09 November 2019

A Liturgy For Dadurday

We were reading out of Every Moment Holy this morning and the kids wanted to write one of our own. So here it is!

A Liturgy For Dadurday

Dad
Divine Father of all, You who have set us in families and sanctified the seventh day for rest, bless this day to our use.

Kids
Thank You for this day, and thank You that Dad is home to enjoy it with us.

Mom
O Christ, who prepared breakfast for Your beloved disciples after being raised from the dead, thank You for the smell of pancake syrup and the taste of cheesy eggs that remind us of Your perfect provision.

Dad
I confess I tend to take these days for granted or turn them into never-ending to-do lists. Deliver me, O all-sufficient One, from my consuming desires for control and productivity. I give you my plans, my agenda, and my whiteboard. I fully submit to Your will for this day.

Kids
Be present in our activities and in our relaxation today.

Mom
May the Holy Spirit inhabit everything we do, whether it be donuts at the top of Burnett’s Mound, raking leaves, sweeping out the garage, or listening to Dad read aloud as we drive down a country road.

Dad
As we snuggle in bed watching the sunrise or sit on the porch in our pajamas to hear the midmorning birdsong, let us remember that You, O burden-bearing Christ, are the true source of our rest.

Kids
Grant us good health and good attitudes as we enjoy this day together, and may we be a blessing to all we meet today.

Mom
Whether we’re running around the block or reading comics on the living room floor, fill us with thanksgiving for Your many good gifts and help us to rely more and more on You.

Dad
May we listen to Your leading, O Holy Spirit. Let us find rest and refreshment in these sweet moments together.

Kids
As we lie on Dad’s back while he reads, teach us to trust and rely on You even more than we do on him.

Mom
Bless this good Dadurday and use it as You desire, to make us more like our Savior Jesus.

All
Amen

08 November 2019

daaaaad

sometimes i am a referee
trying to get small children
or arcane, byzantine tech stacks
to play together
nicely

29 October 2019

breakme

On those all-too-short,
All-too-infrequent afternoons
When I find myself
Surfing waves of insight,
Drenched in sweet splashes
Of clean, steadily flowing code,
When I encounter distractions,
I drop this breadcrumb
Reminding myself to handle
A mundane or difficult detail
At some later point:

breakme

It has neither decorator nor punctuation,
No class, no ancestors, no descendants,
Nor, indeed,
any
syntactic
validity
whatsoever.

It is a placeholder chosen
For the express purpose
Of forcing my poor compiler to its knees.

It is the rusty length of rebar
Thrown into the gears
Of my carefully maintained machine,
The mandatory full stop
Designed to keep me
from forgetting.

22 October 2019

Plowing

You harrowed my heart
like a baked-clay field
hardened by sun and weather
furrowed by unyielding blades
turned over in search
of the good fertile soil
the soil You knew
was there all along
softened and prepared
for spring planting
and--
unimaginably--
a bountiful harvest

21 October 2019

Plans and Providence: Reflections on Turning 38

Editor's Note: These are some thoughts I published on the Facebook while miserably sick on my birthday. 

It has been a delight to see so many kind birthday wishes rolling in from people all over the country today. Thank you all for making my day even sweeter!

A few folks have expressed hopes that I would receive my desires or enjoy a meaningful celebration today.

I can assure you I am having perhaps the most memorable birthday of my life today, through no planning of my own. And since I find myself with some downtime to fill, I shall share it with you, Dear Reader!

Here is how I expected today to go:

0430 - Rise for a workout with the incomparable Keith Fine at Fitrition.
0600 - Home for a refreshing shower, coffee, breakfast, and abundant affection from my sweet family.
0800 - A day of pleasant, productive, stimulating work at Kalos, Inc., writing code and spending time with people I deeply like and admire.
1630 - Leave for Lawrence with my splendiferous wife Magen to enjoy the world’s best nachos at Taco Zone and a Drew Holcomb concert with my dear friends and sibs, Joe and Jessie Hawkinson.
2300 or so (?) - Collapse into my bed, exhausted but sated with good things. Sleep with the windows open, hearing autumn noises, feeling the chilly breeze, and nestling gratefully under my down comforter.

Great plan, huh? Here’s what happened instead:

0230: Awake for no apparent reason.
0235: Intense intestinal discomfort.
0236: Disgusting Symptoms. Oh well, at least it’s not the Really Disgusting Symptoms.
0255: The Really Disgusting Symptoms.
0300 - Fitful rest and standup comedians on YouTube. Enjoy the repetition of the Symptoms many times.
0430, maybe? - Start calling in so trainer and job are aware.
0500 - Sleep! Praise Jesus!
0540 - Awake, Really Disgusting Symptom, sleep.
0730 - Awake, say goodbye to saintly wife who is removing all the children from our home.

“Sorry your birthday is ruined,” she says.

“It’s ok,” I say. “Not really into birthdays anyway. Just another day closer to my inevitable death.”

“You’re a mess,” she says. “But I guess being sick actually makes it easier to see your own mortality, so... it’s kind of a perfect gift for you.”

I laugh so hard that I soon find myself lunging toward the bathroom in order to prevent a Disgusting Symptom from getting all over my sheets.

0800 - Lie in bed watching Netflix, contemplating my mortality, and occasionally getting up to do various Symptoms.

And that is where I am even now, O ye persistent witness to my Symptom-redolent woes!

I normally try to avoid excessive pontification, but as the Bard says, “It’s my party and I’ll pontificate if I want to... you would pontificate too if it happened to you.”

Seriously, though, just a few thoughts before I go back to a fun-filled afternoon of vegetating and doing Symptoms:
  1. I don’t often get a chance to sit around doing nothing all day. It’s kind of fun every once in a while.
  2. I was struck by how much my birthday plan resembles a normal day. What delight and beauty and joy and health I often overlook!
  3. My death truly is approaching. I dwell in a mortal body, and this makes me want to live life to the fullest. It also makes me look forward to the New Creation and the redemption of my body. Come, Lord Jesus.
  4. At Hutchmoot, a feast that I had the privilege of attending last week, someone reminded me, “God always gives what we need when we need it.” That, more than anything else, has been the theme of this year for me. I both believe it and truly thank the Lord for this disgustingly providential opportunity to believe it better.
So, the short answer, and one without any hint of irony: It’s been a great birthday so far, and my deepest longings are being fulfilled.