Today is July 1, which means it’s now the second half of 2020. This year isn’t going the way we thought it would when it started. But we thought it worthwhile to look back at the first half of the year and then look forward to what's coming.
Although this year has been really hard for a number of reasons, there were good leaps forward. Thanks for sticking with us.
This year we:
I came across the speech I wrote as a senior in high school. That was 1995 and I was 17. Popular were the “Things I Learned…” books, so in 1995 I wrote the 95 things I’ve learned so far. Here they are in original form, that is, unedited. I still agree with most of them, although I would love to rewrite a few.
When I was assigned to write a speech about my experiences thus far, I immediately felt overwhelmed. How could I possibly include every moment that has been...
Dec. 30, 2019
On Christmas Day, I went to the emergency room with pain in my left chest and trouble breathing. After a series of scans and blood tests, the doctors concluded I had a blood clot in my left lung. Officially it's called a pulmonary embolism.
"So I won't be going home tonight?" I asked.
The doctor's serious, I-know-more-than-you look on his face answered the question.
Apparently a pulmonary embolism is serious. Each year 60,0000 - 100,000 people die from it and it calls for...
Note: This guest post is an open letter from my wife to the members of the Penn State fraternity in our hometown, who photographed nude pictures of unconscious women and posted them online.
March 20, 2015
Dear Young Men of Kappa Delta Rho,
Take a moment and dream with me:
It’s graduation. You worked this season the hardest you knew how. So you graduate, celebrate, say goodbye to the chapters of your life you will never redo again. Excited because you got a job in your field. Not a dream...
Note: I had the deep honor of delivering the eulogy at Grandpa Jack’s funeral.
October 28, 2011
I’m glad you’re here today.
A few years ago, Jack gave me a clock. His father gave it to him. It was a desk clock and originally had little arms on which it rested. But the arms had fallen off, so I made it into a pocket watch. A picture of it is in your program.
On a recent visit, I showed it to Jack. He held it, swirling the circumference with his fingers. “I...
(January 15, 2016)
One finds difficulty putting words to an entire life. It’s like trying to describe the smell of the beach air at the Jersey Shore, where we learned to fish, or to capture the cabiney smell of Mountain Springs Lake, where we would catch turtles and race them, or to explain the tantalizing smell of Pat’s brownies and then the sight of brownie blocks crisply wrapped in tin foil—the assurance you were being given a very special gift for the road, and not just...
Some very exciting news.
Colette and I have a son. Asia and Rex have a brother. His name is Asher, he's three, and he's from the Philippines. Probably in June we'll go get him, when the process runs its course.
"Ten thousand thousand precious Gifts
My Daily Thanks employ,
Nor is the least a cheerful Heart,
That tastes those Gifts with Joy." (Joseph Addison, 1712)
You could say it's been a bit busy in our home. I was in Asia for two weeks, then a few days upon returning, flew to Las Vegas for a...
(Aug 31, 2016)
Six months ago in a blog post, I signaled that a change was coming. I didn’t know how it would play out, but I sensed there was a journey to take. I wanted to understand more about my life mission, so I wrote:
Some people refer to it as your calling or holy discontent or life mission or the reason you were put here. I like what Frederick Buechner says: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
You know the phrase, “Stop to pick the daisies?” Well, if you look it up in a phrase book you’ll see my daughter’s picture. No, really. In the description there are big block letters, “ASIA: Stopping to pick the daisies” and there she is, sweet smile with a fistful of daisies. I’m sure in some language her name means “daisy-picker.”
And at the same time, at a clandestine meeting behind a waterfall, I’m sure some hyper-naturalists...
Adoption is an adventure we never intended to take. I suppose most adventures start out this way—unplanned. You’re minding your own business and all of a sudden something catches your attention. There’s movement from under a rock, smoke in the distance, an unrecognizable odor in the air. You’re drawn into the drama even though you never meant to be. That’s how adoption was for us.
I should explain how we came to adopt Rex. Like many adventures, it was not a...