The School Story

I'm not sure when it will feel official that we really live here, but when school started on Monday, it started to feel more real. This is it. We're really doing this thing!

An early morning on the front porch of our new house.

I never imagined that our first day of school photo would take place on a porch swing with a barn in the background! In fact, I always imagined our back to school photos would take place right here:

Our front door in Houston.

A very different place from where we were last year. I remember it well. It was hotter than hot, but my girls were at ease and happy to go back to a school they loved...a school where God opened the door after another one was painfully and shockingly slammed shut. {For those that know the story, it's still shocking, but the outcome has been SO good.}

And now another door has opened...at a new school in a new town. And not because of closed doors or heartbreak this time, but because God put a dream in our hearts and then opened every seemingly impossible door to make a way for us here.

There are so many pieces of the Franklin story that I've yet to share {someday!}, but today, the school story seems fitting.

It started five years ago...early 2008. A good friend and faithful card client asked me to design an invitation for a Show Hope event in her home. {More on that amazing experience here. We fell in love with Show Hope and have been sponsors ever since.} I showed up early with programs and name tags, trying to be helpful and inconspicuous. I was just the invitation designer.

Little did I know that showing up early would mean a memorable kitchen chat with Mary Beth Chapman. I remember a lot of things she said that day, but for some crazy reason, I remember her saying how amazing this school called CPA in Nashville had been for all of her children. For some reason, it made quite an impression on me. {Though I had no dreams of ever living anywhere but Houston at that time!}

A year later, I saw Mary Beth again...same event, same friend's house. This time it was just months after they lost Maria. Heartbreaking story...one she tells with total transparency and courage in Choosing To See. Again, in this same friend's kitchen, she mentioned CPA...how the school was like their family...loving them and carrying them through their pain.

Another little seed. One I never imagined I'd need. Thank you, Mary Beth!

If you've moved with children, you know what a huge factor school is. You don't want to uproot your children from a happy place and drop them into a tailspin...especially as a middle schooler. So, when we started getting serious about pursuing the dream of a simpler, slower-paced, beauty-filled life in Franklin, Tennessee, God reminded me of those kitchen chats with Mary Beth Chapman. CPA. {Shocking that I remembered!} We never even looked anywhere else. Our steps felt very much directed to this school. Why else would I remember it after all these years?

JD and I met with the headmaster, and as he spoke about the school's mission, my eyes filled with tears.  I'd never heard anything like it. I knew this was the place for my girls. We applied in January not thinking that everything would come together soon enough for us to move this summer, but we applied just in case. Our first step of faith.

Both girls were offered a spot {the first door to open for us to move}, but it was a little crazy because we still had a business, a home and a school we loved in Houston. But as another step of faith, we visited CPA during our Spring Break trip {my girls shadowed the Chapman girls and loved it!}. We loved the school but couldn't take the spots they offered until more doors opened. The headmaster kindly asked what we were waiting on to make our decision, and when we said we needed to sell a business, sell a home and find a new home, he said with a knowing smile, "Small things for God! We're praying for you."

And the rest is history. In only a few short months, every one of those HUGE obstacles was cleared and we were free to move. Free to follow a dream. Free to jump off the cliff of familiarity and safety and take the biggest leap of faith of our lives!

So far, so good. Even with the fleas. Though I'm happy to report that there are no fleas this week! Glorious!!!

Thanks for joining us in the journey, sweet friends! Wishing all of you mamas a happy back to school season!



  1. Aww Linsey, How amazing is God?!!! He laid everything in place for you and your family to make all of your dreams come true!!
    Your girl's look so sweet in their uniforms and I pray that they will love their new school!
    So happy about the flea situation. I know how miserable that is!
    Wishing you a beautiful week.

  2. Your school story reminds me of our school story. The timing is the same, but we were already cleared to move job-wise and house-wise (if and when we decided to take the plunge). We just didnt have a school for Allie ANYWHERE in houston...not one transfer spot opened up, not one single private school had room for her, but guess what...our FABULOUS school in Shreveport had a spot for her. That was all we needed to know that it was time to go. And Go we did!

    Kiss those precious babies for me. I hope i get to squeeze their necks (and yours) very soon!

    Luv Ya!

  3. Your blog posts are always so inspirational! I found your blog about a month ago & have looked forward to reading everything you post. We moved ourselves about 2months ago & I feel like the entire process had Gods hand of blessing all over it...
    It's such a good feeling to know you are exactly where you are supposed to be. We were able to sell our home in less than 24 hrs...in a bad market! Everything fell into place so we could purchase & move into my dream home. I am so happy that things are working out well for your family in your new location

  4. God is in the details. I love what the headmaster said to you! And what a praise there are no fleas this week!

  5. this is amazing. what an unbelievable story. I pray they feel welcome and happy in the their new school! I love seeing their smiling faces on your front porch!! xoxo,Tess

  6. Love your posts and stories and words...just lovely! So wonderful this special school "called" to you...many blessings for your girls as they start a new school/year!
    PS- Do you drive them to Nashville everyday? Is that far?

  7. I am so excited for your beautiful girls as they start their new school...thrilled things are going so well and oh, the fleas...happy they haven't returned!!

  8. Linsey...I love this story!
    I've never met Mary Beth and Steven Curtis, but we applied for a Show Hope grant when we were adopting Lydia, and we received a very generous one!! It makes me want to cry thinking that you and JD are a part of such an amazing foundation.

    I love this story....LOVE that your girls are enjoying their school...LOVE that you've found a place that will beautifully partner with you guys in your girls' academic and spiritual lives....we feel the SAME way about our sweet school that Luke has transitioned to this year.

  9. Your sweet girls are so brave and look more than confident and ready to take on their new world. I hope this week's been a good one for you guys. We are on the countdown here with one week to go.

    Enjoy the weekend!

  10. I smile reading this post because it just seems that your family is so meant to be right where you are! Have a beautiful weekend :)

  11. this has God written all over it Lynsey...how inspiring.
    I was listening to Beauty will Rise yesterday while painting and I am still asking how in the world people go through things like that.
    I mean I know it is God .. how He must be our focus our Rock our breath and life...at all times.
    I am joy filled for you and your girls. Have they any kindred friends yet?...I'm sure for our God hears doesn't He? sweet hugs...xo


"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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