Monday, June 29, 2009

Take a deep breath

     Today is the first day in almost a week that doesn't feel kamikaze crazy. I spent last Wednesday and Thursday helping out a friend who runs an online fireworks company (If anyone is in the market for fireworks check out his website). Picture this, the outside temperature is 95ยบ and we're working in a metal warehouse slinging cases of fireworks. On the bright side, it definitely helped me shed a few more pounds. Friday afternoon Jacksonville spent an hour and a half under a tornado warning. During this time, there was a water spout on the St. Johns River, no more than 2-3 miles from our house. At our house we mainly saw heavy rain and crazy lightning/thunder which brought Psalm 97:2-5 to mind.
 2 Clouds and darkness surround Him;
         Righteousness and justice 
are the foundation of His throne.
3 A fire goes before Him,
         And burns up His enemies round about.
4 His lightnings light the world;
         The earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the LORD,
         At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.


Shortly after the warning had expired we headed out to have dinner with some friends who are moving to Texas. It was pretty cool to look in front of us and see clear blue skies while behind us the sky was black as night.

Saturday morning we woke up early, for a Saturday, and headed to the airport. Mark and Janet, our base directors, arrived back in Jacksonville after spending a year in China. It was good to see them again after all this time. From the airport we headed out to spend the day at the beach with the youth from GCA.  It's been really awesome getting to know the youth better.  Lyla really enjoyed playing in the sand, but wasn't a big fan of salt water. I broke my sandal playing volleyball and discovered how extremely hot sand can be.

After regrouping at home, we headed out to find me some new sandals. Unfortunately with my gigantic feet (size 13), it was difficult to find something I liked.  So, for the time being I'm wearing these beauties that I bought for $3.

After a long day in the sun, we decided to forget about our diet for a couple hours and enjoy some ice cream. All in all it was an awesome summer day.

Last night our good friends Kyle and Danielle came over to grill out and get in a rousing game of Ticket to Ride. My family gave me this wonderful Cherry Peanut Ginger Wasabi finishing sauce that I used to marinate the chicken. It was delicious. The night was finished off nicely with a personal victory in Ticket to Ride.
Lyla's first sparkler

Looking forward to the rest of this week. We're going to a Suns game tomorrow with friends from church, youth group on Wednesday, the zoo on Friday, a birthday party on the 4th and Sunday is our 6th wedding anniversary.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer Weekends

Wow, this past week feels a bit like a blur, it went by so fast. Since Rebekka moved out, we discovered there was a broken pipe in the wall between that room and our shower, so our landlord had to cut out and replace a large section of soggy drywall.  Lyla continues to amaze me with her cuteness, whether in actions or words.  Over the weekend we went to Lyla's friend Leonard's 1st birthday party.  She loved playing in the water and eating watermelon.  

After a long weekend a girl needs to relax

Saturday night I went to another friend's party at Clark's Fish Camp.  The food was delicious. I had the prime rib philly.  The food was trumped, however, by the pod of manatees that were hanging out by the restaurant's dock.   This was the first time I'd seen these amazing animals.  Father's Day was really special.  Lyla made me a bookmark, because she loves to find my book and remove my marker, and I also received Ticket to Ride, a really fun board game.  This morning Lyla and I made muffins for the playgroup she goes to with Vanessa.  She loves stirring the muffin mix together and then gets super excited when she hears the timer go off. I also enjoy the daily request of, "daddy, play guitar?" 

Last week I was able to start working on recording some of my music. This excites me for two reasons. First, because it'll be good to have my songs recorded. The other reason is that I'm learning how to run a studio, which is one of the things I hope to do when we return to Asia.

I think lately Father has been helping me work through dealing with Casey's death. It's already been over a year, but in a way it's still sinking in. Knowing that as Lyla grows up she won't get to enjoy knowing both Casey and David hurts. It almost feels like there will be a hole in her life from not experiencing who they were. I just started reading The Journey of Desire by John Eldredge as part of a study the YWAM staff is doing and he shares something Nicholas Wolterstorff wrote which seems to sum it up pretty well,
There's a hole in the world now ... A center, like no other, of memory and hope and knowledge and affection which once inhabited this earth is gone. Only a gap remains. A perspective in this world unique in this world which once moved about in this world has been rubbed out ... There's nobody who saw just what he saw, knows what he knew, remembers what he remembered, loves what he loved ... Questions I have can never now get answers. The world is emptier.
(Lament for a Son)
While that sounds a bit depressing, and it is, Father has also been showing me the truth of the situation. In my last post I mentioned the new Hillsong United song You Hold Me Now. We've done this song the past couple of Sundays and I can't help but think of Casey. Check out the chorus lyrics, "No weeping, no hurt or pain, no suffering You hold me now, You hold me now, No darkness, no sick or lame, no hiding, You hold me now, You hold me now." What an awesome picture of Heaven. When looked at from this perspective I find it really hard to wish he was still here instead of experiencing that. Here's the song if you'd like to check it out.

Monday, June 15, 2009


We were at the airport today seeing off our friend Rebekka, who is moving back to the motherland (Holland).  As we passed the "meditation" room, which is marked by a sign showing a person kneeling, Lyla points to the sign and says, "daddy, he do head, shoulders, knees and toes" and then proceeds to sing the entire song while doing the motions.  Apparently to her a kneeling person looks a lot like someone dancing to a kids song.  I love how children's minds work.  Lyla has been spending lots of time in her kiddy pool recently.  What better way to beat the sumer heat?  Oh for the days when all it took to stay cool was sitting in six inches of lukewarm water.
Couple personal notes.  First, Hold Me Now, a track off the new Hillsong United album is amazing.  The words are so powerful and evoke a wonderful image of the big picture.  It was a great way for Father to gently guide my focus back to where it should be.  Secondly, with the end of the Redwings  playoff run, and boy what a crappy way to go out, I was able to trim my playoff beard.  I figured I may as well get a haircut as well, seeing as how it is incredibly hot and humid here.  Initial reactions are in, and apparently I now look ten years younger than I did a few short days ago.  Which begs the question, how old did I look before?  See for yourself. (Unfortunately, in the only recent picture of me I have a puppet bear on my head.  Does that make one look older or younger?)



Friday, June 12, 2009


Its hard to believe a couple weeks have gone by since I last posted. Life has been interesting since then. Lyla took a nice spill on Memorial Day and bloodied both knees, her lip and chipped one of her teeth. I can empathize as that's how I've felt lately, like I take a step forward only to crash to the ground. We're in an interesting place right now. I know where Father wants us to be in the long run and I know He wants us to work at preparing ourselves to be ready when he calls us to return to Asia, but I have no idea how that looks in our day to day life during this season. As a person who lives largely in the here and now, I find that I tend to overlook planning for "down the road," but I feel like Father wants me to become more balanced in that regard. My prayer right now echoes a line from the Hillsong United song Came to the Rescue that says, "in my life, be lifted high, in my world, be lifted high." In other music news Vanessa found a new singer/songwriter who we really like, Dot JR. He has a song called Love song for Everyone that I think really speaks of Father's heart for his creation (even though I don't think this guy is family). I'm hoping to start spending some time in the studio next week learning how things work and getting some of my stuff recorded. Ness and I went a saw Star Trek this week. Awesome movie, and I'm not a Trekkie. I particularly enjoyed Sylar as Spock and Simon Pegg as Scotty. Good Times