Abby: Walking and Dancing!

November 16, 2009

Abby’s had a huge week. Yesterday, she started walking a little bit. She started with one step, repeated that two more times, and then busted out three steps in a row! That’s awesome to watch.

We’ve also noticed that she’s started dancing around a bit to music. That’s actually pretty cool. She has a little play table that plays a lot of different songs, and sometimes the music takes her away!

We caught some good stuff on video today, edited down to the best 1:11. Enjoy!

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I Want to Be the Subject

October 18, 2009

I’ve had a little “a ha!” moment in my prayer life lately. I’ve discovered that, even in prayer, I want to be the subject.

Now, I’m not exactly what you’d call a selfish oaf. I do, of course, take care of my family and serve them as best I can. I try to be a good friend to my friends, a good leader to my team, a good team member to my leaders, and an all-round decent guy. While I do make some time for myself (basic introvert recharge), I try to live outside of myself as much as possible.

Some may argue that living outside oneself is a near-impossible task. Years ago, I heard author Donald Miller explain it as well as I’ve ever heard it. To paraphrase, you can view  life as a kind of play. And in that play, I’m the star and everyone in my life is just my supporting cast. It’s not about you; it’s about me.

Don’t believe me? Fine. I’ll prove it. You see, sometimes we have scenes together. You enter the stage, we interact, and then you walk offstage. I know that life is about me because I’m always on stage whether you’re there or not. Life is, therefore, all about me.

Obviously, this is a horrible, prideful, self-focused view of the world. It’s not something I believe, but it certainly is something I keep in mind with every interaction. It makes me more aware of the spotlight, and better yet, it reminds me to step out of the spotlight when I’m standing in someone else’s scene.

What’s struck me lately, however, is how “me-centered” my prayers have become. I dare say there’s a chance your prayers suffer from the same “self as subject” disorder. It has crept into the language I use as I lay my requests before the Lord.

“Lord, let me…”

Sound familiar? I can’t believe how often my prayers start with “Lord, let me.” What a ridiculous prayer. Yet, it’s one we hear every day, or maybe even say every day, without thinking about it. What do I mean when I say this? I’m not asking God to do something, I’m asking God to let me do something.

“Lord, let me get home safe tonight.” That’s not a prayer for God to keep me safe; it’s a prayer focused on my own mad driving skills regardless of any traffic disaster I might encounter.

“Lord, let me feel better tomorrow.” That’s not a prayer for healing; it’s a prayer for my kick-butt antibodies to stomp out an infection.

“Lord, let me be a better father.” That’s not a prayer for God to change my heart; it’s a prayer for me to make myself a better dad.

Whenever I say, “Lord, let me,” I’m not asking God to reveal His awesome power. I’m asking Him to get out of the way of my awesomeness. And that won’t do.

God hears our heart in prayer; some may argue that the words don’t even matter. That may be true; the words may not matter to God. But I swear, the language I use when talking to God matters to me. It shapes me. It focuses me. And sometimes, it focuses me on the wrong things.

So, Lord, don’t let me get home safe. Get me home safe. Don’t let me feel better tomorrow. Heal me. Don’t let me be a better father. Break my pride and fill my heart with more and more servant love for this precious child. Do the work, Lord. You’re better at it than I am. I’d rather have your full power in action than rely only on the most amped-up version of me you can make.

You’re the subject, Lord. Make me content—no, make me wholly fulfilled—as the object, the one joyfully and gratefully receiving your mighty action.


Abby Standing Around

September 12, 2009

Abby is blowing us away with what all she’s learning and the pace at which she’s picking things up. It seems like she’ll do something for the first time on one day, and then totally master it by the next day. Having just turned seven months, she’s been speed crawling for a week or two now, and she has started pulling herself up on furniture. I imagine she’s only days away from “cruising” side to side on the sofa. Here’s a video I got this morning of her standing around at the sofa. Notice the slight showing off as she takes one hand off, turns around to me, and says “Da Da.”

Yes, that’s what she said. No, she hasn’t associated that with me so far. But it’s coming. I feel it.


Abby’s First Cracker Barrel Visit

September 7, 2009

We spent Friday and Saturday night in Atlanta visiting family and friends, but had to rush home Sunday morning to make church commitments that night. As we drove through Chattanooga around 11:15 a.m., we thought about lunch but decided to hold off since we were in a rush. However, a mile after we passed the Chattanooga Cracker Barrel (where we had just pulled off to change Abby’s diaper), we hit a complete and total stop on the interstate. There was a massive wreck on I-24, and all lanes were blocked on both sides. So, we cut across the median and headed back to Cracker Barrel. Hey, I’d rather sit there for an hour eating fine country cookin’ than sit on the interstate going out of my mind.

So, Abby got to see her first Cracker Barrel, a landmark moment for any southern belle. Now Abby has always been fascinated with ceiling fans. I secretly worry that she thinks fans are God–in every room, always looking down, always watching over, etc. So, when we walked into Cracker Barrel, with all the gifts, warm smells, twinkling lights, and yes, ceiling fans, I thought her head was going to explode. She kept darting her head from one side to the other trying to take it all in. It was fantastic.

This was also her first time in a restaurant high-chair. She did great, although she was determined to eat the table. Yes, I know it’s disgusting and we’re horrible parents for letting her mouth hit the table. But we cleaned it as best we could and come on, it’s freaking adorable.

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Making a Break for It!

August 27, 2009

Here’s my six-month-old, planning her escape. She’s actively crawling and has just started pulling up a little bit. If we stand her up next to the window, she’ll hold herself up for a while. It’s kind of creepy seeing a little baby standing up like that, to be honest.

Abby Standing 6 mos


This Kid’s Got Choppers!

August 25, 2009

I’ve probably mentioned that Abby’s teeth are coming in. Man, that’s just weird. Wasn’t she just born last week? She’s got a single awesome tooth below, with its twin about to spring forth right next to it. It looks like there’s some activity above, too. Apparently, she’s trying really hard to get to the hamburger stage of life as quickly as possible.

first tooth

Her six-month doc visit went great (except for the shots, which made her sick). The doctor’s report is what every mom and dad want to hear: “She’s perfect. Keep on doing what you’re doing.” She measured at the 90th percentile in height and 95th in weight. That’s my girl!


Shots, Stuffy Noses, and Solo Dads

August 22, 2009

After her first six months of healthy living, I hate to say that Abby got sick for the first time this week. She had her six-month shots on Tuesday, and after that developed a mild fever. Friday, that fever added an incredibly stuffed nose … just shortly after mommy left town for a quick 24-hour trip, leaving the geeky dad in charge.

Stuffy Nose, Squishy Face

Stuffy Nose, Squishy Face

I’m sure you’ve all been there. The stopped-up nose prevented any breathing through the nose at all, which means she wouldn’t take her bottle, because for some reason, she refused to have both her nose AND mouth plugged up! Silly baby. So, by the alleged “bedtime,” I had a hungry, sick, sniffling, coughing, screaming little girl on my hands. Few times have I felt so remarkably helpless.

After a few reassuring calls to the traveling mommy and  a few other panic-stricken, “what the crap do I do?” calls to my good friend, Holly (a pediatric nurse), I found myself rubbing Vicks on the baby’s chest, squirting Motrin and Benadryl in her mouth, and applying an extra dose of daddy love. Apparently, this potion worked, because she’s managed to sleep eight hours and counting … so far.

Parenting is hard. Parenting a poor, sick baby who can’t tell you what’s wrong and who doesn’t understand what’s happening to her normally healthy, active little body is extremely hard. I’ve definitely come to understand what people mean by, “This hurts me more than it hurts you.” It does. It really, really does. Poor kid.