Category Archives: Uncategorized

When there’s a Bend in the Road and Everything Changes

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“I give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify Your name forever.
For great is Your steadfast love toward me;
You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.”
-Psalm 86:12-13

This is my story.

In January, my life was breaking apart in ways I’d never imagined and it was at that point, while reading Anne of Green Gables, I read this:

“When I left Queen’s my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does.”
-Anne Shirley, 
Anne of Green Gables

Those short sentences were a vague echo of my own heart. There was a drastic bend in my road and the only hope and sustenance was in God’s sovereignty and supremacy. He was painfully teaching my heart to lean into all the hurt and betrayal and sorrow in order to see Him as better than comfortable circumstances or realized dreams.

He made my heart believe what has always been true: He cannot be false to His faithfulness and He is unfailingly good to His children.

With an inkwell of grace, God has authored a story unlike anything I would have written for myself. As 2017 melted into 2018 and now as 2018 creeps up on 2019, there have been so many plot twists and bends in the road. So much stripping and emptying.

And so much filling.

“You have filled my heart with greater joy.”
-Psalm 4:7

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Five More Things I’ve Learned While Nannying

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The following post is a continuation to this article, previously posted on Unlocking the Bible. I recommend reading the original article before continuing.

Ten months ago, I was an assistant editor for a magazine I fiercely loved and firmly believed in.

In a swirl of happenings, God mercifully rerouted my dreams and plans and, nine months ago, I started nannying two kids that I fiercely love and firmly believe in.

My days are spent with a 3 year old and 15 month old and my nights typically end with my clothes and hair being hugged by pancake syrup, paint, peanut butter, and an assorted sprinkling of crumbs and stickers.

Spotify now constantly asks bizarre questions like, “Do you want to jump back into your Thomas the Train playlist?” and “Explore other titles similar to Puppy Dog Pals and Disney Favorites,” and the backseat of my car is now accessorized with children’s car seats and a few rogue toys. The bottom line: life is a lot different than it was nine months ago.

And though I aspire to be a nanny like Mary Poppins, this profession highlights less of the magical spoonful-of-sugar moments and more of my weaknesses and acute need for a Helper of my own.

Here are five more things I’ve learned during the last nine months of nannying.

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We Wrote a Song?

Once upon a time, Joseph Durham and I wrote some songs and now one is on iTunes and Spotify and it’s just so bizarre.

In February 2017, life was a little bit crazy with a lot of relational newness, strains, and one trial after another. I didn’t know it then, but we were on the threshold of a wilderness where the light would soon fade, the storms would get rough, but the Lord’s hand would still guide.

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Romania Week Two Photos

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Adventures abound.

The last week was filled with one-on-one (or two-on-one) meetings with students, hanging out and doing life, and planting seeds and sharing the Gospel. It was my favorite.

I love these people. I love what God is doing in and through them. I love redemption.

Here are approximately 97 million photos from the last week.

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Romania Week One Photos

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Romania is one of my favorite places in the world.

I love the people, the culture, the scenery, the food—all of it. It’s a gift to be in Iasi again, this time spending two weeks helping Cru with an English Club for university students.

Here are some a lot of photos from the first week.

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Waffles, Authority, and the Color Pink

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It was a typical morning. 

The 2 year old with wild blonde bedhead was in her booster seat, the 8 month old played happily in his high chair, and I was cutting up strawberries and waffles.

On the days I nanny, this is the normal 7 a.m. scene and I love it.

It’s time for food. It’s time for talking. It’s time for theology.

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How to Suffer Missionally

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Broken relationships.
Cancer.
Sickness.
Death.
Loss.
Tragedy.
Grief.
Loneliness.

What if Scripture tells us God is a divine multitasker and that this hurt doesn’t only affect us? What if we aren’t suffering because God is cruel but because He’s equipping us to help others in ways we couldn’t without it?

We all suffer. What separates Christ-followers from the world is the way we respond. And with hearts and ears anchored in the Gospel, we can hear the sermon suffering preaches.

Suffering tells us we’re all groaning for full redemption and that we’re not alone because no life is untouched by difficulty. The poison of sin has slithered into the DNA of every human and with it comes suffering—the proof of our brokenness.

Perhaps God walks us down roads filled with potholes and trials and grief so we can learn the streets and one day drive others down them, helping them to navigate the curves to get to the finish line.

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When the Tree Seems Dead

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One of the most encouraging things I’ve read in a long time:

“Remember, the growth of a believer is not like a mushroom, but like an oak, which increases slowly indeed but surely. Many suns, showers, and frosts, pass upon it before it comes to perfection; and in the winter, when it seems dead, it is gathering strength at the root. Be humble, watchful, and diligent in the means, and endeavor to look through all, and fix your eye upon Jesus, and all shall be well.” -John Newton

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2017: Leaning in Because Jesus is Better

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My “Jesus is Better” bracelet is tarnished and worn.

I think that’s appropriate.

It’s had to be repaired four times in the last month.

I think that’s also appropriate, because Jesus really is better than anything, including a piece of jewelry designed to remind me of that truth.

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What Bonhoeffer’s Last Letter Teaches Us About Christmas

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“The joy of God
has gone through
the poverty
of the manger
and the agony
of the cross;
that
is why
it is
invincible,
irrefutable.”
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Originally penned from a prison cell on November 29, 1942, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s final circular letter to his friends is one of the greatest things I’ve ever read.

Read it for yourself in Tony Reinke’s excellent blog The Invincible, Irrefutable Joy. I was going to include a big quote from it but don’t want to ruin it for you, so do your heart a favor and read it for yourself as you let your heart soar in worship over this sin-taking, joy-bearing, joy-giving God that has come to us.

(Another stellar blog from Reinke on Christmas and Bonhoeffer is Christmas in a Cold Prison. The last two paragraphs alone are worth the whole read.)

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