newthingsold

The wise man is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things both new and old.

Month: January, 2016

My daughter, Genesis 3, and monkeys in boxes.

If anyone has a right to be frustrated with God right now, it’s me. Ever since finding out back in July that Sarah was pregnant, daily I consistently prayed for three things: that our child would be born healthy without complications, that financially we would continue to be blessed so that we would not experience a feeling of lack leading up to and through the birth, and that all three of us (Sarah, Kizzy, and me) would all be healthy.

And then I started dealing with some nasty digestive issues. And Sarah developed preeclampsia (very high blood pressure, low-grade fever…just Google search it). This necessitated inducing her so that Keziah was born 4.5 weeks early. And then when she was born, she had issues with hypothermia, apnea, and general lethargy to not want to eat. So then she had to be transferred to the large regional hospital and their newborn intensive care unit. Imagine the medical bills.

So in one fell swoop, it would seem that God took six months of prayers and said: Uh…NO.

Because of this frustration, I had not wanted to pick up a Bible lately. My only prayers were passive-aggressive ones that went something like this: Well, it looks like You ignored the past six months of my life. Maybe, however, could you please intervene medically with my baby girl? Please? And then something happened.

I’m sitting in a chair, feeding my daughter through her tube, and I have the thought: “Baby girl, I wish I could eat for you and fix all these things. But I can’t. You need to go through them so that you will be stronger.” And almost at the same time, I felt what could almost be described as a tap on the shoulder and a voice in my ear; although, there was no one else in the room except for me and my daughter.

I could have let everything happen without incident. But if I did, you wouldn’t grow because of this. How you are going to be different on the other end of this is not for you to get right now, but things will be different.

I started crying. And started thinking about the story of The Fall in Genesis (logical leap, right?).

My frustration with God originated out of feeling like I had my entire world under control. I realized I had been approaching the last six months with God as a wish-granting monkey in a box. Or like a recipe. If I do x, mix it with y, and do it z times, I will get the results I want. That’s not how it works. In the story of The Fall, Adam and Eve are told that the fruit from the tree will open their eyes and they will be like God. They eat it, anticipating to know and understand, and in a way they do, but not like they were hoping. They are severally let down when they realize that they are not infinitely wise, but that they are sin ropa.

After my discontent, God and I are working through things. I wish I could say at this point we’re 100% better. But I can say that coming towards the end of this experience, my relationship with God has grown from where I was a year ago.

 

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I’m Papa G!

This is my baby girl, Keziah Ruby.

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My wife already accuses me of being wrapped around her little fingers (I’m not going to argue that she’s wrong). She was born premature, but she’s making head strides.

She’s also turned me into the world’s biggest softie.

I thought the post-partem mother was supposed to have the random emotional outbursts. But here I am, getting a little teary-eyed thinking about my baby girl. It’s like I read a page from a book, cry. Listen to a song, cry. Watch a Metamucil commercial, cry.

Maybe one day I’ll harden up again to be the cynical, early 30s hipster I’ve always been…

An ambitious self-improvement project.

 

The Art of Manliness is a compendium of challenging materials and resources all dedicated to the idea of being a well-rounded man. One resource on the AoM (as the initiated refer to it) is a list of “100 Must Read Books”. As a man and English teacher, ensuring that I have read all 100 books on this list seems to me like a worthwhile task. So with this post, I begin an ambitious 100-book project to read through each book on the list. Books I have read I will reread since some of them I have not touched since high school. As I update this list, I will also include a one-paragraph reflection for each one.