Each of us had some sort of story in mind when we were younger. We imagined our life being written in a certain way, and I would guess that most of us woke up one day a bit disillusioned wishing for a different story.


“This is not how I thought my life would play out.”

“How in the world did I get here?”

“Where is the happy, go lucky life I dreamed about?”


Most of the time, we don’t have a great answer for these questions or if we do, it is to blame our circumstances or our luck, our family or whatever.

The truth is, however, that we all end up where we are one decision at a time, made day in and day out. I am sure many of you are wiser than Mark and I, but we have paid little attention to anything except what we wanted to do, what we thought, and what felt good.

That’s it.

We have been very intentional at work, but not very intentional with our marriage, our family, our finances or our worship of God.

And so here we are in places and lives that are not what we imagined, not at all what we thought.

From the outside, I think our life looks pretty good. We own a cool business. We look healthy. We have amazing kids, friends and family. We have a beautiful home and we have done some pretty amazing things.

But the fact is that looks can be very deceiving. How many times have we all heard that?

Our business has changed a lot of people’s lives and we love the way we get to serve those people, but we have been living a life that is way out of balance. We have worked too much, borrowed too much, and rested too little.  We have pursued the American Dream to the max.

Our work schedule has owned us. We have blindly followed its lead and drifted through life not paying attention to what is really happening.  For awhile, we accept it as “just the way it is”. We got used to it because it was comfortable. It is what we know. It is what everyone else is doing. It is normal.

Maybe you relate to this just a bit?

Inside, we know something is off. The life we are living, while full of blessings, please don’t miss that part, is so very sub-par. We are dis-connected from ourselves, from our spouses, from any sort of peace and truth, and from what might matter most, connecting with God and God’s people. We just don’t have the margin to do so. Sure maybe we have glimpses of peace, of God, of connection, but our lives are so chaotic, that the moments are fleeting at best.

And so, in our comfort, in our routine, we are in DANGER.  We are in danger of living out these stories we have written for ourselves even though we know they aren’t quite right or in fact are quite wrong.

We live in them because we don’t know how to write a different story.

What does it take to write a different story?

I mean really change it?  I mean turn it 180 degrees and then on it’s head?

And if we are to change it, do we even know how that story should look or do we just know our current story isn’t quite right?

We are getting ready to write a different story.

We NEED to write a different story.

We don’t know exactly how to do it.

We don’t know exactly what it will look like.

But, we know we have to start to writing.  And that’s where our Montana move comes in.


To be different, we have to do different, shake it up, rattle the cages, and above all, ask the Holy Spirit to be with us and guide us.

We have to start questioning and daring to do different. The questioning is easy. The daring is the hard part. And the knowing what to do is the REALLY hard, right?

We have spent a lifetime doing what we “knew” was right or good or felt good or whatever. How will we all of a sudden be able to do “better” or know what is the right choice?

We have grown up in a nation of people who rely upon our own ability.  And while taking responsibility for one’s self is good, we have to find our wisdom and our guidance, our true reliance on Another.

As people whom always do more, we have to do less.

We have to listen more, pray more and create space for the Holy Spirit to speak and move into our lives.

Indeed, we actually have to give up the notion that it is our life to live at all, for

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39

Can you or I truly write a different story?

Absolutely, we can. God created us for that very thing. But we have to be willing to question and exit our comfortable existence. We have to be on our guard against this world, the messages it sends, and what is “normal”. We have to realize that the very best story is not about finding our lives, but losing them.

Amen.  Chapter 1, here we come.