Transition Review

“The Good, Bad and Ugly” the realtime journey of a transition has come to an end.

by Jesse Criss Edited with Grammarly Try it Free


Weeks: FINAL POST

In just a few short days, my transition season will be over, and I’ll be starting my new role at Apple. As one season ends a whole new chapter is about to begin. Over the last three months, I have been blogging the Good, Bad and Ugly each week(ish). For this last post, I want to look back and answer the questions in light of the whole transition.

However, I wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who has been reading these posts, praying for us and have encouraged me along the way. Your all epic and I love and appreciate it more then you can know.

What was GOOD about the transition? I/We decided early on to make this transition season like a sabbatical. Sabbath is a biblical principle around rest, specifically resting in Jesus. Ken Shigematsu, in his book “God in my everything” adds that sabbath should be a break from your regular routine. To do things you wouldn’t normally do every day and meet God in those moments. Since June, I have spent my time chasing those kinds of moments and trying my best to rest my heart, mind, body and soul. It’s been one of the best sabbath breaks of my life and a blessing.

What was BAD about the transition? The mental battle you go through as you leave a job, apply for a job, get rejected from a potential career and repeat the process can be exhausting. I did rest for sure, but there were days that everything seemed to be extremely hard. I was grumpy, angry, hurt and unsure about the future. It ‘wasn’t the norm, but they were extremely hard days.

What was UGLY about the transition? The first 20-30 days were rough. It felt like I was going through an emotional detox. All while everyone in my home was learning how to live with each other 24/7. I don’t know when it switched, BUT I know around the beginning of July everything just fell into place.

How’s my HEART at the end? Overall if I had to give it a rating out of 10, I would give it a 9. My heart has stayed intact for much of this adventure. God gave me peace early on, and that hasn’t shifted at all. There were hard days, tricky conversations and moments where I wasn’t sure what would happen next, but I knew God was in control. I think this answer has so much to do with looking at this time as a sabbatical verse being angry and bitter at the situation.

What made me the HAPPIEST? Time with my family. For a time, we thought our next adventure would be away from the coast and where we currently live. So we broke out the list of all the things we wanted to do and because we had time we got a lot of it done. This season will go down in history as a one-of-a-kind summer. The girls are the right age, and we had lots of time, and Twyla had freedom with her work. It all came together to give our family and adventure. Family is everything for Twyla, and I and this summer just reinforced that reality.

FINAL THOUGHT: As I have said in my last post, I’m switching careers, but Fresh Ministry isn’t going anywhere. As a new chapter is about to begin, I find myself healthy, happy and whole ready for whatever God would have for me. These are exciting days and thank you for being part of the journey.

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If you would like to know more about this topic or learn how to implement this in your youth program feel free to contact me.

A New Season

“The Good, Bad and Ugly” a realtime journey in the middle of transition.

by Jesse Criss Edited with Grammarly Try it Free


Weeks: Sept 1-15

What was GOOD? Over the last two weeks, life has switched from summer mode back to something resembling a normal life. I still haven’t landed a job, but the twins have gone back to pre-school, we are settling into a new church (as regular people) and Twyla’s working harder than ever. I have enjoyed getting back into routine and having some time just to be still when the twins are in pre-school. It’s a nice breather as I look toward the future.

What was BAD? The girls have been asking a lot of questions about “Grandma Carol.” My mom died back in 2010 to suicide. Over the last 10 years, I’ve come to grips with the loss, but from time to time, it hits me harder than usual. Scar reminds me so much of her, and that’s a good thing, but often I wish mom was here to see the twins and make them amazing dresses.

What was UGLY? The first batch of buns that I’ve made in a long time turned was a bit dense and more “hockey puck” then I would have liked. Good thing Elly loves them 😛

How’s your HEART doing? Overall if I had to give it a rating out of 10, I would give it a 7.5. I have enjoyed these last few weeks, but I have been stressed about the lack of job prospects. I’m choosing to trust God’s got a plan, but that hasn’t always meant it’s been easy. I know something is coming, but it’s just a matter of time and TRUST.

What’s making me happy this week? Last week I made buns with my girls for the first time, and it was epic. I love passing on what I used to do with my mom to the girls. Whenever we do stuff like this, I feel like a part of mom’s legacy is being passed on and maybe one day the girls will do the same.

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If you would like to know more about this topic or learn how to implement this in your youth program feel free to contact me.

19 Days — Good, Bad and Ugly

“The Good, Bad and Ugly” a realtime journey in the middle of transition.

Weeks: Aug 11-Aug 30 (Sorry…kinda)

What was GOOD this week? It was amazing to get away as a family and see my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin. It was a fantastic time and the weather was decent. It could have been hotter but we still had the chance to go boating, visit new places, eat tacos, drink yummy coffee and spend time with people we love. It was a crazy week before we got there but the time away was just what we all needed.

What was BAD this week? It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions and opportunities over the last few weeks. I still don’t have a job but the hope is not lost. The bad comes from riding this emotional rollercoaster. For two weeks now, I haven’t been 100% sure how to feel. If you know me you know I have lots of feelings and a strong need to process them.

What was UGLY this week? The wavy lake weather and Twyla learning to drop the rope while wakesurfing better than me… no one should be surprised 😛

How’s your HEART doing? Overall if I had to give it a rating out of 10 I would give it an 8. It’s hasn’t been an 8 every day these last nineteen days but as I have reflected back, I see that more often than not 8 was my number. The future still unwritten but inside all of the drama God has been giving me slivers of hope for the future. I’m more excited today then I have been in the process and that’s worth celebrating.

What’s making me happy this week? I have moved on from Star Wars to the Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings trilogies. I’m just about to watch the third Hobbit film and I’m enjoying every minute. I didn’t love them when they first came out but coming back to it has been an adventure. I’ve opted not to watch the extended editions as I just don’t think I can sit still or hog the TV that long anymore.

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If you would like to know more about this topic or learn how to implement this in your youth program feel free to contact me.

Catching Up — Good, Bad and Ugly

“Catching Up” – Good, Bad and Ugly” a realtime journey in the middle of transition.

Week: July 28-Aug 10

What was GOOD this week? Last weekend was the “wedding weekend of power”. Two former students got married on the same day in two locations. I officiated the first wedding in the morning and attended the second. It’s so fun to see students I’ve known for almost 8 years growing up and start a whole new chapter. It was a day of memories, friends and good food.

What was BAD this week? It’s been a hard few weeks on the job front. I had my name into two places and they both chose to take a pass. I know God is working but rejection has a sting especially when you’re excited about the opportunities. This will be a bog post in the future but right now I kinda just want this week to be over.

What was UGLY this week? See above 😛

How’s your HEART doing? Overall if I had to give it a rating out of 10 I would give it a 5. Some of this has to do with the rejections and some of this has to do with not currently being in Cuba on a missions trip with my most recent group. It’s been a tough week for things of the heart.

What’s making me happy this week? Amazing friends coming over for food to talk about life, love, and faith. They have made an extremely difficult few weeks a better. Their love and support have gone a long way to ease a hurting heart.

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If you would like to know more about this topic or learn how to implement this in your youth program feel free to contact me.

Week #4 – Good, Bad and Ugly

“Week #3 – Good, Bad and Ugly” a realtime journey in the middle of transition.

Week: July 14-20

What was GOOD this week? We had so many people come over to the house and visit this week. There were unexpected dinners, family, chicken & waffles, and late-night conversations. I think more people visited this week than in the last six months but that’s okay it’s exactly what I needed this week.

What was BAD this week? In honesty, it was a good week. The only thing really bad in our house right now is that Twyla continues to be sick, which sucks for her and everyone else. We really need her to be 100% because she makes the world function around here 😛

What was UGLY this week? It was a week of waiting to hear from prospects. It’s part of what it means to be in transition, and it’s not good or bad it’s just… waiting. 

How’s your HEART doing? Over all, if I had to give it a rating out of 10 I would give it an 8/9. This was a good week full of adventure, friends, and community. I was reminded a few times this week of the journey God’s been taking me on. I still miss where we were but I wait in expectation for what’s coming. 

What’s making me happy this week? This week I took my girls on an adventure to a local lake. We ended up hiking for like 4km and we had a blast. There was parks, picnics, pinecones and pooped 4 year old girls at the end. Which if I was being honest was 100% the goal, the car ride back was blissful silence. 

Jesse Signiture
If you would like to know more about this topic or learn how to implement this in your youth program feel free to contact me.

Week #3 – Good, Bad and Ugly

“Week #3 – Good, Bad and Ugly” a realtime journey in the middle of transition.

Week: July 7-13

What was GOOD this week? Last week someone BIG happened. I had a fantastic conversation with Leadertreks about the possibility of doing some blog and contract writing with them. It was a 100% out of no where conversation that I’m convinced God set up. Fresh Ministry Consulting continues to grow not when I force it but when I let God worry about the details. This was the highlight of not only my week but maybe the highlight of the year so far. 

What was BAD this week? Sunday night was rough, it was the day that everything that’s happened hit me and hit me hard. There were tears, frustration, anger and crying out to God. I discovered a long time ago that God was big enough to take on all my feelings, so that night I gave it to him. Transitioning is not easy and there are levels… last Sunday was the bottom. 

What was UGLY this week? THE WEATHER… was horrible this week. The twins and I were going to go camping and I needed to cancel it because of weather. We rebounded on the weekend by tenting in our yard, but it wasn’t the same. 

How’s your HEART doing? Over all if I had to give it a rating out of 10 I would give it a 2 that God transformed into an 8 as the week progressed. I think he showed up exactly where I needed him to be. 

NEW: What’s making me happy this week? I got a recipe this weekend from a friend that I’ve been trying to track down for like a decade. My Mom used to make these Peanut Butter Bars that I loved but I have never been able to reproduce since she left all those years ago. When she died I though the recipe was gone… but maybe just maybe I found it. Stay tuned to FATJESSE for an update this week. 

Jesse Signiture
If you would like to know more about this topic or learn how to implement this in your youth program feel free to contact me.