Worth It

Choose the hard right over the easy wrong.

I heard a pastor named Andy Stanley say that once… or I read it in one of his books… either way, it stuck.

I think this post is for my kids, but you can read along if you want.

My dad passed away back in ’96, but I still think about him nearly every day. Maybe it’s because I’m 40, and he died at 44, and I’m like, “Oh shit… here it comes.”

Kids, don’t cuss. Unless you’ve had a couple of years like these past couple, then go for it if it’ll help.

I went looking for an old photo earlier today because I wanted to share it as a joke at work on our Slack channel. One of my co-workers is a great guy, but he’s a Seahawks fan, which kind of makes that whole “great guy” thing hard to say. But I wanted to tell him about the time Hadley dressed up as a Seahawks fan.

IMG_4977

Even covered in pistachio sauce, that little girl is perfect.

But then I kept scrolling around my old photos. Gavin’s cuteness jumping on and down on our bed… Griffin’s curly locks bouncing around as he runs through a yogurt shop, and then there they were… all the speaking photos.

Camps, retreats, lock-ins, Sundays… I felt like I was born for it.

Then we chose the hard right over the easy wrong, and it cost me everything… vocationally anyways. But it was so much more than a vocation.

And it’s over. The phone doesn’t ring for those invitations any more. I’ve lost my voice in that world.

But it was worth it.

I had a pretty rare rock-bottom 20 minutes ago. Sadness wrapped me up and wouldn’t let go, and tears finally came. I may have texted my counselor and asked when she’s available, but this will have to do for now ๐Ÿ˜‰

But again… it was worth it. We did the right thing- people may have disagreed with us about what we were saying, but our motives were pure, and we chose this path… and sitting here dealing with some sadness is just fine with me, because we did the right thing. The easy wrong would have been to say nothing, stay in the majority, keep getting speaking gigs, and act like nothing had changed.

I hope my kids read this some day and know that about us. I hope I’m around for a long time, but if I’m not, I’ll leave this here and hope that they’re proud of me. This made it hard on them too, whether they realize it now or not… and I hope they can see that it was worth it.

This probably needs some editing, but I’ve got a meeting at my tech company, and Iย really have to pay attention, because I have no idea what we’re talking about most days haha!

Shout Out to the Moms

Mom had just walked in the door. The boys were apparently happy to see her!

My boys have been waking up at ungodly hours the past few weeks. Our 9-month-old Gavin woke up at 4am yesterday.

4am…ย If the Starbucks baristas are still sleeping, everyone else should be too.ย 

Our 2-year-old Griffin was up an hour later, and they were both ready to party.

Gavin is a mama’s boy as much as any boy has ever been one. He absolutely adores his mom. It’s so intense that I haven’t been able to feed him a bottle in 7 months because I’m not mom.

So… when he woke up 6 times the other night, so did mom.

When he refuses to go to sleep, it’s mom to the rescue.

When it’s 7pm and time to go to bed, it’s mommy-time.

When all the other women on the planet are out at fun restaurants or watching their favorite shows together or on dates with their men or are pinning something on Pinterest or working out or whatever else women like to do… the young moms of the planet are at home, covered in baby sauce, tucked away in some dark room singing songs to their babies.

Don’t get me wrong, the young moms would love to be doing all of those fun things! But babies change everything, mostly for moms.

So this is a shout out to all the moms out there, especially my Lindsay!

You inspire me! In fact, you inspire God!

Look, He even used you as an example:

“As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.” – Isaiah 66:13

Keep doing what you’re doing!

Gavin’s Big Surgery

Our baby boy Gavin was born with a cleft lip and palate.

His lip was repaired weeks ago, and it went great!

Gavin at birth Gavin

Tomorrow morning we’re taking him to get his palate repaired. People keep asking me how it works, and I seriously have no idea. We’ve heard the doctors explain it, but even after hearing it we have no idea! They did an incredible job with his lip repair, so we’re confident in their abilities for this next step.

The surgery should only take a couple hours, and he’ll have to stay in the hospital for at least one night.

Please pray for him and for us ๐Ÿ™‚

Mommy is the Favorite

Lindsay just left the house for an hour. Griffin was napping and Gavin was sitting in his rocker.

10 minutes later Gavin was screaming.

I changed his diaper… still screaming.

I tried to feed him… still screaming.

I tried praying… still screaming.

I tried to sit him up on the couch and do a funny dance for him… still screaming.

I tried singing to him while walking with him in his favorite blanket… screamfest.

Right about that time Griffin woke up. Screaming.

I walked upstairs with screaming Gavin to get screaming Griffin.

At one point I may or may not have looked up at the heavens (or my ceiling) and screamed “COME ON MAN!”.

Sorry about that, God.

Lindsay came home after 49 minutes of screaming. I timed it.

The MOMENT I hand Gavin to her… silence.

Right as I’m nodding my head in disbelief at her baby-calming skills, I look down and see this.

Griffin on his hands and knees kissing her feet over and over.

Apparently Gavin wasn’t the only one happy that mom came home.

 

Gavin’s First Surgery

Gavin Guard

Gavin’s first surgery is tomorrow!

I wasn’t sure whether to end that sentence with an exclamation point or a period or anย ellipsis. There are all sorts of emotions wrapped up in this big day. We’re excited, but the fact that my 3-month-old is getting plastic surgery tomorrow is a bit hard to wrap my mind around.

I’m not as nervous as I thought I’d be, maybe because we’ve already been through a surgery with Griffin. It helps that the surgery is cosmetic, all right there on his face.

We’re waking up at 4am tomorrow and heading to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The surgery should take a few hours, and if he’s able to hold down milk afterward they should let us go home that night.

We’re super thankful for the advances in technology that make this surgery so effective.

It’s hard to believe that this is our last day seeing this fancy little face!

Can’t wait to see his new smile, but I’m gonna miss this one ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Love it or leave it

I work in a cubicle.

I don’t love cubicles, but the cube doesn’t mean anything to me.

I love my job, so I don’t even think about the cubicle. If I hated my job I would probably hate my cubicle, and I’d probably be tempted to spray paint on walls. I wonder if he felt better after spraying that…

It’s Monday morning and thousands of people are in their cars right now on their way to their cubes.

I almost always ask someone what they do when I first meet them. My next question is usually, “Do you enjoy it?”. I meet a lot of people who say the same thing:

“It pays the bills… I don’t love it, but it’s a job.”

Now, if you’re a rat in a rat race then I have no advice for you. Keep chasing the cheese…

But if you’re a Christian, the bible calls you an ambassador of Christ, a “minister of reconciliation”, and a light to the world. We’re called to do WHATEVER we do for the glory of God! Can you hate your job if you’re doing it for the glory of God? Maybe. You tell me!

Can you do YOUR job for the glory of God? I say YES.

Unclogging toilets? Yep. Data entry? Yep. School crossing guard? Yep. Stay-at-home mom? Yep. Secretary? Yep. You name it… yep.

Call me crazy, but I think God has an incredible plan for plumbers, data typers, crossing guards, kids who cross at crosswalks, moms, dads, secretaries and everyone else they’re surrounded by.

This isn’t a revolutionary thought that I’m sharing, but it’s one that is easily forgotten.

I was up at 6am today. I felt stirred out of bed by God. He just wouldn’t let me fall back asleep.

I couldn’t wait to get to work today. I can’t wait for Mondays… I LOVE Mondays! Why? I’m passionate about what I do. I see purpose and meaning in what I do. Don’t get me wrong, I love my days off as much as the next guy, but I don’t live for the weekend.

If you don’t share my perspective, or if you aren’t passionate about what you’re doing, there’s a good chance you say things like “It pays the bills” when people ask you about what you do.

My recommendation to you: Ask God to show you how to do what you do for His glory, not a paycheck. There’s joy in that. If he doesn’t answer that question… you might need to make some changes.

Go find something you’re passionate about, make sure it aligns with his purpose, and DO IT!

Maybe you’ll make less money- move into an apartment.

Maybe you have 4 kids, 3 cars, and 2 dogs- move into a big apartment.

Maybe you wish you were in ministry like me- you ARE.

Maybe you don’t feel “called” to ministry- the phone has been ringing for a long time.

What a Decade!

I have had an amazing 10 years. I can’t imagine another decade of my life being this jam-packed with goodness, but I have a feeling that this next one will be. Check out what went down in my life over the past 10 years:

  • In September of 2001 I became a believer and follower of Jesus. That was pretty cool.
  • In January of 2002 I started working at Cornerstone as an intern in the High School Ministry and a Children’s Ministry Coordinator. They might have been a bit hasty laying hands on me that soon, but God was good, I was passionate, and it all worked out nicely.
  • Later that year I because the “Interim Junior High Director”. A few months later I was asked to be the permanent Director.
  • Three years later I was leading the High School Ministry. What?!
  • Got married in 2007! Our marriage started out rocky, but we’re kicking butt now.
  • Three years later I was fired from that church where it all started. It was a bummer how it all went down, but again, God worked it all out.
  • Moved to California for one year to be the High School Pastor at a great church, but one that wasn’t a good fit for us long term.
  • Moved back to Arizona to work at the church I had wanted to work at for years. They hire me as the High School Pastor, and ask me to oversee the Student Ministries Department. I was fired from one church, then a year later promoted at another. Amazing.
  • Now I’m in my dream job, with amazing staff, students, and volunteers, and I’m given the opportunity to speak in the main service almost once a month. What is going on?
  • We adopted Griffin last November. He’s better than all of the bullet points I just listed.

The thing that gets me excited about this next decade is that I’ve seen a little bit of what God can do when someone surrenders their plans to Him. I don’t get nervous about the next decade, I get excited. I’m 32, I’ve got so much to learn, and I’m exactly where I want to be. I hope this next decade makes the last one look boring!

I hope you’re ask excited about these next 10 years as I am, regardless of your bullet points.

Fairies, Bunnies and Santa Clause

I believed in Santa Clause as a kid. I argued with older kids at school, because I was convinced that he existed. Not only Santa, but the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny too. I loved believing in them! I got presents from Santa and from my parents- the tags said one or the other. There was NO WAY that my mom and dad could have got that tooth out of that envelope, especially because it was under my pillow! And seriously, where did all of those eggs come from?

I have been talking to some people about Santa, the bunny and the fairy this week… and I was really surprised to learn that they grew up in homes where those things were known to be fiction from the very beginning, and that their kids would know the same!

I thought everyone did the Santa thing!!!

Lindsay and I plan on telling our little boy that Santa exists, and all of the other characters too. We loved it, and we want our kids to love it too. We’ll tell them about Jesus, and the real reason for the seasons… but we can’t imagine not having kids that don’t experience that! We’ll figure out the best time to tell them that they’re not real. That’ll be a tough day, but it’ll be preceded by years of goodness.

What about you? Did you believe in Santa and the others? Do you plan on telling your kids that they are real? Why or why not?

Adoption

We’re adopting a baby!

The good news is, the kid won’t have my nose.

We decided years ago that we wanted to adopt our first child- and then we got pregnant- and then we had a miscarriage- and now we’re adopting. That’s the thumbnail description of what has been a remarkably bumpy couple of years.

A few things I’m thinking about as we start this journey:

  • I can’t wait to be a dad.
  • I can’t wait to see what happens to Lindsay as a mom. I’m picturing something like THIS.
  • I can’t wait to tell people that I’m exhausted because I was up all night taking care of my fussy baby.
  • I can’t wait to play catch (there’s always softball if we get a baby girl).
  • I can’t wait to change my very first diaper. Yes, that’s sarcasm, and yes, I’ve honestly never changed a diaper. I’m gonna barf on the kid.

Lindsay and I have finished almost all of the paperwork, but we’ve still got a handful of classes to take and a mountain of money to raise. We’ve got a couple of ideas (yard sales, armed robberies) to raise the money, and we’re hoping that our friends and family will consider helping us too. We set up a PayPal button on our adoption website that makes it really easy to donate. We’ll be writing letters to our baby all throughout the process, so we called it “Dear Baby Guard,”.

We’re open to a boy or a girl, but I have a weird feeling I know what it’s gonna be. We have a boy name picked out, but we’re not saying what it is because you’ll steal it. No girl names have grabbed us yet. Every time Lindsay comes up with a good name I ruin it. She’ll say, “How about Summer?” and I’ll immediately think that “Summer Guard” sounds like a feminine product. My last name is not very girly.

Holy cow, I’m going to be a dad.

:Gulp: