Speaker Interview: Preston Yancey

Preston Yancey

Preston Yancey is a author, painter, baker, and sometimes scholar particularly interested in the dialogue between Christian theology and the arts. He also gets to speak at Allume this fall. Woot! Today Preston is sharing some fun facts with you about himself.

 

1. What chore do you despise the most?

Folding laundry. I have an inexplicable, psychological aversion to the process of successfully transferring clothes from the dryer to my closet or dresser or even, let’s be honest, the middle of the bedroom floor. My fiancée informs me this will be an untenable position to maintain in our future. We’ll see.

2. If you could learn to do anything what would it be?

I would learn how to actually use Evernote. I’m not kidding. “I will learn how to use Evernote” is my version of the “I will read my Bible all the way through every day this year” New Year’s resolution. Every time I open the app on my computer or my phone I end up just staring at it in bewilderment and panic and then shut it down. I am convinced that I won’t be awriter, italicized and everything, until I learn how to use it.

(I suppose I was supposed to say something like “to speak Spanish” or “to parallel park” or “to not always have to have the last word” but, this is raw honesty.)

3. If you could pick anyone as a mentor who would you pick?

Madeleine L’Engle. She’s one of my patron saints, at least I think of her as a prayer of my prayers with me when I ask God big questions about vocation and work and whether or not to click publish on my latest blog post. Her journals taught me how to tell truth and her fiction taught me how to discern the difference between truth and fact.

4. What do you do with 30 minutes of free time?

Complain about how little free time I have, then watch the latest episode of Veep, Modern Family, or Parks and Rec while menu planning or catching up on all my Voxer messages.

5. What do you want to be when you grow up?

A keeper of my children’s confidences.

6. If gifted an all expenses paid vacation to anywhere where would you pick?

Bali. I’ve had the opportunity to spend a summer in the East before and it was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. I’m aching to go back to that side of the world and sit in the stillness of the beauty there. And the food. Good Lord, the food.

7. If I was coming to your house for dinner, what would we have?

There’s a lot of sun out these days, so let’s pick things up and go sit out on the roof of the apartment building and listen to Juliette Gréco on a record player and drink Greek wine—too white and too bright but light and free.

We’ll have an appetizer of grilled eggplant sliced thin and stuffed with manouri, mint, and baby heirloom tomatoes; salt and bay leaf crusted grilled lamb chops, a salad of watermelon, feta, and black olive, piles of salty roast lemon potatoes, and some homemade pita. For desert, a glass of Campari — or strong Greek coffee, if you’d prefer — and some almond baklava with rose water and orange blossom and honey from the local farm, cut into small bites to savor.

Basically: come over. There’s always something in the works and always room in the apartment or on the roof or in the park or wherever.

8. What are your 5 favorite books?

Right now? Let’s go with right now:

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Supernatural Love: Poems 1976-1992 by Gjertrud Schnackenberg

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Check out Preston’s blog here.

Writing is the Fruit of the Gift

Like a parent whispers in a child’s ear just before they let that child go out into the world, God whispered just before I began blogging…

Remember, writing is the not the gift, writing is the fruit of the gift.”

This wisdom and truth has remained my compass on this journey.

At the time, I had little understanding of what God really meant. I’m still unfolding the mystery of what the gift is, and how the fruit comes. But, I have a deeper revelation now than before.

Looking back, I see I had no idea what I was getting into when I started blogging. I didn’t know how tempting it would be in this online world to want to feel connected to this person, or that circle, or their community, and neglect the most life-giving connection there is — being connected to the Vine.

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Separated, we cannot produce a thing. Though, we try.

Jesus said, “Live in Me. Make your home in Me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with Me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with Me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.” (John 15:4-8 MSG)

Perhaps, that is the gift — the Greatest Gift only made possible by His death on the cross — union with Christ. A gift so easily taken for granted, because He will always be there, waiting. So we keep on persevering, trying to make a difference, to make a lasting impression, to make things happen in our own strength. Yet, we can do nothing apart from Him.

Even. Write.

Well, that’s not entirely true. We can write. But, if we aren’t sitting at the feet of Jesus — not to check off a religious duty — but to partake from Him living bread, to give Him time to pour into us what we are to pour out to others, then we offer stale bread. And, our bodies weren’t made for stale bread.

“It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.” (Matt 4:4 MSG)

If we are not near enough to hear His heartbeat, and get quiet enough to hear His Voice, then all we can do is echo what all the other voices are saying. When all the while, we are called to be an echo of His Spirit, saying what He is saying.

What He tells you in the darkness, speak in the light. What He whispers in your ear, proclaim on the rooftops. (Matt 10:27 NASB)

We can write, and we can raise our voice and add to the noise. But, the world doesn’t need more noise. The world needs words produced by the Spirit of God, because of a people consecrated for His purposes as ambassadors on this earth to bring freedom to the captives, sight to the blind, healing for the broken, and the Gospel for the lost.

In case you are tempted to worry about numbers that are lost, because you are taking time to sit at the feet of your Lord, let it be the lost that are counted because of you living the Gospel…

Wandering souls that come to your table, feasting on the fruit of grace and truth, partaking through Words of life, because the words were first lived.

Would God ever give us a more compelling reason?

 

For When You Can’t Hold It Together

It had been one of those weeks where all of the things on my plate had piled up so high they’d started falling off. A few weeks before, I would have told you that things were going well, that I could handle what had come my way, and life was good.

But it only takes a few things, doesn’t it? Just a few extra, unplanned things, and suddenly my plate holds more than I can carry.

This last week we took our five-month-old son to a routine well-check, and left with orders for an ultrasound, an MRI, and a physical therapy appointment for later that afternoon. I think it’s safe to say that I dropped the plate completely.

I’m a wife, a mom, a writer. I can make my husband’s lunch, help my daughter make it to the potty on time, and respond to blog comments, all before breakfast. My days are spent caring for those I love the most, giving all of myself to serve them. When they have a need, they look to me. I try my best to balance all of my roles, and most some days, I can handle it fairly well.

I struggle there, in the tension between my own capability and dependence on the Lord. I struggle because in my quest to meet everyone’s needs, I sometimes forget that I have my own. Maybe you can relate.

Bad news from the doctor, though, that always sends me to my knees. It’s something that I know I cannot fix on my own. It’s something that reminds me that no matter all the things I do, I’m so very small, and God is so very big, and I so desperately need Him.

God is Big :: Kayse Pratt for Allume.com

I need Him, because all of those things I do on my own? I can’t do a single one without Him. I can’t be a supportive wife, I can’t be a loving mother, I can’t be an inspired writer without the divine strength of the One who made me all of those things.

I think that as the women of our homes–the ones that dictate the schedule, create the atmosphere, serve the food, & keep the peace–we can fall into the trap of thinking that everyone’s needs are met in us. That everything depends on us. But Colossians reminds us of the truth:

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

In Him all things hold together. Not in us; in HIM!

Friends, I know what it is to feel like you’re the one holding everything together. Whether we’re talking about your business, your blog, or your home, I know what it’s like to feel like everything depends on you doing more, being more, just to make ends meet. I know what it’s like to be terrified that if you drop one thing, the rest will follow.

But I think that we all need the reminder that in the midst of all of the things we feel like we have to do, there is only one thing we are called to do. We, sisters, are daughters of the King who truly does hold everything together. And He simply asks us to first love Him with our whole hearts.

He already loves us with all of His.

So, whatever you’re dealing with today, be it health issues or home management, hand your very full plate over to the One who holds it all together. Remember that He goes before you, that everything you are able to do is because of who He is, and that He loves you more than you know.

How to Make Graphics on Your Phone

How to make graphics on your phone by Alli WorthingtonHave you noticed how the web is becoming more and more image based?  The best way to get noticed online is to provide amazingly useful content and have a strong visual strategy. Today I’m giving you some of my favorite apps that will let you create amazing graphics with your iPhone.

One thing that stops many people from making their own graphics is the fear that their pictures ‘aren’t good enough’. The good news is taking a picture that will be used for a background is much easier than you think. Try getting close up to any interesting texture or capturing the sky during a sunset.

You also do not have to use your own images. I purchase royalty-free images that do not need attribution and keep them in a folder on my iPhone. That way I always have background images to choose from when I’m on the go.

LetterGlow

Not by Works from Alli WorthingtonLetterGlow knows what a photographer and graphic creator wants; it allows full resolution exports and you can upload your own fonts. You can create and save custom overlays (great for keeping your logo handy) and export directly to a WordPress media library.

 

 

 

WordSwag

Wordswag example from Alli WorthingtonThe makers of WordSwag are my app heroes for developing this typographical masterpiece. Somehow the words you type in for your image are rearranged in a beautiful artistic display.

The Hellen Keller quote graphic and the featured image at the top of this article were both made with Wordswag.

Tip- I used the Snapseed app to crop the featured image into a vertical size to make it more Pinterest-friendly.

Rhonna Designs

Wallpaper from Alli WorthingtonThe Rhonna app is my favorite way to make custom wallpaper.

(Click the wallpaper image on the left and you will be able to download the full-sized wallpaper for your phone.)

There are tons of well designed quotes, add-on graphics and features that make Rhonna the best app for making beautiful pictures quickly.

 

 

You can find more tips for creating  graphics on your phone here. 

 

These are three of my favorite apps to create graphics on the go. What apps do you use?

 

Letter from Logan: Open Hearts

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Last month I shared some Allume vision with you… about becoming a people of living invitation.  And of course, as many of you know, oftentimes writing something becomes the catalyst for getting to live it more deeply.

I just returned from Uganda on a writing trip with Allume partner, Sole Hope.  Carey Bailey, our Allume Creative Director, and I joined them for over a week.  We were able to see the work that they are doing there, to participate, and to write about what we saw, and what we learned.

I started off by inviting readers to journey along with me on my own blog.

What began as a simple invitation to journey together, quickly turned into a wild ride as many of you were pouring out prayers and encouragements on my behalf.  From the moment that my team was forced to leave me alone in the airport, to the tears I shed upon finally getting to Uganda and investing in the work there,  so many of you came with me.

Comment threads can become lifelines to know that our words are in fact soaking into souls, and that the journeys we have the privileges of living are, in fact, being lived in community.  Your words and prayers were breathing hope and life to me there, and then I saw my words from Uganda being used to stir souls to movement back home in the States.

Isn’t that what we’re all doing here anyhow?  Figuring out how to do life together…to stir one another, to sharpen one another, to encourage one another?

I want to steward the moments of this life well.  It is my heart to see us, as the Allume community, steward our lives for the Kingdom of heaven.  We steward our time, our spaces, our voices, and our words all for the glory of the Lord.  I want to be a people who steward our hearts and the corner seats on our sofas with a cup of coffee in hand, for the benefit of a broken world.

We can’t invite online well, if we can’t invite in reality well.

Open doors begin with open hearts. 

In the past couple of weeks since I’ve been home, there has been a LOT of talk on the internet about the church and invitation… who is or isn’t presumed invited to the table of Jesus.

For myself, and for this community, I want to be the first to say, if we are only willing to share a meal with those who think the same as we do, then I think we’re missing the point.  If we can wash the feet of the poor, but not of our enemies (or of those we might even vehemently disagree with), then we’re part way there, but still not all-in.

To be a people of invitation, we have to ask what it looks like to be a people of big, Jesusy hearts.  Hearts that love far and deep and wide and to the ends of the earth.

Love doesn’t always mean agreeing, but it does mean patience, kindness, humility, rejoicing with truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things.

The thing about love is that it’s not conditional…and it never fails.

If we want to be a people of invitation, then first, we have to figure out what it looks like to be a people of love.

What You Must Do Before You Can Write

What You Must Do Before You Write

When I started writing online, I didn’t call myself a writer. I wrote when I had time, and when I felt so inspired. I didn’t feel pressure to create, writing has always been a release for me.

That season lasted for a good while until things shifted. I wrote a book. In the months leading up to the books release, writing became a job. I elbowed things out of my way to sit down to write. I no longer waited for inspiration, I sat down and pursued it with a feverish desire to write words that mattered. This kind of passion isn’t all bad–Madeline L’Engle had it right when she said  ”Inspiration comes during the work, rather than before it”.

After the book came out, I lost my balance. I had shoved everything aside to write, write, write–and in the words of James Howell, (and later, Steven King),  ”all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. My energy waned. My desire to experience life away from the keyboard began to fade.

In my fiery pursuit of crafting word masterpieces, one painful letter at a time, I found myself increasingly frustrated by the serious and concerning disappearance of ideas of which to write about. Living as a mother of 4 young children, it seemed ideas should run through my head in abundance, with time for capturing them being the real problem.

But the opposite was true–the more time I devoted to trapping and transcribing ideas, the more stagnant my thought pool became.

Shuffling through an old filing cabinet I came across my creative writing folder from a class I took in high school. Scratched across the yellowing manila, I rediscovered a truth I’d practically forgotten.

Before You Write

In my pre-Jesus youth and fascination with transcendentalism, Henry David Thoreau was one of my favorite writers. I used to imagine myself trekking off with him to Walden Pond where we’d pick at the sweet grass and dip our rebellious toes in the water, while the forrest creatures lazed about on branches overhead and on the banks beside us, sucking up the marrow of our words as Henry and I mused about life, love and writing. On occasion, Emerson would join us…

Anyway. 

Thoreau said, “How vain is it to sit down to write when you have not yet stood up to live”.

And it occurred to me, on the trek towards publication, that’s exactly what I’d neglected to do–live. 

Writing is hard work. (In case you’ve been fooled in to believing otherwise.) And while it’s true, words don’t materialize while we’re off living life, failing to record it, the reality is, if we’re not really living life, there’s nothing to record. (Profound, yes?)

This is obvious, and yet it’s a struggle all writers face at some point. The balance between living life and writing about it is always in question.

Some seasons of writing call for more time in the chair. This is an inevitable part of doing the work. Deadlines, commitments, project milestones–all have to take priority in certain seasons. But these should be the seasons. They should not last, and we should not ignore the need for a change of scene.

While I sat behind a screen clicking away at the keys, I missed afternoon walks in the sun, and butterfly watching in the yard. I missed hiking in the park, and blowing bubbles on the porch. I missed the joy of cooking from scratch, as I served too many hurried meals from a bag.

I wasn’t living life, I was surviving. 

Among the things I neglected, my time in the Word had also grown shorter and more rushed. Forgetting that God is the source of all life, left me grasping for all the wrong things in an effort to produce.

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.Psalm 16:11

While God can create ex nihilo, the rest of us need a little something to work with. My creative well ran bone-dry and I panted after the memory of something I’d discounted.

I believe my writing reflected as much. The richness of inspiration does come during the work, but after the living of life.

If we want to produce stories that speak of glory, we have to spend time, on the other side of the screen, immersed in the rich, messy, full-color emotion of actual living. We have to stand up, and live. And then sit down and write.

I don’t pretend to have this balance thing all sorted.

As I write I’ this, I’m currently eyeball deep in deadlines and projects that cannot be ignored without consequences and repercussions. But I sense the time for living is very near and I can say, that I am writing this with one foot out the metaphorical door.

Walden pond awaits. Spring flowers have begun raising their fronds from beneath the hardened soil, in a beckoning wave of invitation. Soon the butterflies will return. Afternoon bubble-blowing is just days away.

It’s about time to escape to the woods for a little inspiration–it’s time to live.

Have you ever struggled with balancing working and living? When is the last time you “stood up to live” first?

An Invitation to Dream

An invitation to dream

I want to invite you to dream with me for a few moments.  Isn’t that what God does for us?  He asks us to dream with Him. He places longings and desires in our hearts along with giftings and talents from a very young age. He speaks life to those things by giving us dreams that line up with His heart for us and our calling. 

All of our dreams are different. Often times our dreams are shaped by the things we go through and suffer through.  A mother who has lost a child and has been through the grieving and healing process may long to take other moms in the same boat by the hand and walk with them on their healing journey.  A daughter who has suffered abuse at the hand of a man and who has found truth that sets her free may dream of sharing that truth with troubled young girls everywhere. A woman who has had such low self esteem and been in so much bondage all of her life but found freedom may not be able to stand the fact that others are in bondage and long to share truth with them.  A mom who has struggled with believing she is a good mom but has begun to believe what God says about her may want every other mom to know that they are good moms too.

What is the dream in your heart?

Is it a dying ember because you haven’t seen anything happen with it? OR is it a raging fire because you are so passionate about this calling placed inside of you?

Why are we given dreams? Is it so that we can be beaten up every time we don’t measure up? Or suffer comparison every time someone else seems to be doing the very thing we thought we were supposed to do?

No, I am convinced that our dreams are given to us and consume us so that we will partner with God and pray to see them come to life.  We have a choice, we can dream with God, become overwhelmed attempting to make things happen, which almost always causes our dreams to fade or means that we are doing them on our own. OR We can dream with God and in the waiting we can pray.  Every time your dream tugs at your heart you can talk to the One who planted the dream (His dream) in your heart in the first place. Pray, seek Him first and wait.

Imagine if every time you thought about your dreams you asked God for wisdom, provision, to open doors and move on hearts.  How many dreams would we begin to see come alive if we took our concerns, worries and even comparisons to to the Dream Giver and Way Maker?

Let’s awaken some dreams today shall we?  Think about what moves your heart the most.  What have you been passionate about seeing change?  Now close your eyes and imagine what it would be like if that problem was overcome.  Not just moved a little but completely overcome?  How mighty a force for God would we be if that thing was eradicated?

Let me share mine with you to get you started. One Sunday at church I sat in the balcony and looked out over the crowd. I seemed to have eyes only for the women there.  In the past I have suffered loneliness, rejection and hurt by women in my life and God has healed my heart and given me a dream to see women set free and loving one another deeply. On this night in particular God was breaking my heart for women who were broken, needy and lonely.  I heard Him whisper in my heart “Imagine if they all walked in freedom?  What kind of impact would they have for My kingdom?”  I caught my breath and allowed myself to dream that dream with Him. “What if they ALL…”  Not just some of them but all of them, God’s girls, walked in wholeness, freedom, and love?

That’s God’s dream and He invited us into it. His heart is for ALL of whatever He has put on your heart to change.  Not some of it but all.  He calls us into His great plans and invites us to pray in the waiting to be made ready, strong, humble, and brave. 

Imagine if we all began to dream our dreams with Him, pray in the waiting and taking the steps He tells us to take?  I believe we would then begin to see the ALL.  We are an army of dreamers and we can raise up an army of healed, set-free, truth seekers that will continue to change our world and dream with God.  Are you with me?

Share with us today the dream in your heart.  Is it an ember or a roaring flame?  Can you imagine what it would be like if all of those people were walking in freedom? Let’s encourage one another to dream, pray and do today!

Photo Source

When God Uses Writer’s Block

Writers block

Lately, I’ve experienced a bit of a writing drought. I’ve been parched, searching and hungering for the right words to express. But the words themselves seem to stay stuck deep down within me, unable to quench my desire to share.

For months I hemmed and hawed about this, chalking it up to writer’s block. I wondered why I was unable to puncture this wall that stood between me and my keyboard, between me and my journal even.

And then recently, while I had my face on the floor before the Lord I heard a whisper. A whisper telling me, ‘this is why’. It was as if He had gently rested His arm on my shoulder and was pointing out a vast chasm within my heart. In the middle of the chasm stood a wall, a wall that blocked my view of the why; why my words had dried up. He then nudged that wall with the tip of His finger, that wall that stood between me and my words. It was at that moment that I realized that that very wall was also blocking my heart from Him. And as He nudged it, it began to crumble, but it didn’t come crashing down as I had hoped. It was as if He had an invitation for me, something waiting on the other side of that wall, but before He tore it down He wanted me to embark on a journey with Him. A journey of healing.

As writers who have been called to write for Him, we know that our words come from somewhere deep within us.  We understand that we do not write for accolades and prestige, but instead we realize that it’s woven into the very fabric of how He’s made us. It’s how we reflect Him, He uses it to heal us, and often it’s when we hear Him the most. But when walls spring up and we can’t hear the words He has written on our heart, that’s when we should pause. That’s when we should listen.

I walked around hungry for words for months, yet I remained in this fog; ignorant as to why this barrier remained in my life.  Meanwhile, the writer inside me was straining to get words out. And that’s when He met me on the floor.

You see, I have been struggling with forgiveness, and because of that my words and more notably my relationship with God turned stale.  I was wronged, greatly wronged by someone very close to me; and rather than take these wounds I received to the Cross as our Lord commands, I put on a bandaid of sorts and carried on. I fully expected my heart to continue to beat and the sun to rise each morning- for life to continue as normal. I downplayed my inability to write and refused to recognize it as a red flag of the sin in my heart. 

When our words dry up writing friends, it is a clue that we should step away from the screen {or the page} and go straight to His feet. It is only when we are pure and obedient before God that our words can have the eternal impact that we long for. Meaningful words are fleeting apart from Him.

And although I wish I could tell you that this drought has ended and that the rain has come, I still crawl to the Cross daily longing for Him to meet me. I fight each morning to truly understand forgiveness and I ask Him to infuse it deep into my core, into the marrow of my bones. I find I have to constantly remind myself that despite my wounded heart, I have inflicted just as great of wounds upon Him through my own sin. This daily wrestle is a journey, but it is one that I am grateful for. And it is with tears streaming down my cheeks that I can attest to the fact that He is faithful. This writer is slowly getting her writing-groove back and the words are bubbling back to the surface. I can honestly say, the words are only flowing because He is knocking that wall down, He is doing a work in me.

I’d love to challenge you, my sweet writing friend. Are you struggling to get your words out? Do you have sin standing between you and God? Ask Him to show you, and sit back and wait for Him to gently nudge you on the shoulder and point out what’s holding your words inside.

I pray that your written ministry is glorifying to Him, sanctifying for you, and a shining beacon for your readers.

By, Mandy Scarr

Photo Credit-  Mandy’s husband, J, took this picture.

You Are Now the Proud Owners of an Outreach House

Allume! Guess what?

You are now the proud owners of an Outreach House. Specifically, The Sole Hope Outreach House in Jinga, Uganda.

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We (Logan & Carey) have spent the last week with Sole Hope experiencing the daily grind of what they do in remote villages when it comes to jigger (sand flea) removal and education. The ministry they provide is beyond amazing and we have been so encouraged by the light they bring to what plagues this community.

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What our eyes have seen has been painful but nothing was more gut wrenching than what we experienced today. Sole Hope has a new emerging ministry in their Outreach Center but it needs someone to take ownership of it so it can thrive. And we are the perfect people to do that!

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The Outreach Center now known as the Allume Wellness Center takes in the kids with the extreme cases of jiggers in hidden villages and cares for them beyond what a day clinic can cover. At the Wellness Center they are cared for by an on-site nurse and given much needed medical attention. They receive continuing education about jiggers, given new pairs of shoes made from your jeans, and returned to their village with a new sense of hope.

13march085 This is a ministry that was thrust upon Sole Hope and they took it on graciously but they need resources to make it happen. These kids need beds, they need a joy-filled place to stay, and they need our support Allume. Through Pure Charity you can give to the Allume Wellness Center and make an impact in the lives of children seeking relief from the pain of jigger removal. So get busy Allume! Start sharing, getting creative, and do what you can to make an impact in these little lives.

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When We Are Searching For Something

If you search hard enough or long enough or earnestly enough, then you will find something.  It might be what you are looking for…or it might not. 

Searching for Something

 

By the time this blog post is published, I expect that I will have buried my 92 year old father.  He and my 91 year old mother celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on February 13, 2014.  As I write this, my dad has suffered a stroke and is lying in a hospital bed, in the living room of the home he and my mother have shared for many years.  He isn’t doing well at all.  And we didn’t expect him to survive the last few days, but he is still hanging on.  I am certain the end is near.

As I have waited for the phone call saying he has passed away and I should begin to make arrangements to return Arkansas for the funeral, I have searched for some things.

I have searched for answers.

I have searched for peace.

I have searched for comfort.

I haven’t found any answers, but I have found some peace and comfort.  One of my favorite verses is 1 Peter 5:7 “casting all you care upon him, because he cares for you.”

I can do that.  I can give all my cares and troubles and worry to Him…he has big, strong shoulders that can carry the weight of my troubles and the sorrow associated with losing a parent. 

His shoulders are big and strong enough to carry your troubles too.

As I walk this path of waiting and sorrow, I am reminded that I can give my troubles to him.  He will carry the burden and I can just walk the path, with him holding my hand.  Or maybe he will carry me.

The search for comfort and peace ends with Him.  In the end, I know that I will see my dad again. 

And my searching for answers?  Well, that search may continue.  We don’t always get an answer from God when we ask for one, like Logan did before Allume 2013.  But I take comfort in the promise of life after death.  And the fact that I don’t have to carry the burden alone. 

And maybe, just maybe that is the answer.

Are you searching for something?  Is it right under your nose?  If you found it, was it what you were looking for or was it something else?