Articles

>Where I’m going, not where I want to be, but further along than I was

In family, Friends, Grace Seattle, writing on October 17, 2009 by mstevensrev

>The start of school when you have kids and the beginning of a new year bring about reflection, at least for me. Or perhaps I am more of navel gazer than I think of myself. Regardless my recent thoughts have brought me to a place where I have more peace than I have in quite awhile.

Seattle is a very special place and God has put in at the center of our family in a very special way. There was no place in the world where we could have gone and had such an easy transition after Oakland. Simply having the initial gift of free rent from my father-in-law relieved so much pressure and allowed me to look for a job without going deep into debt. Also the support structure of wise friends who have walked with us for years was priceless, and then we were also surprised by the new friends God brought into our life during that time who have been an amazing blessing. There are plenty of questions about the future but where we are meant to be is not one of them. I won’t be surprised if there are pressures that work on moving us in the near future but the only pressure I’m concern about is that of God’s.

Stewardship. When I graduated from college the last thing I cared about was making money. I wanted to creating something cool and care for people. That was carried on throughout graduate school, when after making decent money in my first job I easily walked away to pursue full time ministry. Then there was Oakland, which looked more like survival financially for Karin and me. The stress of graduate school and working for a church startup put us in very bad position in regards to our finances and stewardship. This was not a faithful time in my life as I reflect upon it. While some of the circumstances were out of my control, having been through it wisdom would not allow me to do it again. For those who supported me I was not “unfaithful” with that money, it had more to do with places I would take money from and what I was leveraging in order to just make ends meet. Thankfully God has given me a very gracious family who also seem to have a short term memory:) Now God has placed me in a great position to be a good steward. I pray often to God saying, “All this ambition you have given me in my work, may you bless so I can be just as ambitious with my generosity.” Just this week I had lunch with the pastor at Grace and we were dreaming about what God would do in Seattle, and how if He chose to use us.

As I write this my girls are playing Wii in the room next to me. I can’t help but think about how much I enjoy being a father. There is so much joy that comes from seeing them grow, learn, and become the women God has intended them to be. During graduate school both Karin and mine we juggled a very crazy schedule which meant I had significant amount of time with our first daughter during the first four years of her life. I feared that I would not have the same connection with number two, that was a completely unfounded fear. Sure I wish I had more time with our two year old, but both my daughters bring me so much joy and they are the thing I take the most godly pride of in my life.

Then there is my marriage, which I mess up all the time in. Though I am listening better. Karin is not merely one of my advisers but rather the partnership God has given me in this life. She knows me better and loves me more than anyone in this world and her words deserve that kind of respect and honor. Now if I didn’t get grumpy, sensitive, and bent out of shape so often I am sure that I would do a much better job of honor that voice in my life. For years though I didn’t even know the place that she was to have in my life. I’m also learning to speak and encourage when she needs me. Her drive and capability often lead me to give her space because I deeply know that she can do it, but I’m learning she still needs to hear my encouragement. That is crazy and sweet.

My writing has had to take a the back burner:( I still cannot believe that I had time to blog thru the Psalms, and even start the Proverbs. As I hear from other friends at my stage of life, so who are even writers, I find they have a similar struggle. That actually encourages me. There is only so much time and if my kids are civil and I like my wife that says tons.

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