The Emotions of August

The end of August always brings two feelings.

One is pure bliss! Camp season is over; God got us through with great camps, short-term teams, interns, lots of lessons learned along the way, and tons of teenagers with whom we got to share Jesus. In August, schedules slow down. Summer vacation is right around the corner!

blogbathroomtearoutThere is space to get a few personal things done, like waiting in line at the phone company to cancel an old home phone number (this must be done in person with a passport in Ukraine; I’ve been putting off this project for 9 months now…). Or ripping apart a wall in the bathroom due to some shoddy craftsmanship from 8 years ago, now causing our hot water heater to switch off…(sometimes as team leaders we forget that we are also people, and that maintaining a household and sanity in the home is of critical importance. Whereas some do house projects every weekend, our lifestyle does not provide such a luxury.)


The second feeling is sheer panic in my heart. I am super struggling with what to do with my fall, and am seeking God intensely, even purposely picking the 5am JV Prayer Room slot, just so that I have a few hours in the early morning to pray and sit, well, more like wrestle, with God, about my next stretch. The way things are playing out it appears as though my life schedule is more empty than it has ever been before.

Due to certain life circumstances, it appears as though I have more freedom and space than ever before, yet at the same time this is terrifying me, because I need more boundaries, I need more clarity than every before. I like having a set project or task before me, because it keeps me grounded and from chasing down 100 other shiny things that catch my eye and I want to be involved in. This is a serious problem of mine. And this is the fall where it is going to stop.

This June and July, due to a seminary deadline, but nonetheless, I felt that God was asking me to commit just to just three things:

  1. Love your kids. They’re out of school and without a babysitter for the summer.
  2. Love teenagers.
  3. Work on the dissertation every single day and turn in those 50 pages.


(Marissa’s little lake birthday party. Turning seven.)

Update – this summer worked out! I did these three things. I felt some stress when dealing with things outside of this list, but I felt great joy in doing these three things. I would call that a successful summer.

However, here we are entering fall. I am seeking God daily – “God, what do you have for me? What are my best yeses this year? What are my best nos? I only have 168 hours in a week and I am tired of chasing down what I think I am supposed to do. I want a role, a place so badly. I need You to intervene, stop me in my tracks, and draw me into Your awesome, prepared-in-advance good works for me to do each day, which will bring contentment and not send me looking elsewhere for identity and ministry.”

Honestly I have not heard much from Him. I have heard my own heart’s desires speaking, but they are fickle, sinful, always changing with the wind, untrustworthy. God has got to intervene here. But this is what I hear and know thus far from my faithful Lord.


  • If you can’t love your team, your ministry is nothing, so you need to start there.
  • Your children are precious and are worth investing in.
  • In September 2016, you wrote “Daily die to self, so that I might be among team and family as one who serves”.
  • In September 2016, you wrote “Radically testify to that which I have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).
  • You will glorify ME through your Fuller Seminary studies.

This doesn’t help me much regarding an hour-by-hour schedule. This doesn’t help concrete investment in a particular ministry. Honestly, I will just work on these points until God frees up something else. It is a privilege to have God on my side, my Heavenly Father who cares about every detail, and who promises never to leave me or forsake me.

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