Snow Day Kemp Update

Snow Day Kemp Update

There’s a line from the classic 80’s movie, The Princess Bride, that sticks with me as I consider how to begin this post. I’m sure you all could quote it with me. Inigo Montoya is trying to give Wesley a recap on what has happened while he was “mostly dead.” He says, “Let me explain…no, there is too much. Let me sum up.” To that end, I want to try and sum up the last 6 months of changes going on with the Kemp family.

This past summer all four of us took a quick trip to Boise to support Randy for an interview he had with the Idaho Commission for Libraries. It’s a state agency, near the capitol building, so we parked downtown and all went our separate ways: Randy to the interview and the rest of us to hunt for “Bubble Tea” on a scalding 100 degree day. Long story short, Randy got the job as part of their executive team and we began to get our heads around moving to the big city after 8 years in a small mountain town.

Many of you also know that I finished my studies at Fuller Seminary and was recently ordained as an assistant pastor at my church. I have been working bi-vocationally (multiple jobs) for the past two years as both music teacher and now pastor. Since Randy’s changes were set to take place at the end of August (two weeks before school was set to start), we talked about scenarios of how to transition and when. Thanks to some wonderful friends and family in the Boise area, Randy was able to jump into his new work quickly and live in some spare rooms while we put our condo on the market and looked for housing in the fastest growing area in the United States. The kids and I stayed in Ketchum for the first half of the school year while Randy commuted home to us on the weekends. We found an incredible house that we are pinching ourselves to have stumbled upon and moved in over Christmas break. Now Randy and the kids are full-time residents in Boise and I am juggling finishing up the school year here in Ketchum, making use of my parent’s lovely condo on the days I teach and driving home when I’m off. I continue to serve The Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood as part-time Assistant Pastor, leading worship every third Sunday and preaching on occasion.

When I describe our new normal, it does seem and feel a little nuts. That’s a lot of driving back and forth and being away from family. True, it is. It would take another post to explain the pros and cons of this season. (Stay tuned, it’s coming.) Suffice it to say, our motto is “you can do anything when you know there’s an end in sight.” This applies to squats, planks, commutes, and eating your broccoli as well. What it has provided is some time and space for me to figure out what I will be doing once I land in Boise full-time. Ironically my denomination (ECO Presbyterian) currently has no churches in Boise. This presented a challenge as I considered my options in vocational ministry. In God’s delightful timing, this fall I received a phone call from a connection of mine who was looking to see if I knew anyone who might be interested in supporting an Intervarsity Graduate Faculty Ministry chapter plant at Boise State? I got off the phone and immediately felt intrigued. I felt compelled to continue the conversation and find out more.

In the spirit of “let me sum up” I will fast forward past the enormous written application to join Intervarsity staff, the requests of people to be my references, the tracking down of college transcripts, and the multiple conversations with friends, family and mentors to my joy in announcing that I was offered the position and hope to begin caring for the spiritual needs of Boise State faculty and grad students this fall. I am excited for the adventure to come and continue to feel affirmed that this is the faithful next step that I have been wondering about for some time.

Thanks for taking time to read, what I hope was, a brief recap of the nuts and bolts of the Kemp family transition to Boise. I think I can speak for all of us in saying we are “mostly good” with the few scattered days of wistfulness that come with change. Keep us all in your prayers as we continue to live in the “in between” place. At this very moment, I am excited to enjoy the snow day that has been gifted to me. I’m off to catch a bus to see my friend’s igloo that they built in their backyard. Now that’s not an everyday phrase, is it?

Grace and peace to you, at whatever season in life this finds you. I am thankful for your presence in my life and your continued journey of friendship over the years.


5 thoughts on “Snow Day Kemp Update

  1. Karis,
    So appreciate the chance to catch up with you and your family!! I think of you more often than you might imagine; there was something very special about your time with us at St. James. Delighted to know that you are in ministry and look forward to hearing how God’s next steps for you flesh out!
    I retired from teaching preschool in May 2016 after 47 years; we are just finishing a huge remodel and clearing out at our house. Neil has been volunteering as the Technical Director at St. James since he was laid off from Century Link (after 38 years) in 2008.
    We are happy and well; trying to be still enough to hear from God about what our next steps might be.
    Love and blessings,
    Cindy Johnson

    1. So great to hear from you, Cindy! Blessings on you and Neal as you remodel and continue to live into God’s calling during this next phase of life. Miss you so.

  2. Karis – Your family has always led such a purposeful life and it’s wonderful to read what your next chapter will be (or, shall I say book?!). Happiness to you all!

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