3 months gone

We are settling into this new phase of life; enjoying the little things you never realize you’ll appreciate so much.



“Do you, Josh, take Sara to be your wife? Do you promise to respect, love, honor, and protect her, forsaking all others and holding only unto her?”

“Made free by the blood of Christ and bound by His love, I promise to be faithful to you in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, to love you without reservation, to serve you with tenderness and respect, to be honest with you, and to cherish you as long as we both shall live.”

“Receive this ring as a seal upon my vows to you. May it be a reminder of how much I love you this day and always. With all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.”


”Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity, and, beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity.”

-Thomas Merton

xizi she knows

A significant part of maintaining my sanity and sense of self while living in the police state that was life on my IMB team was the music into which I escaped.  Similarly, specific music has been a solace and help this past year as I’ve struggled to find words.  This is one of those songs.



Slow down
From a thread of sky
Slow down
To the warp and weft your being
Slow down
You’re beautiful, graceful, like no other
Pretty damned good as you are

Slow down
Friend of mine
Slow down
In a terrible hurry for change
Slow down
As you unravel your marvels
From evergreen gardens
Remember we loved you this way

the song we’ll first dance to as husband and wife

love I made it mine
I made it small I made it blind
I followed hard only to find
it wasn’t love
it wasn’t love

love of songs and pen
oh love of movie endings
takes out the break
leaves out the bend
misses love

love not of you 
love not of me
come hold us up
come set us free
not as we know it
but as it can be

love’s reality 
is not a passing bravery
it holds out hope beyond what’s seen
the hope of love

love not of you 
love not of me
come hold us up
come set us free
not as we know it
but as it can be

[‘Love‘, Sara Groves]

systems and rules

I found a counselor who works with PTSD and trauma survivors.  We’re slowly uncovering the work to be done.  I’m finally ready to undertake it.

Kathy Escobar is still far better at putting words to the feelings that I’m only just now beginning to take the first faltering steps to articulate:

“one of the most painful losses during that season is that my experience rocked my faith, shook it to its core. it was like the scales had fallen off my eyes and i began to see all of the craziness of what i had been taught about God & the systems that are built in his name. i began to see the realities of believing-just-because-everyone-else-was-nodding-their-head-thinking-it-was-right-because-a-pastor-said-it-was. i admitted that everything i seemed to believe about God had become hooked into the church systems i had been part of.  i started to wonder what was real from God and what was just fabricated by my experiences. what if i was wrong and rebellious & unwilling to submit to what was right?  what if i was just being prideful by refusing to play by the same rules anymore?”

a clean reputation

Encountered this excerpt in an excellent article regarding conditions for CNAs working in nursing homes — this section jumped out at me as the most lucid characterization of the situation in so many missions teams, including the particular team environment I experienced:

“This is hard because reputations are such subjective things—someone might like you while another might not for some random reason. In a workplace where gossip is rife, and where the stress on the job creates many opportunities for misunderstandings and tension among co-workers, it’s hard to have a clean reputation.”


I live my life in widening circles

that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.
I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I’ve been circling for thousands of years
and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?