I’ve blogged with consistent inconsistency for about as long as I can remember. I started designing websites and keeping weblogs before they were cool, and have written on topics ranging from life and faith to music to community to youth ministry to productivity to… well, just about whatever was rattling around inside my head.

I spent some time this afternoon browsing through some old posts of mine, and it’s funny how much it is like reading through old journals… just a little less private. Old blog posts take me back to times when I was different, when I thought about different things, thought about different things, and experienced life differently. My faith has grown, my community has changed, and my experiences have given me new lenses through which to see and experience the world around me.

And, at the same time, God’s fingerprints are all over the journey. It’s amazing to see longings I blogged about years ago come to fruition, and to see God’s faithfulness. It’s amazing to see the fruit of planting deep roots.

For example, almost four years ago, I wrote these thoughts as part of a “Friday Five” blog post:

Most days I feel like I live, breathe, eat, and dream youth ministry. It’s like that part of my brain never shuts off–which is really good some days, and some days it just wears me out completely. The other day I came home from the office, turned off my phones and sat outside on the balcony with my Bible for about 20 minutes. I needed that. I need that more often.

I’ve been missing my friends a lot lately. Camp friends. Spoke Folk friends. College friends. Things were SO busy right after we moved down here that I didn’t really have much time to miss people, but now that we’ve been hanging around the Dayton area for a few weeks, I’ve been missing people a lot.

Speaking of friends… I love hanging out with teenagers and bringing Jesus to life in their lives, but I also like hanging out with grown-ups–people that share the same struggles and concerns that I do. We’ve been slowly meeting some people down here around our age, and I like that. I’m looking forward to the ways that God will continue working in that area of our lives.

When we moved here to Dayton, we moved here without community and without family. We didn’t know people, and people didn’t know us. We didn’t really know a whole lot about what we were even getting ourselves into.

And now, almost four years later, I find myself on a regular basis driving a van-load of high schoolers belting out this tune at the top of our lungs:

And now, almost four years later, I find myself entangled in a local community of “grown up” friends that challenge and encourage me on a regular basis… with whom I laugh, and pray, and journey through life.

We know we were made for so much more
Than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive

God answers prayers. He is faithful, and he plants us in communities where we can thrive.





One thought on “Made to Thrive

  1. Hi Erin. We are making t-shirts for our 8th grade graduating class and using the theme of the song and some lyrics from the song by Casting Crowns. We LOVE your tree above with the “i” as the trunk in Thrive. Is this image copyrighted? We would love to have this on the front of our shirt. Thank you, Marci


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