Journey Update: Love & Growth

This past week, dear Danielle and I celebrated being married for two years. It’s been such a wild journey so far. From job changes to moving a long way from home, it feels like it’s been so much longer than two years. I’m thankful to be on this journey, and reflecting on everything, it’s put a new perspective on life. We’re all facing different seasons right now, for some of us, this pandemic has tested us in some tough ways. At the same time, it feels like many distractions were cut away, revealing to each of us what we truly value. It’s an important question to ask ourselves.

What do I value?

What do I need to rearrange to form a new rhythm?

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Harvest Season

Autumn and winter are some of my favorite seasons. You have the start of fall, which is only a few more days, where all that was planted can now be harvested. Then as winter comes in, it shows us the priorities and the true needs in our lives. Now, to be honest, I know nothing of farming and agriculture, so what I just said could be totally false, but the idea of harvest season is something important for all of us. Harvest simply means gathering the crops that have been planted. It happens once a year during Autumn, and I believe this simple concept is how we need to live our lives as this harvest season begins.

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Rest for the Weary

Before I dive into the blog I just wanted to take a moment to say: hello lovely readers! I am not the wonderful author of this blog, but his wife Danielle. I have the pleasure of sharing some of what has been heavy on my heart during the last few months of this world health crisis.

Although it’s a bit redundant at this point- the pandemic has had a major impact on my life and the world around me. At the point of me writing this there have been 19.2 million confirmed cases and approximately 716,000 deaths. It will only increase in the days leading up to this being posted. No matter your “theories” or opinions on the effectiveness on masks or if the moon landing didn’t happen, this doesn’t take away from the tragedy of the brothers and sisters around us. So many of those who will have complications due to this virus for the rest of their lives. The lasting economic impact for families and countries. Based on history and trends we have set, I’m not all that excited for what the near future holds.

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Joy: Even When It’s Tough

Hey there. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve written here. Life decided to get all sorts of crazy. I feel like this has been the year of tests for all of us. I got called back to work, and really haven’t been excited to head back when there are still so many unknowns about this pandemic. We all then, also face personal choices and issues that come up in our lives. In all of these moments, life gets really tough. We don’t know how to react, what to feel, or how we can’t make it out.

The thing I keep clinging on to and the thing that keeps my head above water is this; joy.

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in the midst of rain

I love rainstorms. There’s just something about the feeling of sitting inside and looking out of a window while rain is pouring that gives me a cozy feeling. It’s currently raining here, as it often does in the summers, and it’s giving me moments to think. I actually have a lot of time to think, just like most of you, in the midst of this wild ride of a year. What I love about rain is that during the storm, things can get crazy. Lightning, thunder, wind; it all goes from zero to ten quickly. The best part is, is that after the rain, the sun comes out and new life springs up.

The rhythms of life often move in the same way. We find ourselves in the midst of trouble, conflicts ranging all over the place and it can get pretty disheartening. What always amazes me though, is that after these moments of chaos, peace comes in, and growth is evident.

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Never Give Up

Life gets really tough sometimes. There are days were you just can’t take it anymore. I’ve had a lot of time to think, just like many of you have during this time of social distancing, and I’ve thought about the events that have led me to where I am now. Looking back, I’ll be honest, there have been a ton of times where I wanted to quit. To just give up and let go. In high school, I knew God was calling me to be a pastor, it’s the clearest voice I have heard. I had a passion to help people and a passion to help young people especially step into who God made them to be. From that moment I felt very weird, I am still so passionate about it, but when I have pursued it, I get push back.

Maybe you have been met with similar pushbacks, you might not have enough experience, might be too young or too old in the eyes of the person in charge, or maybe you’ve been told you don’t have the right x-factor or cool enough. I’ve faced these exact same challenges, but in it, god has been with me. He always reminds me:

Never give up.

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Who is My Neighbor?

Well, it’s been a bit of a challenging past two weeks. We’ve seen a lot of great first steps towards justice and choosing to recognize that there is still a deep problem in the world.

How is it hard to choose to support and lift up the voices who are unheard? For my fellow believers, how are we not at the forefront of loving others?

We must all continue to look at ourselves and see how we can be a positive voice for the unheard. What I have seen is what happens time and time again; we are choosing to look for other narratives because the current makes us uncomfortable. It’s easier to look at a small issue, rather than address the hundreds of years’ worth of hate and prejudice.  

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Love Your Neighbor

“I can’t breathe”

These were the words that came from a man who moments later was murdered. A black man. Another black man. I’m heartbroken to continually see black men and women murdered and abused simply because of their skin. I’m heartbroken to see the lack of response to clear and conscious acts of racism in our country. It seems like we have more outrage of wearing a mask than protecting the lives of the people around us, who are clearly being oppressed.

This must stop.

When is enough, enough?

At what point will we see this as a systemic issue that needs to be addressed?

Stop ignoring and choosing not to hear these stories; speak out, stand up.

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Take Care

May is mental health awareness month. This is pretty important to me; for a long time, I have dealt with anxiety as well as had people close to me really struggle with mental health. It’s not a thing I take lightly, and with all of us in a more isolated setting, this could not be a more important topic to talk about. We are all built for relationship, so, the physical distancing that is needing to happen has been a struggle for many people. I’ve seen way too many folks spending all their time on Facebook and getting sucked in to this “doomer” mindset. We’re scared, we’re in the midst of something that has never happened in our lifetimes, and we are putting our faith in all the wrong places.

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Create Space for Joy

A few nights ago, dear Danielle and I set out to find some sunken treasure in the ocean. Okay, not really, but we did play an awesome escape room in a box game where we found treasure while solving a bunch of riddles. We found a pretty cheap game, made some pasta at home (you always need a good meal before clue solving), and put on a ten-hour ocean life video on the TV. We had an absolute blast, something we have tried to do on a consistent basis in our marriage. Fun is important to life, we all need to have fun. Sometimes though, we tend to let other things get in the way. When we do that we miss out on having fun, and having fun produces true joy; it’s time for you to create space for joy.

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