Thank Yous

We’re sitting at the airport, waiting to board our very first flight, and have a LOT of thank yous to pass around. I can hardly believe today is finally here – and though I’m excited about our journey – it’s more than hard to leave behind our incredible community of family and friends. So without further ado:

To Bob and Bertha: Thanks for the home, the warm bed, the food, the support, and the amazing steak for dinner. // To Laurie and Gina: Thanks for all of the advice, love, and excitement you’ve sent our way. // To Patty: Thank you for your encouragement, support, and the warm socks. // To Maggie: Thank you for surprising us on Christmas Day! To think we would have had to leave without seeing you was heart-breaking. // To William: Thanks for the warm wool. // To Fae and Wally: Thanks for taking in the cats and making them feel at home. We are forever indebted to you! // To the Boys: Thanks for endless games of pingpong and laughter. // To MeMac: Thank you for your support and encouragement, and sharing sushi with us one last time. // To Peggy and Susie: Thanks for the awesome travel gift. We love it! // To Kevin and Melissa: Thank you for our amazing friendship, your excitement and support, and prayers as we planned our journey. // To Steph and Jeremy: Thanks for the first aid kit we hopefully won’t have to use, for being there always, and for promising to Skype when baby #2 is born. // To Sushi and Queso: Thanks for love and cuddles. // And to everyone reading this post: THANK YOU for prayers, for encouragement, and for all of the fun comments on Facebook. We love you all.

Here we go!

The American Dream

As Americans, we’re expected to follow a lot of patterns – one of the most important being that so-called “American Dream.” What is the American Dream, exactly? Everyone defines it a bit differently. Some say it’s a steady job or financial security. Others, a husband or wife, two and a half kids and a dog. And to others, a pretty house with a white picket fence. We follow the patterns our parents followed, their parents before them, and their parents before them. Get an education, get a job, get married, buy a house, have children, teach those children the pattern, work, and retire. Sound familiar?

But, though it may sound nice or simple, ultimately, this pattern can be totally unsatisfying. Why? Because, though it’s hard to admit, I don’t think my God believes in the American Dream.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Romans 12:2

God calls us to a life of love, service, sacrifice, and great adventure. He tells us to leave our possessions and to follow him (Luke 18:22), to give away our last penny (Mark 12:41-44), and to take up our crosses (Matthew 16:24). But we rarely do it. Instead, we succumb to the “pattern of this world,” earning and spending our money in comfort. But, as Switchfoot so aptly put it (listen below), “success is equated with excess.” We measure our lives in dollars and material goods, all while worshiping a God who measures life in love.

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