Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Making a hard decision

Posted: January 12, 2016 in Faith, Family, Uncategorized

My grandparents health is declining, as is common among humans as we age. They are no longer able to care for themselves by themselves. Little things that most of us take for granted, like getting out of bed and getting dressed, have become insurmountable tasks for my aged loved ones.

My wife and I are in a unique position to help. The job I hold is not location specific, I can go anywhere with high speed internet. My wife has skills and experience in caring for the elderly thanks to her family upbringing. And so, we are looking at moving out to my grandparents area to oversee their care. For any family this is a big decision. For a family of eight, it’s a momental undertaking.

The dilemma is not if we should go, that is a given. The question is how we should go. The logistics of the transition.

Here are some scriptures which leapt out at me during my Bible reading today as I have been praying and mulling over this situation:

“‘…for we are here in a desolate place.’ But he said to them, ‘You give them something to eat.'” Luke 9:12b-13a ESV

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Luke 9:23-24 ESV

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 ESV

“We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.” 1 Corinthians 10:9-10 ESV

One of the things I’m wrestling with is the length of stay. Are we going just until they pass on, or is this relocation permanent (as much as anything on this earth can be)? The second clause in the Exodus passage leapt out at me. It was as if the words were bold faced and highlighted.

“…that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”

A friend of mine once advised me not to worry too much about the big picture when it’s all blurry, but to simply try to make the next right step. Well, I do know what the next right step is.

At the end of this week, after this business trip, I’m flying up there ahead of the family to oversee things. Once I’m there, I’ll try to figure out what the next, next right step is.

Love & Separation

Posted: January 10, 2016 in Family, History, Uncategorized

ar-151239984

A Sack Full of Love: Local artifact to be displayed in new Smithsonian museum

When I read the story linked above, tears streamed down my face. I cannot imagine the anguish this mother and her daughter felt at this forced separation. I am away from my family on business. The anguish I feel at parting, the heartache I experience just being a way this short time is, I’m sure, nothing in comparison.

I was raised to believe in the intrinsic value of every human life. To trade in humanity as property unthinkable.

A journey of 600 miles

Posted: November 29, 2015 in Family
Tags: ,

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip…

The journey by road from Kansas City to Denver should take approximately 8.5 hours according to Google Maps. Anyone who travels with children knows you need to pad that number a bit. Go out, due to slushy road conditions and near snow blindness for the first two hours, it took us 10 hours. On the return trip we battled freezing rain and icy road conditions more than half the way. It took us 13 hours, innumerable frayed nerves and one windshield wiper blade which flew off the car at 65mph.

Nevertheless, God brought us safely back home. There were many prayers for this outcome along the rout.

 

 

Life is a Battlefield

Posted: September 19, 2015 in Family, Life

The summer after 8th grade my parents moved our family from the city to a house on five acres, twenty minutes away from a small mountain town with only one stop light. I was a bit bitter about leaving friends and conveniences. I didn’t understand all that went into that decision but I believe it saved our family. I’m fairly certain it saved me. Now with a family (and young teenager) of my own, my wife and I find ourselves contemplating a similar move.

The city has been beneficial in some ways, but there are forces at play, tearing at our family, which would be more easily mitigated against in a smaller, more rural community. Such a move would entail great sacrifice and tremendous inconvenience. But what are the hearts, minds, and souls of my wife and children worth? 

We’re not talking of an attempt to flee and hide from the world. The war cannot be avoided. Nor did Christ instruct us to withdraw from the world (quite the contrary). Rather we are seeking to choose a battlefield which is advantageous to our cause.

Which battlefield depends on our strategy. And the battle plan is what we are developing now.

The following is a modernization/paraphrase of Bounds of Charity from Some Fruits of Solitude by William Penn (14 October 1644 – 30 July 1718) with some particular application following.

Don’t lend more than you can afford to lose, and don’t refuse to lend money to someone if you can afford it; especially if it can help someone else more than it can hurt you.

If your debtor is honest and able, you will get your money back, if not with interest, then with thanks. If he cannot pay you back, don’t ruin him to regain that which will not ruin you to lose. Remember that you are merely a steward and someone else is your owner, master, and judge.

The more merciful acts you perform, the more mercy you will receive; and if, by using your earthly riches charitably, you gain eternal treasure, then your purchase is infinite: You will have discovered something even better than the key to winning at the stock market or beating the casino.

Applicable Thoughts
My daughter keeps lending out pencils at school. Lending and seldom getting them back. Her generosity has denuded our supply of the wood and graphite sticks. In frustration we told her to stop giving pencils away. This word from Mr. Penn has challenged me. We’re not rolling in dough. In fact right now things are particularly tight, but a box of pencils is nothing: As Christ has said, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much…” (Luke 16:10a ESV). I think we need to give her the go-ahead to be generous.

Unlevel Pouting Field

Posted: May 15, 2015 in Family
Tags: ,

Unfair

We have a rule in our house: “Happy or Bed.”

It is a matter of great consternation to my wife and I that this rule can only (unfairly in our opinion) be applied to the children and not the adults.

The Bottomless Pit

Posted: March 7, 2015 in Family

We just finished brunch during which my six-year-old son ate some eggs and about a quarter of a pound of bacon. Ten minutes later he came and asked if he could have a snack.