Update


I know, I know… I’ve been gone for a while.

The last two months I have been spending a lot of time encouraging my friend and fellow blogger Michelle Styles through some big changes going on in her life as well as working through some big changes going on where I work.

Michelle has become a very dear friend over the last three years. We both see each other like family. In truth, I think one of the main reasons God had for me to start this blog was to connect us and our families together.

At work, there have been employee changes and with that schedule changes, as well as taking more responsibility as a co-host on a weekly cigar podcast and all the social media stuff that goes along with getting that off the ground. It has left me kind of tapped. I good kind of tapped you understand, but tapped nonetheless.

In addition to that, we are in the middle of having our kitchen redone because of water damage from a pipe that was leaking into the subfloor (so for the past week or so we have had no kitchen, kitchen sink, or stove). Anna had that slip back into cutting almost a month and a half ago and we have been seeing some things that are making us watch her closely again now.

It has been hectic.

Yes, I needed a break, but I did not expect it to be this long. Honestly, I’m in a bit of a rut. I have not felt like I had anything to say. When I was working as a fulltime pastor, I was writing material for sermons and classes all the time and it was easy to pull from that and share it blog post style. That is no longer the case–at least in this season I am in. I have no idea how long it will last.

So I turn to my audience, my readers, my virtual congregation. What questions, topics, problems, or things do you have that you would like me to address? I would love to hear from you on this. Perhaps once I get a few ideas I will be able to get back to some regular written posts.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers for me and my family. They are greatly appreciated.

Grace,

Dan

Lessons from being let go


So a bit over a week ago, I got a call from my wife Mandi all in tears. She was let go by her employer. She loved what she was doing and the people she was working with. I don’t need to go into the details, but she is not being replaced, her position was cut. It was a real shock to her (and to me too to be honest). We are very much a two income family, and we knew that if she didn’t get work asap we would be in big trouble.

Like you would expect, she was wracking her brain trying to figure out what happened: Did she do something wrong? What could she have done differently? Why would God take away a job that she loved and that fulfilled her so much? Yet I could not help thinking that God had pulled her away from that work for something else that He needed her doing more.

That night, she called her parents to tell them what was going on. As the conversation progressed, they began batting around the idea of hiring her as a CNA for themselves. Her mom has advanced Parkinson’s and her dad is recovering from a mild stroke. They had been paying for 24/7 help through a home health aid service. By the end of the next day, it have been worked out that she would work full time for them. Now she is getting more time with her parents and getting to care for them when they need it most which she has wanted to do and is making the same money she was at her previous job. They feel much more comfortable with Mandi doing all the personal things that need done, she is qualified to do more as a CNA than the home health aids were able to do, and because she is private, they are saving a lot of money and helping us out at the same time which they have wanted to do. It is a big win-win.

We have been learning the importance of looking at events like Mandi losing her job, or water damage from a broken pipe, or not knowing how the bills are going to get paid this month through the lens of faith. I’m not talking a blind irrational kind of faith. I’m talking about faith that God will do what you cannot, that He will provide what you cannot, that He will get you to where He wants you to be when you have no way there. We have been learning that these lessons never get learned. They are not things we mater and move on from. Rather they are lessons that get taken to new and deeper levels throughout your life. At least, that is what I have been learning. Perhaps you have too.

This is what the LORD says—
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland
(Isaiah 43:16-19, NIV).