Pro Bono Jesus

Shut Your Mouth, Grandma!

Posted by in emotion, parenting, relationships

Parenting is hard. Hours after we had celebrated the birth of Jesus in Chicago we decided to take our kids bowling with grandma and grandpa.  The first few frames went as expected, but by frame six our four-year-old son decided that bowling still belonged in the 60’s.  Instead he wanted to eat all of the chips the bowling alley offered for sale. Given that we ate lunch prior to our bowling excursion and our son chose only to nibble, Dana and I were committed to chipless bowling.  Cue meltdown. As…read more

What Failing to Run 1/2 Mile Taught Me About Myself

Posted by in emotion, motive, parenting, relationships

If there isn’t some sort of ball involved, I don’t really see the point of running.  Where are you running to?  Where’s the basket?  Where’s the endzone?  Nevertheless, we signed our boys up for a local running series that included a weekly race every Sunday.  Our 3 year-old is much more interested in grinning than running, but given the fact that he’s about as fast as growing grass, it’s probably a good thing.  Our 9 year-old, however, treats every competitive event as its own war of survival.  Watching him compete…read more

The Day I Learned to Lead

Posted by in emotion, physical health, relationships, vocation

Just a handful of hours after the birth of our second daughter, my wife entered into a deep internal darkness. Our second daughter had been born healthy, but my wife had not fared so well. She fell rapidly into the depths of postpartum depression. My mind rushed to what I knew. Be a real man. Do not be weak. But it was clear that my wife’s struggles were not a matter of the will – the joyous, peaceful, and energetic wife I knew had vanished. I had been the Senior…read more

Why I No Longer Try To Do My Best At Everything

Posted by in motive

I can still remember coming home after taking the ACT exam my Junior year of high school and feeling dejected and uncertain whether I spelled my name right. I shared my disappointment with a friend and they asked a good question, “well . . . did you do your best?” I responded quickly with a depressed “yeah” and went home. For whatever reason that simple question – “did you do your best?” – the same question that I had been asked 100’s of times for all sorts of things throughout my…read more

Stupid Comments and What I Really Want to Say

Posted by in emotion, humor, parenting

My family is unique. We have what most people would call a “big family.”  It literally looks like I am the grand master of a parade wherever we go.  As one may imagine, we get our fair share of delightful little comments from well-intended (most of the time) people.  Although I typically smile, nod, and half-heartedly chuckle, my head is usually racing with a collection of scrumptious comebacks that are usually discarded by my better sense before they make it out of my mouth. I’ve replayed many of these interactions…read more