Monday, February 25, 2008

Hijacked by the ADD loving husband

Top 3 favorite things of living with an ADD person
1. I am an expert finder of things. Evidenced by last nights frantic search for a lost cell phone from one of our favorite college students. When all hope was lost, I found it. Thank you for the hours of searching for keys, cell phones, credit cards, clothes, bibles, 'you know that one thing I lost', and many other things.
2. Keeping track of the most random schedule. My wife is a personal trainer, youth pastor, volunteer, barista, spa receptionist, and is even trying to write a few things to get published. I lose track sometimes! Oh, and an incredibly mom and she can cook!
3. Having a wife that is willing to do whatever it takes for people... while radically living out the call of Christ at any cost.

"The real test of the saint is not preaching the gospel, but washing disciples' feet, that is, doing the things that do not count in the actual estimate of men but count everything in the estimate of God" -Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest

My wife is a living breathing example of this statement by some genius dude named Oswald Chambers. There are times where both of us would love recognition, the perfect handclap of praise (yeah charismatics!) and other badges and medals engraved with great statements about us. Even just to be paid what we feel we are worth... as you can see, that is not always how God lets things roll in our lives. My wife has worked without pay, forgotten to pick up her paycheck, and worked for beans over and over in order to walk alongside of kids, teenagers, and other folks who are the forgotten ones. The emo kid who everyone thinks needs to grow up, the loud 9th grader who needs to blow his nose, the college girl struggling to find her identity amidst beer and men... she is always there for the outcast, the broken, the overlooked, the neglected. Providing space, relationship, hope, and truth... For that I am grateful, which brings me to our next adventure-

As some of you have heard, we are going to start the adoption process very soon. This has been a dream of ours for a while. The bible calls us to care for the orphans and widows... in the rich white suburbs we live in, we see many people neglect families. Not by sheer choice, but because they think that the best way to raise a kid is by giving their child everything they ever would want, need, desire, or maybe think is cool for five minutes. So you have kids walking around with fancy cell phones, pink cameras, trendy clothes, but lack love, guidance, and a good swift kick in the pants. Yes, I did have an 8th grader once ask me to tie his shoes, and a senior that had never taken out the garbage and made himself a PBJ EVER! He had a butler do it.. hah. It begins to drain on you as you get swept up in keeping up with joneses. God likes to teach us crazy lessons in very tangible ways (I am your provider- here is $2,000) He has burdened our hearts to buck the suburban trend- and now he is asking to do it even more by adopting an African American girl. (Hannah already knows- Amy can fill you in on those details she tells better stories). which means our family is going to change as we will experience racism, those weird looks, and a whole nother world.

My last favorite things about my ADD wife is the fact that adoption is incredibly expensive. We have no money, yet there is nothing stopping her from adopting. She says 'God wants us to- lets start it:. Wheras I say, let me research the many ways we can get the money in order to absolutely plan for every possible problem and have the best way to be able to do this in the best possible time by the best possible people (and on and on and on - Amy already stopped listening). Please pray for me that I could have the faith of an ADD mom. Also pray that we would find the right adoption agency. Amy took one look at the one I had found and said- no they're dumb. They are not of God (one of her favorite phrases). Hah! Thanks Amy for always being yourself, for taking me on a crazy ride, and losing your keys, credit card, and shirt (it was in her car- we don't know how it got there)... I love you! Oh- and you are a phenomenal mom. The first thing hannah says to me this morning is "Mommy work?" when I said yes, she rolled over, whined, and would not let me pick her up...

Ted the non-ADD husband

Monday, February 11, 2008


Last night pushed me beyond the place where you can hold it all in. Last night there came a point when the tears finally escaped my eyes, ran down my face and landed on my pillow. Let this be said, I don't like crying. It's too uncontrolled...too weak...too honest. And probably everything that I actually need to be.
My heart hurts. It's been a painful week. There are those fantastic moments where I just don't know if I can keep going. And I realized that my blog has painted this pretty, challenged but altogether portrayal. That's not life. Right now, each hour is hard. Right now, there are moments when I swear I won't be able to make it through the week. There are moments when I wonder if my heart can actually take one more blow. I can't wait for a silver-lining. I can't wait for relief. But in the midst, I struggle. People's actions, non-actions and all the other facts of life hurts. But the thing is, somewhere in the deepest portions of me, I have hope. I won't try and pull off the great Christian, I have hope message here. I wanted to write these great things about dying on a cross would seem like a very bad day that couldn't be turned around, and yet Jesus took care of that. I wanted to write these great statements about how God has continually shown that He is the God who can always do the impossible. But quite honestly, my words sounded hokey. Don't get me wrong, I know these things within the depths of me, I just couldn't find a way to write it that did it justice and didn't sound like some recycled preacher's kid retort. Let's be honest, that's some big stuff to try and give it justice. But the short version is, I have hope. It's hard. But the struggle is worth it.

Here's a portion of a song that basically runs through my head's Ipod. (Yes, my head has one - I'm ADD)

Even though I walk, through the valley of the shadow of death
I won't turn back 'cause I know You are near.

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be then name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Now granted, that's not the whole song. And for some of you, the whole "blessed be Your name" thing may sound kind of strange. If you ever have questions about it or anything else, let's talk.
Hope this message finds you well...and honest. The charade is not so much fun.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Constipation Station (Similar to conjunction junction?)

There are moments when I feel what I would term, "writer's constipation." Granted, I don't know that I am worthy of the title, writer, but at this moment, the constipation portion seems to speak directly into my situation. There are so many lessons and thoughts and pursuits rumbling around within me and yet, I cannot for the life of me seem to find a way to allow them to exit my body. And thus, you land in writer's constipation. The feeling of the need to go and no feasible way to get the process started. Too bad prune juice wouldn't work for this.
But in the midst of this, I guess I can explore the last few days. My body, mind and soul have been tired. I have had one meeting after the other and I feel like in some ways I missed out on a good portion of my daughter's life this week. And the moments that I was around, I was so tired that I didn't realize the gift it was to be in her presence, and I found myself frustrated with the fact that she was acting like a 2 yr old, even though she is 2 and that should be okay.
It's been one of those weeks where it seemed like everyone was doing things to upset me. I walked around feeling unloved and disrespected and a little beaten down. I was doing an amazing job of thinking of myself.
And though that seemed like it should be my right, I was miserable. Until I realized I need to take a mandatory day off, a Sabbath, just like God told us to. (Imagine that, He knows how to live out life better than me...) And I realized that it was time to pursue those around me, my husband and my super cool rockstar daughter. I gave Ted the morning off and took Hannah out on a date. I tried to do everything that she would love, even if it was a challenge for me. And you know what I found? Joy. Loads of it. Enough to revive my deadening heart. Enough to leave me sitting around constantly talking about how great that date was. Enough for years of warm fuzzies to continually dance around within my heart. God wasn't kidding around when He said that we are "to look to the interest of others before we look to our own..." And what I love about God is that He didn't just have someone write that down, He gave us story after story showing us how that truly is the best way to live. And to top it all off, Jesus came and lived it out. It's pretty sweet.

Sorry, this isn't so packaged. In fact, it's a little awkward. But, to relieve constipation, I guess you have to try and engage in the act if you're ever going to relieve the pressure. Hopefully things will start to work themselves out in the process.
And I hope to write soon about the message at my church this morning. I was nearly brought to tears by the most beautiful description of the creation of Adam and Eve this morning and the ramifications it holds for us as men and women. Unbelievable stuff. Feel free to check my church's website out and listen to Matt's portion of the message at Just download the message from today, 2-10-08. Curt starts everything out and then Matt continues. (And then Mark finishes because in the midst of all this, Matt proposed to his soon to be wife!) All portions are great, but specifically, listen to the Hebrew background on the creation of Adam and then Eve. You may cry, too!

PS: When I first started to write this, I had Hannah sitting right next to me. I told her I'd read her what I wrote and she could tell me what she her ideas to make it better. Her response: Cookies. And you know what, I think she's right.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

An unforgettable phone call

I remember the phone call distinctly. When I looked to see who was calling, the caller ID indicated it was one of my closest students. I picked up the phone with a cheerful, "Hello, friend." But something in her voice told me there was a problem. And in fact there was. She called to inform me that one of my former youth group students had committed suicide.
My mind went nuts. How on earth could this be? Part of me wanted to argue, part of me questioned if this student had her facts right, part of me couldn't believe that I hadn't fallen into a heap on the floor. I beat my head on the table and tried to talk myself out of throwing up. I thanked this friend for letting me know and hung up the phone as I tried to gather my head. I looked over at my daughter and tears started to form. I grabbed her out of the high chair and pulled her into my body. Come to think of it, I probably squeezed her so tightly that the two year old in her didn't know what to do. There I held my daughter in my arms and all I could think about was that poor, precious mother. She shared the same memories of squeezing her little girl. She could recall baking cookies, making mud pies and everything else that goes along with having a beautiful little girl. And as I sat there and pondered how she had no idea this day would come, I was overwhelmed with grief. I mean, I had lost my student, but this mom had lost a portion of herself. They were intertwined.
I squeezed my daughter a little closer that day. I shared many more "I love you's" and sappy, weepy moments with her. I started praying for all that she will face as she continues to be out in the real world. And I started praying that God would somehow comfort that mother.

There is so much more that I want to write. From what it was like attending the funeral to just trying to process this horrible experience to guilt over the things left unsaid to everything else in between. But for today, that's enough.