Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The End of an Era

Today has been an interesting day for many reasons. Our time in Washington, DC has come to an end. Can you believe it's been over five years since we moved here? That's the longest we've lived anywhere! Consequently, there are a LOT of memories here. As the packers spent their second day at our house, I began reflecting on some of them.

First, I began thinking about all of the history that surrounds us here. I took the opportunity to visit (and drag my family to) all of the Civil War battlefields in the eastern theater -- all within easy driving distance of our house. We walked the same ground many of our ancestors walked. Addison gave a short lecture on a staff ride I attended at Harpers Ferry. Another time, I visited all the battlefields in the second half of the war in a single weekend. Still another time, we spent Thanksgiving Day at Gettysburg. Wow! I get sentimental when I think of those memories!

Second, we are leaving an amazing church family at Fairfax! Everywhere we've been, God has placed us exactly where he wanted us. Going to church at the Fairfax Church of Christ was no different. He showed us for the first time in our lives that it's okay to let others take care of you; you don't always have to do it yourself, and there's no shame in admitting you need help. I also grew through the worship ministry. I learned what pure unhindered worship is. As a part of that, I learned that I really can sing on a microphone in front of people and that I can lead them to the throne to experience God...and it's an experience like no other.

I also grew my faith here, although it was more like God grabbing me by the collar and dragging me kicking and screaming -- enter Lauren. I had no idea that I could ever make it through everything that little girl has put us through, but I have -- many times while being spiritually carried. I came to realize in no uncertain terms that prayer works. If you don't believe me, watch Lauren's video again here. It's important to note here that we don't always get our best outcome; we get what's best for us in the long run.

Addison and Brennan have really grown up here. Addison has turned into a beautiful young lady that I'm proud of every day. Brennan is still goofy, but he's a great kid that has matured immeasurably over the last year. Many times I find myself amazed that he's only 9. I'm very pleased to say that my relationship with both of them has deepened considerably over the last year. I'm so thankful that I get to be their dad.

So...finally to the point...Today is the one-year anniversary of Lauren's heart transplant. We will be forever grateful for that gift of life! I'm so blessed to get to witness God's mercy and power through this little girl. She has an energy that she's never had before. I've taken to telling people that ask that everything is great except her attitude! But, objectively, that in itself is encouraging: it means that she can get busy being a typical toddler. Now she still has muscular and eating issues that we're working on, but she is a totally new person...and she continues to amaze me. I can't help but smile when I look at her. Or, as Collin Raye said,

"I wish I could save these moments
Put 'em in a jar
I wish I could stop the world from turnin'
Keep things just the way they are
I wish I could shelter you from everything not pure and sweet and good
I know I can't
I know I can't
But I wish I could"

As we prepare to leave DC, it's almost as if we close that chapter in our lives and open a new one. As good as it was, I can't wait to see what the next chapter holds!

Revitalizing the Blog: Simple Family, Not-as-Complex Life

OK, I know I haven't blogged in a long while -- a year to be exact. You could say I've had writer's block, but that's not all of it. The truth is this blog never developed into exactly what I envisioned...but I also couldn't pull myself to do it -- because the old one had to end.

I wanted the blog to be about me and life with my wonderful family -- a family that wanted so desperately to be just simple folk, but somehow got thrust into one so complex Cristi and I really needed an executive assistant to organize our life. Unfortunately, the source of that complexity -- Lauren, and to a lesser extent Brennan -- took over the blog. That's okay, though, because so many people are so captivated by Lauren and her story that you're probably much more interested in that than you are about the remainder of my life. The good news is that our life isn't quite as complex as it has been (see the next post):

So, the time has come: It's time to revitalize the blog -- or at least make the attempt. This time, I'd like to include more musings about the other facets of my life -- the command job, random thoughts while shaving, silly family-isms, the struggle to live out loud for God, and even some more Lauren stories. I also intend to make the posts shorter to make new ones a little less daunting. I realize that may not be what some of you are looking for, but that's okay. Thanks for sharing Lauren's journey with us. I hope it has blessed you as much as it has blessed us!