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.


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.


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.


Nolan, Suncadia

5 Things I Never Want to Say to My Leader

I’m so grateful for the leadership God has given me. I love my pastors, Brian and Shari. They are fantastic leaders and I am very confident in their ability to lead our church forward.

They’ve invested in me. They are tremendous examples to Stacey and I; I am blessed to be under their leadership.

No matter how you feel about those in authority over you, it’s important you realize that God has put them there. How you respond and interact with those in authority over you reveals your character.

Here are a few things I never want to say to my leaders:

 1.     “I’m just really tired.”

Welcome to real life. You’re not always going to be feeling fantastic when you’re asked to do something by your leader. This statement also creates questions / doubt in your leader’s mind. Why are they tired? Have I given them too much? Is this person going to give up on me?

You may be tired, but your leader needs your best effort today. You can rest later. Besides, wouldn’t you rather be busy as opposed to being bored.

 2.     “Where is everybody?”

I can remember youth events we’ve done where we simply missed it. The students didn’t show in the numbers we had hoped or something like that. Inevitably a volunteer would approach and state the obvious, “Hey, where is everyone?”

I don’t want to be the person that constantly feels the need to state the obvious to my leader. Your leader already knows the situation. What your leader really needs is a solution to the problem not a summation of it.

 3.     “I could do it, but…”

But talk is lame.

I’d like to but…

It’s possible but…

I hear what you’re saying but…

No more but talk. If my leader asks something of me I’ll do it. Simple.

Even the things I haven’t thought that I could do, if they say so I’ll do my absolute best to make it happen.

 4.     “Sorry I was late.”

Something my dad said constantly while I was growing up in regards to coaches, teachers and those in authority over me was, “Don’t waste their time.”

When it comes to your leaders, you must value their time more than your own. If they ask you to be somewhere, be there five minutes early minimum. No matter how many kids you have to get ready in the morning (writing to myself).

 5.     …nothing

There are times when your leader is really looking for input. This is completely the wrong time to get quiet.

If your leader sends you an email, respond.

If they send a text, send one back. Even a, “K” is acceptable.

For you old fashioned types… If they leave you a voicemail, call them back.

When things aren’t going right in your department, the wrong thing to do is say nothing…

What about you? Have a few of your own? I’d love to read them. Leave me a comment below.