Kasen’s First Day of BMX

We had a great time today at the Beltway 8 BMX track! The people at the track were great hosts and led us through the whole process. Some of the riders were very helpful to Kasen and the other little guys while they were on the track as well.

Kasen loved his first experience as a BMX racer. He even fell down once and got up to race the next time – made daddy very proud. As a dad, I’m learning so much about what it means to love – and how much God must love me. I take so much joy in watching my kids. It doesn’t matter too much what they’re doing – I just love watching them learn, and grow, and experience new things. I love watching them succeed and even watching them overcome obstacles when they fail. It’s so much fun watching who they are becoming.

I’m recognizing how great God’s love must be for me in all of this too. If I can love my kids in this way, I figure God’s love must be even better. Maybe it I shouldn’t stress so much about “what” I’m doing and focus more on “who” I’m becoming? Maybe that’s more what God is interested in too?

Anyway, here’s the video: You can see all of it – the good, the bad, the wipeout. . . everything. Miranda pointed out that I say “buddy” an awful lot too.

Mother’s Day

Mothers_dayMiranda is an amazing mom (not to mention how amazing she is at being a wife). Having Kasen, was like uncovering what she was created to do.

I sat next to her the other night on the couch as we listened to Kasen crying in his crib. We were attempting the let him “cry it out” which is a method for teaching children how to sleep through the night. It’s a tough thing to do. You basically just let them cry until they realize that they’ve gotta go to sleep on their own. Anyway, Miranda was in tears. It took everything she had to force herself to stay in the living room with me. As she cried, it was hard to understand her words through the tears, but she mumbled “I’m his mother. I’m supposed to love and care for him.” I tried to comfort her saying that she was loving and caring for him by helping him learn how to go to sleep on his own. I’m not sure my words were very comforting, but I think it’s true. This is probably just the first of many times where our love for him will put us in a position where we’ll have to act against our own desires. Ultimately, Miranda held off and after the second night, Kasen slept through the night completely by himself. He’s now made it three nights that way. It’s a pretty amazing thing. Miranda and I both know it’s a good thing, but I feel pretty confident that when she wakes up in the middle of the night, she wants to check in on him – you know, to make sure he’s still breathing and is okay. How do I know that? ‘Cause that’s exactly what I wanna do, and I know she’s a much better parent than I could ever dream of being.

As a single youth minister, that whole “tough love” thing sounded a much easier than what we experienced together the other night. This is probably only the beginning though. Anyway, all this is to say that we’re both realizing that parenting is tough, but I can see clearly that Miranda is tougher. God has truly blessed us by giving her to Kasen and I. Voddie Bachaum defines love as “an act of the will accompanied by
emotion on behalf of it’s recipient.
” That’s exactly what she did the
other night. She chose to do what was best for him in spite of her
emotions. Kasen will grow up knowing that he is loved beyond measure, and he’ll also be shown a beautiful example in his mother.  She loves with all she has, and will sacrifice her own desires to do what’s best for him. Even when it hurts her, she will choose to love him.

A New Dance with a Beautiful Bride

Dancing01I had some thoughts today – Miranda and I started our life together with a dance on our wedding day. Pretty early on in our dating life, we danced together. As we start this new part of our lives with Kasen, it kinda seems like another dance. We’re still learning the steps, and how to move together, but it sure is a fun song to dance to. And I’ve got the best dance partner in the world. I feel like I’ve been writing and praying about the kind of dad that I wanna be, while all along, Miranda is already everything a mom should be. She’s been so good with Kasen. I am so blessed to have her and I’m having lots of fun watching her “mommy-instincts” kick in. She’s incredibly patient and functions really well with almost no sleep. She continues to provide a beautiful home for us and smiles every time I come through the door. (Well, almost every time.) I like calling her “my beautiful bride” and today she is still the most beautiful girl in the world. The same girl I danced with on my wedding day. I see it as my job to help her realize how beautiful she really is. Someday, I’m gonna get her to say the words, “I’m beautiful.” and in that moment, I will have been a part of something really incredible – she will finally have seen herself the way the rest of us have always seen her.

Lord as we learn these new steps together, please be with us. We’ve already shed a few tears and I’m sure there are more to come, but we’ve also known You’re with us through it all. Comfort us. Give us patience with one another. Send people into our lives to bring encouragement and love. Hold us in Your hands God – close to Your heart. As Miranda holds Kasen, let us realize Your presence and closeness. Lord, on our wedding day, we had a multitude of people pray over us and I claim those prayers today over our lives. I’ve never felt closer to Miranda than I do right now, but I also know that things will never be the same. As we make this transition, guide us. Show us how to not only maintain a healthy relationship, but how to grow it even as we are being pulled in other directions with Kasen. God, we need You. We trust You and we will walk with You. Hold our hands and go before us. AMEN.

The rocks in the vase to the right are the rocks from our wedding day. Each one was held by a friend or family member and a prayer was said for our relationship and marriage.  This vase sits on the table of our entry way so that each day we will be reminded of the love and support of our friends and family as we strive to live out the promises we made to each other on that day. With the addition of Kasen to our family, I am claiming by my friend Evan’s “transitive property” that these prayers were also for him.

Big Day

First_outingKasen had a big day yesterday!!

1 – He slept through the night!!!! 10:30pm ’til 7am!!
2 – His umbilical cord fell off.
3 – He had his 2 week birthday.
4 – He went on his first non-doctor outing. After youth that night, Miranda wanted mexican food so we went to La Casona. Kasen slept through the whole event, but we’re still pretty sure that he’s gonna really enjoy mexican food, like his mama.

(Thanks to Gigi for reminding us – We actually took him to “The Local” for lunch the other day, but had forgotten and so when we went to La Casona, we were braggingCar_seat_sleeping about how much of a big boy he was and how he could go out to eat – how this was his first big restaurant and we got pictures and everything and. . . . duh, it was actually his second big outing – I hope this isn’t a sign of what’s to come with the stupidity of his parents – Of course I guess it’s not so bad to be the kind of parents who celebrate every moment – even second outings.)

Bricks and the Sabbath

06-10-10Here’s some stuff I learned from a podcast with Rob Bell regarding Sabbath.

Sabbath is a “gift” from God. It’s not about this day or that day or the details of how you spend it (Anytime legalism enters the picture, it becomes a “duty” and not a “gift” anymore.) God gave Israel the Sabbath when they left Egypt. While in captivity, Israel was judged and given worth solely on how many bricks they could produce. If you couldn’t produce any bricks, you could be killed. You were “worthless.” The slave master says, “Your worth is based on what you can produce,” but God says, “No! Rest today and realize that you are loved and valued. You are worthy simply because of who you are – not what you do.”

Abraham Joshua Heshel says, “Sabbath gives the world the energy it needs to exist another six days.”

What is the day of the week that you turn off your cell phone? When you don’t produce or create? When your work is simply to “be?”

Rob Bell says, “I think your soul dies without it; you may still be living but. . . .” He also says, “I ask God to put me back together on that day so I can go another six days.”

Sabbath is full scale rebellion against western/American culture.

You also have to prepare for it all week. Jews today invite the “spirit of Sabbath” in. As you prepare for it, you are reminded again that God loves you for who you are and not just what you do – the Sabbath “leaks” and “bleeds” into the other six days.

Our western/American bodies are addicted to the adrenaline rush of our lives. If you can only pray a few minutes, maybe it’s not that you don’t love God, but that your body simply doesn’t know how to focus on one thing. We have trained our bodies and minds to multi-task, but this is contrary to Sabbath. Our brains are so used to being in 100 places, that when we ask it to be in one place, it doesn’t know how.