The Labor of Life and the Courage of God

My wife Lauren and our son Stellan. 

Mothers and fathers often feel strongly about how they want to deliver their child into the world. Birthing plans and complications vary from one couple to the next. What follows is personal feelings about our birthing process; it is not a commentary on yours which belongs entirely to you.

This post includes a story about my wife and I on the day she gave birth to our son. I share it with her consent.

It was important to my wife Lauren that she have a natural birth. This meant going through the process with midwives and avoiding an epidural and IV medicine. The day of delivery came in late July. 18 hours later, Lauren reached 10 centimeters of dilation- or the “push phase” in laymen’s terms- without medicine, but there was almost nothing left of her energy and stamina. The marathon (between the final two centimeters in particular) had exhausted her completely, and she was losing control of the pain in a hurry. Seeing her suffer, I was starting to lose it too.

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You Are Already Thankful

Photo credit: flickr/Fabiana Zonca

It’s Thanksgiving time, a prompting to pause and be grateful. Sure, maybe we need all the reminders we can get, and yes, perhaps Americans tend to be too unappreciative in general, but I’ve also noticed how easily we beat ourselves up over such things. Sometimes, I think we are more thankful than we realize. Maybe we just express it in different ways.

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It is Time for the American Christian Church to Surrender the Gay Marriage Fight, Apologize, and Share Love

Photo credit: 2010 Andreanna Moya Photography/flickr. Usage does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

I need to clarify right out of the gate that this post will not focus on the “choice vs. birth vs. childhood” arguments related to the origin of homosexuality in an individual. We must start from the reality that acknowledges the American Christian church as divided on that issue, and will be for some time. Many on the Right view homosexuality as sin, a growing number on the Left view homosexuality as God-authored and inherently beautiful, and those in the middle have varying views and distinctions to offer. For Christians across the political and denominational spectrum, it is often a struggle to find one’s footing in this complicated issue. After all, the GLBT community includes family members, friends and neighbors.

Instead, this post will focus on making a case from a Christian perspective that gay marriage should be allowed legally in this country, and will attempt to explain why the church will become more like it was intended to be when it concedes this legislative battle. Here’s why.

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A True Story of Love, Loss, and Miracles

Photo Credit: flickr/WolfSoul

On this day two years ago, a Snohomish County commissioner gave me the court authority to travel to Texas to remove my 6-year-old daughter from a house in that State and put her into my custody. The commissioner finished his ruling by hitting the podium and saying “I want that child back in Washington State NOW!” The courtroom, filled mostly with people I didn’t know, cheered and applauded, having heard all of the facts.

Two months before, in front of the same commissioner, we had lost the very same case. My daughter would be relocating to Texas, despite our legal objection, to live in a situation we knew little about. Finances and long distance parenting plans between Washington and Texas would confine our visits to once or twice a year. That loss brought on a hopelessness and a sadness of a magnitude that I’ve never experienced before. During those dark days in July following the relocation loss, our history together replayed in my mind.

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Heartbreak and Hope

Photo Credit: flickr/christopherleonard

I’ve always worked really hard to be honest with all of you.  I want anyone who takes a minute to stop by my little corner of the internet to feel like they’ve gotten the real me.  The whole story.  I try not to candy coat anything.  With that in mind, I’m going to be completely straight with you.

The first post back from summer break was not supposed to be like this.

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Nobody Wants to Talk About the Struggles of Being a Guy in His 30s

Photo Credit: flickr/Vick the Viking. Usage does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

I’ve heard two pastors that I respect confess that their 30s was a time of confusion, frustration and anger towards God and self. For them it was a decade of abrupt directional changes, unwelcome surprises, disappointments, and a sense that life’s challenges were at times snowballing out of control. It was boot camp for later life, basically.

I really appreciated hearing that because such a confession is rare, and it makes sense to me now for two reasons. One is- I am 32, and I feel like I live that life too often. The other reason is that many guys, myself included, spent much of their 20s being idiots and compiling mistakes. Many of us developed unhealthy appetites at that time, in order to provide cover and a distraction for the pain that grew out of trouble with parents, confusion over identity and career, and the wounds that we took away from failed romantic relationships. We were learning as life happened, and I don’t think a lot of us were prepared for it.

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Rethinking Sex and The Bible: An ‘Unprotected Texts’ Book Review

Sex and the Bible.  Wow. It is a topic that most Christians shy away from, yet every single person has an opinion.  The book ‘Unprotected Texts’ by Jennifer Wright Knust dares to go where most Christians will not. I was excited to read it, and a bit terrified to review it.  I could almost hear the angry comments from numerous Christians out there wanting to know how I could read, and also write about a topic like this.

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