Oct 19 2012

Getting Better At Looking Forward

I believe one of my deepest and profoundest callings as a man and as a father is to be a visionary.  I need to cultivate the ability to rise above the melee of my day to day and scan the landscape “up ahead”.  I need to have a sense of where I and my family are headed … and how that relates to where we want to be headed, where God desires us to be.  I need to scout out potential dangers and also look for life-giving oases, to help build each of us up in life, health and faith.

I had an idea as to one such oasis this past week in conjunction with Hannah’s first birthday.  I have hopes of starting a tradition to write a letter to each child on their birthday, recapping some highlights of the prior year of life and affirming my love and hopes for them.  I plan on saving these letters and will begin “delivering” them, one a year, starting with their 10th birthday.  Admittedly it would have been nice to think of this three years ago when Caleb turned one, but better late than never, right?

In an effort to maybe encourage and inspire some of you, and to kick off my new tradition, here’s my first letter. Shhhh, don’t tell Hannah.

Dearest Hannah,
Today is your 1 year birthday. One year of life with your snuggles. One year of life with giggles, your soft brown eyes, and your snot on my shoulder. For a while, my dear, we called you our little mouse, because you seemed so preciously small, quiet and observant. Now, you are everyday growing and showing us just how big your personality can be. And we love it. I love it.
I love you, and have loved you ever since we found out that God was giving us another child. We were surprised, and we were intimidated, but we knew that God had something special in store for you and our family. We knew this because the miracle of life is such a wonderful, mysterious blessing. And we knew you were going to be special because the Bible tells us that our Heavenly Father knows how to give good gifts to His children.
I have a few very special memories of your first few days on earth, now one year ago.
1) Standing in front of our hospital room window, with you bundled up in my arms – so small, so vulnerable, so practically perfect.  I looked down at you, prayed for wisdom, for protection, and for grace upon grace, and then it hit me … my nickname for you: peanut. My Peanut.
2) Your Gigi and Grandad drove up to Ottawa from Atlanta to be with our family during you birth and first week. I remember with particular joy when they came to the hospital to meet you for the first time, with your brother and sister in tow. My heart swelled to see you in the arms of MY parents … and also to see our entire family together for the first time.
3) That same hospital visit was your brother and sister’s first glimpse at their brand new sibling. Lillie was a little too young to be interested much beyond a kiss on the forehead before getting back to running around the lounge. Caleb on the other hand seemed awed by this little new addition and would often come by your side to watch you, ask questions, and give you little kisses on your hands. Ever since he’s been watching you, helping to take care of you, loving on you … and still likes kissing your hand.
The past year has been full of adventures and ups and downs as your mom and I have worked to find our “new normal” as a family of five.  God has again and again proven Himself faithful to guide, encourage and sustain all of us through every turn, every battleground, and every milestone.
I have found intense joy in seeing you grow, dear Hannah.  Walking at 11 months … your first words: “up” … your laughter … your eagerness to join in on what everyone else is doing … your uncanny ability to soften the heaets of strangers.  You are special and always will be.  Happy Birthday.

Love always,

Dad


Mar 23 2012

Cusp

Bottled up, I’d call the way
Your Spirit feels inside me,
Effective outlet held at bay
By forces yet unseen.

Not that pain is what I feel,
Not worried discontent,
No dampened eyes, no staggered reel,
No doubts malevolent.

Bottled up, like darkened clouds
The storm as yet to break.
Like the wait between flash and loud,
Thunder’s mighty quake.

I long to see the Spirit move
For Majesty revealed.
How I wish the Bride would swoon
At the Grace with which we’re sealed.

Bottled up, this Kingdom come
Unloose the cork, Oh Grace.
I yearn to advance amidst Your throng
In the light of Your glorious face.


Apr 1 2011

Hello blog world – here goes somethin’!

You gotta start somewhere, huh?   Confession: I tried to start the blogging thing once before and stopped four posts in . . . just couldn’t start the habit.

But, thanks to the launch of a new version of our church website and a thoughtful challenge from Joel at our last men’s FIGHTclub meeting, I’m trying again.

In his devo, Joel challenged us to think about how we can purposefully employ our FC rules throughout the Summer.  One application of FC rule #1: Know Yourself was to keep a journal to help chronicle and reflect on how God challenges and grows us over time.  I decided to take that challenge.  The hope is that I’ll be able to both journal and blog in order to share pertinent thoughts, observations and lessons that might encourage someone “out there.”

Now I’ve just got to a) find or make a journal that I can get excited about filling and b) get in the habit of posting on here.  I hope that you’ll join me for the journey (and that we’ll both enjoy the ride.)

Christmas 2010

Fam @ Christmas 2010