When God Speaks Through His Word and Our Art

The bold black ink on white canvas caught my eye.  As I walked under the shaded outdoor patio of Elevate coffee, I noticed a girl tracing the penciled words with a thin brush; “Wow, that’s beautiful,” I said.  I took a closer look; the canvas read, “For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content”.

“Can I take a picture of it?” I asked.IMG_0644

She said yes and I clarified, “I’d like to show it to my husband.”  The phrase sounded pleasant though unfamiliar and I smiled.  I stretched out my hand and introduced myself.  My new friend’s name is Jasmin.  I promised her I would return to see the finished product.

God has done this before.  Once before Asa and I started dating, I was looking at his pottery on the shelves at Desert Dragon.  He had carved around his vessel the words: “Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”  The Lord had been speaking these words same words to my heart.  He was using them to make me desire holiness and freedom from sin.  Now, Asa and I had barely talked at this point.  In fact, I had seen him throw and had not appreciated his work.  It wasn’t until I saw his carved pottery that I realized how talented he is.  A couple days later, I apologized to him, “I’m sorry, but I totally underestimated you,” I said.  He smiled and proceeded to win my heart and marry me months later.

But the point of my story is that God speaks to us often through His Word and moreover, through art, which I love.  When I saw Jasmin’s canvas, I saw God’s faithfulness.  I know I can trust him.  Despite the fact that, last night, my husband and I talked about silence, uncertainty and money, I know I cannot falter in my heart when it comes to God.  Because he told me, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”.  He reminded me of his Word last night.  And then, there it was today in black and white: “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content”.

Inside of elevate, I found a friend from the ceramics studio.   “I just saw Asa last night at the studio!”  Heather hugged me and congratulated us.  We sat on the couches near the window.  On the other side friend continued working on her lettered canvas.  I felt in my heart something/someone say, “That canvas is yours.”  I continued to share pictures from the wedding.  My friend and I chatted for a while until I finished my Mocha Frappuccino and she needed to leave to pick up her kids from school.

I returned to my new friend Jasmin on the other side of the glass.  She was sitting with her finished canvas and her boyfriend, Washington.  I asked her why she picked that verse in particular.  “Sometimes God speaks a verse into my heart for that particular season of my life.  This is a time of transition for me and I felt like this verse spoke to that.”

“I love it,” I said.

Washington handed me the canvas, “It’s yours.”

Dear Lord Jesus, I always underestimate you.  I pray you continue to show me your faithfulness through your people, your Word and our art.  Thank you because you are not silent.  Give me ears to hear and eyes to see.  In your name, Jesus, Amen.

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13IMG_0648

Metamorphosis: a gift, a new life and a very hungry caterpillar

To the optimists whose hearts are willing to listen to good news

My sister Karina has always had a knack for gift giving, but this time she hit the nail right on the head. Before we left for the airport Saturday morning she handed me a small blue bag and instructed me, “Don’t open until you’re in Phoenix.”  I tucked it into the picnic basket that I had found in salvation army.  Her gift did not go through security undetected.  An officer pulled me aside and checked the basket.
“Any explosives or fire arms in here?” he joked.  He sifted through my beat up NIV, pulled out my chopsticks and shin ramen cup noodles.  “What’s this?” he held Karina’s present. 
“No idea, Sir,” I said, “My sister gave it to me as a going away present.  I can open it if you like.” 
“I’ll put it through the machine and see.  If I need to I’ll open it.  Haha, hope your sister isn’t one for practical jokes.”  He took away the blue gift bag.  My curiosity was fueled.  The officer came back. 
“Hahaha, that would have been a good one.  You would have been so mad.  Here, you’re all clear.  Have good holiday, Miss.” 
I smiled and took my basked away and made my way to gate F10 and took a seat near a window where I could see the sun rising.  Immediately I tore into the little present.

photo (1)A week prior, we had taken a trip to Mitsuwa Mart in Arlington Heights and I had debated buying a Japanese translation of The Very Hungry Caterpillar from the bookstore.  But I ended up putting it back on the shelf.  Karina seized the opportunity and recruited our kid brother and our friend Victor to distract me while she made the purchase.  She tucked the book inside her purse and returned to us, cool as a cucumber and just in time for green tea ice cream.  Those sneaky ninjas were so careful not to spill the beans that I never suspected a thing.

I read through Harapeko Aomushi on the plane and was surprised I fully understood it.  Of course the book is written for children and completely in hiragana the most basic characters of Japanese writing.  And it does help that I know the story in English by heart: “In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on the leaf…”

I’ve been holding back on writing about my obsession with butterflies because it seems a little childish.  But as I make this new transition I feel that it’s important to recognize what God has been teaching me since last August.  At the end of the summer of 2013, I was offered a part-time position in Grand Rapids, but I turned it down because in my heart I knew God was asking me to go home.  I found Christ as a freshmen at Hope College and knew that going back meant trusting that God would provide Christian community and a job.  Not only that but I learned that going back to Steger meant coming to terms with my old self.  My house alone is filled with relics from 18 years lived without knowledge of Jesus’ love and grace.  It was during this period that God began speaking to me through butterflies.  I can’t pin point when it began.  But suddenly I saw them every where.  On the cover of a devotional that my Japanese professor gave to me for my graduation.  Printed on the inside of a mug at my Tia Jessie’s house.  At the museum of science and industry, My friend Lauren and I watched a the Flight of the Butterflies in the Omnimax theater. For Christmas my mom gave me a butterfly necklace and for months it served as a reminder of the familiar verse: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17).

IMG_20131222_205457  IMG_20140107_162033  IMG_20131109_193638 (2)

But I didn’t feel new.  I was working at an incredibly challenging alternative school (ironically called RISE) and the tough work environment made me irritable toward the people I loved.  I asked myself, what the heck? you’re supposed to be representing Jesus Christ and look at you now!  And the butterflies kept coming along with temptations to return to my old self.  On the worst days, the butterflies were more like mosquitoes that I swatted away. On the best days, they were a reminder to step into the life that God has called me to live in Christ.

So as I read through this simple children’s book on my way to a new life in Phoenix, AZ, I remembered the complex reality of being born again in Christ.  I remembered the hunger.  How nothing would satisfy me though on Monday I ate through a whole apple and on Tuesday through two pears and on Wednesday through three plums and on Thursday through four strawberries and on Friday through five oranges and on Saturday ate through a plethora of things that I was never created to eat and made me sick.  And finally I ate through a green leaf.  This leaf to me represents God’s word.  And when I ate of it, I was transformed into something entirely new.  Everyday, I must accept this new life and choose to rise and fly.

Those pesky butterflies still follow me wherever I go.  But I feel like I’ve stepped into a different season and the metaphor has been etched into my heart. I am grateful to God for his patience and grace.  He has lead me into this desert land and I am eager to meet him here in a brand-new way.

Relevant verses (click link to view in context):

1. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst” (John 6:35).

2. Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again” (John 3:3).

3. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).

Hey! Expect an update with pictures from AZ and reflections from induction and job training with Teach for America coming soon! Peace!

Blueprints: on Christ, Carpenters and our Fathers

 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.
Hebrews 3:4

“The priest talked about José,” says my dad, “and about the Angel who told him he was more than just a carpenter.”

It no wonder why it’s this part of the message that sticks to my father’s mind.  He’s been in the business of building since he came to the United States from Mexico years ago.  My dad’s hands are rough like sandpaper and tough as nails.  Hard-work gives his life purpose.  Our house is always under construction.  I can imagine Joseph being the same sort of man, one eager to build a perfect home for his family.

Joseph must have had the hopeful blueprints etched in his heart.  A beautiful wife, a steady job, a couple of kids.  But all of his plans for the home he wanted to build are destroyed with the notice of Mary’s pregnancy and the knowledge that the child is not his.  Disheartened, Joseph is forced to end his relationship with Mary quietly.  So much for the perfect bride. So much for the perfect home he had in mind.  So much for his purpose.

Yet, suddenly, the Lord sends a dream, an Angel who tells him he is more than just a carpenter.  To be exact, the Angel says the following:

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:20-1).”

Here God presents a new blueprint: a plan for salvation.  This the bigger picture that fills Joseph’s life with purpose and meaning.

I love my father and I respect his desire to build a perfect home for the family he loves.  But I know that just like with Joseph God’s desire is to fill my father with a deeper purpose.  He is much more than a father, than a husband, than a carpenter. He is invited to participate God’s larger plan for salvation.  We all are.  And just like Joseph we simply need to accept God’s invitation.

Merry Christmas, Everyone.

Three verses to meditate (click link to view in context):

1. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).”

2. “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth (Exodus 9:16).”

3. (This verse never grows old.  Look at it again.  It is powerful truth that can alter your life forever.)  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Jesus didn’t rise from the dead for this!

And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony; they loved not their lives unto the death (Revelation 12:11).

So I just cashed a check and it reminded me of a friar named Ignacio from one of my favorite movies, Nacho Libre.  In the movie, Ignacio “Nacho” has a fascination for wrestling and teams up with Steven “Esqueleto” to compete in a novice wrestling match.  Ignacio has high-hopes for his career as a luchador, but during their first match he and Equeleto are utterly humiliated by a more experienced wrestler.  Even though they lose match after match they still get paid.  But their sweet reward turns sour.

“I don’t wanna be paid to lose!  I want to win!” Nacho tells Steven, “It sucks to be me right now.”

Now, I can totally see where Ignacio is coming from.   Starting a new job at an alternative school for troubled middle and high school students has a way of humbling you.  I’m sure that everyone can relate to the familiar feeling of defeat.

RISE (ironically, that’s the name of the school where I work) is a direct answer to my prayers and exactly what the doctor ordered to put to death my pride and impatience.  But at the end of most days, I came out of school a little sore (my ego takes a heavy beating).  The kids go home and I go home feeling like I just got my butt whooped by Silencio or Dynasty or some other goofy luchador from Nacho Libre.  I lost.  To my sinful self.  To my pride and my impatience.  To my shame.

So for several weeks the Lord has had me stuck on the death of Jesus Christ.  The event that shook all of history 2000 years ago.  A woman from my aunt’s church taught me a simple song on the guitar based on Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and the life that I live in the flesh I live through the faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me.” I went back into the ring. “You’re dead,” I told my old self as I pinned her shoulders to the mat, but before I knew it  I lost again.

“You said you didn’t want an easy job,” says my mom.  She massages my hand.

“I did,” I say and wince as her thumb rubs over a knot, “I still do.”  

But I don’t want to be paid to lose; I want to WIN.  Does it not say that we will over come by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony?  I’m starting to re-evaluate this whole luchadora-thing when it hits me: Jesus didn’t rise from the dead for this!  He didn’t rise from the dead so we could wallow in self-pity.  He didn’t rise from the dead so that we could stay stuck in our lives of sin.  He rose so that we could rise victorious WITH HIM. It’s at this moment that I high-five Jesus Christ into the ring to take my place.  This is his fight after all. And it’s already been won.

Scripture Verses for the Struggle:

1. What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life (Romans 6:1-4).

2. Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance and perseverance must finish it’s work so that you may be mature and not lacking anything (James 1:2-4).

3. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:24-5).

To Know and Be Known: Reflections on Psalm 139

Today, be blown away by our God.  Be like the psalmist David who sings, “Oh Lord you have searched me and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.”  Oh, this knowledge is needed–like a warm jacket as the leaves blow away and undress the trees outside your window.  When even your home feels like cold foreign soil and you, a foreigner, know this: He knows you.  When all those around you fail to understand your words, be sure of this: “Before a word is on [your] tongue, [God] knows it.”

I write this post after listening to an unrelated sermon and realizing that God really does know me.  I don’t know why it still surprises me when he speaks so directly into my life.  He always speaks through his word.  As if he knew me!  Well, he did create me after all.  Back in the Spring, I took a class on writing fiction with an amazing teacher who encouraged us to look for the “yearning” in each piece.  What is the desire at the heart of the characters?  I cannot tell you how many times we identified a yearning to be known, a desire for intimacy.  I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me either.  Why wouldn’t God create us with a yearning that He can so adequately fulfill?

I thank you, Lord, because I when desire to be known I can rest assured that my Creator knows me.  I trust you to fulfill all my needs.  I know that your word is my bread and that when I turn to it you will feed me.  I rejoice in your love and your intimacy.  “Search me, Oh Lord, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Psalm 139, StrengthsQuest, and Creator God

One of my biggest prayers to the Lord post-Hope College has been for God to show me who he has created me to be. In the 139th psalm, David says to God, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; all your works are wonderful”. ALL his works: including you and me. That sounds awfully egotistical. I try my best not to think I’m wonderful. Haven’t I been working toward humility? What’s all this “wonderful” business? I thought I was a broken human being.

Recently, I was sitting in my apartment with a couple of friends and a couple of steak Tacos from the corner store. It was Sunday and, as I unwrapped the first taco, one friend asked me if I believed in original sin.

“One second,” I said, “Let me pray first and then I’ll answer your question.”

So I said grace while my friends chuckled at the response.

We talked about the Lord in the beginning and his affirmation of creation: it is good. God is creator and all that he makes is good. Satan, on the other hand, is a destroyer, and he is not capable of creating. He can only distort what is good. So, yes, I suppose I do believe in original sin. I believe we’ve bought into the enemy’s lies and have exchanged good for something unnatural, broken: sin. The story doesn’t end there, of course. Despite all odds, God is willing and able to restore his creation.  In the light of this invitation, what does it mean to be fearfully and wonderfully made?

Last Thursday I started working for an incredible program called Upward Bound, a government funded program that supports high school students in preparation for college. These past few days have been exciting as I’ve interacted with my new teammates. Together we will accept the role of mentors and tutors for the next six weeks. The program hasn’t even started and I can already see areas of growth. One of the biggest aspects of our training includes the StrengthsQuest, an online questionnaire that identifies each person’s unique talents. Everyone on the team took the test before training. It’s the weirdest thing to talk about what you’re “good at”. The results are incredibly accurate. I read the description of my top five strengths and had goosebumps. This morning we had yet another team meeting. Each of us had a sheet of paper folded over like a name plate with all our strengths. We talked about specific moments in our lives when we’ve seen these strengths come through. Looking around, I noticed how different my teammates are from me. I saw all their talents and their value; I saw my own value. My God, the God of David and the God of Abraham, had made each of us. Fearfully and wonderfully. He made us. He made us for his glory. I talked myself out of crying. We were in a meeting, a positive team-building meeting. How would I explain myself to my new friends? Y’all are just too wonderful. Hahaha. Seriously though, in that moment, I saw how each of us is created in the image of the living God.

I think it’s weird, too, that God is teaching me about the way he created me, teaching me through positive psychology and an online quiz.  But who am I to question him?  I don’t pretend to know exactly what it means to be fearfully and wonderfully made.  But I do know that as a part of His creation, I have a purpose.  I am created to glorify and praise the Living God.  He is good and all that he makes is good, too.  I thank Him for the way he’s uniquely created me and others around me, so that we can work together.  I am so excited for God to refine the talents he’s created in me.  I surrender them all so that they can serve Him.  He is worthy.

A Simple Story about Sakura Petals and Physical Contact

Urayasu, Chiba Japan 2012

“We’re going on a walk,” My host mother says in Japanese, not the same day I arrive but on an afternoon when the sakura are in full bloom.  “Cherry Blossoms,” she says in English as if I can’t understand.  Because usually I can’t.

“Watashi mo!” I say and tag along down the concrete ramp.  She pushes my host father’s wheelchair in front of her.  We cross the street to the canal.  I walk beside my host father.  A white sheet covers his thin legs.  The wind is strong today.  It flaps and folds it over.  He struggles to pull the cloth back into place with his good hand.  I cover his knees but the wind keeps blowing.  Sakura petals fall like pink snowflakes.  My host mother wheels over the flowers on the sidewalk.

“My father was a fisherman,” she tells me simple stories in Japanese, “Once I went to Disney Sea.  They gave out free passes to all the people of Urayasu when it first opened.”

We pass a white cherry blossom tree.  “Beautiful, don’t you think?” She tilts her head over the chair to see the face of her silent husband who smiles and nods.  “Don’t you think?” She asks me.  I nod, too.

“I take a picture.”  She parks the wheel chair and pulls out her magenta camera.  “For your mother,” she says, “So she can see how beautiful they are.  How beautiful you are.”

I lean against the fragile frame of the tree.  Cheese.

“Now one with Masaki san,” she says and tucks me beside her husband’s chair.

Hope, I thought my hands could heal.  I though perhaps if I could rest a hand over the man’s shoulder he could rise dancing.  I didn’t want to do the Mexican hat dance over Japanese cultural boundaries.  I wanted to restore.

I place my hand on this man’s shoulder.  Before the camera snaps, I pull away.  I blush into the lens.

The next morning I watch Moko’s Kitchen like usual before class.  My mouth full of French toast made by my Japanese host mother.  I sprinkle more cinnamon over the yellow/brown bread.

“Deiji san,” she calls from the room, “Come here, please.”

She’s sitting on the edge of Masaki san’s bed.  “Come here,” she urges again. She faces him.  “He asked for you.”  But I have few words and he has none.

Instead he holds out his hand.  I take it.   I look at my Japanese father’s moistened eyes wishing I could tell him about the One who healed me.  But if I flew 13 hours for this moment alone, it was well worth it.

I know Christ healed two people that day: a tired stranger and a beautiful man, both longing for contact.  I have yet to see my host father rise from his chair and dance for the Lord.  But I am certain of this, God restores.  He has restored and he will continue to do his work in us and through us until the day of Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory forever and ever.

Foreigners, Slam Poetry and el “Dia del Turkey”

Gina Loring was the first slam poet I ever heard.  I was on a college visit to the small liberal arts school where I ended up spending the last three and a half years.  A small stage was set up with a tall microphone and a slender woman with powerful words.  “You move me.”  She wrote in the second person.  Speaking to someone in between us her audience.  “You move me like a long, cool drink of water after the steepest hike on the hottest day.”  Was she talking to us?  To man or to God? Continue reading

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight teach us about shame and grace


For those of you unfamiliar with Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, let me fill you in on the romantic journey of the most honest and courteous knight of King Arthur’s round table.  Imagine this: King Arthur and his court are about to start their New Year’s feast when an impressive knight, entirely green including his horse, rides into the hall.  He says something along the lines of “remain calm.”  He holds an axe in one hand.  “I don’t wanna fight.”  He  challenges the court to a “Christmas game”, to strike him once with the axe with the condition that in a year he must strike back.  So Arthur rises to the challenge, but Sir Gawain volunteers to take his place.  He swings the ax and slices the Green Knights head off clean.  The Green Knight picks up his head and rides off saying, “See ya in a year”.  Soon, Gawain must brave the adventure to the Green Chapel where he will take a blow to the neck, but not before he faces temptation, three times by a beautiful lady in the Green Castle.  In the end, Gawain acquires a green girdle from Lady Bertilak; she claims the girdle will protect him.  He, fearing his life, hides the girdle from the master of the house, Sir Bertilak, to whom he has promised all that he gains during his stay in the Green Castle.

You've been punked.

You’ve been punked.

The day has finally arrived and Sir Gawain ties a girdle around his waist and goes to meet the Green Knight.  After all is said and done, Sir Gawain comes out of it with only a small wound on his neck.  “You’ve been punked,” says GK who it turns out is also Sir Bertilak.  “This was all a test on your integrity.”  Sir Gawain is overwhelmingly ashamed.  “Haha, don’t worry about it,” says GK, “At least you’re not a womanizer.  You did all this to protect your life.  And besides you confessed, so I forgive you.  It’s all forgotten.”  But Sir Gawain says, “I suck at life.  I can’t believe I did that.  I’m a coward.”  He goes back to Arthur’s court where he is greeted with kisses and pats on the shoulder while he broods, “I’m such a loser.  I can never forgive myself.”  And then they all laugh, eat and drink and wear green girdles around their necks as symbols of Sir Gawain’s adventure.

What’s the point?

Sir Gawain is suppose to be the most humble and honest of the Round Table.  Everyone respects him and praises him and when they do he responds, “I’m not that great.”  He sets the bar up pretty high for all the Knights at the Round Table including himself.  This is not a bad thing.  The problem is that his identity rests solely on his ability not to fall into temptation.   This is why he cannot accept the grace offered to him by the Green Knight when he fails.  His disappointment comes from the fact that he lost his integrity.

Perhaps, this has happened to you.  You made a mistake and return to God with head hung low and a wound on your neck.  And he says to you, “I do not keep a record of wrongs.  My love never fails.  You are clean despite all odds because of what Christ has done.” And you respond, “I can’t believe I did that.  I can never forgive myself.”  Don’t think for a second, that this response is a humble one.  Instead, step down from your high horse and accept the grace of God.  Let him welcome you into his arms and teach you to walk in his ways.

Two Quotes

I leave you with the following quotes which I feel apply to my life. I hope that you find truth here as well.  To read them in context, just click the quote.

1: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”
2: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”


I’m not sure if the kids at my church understand that I am technically an adult and not just a larger version of a kid. It doesn’t matter I guess. I like pretending. I’ll humor them, like they humor grown-ups, like I humor grown-ups too.

“You’re under arrest,” transformers t-shirt, age 5, tells me. He wraps my hairband around my wrists like handcuffs.
“Why?” I ask.
“You gotta come with me,” he says. With all his authority, he takes me to the small scale replica of noah’s ark which doubles as a prison cell and library.
“You stay here and you don’t come out”
“I demand a lawyer.” I pound at the imaginary bars. Pretending is a serious act. You gotta play by the rules.
This is the playground. The place where life is lived, where scenes are built, where stories are created. Here is the kitchen where tony the tiger t-shirt, age 4, brews invisible coffee and pours out an empty cup (“Be careful. It’s hot.”) for me to sip with a satisfactory, “AHh!” at the end.
“What are you doing outside your cell,” asks transformers, pulling me off of a teeny yellow chair. He looks at tony the tiger in the eye, “she’s gotta go to jail.”
They are little actors in a self-directed drama.

“What does it take to be a grown-up?” I ask you in the international lounge on a Friday. I’m humoring you. Perhaps, I think I’m wiser, older. I’m wrong on both accounts of course.
You say, “You gotta know how to handle kids.”
“You gotta know how to change a tire,” I offer. “Do you?”
“Yeah of course,” you say, “You gotta exercise and eat and sleep right.”
I nod.
“You gotta…manage your finances.”
This doesn’t sound as much fun as my nights in the nursery. I think about our conversation much deeper into the night and dream about it a bit. I suppose, I’ll have to live it all out at some point. After a brief three months, I’ll have to act in my own little drama called, “Life after Hope.” Pretending works for the kids at the nursery. Through story-telling, they learn how to play by the rules, how the “real” world works. Can’t I do the same?

My roommate wakes me up the next morning too early to go sledding, but, after a couple of runs, my adrenaline is pumping. I spin a couple times down the hill. I think, this ought to be on the checklist. I fall over and climb back up the hill. That’s when we bump into each other, and I say, “In order to be a grown-up, you gotta know when to be a kid.”

So humor the grown-ups, humor the kids, go ahead and humor yourself thinking you’re a grown-up. But know this: God is not done with us yet. Let him teach you about his world through everything: snow, stories and coffee mugs. In the time frame of eternity, we are all still crazy kids pretending to have it all together.

My Bro and Me