Lately (from Baptisms to Brotherly Love...)

It seems we're doing more "micro-blogging" (on Instagram) than regular blogging these days, but it's easier to write and probably easier to read too! Here are a few of our recent updates/moments of encouragement...

It seems engaging the hard stories is like taking good medicine. John got his 2-month old shots today, and though we know the benefits, we still wished we could have avoided it. Vaccines allow us to ingest just enough of the bad so that if we ever encounter it in full force, we won't be destroyed by it. Similarly when we share the stories of suffering--suffering infused with hope--we touch our worst fears and in so doing remind our souls that those things won't destroy us either.

{Read more about how we are re-narrating the story of suffering through the YOUNG SUFFERING CLUB content series...}

We are so grateful for such a vibrant digital community, but something special happens when two or more people gather in person--we experience God together and manifest hope to each other.

Today, a group rallied around a friend who has faced some unbelievable hardship in her young life and now faces still more. This impromptu brokenness brunch of chemo-friendly foods, favorite flowers, words of encouragement, and prayers for healing and hope reminded our friend (and us too) that we need each other. And the greatest gift we can give is the assurance that in the midst of all our pain and junk and fears, we won't leave, we will stay because that's exactly what God has done for us.

We had to share this poignant text from our friend, Kimi, the guest of honor at the gathering in our previous post. What a reminder of the extraordinary power that lies in the simple act of doing life together. "After the party I got to FINALLY meet little John Wolf. And of course I couldn't put him down. Just heaven in my arms. Ladies you get me! At one point, as this sweet guy was asleep on my chest, I noticed his tiny hand laying on my heart, reaching towards my cross around my neck. Then I suddenly realized...this happens to be the exact placement of my cancer [in the valves of her heart]. Who gets a baby blessing? ME! Truly was a gift. Thanks Baby John. Love you." We need each other. We need to know we aren't alone. We need to experience God when He feels far away, and sometimes that happens through the touch of a friend or a newborn baby.

Will you please pray for this dear girl? At 26, Kimi Platt has already traversed deeper waters than most ever will, and there are more ahead. Pray for her healing, wisdom, provision, and grace as she awaits uncertain test results and seeks new treatment far away from her community. Thank you, friends.

Happy long weekend,'s the adult equivalent of being swaddled. Get cozy and enjoy (James will)!

On this day of rest and reflection, it's hard not also anticipate returning to our labors. This week we'll dip our toe back in the speaking and traveling pond, albeit now with a 2 month old baby in tow!

We're excited and grateful, and yet yesterday's sermon at Bel Air Church by Pastor Drew reminded us that the gnawing feeling inside is also a sense of insufficiency. Like the disciple doing the math of feeding thousands with just two fish and 5 loaves, we're also left asking, "Um, how's this going to work exactly?" And Jesus answered him as he does us, "Come to me. Now, that you know you can't finagle this outcome on your own, now you're ready. Let's do this!" At the end of our self-sufficiency lies his super-abundance. Believing this today for us and for you too, friends.

View our speaking calendar and get more info on having us speak for your group (

Scraps are lovingly gathered, just the right amount of pressure is expertly applied, then the hard edges are patiently smoothed out. What's left is a reminder of the journey of healing and the glory of hope. Sounds a lot like grace.

The ‪Hope Heals Token‬ has been given to wedding guests and victims testifying against their sex traffickers, to classrooms of kids and recovery groups of addicts. We all need tangible reminders of our intangible God, of what he has done, is doing, and will continue to do until the work is completed. Check out this and other new products in our shop. (

For our fellow stationery fans, this accordion fold card might be my favorite thing in the Hope Heals Shop (designed by Alex Wolf and printed by Alissa Bell) (Front = ⚓️HOPE, Back = HEALS)

I've already used it for a birthday, a get well soon, and thank you cards! It's long so there's plenty of room for lots of people to sign on the front and back. And if you buy 2, you can stand them up on a shelf or hang them like a banner to reminder yourself that "HOPE HEALS"(

Sometimes even the strongest ninja falls asleep at his post, and so do we. Let's not beat ourselves up--we probably needed the rest! New week. New chance. Carry on ninjas.

Almost 8 years ago, James was born near the Pacific Ocean, and last night, just a few miles from that hospital, he was reminded of the new life he lives as a follower of Jesus through his baptism.

"Dead to sin!" the crowd yelled before James breathed in then plunged below the waters. "Alive in Christ!" they sang, echoing off the mountains, as his smile broke through the waves, the afternoon sun flinging sparks on his salt-kissed cheeks and hair.

My Dad baptized me when I was 7, and in one of my life's great coming full circle moments, I got to help do the same for my son. This outward sign of an inner grace--so many graces--reminded me that like those moments in the water we are all small but indispensable parts of this mysterious swell, this unstoppable movement of God's work in the world. May we never forget the ocean of love from which we have come.

Special thanks to our beloved Bel Air Church for cheering us on through so many seasons in the life of our family, and to our beloved Pastor Drew for leading the charge to follow Jesus everyday and everywhere with everyone. Oh, and it seems John's first visit to the beach was a success!

We hope to raise courageous, resilient, independent boys, but there is nothing in the world like a sleeping baby tightly grasping a handful of his daddy's shirt. I'm almost ready to invite them both to move back into our basement after they finish college...almost.