And the Parsons are moving to…

by | Jul 14, 2017 | a slice of life | 148 comments

…Rochester, Minnesota!

I know!  What?!  Minnesota?  Yes, Minnesota!!

Let me back up and tell you the entire story, because it’s a good one.

First off, if you’re wondering why we’re moving, check out THIS POST and then come back here and continue reading.

Back in the fall of last year, we started counting Jeff’s credits to completion.  He is working on a Master’s Degree with the hopes of getting a full time job as an associate pastor in a church.  (He had been working at our current church as a youth pastor and then part-time associate pastor for the past 11 years.)  As we were looking at the timing of his degree, the boy’s school year, and my work schedule, we decided it would be best to get ahead of things and start applying for jobs in the beginning of 2017.

We poured over job listings, church websites, and prayed for God’s leading.

Now, I have to admit that I was a little stubborn at first.  I was okay with moving, but I wanted to stay on the east coast, close to both of our parents.  We found a few jobs/churches we liked, in Maryland, Tennessee, Michigan, and applied.  But all the while, I had this nagging feeling that I was putting fences around God.

One day, it was like a switch was flipped.  I knew that I needed to lift those geographic restrictions and completely trust that, if God decided to move us far from family, it would all be for our best and for His glory.  I shared with this with Jeff and he excitedly ran back to his computer to check the job listings.

He saved a few of them that he liked and, that evening, we sat together on the family room sofa, read over the descriptions, and looked at the church websites.  He read one description to me that had a familiar ring to it.  It wasn’t because I read it before, but because it mirrored a “dream job description” that Jeff had written for himself months earlier.  Almost point by point.

I sort of knew, deep in my heart, that was the job.

“Okay, where is it?”  I braced myself.

“It’s in Minnesota.”

I was surprisingly accepting of the distance from our families.  It would be sad to not be 8 miles from my parents and an easy days drive from Jeff’s parents, but other than that, I couldn’t think of one reason why I wouldn’t want to move to Minnesota.  I’m even okay with lots of snow and long winters.

So, Jeff sent in a resume and we waited.

In the mean time, we decided it was time to get ready to put our house on the market and share with friends and my blog audience that we would be moving on.  In April of 2017, I posted about it and, from that post, we received a walk-through and an offer on our house… without even sticking a sign in the yard or having to hire a realtor.  You can read that full, amazing story HERE.

Between February and April, Jeff had multiple conversations with the pastor from the church in Rochester where he applied.  He would give me a run-down of each conversation and we became more and more convinced that this was “the job”.  The interview process didn’t feel like an interview.  It felt like we were being pastored through a job search and like Jeff was getting to know a mentor and a friend.

Despite conventional human wisdom, we even stopped looking at other job listings.

Our house was under contract and the pastor and his wife flew in from Minnesota to spend a couple of days with us on our own turf.  It’s an unorthodox step in a job interview, to have your potential boss over to hang out at your house and take you and your kids out for ice cream, but they felt it was important to get to know us as a family and make sure there was good rapport.

There was.

(Sebastian even helped with that.  He curled up on the sofa between the pastor and his wife and relished in their attention.)

We were on a high after their visit.  We wanted to be careful to pray for God’s best for us and that church, but we let God know this was what we wanted!

The next step was driving out to Minnesota to visit, meet the staff, the Leadership Team, and some other people in the church.  But, the Lucketts Spring Market was only a few weeks away, our closing date was fast approaching, and a free weekend that worked for everyone involved was hard to find.

We were finally able to nail down the weekend of July 1.  From the vantage point of May, it felt so far away.  What if we waited for this interview weekend and it didn’t work out?  Should we start looking at other jobs just in case?  We closed on our PA house on July 13, so the timing was going to be really tight.  Uncomfortably tight.  Big-step-of-faith tight.  But tight isn’t impossible.

And God can totally handle tight timelines…

Read part two of our moving story HERE.


  1. Gina

    Congratulations on your move to Rochester! Only visited there once but found it very comfortable and welcoming. I’m sure your family and all else will thrive there. Can’t wait to hear more.

  2. Faerie

    Oh, Marian, your faith story is so beautiful! I know you and Jeff and your boys will love the Midwest and will be richly blessed. And I know MMS will blossom there, too! Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. You have so many friends who love you and pray for your blessings on your new journey!

  3. Krissy Butorac

    OH! MY! GOODNESS! I live in Minnesota!!! I’m so excited! There are so many talented and wonderful women in the Rochester area and great shopping, farm sales and auctions. The winters are not as bad as the East coast has had the last few years. Maybe the weather there was prepping you for here. The food in MN is also wonderful as are the lakes for camping and fishing if you like to do those things. Fresh walleye on the grill and fresh wild blueberry pie just might win you over. I can give you names of some amazing rug hookers if you want to give it a go. I’m excited for you. God picked a very very good place for you and your family.

  4. Linda W-B

    Thank you for sharing your great moving testimony!! It’s wonderful how you surrendered to not boxing God in. I can truly understand wanting to stay closer to parents and the boys’ grandparents but God had the perfect place for you and your family to minister. How wonderful!
    From reading some of the other posts, the town sounds lovely and has many opportunities for your business. I’m so looking forward to seeing what you will accomplish with your next home as well.
    God’s Blessings to you and your family as you move into HIS plans for all of you!

  5. Kathryn Griffin

    Oh, how exciting! Congratulations! I bet your boys are beyond thrilled with the prospect of outdoor adventures! God is so sweet and faithful! Happy Weekend! Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  6. Nancy Cox

    Wow! What a GOD story. I wept as I read this with chill bumps and all. Sounds like the anointing was right in the middle of it all . Happy Pastoring to Jeff, you, and your family.

  7. SusanB

    The most amazing things happen when you “let go and let God” (we know; we’ve adopted four kids). We have friends in Rochester, and it’s a wonderful little city. Congratulations and godspeed!

  8. Sandy Cookman

    What?!? That’s where I live!!! I have been following your blog for quite some time now but I don’t comment. I leave that to your younger generation. I’m pretty sure I’m older than your Mom! But this was such fun to hear I HAD to say something!

    I’d love to know what church you are going to! Someone left a comment that they used to go to Autumn Ridge Church here in Rochester. That’s where I’ve gone for many years but I haven’t heard of a new hire so…

    I also collect and sell antique and vintage treasures at our own Occasional Sales with two friends and our families. We hold it at an historical home here called The Plummer House where we also live and work as Resident Directors. You can look up the Plummer House on the internet. We’d love to give you and your family a free tour. It’s one of the loveliest places in Rochester!

    So welcome to Rochester, Mn!

  9. Farmmom Karen

    Wow!!! I go to the field for wheat harvest and come back to find your great story of how God worked in your move. So happy for your family!! At least you’re getting closer. (Hee hee!) Can’t wait to read about all the exciting “new” things to come.

  10. Bettsi

    Marian, I think you and your family will LOVE Minnesota. It’s so beautiful and the people are great! Do you remember Lake Wobegone? “Where the women are strong, all the men are good looking and the children are above average.” 😀 I’m so happy for you!

  11. Suzy

    I am so happy for you that your husband has a job and you know where you’re going! That has to be such a great relief. I will be praying that you and your family find the right house. But the way God has obviously been working in your lives so far, He probably already has the perfect one picked out. He’s just waiting for you all to start looking.

  12. Patricia

    I’ve already looked- you are fourteen hours from me in Colorado. Now maybe I’ll be able to finally visit whatever workshop or storefront you open ! I’m very happy for you and your family. Thank you for that dear testimony of faith.

  13. logan wilhelm

    So happy for your news in this next step for your family! God Bless you all!

  14. Jennifer Rogers

    You are a wonderful model of faithfulness and you are so real in all your posts! It is easy to see that you grow and thrive in times of smooth sailing as well as rough waters. Your trust in God is what I strive for as well. Thank you for sharing your story.
    I Live in Lanesboro, mn just under an hour south of Rochester….was just there today! I’m always inspired by your style, especially the layering of old and new. Hope I have a chance to meet you.
    I think you would love to check out Lanesboro some day when you’re settled a bit.

  15. Michelle Gaul

    Marian, I am so happy for you and your family! We east coasters will miss your presence here! I am so blessed that I was able to meet you in person at this last Luckett’s Market. May God Bless you all as you begin the next journey in your lives.

  16. Lisa B Beggs

    So happy for you Marian! God has big plans for you and your family in Minnesota. “Bloom where you are planted” is what my mother always told me as we were an Army family and moved every 2-3 years. We will miss you in VA, but you will be only a click away!!! God’s timing is always perfect and if we are in His will, His peace and contentment will be abundant. Can’t wait to hear all of your new adventures!!!

  17. Pamela Barnabo

    Welcome to Minnesota from a California transplant. We live in Lakeville, MN and love to drive to Rochester for BBQ and you have to have dinner at the Canadian Goose Restaurant. Friday night all you can eat shrimp and fish. We drive an hour and a half just for dinner. So excited that I may finally get a chance to meet you in person. May God Bless your move and your family!
    Pam B.

    • Pamela Barnabo

      P.S. You must check out Gold Rush days if you have arrived in Rochester by August 18th. It is held at the Rochester Fairgrounds as well as covers the lawns of almost every house in the small neighboring town of Oronoco, MN. Who knows it may be your next Lucketts! May your husband be blessed and fulfilled in his new Pastoring job!

  18. Jody K

    Welcome to Minnesota! I live in St Paul and my son just moved to Rochester. We are helping him with his fixer-upper and visit quite often. I would freak out running imto you at Homegoods or Target!!
    I second the suggestion to go to Oronoco Gold Rush Days. It’s a ton of fun and right in your new backyard. Please please bring your magic to it next year.

  19. Susan

    Welcome to MN!
    When I read your post yesterday I was like no way, could it be? Then at church tonight they showed a beautiful picture of your family! So excited to meet you all!

  20. Pattie

    I used to live in Fairfield, PA and have been following your blog to get that “little slice of home”. When we left PA we moved to Winona, MN…a short 45 minute drive from Rochester! Welcome to Minnesota from one east coast girl to another! 😊

  21. Jennifer H.

    After I read your post, I couldn’t help but think that you have been painting landscapes for years that look like MN. Perhaps that was God preparing you for things to come. I live in TN, and while I would love to have you closer, it sounds like yall have chosen just the right place. After reading such great things about MN, I may have to move there as well one day! I will cherish getting to meet you at Luckett’s this year. Safe travels and blessings to you and all your family!


    It’s delightful reading your stories, Marian. This experience has been such a wonderful “let go and let God”! From all of the posts above, your new community is waiting for you with open arms. I know all of you will dive in deep when it comes to sharing real life with those around you. I’m imagining a wonderfully large farm table in your new home!

    Thanks again for sharing your family and friends with all of us.

  23. At Rivercrest Cottage

    How fun! How absolutely wonderful that you will have an opportunity for a little farm if that’s still the way your heart leads you. After all, when one thinks farm, don’t they always think Minnesota? Seems your family background makes you perfect for discovering a new life in such a wonderful place to explore. And I’m sure you will be finding wonderful furniture and home goods in a new wonderland of opportunity. Wow…seems perfect! In Washington state, in 2002 after 9/11 happened, hubs and I wanted to change our lives due to working 10 hour days at managerial jobs. One night we stood at a window and put out to the universe that we wanted _____. We filled in the type jobs and filled in the description of a place to live and a slower lifestyle, etc. Then we left it to God saying we would accept what came to us. Two days later, a call, offering the perfect job, came at night from New Mexico about an executive job my husband had applied for months before and forgotten about (we were hoping for an Alaska job that he had flown to twice for an interview). Long story short…we moved to New Mexico within a month, they bought our house from us and relocated us, and hub’s new position was perfect for him and his new boss turned out to be the best. They still remain fast friends although another promotion moved us to Texas (his home state) … and the job in Alaska was never filled because they moved the whole operation to New Mexico! God does work wonders.

  24. Melody

    How exciting! My great great grandparents emigrated from Norway and settled in a little town not far from Rochester. (LeRoy, it’s called) I took a trip back there 2 years ago (I now live in Alaska) to do family history research and LOVED all the antique stores and thrift stores in those little towns. And, the garage sales were great fun, too! You’ll fit right in. Best wishes from a life-long Vikings fan! Skol!

  25. Maggie Cahow

    OMG …”minoosata” good luck… bet you’ll be back to east coast!!

  26. Karen Simon Peterson

    Congratulations on your move to Rochester and on Jeff’s new job. My father was born and raised in Kasson, a small farming community about twenty minutes from Rochester. It’s a lovely area and I’m sure you’ll love it there.

  27. B. Folk

    Marian, what good news for Jeff, you, and the boys (and Sebastian). What a wonderful account of God’s faithfulness! Hoping you get a property with a big yard for the boys and Sebastian, and room for you to continue with your God-given creativity. Praying for safe travels.

  28. Kay

    This scripture came to mind as soon as I read you were leaving your family. Matthew 19:29 “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.”
    ‭I believe there will be great blessings & an eternal reward for you & your family for stepping out in faith and obedience in this move Marian. How exciting!

  29. Linda Hartman

    Best wishes to all.
    It would appear you have embraced this next chapter with a confident determination. Your new home will be good to you and you to it.
    Still, moving IS a big deal. May all the pieces neatly fall into place . . .
    standing by thinking of you and your family.

  30. Cynthia Johnson

    Hi Marion~
    I’ve chatted with you here many times and again! WoW and Congratulations to you and your family. I am a Minnesota girl, born, raised, and one month ago followed our dream to move to Colorado~ I adore lush, green, warm, beautiful Minnesota. I always call it “My Minnesota.” I visit Oronoco and Rochester Gold Rush Days and the MANY shops all over our state~ you will be in nirvana. One of my besties lives in Rochester, and I”ve had the Mayo Clinic experience as well. Enjoy all of it. What an adventure, maybe you are replacing me in “My Minnesota.” Best wishes to you and yours, and may your husband’s work be in God’s hands. Minnesota always provides a warm welcome~ the winters are beautiful, go to the North Shore of Lake Superior as soon as you can :). Soak it all in~. I miss My Minnesota home and I am embracing my new Colorado home~
    Stay well, travel safe~ Cynthia

  31. Teri

    Next we’ll hear about Miss Mustard Seed’s newest hobby — ice sculpting. She’ll post a picture of herself with chainsaw in hand! Congrats on your placement and Mr. Parson’s new opportunity to spread the good news of the Lord. Everyone is saying such good things about Rochester I’m going to have to plan an August trip to there and Oronoco. Wishing you and your family many blessings. Now, what box are the skates in?

  32. Rachel

    We are so looking forward to having you in our church. We have an amazing church family. You’ll see me singing on stage, and I have a passion for blogging too! I can’t wait to connect with you all.

  33. Pamela

    Congrats on your new Pastoral position!!! May you always continue to let go and let God. Enjoy this new chapter in your lives.

  34. Erin

    We live not far from there. I have followed your blog for years and it will be exciting to have you in our area!

  35. Jean

    Sweet. Selfishly I prayed it would be Minnesota (I live in Minneapolis) so you could come and decorate my house. All those furniture finds, well now I could pick them up….and upholstery — I could bring a French chair and pay you to upholster. Rochester is an interesting town with “Gold Rush” days that I am sure you can take part in. Best of everything; good luck and safe travels!

  36. Colette

    WOW!! I am blown away! I grew up on a beautiful farm nust 45 minutes west of Rochester!! I am in Florida now (my hubby brought me back to his childhood town) but I miss Minnesota and all the beauty it has to offer!! Enjoy the landscape, the sky (the clouds are AMAZING up there!!), the snow in winter and the lakes! You will love all of the old farms and all they have to offer (estate sales will blow you away with all the amazing things!!) God has led you to a place that I personally think is a little piece of heaven! Blessings to you and your family in your new ministry and I look forward to reading about all of your new adventures! Maybe I will even get to meet you when I am visiting my family!

  37. Vicki Sheets

    I really hope you can find Ironstone in Minnesota! I will keep my fingers crossed for you! Best of luck on the move.

  38. Krista

    Congratulations! Will look forward to reading about all the new adventures you and your family have. I really admire your faith and have enjoyed reading how it has guided your steps. Blessings to you all.

  39. Hope

    I’m thrilled that God’s plans for you were to move to the Midwest. You’ll love it out here!

  40. Shirley Housepitality

    Good luck on the move and I am sure this is certainly your destiny….a part of the big wonderful plan.

  41. Constance

    I could relate when you said you let God know what you wanted. I always pray to God for the best thing to happen, but I often say, “listen God, I know you are really busy, so if it will help if I take something off your plate, you could give me what I want and check this one off your To Do list now.” I don’t always get what I think I want, but it is not for lack of trying.

  42. Cindi

    You will absolutely love Rochester. I always said I wanted to take a vacation so I could check out Luckett’s and meet you and shop your wonderful finds. I live an hour away from Rochester, so hopefully you can join some of our flea markets, bonanza’s, etc around here and I’ll get my chance. 🙂 And I’ve always said I wished you lived closer, so I could hire you to decorate my home. 🙂 Welcome to MN!

  43. Sarah

    AAAAHHHHH!!!!! You’re going to be just 45 minutes from me!!! You will love Rochester!! It’s a gorgeous city!!

  44. Maggie O'Connor

    I hope you are enjoying your time in Rochester, MN. I actually grew up there! I love following your work and am always inspired! I hope you are feeling at home in Rochester! Maggie


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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