Take A Vacation

We went camping this weekend. This was M’s first time in the woods over night. She did great.

We ate bacon:

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We jumped off stumps:


We tried hot chocolate for the first time:


We practiced the spiritual discipline of looking at a body of water while pondering the deeper truths of life:


At about 7 pm on Saturday evening, M was asleep, Amy and I were reading good books, all was peaceful in our campsite, and I was beginning to compose a post in my mind about the importance of sabbathing, of getting away, even just for a day, of decompressing. I was feeling it. Space, relaxation, the ability to breath deeply. All had been missing from recent weeks and months.

And then our neighbors came back. They were loud. They used “mother-effer” as a singular, jack-hammer adjective. They had extremely negative things to say about everything and everyone they had encountered during the day.

About an hour and a half later the fireworks started. This is not good writing as I lead into a description of an all-time-camping-neighbors-go-crazy-on-each-other-epic-throwdown fight. This was the 4th of July weekend and there were literal fireworks going off for over an hour. It sounded like war.

M slept through it. Her parents not so much.

And then the snoring. Snoring that could raise the dead. I have never heard anything like this before in my life.

M slept through it. Her parents not so much.

Sunday morning was glorious even though it started at about 5:30 am or whenever the sun rose. I guess this was our revenge. M fell off the table bench and started screaming. We were cooking bacon at 6:30 am. You’re welcome, everyone else in camp!

Sabbath’s are great (although, more difficult with small children), and I am all for them. In fact, I would guess somewhere around twenty percent of the posts on this blog have to do with rest.

But sometimes, you need a vacation.

I enjoyed our quick getaway. I regret that we don’t do this more often. But even twenty-four hours leaves a lot at the mercy of neighbors and weather (we lost one day of this trip to a tropical storm because Boston’s the weirdest) and fireworks.

Make sure you take a vacation.

The Week Behind and the Week Ahead

The adventures of living in Boston, of being a family of three, and of life in campus ministry (an alternative lifestyle to our dominant culture for sure) continue!

Over the past week we’ve been in a mild (to extreme) state of panic regarding our housing situation. Turns out looking for housing with a 9 month old child is a lot more challenging than we anticipated. Add to that an inflated and competitive rental market and we’ve come up empty so far.

Thank the Lord for understanding landlords. They’ve modeled grace to us and given us more time to sort it all out.

In the meanwhile we head in to two weeks of “vacation”. I use quotes because while this trip will be a break from the norm, a break from the heat, and will involve some sweet time with family, it will also include fundraising, recruiting, spring break reconnaissance, and speaking.

And it will involve traveling back and forth across the country separately. I just said goodbye to the girls as I am about to get on a plane and fly to Portland for this. I am looking forward to spending time with the great Ryan McRae and hopefully being inspired and challenged. But, knowing that Amy gets on another plane tomorrow, just her and Marina, and I can’t be there to help them…well, that’s less exciting to me.

I am confident the next two weeks will be great, and I feel much more ready to enter into it knowing some of our housing questions are behind us.

Sometimes I lament the instability that being a missionary brings on my family, but one thing I know for certain: it is never a boring ride!

Globalscope, Board Meetings, and Staycations

Awesome, but busy, week last week. Hanging out with the globalscope crew was inspiring and fun, a good reminder why I love campus ministry. They are doing some amazing work in Germany, England, Spain, Mexico, Chile, Thailand, and soon in Scotland. I also had the opportunity to lead one of their breakout workshops on the storytelling curriculum we’ve been using and developing here, another good time with good feedback and questions

Saturday we crammed two days worth of board meetings in to one. A full, but encouraging, day. I really appreciate these folks and they had some solid, challenging things to teach us, to ask us, and to guide us towards.

This week I am taking some time off to complete the transformation of our home, and hopefully get us physically ready for this baby to come. I have a big list, and I am excited to knock it out!

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Vacation, 3rd Tri, Perfection, etc…

What a week this has been! Vacation is wonderful. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you need it until you are in it. One of my favorite books is The Old Man and The Sea by Hemingway. At the end of the book, the old man questions himself: “What beat you?” And he answers this way: “Nothing, I went out too far.” And that is how I feel about this last year. This week has been good for my soul, a pulling back in and putting back together.

Amy and I spent last weekend in the Berkshires eating wonderful food, resting, celebrating, and having great conversations with our good friends.

Then I jumped on a plane to southern california and spent two days with Rob Bell and 47 other people who love Jesus and lead and create and also needed to be put back together. More on this next week.

Then 12 hours of reconnecting with some more great friends, and then back on the plane.

Upon returning home my body, unsure of the time zone, could not sleep so I watched the Giants game that night…just so happened that Matt Cain throws a perfect game!

And then, we went to the doctor yesterday and everything continues to check out well as we enter the 3rd trimester…3 months until we get to meet our new family member!

More updates and thoughts to come…it’s been a good week!


A week off, woohoo! This is going to be an interesting kind of vacation: 2.5 days in western massachusetts celebrating four years of marriage…2.5 days in southern california at a conference…2 days in Boston working on “projects”.

I’ll let you know how it goes. But, seriously, I don’t know that I have ever looked more forward to time off. There are other vacations/trips I’ve been more excited about, but this vacation is the water/aid/food station at mile 75 of an ultra-marathon race. I need it!

I will not be posting new material until next Friday (if then), so I will be running some of my favorite posts from the “old” illumination dilemma next week. Enjoy that!

I am sure I will have much to report back on when I return!

Weddings and Other Updates

A couple of quick updates:

  • I’ll have more to say about this later in the week, but I got to speak yesterday at REUNION on grief. Fun topic! Amy and I shared part of our story of the last year…it was pretty powerful and I think it opened up a lot of stuff for people in our community.
  • On a totally different note: Friday and Saturday were dedicated to preparations and the actual wedding of Dustin and his new bride, Rachelle. Dustin’s been on staff with Sojourn for two school years now, and he’s been an incredible team member (helped get us started at Northeastern and off the ground at UMB). Love these guys and so happy for their marriage. They chose well!
  • Lots of writing and prepping to do before Friday, which is when week one of vacation starts!