Energy-Drink Kind of Life

(Let me say this before I get started. I already wrote this post, but when I saved it, it chose not to. So, I am rewriting this post.) (Oh, and thanks for reading.)

I have titled this post “Energy-Drink Kind of Life” because the way my life is turning out, I need the energy drinks to keep up with it. I have admitted to a few that I live my life in fear. Yes, I am a Christian. I know that God has claimed a plan for my life and knows absolutely every detail of it and has a purpose for it all. But it is so hard to live it out.

This last week, I was gone for four days on a business trip. Allow me to describe my trip and provide some sort of insight on this stadium  that could use some support. ‘Cause frankly, I need you.

Tuesday morning, I left for Detroit, Michigan. I was going to be making a sales presentation in Novi, Michigan that night. As I boarded my plane, my wife was going through a gamut of tests to determine why she is having to live with daily pain. Let me stop here for a moment and set some people straight. I have had some question me on traveling for business and questioning whether or not I was taking care of my family the way they needed me to. Please, remind me of your role in this family. Not sure I saw you standing there with my bride-to-be on my wedding day. Liz and I are a team. (Thank you, Mr. Henrie.) Liz and I support each other through everything we have been through. I have never made a decision regarding the care of this family without her insight. So, when I accepted the promotion at work that would require me to travel, she told me to take it and run with it. Are there times now and will there be times when I will have to stay home to take care of someone? Sure! But to question our team’s decision, keep your opinions to yourself. I am sorry to be so blunt about it, but I am just a wee bit tired of people giving their uninvited thoughts on our situation. Plus, and just as equally, it means, to me, that you are disregarding the support that our extended family provides as well. And I can GUARANTEE you that there is no other family in the world that out-supports Liz and I and our kids.

Anyways, now that I got that off my chest, let me get back to my trip. I left for Detroit knowing that we more than likely wouldn’t be hearing the results of the tests for several days. If Liz needed me, she knew that I would be at her side within a few hours of her call. On my trip to Detroit, I had a few hours to kill before I needed to head out to meet the potential client. I drove 30 minutes over to Ann Arbor, Michigan to pick a pennant for the boys’ room at the University of Michigan. On my way back to the hotel, I exited at Ypsilanti, Michigan to get a pennant from Eastern Michigan University.

If you have read my other post about a previous job opportunity, you would know that I had a lot riding on this sales presentation; even if it was self-imposed. It perhaps couldn’t have gone any better. I walked out of that presentation on cloud 9. What a rush! What an engaging opportunity! Needless to say, I had a much better experience and felt I did a much better job this time. And based on some early feedback, those feelings were confirmed.

I got up the next morning at 4:30am EST. Before heading to the airport, I had to clear the car off. At 5:30 in the morning, it isn’t very fun clearing off snow and ice in the dark, in a hurry. Anyways, I made it to the gate on time for my flight to Las Vegas, Nevada. No, I didn’t go to a casino or some high-priced hotel. Nor did I play any of the nickel slots inside the airport or it’s restrooms. I was just there for about 50 minutes changing planes. My final destination was Orange County, California.

This leg of the trip, I was to be at a Small Groups Conference put on by Saddleback Church. (Saddleback Church is where the senior pastor is Rick Warren. Rick Warren is the one that wrote Purpose-Driven Life.) It was a beneficial conference for our company. There were a lot of great conversations had as well as many contacts made with some key leaders in the small-group arena of church. I also had the chance to meet plenty of great people that were there representing their own company. (If you are into myspace and you’re a Christian, or not, you may want to check out LiveKite.com)

So, on this part of the trip, I kept in touch with Liz a lot via phone calls and text messages. I was to be in California from Wednesday afternoon until Friday evening. On Thursday, after the last session of the day, I called Liz as I walked alone back to my rental car. (By the way, whomever calls it “Sunny California” is so wrong. It was cold, windy, and that misty kind of rain came down pretty much the whole time I was there.) Anyways, Liz and I chit-chatted for a bit and then tells me she has some news for me on her tests.

She tells me that based on the tests that were done, she has two herniated discs and some fluid build-up in her spinal column. This news is so mixed. It’s perfectly awesome that Liz’s brain isn’t bleeding, that they saw no tumor in her brain or neck, and that a previous condition that she has had surgery for wasn’t returning. But, it was tough to take because the disc issue and fluid issue still need to be addressed, while she continues to be in pain. Thankfully we have an appointment to visit with a neurologist about all this on Monday, the 25th.

(If you are a Christian and are willing to pray for my wife, I ask that you do that. I am not going to hold you to some promise or anything, but just would ask that you ask God to reveal Himself through His healing power. And if for whatever reason, Liz isn’t healed, that she can still experience His perfect grace, mercy, and love through this. If you are a Christian that hasn’t talked to God in awhile, would you mind using my wife as an intro? She could really use it. Yes, I question God all the time, too. I have a relationship with Him. He isn’t a dictator. I am tired of Him not answering my prayers the way I want Him to, but nonetheless, I still know that He is with me. I have five awesome kiddos that remind me of that everyday.)

So, I am sitting in that car in the parking lot of the church in California and lose it for a moment. I am just staring at the squiggly streams of water racing down the windshield. I am reminded over and over and over again about how strong my wife is. She stays positive. She smiles. She doesn’t allow her circumstances to claim her joy. To know Liz is to know true Godly peace. You should hear her testimony. I was ready to return home.

I walked in the door at 12:30 am on Saturday morning. I got up 6 and a half hours later to allow her to sleep and to be able to see my children. I walked into the girls’ room and they were all just sitting in Samantha’s bed talking “girl talk.” To be the dad of such incredible girls,…there will never be a guy good enough for them. 🙂 And then, to walk into the boys’ room and have Logan look up at me and smile and say something so simple as “Hi, Daddy!” Home IS where the heart is. Hudson popped right up, readying himself to be picked up.

And here we are. Its Sunday morning. We had been planning all week to make it to church. Liz didn’t sleep much last night, thus I didn’t either. It is going to be an energy-drink kind of day. In less than 24 hours, we hopefully will have some answers and a course of treatment to get my wife back to her starting position on this team. She is currently listed on the injured-reserve list. My dad is here for another day and a half. It is awesome having him here. The kids love him and miss Nana.

There are dads whose wives are fighting all kinds of diseases and illnesses. It is a bit of a comfort to know that I am not alone in this venture. There are women who are dealing with all sorts of pains. I am proud of my wife for being willing to fight off so much. I don’t know what is in store for her or myself or for our family this week. As Liz and I have told so many people when they ask us how we’re able to handle 5 kids under the age of 4…I plan on taking one day at a time. (WAY easier said than done.) Oh, and by the way, if you would, pray for Candice, Hudson, and Samantha as they fight off different infections. Pray for Logan as he continues to be such an awesome young man and growing up so fast. And lift up Madison; that she doesn’t catch what the other ones have. Wow, my family really needs your prayers. HAHAHA!

Oh, while I am thinking about it, if you and your family have decided to “Go Green” and are going to be getting rid of your extended-size SUV or mini-van, I know a family of 7, of which 5 of them are in booster seats, that could use it.

Do me a favor, if you would. Love life today. You never know when a day is going to hit you square in the jaw and you’re not going to feel like loving life. So, take advantage of today.

And to just stick with the title of this post, my favorite energy drinks are: AMP (both kinds), NOS, Bawls, and Full Throttle (the one in the blue can).

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5 Responses to “Energy-Drink Kind of Life”

  1. People can say things all day long, but until they step in our shoes, they have no idea what our life is like. No matter what the world does, says or thinks…I will always support you. And you know how thrilled I am about your job, and I was the first to say “you go boy.” I think you are just where God wants you to be. That’s all that really matters, right?

    Thanks for taking care of our family… and loving us in everyway. We will get through it all, together. TEAM DIXON!! 🙂

  2. As always, the Mathis’s will be praying for you guys while you are at the neurologist tomorrow.
    By the way, you do a fabulous job taking care of your little brood. People that say things like that don’t get your life and how well taken care of you are by our Savior. They need our prayers!

  3. Shannon said that very well. 🙂 Things may be tough at times, and we may not understand it all…but God is right here taking care of us along the way. I can’t imagine living my life without my faith in God. We are never alone! PTL!!

  4. Donnie… you totally crack me up! I love that you are bold enough to say “shut up” to those you need to hear it! I fully agree, until someone has walked in your shoes, there should be no judgement, because I’m sure they wouldn’t want their life to be looked at too closely… no of us are perfect!

    Good luck at the docs!

  5. I’ve been here since Saturday and am again amazed at you two and how you do operate as a TEAM even in the midst of another difficult and confusing time. What an incredible and wonderful five kiddos growin’ and goin’. What a blessing to get to visit. Folks need to sign up to help for one day a week instead of offering knowledge-less criticism or suggestions. Keep on inviting, encouraging and teaching us and so many how to pray more, and more specifically and faithfully. Love & prayers, Pops

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