"dream great dreams and find the courage to live them"

-erwin mcmanus

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

year by year.

About this time last year, I was in this same place.  The year before that?  The same place:
Evaluating options for the future.  Praying over the future.

Where am I supposed to go and what am I supposed to do?
This year has opened my eyes to so many ways and places where God is working and I want to keep being a part of it.  But where?

Part of me wants to continue working in residential care, just in a different position than I'm in now.
Part of me wants to move back to the city.
Another part wants to pick a place, set roots there, and just.. live well in the day to day.
And then there's a part that wants to return to be with my family, to be where I spent most of my life.  To live simply and to live intentionally in a place where I used to just rush through in an attempt to make my leaving come more quickly.

And the Lord directs our steps..

"Because I'll never hold a picture of the whole horizon in my view,
Because I'll never rip the night in two,
It makes me wonder
Who am I?
Who am I and Great are You."

Monday, September 26, 2011


This afternoon I began to write a goodbye letter to one of my dearest Littles.  She left this weekend and is coming back to graduate the program on Monday.  I already miss her like crazy.  Funny how one person can bring such joy to one's life, to a group home of lives.

Process.  As I write her letter, the pervading thought is that it's a process.  A process of becoming, you could say.  For this particular graduate, but for all of us, too.

We are constantly changing, continually becoming more ourselves, more of who God created us to be.  If you wanted to be all technical and theological, I suppose the word would be sanctification.  But the point is the same - God pursues us and brings us to grow in Him to be the people He created us to be.  That doesn't end once we have a degree; it doesn't end when we finish Bible college or even when we finally get the job we've always wanted.  No - it is a process.  One that continues through each stage of our life, shaping us.

Lord, push me to be more of the person who you've created me to be.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Last December, I finished the classes that I was in so I was just working full-time.  I didn't have a whole lot on my plate, aside from planning to move, which left me with quite a bit of free time.  I decided that since I had free time, that I would begin to invest in an obviously worthwhile venture: the game of Facebook gaming.  I thought to myself that I might as well explore the world of Facebook games when I actually had the time for it.  The exploring didn't go very far, because I found Cityville and all my siblings played it, which made it seem a bit more enjoyable than it actually is.

While it was fun for the time, my life got a whole lot busier the beginning of March when I moved out to Shelterwood, but that game never went away.  I continued to spend little pockets of time here and there playing this meaningless game, when I didn't even have time to call my family and friends.  When I haven't spent a whole lot of time in the Word.  When I have so many other meaningful things to do.

Last night I was on the overnight shift, and found myself with a short list of people to whom I wanted to write letters.  By the end of the night, the list had only shortened by one, and I had spent the majority of my time on that stupid Facebook time-sucker.  At about 6am, my shift was about over, and I began to consider getting rid of Facebook altogether, but eventually decided to just delete Cityville.

A half an hour ago, it became official.  It is gone.

This narrative isn't for no purpose - it is to say that if something is keeping you from doing important things, it should be eliminated.  If it distracts you from maintaining relationships or, more importantly, from loving and serving the Lord well, it does not need to be a part of your life or mine.  Thus the elimination of Facebook gaming.

It's a little humiliating to admit this, but because I just deleted it, that makes it more bearable.  And, once again, a lesson is learned by a small part of my life being reevaluated.  Funny what God uses to teach and grow us..

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


The other day I watched as a friend pulled a scab off of a scrape on her leg.  It's a pretty common thing, I think, to pick off our scabs.  An impulse, you could say.  Like biting one's nails, tapping a foot, or twirling hair, it's natural, instinctual.  Yet to pick off a scab is to restart the healing process.

We have this tendency to reopen our wounds.  We begin to heal, and then force ourselves to deal with it over and over again.  Trauma tells us to repeatedly process, to keep things in our memory to let them come back up over and over again.  Scabs are hard and red and visible, so we pick them off because they are ugly.  But the healing process must be ugly so that the end result is full restoration.

We are a broken people, pulling off the very thing that heals us.  When we don't rely on God to bring newness, or we reject the way that He does it, we make bigger issues for ourselves.  Incessantly picking off scabs develop scars that never go away.  We all have them, we all make new ones.  But how different would our lives look if we were to trust that God would heal us?  How different would our perspectives be if we allowed our wounds to heal fully instead of making them bleed again?

Oh, to trust Him more..

Thursday, September 8, 2011


We talk about life being full of opportunities.  We say that we have the potential for great things if only we look for opportunities and take them.

But what if the opportunity is for deceit?  What if the opportunity in front of you is one that compromises your character?  That compromises that which you know is right?

Well, with opportunity we must have discernment or we will find ourselves in a world of hurt and a world of debt with moving violations for illegal left turns.  Sigh.  The mistakes we make do not have to define us, but we should definitely learn from them.

Sleeping those extra five minutes in the morning instead of being in the bathroom on coverage.  Taking that left turn at 5:30 when the sign says no from 4 to 6.  Driving a little faster than you know you should.  Signing off the line on the list that says you completed the checklist up to kitchen standards, when you know you didn't sweep out all of the corners and maybe left the lowest shelves un-wiped.  Walking away with the extra few dollars in change from the cashier's mistake.

Each of these, while minor and generally consequence-free, are tiles of a greater mosaic.  They reflect a deeper element of character that pervades one's way of thinking.  It's about working hard at all that you do, without cutting corners, in order to preserve godly character, to live up to the potential of who God created you to be.


Who am I when no one is watching and why is it different than who I am the rest of the time?
How do we so easily forget that what God thinks of us is so much more important than what others think and that God knows and sees everything we do?
We are such a wicked and sinful people.  Thank God for the Gospel so that in Christ we can be more loved and more accepted than we ever dared hope.