God’s A Copout

Posted in Uncategorized on May 11, 2011 by Donny

In sports, we want our athletes to play their hearts our and leave all that they have out on the field or court. We want them to play for the love of the game and not the paycheck or for the name on the back. And in our favorite films, w want our favorite actors or actresses to give a performance of a lifetime, every time. We tell our kids, as they hope out of the car, heading into school, give your best. But when God reaches out to me to me, so that I may live a life of uber-abundance, I remind Him that I got this…

When I sit here and mull over my days and weeks, I realize I have started using God as a copout, instead of the truth. Yeah, God’s gonna heal Liz. Sure thank, the Lord will bless His children. Keep talking to God, He’s gonna see us through. All that, and so much more, is fine to say, but it has to come with reverence and a sense of worship. I might as well be using His name in vain. We can’t be satisfied with God merely being the answer. He is the truth. He is much greater than the answer to one question or one problem. If I believe He has the ability to heal and to hear and to help as the Bible says He does, then let that be enough. That is the truth of who the Almighty, the Great I Am, is. In fact, such a change in living, stops begging for answers to our questions, but rather, gives us a desire to know more truth.

But, once we get passed ourselves and we have moved beyond using God as some sort of concierge service, we can then walk where He leads. He is able to reveal in us and through us who He is. He is not looking to be buddy-buddy with us. “Is” defines Him. He IS love. He IS hope. And yes, He IS healing. My faith lies within who HE IS! Not what He might do for me or my family or friends.

Tonight, I went up to see Liz on her twenty-second night in the hospital. At one point, as we are watching one of our favorite television shows, my I am sitting in the chair next to her bed with my feet propped up at the end of the bed and I look over at here and just wondered to myself, “What are we doing?” “What are we still doing here?” Today, someone from the food-service area asked Liz is she was ever going home.

Tonight…Liz needs your prayers. This is not copout time. This is not time to let God know about a woman He may have heard about from others. God is bigger than an answer to a submission of prayer. He’s not just a name on a key-chain or written within the title of a devotional book. He is alive and needs to be treated as such. We talk to God as if He is at the other end of a poor connection on Skype. People want to question His existence and try and resolve His sense of “Godness” through logical formulas and tangible evidence. But for what purpose? To minimize our need so that we can psyche ourselves into believing that we are who we are…a bunch of struggling beings hardly giving each other the time of day. To reduce God to the answer for a struggle or problem is  making Him into a pill, a bottle, another meaningless relationship.

We do so many people cry when given the chance? Why do we go visit the elderly? Why are we so excited when a newborn baby arrives? Because we love to be loved. And we love to love. Why would the One who gave love a name, be any different? Tonight, I am frustrated with myself for using God as an alarm clock. Its not about giving God praise on the 8’s. He’s not a routine. But I have been guilty of turning Him into a habit.

Life is full right now. Liz isn’t doing the greatest right now. Her left arm has been bothering her for days. Strike that; its been hurting significantly for days. Doctors even told her today that she should get used to it because until they do more surgeries, she will be hurting. Her blood is getting thicker instead of thinner, despite being on blood thinners. As of right now, it may be two or three days before she is released from the hospital. But even then, for how long until she is hurting too bad that she has to return or until the next scheduled surgery.

The kids are fine. They sense the stress and continue to be flexible for dad as I am trying to work and make sure they are cared for. A huge thank you to friends and family that care for them and do so much. It enables me to take care of everything else.

Job is going well. Working a lot of hours. But not complaining. Thank for this job.

As a side note: I am asking for prayer for our church’s men’s retreat I will be attending this weekend. It is all about being a leader. What it means to be a Godly-leader in our home and wherever God may lead. Over 80 men will be there. I pray that I will come back refreshed, renewed, and focused leading my family through this life instead of allowing myself to be lead by the circumstances in life. Pray for myself and a buddy of mine Tim as we lead team orange; that we may get the opportunity to help them become the leaders God had planned on them becoming.

Some heavy stuff is lingering right now. They will hopefully be resolved within the next week or two. All adds to the stress. Decisions will be made without consulting God as some sort of quick fix and moving on. He is God. Its time He hears from me on bended knee. I don’t want to be the general public. I don’t want to worship a DIY, hands-off God. I want to let go of all this spinning. I want to stop thinking I have to be in control. Its hurtful to myself and others.

Tomorrow morning, I will walk my kids to school. And as I walk back alone…it will be time to shut-up and listen. His love is unconditional…but does call for action. Truth.

Whispers of Thunder: A Life God Can Use

Posted in Uncategorized on May 8, 2011 by Donny

…it’s so quiet. My thoughts are audible. The silence is deafening. The stories of the day appear to parallel the existence of a mine striving for something far greater than himself. The ballot must be cast…willing to fight on or accept defeat. No matter the struggle, God has given us the choice. I find myself attempting the pseudo-answer and facing it’s ramifications days later. As a Christian man, taking up my cross daily isn’t a line-item on a Tuesday morning to-do list. Its a call to arms as I rise to start my day. A cross not carried is a couple of branches on the ground. As I drop to a knee in my life, as I fail to choose His strength over my ego, I miss ah-ha moments in my life’s highlight reel.

Today is the day set aside to give praise to a woman, who spends the other 364 days praises everyone else. To fully appreciate the scope of a mother’s role is severely hampered by the mere fact that only another mother can truly appreciate the magnitude of her new existence. And yet, to know the whole impact of a mother’s life on her children’s future is virtually impossible. In listing the greatest influences on a child’s character, his or her mom falls to third behind God Himself and His Word. And if mom is or can’t be there, God can supplement such love and devotion.

A little over seven years ago, Liz became mother of my first child. A year later, almost to the day, literally, she would do the same four more times. She has given way to pain and suffering to fully embrace a joy and contentment that only a child can bring. Liz is the mother of five life-blossoming children that have taken from her DNA a passion for life, its liberties, and God’s own pursuit of happiness. Liz’s impression upon her children is made known in her absence. Their hearts are coded to match her hugs, kisses, and “I love you’s.” These five angels wrapped in skin are not lucky nor has fate dealt them an exceptional hand. No, these children have been kissed by the lips of the creator of Love, the maker of emotional worship, and the sustainer of everlasting souls.

Being the mother of a sever year-old that desperately wants to be 10 or 16 and the mother of four six year-olds that are always in need of life hand-holding in some area is no simple chore. It will always be an unfinished task in the eyes of a father, but a repeating joy in the heart of a mom. Liz has fully engaged in what it means to give ones life to the well-being of her child or children. Though I may strive to get their attention, Liz will never need to work at such a moment. My children know their mother’s whisper and they live with their mother’s love. Mother’s Day is a day given to celebrate the life of a woman, who now gives nothing less than her all for the ones she gave life too.

And then, there’s my “mutter.” Saturday mornings at the soccer fields; going walking together for no other reason than to, well, walk; at 12 years old, holding my mom at the dining room table in Brazil as she cried out loud after she had received news that her brother had been murdered; missing her terribly when she would be gone for days at a time to an out-of-town doctor because she was so sick that no one locally could figure out why; panicking for her life when I watched her fall from the rock face on the side of creek-bed in the Smokey Mountains. And at 32 years-old, with life giving me its all…she reaches out, however she must, to let me know that I am on her mind, that I am being prayed for, and that she loves me. I am so much like my father, but I strive to love like my mother. The day my mother returns home to Heaven, two-hundred years from now (so that I don’t have to know life without her), the streets of gold will be meticulously  cleaned, her room will be walled with sunshine and carpeted with clouds, and her crown, too heavy to be worn due to the collection of jewels, will sit in view of others with a placard reading, “I am pleased with whom this belongs.”  -Father

One way to bless a man with a mother is two bless him with two. My mother-in-law knows and lives the definition of sacrifice. She has set her life to be an example of what it means to love the ones you have been entrusted with. I have seen her hurt and I have seen her beam with pride. She knows pain and yet shows so much love. Her laugh is infectious, her hugs are genuine, and her devotion is rarely seen. My mother-in-law knows when to share compassion and when to fight for what is right. Few have mastered care the way my Special K has. And even fewer are willing to do what it takes so that others may have, even if she is without. I love you.

Tonight, our family is not together. It is night number 19 that we have been apart. After spending another special day with Liz in the hospital, I later received a phone call from Liz saying she would not be coming home as hoped on Monday or Tuesday. Such a bittersweet day.

This afternoon, after church, the kids and I hoped in the car and ran a couple of places to get food and drinks for lunch. And then we headed South. We were moving on at a pretty good clip and then everything stopped. Due to road construction and everyone being forced into one lane, traffic was backed up for miles. We were so close, yet oh so far. I hit the GPS map and worked my way down some other roads and at about the time we were to cross a bridge,…”Road Closed.” Ok, so we quickly back-tracked and chose a different route. Eventually, we made it. The food was a bit cold, but nonetheless, we were all there, in one place, safe and sound, away from the world that tried to stop us from arriving where we needed to be.

This seems to be in step with what is going on with Liz and her stay at the hospital. She begins to get better and we begin to think that the time is nearing when she will be leaving, but then, another setback hits. This time, as has been the case in recent trips, the culprit is her blood. The problem is that she is and has been on 2 to 3 different medicines and they match up differently and their results are different when blood is drawn. It is a process that we have come to grasp, yet, become completely befuddled by. It is no longer about being unfair or even how truly exhausting it all is…but rather, what more can we do. I am no looking asking to receive an answer. I asking in truly looking for reasons to worship. Where are the victories? Why bother with the defeats when there are reasons to celebrate. If Jesus is to be my example and He can go from crying tears of blood to staying silent and taking His lashings then it stands to reason that I should be able, in His strength within me, to all the stress of life to stay with me and still choose to worship and be obedient.

And in such a task, if I work alone, I have already loss. But, in allowing others to come alongside me with their wider shoulders, their bigger hearts, and their sharing of Christ-like love, than success is already mine. And if such a victory has already been claimed for me, then it is my call whether to lock it away or use to be a brother and be there for another. The last two weeks have been full, bombarded, and heart-rocking. It is not longer good enough to live for God…it is time I love for Him.

I know not what this week holds for me. I will wake tomorrow and begin to walk  path with less footprints than ever before. I will talk to people and deal with issues that are frustrating and irritating. I will have to make decisions regarding my kids, work, insurance and Liz’s care. I will have to talk to doctors, nurses, hospital staff, school staff, friends, family, co-workers, customers, and God. I may, at times, find myself swimming in the tub of self-doubt and defeat. But tomorrow is twenty-four hours long. I will not live tomorrow in the shadows or in the fetal position. Manning up in God’s offense is taking on a vision that includes me without promoting me. My plate is full before I have placed my order…but dessert is on the way.

Lastly, as I shut-up for the night, once again, I want to say thank you. Thank you for those that are, with a hands-on approach, doing what you can to be my floaties. God’s grace has come alive in you. His love has become more real through you. And I am closer to my God because of you. Thank you for showing this man what life’s purpose is all about…a purpose-filled faith.

“In the beginning…” -Genesis 1:1 (He had me in mind and knew how He was going to use me.)

God’s No Nightlight

Posted in Uncategorized on May 5, 2011 by Donny

And now for your regularly scheduled Liz update: Wednesday, May 3rd, 2011, in the year of our Lord, Elizabeth Erin Dixon had surgery to remove blood clots from the veins within her neck and shoulder. During said surgery, the doctor performing such a procedure also implanted a catheter within Liz’s chest that will be used for intravenous access, as needed. This was done because it is believe that the port in her shoulder, placed there a year ago, was one of the contributing factors to Liz’s reoccurring problems with blood clots in the neck and shoulder. Now, the port causing the problems has been removed.

As of the end of the surgery on Wednesday, which lasted for about two and a half hours, it was all a success. But truthfully, time will be the greatest test in determining the strength of that success. As far as recovery is concerned, Liz has not been doing well at all. Liz has experienced a great deal of pain last night, this morning, and most of the day. The doctors and nurses have continued to try and figure out the best solution when considering all the IV issues and the other medications Liz is currently receiving.

As far as a homecoming date is concerned, today, the hematologist suggested perhaps Monday. This is an optimistic time frame. Its in God’s hands. But it does appear that the kids and I will spending Mother’s Day with Liz at the hospital. Liz is very tired. The pain she is going through has kept her from sleeping. And when she does get a little bit of relief from the pain medication and can finally begin napping, someone walks in the door, keeping her from resting. Night number sixteen comes to a close.

I really want to sit here and type for awhile. I want to share about my day. I would like to talk about things going on in my life and sort of work them textually. But alas, its twenty minutes until midnight. Tomorrow will be another full day. But I will say that I smiled more today. I breathed a little deeper tonight. And I never really allowed the circumstances surrounding each area of my life to become too heavy. I found myself talking more to God today, and not even in petition form. I sought him out.

So, I’m headed to bed. Life continues to swirl, but going to sleep with a little more peace tonight; not because anything is really any better than last night, but I choosing to “let go.” Tomorrow is the only Friday I get this week, gotta get ready to live it fully.

A Silent Cry

Posted in Uncategorized on May 4, 2011 by Donny

(For anyone reading this looking for an update on Liz and how things went today, I’ll need to type that out in the morning. Tonight, I am not really looking to post some commentary on my life, but rather, I need to type out a prayer. I sit here with a burdened heart and my life stuck on the spin cycle. Right now, I am not looking for anyone’s help except for that of my Heavenly Father. As the day draws near, I find myself reaching for the hem of his sandal strap…)

I have never titled a prayer before, but if I were to begin tonight, I would have to call this one, ‘Heart Song.’

“To My Best Friend,

Some call you God, Father, Savior…I call you Mine. I hear your presence in the laughter of my children. I see you in the eyes of homeless. I know of your love through the heartbeat of my family. You are my light in the morning and my calm in the night. You hug me, hold me, and help me. There’s no one that knows me like you. There is no one that loves me like you. Your love for me is sweeter than the midday honeysuckle. Your grace has set me more free than any sparrow in the Italian countryside. Your forgiveness came with a cost that you would pay as many times as needed. You are my Best Friend.

But tonight, it is too quiet. Though your hope is invasive, my world is intrusive. I sit here in a battle waged on my heart. Tonight, our common enemy is battling on a front that no longer belongs to him. I can’t stop crying and pleading for my son. I hurt for my first-born gift. I fear he is trying to help dad too much. He knows me. He loves me…oh God, love on my little boy tonight. Life is hard. I am crying out to you, Dear God, have mercy on my family!!!! I walk with you and for you. I am not here to make a deal for I have nothing you need. But I cry out…I have nothing and you want it all. I belong to you.

Liz is miles away…awake in pain. Alone in pain. Hurting to get better. People have prayed and still no relief. You have claimed yourself to be the I Am of life. This I have seen in your mercy and sparing of her life. In return for her healing, I give you my home. Its messy, and there’s a bunch of kids living here now, but its here for you. It is not time for a new beginning, but rather time to fulfill the original purpose. Work, hospital, kids, bills, life…you’re God. I know you in the squeeze of a hand after surgery. I know you in the snoring of my baby girl. I know you in the “Daddy, I made this for you.”

Father, who art in Heaven, and yet here with me………………………………………I made this for you. This mess that is my life…its for you. The colors are outside the lines and you may have to spin it several times to even make sense of it…but I made for you. I am scared…I didn’t want to tell you that. I want to show you I can handle it. I want you to be proud of me…so bad. But Jesus…best friend. I am dying. I try and get people to help…but they can’t fix something that only You have the key to. Surgery won’t do it. Tickle fights are the ticket. You’re my it. You’re my all. Tonight…my tears fall to your hands.

…You’re here. You are so here right now. I can’t breathe. Sometimes I forget to look at you. Help me with these gloves, they’re useless tonight. I am broken and weak, but perfectly in shape for you. I am tired tonight. I can’t see here and pretend I have this any longer. You are MY GOD! Please tell me you know me. Break a rib if you have to, but squeeze me tight. Hold my sleeping kids…protect them. Holy Spirit, please God Almighty, protect my kids. I am hurting tonight for them. I spend time with them. We laugh and sing and eat and tell jokes and have dog piles and I body slam Hud to his bed because he giggles uncontrollably. My girls…may they know, with no doubt, of their daddy’s love. And Best Friend…Logan…………….oh God, Logan……………he is who You sent ahead of the quads. He has been with me all along. May I not fail him now. I can’t stop crying. Oh God. I gotta go hug him. (He asked me why I was crying. I gave him the same response that I have to believe Jesus gave to God…because I love you.)

Help me to breathe God. You are heavy when you’re known. I am tired. There is so much, God…so much. Tomorrow, Liz will be in the hospital for 16 days, consecutively. More than that over the last two months. There’s no TV, there’s no free time. It is family and work and hospital and drive time. But I refuse to quit. Because one day this will be over. I want to do the most with what you have given. Please God, believe in me. Give me what I can handle so that I may give it back to you greater than it started.

When I wake…I want peace. I want you and I to run the race together. My muscles are weak, my mind is scattered, but my heart…it no longer resides within. In this world of pain, in this life of uncertainty, rescue one that calls you Friend.

Thank you for forgiving me of my collapse. Thank you for loving a follower and pushing a leader. May I be even more through You who strengthens me. As I have lived your love…tonight, may you know my love for you.”

An unworthy man, a blessed servant, one of Your own,
Donny D

More Than Meets The Eye

Posted in Uncategorized on May 3, 2011 by Donny

When you love something, you spend time with it. Whether its a person, a car, a pet, or a Bible…whatever it is, you take time to make that person or thing even better. That’s what God has been doing with me. He’s spending crazy time with me and wanting He and I to be even better.

Over the last 14 days, life has been extremely difficult. I say I am fine or give the quick Christian one-liner that He is in control. But in all reality, this has been a pain in the brain. Yes, people help. There is no one way I have done any of it alone. But what I have done alone, is try to manage it all. I try and arrange this or fix that or make sure that over there is taken care. I am stressed over the severity that is Liz’s current condition. I am worried about the needs of my family. I am concerned with not allowing anyone to do too much. I want control in a world where I feel that I have none…except in one area…

I get to choose how much time I spend with God and how much of my attention to Him. Its the greatest love affair of all time; God with His creation. Tonight, I was standing in line to take care of a bill after work and I looked back over my left shoulder, out over the parking lot, down the road and to the horizon. And there it was, it all its glory…the sunset. The sun was giving the earth a goodnight kiss before going away for awhile.

God has pushed me, pulled me, picked me up by my hair, and held me oh so close to His heart. I feel like I am running drills and He is coaching me on technique. He leads me through a circuit of exercises so that I may one day lead another. I learn to fight, not because its the battle in front of me, but because He is worth the effort. God, my God, is so beautiful. Not because I can see Him to describe Him, but quite the opposite. He is too beautiful to see. Too perfect to imagine. He is too God to fully comprehend. And yet, He talks to me. He makes me laugh. He’ll wrestle me till I tap. My God spends time with me because I am one of His six and a half billion favorite people.

One of His other favorites, Liz,will be having surgery tomorrow. As of right this moment, the time of the surgery has not been confirmed. What I do know is that the doctor will be going in to remove a clot from Liz’s neck and one from her shoulder. He will also be attempting place a new port close to the center of her chest and then remove the one that has caused Liz a lot of these issues. He won’t be messing with the clot on the left side of her neck or the big one taking up her left shoulder. Or trying to remove the one in her right leg.

Liz is exhausted. Tonight is night number 14 in the hospital, during this particular stay. It has been a very rough stay. She has been hurting the entire time. She has had issue after issue concerning food service, medications, nursing staff, blood levels, and surgery days and times.

I really really want to say that we can’t keep doing this. I really want to remind Him of what little battery I have left. But I dare not. I am afraid He will attempt to remind me who is in charge and ow long His battery can last. I am not interested in goating God into some sort of “one-up manship.”

So, I ask for your prayers for tomorrow. Below I will list my askings for tonight, but know this…If voting matters in choosing leaders, how much greater is praying for someone in need? Not looking to be over-dramatic, but for the record, tomorrow is big. One way or the other, tomorrow is a life-changing day for Liz.

1.) Pray that the surgery is successful. Simple. Pray that it resolves the issue(s.)
2.) Pray for steady hands and wise decision-making the doctors and nurses.
3.) Pray for Liz’s well-being before, during and after the surgery. Strength during and after the surgery.
4.) Pray for a speeding recovery.
5.) Pray for the kids as they continue to be flexible and go where dad needs them to go.
6.) Pray for all those that have  in any way helped our family. May God truly bless them and their families.
7.) And most importantly, BEFORE asking for any of those…thank Him with me. Thank God for His willingness to continue to look after those that have sinned against Him. God: the first to hug.

I am exhausted. More so than I have been the last few days. Trying to fight on and make sure everyone has what they need.

“Holy Spirit…hang with me tonight. I ask for rest tonight. I have been overly-sensitive and a butt to deal with. I feel weak and fatigued. Give me time to be who you need me to be. I will never be satisfied running through my own agenda. May you know my face when I come home. And I would like to go ahead and be on the greeting/connections team at the front gate. In Jesus’ name…Amen”

Goodnight…I’ll update when I can tomorrow.

Thank you….I love you.

I really am leaving…bye.

Foggy Peephole

Posted in Uncategorized on May 2, 2011 by Donny

Heavy eyelids and pleasant conversation defined tonight’s visit with Liz. She is very tired. And in more pain than the last few days. Her chest really started hurting last night and her right arm continues to hurt more and more everyday. As of 9:15 this evening, the blood was in a safe zone. As of tonight, surgery is still set for Wednesday.

For more than six years now, hospital gowns, IV tubing, and eventually surgeries have filled our lives. And if it wasn’t Liz, it was Candice. Tired of being exhausted, heading to the car, and stopping to have a 10 minute conversation about all that was going on with Liz. Tonight, Dr. Cler and I discussed the dynamics of fluid around one’s heart, the relocation of pain, INR versus PTT, and then something more about blood flow and all. I got tired-head and thanked him for talking. But it just confirms…another hospital in which now doctors recognize me and call me by name.

I am finally figuring out that when you have no idea where God is taking you, just learn to live the life He has for you at the time. Sitting here tonight, I am trying my hardest to pull my thoughts together, but everytime I do, I begin trying to work some situation out in my head. It is a losing battle. Then all this becomes a matter of the heart and I begin feeling more than I think.

There are nights I think of going to the boys’ room and sleeping between their beds on the floor, just to be near somebody. I sleep, but wake up every few hours. Not to a sound nor am I rested, it’s because it’s too quiet. I have forgotten how to be still. If Jesus stood before me and hugged me, I’m not sure whether I would cry for hours or talk without breathing.

Sometimes I think I am battling against God. I feel as if He is between me and my destination. That I struggle just because He must be trying to teach me something. But I realized recently that God wants to be invited to the fight. Why let Him fight with me? But when He shows up, He’s not up for some tag-team event. He wants to fight for me. Then, I actually waste time trying to convince God that I have brought Styrofoam rubber-band shooter to a tank war and that He should consider letting me fight on the front lines.

Ever looked out your front door and either due to the weather or someone’s fingerprint, the peephole is all cloudy and fogged up? I think I might be looking in at the life God has for me through a smudged-up peephole. I’m not seeing everything. I can make out some things, but most of the picture is blurry. But I am further than I was…

I don’t need another e-mail from anyone making the statement, “I don’t know why God keeps letting your family suffer, Donny.” HEY! Look what He has done. My life is not some drug trial subject and the Lord is human breaking points and the newest Bible-reading, church-attending, God-babble pill. He HAS saved. He HAS healed. And one day, He won’t.

Look, I get that I talk about God a lot. I understand that no one hands their struggles to Him 100% of the time. And I will be the first to admit that I have questioned His reasoning in letting things happen. But when I sit in here at night and the silence have its moment, I know He is here. As I work through thoughts and consider the task at hand, He begins wiping away smudge marks, foggy spots, and fixes the lighting. The day has ended, but its purpose is unfolded. I’m not lost, confused, or content. I am concerned, full, and restless. I have to make an effort like never before to trust, follow, and listen. I want to run, fix, and meddle with everything.

Tomorrow is a big day for me. 7 days on the job and its my first day by myself, in my position, all day. In the morning, I need to take a moment, through the busyness of getting everyone ready for school. I need to hug each one and remind each one of how much I love them. I need to deal with insurance so Liz is taken care of. I need to deal with storage so they will stop calling. I need to continue to learn my job to be more affective at it. I need to better understand whats going on with Liz. I need to spend time with the kids, making sure I am supporting them and raising them in the best possible way. I know my source. I know what love means.

I’m gonna shutdown. Not sure I am getting anywhere right now. I feel as if I am working through my own thoughts. I need to sleep. I need to check the faces of five little peeps, turn all the lights off, and…….lay still. Alone. Its ok…Its ok to be alone tonight. I admitted something out loud tonight….this is all getting to be hard. But, “it’s going to be ok.”

Pinkie Toe Swear

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1, 2011 by Donny

Tonight is the 12th night in a row that Liz is laid up in a hospital. She is miles from home on another stormy night in North Texas. And as the wind howls outside her window and as she stares out at the skyline of Dallas, with no lights on but the dark glow of the old television set on her wall and the never-ending flashing of the IV pump, the real turmoil fills the rooms around her.

Not much has changed within the last few days. Liz continues to receive the new blood-thinning medicine that has proven to work better than the Heparin she was receiving before. Her chest has started to hurt more today than the previous days. As the clot(s) persist, and perhaps grow, the inflammation and fluid around her heart may also increase. Liz’s right arm is starting to hurt a lot worse. Wednesday can’t come soon enough for her. Wednesday (not sure of the time), will be when her next surgery is.

This next procedure will be quite a bit more intensive than the last few. The doctor will not only be attempting to remove to clots, but also, taking out her power port from her shoulder, but also placing a specific type of catheter in her chest. And as of right now, the balancing act of try to keep her blood perfectly thinned,  has became a not-so-fun game.

I know that so many are praying. I ask that you do not stop. Please allow His love for all of us be felt through you via your prayers, notes, texts, visits, and, well, more prayers.

And I gotta tell ya, on this end of things, it is all getting a little tough. Not because I don’t have help and not because I can’t handle it, it just feels like a lot sometimes. I feel that there are so many directions in which I need to be thinking, all of them important but are prioritized, that I can’t always keep them straight.

Today, inside, had a little breakdown. Over-analyzing everything and very affected by people’s words and actions. I can recognize when I becoming easily offended and that it has more to do with where I am at than their intent. The roller coaster of where to be and what to be has become a factor in my sense of feeling drained so often. I feel very “loud” inside tonight. Brain won’t shut off. Heart won’t stop pounding. And yet, life has to go on. Liz, the kids, job, rent, people who need a friend are all still there. The stress of where Liz is never ever ends. The sense of urgency in needing to do right by my kids is constant. And the pressure of truly wanting to do the next right thing is my Northern star.

There goes the weekend. In twelve hours, the work week begins. Another week begun…Liz spent close to six days home in the month of April (give or take a couple of days.) My kids have spent countless hours with so many of my friends and family members. Its takes a lot of people to help a man to walk.

But then, another dot hit my life’s time line. This evening, got home with the kids after another long day and finishing it off with a visit with Liz. Madison was the first one to hit the shower and the other kids with talking to one another outside the door, awaiting their turns. I was milling around doing different things in the kitchen and bedroom when it happen. I looked down the hall and saw Logan, Hudson, Candice, and Samantha all laying in the floor, on their stomachs with their legs bent and feet in the air and their chins resting on their hands. They were home. They were together. They were spending time together. They didn’t know Dad’s world was weighing him down…oh so I thought.

This got me and I hurt while I type this……I look away at something when I see Logan’s head turn towards me and I hear him speak. What he says breaks my heart and makes me that I have failed them at keeping them from the magnitude of all that is going on. Not sure what their little conversation was about or how it got to this, but his words are still echoing in my mind. He said, “…yeah, but I think he’s tired. Just look at him; daddy is very tired.” My little seven year-old life soldier knew that dad was wearing down. And for the next 45 minutes, I put life aside and got taught a little something about livin’ tonight.

I walked towards them, got down on my hands and knees and got into the same position they were in………and their faces lit up. It was no longer just them being home or them loving on one another…dad was really and truly with them. We talked about school and storms and church and friends and then started making silly faces and voices. For 45 minutes, as each one took turns getting their showers done, I stopped trying to live life, but instead, let life live through me. I got to her Madison laugh a lot (just my favorite laugh on the planet.) Hudson got the biggest kick out of repeating EVERYTHING everyone said. Candice wanted to brush Sam’s and Madi’s hair. And Logan kept bragging about all the stuff he knew.

At some point, I had kicked off my shoes and Logan wanted to compare feet size. So he put his foot up to mine and we started foot fighting a couple of seconds later. He was laughing. The kids were laughing and it all came down to three simple words and an act from a little boys heart. Once the foot-wrestling stopped, and my socks had come off, still in his laugh-voice, Logan says, “Daddy, I really love you. And I pinkie toe swear it.” And with that, he attempts to wrap his pinkie toe around mine. My God, through my kids, at the end of a hard week, reached out to me and reminded me not of His control or power or might, but rather of His love, hope, and willingness be on the ready for when I realize I have taken the reigns from Him.

Tomorrow begins another very busy, very long, and very stressful week and I would ask that through your prayers, messages, and help, that you will walk with us. But, before we get to tomorrow, we rest tonight.