2014-2015

New year is coming at us fast.
We are in Toronto, Canada where my wife is from, celebrating this year!
Love it here and LOVE my wife’s family.
Of course I have missed mine dearly and as usual, We have all been sick but still grateful to be here & invest in the memories my kids will cherish forever.

It’s 9pm, Reality check time… Lots to reflect on, but no time to do it.
I am currently taking a…. “Potty break” …and so I thought I’d use the 10 min of quiet time wisely.
One little girl is teething & being passed around like a piece of the richest chocolate cake, while the other 2 are playing a dance game!
*Pause for Instagram:

Shine bright like a diamond in 2015 Or try… #AvaTruthDarnell #RosalinGraceDarnell

A post shared by Casey Darnell (@caseydarnell) on

So I just found a brief moment to Reflect and type out all my thoughts in the next 10 min, compiled over a year!

This past year… 2014… Will be one I never forget as it carries many stories I will tell forever… Border stretching stories:
– we moved… 4x (long frustrating story)
– we faced our first real sickness with a child, lasting a very LONG scary month.
And though we came out healthy on the other-side, we learned much about ourselves and God used it to grow us beyond our “borders”
– I became a dad of 3 daughters when Eleanor Love was born Aug 5!!!!
She arrived in a very intensely scary way w/moments of fear I’ve never experienced.
(Way beyond my borders!)
– we put Ava in public school… Huge scary step for this private school raised boy. (Border alert)
– finally sold our home and bought a permanent one (included in moving 4x)
– finished out strong with a 20 hr drive to Canada to celebrate Christmas and the new year….
– and then last night I had to explain the difference between boys & girls to Ava…. The beginning of many long talks I will have on this matter in our home filled with GIRLS……….
Borders officially obliterated.

So there’s this popular song that says “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders… Take me deeper then my feet could ever wonder”

Quick note:
It’s way more enjoyable to sing then experience.
However… The reward, though painful at times, is worth it.

I sing a lot of songs that speak boldly of many things.
However, the older I get, and as the responsibilities grow, the more cautiously I sing them… With a focus like passing a hot cup of coffee to someone in a moving car.
That’s what this song kind of is to me.

Beyond my borders?!?
Borders bring a sense of what’s known and safe. Words like comfort and peace with ease of expectation come to mind.
This song is a BOLD request to make… But one that is heard by a more then ABLE God!
Because in these moments we learn, His power is just beginning when ours is ending.

And so, 2014 brought lots of joy and pain in these border moment.
Those 2 kind of held hands and skipped along together as we went through the year.

There’s so much My wife & I are learning I couldn’t hope to include it all in this post.
Nor have we come to the “hoped for” conclusion of many things still up in the air.
Lessons that will carry over into 2015 for us to learn.

In the end… I just want to say, He’s been faithful.
“My redeemer has been faithful and true” (SCC always says it best)

We don’t know everything about God and how He works and how he chooses to this or that…. And not do other things we beg for.
But we have decided at the end of 2014, He is still the one we will follow.
Not without doubts or fear.
Not because we are super spiritual or christian know it alls. (Though I act like it at times)
And definitely not because we think 2015 will be a “better year.”

Because….
We believe He is with us.
Never leaves us.
Cares for us and Keeps us and…
Keeps His promises
Until the day we arrive safely home with Him.

“My heart will sing and my soul rejoice” for His unfailing love has again proven better than life.

So,
May 2015 continue to bring Him glory ’cause,
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” Joshua 24:15

Happy New Year everyone!!!!

Casey, Anisa, Ava, Rosalin & Eleanor

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“It’s not a hollywood dream…”

My bride and I

10 yrs ago, this coming July, I went on the adventure of a life-time and married my best friend Anisa and we began our crazy journey together!
Thus far, a large part of the journey has been spent traveling and moving all over the place pursuing God’s calling on our lives with ministry and it has been awesome!
The point of this post though, is that with every step, Anisa’s encouragement and belief in me has been amazing.
She and my 2 daughters really are my biggest fans and it humbles me to pieces.

However, early on I never promised her it would be perfect.
Contrary to popular belief 😉 marriage “is not a Hollywood dream.”
(Oddly enough, I’m writing this post while on a flight to LA with Anisa to celebrate 10 yrs, since our 3rd little girl is showing up a week or so after our anniversary)

It’s not what we see in the movies or on the magazine covers.
I mean, we are having a blast and in our home we laugh a lot!
But our joy doesn’t come from the absence of issues, rather, it’s right in the thick of them.
The bad news, the bad hair, the bad breath, the unmet expectations and consequences of bad choices… All of it.
But don’t get me wrong, it would be FANTASTIC if in real life, when the movie score comes in, you suddenly figured everything out and all the junk just fixed itself… and all in just under 2 hours!!!

We knew, as with any marriage, we’d have our share of fights.
But what I wanted her to know then and still want her to know today, is that no matter what, SHE will always be WORTH the fight.

So a few years back, shortly after having our first daughter, I had been leading worship at a large youth gathering (Bigstuf Camps) and was now sitting in my hotel away from my family and getting home sick.
So I went for a run and started thinking about how far we’d come and how in the midst of all my dream chasing, this family we have going IS THE DREAM.

Every laugh and smile, every tear and painful heart break, have all been chapters of our story.
A wonderful story that all began with a smile I caught from the other side of the room at church.

So as all this flooded my heart that day, a song began to brew in me and “When you smile” was what came out… with some pop-country flare.
And as the songs says, “When I see you smile, it’s like a melody I’ve known for a while”
I realized our relationship is like a song I’ve been singing and I realized my family are the most important songs I’ll ever write.
Hope you enjoy the song and may it encourage us all to remember when it comes to our families, we are all song writers!

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“When You Smile” – LYRICS

Verse 1:
I remember all the times we would laugh and we would sing
You’re a girl who loves to dance, I’m a little clumsy
It’s just who we are, were good together not apart

And I know there were sometimes
we thought we wouldn’t make it
But standing here now, Can you hear me saying…

CHORUS
When I see you smile
It’s like a melody I’ve known for a while
It always makes the darkest times seem light
I’m gonna love your for the rest of my life
Yeah, When I see you smile
To be with you I’d walk 1000 miles
Because our love is always worth the fight
I’m gonna love you for the rest of my life… when I see you smile

Verse 2:
And no matter what the heartache or joy the future brings
when the sun is shining down or we cry ourselves sleep
it’s Not Hollywood dream, it’s a lifetime thing

and we may not be a book that’s ever best selling
but this family is the story we’re telling…

(Chorus)

Bridge
it won’t always be perfect,
when our faith if hard to find
know this promise is forever,
every season of our lives