It’s a little difficult to be out on the road this weekend because Bowen is still in the hospital. The doctors are still trying to figure out why his blood sugar keeps dropping and he’s been having a harder time keeping his food down over the past two days. I also know it can be hard for Sarah, at times, not having me there. This weekend was difficult for several families on our floor, and I can tell it’s a taking a toll on her as well. As you continue to pray for Bowen, please keep Sarah and all the other heart parents in your prayers.

The positive side of this weekend is that Sarah, in my absence, has formed a deeper bond with some of the mothers on our floor. This has been a blessing to her. As for me, the shows have been great and I had the chance to meet some other heart families out on the road. This weekend I met Karsyn Williams, a baby girl with HRHS, and Santo Fasano, a three year-old boy with HLHS. The bond that I feel with children with congenital heart defects and their families is so strong, and immediate. Their presence is like a home away from home. I look forward to being a voice and an advocate for this new family that I am blessed to be a part of.

Here’s a few photos from that past two days.

Sarah took this while they were changing his NG tube. Nothing on his face!

Wearing a lion hat that an anonymous friend left at our doorstep after reading Sarah’s post about halloween.

Kari and Karsyn at our show in Quincy, IL. You may have noticed my “elephant wearing glasses” shirt in several photos. It’s my favorite. I bought it while Bowen was on CPAP because it reminded me of his “trunk”.

Kerri and Santo at the Hoffman Estates show near Chicago

Leading Through Adversity

My heart and mind has been torn in many directions over the past five weeks. Our life has always felt like somewhat of a juggling act, but lately it’s been increasingly difficult to keep a grip on everything. Now that I’m back on the road for a few days, I’ve had time to reflect on what’s been happening at home. It hit me really hard last night that I haven’t had much quality time with my girls over the past month. With all that’s been going on with Bowen at the hospital, it’s been really hard to focus on much else. I’ve been evaluating myself this weekend as a husband and father. I know there’s a lot of room to grow in leading my family through this difficult time and that it’s my responsibility to be present, loving, creative, and disciplined in my relationship with Sarah and each of my children. Most importantly, as a Christian man I have a responsibility to grow in my faith and in my relationship with God. Out of it, will flow the love and knowledge I need to serve my family well.

When it comes to faith, I believe that we’re not only meant to find the answers, but also to ask the questions that lead us to them- in order to not only know what, but why we believe. I had a conversation with Matt Maher a couple months ago about how each family is a small church within the larger church body, and that we, as men, need to lead our families as a pastor would lead his congregation. So I have committed myself to studying the core doctrines, or truths, of the Christian faith so I can lead better with my mind as well as with my heart. These are truths I have believed my whole life, but have never studied in depth. In addition to listening to sermons online, the pastor of my home church let me borrow some books that are helping me through this process. The first truth that I am studying is God Is (or God Exists.) I’ve made it through a lot of material over the past few days on this topic, so I can’t come close to covering it all here, but here are few scriptures and quotes that stuck out to me.

At some point we have to ask…
“Why is there something instead of nothing in existence?”
Josh McDowell

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made”
Romans 1:20

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
Psalm 19:1

In response to those who say the universe was formed by chance, Sean McDowell uses this analogy in the book Unshakable Truth (p.60):
“If you have ever visited Disneyland or Disney World you have probably noticed the bed of flowers laid out on a sloping bank. The colors, formation, and particular flowers form a clear resemblance to Mickey Mouse. No one would attribute that gardening marvel to mere chance…this combination of complexity and specificity is called specified complexity. Specified complexity is a marker of intelligence…and leads us to believe that an intelligent gardner was it’s cause.”

“If God did not exist, everything is permitted. That is right. If God does not exist, we have neither behind us nor before us a luminous realm of values nor any means of justification of any behavior whatsoever.”
Dostoevsky

“For from him and through him all things are made. To him be glory forever.”
Romans 11:26