It may have occurred to you by now that at some point, it has to happen. I’m still writing With Love, but I’m not writing With Love from Africa anymore. The process of re-entering life here in North Carolina after six years abroad, and two of them in Africa, has been many things, including a grieving process.

I’m grieving the beauty I left behind.

Grieving the poverty I left behind.

I look at where I am now, look at where I’ve been and wonder — did it make a difference? Couldn’t I have been more… done more?

What did it mean?

I read stories like this one — about Katie Davis, a girl who took off for Uganda instead of university in 2007 at age 19, and has since adopted 13 daughters, started a child sponsorship program and a feeding program, and is hoping to open a school this year.


My heart gets turned inside out.

Am I back in the West, and have I forgotten where I was?

I have too many clothes.

I want my very worst addiction to come to an end: my addiction to me.

The part of my re-entry that is currently shocking? How dang easy it’s been to get comfortable. Quick.


I think it would be a fair assessment to say that Steve Jobs changed the world during his time in it. He created a market where one previously didn’t exist. He took personal computers in a beautiful new direction. I’m not just saying that because we’re a Mac family — Apple recently surpassed Microsoft and is basically the largest company in the world now.

One of my favorite things Jobs said during his time on this earth was in a commencement speech in 2005, to the graduating class at Stanford University.

I pondered the simple words for a while, and I think I have come to better understand their meaning. Jobs said:

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

When I was younger in the Lord, I was hungry for more of Him. Hungry to see Him move. Hungry to see change in the world around me — hungry to be a part of the change that our Father had in mind for His children and the world He created. Hungry to be the hands and feet of Jesus — going to the broken, touching a world in need.

I was foolish enough to believe I could make a difference.

Perhaps Jobs was hungry for a different kind of change. He was hungry to innovate, hungry to create and develop. He was passionate about beauty.

This hunger of mine, though, it’s a hunger and a thirst for righteousness, a hunger to do the will of God, knowing that if we came together and did His will this world would be a radically different place.

I don’t want to get comfortable and lazy — I want to stay hungry for a life that exhibits … exudes God.

And that foolishness — maybe that’s not getting too wise in one’s own eyes, being hungry to learn, to listen.

Was Jobs foolish enough to believe he could change the world, I wonder? Because he did.

Maybe like Bono, I’m foolish enough to believe that Where You Live Should Not Decide whether you live or whether you die. Foolish enough to think ours literally could be the generation that ends extreme poverty.

All the world is hurting, truly — for a while, Africa was where my hands labored to do some healing.

It might be nice to have some new colors here, some new pictures, a change of pace, a change of name.

{I write these things to let you know it’s coming, so that you won’t arrive and think you’ve lost your way.}

But I want, at the core, for all of me, including this, to be about one thing — staying hungry to hear the voice of God and to write what I believe He says, to write like I mean it. And with that, staying foolish enough to believe that changing the world is possible. With my pen, my hands or even a pair of shoes.

The best news? The adventure is really just beginning.

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” {I Cor. 1:27 – 31}

As always, with love,