I started reading it and got to page 130 or so. Then I got distracted by life, a new career, focusing on my MA, etc. I finally picked it back up about two months ago and started over. I read slowly when I really like a book and I really liked this one. I underlined many things and marked significant pages. I shared from it along the way with friends. The last two weeks or so it has really dominated me though. This struggle I have been in, the noise I have been hearing, had a lot to do with life circumstances clashing with thoughts this book had been stirring. The past couple of weeks I began to see how all the pieces of the book were moving toward a crescendo. I had recognized the obvious threads of thought he maintained throughout the book, but as I began to see where we were headed I was struck by it and challenged in a deep part of my being. I am working through it, thinking through it and honestly praying through it, in an attempt to understand the extent of the implications this will have on my life.
I am thankful for Donald Miller. I connect with his writing. I connect with his perspective. I connect with his theology. I connect with the same God who longs to show us how much He loves us and longs to see that love reciprocated in our lives.
I tried to sit silently tonight, but was overwhelmed with NOISE. Too many thoughts. Too many ideas. Too many options. Too may to-dos. I tried to pray. I prayed for peace. I prayed for silence. I prayed for peace... inside.
We left for vacation last Friday, the day after my 30th b-day. My b-day was amazing. I got off work early and went to lunch with Kelly and Halle, we then returned home to put Halle down for a nap while we waited on the babysitter to show up. While we were waiting we played bocce ball in the back yard (a favorite of mine) and then moved inside to play some game together. After a couple minutes I looked out our sliding glass doors and a man appeared. I was taken back for a moment and realized it was Eric S. and 3 other guys were with him. As my mind began to perceive what was happening I realized the other guys were Mark, Kevin and Dave B. Someone these four great friends, who all live thorughout central ohio had found their way to my back porch in NW Ohio at the same time. The short of it is that my amazing wife surprised me with a night with the guys and told me it was a surprise date with her. I was shocked... literally shocked. I opened my card from her and there were five tickets to the Indians/Tigers game in CLEVELAND!!! 2.5ish hours later we were sitting in our seats and Jacob's field enjoying our refreshments and I was soaking in the company of these four amazing friends of mine. A little bonus after the game was that the Q (cav's arena) was open and people were flooding in. They were showing the Cavs/Pistons game (which was in Detroit) on the huge screens. We followed the crowd in and watched the last quarter and both overtimes of Lebron James' greatest game ever in the Q with 12-15K other Cavs Fans. It was packed and we were going crazy. I reverted back to the college days and simply LET LOOSE! To top it off, Mark and Eric came back to our house to spend the night and the next day (till 3) with us. It was probably the most amazing surprise 30th b-day celebration I could have ever received. Wow! Please now adorn my wife with your mental praises... she knows how to work it!
So we have been in San Diego for a week. We are staying in a 2 bedroom apartment unit at PLNU. It has been a great week! We have spent time with friends who came to stay with us, and others who live in town. We have spent time with family. My parents came to stay the entire week with us. We have gone to beaches, the zoo, the Midway, a house church, Wenchel's, lots of other good restaurants and so much more. I have loved every moment of it, but there has definitely been some major things on my mind.
Before we left Findlay, our friend, who began the "official" house church we are a part of, came over to talk for and hour and a half or so while we packed. It wasn't ideal, but it was pressing, and the conversation needed to happen face to face before we flew out. In short, they have decided to go on staff at a church in Illinois with a family member and are moving ASAP. It is a complete and total shock. It has knocked me off my rocker. I have only known this family for a year and a half, but it clearly feels like longer. I was not expecting this at all. I feel like I need more time with them, more conversations, more tears, more stories. I have many, many thoughts that don't need to be shared, but here is what I will share... THIS HAS MADE EVERYTHING SEEM SO FRAGILE TO ME. My perception and reality of community, that we have been intimately living for four years, seems made of paper right now. This family isn't one of the four we eat with on a nightly basis, but are with them a ton, it had been increasing as of late, and I feel very close to them.
It is really making me question a lot of things and I can't begin to explain the extent of it. I feel like I need something from you friends. Perhaps a prayer. Perhaps a quick thought via e-mail. Perhaps a voice mail with some of your thoughts about community/transition/vocation/call/etc. Perhaps I just needed you to know this journey my mind is on right now.
I can't even begin to express how this has dominated my thoughts the past week. My friend Melanie kept saying, "Are you here? Are you present with us?", reminding me to set it aside and enjoy the moment, which I would, but I kept drifting back. I know I am not expressing this well, but it is primarily because I have much to discuss with our community when I get home before I can discuss it here. I will fill in the blanks as I can.
We will be traveling home tomorrow. I hope to read, sleep and journal... we will see what Halle thinks about that. Thanks.