Recollecting Gratitude (guest post!)


You guys are in for a treat–a guest post from Ben today! He did a really great job at expressing a lot of the emotions we’re still processing right now. Coming back from Amsterdam has been really sort of a turning point for us, as we discuss future goals, ministry opportunities, and just how in the world to live justly and gospel-centered with every aspect of our lives. We still have a lot more questions than answers–but honestly, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think the point is sometimes no longer even having a perfect answer, as it is living out the questions.

Lots of thoughts in my brain this morning.  Thinking about the priorities I want to have and where I want to see life in the next several years.  To be honest, I’m also fighting off some heavy nostalgia and the desire to be back in Europe.  I like being here in Portland, I really do, I just miss the kind of magical places in Europe that just mesh with my personality; riding trains and bikes, walking everywhere, hearing different perspectives on the world.  Yet there is so much I’m thankful for here as well, and I do feel pretty thankful this morning…

I’m thankful for mountains and ocean beaches (the most beautiful non-tropical sea vistas in the world).  I’m thankful for Stumptown coffee and our cozy apartment and my roadbike.  I’m thankful for forested bike trails and light rail and trees… trees everywhere!  And for a good public library, and local grocery stores, and a solid, Bible-teaching church.  I’m thankful for family nearby and for hot summer weather and for Tillamook dairy products of all forms.


At the same time, I desire to be more than thankful for these comfortable things. I want to be thankful for the challenges around me and to be caught up into one of the stories God is playing out in the city I live in.  I want to be more than a consumer of my city, I want to be a creator, imaging God’s goodness and light.  God, please broaden my perspective and help me to see how I can be more involved in this city around me as a creative force to work against the darkness and bring more light.

One thought on “Recollecting Gratitude (guest post!)

  1. Your posts always make us think and think some more. That’s good. We’re proud of your and Jena’s desire to glorify our Lord in all things. We are praying for you…and we agree…we need to have more grateful hearts! God is so good to us in all things–visible blessings, and blessings in disguise as challenges, or hard times. Love you and hope to see you maybe Thanksgiving, Christmas, or whenever?? Mama & Papa


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