…describes my time here so far. Full of freedom. Full of fear. Full of joy. Full of laughter. Full of pain. Full of loneliness. Full of food. Full with companionship. Full.


Keep praying I learn what it means to live fully here… To go the extra mile. & drink the cup down to the dregs…



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Tomorrow it begins

Tomorrow morning, I will get up, load my pack, and walk for 20+km over the Pyrenees. If I drove, Google tells me I could get there in 30 minutes.


Instead, these are taking me:


Why am I doing this? As I lie awake tonight, others snoring & roosters crowing (waking up my new Irish friend Frank enough to mutter “Shut up ya bastard, for fooks sake…” swear some more, & then doze off again…) I laugh a bit as I ask myself that again.

There are many reasons, but as best I can tell, it is primarily to step out of my daily ordinary life in order to hear God better & to love God more, so that I may continue to do so more fully in my life back home.

There is the adventure piece – to simplify – the camino as a metaphor for life – a chance to unplug from distractions – an opportunity to practice living w/ freedom & lightness – freedom for God & for others – a chance to be a blessing & a witness – discernment in my life – space to laugh, have fun, & receive life… All secondary however.

My hope & prayer is that this pilgrimage – instead of simply being a long walk, or a journey to some sacred place – will be a sacred time, that helps imbue my days & my steps with an awareness of all that is holy around me, & the presence & work of the Spirit (& then somehow carry that home at the end-but that’s a problem for the future…) today I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other as I walk over these today…


Buen camino…


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On the road again…

The last several months have been a blur… I find myself now with a few minutes to catch my breath, sitting in a departure lounge at O’Hare.

A few months ago, I had gotten home from a late night run after a long day (let’s be honest: it had been a long week, long month, & long year…) & as I was thawing out from the freezing cold in a hot shower, I realized that I didn’t have to start work right after graduation. In fact, this might be the perfect time for a Sabbath of sorts – El Camino de Santiago.. (That’s Spanish for The Camino of Santiago!)

So, three months later, here I sit, embarking on a pilgrimage… Preparing to board a series of flights that will take me to DC (where I will get to meet my nephew Caleb for the first time), then on to Dublin, then France. And then I will start walking-across the Pyrenees, through Pamplona & rural towns of Spain, ending close to 500 miles later in Santiago de Compostela.

I’m hoping it will be a time of rest, rejuvenation, laughter, & joy… I’m imagining about two days into it I will be wondering what in the world I’ve gotten myself into… Solitude, silence, community, space to hear God, space to know myself, adventures & exploration, tiredness & brokenness & blisters… All things I both expect & long for, as well as fear.

For those who pray, pray that these five weeks will be what I need, & not just what I want. For those who don’t, you can just follow along for adventures & misadventures. ūüôā Documentation may happen here regularly (or not). =) but I’ll be putting up occasional thoughts, pictures, reflections, etc. on here, & facebook, & instagram. Feel free to follow along for the ride… =)

I. Can. Not. Wait.

Boarding time…

& thus it begins…


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Lightning flashes

Tonight I was driving on the highway into storms and lightening and thunder, talking to a friend on the phone.¬† The rain poured in sheets, and as the lightning crashed and we talked, epiphanies crashed with similar force in my head…¬† Yet truth known is no better than truth unknown if it is not lived out.¬† So now, in light of said epiphany, the challenge is to live in the light of that knowledge.¬†

“You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free…”

Thankful for this reminder tonight…


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Roiling and boiling

It’s one of those nights. ¬†Insomnia. ¬†Sleeplessness. ¬†Mind roiling and boiling, flipping through ideas and plans, dreams and hopes, possibilities and pitfalls… ¬†I guess this is what happens when graduation is in one week. ¬†I guess this is what happens when the thing you’ve been working towards the past three (3!) years is almost in sight. ¬†

What next?  

Jobs.  School.  Moving.  All possibilities.  

All exciting.  All with the potentialities of chaos that is just waiting to be formed into order and structure.  All with the annoying habit of surfacing at 4am.  

Nothing that six weeks walking across northern Spain can’t fix… ¬†

One foot in front of the other.  One step at a time.  It applies there.  And it applies here.

Keep walking friends…


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Dreams are building…


Feeling the call:

for adventure.

for challenge.

for movement.

for space.

for simplicity.

for mountains.

for big skies.

for peace.

for community.

for growth.

for consolation.

for Sabbath.


(Picture stolen from Ren√©e. ¬†Thanks Ren√©e. ¬†See you in Espa√Īa?)

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Oh the places we’ll go…

It’s funny how someone can capture your heart even though you’ve never met that person before…

That happened to me today:




Welcome to the world Caleb William Derentz.

So excited to meet you, and for the adventures we’ll have…

Love you already…

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