Monday, May 1, 2017

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. -Niebuhr

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Embracing the Struggle, and Leaning on God in Silence

So, what DO we do when things don't turn out as we thought they would? We took the step of faith and everything didn't fall right into place... What happened? Did I miss something? Did I miss God?

Somewhere along the way I think I was duped into thinking following God meant everything was going to go just as I anticipated "by faith" it should go. That somehow following God or doing His will was somehow hitting the heavenly "Easy" button and everything should go smoothly, especially when I take that step of faith. "If God is in it everything will fall into place," I believed.

While there is truth in that - God does take care of His people - there is no guarantee of not having difficulty along the journey, at least that has been my experience. Honestly by now, I feel I need to be real with myself and my experiences and instead of looking for the easy road, anticipate the difficulty, the struggle, the journey. Maybe that seems like a lack of faith to some, but my faith isn't as big and bold as I used to think.

But there is something to the struggle... it is in the struggle that we find new strength. Hopefully it's His strength. It's in the struggle that we cling to Him, and we gain confidence as we see Him provide and lead and comfort us time and time again.

I also believe I am seeing another truth play out in my life in regards to going through difficulty - It seems we gain confidence in Him through our silence.

In the past I have tried to move God's hand and favor through heartfelt prayers and hyped up faith. Over the last few years I feel a deeper strength that seems to come through silence, peace, and the Sacraments. I believe that peace and rest in difficulty has also come through a greater experience of His real, personal love for me.

So, what do we do when difficulty arises after we have made a move of faith or tried to make a change for good?

Actually I was hoping someone else had the answer. :)

I'm not sure what else to do but embrace it, knowing God uses difficulty to mold us and shape us into His Image. Difficulty is part of life. He never said we wouldn't experience it, but He did say He would walk with us through it.

An Anglican priest and friend of mine recorded these words as part of a song once, "It is in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and rest shall be our strength."

So, I will (try) to quietly receive the difficulty, and trust His wisdom and peace will come through silence.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Transition Reflections - When Things Don't Go As Planned

Recently, my wife and I decided to move to New York State where we both grew up. We spent the last eight years of our lives in the great state of Kentucky. While I definitely enjoyed our time there (and will miss it!), something gnawed at me over the years - will we ever return to our home state?

Our family is there in NY, familiarity is there, I miss the winters (no, really!), and the like. But there was always the other side of the coin - I like Kentucky, the taxes (comparatively speaking - who "likes" taxes?), the (felt) freedoms, the home school laws (yay!), our friendships, our church family, etc.

But when the comfort of old friends and church family changed in the last couple of years due to us moving out of the county and the church dissolving and ceasing to gather, we were at a pretty serious crossroad. So the discussion of moving to our home state grew more real and serious than ever before.

So fast forward a bit and here we are... in New York, jobless and homeless! Just like we pictured... ha. Actually that makes it sound worse than it really is. We purposely moved up to stay with family for a time while we found a place of our own. However we moved up with me having the promise of a job, only to find out the company was using a deceitful sales scheme to sell their product. No thanks.

Point is, as we step toward something we feel is potentially good for us, that doesn't mean that everything is going to go just peachy. [The problem is that I thought this time it WAS going to go peachy!] Good or well intentioned changes doesn't equate to everything just falling into place, unfortunately. The reality is sometimes you're left feeling things are worse than before as you internally question your decision to change course.

So, this is partly why I find myself writing tonight when I haven't blogged in quite some time.

Maybe it will be good for me. Maybe for someone else to.

So, if it seems good, I plan to write some as my family and I journey through this transition. Maybe even more after. Assuming there is an "after" to the transition!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Can You Understand Your Way?

Well, the power is out at work so I thought I'd write a little...

A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?

Lately this Scripture has brought me comfort. Though, implied is the fact that you will be feeling discomfort in order for this verse to bring you comfort.


Funny ;)

The reference is from Proverbs 20:24. On the surface it makes sense - that we won't necessarily understand life's ups and downs, changes, sames, and so on... If God is directing our steps, how then can we as finite beings understand or grasp His infinite wisdom in how He directs?

However, the discomforting reality is that we WON'T understand.

That's hard.

At least for me.

Maybe those with greater faith never have a problem with not understanding, but not understanding is difficult for me. So many questions...

What about...?

How long...?

How does this fit...?

Am I missing You Lord...?

Are you really directing my steps...?

I guess this is where trust comes in. I don't have to understand, but I do need to trust....

Trust in Him and lean not on my own understanding.

Trust that all things work or good for those who love Him.

Trust that HE IS directing my steps.

And if I'm off track? If I've made a mistake or missed Him? Trust that He will guide me back on track. His track.

Lord, I don't understand my steps, but you have said that I won't necessarily understand when You are the One in control. Teach me to trust You more. Teach me to walk one day at a time and trust the "why's" of life to Your infinite wisdom. And help me to trust that if I'm off track, if I seek you and trust you and don't depend on my understanding, you will direct my steps. I want to stay close to You no matter what. You are enough. Amen.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Christmas Play

The kids and I went to a local Christmas play put on at a neighboring church last night. We had a lot of fun sitting on te front row, eating an watching the production. We laughed and were able to reflect on the coming and life of Jesus that we celebrate this time of year. And, mom got to stay back and have some rest time with little Noah!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's A Boy!

Wow, what a busy season! We brought baby Noah home last Saturday after a beautiful labor and delivery. Liz wasn't planning for a water birth but that's how it happened...

We feel so blessed to have our 7th child with us now. He and momma are doing wonderfully!

In the mean time, Daddy and the kids have been on meal/clean/laundry/all-things-momma-related duty. We are trying our best but falling way short of Moms abilities :) here are some efforts....

Dish crew

Pasta! Turned out yummy!

Pancakes! Loved making this breakfast

Note: you learn to really appreciate all your wife does and juggles when you're put in her role and can't fill her shoes! And I'm not even trying to homeschool while doing all this!

Liz and my view while catching a few moments together at the end of the day.

Finally, we covet prayers as the 24 hr bug seems to be making its way through some of the kids this week. We're hoping for a short 24hrs and it skips over some of us, in Jesus' Name!

It seems life is sometimes coupled with incredible blessing and difficulty at the same time. With a healthy new baby boy and a beautiful new place in the country, we are also experiencing some sickness and significant business challenges. I and we are learning to take things one day at a time, to fix our eyes on Him, and thank Him no matter what is going on.

Faith is rising above feelings and what we see to walk by what we don't see. That is easier said than done, especially when the challenges seem greatest. But God is giving us His grace to walk through all things with Him, and He is doing a good work in us through the smiles and tears.

So thankful - or practicing thankfulness :) For the blessings AND the challenges.