First Impressions


What’s it like for me to transition into a new home, a new job, a new church and a new state?  Here are my first impressions of my new life in Sonoma…

  • It’s frostier than I imagined.   I’m glad I didn’t give away my fleece coats and shells.  I went running this week and it was 32 degrees.  Burr.
  • It’s friendlier that I imagined.  People around town smile easy and engage willingly in conversation.  But I did move from the caffeine capital of the world to one of the greatest wine-producing areas of the world, and that might have something to do with the smiles I’m seeing.
  • It’s more beautiful than I imagined.  My previous exposure to California prior to this was driving a van with my family down I-5 to Disneyland.  Unlike the flat and open central valley, Sonoma has rolling hills (they call them mountains), a different microclimate around each hill, and a lot of great recreational options—we’ve received many recommendations and we can’t wait to explore them.
  • I’m shedding more than I imagined.  I moved from an affluent culture loaded with expectations, entitlement, and stress.  And I absorbed some of that.  But if I’m honest, I tend to place unrealistic expectations on myself–expectations that Jesus does not place on me.  I suspect that comes from the sinful bent we all have to justify ourselves.  Thankfully, God does that work of justification.  And now I’m shedding my stuff that gets in the ways of growing into the freedom Jesus won.

Transitions are full of possibilities, and the life I’ve entered will be different, but if first impressions are telling, then it’s going to be a wonderful life.



About chris breuninger

I love life, my family, and Jesus. I enjoy live music, rigorous exercise, thoughtful movies, and strong coffee. I study scripture, wine, and people. I get frustrated with narrow minds, Christian stereotypes, and gardening. My vocation is pastor, but I’m hesitant to admit that, and I’m happy when people are surprised by that.
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5 Responses to First Impressions

  1. Jane Bailey says:

    God is faithful to prune us – ESPECIALLY when we’re already producing fruit! He wants even more fruit! Wow! Hope you get to go out to the coast also and enjoy our cliffs and beaches! The drives are worth it – beautiful green hills, lots of cows, bring your bike!! SF and Monterey Bay are also worth the day trip!!

  2. Doug Richardson says:

    Having pastored for long time myself and now deciding for the first time in 30 years what congregation to make home and man to call pastor…quite clearly, Chris you are more than I imagined as well! And for that matter so is the church family of Redwood Covenant.

  3. Reid Olson says:

    @CB, sounds like a great opportunity to grow into new transitions along your journey. Your reflections are encouraging and inspiring as we all venture into God’s growing call. Enjoy the ride.

  4. Carolyn Harrison says:

    I, for one (but I know there are many) am happy to have you and Amy here. God’s will for RCC, you and your family are in my daily prayers.

  5. Gail Bierman says:

    Great post!! Glad to hear that you are enjoying your new home. The cold will go away, it doesn’t last too long around here. The beauty – well, just wait – in a few months you will see daffodils blooming everywhere throughout Sonoma County and the mustard weed in the fields and then the poppies come – such colors – and then it stops raining and the hills/mountains turn that Golden color that California got its nickname for – they look like they are covered in gold velvet – God IS doing great things here!! The friendliness doesn’t go away either – it seems to keep getting better and better – it could be the wine, but not entirely! There are some pretty good microbreweries in the area too!!

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