Welcome Eleanor Jane!

March 5, 2010

I’m reminded as I sit listening to my newborn daughter’s nose whistle and occasional snorting that the wait is over and that Ellie Jane has finally come to join us!  She’s just pushing 22 hours as I sit here writing.  Yet again I have one more reason to love Mavis Beacon for teaching me to type without looking at the screen so I can spend my gaze on looking at more worthwhile things. 🙂

For those who weren’t able to watch the Facebook play-by-play, let me sum up our labor experience simply by saying that it was very positive.  As usual, Kate was amazing through labor and delivery and just like Jude, Ellie was perfect through the whole delivery, though a little squirmier than we’d have liked toward the end (which prolonged the pushing somewhat).

Besides meeting a couple of the big names of her life to come, Ellie also got to meet her big brother for the first time last night.  It was great to watch him meet his new sister and give her some big [gentle] faceplant-like kisses on her cheek.  🙂  He’s going to be a great big brother–now I just have to teach him how to handle and shotgun to ward off his sister’s suitors…

In the mean time, welcome Ellie!  You are so precious and so beautiful!

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Happy Birthday Kate!

January 23, 2010

Today Kate passes the quarter century mark into 26 years of age!  (When exactly are you spposed to stop saying how old a person is again?)  Thank you to everyone who sent her cards 🙂 (She’s been storing them up, waiting until today to open them!)!   Happy birthday baby!

Are you kidding me!? What a whirlwind! Four months and two days ago Kate and I were sitting at the Montage enjoying Spold macaroni and cheese (with chicken of course) on our last non-parent date.  How many ages ago that seems!  How we’ve grown!  How things have changed!  How he has changed!  How much we’ve learned together!  
Getting so Big 4 months!
 He was just a little ball of limp cutie-ness floating in a warm sack of water, and now look at him!  He’s practically rolling! (alright, so he’s rolled from his tummy to his back and from his back to his side, so he’s not toooootally rolling yet)  He’s laughing and smiling!  He’s even found his hands for heaven’s sake!  

You’ve got a lot of people praying for you Jude–not the least of whom are your parents–and you’re already opening doors in to people’s hearts (and spreading baby fever…).  We love you buddy and can’t imagine life without you!  

BTW – Jude is doing great; staying healthy and being loved to pieces by his parents and new church family.  He’s growing in to such a sweet little boy!  We couldn’t have asked for any more from the Lord!

The Mission of Missions

August 30, 2008

While perusing the pages of “Consuming Jesus, which my very perceptive wife gave me for my birthday, I ran across a Chinese poem that I see as summarizing our mission in the Netherlands:

Go to the people

Live among them

Learn from them

Love them

Start with what they know

Build on what they have:

But of the

best leaders

When their task is done

The people will remark

“We have done it ourselves.”

While in Slovenia three summers ago Kate and I were heavily impacted by the ministry of Josiah Venture in the capitol city of Ljubljana.  With a staff of around 6-8 intent on reaching students and thousands of them in the city, we were surprised to find the staff reluctant to “get results”–at least, they are reluctant to get results on their own.

Buy Consuming Jesus Here!

As I see it, missions is not about getting out there and saving souls.  Let me clarify, before the missions police show up at my door: missions is not only concerned with the saving of souls.  Missions has also to do with the growth and maturation of the Church on a global level.  It is not about sending home high stats–that is missions at its shallowest.  In my opinion, approaching missions in a deep way requires that we do it patiently and in a way which leads the national (or local) church deeper in to ministry rather than supplanting it.

Perhaps, thinking back over our poem, the only thing that remains would be to nuance the final phrase, to make sure the reader leaves room for God in the concluding “We have done it ourselves.”  Whew!  Gives me goosebumps!

Happy Birthday Me!

August 29, 2008

For the first time in my life I was awake at 2:00 am on my birthday listening to the nightly sounds of my wife and newborn son.  Weird.  I don’t know why a birthday should highlight the huge changes that have taken place this last year, but it certainly has.

Daddy, Jude and a Duck

At the Zoo! (Click the picture to see more pictures from the zoo!)

Today I went to the Zoo with some family and found myself thinking about “dad-ing” much of the time.  I am twenty-four. I am a husband. I am a dad.  And I am a missionary who will be moving halfway around the world in a little less than two months.  Its amazing how these things sneak-up on you and then hit you over the head like a 2×4!

I guess a lot of you dads out there are probably laughing to yourselves and remembering when, but I find myself amazed at the changes in my life and how they have impacted me.  Its interesting how something like parenting can become a spiritual discipline and a change agent that God uses in a person’s life.

Happy Birthday Jude!

August 18, 2008

“Happy birthday Jude!  How does it feel to be a week old?  Any different.  In some ways I can’t imagine it does, but then again, every moment is a celebration at this age.” As this sequence of thoughts made their way through my head today I couldn’t help but question: when is it finally okay to get over the wonder of living another day?  Though I don’t know exactly how long a person has to be alive before they are deemed unworthy of celebrating daily, I know I have assigned that value somewhere, because there are plenty of people who’s life I choose not to celebrate.

Forget other people for a second.  When did I stop celebrating every day of my life?  At what point did I conclude that life was my right to be clutched greedily rather than a gift to be received gratefully?  How have my clenched fists atrophied against that open-handed amazement at the God who gives and gives and gives?

Fatherhood is not supposed to make you ask questions like this…

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