Monday, August 2, 2010

Train Wreck

Can I tell you a secret about this summer? (Can I tell a secret on a blog? I guess if it's only read by 4 people, then yes.)

I am so disappointed in this summer. It has not been what I wanted it to be.

I might be reusing this metaphor, but I feel like this summer was a runaway freight train. It careened down-hill, out of control at a terrible pace, then jumped the track. It's force leveled everything it collided with and left only destruction in its wake.
Overdramatic? Maybe, probably. An accurate representation of how I feel? Yes.

If I had to grade this summer I would give it a D. It wasn't a total failure but it isn't the kind of work you would want anyone to know you did.

Katie and I are the ones who bear all the responsibility. We overcommitted ourselves in some areas and we didn't block off time for some of the most important things. Like old friends and family.

If this is too ambiguous let me give you a tangible example. Since June 1, we have been on 1 date. A lunch date. We have gone to parties together, celebrated friends' weddings, and ate dinners together. But wife and I by ourselves, nice clothes, wine and conversation? Yeah, we apparently didn't make time for that.

Another example of our lack of planning is time with our family. They are probably the group we have shafted the most this summer. They have supported us, cared for us and we have kindly repaid them with frantic visits, if we have seen them at all.
 I cannot deny that we have done some great things. I think we raised about 15 - 20 scholarships for TeacHaiti this summer, which totally blows my mind when you consider that last year they had roughly 180 sponsor kids total.

Why am I sharing all of this? What is the point? Because I want to confess my failure and apologize publicly. Katie and I have always said people need to be intentional in their actions. Intentional in the way they live. We strive for this in our own lives, and this summer... We were not intentional in most ways and have felt the effects. I think we learned something from this summer, but I am not sure exactly how we will translate that into a different life next summer.



  1. Dear Ben and Katie,
    You probably learned a lesson that many missionaries have learned...the power of the word "no". Also, I don't think churches realize when missionaries return for sabbaticals and from being "in the field" they truly need rest and time for sleep, reflection, quiet time with their families and the Lord. Churches quickly get them busy and missionaries can burn out quick because they don't feel like they can say no, after all these are the people supporting them etc. I am so thankful you are so transparent in your postings b/c it will help when you return in years to come. Protect your marriage and family time just as Jesus did in his ministry years.
    Your sister in Christ,

  2. Forgive *yourself*, learn from it, and put it in your past.

    Hey, am I one of the 4? lol

  3. And yet I know, having talked to your MIL, that they were so glad to have you around for the summer. Families love you no matter what....unless you leave wet towels on the bathroom floor for days on end. Then all bets are off.

  4. Dear Ben and Katie, I donated 2 Teach Haiti (sp?) one-year scholarships that I never even associated with you. Maybe there are more anonymous donors that you've touched??? Don't beat yourself up.... Prayers for both of you.

  5. Yes, sabbath and rest are important! Hopefully next summer you'll be able to enjoy more of a sabbath, but I know all of the camps, VBS's, meetings with people were such a blessing!

    Oh and as the 6th commenter to the post, I can guarantee that more than 4 people read your blog!

    Love you guys!
    Suzanne & Dan



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