Monday, February 2, 2015

moving forward. it feels good.

last night our house was filled with 15-20 rutgers university students. if you are new to this space here is a quick recap. my husband has been on staff with Young Life for 8 years and we recently made our third move with YL to new brunswick nj. we are helping to start YL at rutgers university and the surrounding high schools and middle schools in the area and eventually the whole state. we moved from a place we loved. harrisonburg, va. left many people we loved and a new home and a life that felt so good in so many ways. i miss it everyday. but the lord made a way for us here and we moved this past august. 

bc of hard work, prayer, courage, and the lord our home was filled with rutgers students we love. the only common denominator is jesus. 5 months ago we didn't know a student on campus. i still don't really. my husband and our dear friend morgan have paved the way. meetings, coffee, events, conversations, prayer and the lord...we now have 20 plus college students going through the YL leader training program to begin ministry with students in our area. 

since the beginning of all this i have been on board. not just a little bit but all in. selling our home, most of our stuff, saying goodbye to people i love, and starting our adventure in nj. no friends or family near us. but the lord made a way. he always does and he always will. but my heart. my heart hasn't been all in. i desperately wanted it to be. but i felt a separation between what justin was doing actively on campus and what i was doing at home. i am not currently serving in a specific roll with YL i didn't really know any of the people justin was meeting and what he shared never seemed to be the same secondhand. 

but i am watching my heart grow. my desires to invest in people and care for them and build new relationships. i think i needed this past semester to grieve a little. miss the people we left that had become family and cared for our girls and cared for me. it was really hard to leave. 

i couldn't or i didn't allow myself to be all in here. i needed some space. some time. i felt insecure and intimidated around people. it is hard to be uncomfortable in our skin. but haven't we all been there? i was fragile at times. 

i wanted to open our home. i wanted friends. i wanted to be brave. but instead i hid a little bit. i spent time decorating our new place. being more present with the girls. worked on our marriage and basically got to know a new city. how to get to target and costco and ikea. my time and energy was spent simply adapting to this new place. i am not beating myself up. it was what it was and now we move forward and reflect a bit.

but i am seeing growth. a desire to be bold. to take risks. to be uncomfortable. to ask questions. to invite people in. to share our home. to feed people. to love others. like in a real way. not just a "supposed" to kind of way. i think i was a little selfish. i was focusing a lot on me and often thinking...what about us? doesn't anyone care that we are new and starting over? but to be honest for the most part i was ok with it. more time with my husband as his work pace looked so different since this is more of a start up phase to his job. our family grew. our marriage grew. so it wasn't a waste. i know that. none of it ever is when we use it to grow and learn.

thankful for what is to come and for a home full of people who are willing to take a risk for jesus through the ministry of YL. i like to host. i like to feed people. even if it is in the form of lots of costco food where i can basically just use my oven to heat it up. but it doesn't matter. our home was full of laughter and knee football and joy and christ and fellowship and community. we all want to be apart of something. so i am in. i will begin to believe what the lord says is true. i am brave and i am ready and i am also scared and a little uncomfortable. praying for vision and bravery in my life and yours too. what a difference we will make if we start being honest and real and trusting the lord in every tiny little way. he is good. so good. trying to be grateful for all it. mostly the tough stuff.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


I am back. More tomorrow. I swear. My heart is stirring and overflowing. I started exercising this fall and it's changing me. Watching my body do things I never thought it could. I felt so strong Friday as I was running and listening to oceans by hillsong. I was actually crying pretty hard while mouthing the words. I wasn't embarrassed bc maybe people thought it was just a lot of sweat on my face. Either way I am feeling alive and grateful and passionate. I haven't felt that a lot this fall but The Lord is working in me. I can feel it and I love it. Listening to oceans on repeat has been this continuous reminder about what is true. About Jesus and me and what he wants for me and what he has more me and that in my trust of him and the story he has for me...well it's hard and big and small and scary and awesome. I want more Jesus in my life and my actions and my heart. I am not that good at it. But I will never stop fighting to give every ounce of my fears and insecurities and frustratation and jealousy and judgement at the foot of the cross. It's all we have. It's all I want (and some new trendy boots i just saw online).

when I was sick people came out of now where and showered us with the most love I have known. Tomorrow a woman I don't know with a little baby like Ava starts her first round of chemo. Pray for jenna. May she feel clothed in prayer and comfort as she begins her cancer journey. Our journey was doable because of you. So thank you.