I wanted to share this photo my brother-in-law sent me today of the girls as they anxiously waited for Bowen to get home.

Another of them waiting

I might be wrong, but Bowen looks like he’s in awe of life outside the hospital:)

There is a deep sense of gratitude within our family, but the last few days have also had their share of difficulties. Bowen is home, which is just one of our many hopes and prayers that have come to pass. As grateful as I am, it was really hard to leave for work this weekend, leaving Sarah at home to take care of Bowen and the girls.

My wife is the most gracious woman I know, and I pray to God that I will never take her for granted. Apparently our home nurse kept telling her yesterday, “You’re a saint!” as the kids ran wild, making a beautiful disaster of our house. It’s in the midst of this kind of chaos that Sarah lovingly tends to our boy (as well as our girls), administering his medication and cleaning up vomit. This woman is incredible, and my heart is overwhelmed with wonder at God’s gift of her to me.

Bowen’s medications

Even though I had good reasons to go, and Sarah has lot a of help back home from our servant hearted family and friends, flying to Texas for the last few shows of the Hungry For Love Tour this weekend was a painful decision to make. Had we come home on November 8th, I would’ve had five days at home with Bowen, but because his infection prolonged his hospital stay, I was only able to enjoy one day at home with him before leaving. These are the times when I think long and hard about the “Lead Me” life and finding the balance between being the financial provider and being the emotional and spiritual provider for my family. Every single decision that effects our family is important to me, but the bigger my family becomes, the more weight those decisions carry. I wish I could be all things to things to all people, make only perfect decisions, and be everyone’s hero all day, everyday. Don’t we all? It’s in these moments I find a greater opportunity, to embrace humility and trust God. This by no means takes away my responsibilities, but in my weakness God is always displayed as perfectly strong. That’s why our family looks to him as our ultimate leader.

Digging Deeper into Lead Me

I believe I’ve mentioned it in a previous post, but there’s an illustration Sarah and I heard at a marriage conference that we really love. The speaker lifted his hand up high, as if to place it on the head of someone tall and said, “These are expectations.” He then lowered his hand to his waist and said, “This is reality.” After a pausing for a moment to get our attention he concluded, “Everything in between is disappointment.”

There’s a lot of people in the world living in disappointment…with their spouse, their children, their income, their house, their work schedule and so much more. It was only a few years ago that Sarah and I were living in disappointment with each other over unrealistic expectations. We fought often, struggled with feeling isolated, and were emotionally distant from one another. I’ll never forget the day that Sarah lovingly appealed to me to be a better leader in our marriage, and it changed our life. The effect of her willingness to lovingly tell me what she needed was not only the song “Lead Me,” but the beginning of most fulfilling season of our nine year marriage.

Through our experience I learned that good intentions aren’t enough to make me a great husband or father, or make me a great anything for that matter. My weakness caused me to call out to God as my leader and pray for discipline and strength to be everything I’m called to be. I also began to trust him to take care of my wife and kids in ways that I can’t. He’s been faithful in answering my prayers and proving himself to be much stronger than me. He’s also given me a passion for studying the Bible, and what I discover daily within it’s pages fuels and transforms my daily life. I share what I’m learning with Sarah and we pray together almost every day.  We’ve both come to the realization that our faith in God is the only thing that has satisfied our deepest longings. We fit perfectly within the hands of our creator, and he continues to mold us (together and individually) into a more beautiful creation.

It would be hard to write down all the ways that God has been shaping and preparing us for life with Bowen. I even look at the lyrics I wrote for our latest album “Pieces of a Real Heart” shortly before we were pregnant with him. As if the album title weren’t enough, it contains the song “Keep My Heart Alive” as well as others with lyrics that speak directly to our situation. There’s so much evidence for the divine plan when we’re willing to see it. I could write for about it for hours, and I will…later. For now I’ll leave you with the video for the song “Lead Me”

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