13

Thirteen is more than a number today; it’s a life marker.  Our Alex is thirteen.  It’s more words than I can handle… my girl is thirteen.Baby3

It seems like yesterday that we discovered we were pregnant with her.  Those months of her growing inside me was like magic; something out of my control was becoming.  We dreamed of her face and personality during those months.  We thought about names like Casey, Connor, Cameron; we wanted a name that wouldn’t define her as one thing, but something strong & emerging, so Alexandria “Alex” was just right.  With a name like that she wouldn’t be just defined as a girl, an athlete, an artist, smart, cute, funny, or serious.   She could be what she wanted to be with the first identification the world could give her: a name.270604_1940170986307_6024716_n

It seems that God directed us to that more and more as she becomes.  She is a force discovering her voice, and although that can seem messy and confusing at times, it’s a gift.  I am acutely aware that she will never get to do thirteen again.  So, I hope that we do it with grace.  I hope we walk with wonder and courage through it.  I hope we protect her well, simultaneously giving her the armor she needs to slay the junk life will throw at her.  May she know that she is always loved, be brave in vulnerability, and embrace the journey she’s on.      1374939_10205209073842345_2291896508917835905_n

Here are some memories we have of Alex so far:217295_201081796592642_7669428_n

  1.  Bringing her home from the hospital, and Charlie (our dog) climbing into the car and giving her a big kiss.280472_1940726080184_3687177_o
  2. Her smashing her first birthday cake into her face.  Go big or go home.216460_1045216086576_3472_n
  3. She had tons of friends at preschool and a best friend in our neighborhood whom she played with almost every day.
  4. We went to Maui to visit my dad when she was three years old.  She loved being at the beach and riding with the top down in the jeep.  Because of the time change, she was awake at weird hours.  Steve and I would find her watching Strawberry Shortcake videos in the middle of the night.268920_1938274778903_3920110_n
  5. I used to be the Yearbook Sponsor when I taught at Edgewater High Schoo.  She LOVED being in the yearbook room with all those awesome girls.  I’m so thankful for how they took Alex under their wing.267100_1940165666174_5190839_ofiles001
  6. Moving to Indiana, she bonded with her grandparents.  That was a gift.
  7. Her excitement to bring home her brother was intense, and yet she was so patient.  She told everyone that she was going to be a sister.1003996_10151531259948067_1849929727_n
  8. Our last vacation as a trio was to Bald Head Island.  That was a magical week.  She made friends and played, and we sat back taking in every moment while loving the beauty of that time.  We can’t wait to go back.
  9. Alex was with me when I received the news that TJ passed away.  I know her first brother has a very special place in her heart.  11800184_10206847830177364_5546773256795923740_n126-1
  10. I will never forget seeing her face as Steve, Jesse, and I were walking through the terminal on the day we came home from Ethiopia.  The tears were flowing down her face to get a glimpse of her brother.  We missed her so much during that week.IMG_6324
  11. She and I traveled to Ethiopia two years later.  That was a hard trip for her, but after a few days, she was jumping rope with new friends.  To share and see that with her was an incredible blessing. CRAIG_0116
  12. Alex has more books and journals than I know what to do with.  Seeing her have a passion for reading and creating is exciting.1544315_10206681231405364_3537549746952766788_n547026_482238201810332_242031225_n
  13. Our girl is more than our daughter and Jesse’s sister.  She has discovered the beauty and path of friendship.  This past year has been incredible to see her navigate who she is in the lives of others.  It’s the beginning of her walking on her own two feet in this world.

It’s thirteen.  It’s a box with many bows and knots. It’s what we are still watching her open, and there’s so much more to come.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Yourself in the Unknown: Ethiopia

Maya Haile, Marcus Samuelsson, and Anthony Bourdain hanging out in Ethiopia.

Many of you know that Ethiopia is more than a place for me to go and visit.  It’s a part of my family, my friendships, my life, my story, my hope, and my wondering.

I was so pumped to watch Parts Unknown last night hosted by Anthony Bourdain, as he explored Ethiopia with Marcus Samuelsson and his wife Maya Haile.  Marcus and Maya, now married, were born in Ethiopia and both, because of illness and political strife, respectively, they left Ethiopia in their childhoods.  Marcus is now a world-renowned chef, and Maya is a stunning model.  What I love is that Ethiopia is an undeniable, intentional part of their lives.

Watching Ethiopia through their eyes was a beautiful new lens to see a place that has grown in my heart.  Marcus, Maya, and Anthony planted new seeds for me that I’m so excited to see bloom.  Here were some of my favorite parts from the episode:

“I come from a dusty land.”  Marcus said this to Anthony with a big smile on his face as he kicked up the dust in his home village.  Priceless.

“I always find it such a paradox that I was born into very little food, but yet I’ve made my whole life about food.  My structure and pragmatism comes from being raised in Sweden. And my sort of vibrancy and warmth to cooking and feel-based food that I love comes definitely from here [Ethiopia].”  This paradox is truth…life and death, joy and sadness, abundance in the face of scarcity.  These are a part of my experience in Ethiopia.  I wonder what my son’s experience will be as he walks through this paradox as well.  It will be a story for sure.

One of the coolest parts of Ethiopian culture is how food is celebrated, prepared, and shared.  There is a custom called gursha; this is where a diner will feed another diner; it’s an act of endearment of love for another.  I love so food, so if you want to stuff food into my face, game on.

Watching Marcus and his biological father hold hands while walking brought on incredible memories of how there isn’t a weird social norm where boys can’t be friends and express just pure friendship by holding hands.

I also loved watching Marcus and his father compare their feet.  Their feet were the same, and yet they’ve walked such different journeys.

Three kisses, because one is not enough. 

Everything Addis!  The blue buses, the skate park, the green and yellow fences, food, and community.

The old and the new.  The history and the future.

I can’t wait for April 2016.

Check it out for yourself!  http://us.cnn.com/shows/anthony-bourdain-parts-unknown?sr-tw1022PUABethiopia

Playing Dress Up

I have been a long time believer that a big part of adolescence is playing “dress up” with different identities.

Walking into almost any junior high or high school, you will most likely see many different cliques of kids.  If you look even closer within each social group, there will be a distinct role/identity each group member has within that clique that makes it function as a unit.

The question is: How do those distinct roles within a group get decided upon?

I would like to say that most of my observation has been kids finding a sense of belonging, but instead I see kids changing themselves to fit in.

Brene Brown has written, “Belonging is not fitting in. In fact, fitting in is the greatest barrier to belonging. Fitting in, I’ve discovered during the past decade of research, is assessing situations and groups of people, then twisting yourself into a human pretzel in order to get them to let you hang out with them. Belonging is something else entirely—it’s showing up and letting yourself be seen and known as you really are.”

I would argue that the majority of our kids are intensely twisting & changing themselves to fit into a social group.

Why would kids do this?  Well, why would anyone do this?  If we think about it, we were created for relationship & community, and the reality is that most of our kids are living a lonely, disconnected life.  Fitting in vs. belonging is a survival tactic.

Even more interesting is that this generation of teens were practically born with little computers connected to a global community in their hands.  Therefore, you might think that our kids would have this instant connection.  I’ve found that it’s just the opposite- because it’s not true, face to face interaction and connection, our kids feel more alone than ever.

Often, I see junior high and high school friends behave and make choices that’s not really who they are.  It appears as if they are seeking their best chance at success of fitting into a particular group for connection.  And, they will continue to behave in a way that gives them the most community, even if it’s risky physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

This makes me want to wrap my arms around them even more and give them a safe place to just be.  Life is freaking hard.  I continue to remind myself and them of Psalm 139:

1-6 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.  I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.  You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight.  You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence.  I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too— your reassuring presence, coming and going.  This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in!

7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight?  If I climb to the sky, you’re there!  If I go underground, you’re there!  If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute— you’re already there waiting!  Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!  At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb.  I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!  Body and soul, I am marvelously made!  I worship in adoration—what a creation!  You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.

17-22 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful! God, I’ll never comprehend them!  I couldn’t even begin to count them— any more than I could count the sand of the sea.  Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!  And please, God, do away with wickedness for good!  And you murderers—out of here!— all the men and women who belittle you, God, infatuated with cheap god-imitations.  See how I hate those who hate you, God, see how I loathe all this godless arrogance; I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred.  Your enemies are my enemies!

23-24 Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life.

I can’t help but want to see kids the way God sees them: shaped by Him, marvelously made, and with a plan and purpose- each and every day.  They can try on lots of identities, but they have a truth that lives and breathes underneath the costumes- that they are a child of God.

Light Up Shoes

IMG_6345Today Jesse and I celebrated fall break at the Children’s Museum.  It was awesome.  We went in the “haunted pirate ship” and had an adventure.  Jesse was made for this kind of stuff- activity, things to touch, and fun things to explore.

At one point, Jess turned around to me and declared, “Don’t be scared, mom.  I have my light up shoes.”

I could not begin to tell you how much I love my boy.  Here we were, walking through a semi-dark, kind of haunted pirate ship, not knowing what fun things would be around every corner.  My boy knows that there’s nothing to be afraid of because he has a light to guide his shoes through the dark.

What I loved even more was that he wanted me to not be scared either.  His shoes would be enough for both of us.

Don’t you love how little kids are so like Jesus?  Jesus says in Matthew 19:14, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Kids get it, and they don’t even question that they are enough because they have a super power or whatever that is the Holy Spirit, and that they don’t have to be afraid.  The kingdom of heaven does belong to our children.  In fact, I love that they don’t have to use big words and lengthy theology.  They just have light up shoes (or a flashlight, light up shirt, whatever).  It’s simple.  It’s real.  It’s true.

At one point do we grow afraid?  And when do we stop believing that we aren’t enough?  When did we stop believing that we could be super heroes?  It’s an interesting thing to think about.  The risks get bigger as we get older, but the greater the adventures.

I wish I had some light up shoes, but I guess at some point we have to own that we don’t need the light up shoes, that in Christ we have the greatest light ever inside of us.  That’s where faith grows- when we can’t see it, but we choose to believe it and act on it.

In Matthew 8:12, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

I have to believe that when we act on that faith, our lamp stands become brighter, and it’s easier to believe that He is inside of us.  And not only that, but others can see it more clearly too.  That’s the difference between little kids and grown ups; we get to choose to believe without wearing the shoes.

 

Hanging on a Mustard Seed

5627973aabdc0f754da4de03I knew this school year was going to be challenging; we knew we would be moving and making changes that we felt the Holy Spirit calling us to.  Right now, I feel like we are hanging on a mustard seed.  The date is circled to put the house up for sale, there is much packing and projects to see through, and I find myself sometimes paralyzed with anxiety.

He’s given me a job that I cannot do.

I cannot pack up a house, do full-time ministry, be a present and loving wife and mom, nourish my relationship with Christ,  and write this blog all at once.

I’m scared of sharing my anxiety and fear; I’m supposed to be the one that everyone else can lean on, and it freaks me out that I have my own worry.  As much as I listen and answer questions about faith and being bold, I am hanging on a mustard seed right now.

Right now, I want answers.  I want to know where we are going to settle down and what schools my children will be in next year.  I want to know exactly what our family’s budget will be.  I want to know where I will be food shopping a year from now.  I want to know what the answers are for my kids (who are very unique from one another)- what is right for them socially, emotionally, and spiritually.  I want to know if I will have a back yard or a dog.

I want a map, and I want it now.

But He hasn’t given that to me.

He’s asked for me to give Him my mustard seed and to trust. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’m angry about that.  I’m doing my best to not to be angry, but I am.  I’m ready for answers, and He tells me, “I am enough.”

He’s asking me to believe in uncomfortable ways today.  I hate this feeling.  And yet I know this place, right here, is necessary.  It’s necessary for me for me to be unsettled to be used by Him.  It’s necessary for me to see Him move the mountains with my mustard seed; otherwise, it would be about what I could do, and not what He can do.

Perhaps you know the feeling.  Perhaps you’re feeling it right now- paralyzed and overwhelmed, and I would like more than anything to give you a map.  All I can tell you is that I’m right there with you…praying, wondering, battling warfare in my heart, counting my blessings, being tired, and surrendering myself each and every minute.  That’s my map.  It’s invisible and yet present.  It’s asking me to trust more and watch it all happen without my fear and worrying.  It’s a faith builder, and it’s a beast.

I’m shaking my jar of mustard seeds, and it’s rattling my heart.

Father God, Be with us right now.  Show us what You do.  Help us to be brave and trusting.  Amen.

Bless you, Fred Bock

IMG_6339 Last week, I received a glorious email from one of our Young Life parents, Fred Bock, asking what my favorite kind of food is; I literally let out an audible “Woohoo.”  If you know anything about Fred Bock, he is passionate about food.  Last night, Fred brought over trays of lasagna, garlic bread, meatballs, chicken and eggplant parmasean, and the most heavenly layered yellow cake with fudge icing that I’ve ever layed eyes on.  When Fred cooks, the love is real.

Last spring, Fred cooked ribs, watermelon salad, homemade tortilla chips, and potato skins for our WyIMG_6340ld Life Leadership Team.  We didn’t even know what to do with ourselves.

When someone does something so awesome, you just want to share it.  So, last night and last spring, we invited kids to enjoy the yummy-ness of this gift.

I am in awe of friends, like the Bocks and so many others who are in this ministry, who not only say they’re in but pour their whole hearts into this community.  Ryan Ahlwardt and I have said to many people that there’s always room at the table to be a part of this; everyone has a gift and a passion that are appreciated beyond words.  Last night, not only did our leadership team enjoy the night with full bellies and a food coma, but so did our Young Life kids.  It was inspiring and a memory.

Thank you, Bock Family, and all the other generous families who join us at the table.  Thank you for loving us well with your gifts and passions.  We wouldn’t want to do this without you.  We are better because you are with us.

If you sit here, you might get beat up…but it’s worth it.

5624f79dabdc0f754da4dbefI’ve lightly been following the story of Jennifer Lawrence’s post on lennyletter.com about the wage gap in Hollywood between genders.  Jennifer expresses herself in a matter of fact way that would probably come off as crude, but that never scared me; after all, I am from New York.

Jennifer brings up some very important aspects of being a woman that are very real… if we speak our minds and hearts in a no bs way, (in most cases) we’re gonna get beat up for it, chastised, or made fun of.  Whatever the case, someone is going to ask us to quiet our strength or even to shut up.

Being raised by a single mom, who was a survivor and not a victim, my five foot nothing mom spoke her voice a few times.  When I was nine years old, my mom came home in tears from work one night.  She had spoken her opinion at work and was told that her opinion made her insubordinate, and if she didn’t pipe down, she was going to be fired.  This kind of stuff is just real.  This made a very real impression on my heart about what I’m made of… I’m made of grit, truth, and fire; not fluff, puppies, and unicorns (I like fluff, puppies, and unicorns; it’s just not what makes my heart beat a little faster).

I remember processing this incident with my mom and thinking that I wanted to sit at the table and be involved in conversations and movements of depth.  At that table, even by my fellow women we will get knocked around, but it’s worth it.  I would also say that as women, we do this to one another, believing that we should be cute and likeable over strong and emerging.

Being involved in the lives of emerging women, I see the effect of our culture’s constant subliminal messages:

  • Girls willing to do anything for a boy’s attention (sexually, socially, communication, visually, etc.)
  • Girls devaluing their beauty because a boy (or another girl) makes a dumb comment.
  • Girls experiencing depression because they are conforming to societal norms.
  • Girls experiencing depression because they are not conforming to societal norms and being made fun of.

I couldn’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with high school & junior high girls about them not valuing themselves enough.  Especially in the case of boys, they will do anything to “patch things up” to “talk it over” to “keep things going.”  Some girls think I’m “old-fashioned” because I think that boys should pursue girls.

I am not an encourager of girls texting boys, girls asking boys out, girls seeking boys attention.  And I have a reason why… because unless you value your own self, time, beauty, and creation, no boy or man ever will.  When we place our value in the hands of someone else rather than our God and Creator (who calls us holy and beautiful), we will only find ourselves defeated and feeling less than.

The truth is that we have devalued our time, beauty, and energy in the name of feminism when truly it is the exact opposite of what the feminist movement was and is all about.

The feminist movement is about embracing who you are as a person in order to become and flourish…not to put on more make up, wear a push up bra, be acceptable for men, and compromise our worth.

Unless we, as women and girls, value our time, energy, and voice first, no one (especially a man) else will either.

I have made the argument that most boys in adolescence are not ready to love a girl in such a way that allows her to flourish and emerge.  Most junior high and high school relationships end in a wreckage of pieces that are difficult to pick up.  This happens because girls have not allowed boys to value them wholly.

As parents, we play a part in this too.  We want our kids to be happy, and we buy into the lie that our kids’ happiness is equal to being desirable by others either through popularity or relationships.

In speaking of this, I know that there are some of you who will call me over opinionated and ridiculous. I just hope that when our daughters speak up that we will not ridicule or shush them.  I pray that we invite them to the table, even if they have to wear football pads.   Sitting at the table means putting on our big girl pants and getting beat up a little bit, and I’m ok with that.  It’s worth it.

Thanks, Jennifer Lawrence, for speaking and questioning.  Thank your for your self-examination and inviting us to sit at the table with you in this conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

A Day at the Museum

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HSE Young Life and Wyld Life Leaders at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

I grew up thirty minutes outside of New York City when I was a kid.  One of my FAVORITE things my mom did with my brother and I was take us into the city for random adventures to either a Yankees game, broadway show, or a jaunt to the museum.  I, especially remember a fall Sunday when I was eight years old when she took us to the Museum of Natural History.  This memory included an amazement with the grand building, dinosaurs, displays of cavemen, and the awesome planetarium.  FullSizeRender(5)

This weekend I visited the Indianapolis Museum of Art with my daughter, Alex and then with our leadership team.  What I loved about my time at the museum this week is that it took us out of our ordinary surroundings and created a space for conversation that we couldn’t have anywhere else.  I perused the galleries with my friend Haleigh, talked about the past, present, and future.  We wondered together about what God is doing this year, especially as she she is getting ready to graduate from high school and head into the next chapter of her life.  I loved how we would walk up to a painting, and she would see something totally different than me; it gave us this common thing to look at and appreciate the point of view each of us brought.

Alex and I picked out our favorites, which included a huge Georgia O’keefe.  It popped with flows of color and inspiration.  We talked about how the painting was similar to a painting her great grandmother painted and gave to me before she passed away.  It was a special moment.IMG_6324

We also took journeyed out to the gardens and walked on the funky bones.  We marveled that it takes effort to go to places like this, and that it’s worth it.  The beauty of museums and art is that they create space and environment for not just art but memories, memories of sharing, discovery, examination, solitude, community, conversation, silence, and contemplation.

Let’s go to our local museums and make memories of wonder and contemplation!

 

First Love

562259f1abdc0f754da4da50When I was in high school, I fell in love.  I, especially, loved the idea of being in love and even more exciting was the idea that someone would/could love me.  Therefore, as much as a teenager could love, I loved that much.  Honestly, I was self-centered, insecure, and wanting another teenage boy to fill a hole in my heart that wasn’t meant for him to fill.  It was too much  to ask and left me spiraling in confusion and hurt during those tumultuous years.  I’m not saying that it’s not possible to love well in your adolescence; actually, I’ve seen it done amazingly… I just wasn’t at a place where I could do that wholeheartedly because I didn’t have a whole heart.

I would say that I truly truly fell in love between the ages of 21-22.  It was a slow dance that started off with a weekly date and gradually wanting more and more time with Him.  I was in a vulnerable place of recognizing that I was looking for people to fill the hole in my heart.  I desired relationship, but I was seeking it in the wrong places.  Through previous heart break, disappointment, and self doubt, I found myself wanting an anchor and truth like no other.

Remembering that time of going to church by myself, buying my first Bible at Target, and going to my first Bible Study is a time I cling on to.  In Revelation 2:4, Jesus says this to the church on Ephesus:

 “But I have this against you: You have left the love you had in the beginning.”

This was a church who was working very hard, but they forgot something:  His love, that feeling, how to show love, and how to receive it.  They were all work and no heart.  How easy is it for us to forget our first love…to forget the dance of getting to know the Lord, to live in the constant discovery of Him, and wonder what will be next.

The beauty of falling in love with Christ is that He gives us our true identities, our grace in the hard times, and purpose in the unknown.  When this is our first love, we are able to love in magnificent ways; not from a place of scarcity or insecurity.  It comes from a life that is given to us from the inside.

Revelation 2:5 continues to say, “So remember where you were before you fell. Change your hearts and do what you did at first.

Some of the best advice Steve and I ever got was to be sure to put our marriage before our kids, spend time together, and continue to date one another.  Whenever we go out, just the two of us, there is always that element of doing what we did when we were dating… even if I’m sweatpants.  There’s still an element of, “We’re in this together.”

I think returning to our first love in Christ is much the same way.  What did you do when you first fell in love with Him?  I love the idea of returning to that place.

I feel so blessed because I get to experience kids falling in love with Christ right alongside them.  I see kids who are excited about the mystery of not totally understanding what His Word says and discovering how He feels about them.  I have this incredible privilege of saying, “Yes, and see this.  Look what He says here.  Isn’t that awesome?” His love is so big and so overflowing with life that it’s more than we can imagine.

I am the person  who gets introduce kids to their first love, and THAT is pretty awesome.

 

Holy Ground

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We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury

One of my favorite books to read with Jesse is We’re Going on a Bar Hunt.  The book has a lot of repetition, so Jesse loves reading along with me.  It’s the simple yet complex story of the adventure of a family to go look for a bear.  On any great adventure, you’ve got to go through some adversity.  In the case of the bear hunt, the family goes through long, wavy grass, a cold river, thick mud, a dark forest, and a swirling snowstorm until they come to a cave.  It’s so cool (and the pictures are even better).

My favorite part is when it says:

We can’t go over it.  We can’t go under it.  Oh, no!  We’ve got to go through it!

How true to life is this?  We can’t go over the adversity.  We can’t go under it.  Yes, we’ve got to go through it.  We have to swish through long grass, splash through rivers, squelch through mud, stumble through the forest, and shiver through the snowstorm.

Brene Brown has a sub chapter in her book, Rising Strong, called You Can’t Skip Day Two.  The premise is that in most three-day conferences, day two is always the longest and hardest, and most people just want to give up in day two and hit Starbucks.  But here’s the thing: if you skip day two, or if you skip the hard part of the middle, the end isn’t as sweet and usually makes no sense.

To me, the middle is holy ground.  The middle is where I sat with a bunch of my high school friends this morning in our Discipleship Bible Study navigating through the forests and snowstorms to get to the other side.  The middle is where our children are unsure about who is their friend and what is their identity, and we take each step with them.  The middle is when a friend calls us and asks for us to pray for them.

This morning, I’m so thankful for the difficult steps and unanswered questions because that is where our faith is built and made stronger.  Day Two is a beast, but there’s no story without it; it’s just fluff.

Donald Miller says it this way:

What we’ve forgotten is that every great story has to involve a difficult ambition, and must then travel through the land of conflict. The best stories have their protagonist wondering if they are going to make it.

I love hearing stories where someone has come to the end of something that brings them to a new place.  This morning I was hearing things like…

  • partying isn’t fun anymore; I’m done with it; it’s the same old thing, and I just feel crappy the next day
  • sports was my world, and now that I don’t play, I have time to try new things, even though it’s scary
  • I’m learning to appreciate new friends, and it’s scary.  My world used to revolve around this one group of friends.

These are scary places.  But how are we supposed to grow and change without facing our fears if life were different?  How else are we to trust that He has a plan through all of it?  That He’s holding you right in the middle, knowing all along that you will make it to the other side?

Go through the middle.  Go to that holy ground.  I’m so excited to see where you will find yourself on the other side.