You Don’t Have to Punish Yourself: Learning to “Leave It”

Do you punish yourself? Me, too. In Christ, we don’t have to. Continue reading

The Grand Adventure

“Live in the dreams of what God is doing.”

A friend of mine wrote this wonderful thought down in a card for me for my last birthday.  I rediscovered it recently, finding new meaning in it because of some major life changes that are occurring for me right now.

More recently, another friend wrote me, encouraging me with this beautiful thought: “Never forget you are loved & what comes ahead is a grand adventure of Christ’s design~ so it’s wrapped in beauty & splendor only He could create.”

I was struck by her choice of words—“a grand adventure of Christ’s design.”  It combined nicely with my other friend’s thought of “living in the dreams of what God is doing.”  If I have learned anything this year, it has been that resting in Jesus and learning to obey Him in every area is truly the greatest, indeed, the grandest, adventure I have ever had.  Yet, sometimes, especially in seasons when change abounds, it is especially hard to trust my God.  His will is not spelled out in minute details for me; often it is simply a knowing He provides—a peace and a direction at just the right time.  It is a call to act in faith and obedience upon the commitment and confidence I have in Christ in the little things as well as the big ones—moment by moment.

In this particular season, it means putting some long-held dreams of mine on hold for His dreams (which are slowly becoming mine), a sometimes heart-ripping challenge.  Yet He is awakening a peace and an excitement within me for His dreams for this season and the ones to come.  I can see the opportunities for ministry and growth opening up before me.  And while much of the details of His plans for me are undisclosed, the glimpses I am given are quite extraordinary, and they fill me with hope and joy—because He planned them.  I am reminded that I am not promised tomorrow, but I am promised Jesus (Hebrew 13:8; James 4:13-15).  And I am commanded to use the time and gifts that He has given for His purposes (Ephesians 2:10; 5:15-17).

I see His perfect track record (even in confusion) in Scripture and in my own life.  I saw it when a loved one’s death brought me to the realization of the hope I had in Jesus.  I saw it when He enveloped me in His love when the scared younger me got on a plane with a group of people to minister in Asia, and, through that adventure, He moved subtly yet strongly within me towards lasting change in my own life.  I saw it when He stood beside me even when I grew angry with Him when my mom got cancer.  I saw it when He moved my heart and my lips towards others, even when I didn’t have the best attitude or felt incapable.

So, as I move into this new season, I greatly appreciate your prayers.  Please thank God for these new opportunities in my life.  Ask that He give me still more excitement, joy, and trust in Him.  But most all, pray that I would fix my eyes on Jesus.  Just Jesus.  Only Jesus.  For in following Him, I embark on the grand adventure I was made for (Psalm 16:8; 37:5).

The Story of Oddish

[This post was originally written in March 2013, but it was updated significantly in August 2019.]

What does being oddish mean?

Oddish became a part of my family’s vocabulary during a conversation with my parents when I was a freshman in high school.  We were discussing how many of our family’s decisions might seem odd to people.  Of most note during that conversation was that I had switched from a more traditional form of schooling to be homeschooled for high school.

Prior to that decision, my family had stuck out from the crowd for several other reasons.  First was the work situation in our house.  My dad is self-employed, running a photography business out of our home. Meanwhile, my mom has a career outside of the home.  On top of that, our home itself was out in the country, and my dad also grew a large, almost farm-like garden.  At the time, we also didn’t have cable TV,  didn’t have a ton of tech toys, and weren’t into sports.  We were a quirky family living out in the country.

Oddish, then, was a word we used (1) to describe our family’s brand of quirk and (2) an extension of our relationship with Jesus, acknowledging that, regardless of personal convictions, quirk, or culture, we stand out sometimes as His followers.

But, since I started this blog, God has taught me a lot about what it means to be “in the world and not of it,” a part of what is implied in the term oddish.

I now think of being oddish as separation infused with flesh-and-blood hope. I started this blog with a focus on the separation part.  During my time here, I learned to focus on the hope part. Being oddish has elements of separation just because of the Christian call to holiness, yet it shouldn’t shy away from that which is flesh-and-blood—because Jesus didn’t.  Jesus came in the flesh to save from sin, He was resurrected in the flesh…and He promises to raise those who trust in Him—in the flesh. The problem isn’t the world or flesh categorically—the problem is the sin that taints, breaks, and leads to death.

So, being oddish is about being distinctly Christian—which simultaneously means sometimes-separation (because of sin) AND being right in the middle of the action of ministry, truth, and love (because of the hope of resurrection).

These days, being oddish looks different for me. I live in a city with my Jesus-loving husband, Kevin. We work as writers/editors and love sharing the truth of the flesh-and-blood hope of our Lord and Savior. Sometimes we stick out—sometimes we seem too liberal, sometimes too conservative. Our goal is simply to follow Jesus—sharing the good news of His kingdom as a pair of quirky, broken, and rescued people.