Before and after Faith

Three weeks before I wrote “Faith,” the most recent post here on Common Life, Jennifer and I saw an ultrasound room’s light flick on, the machine shut down, and the picture you see above land in our hands. A week after I wrote “Faith,” we returned to the same room, the light was kept off for several minutes, and no picture was printed from that day.

Now, months after my wife said her part, I’ll say mine. I’m the father of a lost baby named Faith. Continue reading Before and after Faith


Open door

Today, we went to settlement with the buyers of our 2,000 square foot home in suburban Newark. Nearly two years and one birth later, we’re no longer homeowners. The three of us (plus Quinn the cat-pup) are staying with Mom while we wait to see if a two bedroom apartment in Wilmington will be available for us by May. There is no grand sacrifice or history making move happening here. Pray for us, even still, that our rather significant downsizing would create better things within our home than space and stuff to fill that space ever could. Pray that we finally, humbly, contritely take the ground level command to love our neighbor more seriously. We have not historically been invested, intentional neighbors with those around us. May this change come about quietly and thoroughly and as truly as roots spread out beneath sight but not without great effect. We don’t want to make this move with self congratulatory fanfare or remarks about sacrifice. A challenge? Yes, but a small obedience before our very good and patient Shepherd. He waits all day and night to be gracious to some dim sheep who get distracted by a host of things every minute.

But here I’ll say it–we want to lean into the stride of our Shepherd. We desire discipline, and the matchless joy of imitating Christ without any need of validation from others or even immediate fruit. We want the long walk of devotion, even simple and seemingly insignificant devotion. We want hidden, holy motivations that will be just as satisfied if no one but God sees the offering. I am daily thankful that God is prompting this simple, clear, willed decision to move into the city for a year of prayer and visioning in community with others. 

Before us is the open door. We know that, in some distant day, we will look back on this time as one when a simple obedience was all that was needed from us. I cannot escape the feeling that God is meeting us at the threshold with gifts and a welcome too irresistible to refuse.

Former Things


Jennifer and I begin 2017 with a year old daughter growing up strong and loved, a forthcoming move to the small-ish/big-ish city of Wilmington this spring, and more creative energy than we’ve known before. Times of plenty. Times of contentment. Times of blessing. It’s not always like this, but the command to “rejoice in hope, give thanks in all circumstances, be constant in prayer” is our straight-as-an-arrow directive in all seasons. God, make us capable of this.

On my end, I’m writing and playing more frequently as Levi Dylan & The Former Ruins. Here are links, should you seek them, to music/social media pages:
Bandcamp |
Noisetrade |
Facebook |

In this more informal setting, I thought I’d share my working bio, if that’s a fitting description. It’s a snapshot, a journal entry, a monument stone. May it edify yeh.

Continue reading Former Things

“Does she sleep through the night?” Nope, and that’s OK.

Last night, I went back to co-sleeping with my daughter, and it was the best decision I’ve made in a long time.  Here are three things you need to know. I’m not about to tell you how to get your baby to sleep through the night, and I’m not going to advocate for only sleep training or only co-sleeping, but I am going to tell you how to get the best kind of sleep for everyone in your family. Continue reading “Does she sleep through the night?” Nope, and that’s OK.

Dishes, Diapers and Oatmeal


Every morning I come downstairs to cleaned dishes and a breakfast made and ready to heat up. Yes, my husband makes me oatmeal every morning, and I love it. I know what you’re thinking. Oatmeal? Yes, but this oatmeal is the best. I literally eat it every day of the week and never get tired of it. He made the recipe. No added sugar. It’s awesome. But this post isn’t about his oatmeal, it’s about him.

Continue reading Dishes, Diapers and Oatmeal