A Forced Habit

Shaping

I have been out of practice. Any and all practice of any kind. And practice is important. Without practice we have a snowball’s chance at perfect.

Many of the things that have been most important—to my soul, my marriage, my parenting, my work, my everything—have become conspicuously absent. Continue reading

Fog

Fog

I’ve been in a bit of a fog lately.

Said goodbye. Moved across the country. Said hello to a new life.

A dense and disorienting fog.

And maybe it was a symptom of being lost in the fog or maybe it was partly the cause of it, but I stopped writing along the way. Continue reading

Fatherhood Is…

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Fatherhood is…

always being on.
hilarious.
nerve-wracking.
being tired all the time.
the reality that sick days aren’t nearly as relaxing as they used to be.
fascinating.
choosing to engage no matter how hard, long, or frustrating the day has been.
noisy.
eye-opening.
an immense privilege.
heart-opening.
another reason to pray…a lot.
holy.

Fatherhood is trying as hard as you possibly can at something and still never being sure you’re getting it right.

But it’s full of these moments that seem so simple, moments that would likely wind up on the cutting room floor of any sappy movie’s musical montage. But they’re moments when your heart gets so full that time seems to stand still as you desperately try to record it’s nuances in the part of your mind that battles with the broken world around us by holding on to all the heaven we get to glimpse on earth.

Wonder-full moments.

Today, in the middle of lunch Ellis spontaneously gave me a hug and said, “I love you, Daddy.” Sure, it was nearly unintelligible, but she said it. Continue reading

Losing My Keys In a Field

Field

On Thursday I began the 2,200 mile road trip across the country along with Webber, our 60-pound bundle of canine orneriness.

On Saturday I lost my keys in a field in Nebraska.

It was our third day of the trip. We’d been spending 8-10 hours in the car together on each of them. Our only stops had been gas stations, fast food joints, and the hotel rooms we’d stumbled into after dark. Tiny patches of crunchy, frozen grass alongside convenience stores had been the dog’s only exercise, and all things considered, he was doing remarkably well. Except for an occasional half-hearted whimper from the back of the car every couple of hours, Webber was resigned to his fate.

That’s why this afternoon, after the snow-covered mountains and tundras of Utah and Colorado gave way to the straw-colored expanses of Nebraska, I decided to let him have a little run. Continue reading

Other Shores

Shores

For the last 8 years Karen and I have lived in the place where this country plunges into the Pacific.

We have perched here, sometimes precariously, through brush fires and earthquakes. We’ve made friends and made a life. We’ve seen God move powerfully in our lives and through our lives. We have been far from family, but have learned how the church is an expression of family far greater than we ever imagined. And we have added Finnden and Ellis to our own little roster, raising them in a place that is far removed from our midwestern roots but a place we have come to call home, the only one they’ve ever known.

But a new shore awaits, albeit a very different one. Lake Michigan is a far cry from the Pacific. Continue reading

His Own Wonder

Tide Pools

At the shore he is shirtless and wild.
He makes “snow bunnies”
from wet sand
stacked up in his hand.
He screams and jumps
and throws the lumps
of mud into the sea
just to see
what they do.
Watching the water wedge the sand between his toes
and then suck it out again to sea—he knows
not
a self-conscious thought
in his world. Continue reading