My daughter is awesome...I honestly could not imagine a better child to have as MY child. She is as or more creative than me, as beautiful as her mom, and as headstrong as an Ox on steroids. We have some of the best times doing some of the simplest things. Last week Stacy had to go to a women's conference, so Brooklynn and I had a daddy daughter date. We had more fun chattering while eating pizza, checking out comics and strolling through a hardware store then I could have thought possible. And I know she had fun because out of the back seat, while driving to pick up Stacy, I hear her say "Daddy, that was the best daddy daughter date night ever." My heart melted.
Being Brooklynn's dad has its down moments. When she has her mind set, it takes and act of God, some sever negotiation and usually 4-6 hours of screaming to change it. But those moments are so few and far between that the rest of life with her is absolute joy, and well worth the trouble periods. I don't know how I lucked into this gig. Proof enough that there is a merciful God, cuz I sure don't deserve it, but I am so glad I'm here...think I'll stay for awhile...like...80-90 years maybe.
So today was along day, on top of a longer weekend. Battle Assembly weekends can take it out of you as it is, but when you star adding days and the drive on top ( 85 miles a day) it can be exhausting. Sunday however was an emotional high. I friend and fellow soldier, who I have been speaking with for months about the Gospel, were having one of our long conversation. He, being a professed pagan, was add his perspective to the days topics. Our conversations are always a high point to our BA's and this one was no different. We talked about the Gospel and Christs sacrifice. I could see our conversation was hitting an emotional chord with him in in the coarse of our conversation I asked if he wanted to accept Christ as his savior. I was taken aback by a small yes that came out in his lengthy answer...and overjoyed.
I re-entered the Army for one purpose. To help soldiers. To bring to them the joy and peace I have found in relationship to Christ. I had begun to doubt that I was doing any good at all. I often felt I wasn't doing enough, and after three years was about ready to hang it up. I'm not getting any younger and the PT isn't getting any easier ( ok so maybe I did get a few extra seconds on the run but you get my meaning.) Then this wonderful amazing conversation, with a friend who I have prayed for alot, comes out and suddenly everything we have gone through for the last three years is worth it.
Monday morning came and I am a little excited. This is the week I find out if I get the job at my church in the IT dept. I know the interview was not what I would call good, but I could see God moving in several things leading up to it. Including all the people who spoke up for me ( whom I am very appreciative for) Stacy, Brooklynn and I head to my Army Unit to go over the merging of my company Family Readiness Group with another companies. FRG groups are amazing and if your ever looking for a way to help soldiers, consider volunteering at a local reserve units FRG group. Their purpose is to prepare and support families before, during and after deployment, and they often do it with long hours, no money and little thanks. Stacy was speaking with our area director and I was working with Brooklynn on observing and drawing things she sees in the world around her. PING!!! you've got mail!!...The from address tells me this is the message I have been waiting for...A quick read and BOOYA!!!...the world comes to a halt...We have chosen another applicant. Thanks...
Brookie, being the keen observer she is ( only a little sarcasm here) notices there is something wrong right away.
"What's that daddy?"
"Email baby girl...I didn't get the job at church."
"...That's ok daddy. I know God has a different job for you. God has a secret job for you."
And that's when i realize, work or no work, I have the greatest Job ever...Being the daddy of this precious little girl. After weighing all that's happened this weekend...The blessings are definitely in the greater category...so tonight...I will sleep with a thankful heart.
My wife is probably the single most amazing, brave and inspiring person I know. When I met her she was a single mom, working nights with Brooklynn and making ends meet. helping her mom, working at our church and leading a singles group. She was a very active woman and I was amazed as the wisdom that flowed through her. It was always apparent she was very in tune with hearing God.
Getting to marry her was a huge blessing and now, looking back, I can't really remember what life was like before her. Given the things she does for me, I am amazed I even survived my single years ( Apparently I didn't know how to dress, cook or put away dishes before I met her). She dived into married life with gusto and it wasn't long after we married that we entered into apartment ministry. She was amazing in her ability to organize and pull together events in our community.
Around our third year of apartment ministry and marriage, we started to feel run down...Not easy to keep up the pace of 8 social events as well as normal life. we started to contemplate getting out of the ministry and taking a break. We left ministry work in Aug 2011. In Sept 2011 Stacy had a seizure that, quite frankly, scared the hell out of me. The right side of her body started to seize. Her foot and hands began to curl in and she was unable to control them. I rushed her to the hospital and that began a four month process of trying to find out what had happened. The strange seizure would return with ever increasing frequency during those four months. After appointments with neurologists, MRI's, EEG's, blood tests and sleep studies, we found out Stacy has Multiple Sclerosis. we determined a coarse of treatment and started into this new season of our life. Those first few months were hell. I have never know Stacy to be depressed about anything, but the reality of this disease can bring down event the spirits of the most upbeat of people.
It took several months for her to bounce back and begin to attack this disease, once she got her legs under her, and set out in her mind to beat this thing, she dug in like a trooper and began to get back into life. That's when we found out about how exhausting MS can be. Ever since that first flare up Stacy does not have the energy resources she used to. this is a constant source of frustration for her. having been so active she often gets mad about not being able to do as much as she used to do. She still powers through, but we have had to learn to steward and budget her energy to do the things we want to do as a family. It's rough at times, but oh so worth it to see her out and about and enjoying herself. The best thing is she has kept her sense of humor. I had reservations about doing a strip on MS. But to see her laugh at the little bit of reality in the wrapper of funny made it evident that this would be ok.
Life as a parent is never dull. Not always fun, but never dull. The last 5 years of my life have been the greatest adventure of my 43 years on this planet. A large part of that is due to the adventures and misadventures I have had as a daddy. To say that living with Brooklynn Grace is a blessing would be an understatement and disservice to the word blessing. She is a constant source of Joy, Mirth, Laughter, Heartbreak, Anger, Adventure, Wonder and immeasurable LOVE. Our adventures together have taken us many places with many friends. I intend to share those adventures here with you. I hope you get as much joy reading about them as I get out of living them. So sit back with a cup of joe, take in the autumn smells and have a glance at our comic.