A much over due update

It’s been so long since I last wrote I hardly know how to start. In fact, I’ve had various things along the way that I have wanted to write about, but felt strange writing when you had no idea what was going on.

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Actually, I was somewhat paralyzed by it. I want to write, but I need to fill everyone in on the in-between before I do, so I don’t write.  Aaahhh…why do I do this to myself?

Just write! So that’s what I’m doing. I’ll miss a whole lot of details in the process, I know, so feel free to ask me questions if you’d like.

When I wrote my last post six months ago (Six months? I’ve never gone that long without updating. Yikes!), we were in the process of moving. It was a much needed move to give our family a little more room.

We lived for two years in a two bedroom, 800 square foot house. In case you are wondering, that is tight for a family of seven. Really tight. Not only is that a lot of people in a small space, but we homeschool so we were using that space all day every day, and on top of that Brian works part time from home which means he uses that as a work space too. Bottom line we were bursting at the seams.

We moved and had a very nice home, with an incredible neighbor (important detail!).  We loved the home, but it did make pedestrian life more challenging. It was a little further away from town making every walk to church or town all the more challenging. It was a trade off we were willing to make in order to have more day to day living space, but it was a challenge.

Fast forward a few weeks after we moved, Olivia got sick. It seemed harmless enough at first, but not only did she not get better, she kept getting worse and worse. This is not the place to go into all the details, but suffice it to say that our lives were riddled with doctors appointments and we were getting nowhere closer to a solution while being exhausted trying to keep our family going with a very sick child.


We ended up making the decision to move back to America. There are so many parts to this decision, easier access to medical care, getting a car (yes!), financial, closer to family, etc, etc. Ultimately, it came down to the fact that we couldn’t sustain life the way it was, and in order to help Olivia get back on her feet physically, we needed to move. For her sake and our whole family’s sake.

Brian is very close to the end of his PhD, and he will finish up his writing from here with trips back as needed.

So just a few short months after moving, we moved again. This time internationally. We are very much living “in transition” which has its challenges, but it’s been a good move for us and we’re thankful we made the decision. We are living in my sister’s home, and she has very graciously moved to a tiny studio apartment that is over the garage. She’s been so incredibly kind.

We came back right in the midst of the holidays which was fun, but also means that we were out of routine for a very long time. Between sickness and moving and holidays, it’s been a roller coaster six months. Actually, the past three years have been a roller coaster, but that’s another story…

The past couple of weeks I’ve been working at getting everyone back into our school routine and we’re trying to view this as home even while knowing that we could pick up and move at any time. (Namely, when Brian gets a job, which is something we are praying fervently about.)


There’s so much more I could say about this, but I think in this case something is better than nothing, and I’m going to leave it at that. I want to be able to write about other things without feeling like you all are totally out of the loop.

We’ve seen some improvement in Olivia’s health, but some symptoms remain. We are continuing to work with doctors to try to get to the bottom of her health problems. We’d love your prayers for her, and wisdom for us as we try to navigate health concerns.

Emotionally and physically this has been an exhausting time. I feel like the rug has been ripped out from under me not once but multiple times. Just when I think I’m settling into something, things change and we’re figuring out a new routine, home, lifestyle. It hasn’t been for the faint of heart.

Tbt to our weekend in Skye. Brothers 💙💙 #hansonskye

A photo posted by Johanna Hanson (@jo_hanson06) on

And yet I’ve seen God’s sustaining grace in so many details. One thing is that I’ve been very at peace about this huge decision of moving back. As someone who tends to question things, and question again and again, and some more doubting after that, I’ve been shocked at how at peace I’ve felt about this decision. I know without a doubt that this is God’s kindness. I can’t imagine carrying our family through all these changes if I were still harboring doubts about our decisions.

We miss many aspects about Scotland, but we are also happy to be back and we’re grateful. It’s amazing how many emotions we can feel at once, isn’t it?

Many of the changes are still happening. Most of our things are still in boxes, we’re living in someone else’s home, and we have no idea what the future holds for us. In the midst of all this, we’re desperately trying to find routine, comfort in the familiar, friendship, and…home.  I want to share more about that, so this is my big “here’s what’s happening” post so that I can share more about the other stuff.

This has been a wild ride. Not an easy one, but I’m thankful to be on it. Seeing little rays of grace shine out from unexpected crevices in the midst of change and hardship is a gift. I’m grateful.


  1. I was just thinking the other day that I hadn’t seen anything by you for quite awhile… now I know why. Praying that you continue to see God’s grace in the moment and for direction for the future.

    • Thanks so much for sticking around and reading Christi! It means a lot especially since I’ve been so absent!

  2. What a journey! You are in our prayers for a great job for Brian and health answers for Olivia.

    • Thank you Maryanne! What a journey is right. Hoping for a little more stability in the months and years ahead.

  3. I’ve been meaning to ask your family here for an update on Olivia. I’m glad you’ve seen some improvement, but it sounds like there are still some pretty big questions. I cannot imagine how crazy and unsettling this time has been for all of you. May you continue to make the Lord your trust, and find HOME to be Him, abiding in Him. love and hugs!


  4. Hello dear Johanna, We are praying for you and will keep on praying. Thank you for sharing your heart and for your transparency. I’m so thankful with you for our Father who IS in control.
    Much love to each of you!

  5. renee @ FIMBY says:

    Oh hon, I am sorry for all your moving. Even if it’s the best decision, all that upheaval is not easy. praying rest and ease for you in all this transition.

    • Thank you, Renee. You know well the emotional upheaval that comes with constant moving. I appreciate your words more than you know.

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