everyone is buzzing about the changing season. With kids back in school, the weather cooling off in the evenings here in St. Louis and the arrival of the famous #PSL, there is most certainly a season of change in the wind. Things are no different for the Mellingers. We are so looking forward to what September is bringing us! Here's a quick snapshot of what we've been up to and a few of the MAJOR changes coming very shortly for us.
It's hard to believe I am coming up on my 4th month since I left Evident Church. I knew I wanted to take some time off from ministry and work, I just didn't know how long. With Ashley accepting a job at St. Louis Children's Hospital, it gave me the opportunity to spend some time with my family and recharging some of my creative fuels. As much as I loved working at Evident, I knew I was running of fumes physically, emotionally and mentally. I welcomely embraced the time off.
Ashely and I have been staying with her sister & husband, Amber and Jacob, who have a one year old (Max) and three year old (Piper). Paisley and Piper are either best friends or worst enemies. There has been many hugs between the two of them, and just as many toys taken away because they couldn't decide who was going to play with them. All in all, they have been best of friends. We will have so many memories of these three kids from this summer. Staying with Amber and Jacob has made it possible for Ashley and I to take some time and find out where we wanted to live (which area of St. Louis), and help financially between jobs. Although living with someone else's family is never easy, it has been so much fun living with them. Because we are so close in age, we have enjoyed the days sharing life together and discussing plans and dreams. God has blessed this summer, and I know it will be something we remember forever.
With some of my spare time, I have had the opportunity to help Jacob with a few projects around the house, one of which being a 4th of July deck project. It was fun to creatively come up with a nice deck for their family. They just purchased some nice outdoor furniture, which I am currently sitting, writing this blog, during this perfect weather.
One of my goals of taking time off was to spend as much time with my family as possible. Its been great being able to go to the park with Paisley, go out to dinner as a family, and do "nothing" together. I know this might not be a possibility for everyone, but for us, being able to take some time off was invaluable. It also let me get used to the St. Louis area and meet some great people in ministry, along with occasionally helping out at Ashley's father's church.
Also with some extra time on my hands, I had the ability to refresh some of my creativity. Most of this happened through relaxing, photography and music. Every night Paisley would crash around 7pm, and the nights Ashley worked, I was able to enjoy some alone time. I made sure to read plenty, research new techniques and edit some photos and videos. I have been able to recharge my drive and passion in the creative field and I'm so excited about the fall. Here's a few photographs from this summer.
One of the first things I did once we arrived in St. Louis was send my resume/website to some local companies to network and start to understand the culture of the city. I connected with some guys from Millennium Productions who handle several aspects of the wedding scene (DJ, design, video, etc...) and we started talking about what it would look like for me to help them. Over the next few weeks, I started editing videos for them. I would stop by the production studio and pick up a hard drive with all of the recorded footage from one of the 3 or 4 weddings from the past weekend and turn it into a video. Usually it takes about a week to 10 days for a video to be completed. I have really enjoyed this and they have given me some of the best feedback I have ever received. It's been a great experience and I hope to continue helping them for years to come with both editing and shooting. Here's one of the videos I edited for them, check it out!
Ashley and I have gotten the chance to spend some time together and I love her more now than even the day we got married. Even though this has been a tough time of transition for us, there's no doubt I would rather go through it with anyone else. She has been understanding and loving as I have spent time trying to understand what God has next for me. It has taken her some time to get used to her new job but is finally starting to get into a groove. She as well has gotten to spend some time with Paisley, which has been good.
What a great summer. Now... on to some of the HUGE changes we have coming up this month!
421 Honeysuckle Creek
When I gave Josh my notice at Evident Church, we took a week and came down to St. Louis so Ashley could meet her new coworkers. We looked at a new build but didn't feel comfortable with so many unknowns at that point in our journey. We decided to not put a deposit down on a house.
Continuing the story, we sold and closed our house in Michigan and started looking at homes in the St Louis area. We wanted to be close to family so we tried to stay in the St. Charles/O Fallon/Wentzville area. After looking at a few houses, we saw the same builder had listed a new house again in the same subdivision we were looking at so many months ago! After contacting them and looking at the house, apparently someone had purchased the lot, put in their upgrade list, and walked away losing their deposit. The builder just wanted to sell the house at the base price so they didn't get stuck with a finished house and no buyer. Almost all of the upgrades we wanted were selected and we only had to pay the base price. It was pretty obvious God had once again provided for us in an amazing way. The house is located in Wentzville, MO. Which is about 20 minutes from Ashley's parents house. It's farther out from the city and it reminds us a lot of Chesterfield, MI where we came from. Lots of new buildings, restaurants and young families. We are scheduled to close on our new home September 8th, this Friday! This house has everything we had been looking for, the price we wanted and in the location we wanted. We can't wait to be homeowners again and already have lots of plans for our new home. Here's some pictures of the house. Unfortunately, I don't have any from the past few weeks now that the house is completed. It's been fun to watch the process, reminds me of my construction career days.
One more HUGE change coming...
So... it's been almost 4 months. I have loved my time off, but lets be honest. I am ready! Over the past few months I've taken my time talking with several different churches offering various positions. I even talked with a few ad agencies, but felt I was still called to serve in ministry, somehow. I talked with a few churches regarding worship leader positions, one church about a 'pastor of spiritual formation' position, and a few churches offering full-time videography/graphic design positions. Ultimately, I needed to decide where I felt God was calling me to and what I was passionate about. It seemed the more I talked about helping in the media and communications department, the more excited I got. I had several churches walk with me through this process. As I processed, I was able to let some churches know I was not interested in their role or their church. It was amazing in just a few months so many incredible churches had reached out to me. A few weeks ago, I had two churches offer me full time positions on the same day! Although I was blessed beyond belief, I was given a difficult decision put before me. After talking with several family members and hours of prayer I decided to accept the "videographer" position at The Crossing in Chesterfield, MO. The Crossing, since 1989, is a non-denominational church rooted in Scripture. They blend teaching and worship with art and technology to create a service where you can experience the message of Jesus in practical and life-changing ways. They have 3 campuses (a 4th being built this year), each campus having at least 3 services every weekend (2 of them with 4 services). I will be working at the main (Chesterfield) campus and will be considered central staff, meaning I will support all of the campuses.
Starting September 5th, my job will be to create videos to support the church and it's ministries. I've already had an opportunity to meet much of the communications and design team and can't wait to get to work! This is an area I have been involved in at Evident, and my passion for it has grown rapidly over the years. Technically I will no longer be a pastor. I wrestled with this statement, but understand God has called me to serve the church. I have loved being a pastor, but I am very excited to be working in a creative field with a group of individuals much more talented than myself. Who knows how God will end up using me in the future, but for now, I think this is the right path.
Thank you so much to everyone who has shown us support. We love and miss all of our friends in Michigan, but we are so excited about what God is doing in our family right now. Thank you so much for the prayers over the past few months. Who knows what God has planned next for us!