The thing you should know about Caleb and Rebekah is that they are some of our closest friends. We have done life together through some major things and we love them very much (and I'm pretty sure it's mutual)! You also should know that they have 2 children just younger than ours. And when we are together (or even when we aren't) Charlie is often around as he really is our family despite the lack of blood relation. Now, the kids get along amazingly. All 5 of us adults get along amazingly too. They live in a great central location for us to base out of when we're in that area. They have a great backyard-with chickens even! What you don't know, is that there house is only 840 square feet. That's 840 square feet for 4 loud, crazy, energetic children ages 6 and down, plus 5 adults all trying to talk and often with music on in the background. That's 840 square feet of different sleeping arrangements each night trying to minimize noise for the kids and maximize sleep for the adults. That's 840 square feet (and 1 toilet and shower and 1 washer/dryer) for 8, sometimes 9, people to share.
And you know what? I wouldn't have traded it for anything! Sure there were a couple moments when some (or all) thought we might lose our sanity. Tensions were up a couple times-although surprisingly very minimally! The kids did throw massive tantrums and fight occasionally. We did lots of laundry and cleaned frequently. And we laughed. And we cooked together, ate together, sat by the fire together. We watched each other's kids, washed each other's clothes, shared grocery expenses, and helped each other get to/from appointments and work with limited cars.
One of the reasons that we are so close with those guys, is because we all share a passion to see the church as the greater body of Christ. The family we are all adopted into when we believe in him. And we don't just sit around talking about what that could look like. We live it. Together. We pray for each other. We rejoice in times when God moves mightily in any of our lives. We grieve lost dreams together when reality doesn't match our hearts' passions. These friends have stood by us and loved us like Christ has-unconditionally and without wavering. We have other amazing friends in our lives (thank God for his many blessings!) and we don't want to discredit all of those. However, there are not many other friends that we could survive 3 weeks together in 840 square feet. Not only did we survive, we really enjoyed our time. We love you Caleb, Rebekah, and even Uncle Charlie! We can't wait until next time...well, maybe after a few more nights in our own beds we'll be looking forward to next time!