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A very special person came into my life almost fourteen years ago. He’s my son, and he’s special for a number of reasons. Chief among them is that my wife and never thought we would have him. You see, we were told, repeatedly, that we wouldn’t be having any children.

But God…

But God had other plans. Which started with my wife, Lisa, suffering from flu-like symptoms in the wake of Thanksgiving, 1998. In fact, what we thought we were abdominal cramps got so bad that we went to the E.R. one evening. Pregnancy was the furthest thing from our minds.

But the doctor…

But the doctor was a wise enough man that he, after examining her, ordered an ultrasound. To rule out an ectopic pregnancy. And that sonogram showed, instead of an ectopic pregnancy, or other malady, a baby growing in Lisa’s womb.

A tiny baby, at just a few weeks gestation. We were stunned to silence, and then wept tears of you. After seven years (at that time) of marriage, after being told “Sorry, not for you” over and over again, after the fact settled our bones… What had stayed out of our grasp was unexpectedly becoming a reality.

Overjoyed doesn’t even begin to do the feeling adequate justice. My stock and trade is words, and I’m at a loss…

I’m at a loss to tell you just what that precious little baby meant to us, to know that he was coming. Oh, as with all joys in this world, this was tinged with sadness, too: her’s was not an easy pregnancy. Not by any stretch. Even so, we wouldn’t trade that time for anything. Not for the world, not for the secrets of the pharaohs, not for all the proverbial tea in China.

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Because…

Because it brought us our son, Jonathan. Our wonderful son, in whom we are well pleased. Many years have come and gone since he was a baby, and the young couple in their twenties awestruck by his impending arrival have given way to a couple in their early forties; a couple in the throes of parenting not just a teenager, but a little girl as well (that is a story for another time).

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In any case, I’m writing today to celebrate the fine young man that our firstborn has become. I’m writing to tell you how proud his mother and I are of him. I’m writing because that little baby I once held in my arms is growing up, has just completed the eighth grade.

This past year has not been without its challenges–both for Jonathan, and for us. But he stayed the course, worked hard, and finished well. We’re proud of you, son!

Would you please join us in congratulating this fine young man on this momentous occasion?

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Just a few short days ago, I was boogie boarding off the Southern California coast with my son, getting pounded by the surging surf.

Now I’m back here, awash in a sea of cubicles.

'Cubicle Panorama' photo (c) 2005, Kyle and Kelly Adams - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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So, Sharideth Smith and I are riding together (along with a whole host of other awesome bloggers) on Bryan Allain’s BlogRocket. She’s guest posting for me here today, and I’m laying some smack down on the ladies over in her crib (hey, turnabout’s fair play, right?). On a related note, in an unfortunate bit–albeit MotorCop approved–of Internet double-parking, I’m also guest posting for Alise Wright. So, please go over there and check out my bearing of soul.

Anyway, with her scintillating snark, and absolutely deadpan sense of of humor, here’s the “Wednesday Addams” of Christian blogging, Sharideth Smith:

'MMA fight' photo (c) 2009, Peter Gordon - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

so the pastor wars are on. maybe not directly between the rock star super shepherds, but battle lines have been drawn among the fans.

fans?

yes. fans.

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“Such a Hassle”

randomlychad  —  July 21, 2011 — 3 Comments
'Misunderstood' photo (c) 2009, Raffi Asdourian - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

“Such a hassle,” my five year-old daughter said. What she said it in reference to I’ve no idea. But she repeated it like a mantra last night.

She’d found a new favorite word, and needed to to tell the whole world; so she ran up and down our hallway, shouting:

“Hassle.”

“Hassle.”

“Hassle.”

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>Roller Coaster!photo © 2005 Amanda | more info (via: Wylio)

Now that I’m older, and supposedly know better–and thus can (theoretically) combat it–I’m painfully aware that my upbringing set me up to fear success, and thus assure that I, in fact, fail. (Before I proceed, fear not, gentle reader, this is not one of those navel-gazing, “woe is me” posts).

What I mean is that my dad, while successful in the business arena, didn’t model much of anything at all for me. He was distant and uninvolved (something with which I struggle with my own children). Fact is, he didn’t care, so I didn’t share–turned inward instead. And I worked very hard to not be noticed, because such attention as I got was invariably negative.

Can you identify with any of this?

The irony of it all is that, on the one hand, I didn’t want to be noticed, but on the other, I crave the affirmation that I missed out on growing up.

How this usually plays out is that I will achieve a moderate level of success, but then–whether consciously, or no–shoot myself in the foot in some fashion (like the line from Mumford & Sons ‘Roll Away Your Stone,’ I “fill my void with things unreal”).

Here’s a real world example from last Fall: I was getting some moderate notice here on the blog, and then really got all up in Bryan Allain’s grill. He did a couple of things that surprised me:

1) He called me out on my douchebaggery–and was right to do so;

2) He then gave me grace, and consented to the interview that I had so ungraciously asked for.

That was a real shot in the arm!

But then I turned right around and did essentially the same thing to Jon Acuff! Because I didn’t know how to be successful, but was also afraid of it, there are no other words for my behavior towards Jon than that i was a sycophantic d*ck. I wanted him to notice, and affirm, me. But he, rightly, didn’t play along.

Really sorry about that, Jon. Now about that email interview? 😉

Oh, I guess I got noticed alright–but for all the wrong reasons.

(If you look further back on the blog, you’ll see that I did the same thing to Donald Miller).

The pattern is thus: find a man I respect, look up to, seek affirmation from him (when it’s not his job to do so), and have him subsequently shun me–just like my own dad!

Because that is my normal.

(Just ask my wife how easy I am to live with).

I want off this roller coaster!

How about you? What are some of the foolish things you’ve done online? Who have you alienated? Can you identify with me at all? Is there a “roller coaster” you want off of?