Reading is challenging during the winter storm

As I awoke yesterday to a fresh, white, blanket of snow, I knew what I was going to hear. “The Richmond offices are closed due to inclement weather” the voice echoed on the other end of the call. A flurry of texts ensued as I alerted my staff of this event. Wondrous thoughts of sitting by the fire and finishing my second book, perhaps starting my third, of my 2018 Reading Challenge lulled me back to sleep.

Boy, did I sleep. I finally had a chance to get some rest. For the past few months I have been running at full speed, tilting all the windmills in my path. Perhaps it was the cold weather, the radiant views as the sun streaked across through the barren trees, but I relaxed. I rested. I woke up late. The kids were going outside to enjoy their snow day. Though, truth be told, snow days do not exist as a homeschooling family. Be that as it may, they were filled with excitement to run outside and dive into the snow that caused a day off. All one and a half inches of it.

Having spent a better portion of my life in regions that truly understand snow, it was a little laughable. But, to have some time to relax, time with family, is always a blessing. We quickly made plans to clean, organize, and de-clutter. These are never ending tasks when you have three children ages five and under. I assure you that the hurricane that is them trying to ‘help’ clean is far worse than the snow that kept me home. But we did these things just the same.

I watched them bounce up and down as we talked about snow, and smile chocolatey smiles as they had their hot coco. I handled the negotiations as to why I felt we would not be watching any more Christmas movies, even “Christmas Train” (or Polar Express as some of us call it), just because of the snow. They tried. It was adorable. But, it was an amazing day.

Near the end of it I realized that I had lost the opportunity to read as I had intended. It was the end of the day, the kids were going to sleep, and I was just relishing in the relaxation that I received from this unexpected day. In the quiet of the night, while I soothed my youngest back to sleep (for the millionth time) I read a little. Happy, and content with my progress, I logged in at 50% complete on my second book. Slowly, still reflecting back to the cool weather, and the day off, I lulled myself back to sleep in preparation for the day to come.

I hope to have a post on my thoughts on the first book, “The Giver”, sometime this weekend. Stay warm out there, and remember to take time to enjoy the unexpected gifts that are a snow day.

Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always.

26 days remain

Wow, 26 days are all that are left between now and the proposed due date for our little girl.  There are times in our lives that God shows us some awesome things that help put things in perspective.  Just tonight I was outside with our Border Collie Salem and I looked down the street.  What I saw was something so amazing that I found myself transfixed for a good while just watching.  Tonight there was a huge storm that was rolling in.  Slow and massive the power that it contained was incredible.  For a moment, only a moment, I thought of how incredible it would be to see something like this surrounded by nothing but land.  Capturing that moment of our hopes and dreams I made the transition to all my discussions about this pending labor, and my pending fatherhood, being a storm.  Being able to see this in real time shook me in a real good way.  Finding myself at peace, I called Salem and took her inside.  Within minutes the storm hit.  The wind was howling, and the rain was falling in torrents.  The lighting was intense and creating split second shadows throughout our bedroom that had never existed.  It was exciting and relaxing all at the same time.  In due time, the storm had passed, a cool early spring breeze being all that remained.  The wind was blowing around the fantastic smell of the fresh fallen rain, filling my senses and lulling me to such a state of peace that I felt myself sinking into my bed.  As I drifted off to a peaceful sleep, it all became clear. 

My pending fatherhood is much like this storm.  It is massive, it is powerful, and it is real.  Whenever our little one decided to come grace us with her presence (and when she is damn good and ready) that storm will hit.  It will make other storms that I have weathered seem small and insignificant.  But two things hold true.  First, I will not give up my footing willingly.  I will hold my ground with all that I have, with every ounce of will and strength that God has provided me.  Second, when the storm passes, when the pelting rain stops falling, and the lighting ceases, what I will be left with is something so amazing and beautiful that I will have no choice but to slumber in peace.

I AM GOING TO BE A DAD, I am scared out of my mind, and I am finding myself less scared of the pending storm the more and more I look at the beauty of it, and the peace that will follow.

    An Old Song

    I’ve been working on some big papers this week for a couple of my business classes, and I’ve left the tv on a “Contemporary Christian” station for awhile today to keep me from falling asleep. Most of the stuff played is more 80’s than “contemporary,” but the lyrics of one song caught my attention: Scott Krippayne’s Sometimes He Calms the Storm. Maybe you can relate…we all go through different things at different times and some can seem pretty overwhelming while we’re in the middle. Many of us will pray for it all to get better or go away, but sometimes there’s something bigger going on.  And sometimes God is teaching us something that he doesn’t want to teach us any other way.  Sometimes God calms the storms…and sometimes he calms His child 🙂 I guess I could relate this to my journey of pregnancy and preparing for labor, but more than that it speaks to the human life in general.

    All who sail the sea of faith
    Find out before too long
    How quickly blue skies can grow dark
    And gentle winds grow strong

    Suddenly fear is like white water
    Pounding on the soul
    Still we sail on knowing
    That our Lord is in control

    Sometimes He calms the storm
    With a whispered peace be still
    He can settle any sea
    But it doesn’t mean He will

    Sometimes He holds us close
    And lets the wind and waves go wild
    Sometimes He calms the storm
    And other times He calms His child

    He has a reason for each trial
    That we pass through in life
    And though we’re shaken
    We cannot be pulled apart from Christ

    No matter how the driving rain beats down
    On those who hold to faith
    A heart of trust will always
    Be a quiet peaceful place

    Finding peace in the storm

    With the week nearly over, many milestones have been hit.  When one would think that there would be a chance to breath… life proves otherwise.  Most importantly, my wife is finishing up week 11 and heading straight into week 12.  The ending of the first trimester upon us and there is one resounding theme… exhaustion.  I do not know how my wife does it, but she is able to make it all work, and she is doing an awesome job.  Yes, I am just a little proud.  Not only that I am going to be a dad… but that my wife is doing so well.  We have our first appointment coming up in a little over a week….. nail biting… check. Also, I was given the promotion that I have been working towards for a little while.  Also, ending the 3rd week of this semesters worth of classes… and finally getting caught up from the storms and earthquakes.  I was able to make it to one class for Jiu-Jitsu (hey that is a milestone) and I have been cranking back the alarm so that Monday should be my day back in the gym.  With so much going on it is easy to lose one’s self in the chaos.  I was given a few reminders today from a couple of amazing friends about reality.  Parenting and work.  As nice as it would be to find myself were (as one amazing friend called it) “heaven” is, there is the fact that I have a long way to go to get there.  Tonight is one of those nights that little more is needed than a house by a river, my family, some good friends, a few chairs, a guitar, a fire pit, cigars and some drinks… the sound of music mixing with the ebb and flow of the river, the clinking of glasses, the sudden silence as we listen for the pitter-patter of the little bare feet on the hardwood, making sure that we are clear.  But, oh how that fear of my preparedness for this pending fatherhood begins to cast the hurricanes, summits, pitfalls, blizzards and all of the other obstacles that will have to be faced that stand between the now and the then.

    So into the roar of the chaos I find myself screaming I AM GOING TO BE A DAD, I am scared out of my mind, but bring it on life, let’s see what we can make of it all.