Monthly Archives: April 2014

Life with Margins

Life has been crazy since we have returned from Haiti. The Lord has been so faithful to provide. When we made the decision to return to America we had almost nothing planned out. Now Six months later i feel caught up in the daily routine  of my American life. I mostly wanted to take the opportunity to update everyone on the events of our life.

Upon returning i applied to work at one of the only residential care facilities in Colorado Springs called Griffith Center for Children. I initially applied for the a part time, nights and weekend position working for the residential program. While i was in training the supervisor of the school program made an announcement that they were looking to hire two full time teachers assistants. The pay was the same but the hours where much better (7-2 or 7-4, instead of 2PM-10PM). Now i was hesitant to take even the part time position because we also committed a year living in Joel Home which is a transitional living program for young men who have aged out of foster care. This would mean that i would work full time during the day with troubled kids only to go home and then live with them too. But I took the position when it was offered because i felt i would be able to engage in the Joel Home better with the TA’s schedule than working nights and weekends. About 2 months into the TA job my supervisor calls me into her office and asks me if i would ever be interested in getting trained as a supervisor for the Griffith centers. I told her that i would consider it but i would most likely want to wait until my commitment at Joel home was fulfilled ( in December). Then about 2 weeks ago (3 months into this position) my supervisor calls me into her office again and says that there is a teaching position available and that if i want it the job is basically mine… Oh yeah and attached to that position is the wilderness directors position (which is always held by a teacher). I walked out of the office in glee and disbelief, i even remember driving home and asking myself can this be real? Did i just get offered my dream job? Once the excitement wore off the inevitable onslaught of my logistical brain kicked in, and i began to find holes in this plan. Pretty huge holes. Like hey Brian you have  BA in psychology and NOT teaching. The only way for you start teaching is enrolling in a certificate program that meets every Saturday for 5 hours for the next 2 YEARS (NOT GOING TO HAPPEN) or going to graduate school for a masters in teaching. Furthermore i would have to start all of this in august. I walk myself through the options, plan A) say no and keep my job as a TA (Which i see myself being able to maintain for…not much longer) or B) say yes, Start teaching (which i have never done), start managing a wilderness program (which i have never done), go to graduate school full time…while working. So basically after teaching in the morning and going to school in the evenings i would come home and live at Joel home, oh yeah and don’t forget to be a good husband. I ponder…and then i ponder some more. I Naively want to tell myself that it could work, i could find time to do all that, it would be worth the sacrifice. Then i think of the times i have gotten burned out because i was trying to do too much. Somewhere in the midst of the the mental torment that this decision making process was i remembered a talk that the youth pastor i worked with in college gave about how our lives need to have margins. Yes there are seasons that the Lord calls us to be busy and complete work for his name, or so that we can get to the next level or whatever. But in the midst of all of that we need to have margins. Space, time that we don’t have things planed, because if we feel the need, or have to schedule every hour of our life (even with good things) we generally a) don’t leave room for the holy spirit to work in our lives, b) usually aren’t making enough time for the people in our lives c) are totally miserable. I really wanted this position for so many reasons but i had to remember that every time we say yes to something we are saying no to something else. If saying yes to the job meant neglecting my responsibilities to my wife and to the young men that i am responsible for mentoring at Joel Home then it wasn’t worth it.

Turning down this position was a very difficult choice, and i wish i could say that i have just moved on, but i haven’t. It still lingers in my mind, taunting me, telling me that i will never get another opportunity  like this again. So i have to have faith, i have to believe that God cares more about relationships and priorities than he does about job titles and resumes. That our God is a God who inhabits both the praises and the margins of his people.

A Real Man

The birthday cake was cut and the coffee was brewing. We all sat encircling the two eldest women as though we were small children again. We listened intently as they relived stories from days long past: stories of childhood chores, bathing in a # 3 washtub, the festive day they got hot running water, and the youthful trouble in which they would sometimes find themselves. These two silver-haired sisters sat and laughed for hours at the opportunity to remember what life used to be for them.

We had gathered to celebrate the 82nd birthday of Brian’s grandmother. A godly and well-esteemed woman, I see in her so many qualities I hope to someday possess. What struck me most about that day was not that we were celebrating her 82nd birthday, but the subject which took up the majority of her and her sister’s conversation: their father.

A combined 160 years of life and the thing these two women most wanted and enjoyed talking about was their father, the man he was, and the legacy he left for them.

I think about the men who play the biggest role in my life. Men like my own father, my grandfathers, and my husband. These men, by life’s selection and circumstance, have been given the platform of influence in my life and the life of many others in their own lives.

The respect and admiration I have for these men and the thought of their legacies started me thinking about our Joel Home guys. Who will tell them about the platform of influence they too have? Who will show them what it means to be a man, a husband, a father? Who will show them how to sacrificially lead their families? Who will stress to them the importance of unconditional love for their children and how important is to them that they come to their child’s athletic games and school events?

How fortunate I was to have men who knew so well how to show their love for me. How fortunate I was to have men who knew so well how to show their support for me. How fortunate I was to have men who knew so well to teach how a woman is to be treated, honored, and cared for.

And what of our guys here at Joel Home? Who will show them? Who will teach them?

My prayer is they will see these things in my husband. I pray they see the godly, big-hearted man he is and how much he cares for them. I pray they see qualities in my husband that they too hope to possess. I pray they see me admiring and honoring my husband in a way they hope their future wives will. I pray they see the ways we serve each other, love each other, build up each other, and sacrifice for each other. I pray they see Christ in us.

I also pray there are others who will come along beside us and desire relationship with these guys. I wish people could see how incredible these young men are and how much heart they have. I pray people will join hands with us as we desire to teach these young men about legacies and true manhood.

If you are reading this I have some challenges for you:

First, for those in the Colorado Springs area, if you have any interest at all in serving alongside these incredible guys we need mentors! We need men, or couples, or families, or however God is calling you, to choose to invest in these guys and model for them what the life of Christ and the life of a man looks like. If you are interested in becoming involved or would like more information, please feel free to contact me at

Second, if you are not in our area I challenge you to join Joel Home, Children’s Hope Chest, and us in prayer for these guys. Brian and I have three guys living with us in Joel Home II and there are three guys living in Joel Home I. That’s a total of 6 young men who need to be covered in prayer and be lifted up as men. Will you commit to standing with us in their corner and encouraging them, supporting them, coaching them, and praying for them?

Friends, I am so grateful for each of you who take time to read the words God imprints on my heart. I am thankful for all those men who shape and impact my life and I lift each of you up in prayer. Will you too lift those men who are special to you up in prayer and tell them how important they are? Will you remind them of the importance of their legacy? Will you build them up as men so they can become more like Christ and better lead your families, your groups, and your communities? Thank you friends for your commitment to the family of Christ and to the men in your lives.

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous” – Psalm 1:1-6

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14