Have you ever spent a week with a couple of older-than-you folks? Your relatives don't count. Neither do camping trips with your friends and their parents. Nor do I mean older by 5-8 years. I mean you {and your spouse if you have one} and a couple whose age states they have been walking this earth for more than 70 years. They have passed us by 50 years of life. If that isn't a blessing, a gift, a privilege...I don't know what is.

"Get all the advice and instruction you can,     so you will be wise the rest of your life." Proverbs 19:20

Loren and I were invited to go yurting with the Smiths for the first week of September. Their treat! And boy was it a treat. We shared the meal loads, we sipped afternoon tea together, and chugged coffee in the mornings. We roasted marshmallows, we ate chocolate, prayed, we ate, we read, we conversed, we played scrabble and runny cube. Was that the game? We hiked along the coast, we sat on the beach, we enjoyed blazing fires each night, and we learned about a man who built a mansion on the coast. We dreamed of the future, we dreamed of now, we cast visions and talked about what we love about life. What we should grow towards. Our hopes and aspirations. Mr. Smith very much encouraged us.

We asked for some wisdom and basically the key is: lean into Jesus, read His word and study it year after year. He will not fail us. He will always teach us more. He loves us deeply.

Did I mention the rose garden? Look at those colors!

rose garden collage, sunset bay, shore acres

Oh my friends, what a treat this was! After a jam-packed summer of go-go-go, this week was filled with rest and laughter. We filled our tanks up and gleaned wisdom from the Smiths. We will never forget this week. It was memorable because it will a gift given with such generosity at just the right time.

Yurting with the Smiths was refreshing. Sometimes I need to be forced out of cell-service and social media. The sense of peace that resided with us that week is unexplainable. I know it had a lot to do with our phones being off which meant our brains were able to fully rest while still awake, and enjoying things we love: reading, sitting, running, taking photos, praying... We spent a lot of time praying and reflecting. It was a week of humble-conviction for me, revealing the many ways I am messed up. BUT coupled with my messed-up-ness is the overwhelming love of Christ and reminder that He loved me before I messed up. He loved me before I did good and did bad. Overall, the week was refreshing for our souls.

Here is our week in Coos Bay, Oregon captured by my Canon:

the drive to coos bay

yurting at sunset bay, coos bay, oregon

the rose garden at shore acres the rose garden at shore acres the rose garden at shore acresred roses at shore acres in coos bayShore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos BayShore Acres TENNIS COURTS! Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos BayShore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay

Did I mention we ran? It was absolutely gorgeous! Right along the coastline for 4 miles!

Running along the Oregon coast Running along the Oregon coast Running along the Oregon coastReading...boy did we read!

#brennersgoyurting #brennersgoyurting #brennersgoyurting

Did I mention the seal and bird and wave watching?

Seal watching in Coos Bay Seal watching in Coos Bay Seal watching in Coos Bay Seal watching in Coos BaySunset bay, Coos bay, Oregon Sunset bay, Coos bay, Oregon Sunset bay, Coos bay, Oregon

#totewell this camera bag has come on so many adventures!

Sunset bay, Coos bay, Oregon

We were blessed with rest and many nuggets of wisdom. Thank you, Smiths, for being a source of encouragement and His love.

5 Lessons from the "Old Burn Outs."

It is often that we spend time with couples that are older than us. We do this for many reasons, the main reason being they tend to be full of experience and stories and lessons learned. Lessons we may glean from, wisdom we don't yet hold, adventures that inspire and excite us. They remind us that we are young and we have plenty of life ahead, but also that it passes faster than we realize. They share with us ways to connect as friends and spouses, and offer us rest in knowing they are here for us. BBQ

Sadly, one of these couples is moving. They have been an integral part of our community here in Corvallis, and though we are bummed to see them go, we are excited for their new adventure. I am all for adventures, friends, so I salute you as you venture towards central Oregon.

This particular couple invited us to their home many times for dinners and desserts and a multitude of bonfires. They built their house on the Willamette River, and can I say it is extravagant? Absolutely beautiful. At one point, they offered us to live in their guest home. For free. Because they are just that generous. A beautiful characteristic within itself {generosity}. For some reason they enjoyed calling themselves the Old Burn Outs - but if we are honest, they are nothing near old and they are definitely far from burnt out!


Peoria, OR  unnamed

Peoria, OR

Peoria, OR

5 Lessons from The Old Burn Outs

1.Don't waste time worrying or being anxious. "I look back and wonder why I wasted so much time and energy on worry and anxiety. It got me no where. It fixed nothing. It only made me sick; I didn't enjoy life when I worried. It got me no where. Whatever adventure you're on, whatever problem you're facing, DON'T WORRY. It will work out, because it always does. And worrying doesn't fix a thing. I promise."

2. When you can't sleep, call out to Jesus, out loud. "You know at night when I can't sleep, I sing out to Jesus and I am immediately covered with peace. You call upon His name, out loud, and the enemy will flee. It's a miracle."

3. Don't be afraid of change. This is just the beginning of your life! You won't be here, in this particular season, forever. "You guys are so young, you're this generation, and we are extremely excited to watch you flourish in your ministry. This is just the beginning! You never know where The Lord will take you. Could be Canada or Europe or the East Coast. Could be just down the road and over to Bend. Just keep your hands open and your heart willing. This is simply a journey on Earth full of lots of chapters. We want to support you til we die, we love you guys like our own kids."

4. You can be on your honeymoon until death do you part. "You know, our first 6 years of marriage were hard and not so great. But then we found Jesus and realized we could be on our honeymoon again. For the last 31 years, we've been on our honeymoon. Stay on it, keep it alive, and always serve each other. Don't yell or call names, remind each other why you're married and always pray together. Keep it fun and stay friends."

5. Believe in those younger than you. Every time we see the Zounes, they tell us how much they believe in us. They remind us why they invest their time and their love and their energy into us. "You are this generation, you are the next big leaders. You are changing this world. Always invest in the next generation." They have told us many times how much they believe in us - every time, I am encouraged and empowered. It would be doing a disservice to them and to others if we held those words and truths to ourselves - Loren and I have both told others how much we believe in them. We want to share that with our students as much as possible: how much we believe in them. How much they can change this world, through the strength and by the blood of Jesus Christ. They are the next generation and we want to invest as much as we can into them. It means so much that those before us are investing in us; we don't want that to stop.



Peoria, OR


Peoria, OR

99% of these lessons have been learned by this very fire pit, on this very river. We will miss these moments but are so grateful to have the memories made and the wisdom gained.

Thank you, John & Tracy.

We will miss being near you, but you won't be too far from us.

We love you.


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