Goodbye Tampa, We’ll miss you

How do you write this post? let’s start easy and just talk numbers. We (just the two of us) moved to Tampa in 2005. Shortly thereafter, we found out that Jen was pregnant. When we started going to WestTown Presbyterian Church, there were approx 10-12 of us. The numbers now are a bit different. The Mixons are now 4 strong, and WestTown is averaging over 100 people/week. Of course, nobody pulls out the tally board when reminiscing. You pull out the photo album and remember the people. Although I cannot remember living in my house before Avery was born, I do remember going to the beach with Jen and not carrying 3 loads of stuff with us. I remember feeling guilty dropping Avery off with Lou, but also very relieved that he was being well-loved there. It’s a shame that he won’t remember that.

Moving the church from the Taylors’ house to the YMCA to Mary Bryant Elementary school has been a slow process, but I prefer that. The gradual progression, while probably frustrating to Frank, has been slow enough where we really feel as if we know the whole church. Don’t worry Frank, the church is doing great. We also benefitted from another set of friends moving to the area. Sam and Emily Hutton, whose blog is included in the links. I knew Sam from our Alpine Camp days. We didn’t get to see them as often as we’d like, but that time was special.

I could write an entire post on Josh and Jen Reed and what they have meant to us. We met them right around Avery’s 1st birthday and quickly found that they were moving about 15 doors down from us. The first meal Jen made for them wasn’t all that great, but thankfully, that didn’t turn them off. Everybody has friends that you keep regardless of time or distance and the Reeds are those kind of friends. Countless nights of doing nothing, watching Battlestar Galactica (we didn’t force them to watch it, it’s just that good), eating countless meals, taking trips, you name it. Josh was even the one that got me, and to a lesser extent Jen, into blogging. It’s hard to find a good friend.

Thankfully, we were able to be heavily involved in a small group through WestTown and know that we will miss you too Shawn and Melissa White and their children Linnea and Soren, Paul and Adrianne van Ost and their daughter Savannah, Kevin and Karla Hickinbotham and their girls Kacey, Allie, and Abby, and last but definitely not least Kenzo and Janie Koike (no kids yet, but Kenzo is nationally ranked in flying stunt kites). I’m sure Jen could list dozens of others, especially through the Tuesday morning playgroup she goes to. Look at all these reasons we have to come back to Tampa and visit. Jen and I have really been the first couple in our church to “leave” Tampa, so it’s hard, but surely the small group and church will continue to move separate ways as life-changes occur. As always, a song came to mind when I began to compose this post in my head. I’ll put the specific parts in bold below.

Ten Thousand Times
Ten Thousand

1. Ten thousand times ten thousand
In sparkling raiment bright,
The armies of the ransomed saints throng
Up the steep of light:
’Tis finished, all is finished,
Their fight with death and sin;
Fling open wide the golden gates,
And let the victors in.

2. What rush of alleluias
Fills all the earth and sky!
What ringing of a thousand harps
Bespeaks the triumph nigh!
O day, for which creation
And all its tribes were made;
O joy, for all its former woes
A thousandfold repaid!

3. O then what raptured greetings
On Canaan’s happy shore;
What knitting severed friendship
Up where partings are no more!
Then eyes with joy shall sparkle,
That brimmed with tears of late;

Orphans no longer fatherless,
Nor widows desolate.

4. Bring near Thy great salvation,
Thou Lamb for sinners slain;
Fill up the roll of Thine elect,
Then take Thy power, and reign;
Appear, Desire of nations,
Thine exiles long for home;
Show in the heaven Thy promised sign;
Thou Prince and Savior, come.

Not to think morbidly and this doesn’t really help in the short term, but our joy in Christ is that we will get to knit up those severed friendships. Not really sure how biblical that is, but I would like to think that we’ll know each other in Heaven.

Thanks to technology, I can delay this posting until we’re on the road. We’re probably somewhere on I-75 heading to Atlanta to spend the night with the Baileys. Soon we will be in Nashville and our house will be chaotic. We will settle in, and as hard as it is to think about, life will go on. Please come and visit us and we will try to do the same. We will really miss being so close to all of you and love you guys. For those of you with blogs, please keep blogging, we will try to do the same. We’ll post pictures when we can and hopefully I’ll figure out how to upload some video one of these days. The eyes are brimmed with tears, but next time we meet, they’ll sparkle with joy!

Much love,

Avery, Jennifer, Avery jr, and Parker


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4 Responses to “Goodbye Tampa, We’ll miss you”

  1. reedthis Says:

    You’re right – that first meal was a little, . . . off. But everyone after that was uh-mazing!

    So, as our eyes are brimming with tears too, we’ll miss you more than you know. There really is so much more to say – but its a good thing we’ll have the rest of our lives to say them “regardless of time or distance.”

  2. mixonitup Says:

    Ironically, I set the post to be “published” at 2:30 thinking we’d be well on our way north. As it turned out, we left at 3:30 and made it safely to Atlanta at 10:45ish. We’re planning on some Chick-fil-a for breakfast and then off to Nashville. It might be a couple of days before we have internet access established, but updates and pictures to follow.

  3. June ‘08 Wrap up. « ReedThis Says:

    […] Mixon’s (out dearest best friends) move to Nash-Vegas. (Nashville for those that don’t […]

  4. Oragoremeate Says:

    Very nice!!

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