my pale mind

I have been in Pennsylvania for the last week. It was 70 degrees and sunny for a  few days. I work outdoors, and I have been disc golfing twice since I got here. After a few days I noticed something. My skin showed the effects of the sun, it was a shade of pink I hadn't seen in a while.
A few months back I was playing disc golf with a friend who lives in Colorado. We started talking about Minnesota winters and he asked me if I ever went through seasonal depression. I had never given it much thought, so I wasn't sure if I had or hadn't. I can't even recall how I answered him at the time. If he were to ask me today I would say "yes."
These past few days my heart has longed for my wife, my son, my friends, music, God. I haven't felt this in a while. My mind was pale, it forgot how lucky it was to have a beautiful wife, an amazing son, a group of friends, a God who loves me. Then I spent a few days in the sun, I feel as if my mind turned pink. I'm remembering the joy my family brings, the love of those around me, how inspiring music can be, and that God loves me. Call it seasonal depression, laziness, sin, or whatever you would like. I feel joy that the sun is shining on me again.


I never expected teething to be a big deal. I had rarely heard anyone talk about the pain a baby goes through as teeth push through there gums. I started to write a blog about my recent roadtrip with my guy friends, but I was interrupted by the sound of Nash screaming. These moments are hard for me. I have to wade through thoughts like "If you go in there every time he cries he'll never be able to fall back asleep without you" or "If I don't go in there as Nash screams at the top of his lungs will he start to feel that we don't care about him." Tonight I went in, and it was pretty clear his teeth were the reason for his pain. His hands were in his mouth and he was soaked in sweat. I sat with him in his rocking chair and he drank a little milk and we talked about his dog, and I blew on the back of his neck and head where sweat had pressed all his hair down. We rocked in silence for a few minutes, (which rarely ever happens) I reminded him of how loved he his and then I lay him in bed and he fell asleep.   Some of these nights have led to fights between Lizzie and I about what to do, some I have slept through, and some like tonight I held and tried to comfort him. I would never wish pain on Nash, but our interaction tonight was beautiful, and without the pain we may have never had that.

me & U

Tonight I give thanks
who knows where I'll be tomorrow
Tonight I'm aware of Your blessings
who knows where I'll be tomorrow
Tonight I praise You for the wind and the rain
who knows where I'll be tomorrow
Tonight I bask in Your goodness
who knows where I'll be tomorrow

but tonight is to easy
and despite where I'll be tomorrow
Your mercies are new every morning

Goodbye months, hello years

Last year at this time, Lizzie and I were anxiously awaiting the arrival of Nash. This year we are starting to pack up our stuff to begin our new adventure together. Valley View Apartments!  It's just your average apartment, but I'm really excited for it. Lizzie and I have not lived by ourselves for 2.5 years. It's hard to know what to expect, so I'm just expecting to be surprised. As I get older it feels like years go by very fast. I mean Nash is already a year old! I feel like I need to take more time processing the ways in which he is changing. This morning Lizzie and I couldn't remember how old he was when he started crawling. I know it's really not that big of a deal, but I just feel like there is probably other parts of his growth that are fresh in my mind today, but may soon be forgotten. I don't want to forget the fact that he bites the edges of tables at restaurants, or that he loves vacuums, or that he squints his eyes shut when he smiles at strangers. So, I am going to be more intentional about either writing or videotaping or blogging about how he is changing or funny stuff he does, so stay tuned. I may need your help, so remind me to slow down and enjoy Nash in his current stage.


I painted this picture a few months back when I was in Philadephia. Lizzie and I were talking through some possibilities for the future. Despite my opinions on all the options one thing was constant. I was filled with joy as I was reminded that no matter where life takes us, I will always have Lizzie with me. So the words Anxious - Anticipation sum up my desire to know what the future holds. But as the U and the I come together it's yelllow. Yellow is the color of sunshine, it means happiness. So this is really a reflection on the happiness I feel knowing that Lizzie and I will always be together.


Last week I told Youthworks that  Lizzie and I would be staying in Minnesota for the time being. I felt good about the decision, I had a sense of being certain that God is leading us even though I'm uncertain of his will in it all. Soon after telling Youthworks we would be staying we got a call from our good friends in Pine Ridge with news of a house for rent in Whiteclay Nebraska, just a few miles from them. This led me to contemplate if we made the right decision.
 At our last family meeting my friend Lea asked me "what does this thinking say about who you believe God is?" This question was really interesting. I had never really thought along these lines. As I started think about it, I came to a realization that I am looking to please God with this decision. Like in some way God wants us to be in one place over the other, and that we need to somehow figure out where he wants us, and if we don't we would be running from where God wants us.
I don't want to believe that way. I don't believe God is concerned with every little decision we make. I believe he ultimately knows what we will end up doing, but does he have a preference? Jonah was called by God to Ninevah. What if Jonah thought the voice he heard was just in his head, and didn't go. Would he still have been eaten by a whale? That is where I am with all of this. Lots of things come up and remind me of Pine Ridge, and I have a desire to go back, and sometimes I can convince myself that when I see "Sundance firewood" for sale that God is reminding me of Pine Ridge. If God is calling us to Pine Ridge, I need him to speak a little louder. Even if he doesn't I'm still reminded of this verse: "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps".  Lizzie and I are not big planners. As of today we are planning to stay in Minnesota. Who knows what tommorow will look like. God is good.

"even if He doesn't"

This is the first painting I did after my Greaterworks year. The idea came to me from a comment my friend Belva made during a morning bible study. We were reading the story of shadrach meshach and abednego . Belva after reading the story told us that her favorite part was when they say "Even if he doesn't" -now I have claimed that to be my favorite part.