a summer of first times


When you have young kids, there are a lot of “first times.” This summer, however, was extraordinarily full of them. What a blessing they all were. Below are some of them. From me and Jen to the kids to my Dad even, it has been a great summer.

Jen and I experiencied a first – celebrating 10 years together. We did this on the Gulf Coast in the FL panhandle with the family and friends of Rick and Cosette (a couple whose wedding ceremony I led who is a part of the Westpoint Church family). We also did this alone – Jen’s sister kept the kids. And, we did this to retreat for the sake of advancing in our marriage.

What’s going on at home is not a first. Tropical Storm Fay exposed some flaws in the western wall of our home as water leaked under the baseboards again like it did during the three storms of 2004. We came home from our get-away to begin to deal with it. More importantly, we got to come home refocused on pouring into and growing with our kids. Also, we got to come home refreshed to continue to live sent with the wonderful people of the Westpoint Church family. 

Please pray. Pray for our family when you think of it. For strength and protection. Also, please pray for wisdom and direction for Westpoint. There is an awesome future ahead with Westpoint in that community as people keep on being the church there. There are also growing pains in various elements of what we are doing in which we are committed to listen to the Lord and through which we are excited to follow Him as He leads us into the next steps of this amazing and sobering journey.

May the firsts keep coming. 

new york city

It’s hard to believe that Jen and I have been married for 10 years this coming Friday (August 8th). Amazing. What a journey it has been, with lots of ups and lots of downs and lots of growing in the difficult yet worthwhile transformation toward oneness. I must say, that 1/2 of me that continues to need to be surrendered so that I can be a part of 2 becoming 1 is really tough to let go of. It’s much easier to just try to win your case or have it your way or act like everyone should be playing a support role to the movie that you are starring in. However, that way is also very lonely and hurtful and hollow. I continue to learn that.

I also continue to learn how beautiful my wife is and how deep her love is for me. Everyday she amazes me. Everyday, I am sure we both annoy each other, but everyday she overwhelms me with her heart and support and touch and kiss and encouragement and prayers and life given into our kids. 

I love you, Jen. Happy anniversary!!!

Now to the reason why there’s a picture of Manhattan as the highlight pic for this blog. We were asked a while back to do a wedding at the end of August up in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, so we planned for that to be an anniversary trip of sorts. The beach there is amazing, and the town is quaint with lots of peaceful and soulful amenities. I like it simply because when I go out chest high in the ocean, I can see my toe nails. Pretty cool. Nonetheless, we are planning on celebrating 10 years there together while we celebrate the beginning of another marriage with some friends of ours.

Well, a $400 voucher from Delta, a monetary gift to help cover most of the costs, and the desire to go and visit some friends of ours who are being the church among the people of Manhattan with hopes of seeing His church blossom all over the city produced the idea of a part 1 trip to couple with the part 2 to Santa Rosa. So, July 29th to 31st, Jen and I ventured off to see Erick and Mandy and what their life was like in the big city.

Now, their life there doesn’t normally consist of a Yankees game and a Broadway show, but we decided to do it all together since it gave them an excuse to go and since we wanted to. Little known fact – my wife is a Yankees fan. You can’t go to New York if you are a Yankees fan and not see the Yankees play. Especially since this is their last year in “the House that Ruth built.” So, that’s what we did. And, we both dig Mary Poppins. Among the lower cost tickets left that day at the place where locals get tickets, Mandy was able to grab Mary Poppins tix. Thinking of Katey the whole time, we went! She loves Mary Poppins. She was just singing supercalifragilisticexpialidocious this afternoon. AND, we got to see where Erick and Mandy do life. It was amazing. A great part one trip to celebrating 10 years, as well as a great opportunity to be a part of what Erick and Mandy are doing there.

Here’s the video I put together of our adventure. Enjoy.