Over the past year, we’ve been through a LOT as a family. While I won’t go into detail on that front (those of you who know us best already know most of that), suffice it to say that this has been a year we’re looking forward to having over. One of the hardest of our lives. And conventional wisdom would indicate that life surely can only be looking up… 2014 has got to be better.

So whether that’s true or not remains to be seen… but that’s not the point of this post. We KNOW we’ve got more difficult days to walk through. All of the “stuff” we’re dealing with isn’t over yet. And we don’t really know when it will, or to be completely honest, even truly if. The ends of these stories have simply not all been written.

What IS true though is that Nancy and I have learned this: in times of difficulty, when life throws us so much “stuff” we don’t know what to do, we need a sanctuary.

And no, I’m not going hyper-spiritual on you to say that it’s solely our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Quite honestly? Though He IS truly enough spiritually… sometimes He seems distant. Fact is, though good Christianese would tell us that all we need is Him… that He bids us to come and He will give us rest… sometimes, His peace is truly hard to find. Sometimes it just doesn’t seem like enough. Sometimes it doesn’t even feel available.

What I’ve found?

We often need a PLACE of refuge, not just a God who offers it. We need a place of refuge to RECEIVE what He offers.

That place for us?

Nope, not our home. We live there. We can’t help but have our home invaded by the “stuff” of this world. Problems simply can’t be left on the doorstep, tucked away in a closet, or stashed in a corner of the garage. The phone doesn’t stop ringing there. E-mails and texts still reach us. The day-to-day still exists there.

No, our sanctuary is this place:


My mom and dad’s home.

When we’re there, we can forget about everything else for a while. We can sit by the pond and fish. Dad makes sure the ATVs are always ready to kick up dirt along the trails he’s made. Baby and Butch (their cats) are there to be chased by my girls. There’s plenty of room to shoot targets with air rifles. And an AWESOME back deck where we can just sit, listen to the birds sing, and relax. It’s a place where Mom always stuffs us with more home-cooked goodness than we can handle. A place where the kiddos are truly free to run and play.

Troubles seem far away. Peace seems readily accessible. You can almost tangibly feel stress disappearing as we drive closer.

It’s truly a sanctuary, for all of us.

Mom, Dad… I know we haven’t told you often enough, but thanks for always making home a safe place for us to get away. I’m not sure how we’d be getting through the “stuff” of life this year without you guys.

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John Written by:

Husband, Daddy, Christ-follower, sports fan... pressing on toward the goal for which God has called me heavenward in Christ. #ForeverRoyal!

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