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I’ve Been Away

July 17, 2019

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my wife, Debbie, and I are part of a wonderful organization, Open Door Libraries, with libraries in 4 strategic locations in Central & Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.  Our role is to provide care to the staff at these 4 libraries.  We focus on helping them stay emotionally, spiritually and physically healthy and fit.  It’s in our sweet spot.  After 45 years of ministry life, both Debbie and I have a passion to bring life in any way we can to people in ministry, and specifically to these men and women who are devoting their lives to building relationships and providing resources in places that have been dramatically under-resourced for decades.  It’s a wonderful ministry that is changing lives, and we’re honored to be part of it.  If you’d like to know more about it, click on this website:

We generally get to each of these four libraries 3 times a year to give care.  The trip takes about 4 weeks because we spend about a week in each location.  And when we’re out on these trips, I don’t always have time to stay current with my HomeworK blog.  This was true on this most recent trip.  We were gone from June 3 through July 3.

When we get back, we’re recovering from crossing 8 time zones and the jet lag that comes with that.  It usually takes about a day per time zone.  If we were younger, we could maybe do it more quickly.  We’ll never know…  So there’s a little more than a week when we get back that’s just a wash, no matter how smart I try to structure the re-entry.

This time, our return and re-entry is more complicated than before.  On July 26, we’ll be loading a Penske truck (with the help of wonderful friends here in Iowa), and moving to Edmond, OK, where I will begin working with a private Christian counseling practice, New Path 12:2 (  I’m looking forward with anticipation to developing a Pastoral Counseling practice with New Path 12:2.  It’s a challenging next chapter for Debbie and me, but it seems like God has been drawing me into it.  We’ll be able to continue our commitment and work with Open Door Libraries in this new position, so although many aspects of our lives will change, that will not.

For the last two weeks, we’ve been purging (and wondering why in the world we kept so much useless and out-dated junk…) and packing boxes so we’ll be ready to load the truck when the fast-approaching day arrives.

Actually, it’s been a lot more of Debbie doing this than me.  I’m finding it hard to adult.  I realize that there is a mountain of details to nail down, and work that has to be done before I go get the truck.  I know that putting off until tomorrow what I should be doing today will come back to bite me on the behind.  I know these things, but I still find it really hard to adult my way though them.  Even if you’re not moving, I think you know what I’m talking a bout.

There are hard things in life.  It’s been this way ever since Eve and Adam took the forbidden fruit.  This will not change.  Technology will change the look and feel of things, but it won’t change the fact that life is hard.  To date, nobody’s been able to come up with an app to change this.  I do not believe AI (artificial intelligence) will do this, either.  Moving will always be hard.  Even if you pay somebody else to do it for you.  There are apps that claim to make it easy, but all they can do is make it easier.  Not easy.  For me, anyway.  And we’re moving ourselves, with the help of friends and family.  So.

Thank you for permitting me to have a cathartic moment here.  Confession is good for the soul.  Unfortunately, confession quickly turns to whining, an activity I’ve become quite good at.

If you’re facing a difficult challenge (and I’m guessing most of us are), I have no wonderful advice.  I have no jewels of deep wisdom that will make it easy.  I don’t think I even have anything that will make it very much easier.  Sorry.

But there is a line from My Utmost For His Highest that helps me, so I’ll pass it on.   One simple sentence.  “Trust God and do what’s next.”

Easy for me to write.  Hard for me to pull off.  And very often hard for me to pull off with a song in my heart (unless it’s the Eagles’ Get Over It).  But this is the advice I’m telling myself over and over and over.  Just thought you might be in a tight enough spot you’d want to advise yourself this way, too.

From → Marriage

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