Time to Go to The Mirror

We hope this note finds you well. Our family is coming out of the greatest summer of all time in Bar Harbor, ME which has only been surpassed by this previous weekend in Carlisle, PA, of all places. I’ll fill you in on both those experiences over the next few posts but in advance, I want to share a follow up to the Haverherd Takes on Spain, as we currently sit at the airport, on our way back to España.

During our second week at G42 in Mijas, Spain, I was caught a little off guard, as I stepped into class that morning. I sat alongside 30 interns, as they’re referred to in the 9 month leadership academy, as Ethan Wendle imparted some wisdom for the day on the Kingdom of God. In the middle of his teaching Alicia, one of the seniors, turned to JJ, one of the freshmen, and told her, “It’s time to go to the mirror.”

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From the moment we arrived in Mijas two things had become clear in regard to these two young women. Alicia, had grabbed onto with both hands, her full identity in who God had created her to be. She wanted everyone else around her to experience the same. And number two, JJ was not yet there.

While the other 28 interns stood up and started making their way towards the northern wall of the classroom, JJ reluctantly looked up towards Alicia who gently guided her out of her chair. As they made their way over to the dance style fully mirror covered wall Alicia inquired, in a firm but loving voice, as she peered into JJ’s reflection.

“Tell me who this woman is?”

After about a minute of JJ trying to hold back her sobbing, a pip squeak of a voice responded, “She’s a daughter of the King.”

Alicia replied, as she looked back into the quivering eyes that reflected from no more than a foot away, “Don’t tell me who she is. Tell me who you are.”

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Over the next several minutes, with more than two dozen classmates encouraging, JJ breathed life into herself. “You are worthy. You are holy. You are wonderfully made. You are cherished. You are a warrior.”

The crowd erupted into a joyful frenzy as they surrounded her in a massive 50+ arm embrace.

And as tears were being wiped from smiling faces, I heard another voice coming from behind us.

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“JJ has just dropped off a lot of junk that she’s been carrying over the past 23 years of her life. Don’t any one of you think you’re going to do her, or yourselves, a favor by picking up that trash on your way out the door. Leave it alone.”

As I looked back into the mirror, a thought came into my mind. “I know that voice.” Standing on a chair behind all of us, commanding the entire group to leave the trash alone, was my wife.

My wife.

During one of our final days in class, after spending the entire month of March in Mijas, a young woman’s voice exclaimed from behind me,

“Daniel, I love your wife.”  A smiling response came out of my mouth: “Me too.”

We can’t wait to head back over to reunite with our friends across the pond. And see what adventure in love He has in store for us next.

Be Well.

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7 musts for your trip to Bar Harbor, Maine

Our family is spending the summer in Maine.  It is an adventure we dreamed up about a year ago.  Since we are stationary in Birdie for a bit.  We put together a short list of must see’s for our people that head this way this summer or in the future.

Bar Harbor is a coastal town in Maine wedged against a popular lobstering spot—Frenchman’s Bay. Rich with culture and historic buildings, this town also backs right up to Acadia National Park. It’s location, and bustling culinary and shopping scene make it an awesome place to visit. As a life-long visitor and new ‘local’ from away, I wanted to share some ideas to make your visit to Bar Harbor extra unique and fun!

The Travelin Lobster: This place services lobster rolls on Brioche. Do I need to continue? Seriously though, whether you are on your way on or off Mount Desert Island you must stop here, play corn hole, and eat a lobster roll.

Mount Desert Ice Cream: Located in the heart of Bar Harbor’s village square, this place has flavors like blueberry basil and blueberry crumble made from New England berries. They also have classic chocolate and vanilla. There is something for everyone. Shout out to this shop for using all local ingredients. When you come to Maine, please support locally owned businesses. Big business is literally killing the economy of the State of Maine. Shop local!

Acadia SUP: Getting off the beaten path is everything if you visit Maine in the summer. Acadia SUP is a complete gem. You will have a personalized and truly unique experience if you go for a paddle with this crew. The storefront is located on Main Street in Bar Harbor, with paddle-board trips off the sand bar and to the quietside of the island (secret spots where no one else is going!). A bonus, they offer paddleboard yoga twice a week which is the best deal EVER! It is for all levels even total newbies.

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Yoga in Your Park: Want to be in the park and find some cool spots where it’s not overrun with people? Join Yoga in Your Park for one of their daily classes inside Acadia National Park or message me to set up a private class!

Mount Desert Campground: This place is the best when it comes to camping on island. It has tent platforms that hang out over the Somes Sound. You can put your kayak or paddleboard in right from your tent site. Unreal. It also has a unique location with access to Bar Harbor, Acadia, and the Quietside.

Bar Harbor Inn: (This recommendation is totally biased.) My husband and I were married at the Bar Harbor Inn almost exactly 12 years ago. It is beautiful, classic, historic and literally right in the heart of town. You can walk anywhere from this gorgeous hotel.

Acadia National Park: This is my all time favorite National Park. There are so many places that go undiscovered in this park. The loop road is really cool and accessible, but I recommend finding a hike off the main path. There are also three secret spots that I won’t write in this blog, but you can email me if you want to know more.

 

MDI YMCA: Our kids are attending this awesome summer camp each week where they have an opportunity to get into Acadia National Park and hike.  They are having a blast and getting immersed in the summer life on island.  We love the Y!

I’ll end it with that. Eat, drink, paddle, and be merry my friends.

Whoopie Pies 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 .

The Haverherd takes on Spain

The Haverherd has had a mildly life changing spring. We finished up our 6-week ride along with the World Race America team at the end of February. Oh how we miss you Dosson & Alex, Alleigh, Amber P & Amber M, Carolyn, Lauren, Jess, Mel, ShelbyCorbyn and Ben. That journey was the beginning of some incredible mind, body and spiritual activation which we didn’t even know could be possible.

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As we flew into Barcelona, Bex found herself asking an identical question that she had posed to me a mere 40 days before. “What are we doing ?” Our continuous family joke has been, “Let’s just turn right”. It originated back in mid-January as we were tailing the WR America van out of Adventures in Mission’s parking lot, helping them start their 11 month journey to serve, encourage and uplift people in need all across the US. As their van turned left towards the first destination, a homeless shelter in Asheville, Bex half-heartedly joked “what if we just turn right and text ‘em that we had a change of plans?”.  Needless to say, we made the left turn and have been graced by some amazing friendships that will certainly extend for many years to come.

Now flash forward to March 1st, in our tiny rental car driving towards the Mediterranean sea. In answer to Bex’s previous question, I reminded her that we were simply going to hang with some good folks for two weeks. How bad could it be? As we pulled into the small white-washed-wall town of Mijas, she gestured that a right turn at that moment would take us over to Portugal for the entire month of March;). “How bad could that be?”, she countered.

The founder of G42 academy, Andrew Shearman, would be teaching the first week of class and to say that I was ridiculously excited would be a bit of an understatement. Andrew has a long history of awakening young men and women to grab onto their full identity with both hands. A few trademark one liners from this 71-year-old spiritual warrior include:

“You were born to be loved.”

“Are we, the church, missing the plot line?”

“When we soak up God’s love, we can choose to pour that love back out on the people around us. Not because we have to, out of fear, or guilt or condemnation, but because we get to. And if we can do that, the kingdom of God will occur right before our very own eyes.”

The G42 staff encouraged me and Bex to bring the boys into class with us and sit alongside the 30 students (interns, as they’re referred to who are all in the 20s or early 30s). We however enlightened them that they were not yet aware of the full magnitude of the Haverherd boy craziness. Instead, I proceeded to get the boys (ready for their day of homeschooling) and Bex (with headphones in to listen from outside to the teaching) set up in the lobby. On that first Monday morning, as I was about to walk into the classroom, I felt a nudge. But I didn’t want to ask her. I had delivered our family 10,000 miles across an ocean and I wanted to listen to Mr. Shearman ‘bring it’. After I long pause, the words reluctantly trickled out of my mouth.

Hey Bex, do you wanna go into class for the morning session?

She thought for a moment and then responded with a breezy “Sure, that sounds good.”

Over the next couple hours I listened in (via headphones) as Andrew laid out the framework of who God is, who He has made us to be and what role we get to play in the Kingdom. And then I heard it.

Where you at Bex?”

Oh no. What is going on in there?

As many of you know, Bex has been on a roller coaster of a journey both emotionally and spiritually over these past six and a half years since her brother committed suicide. I won’t go into all the details but she’s found herself on a long road in which she has put forth tremendous effort to work through a deep rooted season of grieving.

It was Gary’s voice (he’s the twenty year younger version of Andrew at G42) booming not just through my headphones, but through the crack of the two doors that separated the classroom and the lobby where I stood outside with the boys. My body tensed up as I instinctively contemplated ripping open the door and bursting in to my wife’s rescue.

Then I heard Bex’s voice, through my earbuds, “I want joy.

Now I’m not exactly sure how the next 10 seconds played out, as I could only listen in. But Gary, from one side of the room, motioned to Bex, who was seated on the ‘guest couch’ in the back corner of the other side of the room, for God to ‘give her joy’. My headphones phased out for a second. And then it was done. Andrew continued to teach and class went on without skipping a beat.

An hour later, one of the other guests, a tiny 18 year old girl also seated on the couch, shared her story. It was a story filled with abuse, sadness, hatred and neglect. With quivering words this girl shared with the class, “I’ve never heard of God’s love the way you are talking about it Andrew. But I want that so badly.

And again, Gary’s voice boomed from across the room at my wife, “Bex, give her some of that joy.”

Bex told me later that she had no idea what that even meant. All she could think to do was put a hand on the girl’s back and her other hand over the girl’s heart. And then she reminded the girl who God had created her to be.

You are a daughter of the Creator of the Universe. You are cherished. You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are the beloved.” She quietly breathed life in.

As the afternoon finished up, and yours truly (homeschool teacher Daddy) did his best to maintain the chaos of the boys out in the lobby, I watched as the interns poured out of the classroom. But where was Bex? I gave up waiting. As I made my way through the door in her search I bounced my way into embraces of gratitude with both Andrew and Gary. But where was she?

As I looked over on the couch, I locked eyes with her. She was in the same mothering position that she had been for the past hour, almost rocking the girl in her arms and telling her over and over who she was created to be.

So that was our first day of class. And it was good.

I’ve got one other story to share with you all that has absolutely blown my mind. But it’ll have to wait until next time as I’ve probably put most of you to sleep at this point (assuming anyone’s actually kept reading this far;).

We heart you all so much. Thanks for all the encouragement, kind words and kingdom love you have shared with us over these past 2 years on the road. We miss you and look forward to seeing you soon.

-Daniel, Bex, Matthew, Josiah and Tobias

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How I Made Two New Friends in the Shelter

So it’s been a few weeks since we left the homeless shelter in Ashville, NC. But there were two friends that I would like to share with you.

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Photo use with permission by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

I had the opportunity to sit with John over a few meals throughout our week at Western Carolina Rescue Mission. If he had been wearing a red shirt, you’d be convinced that he must be married to Mrs. Claus. Over our week together “Santa” shared with me several portions of his story as well as his goals for the future. During our final meal together I asked him if I could pray for the healing of his diabetes. And if he would pray for mine.

He agreed, but I could sense his hesitation. “Was that an offensive question John?” I asked.

He softly responded, “I’m just not sure I know if I can pray out loud”.

After sharing that I would be honored by however he’d be willing to pray for me, we both closed our eyes. I reached over and placed my hand on John and asked God to heal his pancreas and the other areas of his body that were not in good working order. As the final few words floated out of my mouth, I opened my eyes for a second to see John quickly re-bow his head and squint his eyes shut. We sat facing each other for another minute or so before I heard John quietly say, “Amen”.

As I looked up, tears filled his eyes, “Daniel, I also prayed for your three sons.”

Both of us stood up and quickly moved towards the exit of the cafeteria. Not wanting anyone to see our emotion.

I’m so grateful that God gives us the ability to learn from people in all walks of life. We have such a good heavenly father. And we all have so much to learn.

The other individual who I’d like to introduce you to just so happens to be the very first smiling face I encountered after walking through the doors at WCRM last month. I’m going to share Chevis’ story through this video from the Say So Series (thanks Shelby). But if you could please be praying for God to give him the courage and endurance he needs to trust in these next incredible strides forward in his journey, we would both be eternally grateful.

Love you all.

Homeless Dignity Project: WR America launches homeless

Hello all,

We hope this note finds you doing well. It’s been an action-packed and wonderful first few weeks of 2019 for the Haverherd.

We have found ourselves traveling alongside some amazing people. People who love authentically, have experienced heartache, and understand that good intentions don’t always deliver expected results. They are humble and open to learning. They serve and care for the people they meet, in a way that looks a lot like Jesus. We have enjoyed our time riding alongside the team of alumni World Racers (the trip we went on back in 2009) as they pioneer a similar initiative across the US this year called World Race America.

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The alumni team of nine launched from Gainsville, GA on January 12, driving to Asheville, NC where they lived the first week in a homeless shelter. To say we had some initial concerns about impersonating homelessness would have been an understatement. We wanted to make sure, first and foremost, that no one who would otherwise be sleeping out on the street, was displaced by any of our team members. We wondered whether the team would be accepted within the homeless community.

Our cautious concerns were met with open communication and care. The way this team and the residents at Western Carolina Rescue Mission connected immediately and authentically was incredible. Those in the shelter welcomed each of us, shared their stories, listened to ours and expressed heartfelt generosity in a way that I find difficult to articulate.

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If I previously believed that I had some concept of what life on the street is like, I have been sadly deceiving myself. This past week I have been able to sit with and listen to so many human beings. Our family slept in our camper, which we parked just outside the shelter. We spent daylight hours eating meals with the residents, having real conversations and just doing life together. At the same time, the team fully entered into the 24-hour experience of those who otherwise, would not have a place to lay their head at night.

The WR America team members did an amazing job of consistently confirming with management at the shelter that they were not taking a bed from someone else in need. Their intentionality to let go of any ‘privilege’ they possessed which wasn’t afforded to any other resident of the shelter was both honorable and humbling. Team members followed the same schedule as any other person who needed a place to sleep for the night. Each day this included:

Lights on at 5am, shower then chores before breakfast was served at 6am. Everyone was required to be out of the shelter by 6:45 each morning and back out into the open air, with temperatures typically hovering in the mid 30’s. They would then walk around the streets for about 90 minutes to stay warm until a nearby day shelter would open up providing coffee, a roof from the rain/snow, 4 walls from the cold and some dignity. After lunch, there was a women’s devotional before everyone would be back out onto the streets until the doors were opened back up for dinner at 4:30pm. After that meal there was a prayer service, then chores at 7pm before an open hour of free time before lights were turned off at 9pm sharp. Following an often restless night of sleep, the entire process would start over again at 5am.

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In conversations with a few folks on the street, we discovered that there were a select number of people who very deliberately chose not to stay overnight at WCRM. While many of the longer term residents have certainly become accustomed to, and many deeply appreciate, the rules that have been created here, for others without homes, their preference was to live outside of this structure (random breathalyzers, drug tests, etc.) and spend nights out on their own.

Once the team was in the shelter for the night, I found myself driving around the streets of Asheville, in search of anyone who may be in need of help. On Thursday night, I came across two young men in just that place. After I moved Toby’s car seat into the trunk, Jim and Tom placed their bags in the car and buckled their seat belts. I asked the guys if they were from Asheville originally and how they were doing. Jim was open to sharing how he had traveled to NC from California for a job that fell through while Tom stayed quiet in the back seat.

I drove the pair across town to the VA shelter, which I hoped would accept a couple of last minute arrivals. After being turned away, I asked the guys if I could purchase them a room for the night at a motel next door. Jim nodded his head in acceptance as he thanked me.

The guys stepped out of the car for a smoke while I entered the building. As I reached for my wallet I realized that it wasn’t in its normal back-left-pocket resting place. I returned to the car and searched the glove box to no avail. With my head hanging down, I asked the guys if they could wait a few minutes for me to drive back to the camper to retrieve it.

As I pulled back into the motel parking lot I could see the surprise on Jim’s face as if there was no chance that I would be returning. The three of us walked in together as I explained to the receptionist that I wanted to purchase a room for the night. After paying the bill, we started walking toward the exit as Tom held the door for me and Jim. As I walked past, Tom spoke up for the first time in an abrasive voice “Tell me your name”. After my hesitant reply, he barked back again, “No, I want your last name.” I paused just long enough for him to open his mouth one final time, “I need to send you a check for this man.”

I reached my hand up onto his shoulder, as we looked each other square in the eyes,

“You’re good Tom. God is good.”

He wrapped both arms around me and leaned in without saying another word.

I’m convinced that we all still have so much to learn. About others. About life. About who He is.