Wednesday, March 23, 2005

T Minus 23 Hours

Well, we're just about there.

First, we're in the new house. Celeste was an unpacking machine the last few days, to the point that if you didn't notice the lack of pictures on the walls, you might not realize we just moved in. There are about 5 boxes remaining to be unpacked in the whole house. Not bad for a lady who's 9 months pregnant.

Last evening Celeste's parents arrived from Kansas, and my mom came down from Farmers Branch (or whereever she lives in that area :-) and we went out to dinner. Piper managed to be the primary source of entertainment, which is no surprise considering she was the only grandchild at a table including her parents and 3 grandparents.

This afternoon is Celeste's pre-op at the hospital, followed by a final pre-birth appointment with her OB. I'll leave work at 2:30 and meet her there.

And tomorrow morning we'll be at Harris Methodist hospital in downtown Fort Worth, bright and very early, to have our bouncing baby boy. I think the plan will be to have Celeste's folks bring Piper down when she wakes up, and if I recall the timing correctly from Piper's birth 19 months ago, that means they'll probably arrive just as the baby's being born.

I'm at the office now, waiting on a data process to finish, and I thought I'd post one last time before going from being the father of 1 to being the father of 2. I ask that you hold our family up to the Father above during this exciting time.


Saturday, March 19, 2005

Many hands...

...make light work, and Celeste and I were privileged to see this take shape today.

Our small group from church (and one or two others) came over to give us a hand moving, and we moved virtually everything in under two hours! It was really amazing to behold. It reminded me of the barn-raising scene in Witness, with Harrison Ford, where they showed the method used by the Amish (or Mennonites?) to build a barn from the ground up in a single day.

So I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks to our church family. I've read a lot lately about the church being a 'community', and I'm thrilled to say that I saw it in action today (and not for the first time).


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Can I just share my heart today? I've abstained from caffeine and chocolate for 35 days now -- not much of a feat really, particularly compared to some of the faithful at SBC who have gone without solid food for this same period of time; of course none of this compares with what Christ did for us.

Anyway, the purpose of my little 'fast' was to try to snuggle up to God once again. I have this tendency to go several months where I'm in His word, spending daily time with Him, and then get wrapped up in other things and go for months without spending much time with Him at all. So when the time came for the 40-day fast, I wanted to participate in order to end the self-imposed drought and reconnect with my God.

I'm ashamed to confess that there have only been about 7-10 days over the last 35 when I've really spend quality time with Him (away from church, anyway). I have plenty of 'good' excuses, but in the end even a 'good' excuse is just an excuse. After all, I still find time to watch '24' every week, even if I have to record it and watch it late into the night. But I haven't been making time for the One who saves me.

And its not like I don't feel Him prompting me to hang with Him. I'll find myself thinking 'I should get in the Word', and then... [insert excuse #1436 here].

So I'm going to make a commitment now, right here: I will spend time with God each day the rest of this week. I was in the Word yesterday (and it felt sooo goooood!), and I spent a little time today. Anyone reading this, I invite you to ask me on Sunday whether I've followed through.

Oh, to have the mind of Christ, and His heart as well.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Blood from a Turnip

I'm often a vegetable, but lately I'm most definitely a turnip. And I think my wife is too.

We sold our house in January and moved into a rent house while another house is being built. In the meantime I went on business travel for 2 weeks, which left my wife home with our 18 month old, Piper. When I finally came home, Piper picked up some kind of stomach bug, a nasty little virus that lasted a week or so. About the time she got better... I managed to get sick with what appeared to be the same bug. It hit me Friday, I was pretty pathetic Saturday, and felt better yesterday. Today I'm at work, but I'm a little queasy.

I have to say that my wife -- who happens to be 8 1/2 months pregnant! -- has been amazing through all of this. (Speaking of the pregnancy, some good friends threw us a baby shower last night at Spring Creek barbeque, and we had a great time.)

Meanwhile, the new house is finished except for inspections, so we'll do a final walk-through this Thursday or so, and barring something unexpected happening (please God don't let anything unexpected happen) we'll close on the new house the following Thursday the 17th. Then we'll move in the weekend of Friday the 18th.

And then the following Thursday the 24th, we'll have our second child (scheduled c-section, so the date is pretty firm).

Did I mention that I'm responsible for a corporate-wide project at work that was supposed to wrap up just before the new baby is born, and that events have transpired in such a way that the end-date was moved till early April? You would think that the end-date slipping is good, but actually it means that I'll probably have work pending on March 24 and the days to follow, when I'd rather be focused on my family. No pressure, though, right?

A friend of mine told me one time that he was under a lot of pressure in several ways, and that he wondered about bleaching his hair and escaping to Mexico, never to be seen again. Honestly, three things keep me from stealing his idea:
  1. Despite all of this mess, my wife and daughter are so awesome. Celeste almost never complains, despite my absence for those two weeks, despite having to change 9/10ths (or more) of the nasty diapers Piper had with the stomach flu (I wasn't home much to change any diapers that week), etc. Celeste is phenomenal. And as for Piper -- have you seen my daughter's smile?
  2. I also get a lot of peace from spending time with my 'extended family' from church. In particular, worshiping alongside the rest of the worship team easily recharges my batteries, whether on a Sunday morning with the whole body or on a Tuesday night in practice, or anytime inbetween.
  3. Perhaps most importantly: I think I'd look pretty silly with bleached hair.
I'm just praying that I can survive till March 24, and that God will help me be able to disengage from all the other 'urgent' issues on that day and at least a few days following, so I can focus in on the most important ones.

What else is keeping me up lately (as if I need something else):

John 12:49 (Jesus speaking) "For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it."

Can I put a bow on that for ya? God didn't just tell Jesus what to say... God told Him how to say it. God apparently had some very specific objectives, even in the way that Christ said what He said. Could the same be true in my life? I find myself praying a lot about what to do, and often don't feel like I get a clear answer -- dare I pray for the how as well?