I am a bit behind in posting this week, but for good reason.
Brad’s grandmother passed, causing him to make an impromptu trip to Wisconsin for her funeral. She lived a long and good life – she would have been 92 years old next month. She was a simple woman with a heart of gold – a devoted wife and mother of 11 children with 32 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren.
And, in the spirit of her simple and gentle way, our hearts and minds were nudged during this time to make a big decision.
We have decided that the time has come for us to leave Ave Maria.
It is with terrible sadness and yet, an incredible joy that I write those words.
Even before his grandmother’s death, Brad and I had been talking a lot about the future and what and where God might be calling us to next. Brad had much time to contemplate all of this while away and, in particular, the Gospel reading at the funeral and a radio recording of Fulton J. Sheen on his drive home from the airport caught his attention. The gist of his reflection is this: Jesus calls us to “come” to Him and then he asks us to “go” (and make disciples of all nations).
For us, our move to Ave Maria was very much a “coming.” It was sort of like a 3 year spiritual retreat.
Let me explain.
When we came to Ave Maria, we left all of our family and friends behind. We were totally out of our comfort zone, but what we found here was so nourishing. We developed friendships that were enriching and challenging yet fun and energizing. People here were not afraid to have deep and sometimes uncomfortable conversations about life and our duties and responsibilities in it.
It was exactly what we needed to grow as individuals, as a married couple, and as a family unit. It also became the spark we needed to get going and start Guadalupe Roastery.
Once we finally took the leap and began the roastery, this community’s response was more than we could have asked for. To top it off, there were countless connections made with talented and good-hearted individuals here who greatly helped advance the mission of the roastery that can only be explained as providential.
Ave Maria is where we bought our first house, where we brought home two of our babies, where we’ve made friends that are more like family, where some of those friends became business partners, and it is a community we will always be grateful to have been a part of. I am convinced that there is no place in the world that is quite like this beloved town of ours.
Now for the “going” part.
We have begun to make our preparations. We will be selling many of our things in a rummage sale and we will be listing our house for sale. We don’t expect to be leaving for at least another couple of months, though, as there are still so many loose ends we need to tie up here before we leave.
So, where are we going?
We don’t exactly know yet.
For those of you who don’t know us real well, that may come as a bit of a shock. To those of you who do, you understand that it’s just how us Fassbenders roll 🙂
We have some ideas, but are not committing to anything just yet.
We feel that nudging to go and we believe that, if we just start moving in that direction, God will show us what is next.
Who knows, we may just end up back here again one day. We do know for certain that this will always be the headquarters for Guadalupe Roastery and that we will likely be frequent visitors on account of that.
We are grateful to have the Pinters who will be able to run operations here while we are away and we are thankful for the love, support, and friendship we have experienced in Ave Maria.
With that being said, please don’t give up on us now, Ave Maria! Now is the time we need you more than ever.
Moving means that Brad will be quitting his corporate job and we will be working extra hard at developing Guadalupe Roastery.
Don’t get us wrong, we will still be running Guadalupe Roastery along with the Pinters and hopefully our moving will make our distribution even wider.
There are tons of new and exciting things to come. We invite you, and everyone else, to join in solidarity with us each morning over a steaming mug of Guadalupe coffee.
We hope to be able to give you more details in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!