I was up late again the other night out watching TV in the front room.  I heard Dayne start to wake up and cry.  I went into the pitch black room and could see nothing.

My wife had laready been in there a while and said “Can you make him a bottle?  Its on the table”.  My eyes had still not adjusted to the dark so my reply was, “I cannot even see the table let alone the bottle on there.”  So she made the bottle and I picked up Dayne from the crib. I was not very graceful, I still could not see.  We sit down to feed him.  Traci – “Can you get the binky?”  And once again my reply, “I can see nothing, how can I get you the binky?”

After sitting the the dark room for about 15 minutes my eyes started adjusting and I could actually see quite well.  Thinking back I laugh at how Traci could see this well while I was stumbling around for the first 15  minutes.  It must have been comical.

This made me think.  How much time do I spend in my spriritual environment?  How well adjusted are my ‘spiritual’ eyes to this?  Does God have more layed out for me than I realize, and my lack of time spent with him is the only thing not allowing me to see it?  I need to just spend time with God.  Allow my eyes to adjust to his kingdom, as well as the promises and opportunities he has put in front of me.  I also need people around me who can see.  Then when I am having trouble seeing simple things (like making a bottle) they can step in and help, give direction and hope.

Finally, once my eyes are adjusted,  I hope to be looking for the next person coming in the door…..  “Where is the table?”

Traci popped a little earlier than planned.  Dayne was born on 7/31, he was 7lbs even and 18 1/2″ long.  Here is a pic of Dayne and Mom in the hospital.  I told her she was allowed to have scary hair after all she went through in the delivery room!

Very soon!

Thanks for all the prayer and support.  The Doctor is surprised that Traci has made it this far due to her early complications.  We are blessed!

If this makes no sense to you go read my original post here on  my shoes.

Traci bought some shoes at a yard sale and did not relize until she got home that I had officially brainwashed her.  My son is in big trouble…….

 

I am starting to build a few more pedals and I needed a small amp that I could keep on the desk just to test the functionality of the circuit as I complete it.  I used a schematic from runoffgroove.com called the ruby and installed everything in a metal Altoids can.

Its a 1/2 watt amp powered by 9 volts.  It has a volume and a gain knob that allows it to go from very clean to quite crunchy.  I plugged this into my single 12″ weber silver bell and was very surpised by the sound.  Its no tube amp, but the sound is very good…. and loud.  With an overdrive pedal in front of it, the guitar could easily be heard throughout the house.  With the gain turned up about 30% the amp goes into a light overdrive that is very touch sensitive.  Above that and great harmonics start punching through.  Here is a picture next to a standard size Boss pedal.

My shy wife finally let me take a picture of her.  At 7 months she’s finally looking pregnant!

For those of you following her saga, Traci has been doing a lot better the last few weeks.  She is off her medicine pump now and is also off bed rest.  A thorough ultrasound last week confirmed the baby is in great shape.  Thanks for all your prayers!

Today I was painting a bathroom.  Not the most fun thing to do on a Saturday by any means.  When I paint, my mind wanders.  There is really not any thinking to be done with painting so its a time that allows me to slow down from my normal hectic life and pay attention to some of the things going on.

While I was painting today I had a small revelation, if there is such a thing.  Traci and I have been going through the grinder so to speak the past many months.  Our lives have been turned upside down and we still don’t have any answers coming on the horizon.  Although I believe God has this whole mess under control and that I must rely on him for the answers, I think I have been going about this wrong.

I often tell people that God knows how much I can handle, and follow that by a tongue in cheek, “I hope he thinks I weak so I can be done with this.”  My focus has been on when the end of my trial will be, how tough it will get, and how we will come out in the end.  I have been tackling it like a warrior in a defensive position.  Down behind a shield, determined to thwart the blows coming at me, and waiting for my backup (God) to arrive.  I believe I have been obedient to God in this and my faith resides in him….  But while painting today it occured to me, he wants more…. More is hard…

James 1:2-4 says that I should consider it ALL JOY when I encounter trials.  Joy is defined as ‘the emotion of great happiness’.  I have not been doing this. The bible is telling me here to do the opposite of what the world would expect.  I have been faithful, I have been thankful, but I have not had ‘great happiness’ over the circumstances I am in.  Will I be truly joyful about it tomorrow?  Probably not, but I know I need to work at it.

The next part of the verse tells me why I should be joyful.  “knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing.”

As a christian I want that last part, ‘perfect lacking in nothing.’  But that is the result of the character building trials we must go through.  Being ‘hands on’ faced with problems is much different than externally examining them.  One of the wisest people I know, my Dad, always told me that after high school he went to the school of hard knocks.  There is something valuable there, life experiences cannot be replaced.

Mark Peacock introduced me to the idea of christians being ‘vessels’.  I cant think of a better single word to describe it.  Modern terms would be any item that could hold water.  As a christian, God pours himself into me, and in turn I can pour his spirit out on others.  Not all vessles are equal.  Some christians are spoons.  They fill up quickly and have little to pour out.  Some are cups, they can take more of god ‘in’ and thus have more to pour out onto others.  Some are pitchers, kegs (ha!)… you get the idea.  Some people will just be spoons for their whole lives.  That is ok if that is what God has designed you for.  But what if you are a spoon and God wants you to be a pitcher?  How do I do that?  A little hint here, look at the above verses in James.

I want to be the biggest vessel I can for the lord so that I can pour out his spirit on others.  So as I joke that “I hope God thinks I’m weak”, I am telling him that I just want to be a spoon, I don’t want the work or the trouble to become the greatest vessel I can for him.

So how do I remedy this?  I need to approach my trials differently.  I will not do it overnight, but I will stay the course.  I must remember that God’s plan is ultimately the best one for me and that he has my eternal future in mind as he allows things in my path.  Instead of acting as a warrior in a defensive position I need to act as a student.  I need to be thankful for the challenges because they are my opportunity to grow in the lord.  I need to be joyful because as I go through these trials and rely on God, he is increasing my capacity as a vessel.  My goals during this time should not be to minimize the pain and timeframe, but to grow through the process and seek to become a larger vessel, God will take care of the rest.