Nice little visit from Bron before the wedding. June 2022 in PA.

We’ve been in the US for 2 weeks already. The first week I was pretty sick and lost my voice for what seamed like an eternity for someone that likes to talk! I don’t enjoy hopping in and out of difficult cultures. I’m getting too old for this. I’m very thankful for the safe, comfortable and naturally gorgeous ‘home’ to return to, especially in this season of unrest, but 2022 feels like a short-term mission trip so far, and I’d like to be planted, root and bear fruit in one place. I’ve often said, or thought at least, we creatures are designed for flourishing in one culture, and while travel broadens and can be exciting in spurts, too much roaming lacks the necessary rhythms that help us flourish.

View of our beach at Eagle Rock in PA. It’s about a 20 minute walk from our house.

So we’re home. Funny. When we go to Walmart or venture outside our mountain oasis, we’re startled by most of our surroundings. The language, the attitudes, the prices! Our kids are enjoying the time, and we’re enjoying them. We’re hoping to setup our house here for short term rentals, our original plan before life became upended from this war.

A goofy crowe Zoom – always fun to see our kids.

We do need to rent it out, we can’t afford to have it sit, and there’s plenty of things we need to update and those things cost. I had a contractor come out to give me an estimate on a driveway issue, it was five figures! I laughed (inwardly) in disbelief. I could fly over some Ukrainian friends to do it and still save money I think.

Last week Noah turned 15yrs… we had our first game of Bocce ball.

We saw Bronwyn, but for a day this week. Next time we see her is in 3 days. We’ll be driving up for the wedding in Rochester, actually Fairport to be exact. My parents will be driver around Lake Ontario to join us. Broderic and his family, Brent, Tucker and our crew will all travel to the same hotel. It’s a small wedding, might be the smallest I’ve been to. It’s not because I’m cheap either, just for heritage sake.. she’s decide to take the money and go on a nice honeymoon vs blow it on entertaining others. That’s my girl! We’re not suppose to really just dress up, but just enjoy the backyard festivities and celebrate life – L’Chaim.

Life. Brief. A gift. Lived best backwards, ensuring the valuable gives way over impulsivity and shortsightedness. Does it matter if we finish well? To whom? I read Ecclessiates this past week, it was rather depressing. I’m thankful to have studied a little of the wisdom books at Fuller. Instead of shoehorning unappetizing bits of truth in my mouth for forced digestion, I understand now this writer was postulating inner uncertainties, thing that nag and grind inside when we consider this life. I don’t need to be reminded how depressing life can be without the loving, personified Creator in Jesus. Life is not about enjoying one’s labor, or laboring for enjoyment. Jesus has liberated us from the chains of unsatisfied pleasures, the constant pursuit of vain empty things never intended to bring the rest our souls desire. We are liberated for something, or rather someone. To know our Creator, to become united in character through a life-long, and perhaps even eternal path of formation. We’re being remade, in a process of undoing. Perhaps that’s the real freedom Jesus ushered in. It’s not just a liberty from our fears and things that bind us up and drag us down, but a liberty for a pathway, a relationship that will completely redefine our expectations in this life.

Stacking wood so it can dry this summer/fall.. will we be back this fall / winter? Prepare!

I’m on a journey. As a husband, father and son. The road is not so clear as it once was. The certainties less affirming, the invitation to surrender and trust my Creator might be the only thing I can be assured of. It’s not an easy season in life, this descent seems lonely and steep. It’s journeyed on through letting go, striving no longer works its deceptive magic. I don’t know if I have the strength to cease striving, the faith deep enough to rest in the arms of the Great Shepherd. In some ways, it feels like life is only beginning.

I look forward to seeing my kids. My grandson Byron. Life. The rhythm is all around, inwardly and outwardly.

Fuller graduation, watched online, wish I could have walked the stage, but I’m officially finished with my Master’s and having paused the doctoral program.