I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands, and since much of the work I do at camp consists of computers and technology, one of the ways I unwind is to spend time in the garage making things out of wood. That can be a solitary activity, but I try to include the kids whenever possible.
After learning that there are over 100 episodes of the Woodwright Shop on PBS.org, Jack and I watched a few. I was particularly interested in the episode on making a Jointer’s Mallet, so two nights ago Jack and Lauren and I set to work! Here’s what we have to show for it:
In all seriousness though…
In our Men’s Study at Camp this morning James MacDonald talked about how he has chosen to define “success” for his family. He explained that the only measure of “success” is whether his wife, children, and grandchildren are walking with the Lord. Obviously there are a multitude of factors that contribute to this kind of success, but his heart is to do what he can to lead them closer to an authentic trust in Christ.
It is my prayer that all of our activities would have some component that points us back to our Creator. Even something as simple as making a wooden mallet needs to be viewed through the lens of eternity, and our relationship with Christ.
So what are you spending your time on today? Consider how it is impacting your loved ones, and how it will be viewed for eternity.
Please note: I’m not suggesting that one type of career or work is more noble than another. Instead, I’m encouraging myself to remember that all I do can be done to the Glory of the Lord. Whether it’s taking out the trash, or serving my wife, or working at Camp, it all must be done in that attitude.
Anderson’s First Birthday
You’d think after going through three first birthday’s so far I would be used to how fast they sneak up on me but I am still amazed at how fast they come. Andy celebrated his first birthday yesterday and we are so blessed to have him in our family.
He brings such joy to us on a daily basis we can hardly remember life without him now. Though he is not yet walking he is pulling himself up on anything high enough to grab. When he smiles his whole face lights up and two little dimples appear on both cheeks. He has begun to say a few words including, “hi”, “yes”, “pees (please)”, “dada”, “up”, and will attempt to copy most words you say to him, though they are not yet recognizable!
We just love our little Ander Bander and are so grateful to the Lord for this gift. Happy Birthday little man!
Trying to Find the Ground
I would have liked to title this blog entry something more like “Hitting the Ground Running” or “All the Ducks are in a Row”, but that just wouldn’t be the truth!
The last entry indicated that we were discharged from the NICU and were able to start heading back to Wisconsin with Maddie. Even though we could leave the hospital, we were still required to stay in the state until we were given clearance to come back to Wisconsin. There is a lot of red-tape and bureaucracy that slows down the process. Fortunately we were able to make a connection with some very gracious people at a camp on the edge of the state. We stayed with them for several nights and as soon as we got the OK, we put the pedal to the floor and headed back home.
It was a joyous reunion when the rest of the kids returned from Minnesota on Saturday morning, December 14th. I’m pretty sure they had all grown at least six inches during the three weeks we were gone. It took Andy a few minutes to remember who we were, but once he did, he wouldn’t let us put him down. The other three kids were just thrilled to be back with us. At one point Jack was crying, and said that he was just too happy. As a dad, I’m pretty sure that it solidified the idea in my mind that family is supposed to be TOGETHER.
Now that we are a few weeks out from all the excitement and confusion, April and I are trying to sort out what life is like with 5 kids age 6 and under. It’s a wonderful thing, no doubt. It’s a noisy, crazy, convoluted, exciting, busy thing!
Watching God tenderly guide, provide, protect, and care for us over the past two months has been truly breathtaking. I could list story after story of how things “just came together”... we know those are indications of how much He loves us, not just circumstances. If we’ve ever doubted that He is mighty to provide, this experience of adoption has been a bold reminder that He is strong. The way that He brought in the funds that we needed, right as we needed them is a testimony.
Since returning, we’ve made it to Christmas in Minnesota with the entire Schutt family (man, that’s a lot of people in one house!), Wintertainment (Camp’s weeklong High School camp during Christmas Break - Take a look at some of the media we produced for Wintertainment here and here), and a good visit with April’s parents over New Year’s.
Anyhow, we are back home. It’s good to be together. It’s good to be serving at Camp.
Thank you for your role in our story!
PS: In case we were wondering if God has a sense of humor… Our chocolate lab delivered 10 puppies two days ago! (She was bred before we knew anything about the adoption!)