Checkpoints Not Finish Lines

I remember the first time I completed my first long distance run.

It was the Green River Marathon on June 5th of 2010. I had trained and prepped for the race for months.

Race is a loose term by the way; I was really just trying to get my butt across the finish line.

The Green River Marathon course starts in Kent and winds its way along the (you guessed it) Green River out to Elliot Bay and finishes at Spud’s Fish in Chips along Alki Beach in Seattle.

Once I was within two miles of the finish line I remember how desperately I wanted to cross it. My wife was there waiting with our two daughters and they were ready to welcome me.
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The Power of Punctuation

If you were to ask me what my favorite punctuation mark was (And why wouldn’t you? It’s a great conversation starter) my answer would be fast and simple.

I love the … aka the ellipsis, aka dot, dot, dot.

Really it’s my favorite punctuation by far (side note: the parenthesis is my second favorite).

The ellipsis is fantastic.

Depending on their context and placement in a sentence, ellipses indicate an unfinished thought, a slight pause, and nervous or awkward silence.

Ellipses are the ultimate cliffhanger.
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30 Days of Thankful

It only takes one day at Children’s hospital in Seattle to gain perspective.

Yes, it’s been a rough stretch for us with Nolan and his health issues.

But the support and love we receive from family and friends makes it much easier to deal with.

The perspective gained while at Children’s is unavoidable. Kids and families faced with heartbreaking realities are all around you.
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Simple.

Thanks to everyone who has reached out to Stacey, our kids and me over the last couple days.

God’s presence is most tangibly felt through hugs, well wishes, text messages and of course, food.

We are grateful to be able to rely on people like you, who help us sense God’s love in the middle of less than ideal circumstances.

A simple update with a simple prayer today:

What happened?

Nolan, who had open-heart surgery when he was five and half months old is susceptible to infections and viruses like any other person.

The problem is he can’t fight them the same way most people can.

His immune system is weak and his low muscle tone make even the common cold very problematic for him.

His smaller than normal airways make expelling the gunk that builds up when he’s ill very difficult, if not impossible at times.

After a rough weekend we brought him to Children’s because he wasn’t eating, his fever wouldn’t stop and his breathing became labored and much too shallow.

How is he?

He’s stable and resting.

He’s still intubated (tube breathing with a ventilator) and asleep most of the time.

He is fighting off bacterial pneumonia as well. Man, he is one tough little dude.

How are Stacey, the kids and you holding up?

The best way we know how.

Trying to live as normal as possible.

Our kids miss their brother. Our family home is not complete. We want him home.

Stacey and I rotate at the hospital along with my INCREDIBLE sister Erica. She is a Godsend.

She makes it possible so Stacey and I can be home with our kids during the week. We are forever indebted to her.

Knowing Nolan is receiving the very best care is reassuring as well.

We cry. We pray. We hope.

Some more than others, it just depends on the day.

We still laugh.

How can I help?

Pray and believe with us for Nolan’s healing.

Love your kids and count your blessings. Hug them. Tell them how much they mean to you.

Smile when you see us. We are happy to see you.

A simple reminder:

My prayer over this past week has been a very simple one.

It reminds and reassures Nolan and me both:

Daddy’s here, daddy’s here, daddy’s here.

I whisper it gently to him as I hold his hand.

No matter what you’re facing it’s a great prayer to pray.

Pray it over your life today.

He is with you. He is for you. He is good.

His presence will be your strength today.

Close

As I sit in my son’s hospital room today I feel similar to the way I have in the past.

Children’s Hospital in Seattle has been home away from home for our son Nolan.

He’s spent nearly two months of his 19-month-old life here so far.

They are wonderful. The doctors and nurses take such good care of him and our family.

But looking across the room at our son with tubes, wires, IVs, and tape wrapped around him never gets easy.

Nolan, hospital

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Necessary? Probably.

Painful? Yes.

This visit is another attempt to fight off a virus that has been attacking his under-prepared airways. A cold that would sideline you and me for a few days has the ability to do far worse to Nolan.

So here we sit. Here we cry. Here we pray.

Jesus help.

Help our boy. Heal our baby. Hold him in your arms.

And I’m not exactly sure why, but it’s here I feel the same overwhelming feeling I’ve felt before.

Close.

I feel like Jesus is right here with us.

It seems strange on the surface.

I’m not sure I can fully articulate why. Maybe I should feel forgotten about. Maybe I should be shaking my fist at God or pretending like he doesn’t exist.

Because come on, how could a loving God allow a sweet little boy to go through so much?

But I really feel close to God in moments like these.

Maybe it’s because Jesus has a history of being close to the hurting. He has a history of touching the untouchables and loving the unlovables.

The truth is I tend to feel more distant from God when things are perfect. I pat myself on the back and congratulate myself for all the right decisions I’ve made that make my life so wonderful.

Silly. Embarrassing. Foolish.

God loves all his kids the same perfect way. Unconditionally.

But for now Psalm 34.18 is our verse:

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.

Thank you Jesus for being with us.

I need you. Nolan needs you. We need you to be close.

Thanks for your presence today. Help me sense your closeness everyday.

Amen.

Nolan, Suncadia