Thursday, November 17, 2011

Five. Years. Old.

It seems like just yesterday he was born. Just yesterday he said "Papa" for the first time. Just yesterday he took his first steps. Just yesterday he told me and his mama he loved us for the first time. Just yesterday he told us he didn't like dinner. Okay, maybe that was yesterday, but man, I can't believe our boy is 5 years old today.


I can't believe you are five years old. This time next year you will be almost half way through kindergarten. The old cliche says "time flies when you're having fun," and that's exactly what you mom and I do as your parents.

You are a joy to be around. You have a big, loving personality. For the most part, you know what you want and when you want it. You love school, so much so that you get upset many days when I come to pick you up. You are starting to take an interest in sports. Many days this summer and fall you and I played outside kicking the soccer ball until mom was finished making dinner. You love to build things. You love Legos and Lincoln Logs.

You love to read books. Every night before you go to bed you ask how many books we can read. On nights that we are out late or have other things to do, you are bummed if we don't get to read. You are a good boy. You have your moments for sure, but I think that is just you trying to find your way. You have a kind, caring, loving spirit. I hope that never changes. I am so glad God chose me and your mom to be your parents. I love you and look forward to seeing what the future holds for you.


Day one

Around your first b'day. You loved the Leapfrog Farm

 Just after your second b'day. You have always loved to "help."

You got this from Big Daddy for your third b'day. You have always loved Spiderman!

Celebrating being four with mom. You love your mommy!

Your last day as a four year old. I can't believe it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Snowball Effect

Many of you reading this know that I enjoy exercise. As a young person, I always thought that running was something you did as punishment or if someone was chasing you. When Allison was in law school, and I was about 60 pounds overweight, I started running. At first it was hard. I didn't enjoy it, but I kept at it. I started by running a 5k. Over the next several years I continued to run several days a week and ran several more 5k races. As I lost weight and got faster I noticed something: I felt terrible on the days that I didn't run or do some other type of exercise.

As I continued my running journey, I began to run longer distances. I started with 4 miles, then 5, etc. At some point I decided to train for a half marathon and now I have completed 4. As I look back on training I can see a definite pattern: the more I ran, the more I wanted to run. I have recently see the opposite hold true in general exercise for me.

Two weeks ago I went to lunch with friends several times. I didn't work out regularly that week and made many poor food choices. At the end of the week I told Allison, "I had a terrible week eating and exercising, but next week is a new weeks." As that week started I felt myself wanting to skip the gym and go out to eat. Each time I went to the gym or ran outside it was like torture.

I truly believe that the "snowball effect" has a big impact on my exercising, good or bad. If I go to the gym often, I am excited, or at least, look forward to going. If, however, I don't go several days in a row I find myself not wanting to go. I think the obvious thing here is to continue going to the gym. What I want to figure out is how to keep the negative snowball effect from taking over if I miss a few days.

Does the snowball effect get you? How do you overcome this in your life or workout routine?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Conversations with Cooper - Part 8

Last week we were driving home from dinner. We were listening to a CD that we got for Cooper that has songs that the preschoolers will be singing during their preschool choir presentation. As part of the CD the story of Jesus is told and at one point it talks about Mary and Jesus being at the inn when Jesus was born. If you remember last week, at this point things can go in any direction with Cooper.

Cooper: Mom, do girls have to be married to have a baby?
Me: Mom? (I mean, he asked her so I thought she should handle this one.)
Allison: Well, it's best if girls are married before they have a baby.
Me: God says he wants us to be married before we decide to have a baby.
Cooper: Yep, and not everyone should have a baby!

That, my boy, is very true. And more insightful than you even know! These questions are something else. I am often amazed and the questions he asks. While they are many times tough to answer on a 5 year old level, I appreciate that he is very inquisitive and honestly wouldn't want it any other way.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sick to My Stomach

Friday night, Allison and I attended a Secret Church simulcast at church. The title was Family, Marriage, Sex, and the Gospel. For those that don't know, Secret Church is a 6 hour, intense Bible study taught by David Platt, pastor at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama. This is my third time to attend Secret Church. It is a lot like drinking out of a fire hose, but the thing I love about it is I generally can't stop thinking about it for days. This time was no different.

During the first teaching segment many statistics were discussed. Many, if not most, of the statistics were astounding. I can't tell you the number of times I shook my head, my mouth fell open, or I simply closed my eyes because of what I was hearing. Many of the statistics were directed toward men. Platt also talked a lot about men and how we refuse to grow up and be what God designed us to be. For example:
  • 1 out of every 10 men have purchased a prostitute;
  • $13.3 billion was spent on pornography in the U.S. in 2006;
  • today there are 40 million prostitutes at work;
  • 130,000 abortions occur everyday;
Of 1,000 pastors surveyed:
  • 38% said they were divorced or currently in the process;
  • 30% said they had a one time or an ongoing affair;
  • 50% of pastors say they have visited a pornography site in the last year;
  • 30%  have done so in the past month.
These are some scary, scary statistics!

I am not sure what, but I have to do something. As I listened to these statistics I couldn't help but think, "Between me and my friends, statistically there are several of us that struggle with this or are in a situation they shouldn't be in." I am currently thinking through how my friends and I can hold each other more accountable.

What would you do to hold friends accountable to guard against these issues?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Conversations with Cooper - Part 7

Recently Cooper has really asked good questions. Not just your run of the mill "why?" He typically asks thought provoking questions that often require me to think about or even search out the answer. One day recently we were reading a book about the birth of Jesus. On a few occasions he's asked us how babies get out of their mom. We've been able to successfully avoid or answer the question without too much discussion. When we got to the part of the story where Mary and Joseph are in the stable, the picture of them was Joseph standing and Mary sitting next to Jesus laying down. The conversation that followed was really funny:

Cooper: How did Jesus get out of Mary's tummy if there was no doctor at the inn?
Me: (while Allison was doing all she could to keep from laughing) I don't know. Maybe Joseph helped.
Cooper: Do you think Joseph had a knife to get Jesus out of her tummy?

At this point it was all Allison could do to keep from laughing. It was really funny to us, but you could tell he was really trying to figure out how Jesus got out and he didn't understand how that could've happened without a doctor present. Thankfully he just moved on and we didn't have to try to explain how babies are born when the mom's tummy is not cut open.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Proud of Her

I don't do it enough, but today's post is to tell you how proud I am of my wife. In 31 days she will get on a plane with 5 other women and head out for Africa on her first ever mission trip. While I am proud of her for the fact that she is going, I am even more proud of her for her decision/commitment to go.

When our pastor help a meeting almost 2 years ago outlining the initial trip, Allison and I decided that I would be a part of that first trip that our church took. As part of that trip, the five of us that went with Mark agreed to return as the leader of another group. I don't think that either Allison or I knew that she would feel led to go one day as well.

Matthew 28:19-20 says, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This is a command Jesus gave to us all. We are all to make disciples of all nations.

Recently I overheard Allison tell someone, "I don't want to go, but I have to go." This isn't an easy trip. There are a lot of things about this trip that are uncomfortable. Allison, however, is acting on God's command to us and she's going "to make disciples." And this is why I am so proud of her.

They leave on December 2. Will you join me in praying for their group?