Here’s What Happened

This will not be an easy post for me to write, and it may not be a very fun one for you to read.  However, the time is right for me to talk about what’s going on in our little family.  Don’t worry — it’s not a moral failure or some kind of relational thing, and none of our kids robbed a bank or anything.  It’s a health challenge.  Read on if you’d like.

Last week, my wife had a seizure.  She has no history of such, nor do they run in her family.  Out of nowhere, on a fine evening where she and I and the boys were headed out to watch the new Lego Batman movie, she suddenly fell to our garage floor.  Paramedics arrived and did their good work, and Emily took a ride to the hospital.  Thankfully, we had an awesome caregiver at the house to watch Lexi, and so it worked out well to be able to reassure the boys yet let them stay home while I followed the Ambulance.  I watched my wife through the little square window in the back as she chatted about this and that.

We reported to the ER and started to figure things out.

All the tests — blood, CT, etc — came back as unremarkable (which is good).  The running theory is that this was a seizure induced by insomnia.  In other words, Emily’s body decided to send an impossible to ignore message about not getting enough sleep.  While she’s struggled with insomnia for the last 20 years, this was certainly a new high.  Or low.  A whole new level, nonetheless.

In a few weeks, we’ll see a neurologist to rule out any brain electrical malfunction.  She’s slated for a sleep study, which will hopefully lead to some practical steps toward better and deeper rest.  And her face, shoulder, and fingers, while in pretty rough shape from the fall and the tremors, will continue to heal well. Even now, bruised, she is so very beautiful to me.

We know a couple of things and don’t know some other things.  Here’s why I’m putting this out there on RadBlog

  1. I am asking you, if you are a person of faith, to pray specifically for healing, for peace, for protection, and for wisdom during this time.  Our family is really going through some serious stuff, and Emily and I both deeply believe in the power of God to not only help us but fix this.  We would appreciate your prayer during this time.
  2. I want you to know that we’re kinda in shock right now.  I’m on pins and needles, as my alert status has hit condition red.  Our boys, who, sadly, witnessed some of the event, are both quite rattled (no pun, okay, maybe a little) by this.  We’re trying to remain calm and trust God, but it’s still very raw and feels quite unreal.
  3. I want people to know why my beautiful wife looks like she got into a bar fight.  Though it’s tempting to say “you should see the other lady,” the truth is that the physical signs are hard to ignore (especially for people who look for certain kinds of injuries.)  Today Emily was in a public place and noticed right away that people couldn’t help but notice her, and not because she has awesome rainbow hair but rather her peculiar injuries.
  4. I want you to know that we have had our share of challenges in life, and we’re quite confused right now.  The justice part of me wonders what I’m doing wrong, why we seem to be getting more than our share of trouble, and why, if the Father is so good, He seems to be “allowing” this.  But, there’s also this:
  5. I want to confess to you that I use words of faith and trust but am not living it very well.  Since I’m in a catlike state of constant readiness, every little sound and whatif pushes me to anxious worry.  I’m the kind of person who finds it very easy to assess risk.  This time, like most times, it’s Emily who is chill.  She needs me to be chill.  And the harsh truth for my soul is this: I either trust the Father or I don’t.  I’m being formed through this, and I own it.  Emily sees it pretty much the same.  I believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9:24).

What’s next?

Sleep study & Neurology will do their stuff.  Emily is laying low.  But we’re still living, we’re still a family, and we’re still doing our stuff.  Today was a better day, and we anticipate that tomorrow will be even better yet.  As we wait for follow-up appointments with specialists, we will practice the spiritual discipline of prayer, the ancient study of scripture, and the frustrating work of waiting.  I am grateful — we are — for God’s faithfulness and patience with us — especially with me. And we are grateful for our friends and family, those who already support and encourage in so many awesome ways.  We know the love of God through the love of others, and that’s something we’re especially thankful for during this season.

With God’s provision, we carry on.  Carry on with us.

 

 

McValentines

For a whole array of reasons, our family celebrated the love that my wife Emily and I share with a delightful meal of foods that start with the prefix Mc, as in McNuggets, McChicken, and McFries (of love).  That’s right: we had a McValentines dinner.

One might say “you really dropped the ball there, Adam — not even a Culver’s Basket?” to which I reply with this factoid: it’s what she wanted for Valentine’s Day.  Something simple, fun, and full of value.  Almost everything we ate was off of the ValueMenu™, so I’d say we hit all the categories and all the arteries.

This is what happens when you’ve been married for 15+ years and the day didn’t go as you’d like.  Today was a day that we didn’t plan.  Or like.  But, as the old saying goes, Valentines Day waits for no one.  Ronald was there, his shock of red hair and predictably red shoes a welcome beacon of love, which sounds like bacon of love, which would’ve been the perfect topping on Valentine’s Day.  Ba dut dat dat daaah!  I’m lovin’ it.

What can I say?  Well, I’d say that she’s happy, and I’ll admit that I’m posting something that would be tantamount to marital treason if it were the early 2000’s, the two of us fresh in our wedded bliss.  This is the beautiful thing about matrimony and commitment: you learn more and more about what’s important and focus your energy on those unique things.  You revel in them.  And in each other.

Maybe next year, we’ll go royal and see if we can meet the real Burger King.

Happy McValentines to my love, my wonderful wife, my Emmy.

TB (Tom Brady)

Ol’ Tom Brady has won more than his share of Superbowls.  Emily and I were there, digitally speaking, as the first ever Overtime was registered on… whatever the NFL registers these things on.  The tension was palpable, and I’m just talking about the room we were in.  Emily was full of angst when :54 seconds went to :11 seconds, which, according to her theory of relativity took 27 minutes.  We had nowhere to be, or at least I didn’t.  She wanted to move on.  I don’t blame her.  But this.  This was history.  This is history.  My dear wife, just being released from the physical torture of a kidney stone, was deserving of something other than the football.  She is wonderful and patient. A wonderful patient.

She just said ya know… (something about football being meh)… but I’m glad I can say we watched it as it happened.  That was an awesome game.  She’s right.  We were on the road when Lady Gaga tore the roof off (is that a euphemism or did she really do such?) so that part of our culture wasn’t shared by us.  But the last few seconds of Superbowl LI was shared between us, our TV, and 2 billion other people.

Quite a moment.  The tension is now broken.

 

A Fresh Word on Worship (from 1954)

From Ilion T. Jones, A Historical Approach to Evangelical Worship (Abingdon Press)

The liturgical movement is one of the significant movements of our time.  (Not only) is it creating a revival of interest in worship but it is bringing about changes in church architecture, in the arrangement of sanctuaries, in the use of symbols, in the attire of ministers, and in the elements of the order of worship… Conceivably, in time it could change the course and even alter the nature of that Protestantism.

Unfortunately there has not been on the part of a sufficient number of ministers and laymen enough discriminating thought about the long-range results of the movement. Instead there has been a hasty, almost blind acceptance of the current trends as things that ought to be done because everybody else is doing them.

First and foremost: He wrote this in 1954!  This assumes I’m reading the Roman Numerals correctly, of course.

I’m still chewing on this, and we’re only to page 7.  The thought that grabs my attention:  Instead there has been a hasty, almost blind acceptance of the current trends as things that ought to be done because everybody else is doing them, and it’s because he could’ve written these words in 2017 just as easily as 1954.  Am I criticizing anything?  Only while including my own practices as a minister.  As for right now, it’s intriguing to me and gives me something to chew on, mixed with wisdom from the true ancient:

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.  – Ecclesiastes 1:9

In an effort to span the ages, I try to seek out what the old ones said and did in church ministry.  And when I say old ones, I don’t mean the original Hillsong band.  I mean guys like Mr. Jones here, as well as sister Phoebe Palmer, brother Augustine, and the martyred ones whose worship drove them to radical sacrifice.

Thinking.  Pondering.  And truly amazed at our new experiences in worship whose separation in time doesn’t remove all synoptic values per se.  In other words, I’m not as cool as I thought I was, and probably neither are you.  Unless you’re Bono, but that goes without saying.