Meg dear,

Ive called Milwaukee “home” for four Saturdays now. The first was carrying box after box up the stairs to my apartment with the help of some new friends and my parents. The second was spent completely with my Momma who generously came back to visit and to help me settle in. My third Saturday was my first weekend off of work at my new job and I used up those days by driving to Michigan to visit a friend. Number four, today, it seals the deal. One month in and this has been home from the first moment. Still unpacking, painting, settling — into my space and my community — but enough time has passed for me to feel comfortable here. Time to press deeper.

Last night Holy Spirit called me out of my comfort zone and into action. I groaned with the soul “stiffness” thats like limbs that have done nothing but sit for hours, but it was Friday night and I didn’t have plans. Ive decided He gets to make our Friday night plans from here out.

I had plenty of meals I could make but just really wanted to get something warm delivered. Pizza is always a good idea. A little research, a few questions, a phone line busy… “Ill just walk.” That stuck. I could’ve driven but He wanted to walk. So we did. And we saw many more souls through glancing eyes we rubbed shoulders with than you can from the street anyway. “Maybe I should just get a frozen pizza and take it home?” Nope. Hot, fresh, cooked for me. Okay. Down the street and around a corner, passing the building where French lessons are given — a little nudge of encouragement to keep at my own lessons in the language from Him on our way — and in the door of a whole-in-the-wall pizzeria with only two chairs to wait in and clear site to the very back of the tight kitchen. I still distinctly felt like I was supposed to get the pizza delivered so I said, “Maybe this is odd but could I order here, now, and have the pizza delivered to me? I don’t want to carry it all the way back.” “Of course! Whats the address?” I told her and she paused, “I live on the same block as you.” We chatted and wrapped up my order. Leaving the building and walking home though I burst into laughter because my heart is to meet my neighbors, to love my neighbors — from the crossing guard to the baristas, the grocery clerks to the people living in the apartments next door — I just haven’t met any of them, its been so cold out. But here was one! At the pizza place I was supposed to walk to but have delivered. 

Maria with the social german shepherd, as you said, Im sure Ill see you around!



Two weeks. Fourteen days. I'm moving to a new land, walking into the unfolding new of life’s next season. The lease still needs to be signed and money sent in. The boxes and furniture still need to be packed and loaded into a truck. The last hours at this job here need to be worked as faithfully as the last — with extra snuggles and cuddles for the kiddos I won’t get to hold for awhile once I leave. The Christmas festivities still need to be held with my loved ones. Just fourteen days. Only two weeks.

Oh, soul, who is your Father, from Whom comes your help?
>> “You’re the One Who conquers giants, You’re the One Who calls out kings; You shut the mouths of lions, You tell the dead to breathe; You’re the One Who walks through fire, You take the orphans hand; You are the One Messiah; You are I Am.”

Who gave you the "when" to move? 
>> New Years Day. Ive known for nearly six months.

Who gave you the "where"? 
>> Milwaukee, WI. Placed on my heart in July and confirmed in September.

Who rained down favor and provided a job, a car, a house? 
>> read that account here.

Stand firm, my soul. Take heart. 

We are turning up the risk, He says, and the ones around you who care for you have natural concerns. Don’t be swayed by them. You know it will all work out because you know Me. Let what you see be more real than what they don’t. It IS. Don’t let them keep you here in “safe” out of fear, out of unknowns. I have called you forward. Yes, into the deeper waters that you don’t know — but I DO. Your time in "safe" is done. Safe is not your calling, “sure” + “steady” + “ever present help” is. "Safe" is for children. You’re no longer a child. Come with Me into risk. My presence is steady and sure and will be your help and cover and companion. I know you rest in that, I know you’re ready to follow, I also know it feels heavy and lonely to you. It isn’t really. You will never bear the stresses or trials alone. I am your Husband. The burdens are Mine to bear, I just want you beside me through it. So walk in freedom! You have the authority and power of My Name as your own. All that is Mine is yours. I’ve got you. Let’s go take care of the ones around us.

Here we go! Fourteen days. Two weeks. ...




Exploring, pioneering, going — there is something about the unknown; the potential of it, the limitlessness. I love home, but Im not afraid to leave it. As much as home is dear, making home in new places has a sweetness Im nearer to. By the time I was 15yrs old I had lived in 15 homes. As a particularly organized child you would think that all those changes would upset the apple cart of my lifestyle system and well-ordered space, and I suppose it did, but even then I was more excited about getting to reorganize and make a ‘new way’ my own than I was frustrated by the uprooting. 

No matter how many times you move though, leaving the familiar, saying goodbye to the dear places and everyday faces, is no easier. I’ve been so caught up in the plans and excitement for Milwaukee that I’d forgotten this transition means a complete uprooting and starting from scratch in a place I don’t know once again. Last year this time I was packing up to drive across the country and move into a state Id never been to, to live with people Id never met and get a position Id never held before in a setting Id never experienced — by myself. There was a culture shock to it all and an unrelenting requirement for effort put forth without even the rest of a friendly face at days end. It was hard. I found joys in it, I was stretched very thin by it, and it certainly merited the title: adventure. This move is similar except that I’ll know some faces and the job position is one Im at least aware of how to operate and be flexible in. 

Traversing into the great unknown is a labor. In these times its wonderful how a brand or shop you recognize appears as perfect relief. Just knowing that my new place is one street over from a Starbucks is a comfort. To be able to walk into an atmosphere Im acquainted with and order the drink of my current routine, not having to think twice over this one in a hundred decisions my new world will present me with daily, is a gift.

Oh, and isn’t it fun? Turning on the favorite songs, drowning out the grating sound of the new furnace, or throwing wide the windows to let the sounds of life unfolding down the street sweep through. To unpack those boxes and glance around at the inventory of items, each collected over time and containing memory of some adventure past, to wipe them clean and set them in place, step back and see it seeping out: home.

Yes, Im both a nomad and a nester.





After nearly twenty-four hours of dizzying travel, I'm home. 

I've been away nearly six months and my heart's about to lunge out of my chest with joy to be back where I belong. 

It doesn't make sense. Life is not comfortable here. 

But, somehow, it's this place that makes me come alive -- that makes me desperate for His Presence, always looking for His love, constantly aware of His great love. 

So there's a lot of distance between here & there & sometimes it can feel overwhelming. How do you say goodbye to your family for the long years? How do you make the choice to not be a part of the daily life with them? But then heart comes face-to-face with the One who made me & the burdens shift & loads become lighter & the unexpected place becomes home.

I didn't know the place meant so much to me.
But then I left & returned & now spend the days here wondering how it is I'll be able to leave it again?

I don't suspect it will be for long this time. He's made it abundantly clear: this is the purposed place. 

And so even though my heart wrestles with the weight of that commitment, searches for answers in the midst of great unknowns & wonders how He plans for it all to unfold, I am completely at peace: No one knows me better than He. 

So I've been here nearly four days, back in the land I adore.
And, really, I haven't hardly slept -- jet-lag is not a companion of mine.

But, the hours -- they've already been well spent. They make me realize how full life is when we're about His heart's business, safely trusting our will to Him. 

It's cold and wet here, the rain pouring heavy over the city. I didn't wear my rain boots when I left and conveniently forgot to pack an umbrella. And so it'll be long walks throughout town today & I'm sure to end the week with a cold, but all is well. 

I've got an eight-month old baby on my hips & sure, she's cried most of the day. But, I'm here & I've got this incredible honor of loving on the Ones His heart beats tenderly for.

I think that's maybe what it means when we make our home in Him, yeah? 




An open love letter to that place 

It's been nearly a decade now — ten years of my life spent just falling in love with you. 

It doesn't make sense and it isn't terribly convenient and sometimes it feels a little more like I'm losing it than living well. Yeah, like that time when I fumbled over my words, my language skills failing me bad and I just cried that I couldn't communicate well enough to buy peaches? 

But, alas, here we are. I'm smitten. Happiest when we're together. 

I first met you in Timisoara. You were lovely. The summer sun made you glow.

Then we found ourselves back together in Arad, Bucharest, Brasov, a few villages here and there, and eventually you caught my heart so deep that I moved & settled myself for a long while in Oradea. 

And now? Clock tells me I'm twenty four hours away from packing up again and flying across the deep blue just so we can say hello again. It's only been five months since I last saw you and your beautiful people. But it feels like it's been an eternity. 

I've missed you. You carry my heart. You hold my dreams. You are what He's purposed for me. Somehow? You've become heart's home. 

I can't wait to see you soon. 





An open love letter to Milwaukee —

They told me: “be careful, you’ll fall in love”.  I said, “I wouldn’t mind.” Here we are.

I never would have pictured myself with you, but I choose you irrevocably. I’m bringing myself under your name, your reputation, and pouring all of myself into you. Hard, good, painful, worth it. 

People have some very black and white comments about you, no pun intended. I take them all with a grain of salt because theres grace — for us, for them, for me, for you. They say you’re beautiful, they say you’re dangerous, they say you’ll steal my heart. 

Honey, I see who and what you are, and you’re right: I don’t know what I’m getting myself into, but I’m choosing you for all you are and all that may come. I will love you at your darkest. I look at you and I see you as you’re meant to be and I can look your ugly square in the face and say, “you are SO loved”. The best is yet to come and I’m excited to journey through the days ahead with you.


Note: I’m moving to Milwaukee to partner with a handful of other people lovers, game changers, who bear Holy Spirit’s passion about their city. While I will, by my Father’s sweet favor, be working and living in a very low-crime area of the city, my heart is for the at-risk and needy. I will be safe but my calling is not to stay safe, it is to love — and to love is to be vulnerable, to risk it all because you see worth. My Father’s evidenced Love is an atmosphere-changer, a heart-toucher, a mountain-melter. He has a Body filled with His heart so that He can touch people with it. I’m just willing to be made willing to move in sync with it. This is not meant to be incredible. It’s, quite simply, reasonable. His love is what’s radical, not our moving in it. 

MKE is one of the most segregated cities in all America and that eats at me. Unity is my dream. There are a lot of stories to be told — hearts to be heard — in the barrier-breaking process. I want to listen. I want to see. I want to share. Regardless of what side of the river I’m found on I want to be found serving someone other than me and loving with that unearthly, lavish Love. As far as I’m concerned,  Milwaukee is chuck full of family I’ve yet to meet — and this family is multi-ethnic but we all share the same Father. Family dinners are going to be epic.



Autumn was always my favorite season. Something about the crisp air, the strong winds, the gray hues and cloudy days... These elements stimulate my inspiration. Like the horizons, there's a limitlessness about this season. 

This year has been different though. The smell of the cool air, the crunchy under foot, holing up in coffee shops, and dreaming big all spark memories of experiencing them to the full with a dear man by my side last year. This fall I dreaded walking outside because just a breath of this beautiful season and my chest felt tight, my eyes cast down -- I was right back in those rich memories and then flashing back to the present where all of that was lost. 

I've been so grateful for your understanding ear and gentle heart through this. The memories won't always be so potent but this year they have been and it's nice to know that someone understands the sadness and the hurt. 

Another friend of mine was so sad to hear that my favorite season had been made so bittersweet for me that he set out to try and replace the sad memories with happy ones. The relentless love of a friend is especially sweet companionship in hard times. 

Time passes. Winter temperatures have officially set in here in the Midwest. Creatures big and small are going to be hibernating in the woods over the hills. The last of the harvest is being collected on the surrounding farms. The ticks should have been long gone by now but this year they lingered. I got Lyme Disease for the second time in my life. Staying home from work, giving myself time to recover, I walked down to the mailbox in the afternoon and breathed in the last fall day of the year and guess what? It didn't bring back anything sad. It felt fresh, familiar, limitless like it always used to. Ahhh. My Father redeems all things -- even the seasons. 


PS: This one morning was hauntingly beautiful. It tasted of hope, of promise, of fresh mercies.