I am a man, in the middle of life. What that means to me, you and us is what I hope to frame in my attempts at this.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Man standing on rural road reading road map

I thought you were gone, lost and somewhere that I would not be able to get you back from. The more I struggled to return to where it was, the more I floated away. Slippery, like a fish out of water, I just could not grasp you and hold you down. And the more I wondered and stared, the more out of focus you became.

I can't ask others about you or wonder how they got you back, because no one shares in it the same way, no one takes the same walk and journey with it daily or weekly or in their life. And somehow I got to where pessimism lies dormant,where status-quo sits and twiddles her thumbs and I tried to wake her up-tried to put her on like a warm robe. Warm and self-sufficient, I saw no need to look anymore. Where we were was good enough, well enough for me.

But today-without trying and without knowing-you came back full force and said "Here I am. Here is where I have been all along." And when I looked into what made me my shape-what drives and pushes and motivates and excites and moves me-I saw you. And I know that you waited here for me, knowing like a loyal dog that I would be back and that I would not need to say anything-I can just put you back on like a suit of armor-and joy abounds. I found you, and I didn't even have to look-I just had to see.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The ocean and the fear

Ocracoke31/120701 -- North Beach on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.

DCB-Oh How He Loves

I can remember, two distinct times where the ocean tried to get the better of me. Both of which were in Hawaii, both on different areas of the island, and both left me with mixed feelings-each with their own experience and degree of intensity.

The first I can recall put me in the ocean and had me getting flipped over and over at Sherwood Forest beach on the island of Oahu. I can recall multiple flips and tumbles, each putting me just out of my comfort zone. These left me with a feeling of no control and no certainty-as if my body was subject to the waves and nothing could step in. I saw a man and another person coming in from scuba-diving, and while asking me for help, I frantically pushed off of the man’s shoulders to propel myself back towards the shore. He seemed surprised and probably a little ticked off, but I got to where I needed to be.

The second was on the shores of Waikiki a few years later, and I walked out on a sandbar while the sis and mom hung out on the beach, and dad snorkeled….I can recall walking so far because it was a sandbar, and I was barely waist deep early in the morning sun. Well, come high noon or so, after I got tired of hanging out on the sandbar, I started to walk back. But I soon learned the water was now much deeper, closer to 8-10 feet-and anything deeper than you are shoulder-high is too deep. So I swam, and I swam hard and for a while to get back to where I needed to be on the shore. Exhausted, I made it back to the shore.

The water, the oceans-the idea of drowning scares me. It eats at my core, putting a chill in me when I think about it. My kids are awesome swimmers; they are fish in the water. The just trust it and do it and love it. Somewhere along the line my fear became real and made loving the water hard. I can swim, and I do it-but I don’t hold it as a favorite love like they do.

Grace is an ocean. The kids get it, they love it and they embrace it. Sometimes, in the same way I struggle with the water and fight it harder than I need to-I do the same with God’s grace and the way He draws us into it, asking us only to be engulfed by it. I want to sink into that ocean.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Ardales, Andalucia, Spain.

The weekend approaches.

It is the first full weekend in August, the summer is here and the heat is hot and the kids are staying up late and having a great time playing. There is something fun and spirited about the summer and the way it brings us all alive.

So today, may you feel the breeze in your hair and the grass under your feet and the sun smiling down on your head. May it fill your soul with joy-

Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
Psalm 33:3

What does your beautiful summer dream look like?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

growth and struggle

Hand Touching the Trunk of a Towering Tree

I love to hang out with the kids. There are fewer things that I enjoy, and there are fewer moments that make me feel young and happy overall. Whenever I get to spend time playing or just listening to them interact, it makes me feel good. And even in the moments when I don't like to hear the repetitive nature, or the arguing or ignoring-I still try to experience it as it is, as a whole and not a singular. Listening to them discuss and debate and interact with each other is awesome, and it is a way for me to see how their minds and hearts are developing.

I wonder, if in the same way, God really enjoys seeing me interact and learn and touch those around me. When I laugh, or have a blast or discuss with those around me, does God enjoy that? What about when I struggle or really need help, or argue and fight-does He look at the whole more than the moment?

My heart and ideas and opinions are always on the move, always growing and questioning and sharpening to shape me. There are loads of things in my mind, and they are always trying to piece out and make sense and lay out a foundation of me. I think, or at least I hope, that the moves I make and growth I experience will be something fun to watch from God's perspective, and like a Father-He can smile and love every minute of it as well.

What is growing in you right now?

Monday, August 2, 2010

ice cream and love

Ice cream cones

This weekend was my daddy-daughter date with my little girl. We had a great plan laid out, and she spent time getting ready (very excitedly) all afternoon, picking out her clothes and earrings and headband and even put on her prettiest dress shoes. Seeing her glowing all day with anticipation was a big slice of awesome for me.

We went to play games and stopped to shop a little after and finished off the date with ice cream cones. While we waited for the cones, she looked at me and said “this is the best date I have ever had daddy.” We talked about everything from video game technique to winning oodles of tickets (to which she totally owned those machines for 500 tickets!) to bargain-hunting to why we go to church to ice cream flavors. We laughed, we sang “Taxman” and had a great time. I don’t know that her and I have had a better time together just the two of us ever.

The best date she has ever had. I could have melted right there on the sidewalk. My daughter has given me the opportunity to teach and guide a little life, but just as important I have been able to learn from her and it has shaped and made me who I am. When I spend time with her, it gives me the chance to really get to experience what she is thinking and feeling in her little mind. It was a great day.

In our interaction, I hope to show her what it means to be a lady little lady who is respected and loved by a man. To be treated like a princess, not in a superior way but in a beautiful and cherished way. I hope I can continue to be an example for her and what it means to be a man, a loving and caring dad who would do anything for his little girl. And I hope she will, someday in the distant future, accept nothing less.

Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express.
-- Joseph Addison