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:

14 years ago today.

I was 17 years old. I had run away from home. I was staying with some cousins after being kicked out of two friends’ houses for being really disrespectful to them and their parents.

I was hanging out at Fashion Square Mall in Scottsdale in a music store on February 13th, 1996. I looked around, the coast was clear, so I stole a Wu-Tang Clan cd. I went back to my cousins’ house to listen to it. I had a stereo with two 12″, two 10″ and two 8″ speakers set up in my¬† room, which made me the perfect house guest. The Drunk Student Crossing and huge pot leaf posters hanging on my walls were a nice touch too.

The music was playing when the phone rang. It was my cousin Lois, she was sobbing. My dad had died. They eventually said it was due to “cardiac arrest”, but we knew that it was actually due to 25+ years of heavy drinking, smoking, and a brutal last few years of life.

His death was my entrance into a life of even more anger, addiction, and darkness.

But it all led me to this place… to a completely new life.

That was a dark, dark day. Walking in and seeing him there lying on the ground in the trailer he had been borrowing. I couldn’t zoom out and see what God was up to. I had no idea. Nothing made sense.

If it wasn’t for that day, I wouldn’t be who I am. I know that for a fact. And for that reason, I’m grateful for it. I don’t like saying that since I would love to have my dad in my life. But I know that I’ll see him again. I can see how it all worked out now, 14 years later…

It’s this story that helps me to trust God at those times when nothing makes sense. When life hurts, I know from experience that God heals. He doesn’t waste pain. It sounds a little bit cliche, but it’s my story!

I hope this gives you some peace today.

God has already started making all things new. Even when you can’t see it.

Colt McCoy’s Post Game Interview

His team just lost the National Championship.

He’s probably been dreaming about that game for most of his life, and then he gets hurt and doesn’t even get to play.

This is how he responds!

I always give God the glory. I never question why things happen the way they do. God is in control of my life.I know that if nothing else, I’m standing on the Rock.

Christmas!

Lindsay and I are hopping on a plane next Monday and heading to Westerville, Ohio for Christmas. I look forward to this every year. I married into a pretty awesome family, which makes the holidays a whole lot better! I know some guys and girls who married into, um, less-than-awesome families. Every family has a Cousin Eddie.

“Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?”

One of my favorite things to do in Ohio is NOTHING! I hardly ever have downtime in my everyday life, so this week of nothingness is something I look forward to all year! I’ll spend a few afternoons at the Panera across the street with my bottomless cup of coffee, next to the fireplace with a book.

What are YOU doing for Christmas? Are you traveling, staying home, or a little bit of both?