My “Next”

My “Next”

Life is Changing

I am excited about my next. It is this great season in my life where everything has this new feel to it. My daughter has left home to go to college, so that means no more PTSA commitments. That also means I no longer have to be a chairperson for anything. It means I don’t have to run up to the high school to deliver a pair of pants because the pants she chose to wear didn’t fulfill the dress code even after I told her they were not ok. It means there are no midnight trips to Walmart to start the project that is due at 7:30am the next morning, and well, I could go on and on. Maybe your list doesn’t look like mine because I was an overcommitted mom, but it is nice to wipe some of those things off my plate. I now have space in my daily schedule to be creative, knit more, read more, travel more, and do whatever the heck I want to do! Can I get an amen?! But, this means there is also space to be lonely because no matter what I fill the mom space with, I'm still missing my kiddo. Let’s just not go there…I haven’t cried in weeks about the empty chair at the dinner table every night, so…moving on.

Ministry Decision

I decided that my next would not be in the walls of a church. There are many reasons that shaped this decision, but listing them would be an entirely different blog post. I really felt like it was time to move out of my youth ministry role, but I knew I still wanted to work in a ministry of sorts. I also knew I wanted my next to involve using my coaching certification.


So in walks Orange. Orange is a strategy. It starts with two individual influences in a student’s life. Home and church. When we combine the home and church we will have a greater impact to ensure that the student has a better future. From this strategy, Orange has created some amazing resources to partner with families and churches. I love Orange. I have been using their strategy for years in my church ministry. I know and understand the impact it can have on families, and I have seen first hand the impact Orange's strategy has on communities. I am truly sold out for what Orange stands for! So my next is Orange. I am now employed as an Orange Student Specialist. You can read more about that here. But essentially I get to coach other youth pastors on how to maximize the Orange strategy in their ministries. I get to see how Orange is making a difference in the life of churches and communities around the globe.

The best part of my job at Orange is that I get to talk with small churches! I have a heart for small churches because that is where I came from. An impact can be made in the life of a small church. Ministry doesn’t have to happen at only mega churches; ministry can happen with three students. I love empowering our small churches because they too can lead change in their community! So that is my next. Well, Orange…and some new knitting projects!

21 Weeks

21 Weeks

There are 21 weeks until my daughter leaves for college, and everything we've taught her about how to live her life in a Godly way will begin to be truly tested for the first time. 21 weeks until invitations and opportunities begin to bombard her integrity. 21 weeks until she begins to stand up for her own decisions and choices to be the amazing young woman she is meant to be.

There are 149 days left to just hang out at the table playing cards, laughing, and enjoying each other's company. 149 days left to work through our, sometimes heated, disagreements about how to live, how to learn, and how to grow with love, integrity, and grace. 149 days left to lie awake in bed waiting for the front door to open, so I can fall asleep knowing she's safe at home. 149 days left to treasure the smell of waffle cones trailing every step she makes through the house when she comes home from work.

3,578 hours.

214,696 minutes.

12,881,753 seconds.

Regardless of how we think about the time in weeks, days, hours, minutes, or seconds, we have to be conscious of the fact that it's constantly ticking away at the same rate. 24/7. It's easy to trick ourselves into believing we have more time when we think of it in larger values like 12,881,753 seconds. But no matter how we spin it, it's still only 21 weeks.

Stuck in the In-Between

Yesterday my 17 year old daughter stood in our kitchen screaming at my husband and I that she was an adult, and we needed to treat her as such. Now my first instinct was to tackle her to the ground and try to expel the demon that had taken over my sweet daughter's body, but in a calm voice I talked to her about what injustice had taken place to make her loose her mind.

I remember being this age. I probably had the same heated conversation with my own parents. In one moment we are asking our daughter to make adult choices – she is looking at colleges and trying to decide where to head in the next season of her life. In the next minute we are reminding her for the 27th time to pick up the towels off the bathroom floor. It's hard because as her mom I am still driving the helicopter, but I am trying to back off. I swear.

This next year will be hard for all us as we tread through some uncharted territory. I'm praying for God to lead us all through it!