Our Journey to Mia Grace

Saturday, April 19, 2008

full circle

Monday, March 31, 2008

You know, it's tough keeping air in those tires.

A few weeks ago, Jim Gum (our new executive pastor) led our staff in the "Life Balance Wheel,” a tool that helps you assess your life’s overall health. Here’s how it works: you are asked to consider the different aspects of your life as a slice that makes up a tire (such as exercise, romance/intimacy, family and friends, personal/spiritual, etc) and then rate each slice on a scale between 1 – 10. The overall goal being, well, a tire that rolls smoothly.

So I filled out my wheel.

After finishing, I stepped back to view my work. My Life Balance Wheel was, in a word, a jalopy. It was flat; as in kansas flat. It was deformed - with a tumor on one side and a sinkhole on the other. Swing from it, children would not. Touch it, Sanford and Sons would not. Push it down a steep hill and this tire would sound like – to borrow a phrase – shoes in a dryer. Seven of them.

I once had an actual tire like this. It finally went completely flat outside our house one day. Elise told me to call Triple A, but - naturally - I opted to change it myself. You know, jack it up, pop ‘er off, and do the old swoperoo.

When Triple A did come, we were no longer worried about just the tire.

Such is the state of our lives when we fall out of balance. All our tires lose air at various seasons in our lives but the goal is to avoid structural damage. For me, my tire has everything to do with our burgeoning family. Elise and I now have virtual twins as Brianna and Mia are just four months apart. And I must say that I've never felt more blessed and stressed in my entire life; never has more been required of me. Our lives are full, and they are clearly not our own. This is not the season for exercise. This is not the season of lattes. This is not the season of date nights - unless American Idol counts. In short, this is not the season of dan.

The support of our friends has been exceptional. I have noticed, however, a very interesting trend. I cannot count the number of times people have encouraged us with the verse that says, "God won't give you more than you can handle." A good word, one that I have readily agreed with many times. In fact, I have often repeated it to others myself. But recently the thought occurred to me, "Where exactly is that verse?"

So I looked it up.

Turns out it's not in there – the Bible, that is. It's an aphorism, but not a verse. Ranking right up there with "hate the sin, love the sinner" (which is Ghandi) and "God helps those who help themselves" (which is, um, Foxworthy). The only verse that comes remotely close is 1 Corinthians 10:13.

You see, not only is the phrase not in the Bible, it is also theologically untrue. God doesn't want to give us more than what we can handle. He wants to give us what we can't. He wants us to so helplessly fall in a crumbled heap before Him and cry "UNCLE!!!" (or, better yet, "Abba!!!") God isn’t looking for us to "handle" all of this... He’s not asking us to be God, but to just let Him be - through the touch of friends...the timely Scripture...through desperate prayers...sleepless nights...and holy nudges.

He’s looking for the flat tire, not the full tire - saying “Come to me all of you who are jalopies.” He wants people who have crashed to their limit, who trust Him ruthlessly, and who find Him to be far bigger as a result.

Or at least I hope He is, now that Elise and I are pregnant again.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

a couple of tom sawyers...

Sunday, March 16, 2008


We just received a sneak preview of some pictures that we had professionally taken. Feel free to view the slideshow: www.jamiemillerimages.com/slideshows/B&M

Mia's First Birthday Party!

Mia had a huge day. First, her inaugural visit to church. I heard she was typical p.k. - crawling around like she owned the place. Then, her big birthday bash. Nanna and Poppy, J-Bug, Mei Mei, B & E, Aunt J, Mamma K, her cousins and all of her other special friends came - some from hours away! Mia loved her gifts and cards but didn't quite know what to make of the Bunny Cake. She picked at it delicately but she never quite got into the full thrashing that we hoped for. But, never fail, daddy stepped up and showed her the ropes.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Thursday, March 13, 2008


Mia, if you only knew how much we love you...how much joy you have brought...how much richer our lives are because of you. Since our "gotcha day" less than 2 months ago , you have captured our hearts to their core and it's hard to remember what life was like before. In the least, it wasn't nearly as fun nor as full.
happy birthday our sweet,
mom and dad

little reminders...

{Above: Bri and Mi try out their new side-by-side stroller, which is far more fun b/c they can kick and hit one another}

Musings: It's amazing how many reminders of our "new life" follow me wherever I go. For example, I was at Panera the other day for a meeting. It was a bit cold that morning so I had thrown on a hooded sweatshirt on my way out. As I stood in line to order, I absentmindedly put my hands into the sweatshirt's pouch - only to feel something that I was not expecting.

Now, it's not unusual for me to find leftover tidbits in my pockets. A few bucks maybe, or a golf tee, or dice - you know, the usual. But, no, those were the old days b/c on this particular morning I found a diaper. I pulled it slowly, sheeplishly out and studied it. oh yeah. It was a Pampers....size 2...had a little blue Grover smiling back at me.

thankfully, it was clean.