As I was putting Sara to bed tonight I had a flashback moment. A flashback to 1996 and a time when Marena was 2 or 3 years old. I was so impatient back then, at a young age. It would be my turn to put Marena to bed and I’d think how easy it would be. “Ok, Marena. Off to bed.” As if that was all it would take. I’d get her to bed and she’d say, “Dad, I want a drink of water… Dad, I have to go to the bathroom… Dad, I forgot to brush my teeth… Dad, I didn’t hug my momma.”

Then Sara showed up and I’m older and wiser. I never once put her to bed without those essentials being taken care of and putting Sara to bed was never a ‘task’ to be completed.

Dear daughters, I love you soooo much. It has been such a pleasure to know you, to raise you, to influence you, and to just simply hold and care for you.

Sep 022009

Last night I cancelled a breakfast meeting because I needed a break to be with my family in the morning. At the time I had no idea how good of a decision that could be. We just finished breakfast with the whole family. That is so rare for all of us to be home together anytime, let alone in the mornings. Sara, Tasha, and Marena were all great to be around and we had a nice time. We had another family over for dinner last night and that was great, too. Sometimes it all comes together and what a great feeling that is.

Check out Matthew 18:19-20. God was present with us this morning. Thank you God for wonderful times like these. Thank you for my family. Thank you for allowing me to see the good around me and to slow down to enjoy it and appreciate it. Please help my family seek You out in their actions today. Help them to honor You. Amen.

Jul 202009

Marena had a chance to travel to Houston, Texas, to visit family friends Cyndi & Jeremy Dull. I was hopeful that Marena would continue to build confidence in her decision making ability on this trip – a trip without mom/dad hounding her at all. Check out that look on her face coming off the plane at the end of her trip – that’s confidence!

I was typing about one thing when I was drawn to something totally different looking at the top of this pic. My girls are growing up! I love it. I’m proud of the young women they are becoming and I’m all ready missing them and they haven’t even left.

But back to Houston. I want to thank Cyndi and Jeremy for being a positive part of Marena’s growing up. They’ll forever be a part of her memories of childhood. You are good people, God bless ya’ll (get it?).

Tasha and I have really found a niche in the teen crowd. Tasha is doing a great job teaching high school Sunday school and driver education and I’m coaching cross-country and track at Coldwater High School.

I think I know one of the reasons the kids love Tasha so much. I’m tired at the end of the hot day at Warren Dunes, and Tasha is secretly rallying the kids to convince me to drive them to ColdStone Creamery on the way home. She is over-the-top sometimes and the kids like that. And let’s face it, over the top for ice cream is hard to be angry at.

Thank you, God, for the continued opportunity to rally kids for You. To feel young as we lead the teens of our church and our community. Amen.

I had a great day yesterday skiing with Marena and Tubing with Sara and her cousin Angelica. I’m definitely a proud papa! Sara was almost up skiiing – I think she’ll do it this year and she’s only 9!

Marena and I took the paddle boat out to join my mother-in-law Janet, and Marena’s cousin Angelica, while they were out fishing. The ladies hadn’t caught a fish all day. I showed up, asked for one cast, and the bluegills started jumping into the boat! Marena hadn’t done a lot of fishing so it was nice to get her to have that experience. I remember Marena’s first fish, in a little row boat on Cary Lake between Coldwater and Bronson in the summer of 2001. This trip, I gave Marena the fishing pole and she took a picture of me taking a nap so it looked like she caught all of the fish while I caught some zzzz’s. We had a great time!

We had another successful Vacation Bible School week at First Baptist Church of Coldwater. Over 100 kids from infants to middle school age were in attendance each day. Over 60 volunteers put in time, too. It was an excellent week! Check out this video.

With an opening in our Youth Department at the church, Tasha, Susie, and myself were asked to take a show-must-go-on attitude towards a week long youth trip planned for the Alive Music Festival. I was told I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and that was correct! But the kids and leaders all had a good time listening to music, growing in our faith, getting to know each other better, and playing in the mud – yes, M-U-D. Check out this video.

Tasha and I joined Marena and Sara on their Power Of Love trip to Traverse City. We stayed at the wonderful Great Wolf Lodge. The kids had fun at the water park – Tasha and I did, too!

We drove and walked out to Mission Point in the Grand Traverse Bay. Pastor Anderson led an excellent devotional that begins to wrap up the season for the kids. I like these kinds of trips. There is an adventure to traveling 4 hours from home. There were about 35 kids from all different types of backgrounds. Several of the kids wouldn’t leave Coldwater if it wasn’t for trips like this and the peninsula heading out to the bay had some beautiful vistas. Then on Sunday they performed at the Windward Church operating out of the Traverse City Junior High in Traverse City, MI.

I’m glad that Marena and Sara were a part of this program. They got to travel to different churches and they had fun and fellowship with other youth trying to become more mature followers of Christ. Enjoy the pic and this link to the group making it on local news at 11 O’clock (once you are there, choose the play video link).

Marena had the pins out today that have been holding her finger together for the last 6 weeks. She has been cleared to begin running and playing soccer. Her finger is straightened and now she has to regain the mobility and relearn basic tasks with her left hand. She is on the path to recovery.

Dear God, please help Marena on this path of recovery. Please help her to have better function in her left hand than she had before the surgery. Help her to feel comfort in the decisions that she and her parents have made.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

The picture is of Marena and me at the Rain Forest Café in Chicago after the appointment.

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