Archive for the Life’s Reactions Category

If God Knows Everything…

Posted in Life's Reactions on March 31, 2008 by Donny

I travel several times a month with my job. It is something I love to do and have always wanted to do. I stay within the US, but still love traveling.

How many of us have been driving or riding down the road and about the only thing you can hear is the soft hum of the tires on the road? All you see out the window are countless fields or old farmhouses or different communities that dot our country’s landscape. Well, this past weekend, I was away in West Virginia and Ohio. I drove alongside the Ohio River. I enjoy learning about different people and their way of living. I enjoy driving through the rain of an old downtown. But there is a hard part about getting to see new places. People all over are suffering.

Many people come to this country looking for a better life. They might be trying to get here to escape some harsh reality. What about the folks that are already here? What about their American dream? Now, here’s the kick in the pants for myself. I have got to stop passing judgement on people. It is a fault of mine. And this fault hit me square in the face Saturday morning.

I got on the plane headed to Cincinnati and as I got closer to my seat on the place, I realized I was going to be sitting next to an older woman, who seemed to be figgiting with a couple of different bags. She looked very tired and had a tissue in her hand. I thought to myself “she better not get me sick!” I was so ridiculously far from the truth. And the way I found out was so silly.

The flight attendant came by with drinks and snacks. The lady and I both got something to drink and eat. At the time, I was working on a medium-level Sudoku puzzle and for the life of me, I couldn’t focus. Why? Because for five minutes, the woman was struggling with the crackers’ wrapper. So, I smiled and said,”those can be tough, may I help you?” She bashfully smiled and said,”Yes, my mind is causing me to struggle today.” At first, I assumed she was talking about some headcold or her age was starting to catch up with her. Again, soooooooooooooooo very wrong. This woman with a thick German-accent, but good English, sitting next to me for an hour and 45 minutes shared with me that she had just lost her 60-year old son in car accident in Dallas. Her son wasn’t driving, but the driver had been drinking. A police officer tried to pull them over, but the driver took off; and ran a red-light. So, Saturday morning, I was the biggest jerk. I got over myself in a hurry and sat there and listened to her tell me about how she and her husband had moved here in 1952. Helmut, her son that was killed, was also born in Germany. If God knows everything, He has known this woman her whole life and I can’t take a little time to be that ear to hear for just a short period of time?

Here’s what has caused me to think of that little woman from South Bend, IN all weekend. As I was getting up from my seat to head for the door once we got to the gate, I turned and told her that I would be praying for and for the rest of the family. She looked me in the eyes and smiled and said,”Thank you for your prayers, but thank you for listening.”

I could never be God. After meeting so many people, I know that God has gotten life right. I’m not sure why things got so bad before the flood, but this time around, there is a lot to smile about. I was thinking about something tonight in the car. If God can get angry with His creation, us humans, and He gets sad (we know He weeps); does anyone ever ask God how He’s doing? Or is that personifying God too much? Just another random thought from my overly-simplified mind.

 The other amazing part about traveling is coming home. There is a serious comfort level when we are home. Sunday morning, I walked in the door and the very first thing I hear was all about heart. Logan is talking to Liz and says,”Mommy, I love you very, very, very much.” Despite so much pain and suffering and not feeling well, my kids know that their mother adores them and would do anything and everything for them. If God knows everything, He knows exactly how to fill this home with His love.

It is super easy to get overwhelmed with neurologists’ appointments and MRIs and prescription refills and weather sirens going off and wanting to get frustrated with the process of selling a home, but there are plenty of ways that my life could be worse. My life isn’t easy, but it is still MY life. It is a life that God has given to me, no strings attached. I can choose to live my life the way I want to. Here’s the kicker…there are five little people asleep upstairs right now that really do need me to live a life that will help them become who they have been made to become.

And one last point. Whether you live in a riverside town on the Ohio  river or in a rural town in Germany or in a large metropolitan area life Dallas, God knows everything. And He’s not hard-of-hearing. (It’s amazing what you can learn about life on a 28-hour trip.)

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The Never-Ending Story

Posted in Life's Reactions on March 28, 2008 by Donny

No, I am not going to blog about the 80’s movie with the big, white, flying dog. This is my life. And so far my life has been endless, thankfully. There are so many days when I don’t know what to do next. There are days when I don’t even know how to fully handle the current situation. I am that driver on the roadmap of life that finds himself lost and I have no problem asking for directions.

Often times, in the evening when everyone is in bed or resting, I’ll run to the store for groceries for the next day/days. Or there are nights like last night when my wife and kiddos spend the night at my in-laws, while we still try to figure out why the AC isn’t working. When out at night, I’ll turn on a country station or a Christian radio station to just allow myself to be quiet during that drive in the dark. Those quiet times allow me to think about my wife, my kids, our home, my family, my job, friends, and past memories. None of this is too different from what many people do when they are by themselves. But the reason these times are so important to me is because as soon as I get home or get to where I am going, something seems to always come up. And last night was no different.

I left the van keys with my mother-in-law, along with the garage door opener. I drove her car home. I get out of the car and start walking up the driveway, just to realize that I had no way into my house. It’s 9:30 and I am standing in front of my house (with all of the lights on inside because we did have a showing yesterday), in the dark, no one is around, and no way to get into go to bed. It has been a long day. I have sat and listened to a neurologist talk to me about my son’s brain. My wife had been sick for most of the day and I had been trying to ease her head and stomach as much as possible. The house was getting warm due to the raising temperature outside. Now this?

So, I went to get a neighbor’s ladder because I think I might have left the backdoor open upstairs. I finally get onto the roof and crawl over the balcony railing…the door is locked! Okay, well, maybe the front balcony door is open. So instead of getting down and walking to the front and trying to get up that way; I crawl across the top of our house in the dark to the front…oh yeah, locked too! Now what?! If I don’t figure out a way in, I can either call a locksmith and be charged some ridiculous amount of money to let me into my house or I could drive 40 minutes back to the house where the house key was and then drive another 40 minutes back home. And I had to be here early because the electrician must work for the cable company because I got the whole “we’ll be there sometime between 8 and 12.”

Anyways, I remembered that we had left the girl’s window open to help cool off the bedroom. So, back to the roof. By the way, I don’t recommend crawling around on the roof of a house in the dark in Adidas sandals. I was finally able to get in through the girls’ window and everything turned out fine. My life…the never-ending story. I may not be a world-traveler with adventurous stories from a safari trip or backpacking across Europe, but living this little life of mine with all my offspring and the events surrounding all of that, I NEVER get bored. 

Bag-O-Life

Posted in Dad's Time, Life's Reactions on March 26, 2008 by Donny

I am no different than most fathers. I have moments where life seems to take turns that are unexpected or unwelcomed. Sometimes I handle the situations perfectly, whereas other times, I handle them with frustration and selfishness. My life and the life of the ones I love is worth more than some moment that will soon pass.

As I continue to try and grasp God’s wonderful plan for my life, I wish He would tweak what He has already put in place. My wife continues to battle pain that I hope I never have to fully understand. I know there are plenty of people in this world that live with constant pain, but I don’t love them like I love my wife. I see her squeeze her eyes shut as she fights a moment of unbearable pain. I know when her own body is attacking itself. I sit here wanting to take on God in some winless fight. In Donny’s weak mind, I want to ask who God thinks He is. I know God is bigger than me and better at being God than I ever would be; so why doesn’t He go ahead and answer the prayers of so many. I know God isn’t a procrastinator, but for goodness sakes…God, allow me to claim healing over my wife’s headaches and numbness and pain. God, go ahead and be praised for such healing and such grace and mercy.

Of all of my children, Logan has been the healthiest. Well, I say that. He has one kidney and before he turned one, his eardrum bursts. Now…my first-born son has been diagnosed with a treatable form of epilepsy. What?! God!!!! If this is all a test, I am ready to be graded. Pass or fail. I am ready to be better at everything, but God…wow. Logan? Seriously? I looked into my son’s crying eyes last night and I had an actual physical ache within me for my son. Take me God. Hurt me God. Not my children. I pray with my boy every night before I say goodnight to him. We pray for mommy…EVERY NIGHT…and we pray for Logan, and Hudson, and Candice, and Samantha, and Madison. We pray over K and Frostie and for Nana and Pops. And because he is my son, we laugh a lot together, we even pray for no bed-bug bites.

I have two amazing boys. I mean, seriously, to know Logan and Hudson, is to know a truly bright future for this world. But by age four, both of my sons will have seen neurologists. Man, that hurts me, God. My mother always taught me to be accepting of everyone and the problems that come with them, physical or otherwise. I just never knew I was going to be a dad of a child or children that would be looked at differently. But God, I can do this. You have truly trusted me with this honor and I accept.

I live a life of fear far too often. I have ticked off too many ER staff persons because I didn’t think they were providing care fast enough to my wife. I sat in the NICU of the hospital, surrounded by my four itty-bitty kiddos while another couple was saying good-bye to their newborn son. (Talk about fairness.) I stayed up late the other night with Logan, totally laughing and having a ball with my son, knowing that we were staying up late because the next morning, they were testing my son for problems within his brain.

And my girls…I now fully understand the impact that a son has on his mother’s heart, because I have felt the same thing from my three daughters. They watch me all the time. Last night, as I was tucking them into bed, I sang to each of them. I can’t sing and I don’t even know that many lyrics to little love songs. But it didn’t seem to matter,…’cause they all smiled back at me. The morning we took Logan to the sleep clinic, I went into the girls’ room to carry each one of them down to the van so that they didn’t have to walk down the stairs all sleepy. All three of them held onto me so tight, as if to say,”Daddy, thank you for holding me so close.”

So, Father God…”Thank you for holding me so close.”

(And please be sure to listen to the song I Pray by Lonestar. It really is my life currently. Thank you, again, K)

Theme Song

Posted in Life's Reactions on March 25, 2008 by Donny

Thanks to my mother-in-law, I now have a life theme song. I really want to write what is on my mind and shoulders, but too tired tonight. So, in it’s place I have a song I want you to listen to.

I Pray by Lonestar

Donny Dixon 6.0

Posted in Dad's Time, Life's Reactions on March 20, 2008 by Donny

Hi. I am Donny. No, my name is not Donald; it is Donny. I am the husband of a 5’2″ giant of strength, love, patience, understanding, and faith. I am the father of two boys and three girls. I am 29. And I continue to need to be disassembled and rebuilt.

I recognize that I am a weak human being. This whole week, I have spent each night alone in my home. My wife and mother-in-law gave me a mini-Spring Break. They kept all five kids at my in-laws’ home for several days. Though, events have occurred this week that have made being apart from them very difficult, this time alone has also granted me time to reevaluate myself. And what I have come to realize is that I have not been fair to my family.

With Liz not being able to be at full strength due to on-going pain and numbness, I have been spending a lot of time with the kids, making sure their every need is taken care of. Though that is a cherished role because I get to be with my children daily, it can also be overly-exhausting and super frustrating. At times, I am dad. At other times, I am mom. And when I force either role, everyone suffers. I have allowed myself to be easily-frustrated and irritated and overwhelmed. I am going to change. I refuse to live my life this way and not taking advantage of a life that is awesomely-blessed. Often times, when someone hears how many children we have, they laugh in our faces and say something along the line of “ha, better you than me.” And they are exactly right. God has entrusted us with a family that I cannot take care of on my own. God never gave me this family to take care of on my own. He wants to be a part of it all. I have spent so much time trying to do everything on my own, that I tend to forget the God of the universe. I have got to stop doing that. I am too weak to do it alone.

My life changes on a daily basis. God is right. Each individual day has its own problems. One day it may be a medical issue and the next it may be a house issue while the next may be a work-related problem. Much of my life is just like your life and many others…it is just magnified because I have five children, all under the age of 4. Daddy Daycare is starting to seem like a better idea everyday. What’s a few more kids?!

I feel good again. I have my family back home with me. I sure did need a few days break. Those few days changed me. Wait, no, they didn’t change me. They gave me a chance to realize who I had become. Not a pretty sight. I am grateful for the opportunity to see that person and have the chance to change.

I want Liz to feel better. I want Logan to never have another seizure. (Be on the look-out for an update from Liz in the next few days on what happened to Logan.) I want Hudson to be able to run like a normal little boy. I want Candice to be able to talk like a normal little girl. I want Madison to be able to see like a normal little girl. I want Sam to have everything she needs. I want to be that father that my kids know is their dad and not just head of the household. I continue to struggle with what the roles of a real husband and a real father are to be today. One thing is for sure. As soon as I think I have gotten there, I have gotten nowhere. I am sort of like Windows…each new version has a whole new set of problems.

My Saturdays Aren’t What They Used To Be

Posted in Life's Reactions on March 15, 2008 by Donny

It is as if George Strait read my mind today. I am sitting here on my couch at 8:46 pm on a Saturday night and I know that “I Saw God Today”. (If you haven’t ever heard that song, please find it somewhere and just listen to the words. Even if you have happened on my blog and aren’t a Christian, just reflect on your own life as the words are sang.)

Today was another typical day that is becoming the rule and no longer the exception. I still have a wife that needs rest, medicine, a large amount of fluids, and food. I still have five children that want everything they can’t have and more of what they do have. We are still trying to sell our home. I have work that still needs to be done. The point of me stating the obvious? Because the last 24 hours as just been piled on. First, our air conditioning has gone out. Like a friend noted, at least it isn’t blazing hot outside. With the way the last several years have gone; yes, things could be much worse. And like my dad told me, I need to claim the blessings that have been bestowed upon my family and I.

Yesterday, before I had found the problem to why our power was out, we sat as a family in the living room watching Veggie Tales, while waiting for the electric company to show up. Thanks to my father-in-law, I didn’t have to wait on an electrician to come figure out what was wrong. Anyways, watching my kid’s faces as they interacted with the DVD and each other, I closed my eyes and just took a moment to breathe. They can be such a blast. Watching them learn about life and just interacting with one another is much fun. (They barely weighed four Coke cans when they were born.)

As a fault, I allow things to build up over time and don’t do a good job of letting things roll off of my back. I so desperately wanted to be a better dad. I want my children to grow up and truly know that Dad’s love is not only real and true, but that it is also a reflection of the love their Maker has for them. When I allow the stresses that I deal with on a daily basis to build up inside, I scare myself that they don’t see or feel that warm love that they deserve. My Saturdays aren’t what they used to be because they are no longer and never ever will be about me. And that is only talking about the five greatest children on planet Earth.

…if you only knew the strength of a woman named Liz. I get so worked up over so many things and again, by fault, have gotten so accustomed to “trying to do it all” that I can get too involved in the day that I have overlooked my own wife. Sad, right? I will never be the world’s best husband. The fuse can run way too short when trying to tackle what feels like the world. It is a reason, but by far, it is not an excuse. My Saturdays aren’t what they used to be because I am learning to put my wife first. Yes, we have been married 5 years and I can be a slow learner.

Is it normal to become a crier as you get older or do I need a pill? LOL! I have cried more in the last year than I think I have my whole life. Between painting rooms and keeping the house looking as well as it can, trying to make sure Liz gets her rest, food that she needs, and takes all the medicines when she needs to and keeping the kids happy; it has worn on me. But you know something, the alternative doesn’t seem like much fun. Tonight, I was putting the kids down to bed and I gave each kid their time with dad. I sat on each of the girls’ beds and just…well, I saw God today. I will never say it enough, if you ever get a chance to have a quiet moment with Hudson and tickle him or even just talk to him, when he smiles back at you…if you listen close, even the angels laugh at that laugh and smile of his. Then there is my first born. That boy…it is as if I am looking into the water of the pond of the past. (Can you sow sarcasm? ‘Cause I am sooooo about to reap a wheel-barrel full.)

I don’t always like the hand I have been dealt. I don’t think it is fair or just. But I will tell you this; my life is worth it. I don’t always believe that when I tell it to myself, but I know that down deep, I don’t want to miss a second of all of this. I am growing. I keep getting beat down over and over again. You know, I do try to fight back, just to be knocked down.

On days like today and days I have had this week, I continued to need little moments that force me to chill for a bit and take a step back as oppose to always trying to take steps forward. I love night skies that are star-filled. I love it when I step around the corner of the house and get hit in the face with a breeze of fresh air. And I love moments of coloring that Liz and I can spend with Logan.

It is 9:26 and I have yet to eat dinner. I needed to shower and get all that was in my heart down, after I got the kids in bed. Have a good night, World. Love life now…there will be times to hate later.

Where We Are

Posted in Life's Reactions on March 11, 2008 by Donny

Liz is doing worse. Her pain continues to increase. Numbness continues to be felt throughout. The pain is starting to get in the way of her day life.

Thank you to many of you who have written us about schooling for the kids. We have followed up on some leads that folks have suggested. Many of the programs we don’t qualify to use. To those that have followed-up with flat out rude and fairly mean comments, you just don’t get it. The only reason we both wrote anything on our blogs was that it was suggested to us BECAUSE so many people have asked what they can do to help. To think we haven’t even done anything else but sit and wait for the river of money to flow our way…yeah, you just don’t get it.

We are also trying to figure out what school district we’re even going to live in. We are three months into keeping our house as clean as possible for showings. Not the easiest thing to do when you have 5 kids and one of the parents continues to live in severe pain. But we’ll learn to get over it. Oh, and to think that we discuss adult-issues with our kids is absurd. Liz shared the story of her and Logan because it was sweet. He does the same thing when we tell him that we’re not going to spend more money on toys or candy or whatever the next thing is that he can ask for.

I know that we have allowed our lives to be open to attacks of all kinds having a website and a couple of blogs. I know people are tired of hearing about this our that. …something about walking a mile…

Prayer Requests from a Husband/Dad…1.) Pray that a doctor can figure out what to do for Liz and can do it soon. Pray that this year doesn’t turn out to be like the last couple of years where she is living in pain or living in the hospital for more than half of the year. 2.) Pray for continued development of the kids as they continue to impress us with their sentence structure and vocabulary. They have come so far from the two pounds they were three years ago. 3.) Pray we sell our home and are able to find the right house in the right place for our family.