P.S. – This is my 300th blog post. Hurray!
I’m currently near the end of a week-long vacation with my wife and kids at Fripp Island, off the coast of South Carolina. We visited here last Christmas, and from that visit we hoped to come back and try out the beach in the summertime. It’s been a fantastic vacation – the island is a nature preserve, and we’ve frequently seen deer, racoons, and even alligators (one was over 6 feet long) in close proximity to the house where we’re staying.
Yesterday we decided to rent a 17′ Carolina Skiff to navigate the marshes and make our way out to an uninhabited island to look for shells. This was pretty adventurous for us, since I’ve never driven a motorized boat by myself, our destination was an hour away from the marina at full throttle, and Keri and my shared lack of navigational sense. There was a sense of anticipation and excitement – even from the kids.
Without a doubt, the boat ride was a highlight of the trip, especially since we came across several groups of dolphins swimming near our boat. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.
Then, in the middle of our beautiful and adventurous day, I did a very silly thing. I put my iPhone into my swimsuit pocket to have it ready for taking photos. I knew when I did it that it was a bad idea, but I did it anyway.
Just for the record, you should never put a cell phone in your swimsuit pocket. The odds are against you.
When we found the island beach we were looking for, I jumped out of the boat to carry the kids to shore and keep the boat pushed out far enough that it didn’t get stuck with the falling tide. It wasn’t till about 20 minutes later, when we were all back in the boat, that I reached for my iPhone and realized that I had created a very expensive paperweight and an even more expensive boat ride.
- Even with the submersion and death of my iPhone, it was still worth the great memory my family created on the ocean yesterday. There was much more to the story, including Keri having to drive the boat at a moment’s notice two different times and my 4-year-old daughter simultaneously screaming at her that she couldn’t do it.
- Just before the boat ride, I emailed a few photos to my email account so that I’d have them for a blog post. Otherwise, I would have lost most of our photos from the trip.
- I miss my iPhone tremendously. It’s been less than 24 hours, but any time I think about needing a map, checking email, or taking a photo, my heart is stabbed with grief.
- Rumor has it that the new iPhone will be announced in just a few days. Perfect timing!
Earlier this week, my youngest brother Phillip accepted a position administrating the finances of Experience Life Church in Lubbock, TX. I’m very excited for him. Not only is it exciting to see him enter the ministry on a vocational level, but I’m also fired up about his church. They’ve had phenomenal growth (Outreach Magazine’s fastest growing church of 2009) and they’re seeing a lot of lives changed.
I’m super proud of my brother, and I’m praying God will use him in a big way to enhance the ministry at Experience Life Church. This is a new position for both my brother and the church, so I’m sure he’d appreciate you prayers as well.
Whether you’ve met my brother or not, you’ve got to check out this video of him from a few years back. (I’m sure he’ll appreciate that I’ve posted this online.)
Yesterday I woke up feeling pretty terrible, and I spent most of the day shivering while wrapped up in a fleece blanket. But before that, we managed to take a visit to see some newborn lambs at the farm where Keri’s sister works.
Just for the record, baby lambs are even more cute than you might think.
For Christmas, we decided to mix things up a bit. Before my parents arrived on the 26th, we traveled with Keri’s family to South Carolina and rented a house on the beach for a few days.
It was pretty cold, but Nathan (A.K.A. Great Gorilla) and I managed to get in the ocean for a few minutes.
Just a few weeks before Christmas, my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer. At this point, they still don’t know the stage or extent of the cancer, but it seems that she will be undergoing surgery in the very near future.
Fortunately, the news didn’t disrupt their trip to Knoxville, and we had a great time together during the time they were here (including a trip to Biltmore).
We would really appreciate your prayers for my mom and dad – for wisdom in their decisions and healing in her body.
It’s a little bit difficult to tell from the photo, but at my request, my daughter took the time out of her playing at Chick-fil-A to wipe her brother’s nose.
What did people ever do without camera phones to capture these moments?
As I’ve mentioned before, Keri and I don’t own a TV. It’s a decision that we made on purpose to help keep the lines of communication open in our home. But even without a television, there are still so many things that try to pull the two of us apart from one another. Whether it’s my wife’s desire to read her favorite blogs after an exhausting day with our kids or my efforts to manage freelance website & graphics projects, life has a way of trying to bring emotional distance between the two of us.
To combat this natural tendency in our relationship, we introduced a new nightly ritual into our schedule a couple of weeks ago. Once we get the kids in bed and the house set back in order, we’ve committed to spend at least 20 minutes sitting on the couch together without distractions – just talking about the day and snuggling. My personal goal is to begin our couch time with a few minutes of encouraging my wife and building her up – something that I’m ashamed to say I have neglected for the past ten years of marriage (more on this later).
In just these two weeks, I can already tell that God is helping us break down some barriers that were beginning to creep up between us.
(As an aside, I find it ironic that all the stock photography I looked at showed computers pulling families together for some fun family time. Really? I’m not saying that it’s not possible, but there’s no way that’s the norm.)