Why I moved my family from the City to the Mountains
We never dreamt of owning a business. Really, I thought I’d work at a church forever. I somehow landed my dream job at 23 years old, a young newly-wed, as the Technical Director for a large church in South Florida. Ever since I was 15, I knew I somehow wanted to work for a church doing media. I got the chance, and it was awesome!
I grew up always hearing my dad, a preacher and missionary, saying of his family, "we’re here until God moves us". And so I said that of my little family, but,
“God would never move us, we love it here!”
I was doing what I loved, got to create short films with free creative license, sharing the Gospel through my camera. And the weekends. Man, the energy. I love the thrill of the live production experience. Being a part of making services happen. Responsible for what the audience sees and hears. Getting to reach out and touch a first time visitor from behind the sound board or in a small room with gear all around me. There is nothing like it.
And my team. I loved my team. They’re an amazing group of young and, slightly older, men and women who’s hearts were amazing and wanted nothing more than just to serve God. Being transient South Florida I got to meet and get to know so many people that came and went, plugging into Tech even if for a short season and be a small part of their story. It was a sweet, beautiful season of my life. A season that I truly miss to this day.
But seasons change.
They have to.
And growth cannot happen without change. Show me a person that hasn’t gone through much change and I’ll show you a person that hasn’t really grown.
Our change came out of having kids! We’ve been blessed with 2 very awesome kids (in fact they’re way awesomer than your kids). Sadie came into our lives 3 years into our time in ministry. And Everett, 3 years after that. They struggle with asthma when they get sick, and at times, that can be fairly frequently. We were torn between being at work and caring for sick kids. As Jenn wrote in Part 1 of The Yearning, when we were at work, we thought about the kids. When we were at home, we thought about everything we had to do. It was difficult.
On top of that struggle, we entered a time at the church of pretty intense ministry. Amazing ministry, but intense. I began a desire to do more than local ministry. I loved serving the lower case church. But I realized I wanted to serve the upper case Church at large. I wanted to create pieces that would reach beyond my geographic boundaries. In my small amounts of spare time, I would tinker and toy with ideas and throw something together for myself to scratch the itch, but it wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t what I knew it should be, what I could make. But I didn’t have the margin in my life to get there.
So, struggle at home with wanting more family time, and an itch to create something that I couldn’t scratch…our season was changing, but I didn’t know it.
Then, one day, a friend of mine challenged my thoughts about moving. Why couldn’t I? I began considering what if’s. Options. What we were good at. What we literally could do.
It seemed that every single Sunday’s message was written for us. The F word each time. Faith.
The thing about Faith is that you can’t have it without having some degree of risk. Where’s the faith if you know the outcome? How do you rely on God if you can dictate what will happen?
I realized that God had been preparing us the whole time for what was about to come. It was just up to us to take the leap.
So we did. My wife first, leaving her position as Communications Director, a job she loved and thrived in. Later, myself, as the Tech guy, leaving the team I loved, and the tasks that challenged and grew me.
And we decided to start a business.
99 Hills strives to help people tell better stories. Whether by video, social media, graphic design, or creative consultation, we want to help churches, businesses & organizations, or individuals share their passion.
Remember that friend from before? The one who challenged my precepts of my options? Well, funny thing, that guy offered me some part-time work to get going. And with that promise in tow, we drove up to the mountains offering lower-costs of living, a calmer, more relaxed climate, and the opportunity to start over, doing something we believe God has created and prepared us to do.
We love stories, and this is ours.