After the Fall


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31 Days Not According to PlanContinued from May 18th post, Unexpected Attack.

The next calamitous day I recall in Baltimore was while still living in Abby’s home. This time I awoke to the smell of smoke at 4:00 a.m. I woke up Ben and we went downstairs to find haze filling the room.

Despite all the firemen’s visits to my elementary school when they told us to wake everyone at the sign of smoke and leave the house immediately, we debated whether to wake our friends. Instead, we opened the windows and Ben decided to venture into the basement to find the source. Everything you’re not supposed to do.

My efforts to not blow things out of proportion have silenced me far too many times, so I finally woke our friends. We couldn’t determine the source of the smoke, though it smelled worst near the dryer, and the thermostat no longer worked. To my surprise, I was the only one who wanted to call the fire department. So I waited until everyone else had left for the day and then called.

The firemen confirmed the smell was from an electrical source, but they assured me everything looked alright. They advised us to never dry only one or two garments at a time as doing so could keep the dryer running indefinitely.

Someone came to repair the thermostat, and calamity number two was resolved.

The third mishap occurred shortly after moving in with another family of friends. With three kids in the family, things were never dull in their home.

The two older siblings loved playing with their ten-month old sister, so it wasn’t unusual to see her perched on her nine-year-old sister’s shoulders. But when I heard cries coming from both of them and their mom asking where exactly the baby had landed, I knew it wasn’t good.

Baby girl and her daddy

Photo courtesy of roridell.

I went into the kitchen to find out how I could help. The baby had fallen off her sister’s shoulders when she let go for a split second and hit her head. I was amazed at how level-headed their mom remained with her oldest sobbing at the thought of having hurt the baby, and the baby crying out in pain.

Our friends decided to go to the emergency room and asked if Ben and I could drive their two oldest to the friends’ home where they’d planned to have dinner. We took them and tried to help them process along the way.

By this time, I’d started to think we brought curses on everyone with whom we lived. Friends told me not to entertain such a thought, but it felt like over the past few years, we’d had something akin to the Midas touch.  Instead of turning everything to gold though, what we touched began to crumble.

At some point while struggling with that thought, the Lord was gracious to remind me that even amidst these calamities, He had preserved life and wholeness. Abby was alive and healing, the house hadn’t caught on fire, the baby ended up being alright, and we were still friends with everyone who’d welcomed us into their homes.

Likewise, despite being unable to find steady work in the preceding three years, we’d never come close to missing a rent payment or being unable to put food on the table. We’d even been blessed with several amazing vacations during that time.

I began to see that perhaps the Lord was being gracious even in letting us be present for the mishaps in our friends’ lives. They were opportunities to witness the difficulties of daily life that come not only for us, but for everyone. And they were opportunities to support our friends in the midst of these difficulties.

We all regularly face the fall of creation, and we long for restoration, for wholeness, for peace and calmness and righteousness. We long for shalom.

I’m grateful to have looked into that longing with friends, to have walked alongside them as family and be welcomed in their midst even when it involved hardship and chaos.

I finally came to a point of believing we didn’t bring curses on our friends. We simply walked with them through a world that faces the curses of the fall every day – a world that Christ is continually bringing closer to restoration. A world that He promises He will one day make new.

Unexpected Attack



31 Days Not According to PlanContinued from May 11th post, Days That Don’t Go According to Plan.

The first day in our eight month Baltimore stint that stands out in my mind as similarly catastrophic was the day of the Justice Conference, which I wrote about in a previous blog post. What I didn’t tell you about was the phone message I received from my husband during the middle of that conference.

We’d started to make a practice of walking to the local butcher and breadery, often taking our friend’s dog, Abby, along for exercise. Most of the route lacks a sidewalk, which made me especially nervous for the meandering bundle of cocker spaniel curiosity who was nearly oblivious to passing cars. We kept her leash short and frequently steered onto snowy yards to keep her far from passing cars.

When Ben started his message by telling me he was okay but Abby was hurt, I imagined my fear of her getting hit by a car had come true. What would we do if Ben’s best friend’s dog were hit by a car while we were responsible for her? It felt like returning tragedy for generosity.

I slowed down my thoughts long enough to listen to the rest of the message, and it turned out what had actually happened was far from what I’d anticipated.

Abby had indeed been meandering with her leash a little longer than normal, but it wasn’t a car that caught her off guard. It was a neighbor’s pit bull.

She’d been excitedly leading the way into the parking lot of the Country Corner Store when the pit bull came tearing toward her, growling and snapping the thin steel cable to which it was attached. The pit bull sank its teeth into Abby’s side, letting go only when Ben came toward it yelling, “What are you doing?!”

Whimpering in pain and fear, Abby cowered behind Ben’s legs. The pit bull’s owner grabbed its collar and dragged it away while Ben called our friend to ask him to come quickly.


Sweet Abby before the pit bull attack.

Seeing Abby’s skin flapping, Ben and his friend rushed her to the vet where she received surgery and spent the night. When we saw her again, half her body was shaved and stitched up.

Every morning and evening, her wound had to be cleaned. During the day when no one was home, Abby had to stay in her crate so she wouldn’t pull the stitches out by greeting us at the door with excitement. She was as sweet and chipper as ever.

Thankfully, Abby had a smooth and full recovery. I got to cuddle up with her recently when I visited our friends in Baltimore.

Her attack was one of a series of calamities that led me to fear we’d brought curses on the friends with whom we lived though.

Continues on May 25 post, After the Fall.

Days That Don’t Go According to Plan


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31 Days Not According to Plan

Talk about a day not going according to plan…Tuesday was it.

We got a phone call at 5:00 a.m. from a friend whose wife had gone into labor. They needed someone to watch their daughter and we had volunteered. We were excited to be what my husband had termed the “rapid response team.” Within ten minutes, we were ready and out the door.

A couple hours later, I had just started to doze again when I heard their daughter ask Ben, “Did the baby go knock knock?” Yep, the baby was a knockin’ and the house was a rockin’.

After just two hours at the hospital, our friends called to tell their little girl she had a baby sister. “We figured it out!” she exclaimed.

She was a joy to be with and a wonderful start to the day. I was exhausted from the 5:00 am wake up call though, so when we were relieved by her grandmother and returned home later that morning, I laid down to take a nap.

Within minutes of laying down, I heard water gushing and Ben crying out, “I need some help in here!” I ran to the bathroom where a geyser of water spewed unstoppably from where the sink handle should have been. Being an old sink, there was no knob under the basin to turn off the water.

“You’ve got to find the cut off!” I shouted, taking over Ben’s attempts to slow the jet of water with my hands.

As water flooded from the bathroom onto the hardwood hallway floor, I grabbed every towel we have to create a dam. I saw a crock along the way and grabbed it too, catching as much of the spouting water as possible and emptying it into the toilet.

After what seemed like ten minutes (and quite possibly may have been with the maze of knobs in the basement), my husband found the cut-off point and the geyser finally stopped. I went to the top of the basement stairs to tell him, at which point I heard buckets of water draining from our apartment floor into the basement.

We spent the next couple hours mopping up the mess, drying everything from floor to ceiling. I spent another hour cleaning a fan coated in paint residue so we could use it to dry out the floor without making another mess. And when Ben returned from work that evening, we spent more time putting the house back together.

As I tackled one task after another, I thought of the blog post I’d started writing about other days in the past year that hadn’t gone according to plan. And I decided it was high time to finish that post.

Continues on May 18th post, Unexpected Attack.

The Justice Conference 2014


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31 Days Not According to Plan

Continued from February 4th post, Justice: An Everyday Choice.

A few weeks before the justice ministry fair, I attended the nationwide Justice Conference for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised to hear speakers who reframed justice as right relationship.

“At the heart, it’s not enough to set all slaves free,” N.T. Wright said. “Paul goes for something bigger: reconciliation between men.”

He went on to say, “Justice is what love looks like when it faces the problems its neighbors are facing.” Love neighbors.

Bryan Stevenson, a renowned lawyer seeking just treatment for all, agreed when he said, “Proximity is necessary for justice.” Show impartiality.

Sami Awad, a Palestinian actively seeking peace in the Holy Land, reframed justice as “not about ending war, but about inviting to the table of God’s kingdom.” Share power.

Rich Stearns, president of World Vision, addressed my cynicism when he said, “Justice is not just about causes. It’s about something much bigger. It’s about the charge Jesus left His people with: to bring His kingdom here on earth…The man who walked by Lazarus might have been going to do something great for a cause for all we know.” Have mercy.

And Eugene Cho opened with the prayer, “May we not be just enamored with justice. May we be in love with You, Lord.” May we be faithful.

Eugene Cho went on to say justice is “the flourishing of creation.” It is the way God originally intended the earth to be.

“I wonder if a meal shared with our enemies would make momentous strides in establishing justice,” he mused aloud. Walk humbly.

Some speakers even portrayed God, rather than men and women, as the hero of justice. In Bethany Hoang’s words, Director of IJM’s Institute for Biblical Justice: “Justice begins in the heart of God.”

Justice isn’t our idea – it’s God’s idea. It’s how He restores the world to His original intentions. And He’s not likely to work that out according to our plans.

He will establish justice though, and He asks us to be part of that great work.

So act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly with your God.1


1. Micah 6:8.

Justice: An Everyday Choice


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31 Days Not According to PlanContinued from February 2nd post, Just Living.

I later heard about leading families in our Baltimore church hosting and having dinner with the El Salvadorian pastor. That was how I’d hoped to help with the justice series. A relational welcome, not a ministry fair.

But as I thought about how to kindly tell our missions director no, I felt convicted to help create a solution instead of simply point to a problem. The timing was uncanny with God having so recently changed my understanding of justice, and it seemed appropriate to share what I had learned.

So I asked my husband if he would brainstorm solutions with me. When I shared our ideas with the missions director, she actually liked them. So I agreed I would plan the justice ministry fair.

Our pastors led a five-part sermon series that laid a beautiful foundation for the justice ministry fair. Much like the Redefining Justice series I wrote in October, they emphasized justice as living in right relationships.

Week after week they repeated, “Biblical justice is valuing what God values the way He values it.”

Justice is not primarily about signing up to fight for a cause, building awareness, writing a check, or going to a conference. “Those things are important,” our pastor said. “Relationships are very important.”

They pointed out that in biblical times, sharing food with the hungry or providing shelter was done by inviting people into your home.

“Justice starts with valuing God,” they declared, “which doesn’t happen without loving people made in His image, especially loving the vulnerable.”

As I listened to their sermons and pondered solutions my husband and I had thought of, I decided to hang signs throughout the concourse that would connect justice with living in right relationship.


love family love neighborsWhereas the ministry tables would highlight causes such as prison ministry and sex trafficking, the signs hanging above them would highlight right living in terms of God’s values.




pure in heartI wanted people to understand justice as a state of being as well as an action, as a noun and a verb.

share power

speak truth

walk humbly

I hoped people would prayerfully consider how they might engage more with justice as both personal righteousness and as action on behalf of the most vulnerable.


mercy impartialityI wanted them to understand that we contribute to or detract from justice with everyday choices. When we choose to open ourselves to neighbors by spending time in the front yard instead of in the backyard, we live more in line with God’s intentions.

When we invite students who live far from home to holiday dinners or care more about people than the products they make, we value what God values.

We don’t have to take up causes or make additional time commitments to live justly. We can live differently in everyday life at the office, in our homes, on the streets we walk.

We can share power with younger colleagues, shovel snow for an elderly neighbor, offer a meal to someone begging on the street, become friends with people different than ourselves.

To further address this kind of everyday justice, I set up a table at the end of the church concourse with a banner over it that said, “Overwhelmed?”

overwhelmedIt was intended to draw people who were lost in the sea of opportunities or unable to sign up for more activities, but I hoped others would come as well. It was a haven for seeking guidance in how to live justly by making simple changes in everyday life.

Several volunteers helped me prepare a list of ways to live out justice in everyday life and careers. They manned the “Overwhelmed?” table with me, offering possibilities for engaging within personal limitations.

We helped people discern possibilities for furthering justice in their everyday circles of influence. We prayed with them, asking God to reveal what He wants them to value differently. And we connected them with representatives at ministry tables when their gifts and interests naturally aligned.

Continues on February 14th post, The Justice Conference 2014.

All justice ministry fair graphics were designed by Ray Almsteadt – thank you Ray!

Just Living


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31 Days Not According to Plan

You’re now firsthand witnesses to how well I perform without a deadline.

After a year without a roost on which to perch, I spent much of the past three months nesting. Ben and I finished unpacking moving boxes just in time to decorate for Christmas.

It’s astonishing to realize we’ve already lived in Connecticut five months. Even more so to reflect on all the grace poured out in the past year.

Since last Christmas, God has given us much-needed time with friends and family before moving us further north. He has provided time and space for the difficult lessons of Portland to sink in. And He has surrounded us with a church family that championed us at every turn.

Unbeknownst to me, our Baltimore church home was planning a sermon series on biblical justice shortly after we returned from four years in Portland. As God’s providence would have it, I had written a 31-day series on Redefining Justice two months earlier.


Our church’s missions director had read the series and greeted me with her hands raised in excitement, exclaiming, “It’s the lady of justice!” I couldn’t have felt more welcomed back.

The missions director went on to inform me that the upcoming sermon series on justice would culminate with a simulcast of the Justice Conference. I’d steered clear of this event for years, despite having attended a Portland church involved in it and having hosted out-of-town friends who participated in it.

In conversing with our missions director, I felt compelled to overcome my aversion to the conference. She spoke of an El Salvadorian pastor she’d invited to ride around the city with police, showing him a gang culture similar to the one he fights at home. And she mentioned local voices for justice who would lead workshops during the event.

The local, relational approach appealed to me far more than the popular conference speakers ever had. So I offered to help.

The request our missions director made in response was the worst possible I could have imagined. What I heard her ask was: “Would you consider setting up a marketplace in the church concourse to commodify justice?”


Photo courtesy of Joaquin Lopez Pereyra.

Um, no, thank you.

Did I fail to communicate that I believe justice is about living in right relationships, not about causes people can get involved with?

What the missions director actually asked was: “Would you consider organizing an opportunity fair at the end of the justice sermon series?”

I told her I wasn’t sure I’d be able to, and she assured me it wouldn’t require a substantial time commitment. “That’s not really what I mean,” I said, bracing myself as I debated whether to explain further.

I was pretty sure she would think I was crazy. She’d asked me to coordinate a handful of ministry tables and I was about to respond with a philosophical conundrum. But I couldn’t bring myself to act as though tables lined up in the church concourse would adequately represent justice.

I shared my thoughts with her, and to my relief and amazement, she understood where I was coming from. And she agreed!

In response, she explained that the five sermons preceding the ministry fair would frame justice from a biblical perspective, and a six-week Sunday school class on the topic would follow.

I told her I’d pray about it.

Continues on February 4th post, Justice: An Everyday Choice.

Sunday Night Suppers


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31 Days Not According to PlanAlmost two years ago, my brother started looking into jobs and fellowships as the next step in his medical career. When he shared an extensive list of places he was considering, I had a novel idea: what if we tried to live near each other?

I put the idea out there and my brother said, “Oh yeah, if Mom or Dad have an episode at some point, you’re going to have to be around to help take care of them.”

Not exactly what I’d been trying to communicate. I guess it makes sense that medical emergencies would be foremost on a doctor’s mind though.


Planning to live near my brother didn’t work out. But living near him when life didn’t go according to plan did.

My brother and his wife moved to Baltimore for a one year fellowship while Ben and I were still planning to live in Cambodia for a year. I hadn’t lived in the same state as my brother since high school, and now he was moving to the city I’d called home just three years earlier. I couldn’t believe it.

The most I could share in the experience with him was offering tips on where to go and what to do in Baltimore. He likes to forge his own path though, so before long, I went back to focusing on Skype calls with people in Cambodia.

Little did I know, three months later, I would be packing boxes to join him in Charm City.


Upon arriving in Maryland, my brother and sister-in-law welcomed Ben and me with lunch – the first of many meals together in their Harbor East neighborhood.

Sunday night suppers quickly became a tradition. Before and after eating, we bonded over UNO and Play Station’s DuckTales, bringing back long-forgotten childhood memories for my brother and me while forging new ones with our spouses.

Playing UNO brought back childhood memories while forging new ones.

Differences among the four of us became less prominent over time. At the start of our season together, I left the oven door open to let out residual heat. My sister-in-law looked at me like I was crazy and said she could turn up the heat if I was cold.

By the end of our time together, she and my brother understood our frugal, waste-averse nature enough to hand make a birthday card for Ben – and seal it in a used business envelope with black electrical tape.

When we celebrated my winter birthday, my brother wore a suit, my sister-in-law wore a sequined top with dress pants, and Ben and I wore jeans with nice sweaters. By spring, I was learning how to twist my hair up fancy and hoping for a reason to get dressed up.


Miraculously, discussing controversial topics like Obamacare and biblical teachings also drew us closer together. My sister-in-law and I think more similarly than my brother and I ever did, so she inherently provided common ground and, at times, mediated communications. Meanwhile, Ben’s gift for building relationships had us all laughing at moments when I would have otherwise simply sat in awkwardness.

Good wine and chocolate helped too. For weeks, we ended each evening by carefully cutting several squares of chocolate my brother and sister-in-law had brought back from New York City into four pieces – one for each of us to taste and guess the flavor.

We cut Jacques Torres chocolates into pieces for all of us to share.

As kids, my brother and I would fill a paper bag with hand-selected jelly beans at the local candy store. Then we’d have each other guess the flavors one by one while listening to a brass band play summer favorites on the town lawn.

Over the years, our tastes have matured from buttered popcorn, cotton candy, and toasted marshmallow flavored jelly beans to ancho chili, champagne, and Earl Grey flavored chocolates. (To be honest, I’ve always been partial to chocolates, but I suffered jelly beans for the sake of entertainment.)


I cherish those seven months of Sunday nights with family. We still have an abundance to learn about each other and we’re currently struggling to coordinate Christmas travels, but we now have a groundwork for relating to each other as adults. We better understand similarities, differences, quirks, frustrations, and joys.

Thanks to life not going according to plan, I now have more than jelly beans to go on with my brother.

I suspect life is indeed going according to Someone’s plan.

Jelly Beans!

Photo courtesy of Milind Alvares.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho…


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31 Days Not According to PlanThanks for giving me some room to breathe in this 31 days of blogging. I turned in the grant proposal and am getting ready to attack more of the house. I was thinking of you all though and wanted to share more before disappearing into the abyss of cardboard boxes.

So where was I? Ah, yes…nesting and jobs. We were living with our friends, their dog, and their baby paraphernalia when an editor unexpectedly offered me freelance work. Praise the Lord! We had a roof, a community, and some income.

Meanwhile, a man at church offered Ben temporary work as a handyman assistant. The hours, pay, experience, and boss were far more appealing than any retail job. So Ben started building decks and repairing holes while I researched footnote content.

The editing would result in only two or three projects a year, so I continued looking for work.

A friend at church suggested connecting with the executive director of a nonprofit who also attends our church (starting to see a theme here?). The nonprofit, Acts4Youth, provides mentoring for at-risk boys in Baltimore City and was looking for a part-time grant writer.

I’m a writer – check. I used to work for a nonprofit – check. I care deeply about at-risk kids – check.

So I applied. I was thrilled when I got the job. I couldn’t have asked for a more humble, approachable boss or a better job situation.

Eight hours a week still didn’t provide health insurance though, so I continued looking for additional work. One interview after another led to both disappointment and relief (I was terrified of ending up at another dysfunctional organization).


When Trader Joe’s offered me 30 hours a week and health insurance after four months, I said aloha to a stack of Hawaiian shirts. I was surprised by how many friends were excited to hear I was working there – I think it was because of the shirt and the bell ringing.

Every other week, I came home with a tub of miniature chocolate chip cookies for my friend and a box of bon bons for myself.

I wasn’t thrilled about getting up at 4:00 am or getting home at midnight, but once again, it seemed like God was up to something. I connected with coworkers more quickly than expected and some were interested to hear I’d recently moved from Portland. Come to think of it, Trader Joe’s was a micro version of Portland – tattoos, piercings, skinny jeans, and alternative lifestyles abounded.

My coworker friend who’d cut her hair so it stuck out every which way in fantastic punk rock fashion was preparing to move to Portland. A chipper contrast to her aloofness, I was far more excited to make the connection than she was. That is, until my typically reserved coworker unabashedly whipped out a business card for me.

“Your painting reminds me of one of my friend’s works,” I remarked.

“Who’s your friend?” she asked.

“Stephanie Buer.”

“You know Stephanie Buer?!”

Apparently my friend is famous among artists across the nation. Suddenly my skinny jeans clad coworker and I had lots to talk about.

I connected her to my renowned (be sure to read that with a snooty British accent) Portland friend and shared tips on where to live and explore. I loved getting to know this coworker and reminisce about Portland with her.

Other Trader Joe’s favorites were my bread stocking friend; the “jingle wizard” whose approach you knew because of his bell-lined clothes and tall, purple hat; the coworker who impeded a transvestite from leaving the parking lot because he’d lined his clothes with hundreds of dollars of stolen meat; and unloading groceries from the carts of friends past and present.


Trader Joe’s has the best bon bons ever because of that little layer of cake (and they only paid me a month-and-a-half to say that).

Creating Room to Breathe


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31 Days Not According to Plan

I spent all of today shopping. For the record, that is not this girl’s dream-come-true.

It was kinda fun though because I was looking for items to set up house. Because we have a house to set up!

But that also means we have a house to set up. Between settling in, meeting work deadlines, volunteering, and blogging, I am not a little overwhelmed.


Ben and I left the house at 3:00 this afternoon to buy a washer and dryer. Our intention was to leave early so we could get home early – the opposite of what we’d been doing the past week.

Amazingly enough, purchasing the appliances went incredibly quickly. We bought refurbished ones, so there weren’t a lot of high-tech, energy-saving choices to deliberate.

Tip of the day: Look at how blue a dryer is inside to assess how much it’s been used. Very blue = used a lot. White = hardly used. The fantastic owner of High End Appliances let us in on this secret right before replacing the cord on our microwave for free. Great business!

Buying the appliances went smoothly. What led to us not getting home until 10:00 at night was stopping at two Targets, two Bed, Bath, and Beyonds, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls.

In the middle of checking out items at Target, my phone alerted me that the play about sex trafficking I’d really wanted to see was about to start. I’d completely forgotten about the play in the midst of the ongoing errands.


I’d become used to the simplicity of moving one carload of belongings into other people’s furnished homes. I’d forgotten all that’s involved when moving in an entire household, particularly when you’ve sold many of the large items before moving.

I’d become used to the simplicity of moving one carload of belongings into other people’s furnished homes.

Pardon the lighting – we’re still looking for lamps.


Over an impromptu dinner at Bonefish Grill (that was something that worked out beautifully today: I remembered I had a gift card in my wallet as we drove by hungry), I asked my husband what he thought about the possibility of me spreading out the 31 Days of Blogging beyond October.

Merely suggesting the idea created more room to breathe.

It also keeps with the theme of this blog series – sometimes life just doesn’t go according to plan, and that’s okay.

So I’ve decided to spread out the (Not) According to Plan series a bit more. At least until my major work deadline is met next week, I plan to post only every few days. I’ll still write 31 entries, just not every single day in October.

I hope you’ll keep following the series – there’s lots more to share. I still haven’t told you about the dog attack, the trip to France, or the free car!

A Door Opens


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31 Days Not According to Plan

Baltimore is not the city where young people go to retire. I was therefore counting on work being easier to find there than in Portland.

I’d suspected for a while that it hadn’t been just the Portland economy keeping me from more than the occasional odd job though. After applying for more than 200 jobs in a year-and-a-half, I came to believe that perhaps God was keeping me from gainful employment as a means of leading me into rest and healing.

I could only hear so many times that I was fantastic but someone else got the job before I started to wonder if the pattern might indicate something. My husband and I agreed I needed to stop spinning my wheels and embrace the rest and healing.

More than a year later – three months before we ended up moving back east – I was hired as a courtesy clerk at New Seasons Market. The pattern had been broken. Surely I would find work again in Baltimore.


Knowing that Ben could find a pastorate anywhere along the East Coast and wanting to move towards me being able to not work (we kept coming back to that list we’d made), we decided I would focus my job search on freelance writing.

It only took one month and a handful of conversations about the lengthy ordination process of most denominations before we became discouraged. The pastorate search was going to take much longer than we’d anticipated.

I of course responded by running out to find a full time job.

Within weeks, I had several interviews scheduled, none of which led to a job I felt able to accept.


Meanwhile, God was up to something else entirely. He seemed to have been more concerned with our list of desires than we were.

Without any prompting on my part other than perhaps a LinkedIn résumé update, an editor I’d worked with for two months ten years ago contacted me. He’d just started a new job and wanted to know if I’d be interested in doing some freelance editing for him.

Suddenly a door had opened.