Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What I have in common with barfing babies

For many of us, the first day of the work-week can be the most difficult day of the week.

The weekend is over, we have to get up early again, and, for some reason, everyone else at work is in the same semi-grumpy mood you're in.

It's Monday. So back off.

Truthfully, it's not that bad.

Monday has a bad rap, but in all honesty, I really don't mind Mondays.

In fact, because I don't drink much coffee during the weekend, I kinda look forward to Monday mornings so I can get to work, pour myself a cup o' joe and start the day.

(I like coffee. But I can quit any time.)

This Monday was no different. I had quite a few things lined up at work that I needed to start with, so my morning was looking pretty good.

After all, there's nothing quite like a busy morning to help the day go by super fast, right?

About an hour and a half in, however, my morning was interrupted with news that my 1-year-old was at home puking it up.

Normally this wouldn't be one of those "Can you please come home" moments for my wife.

However, we also have a 5-month-old whose guts we'd like to keep in their proper place, and the best way to ensure that happened is if we kept the two as separate as possible.

Even moms with 8 arms would have a hard time doing that alone.

So I took the rest of the day off and rushed home, my imagination running wild with what would be awaiting me.

And there she was. My daughter, Samarah, sitting quite happily in the bath-tub, enjoying the warm water and playing with her toys.

I was expecting all of us to rush to the doctor's office, but Suzanne said she seemed better. The plan was to keep an eye on her for just a while longer, and if everything seemed good, I would probably go back to work.

Crisis averted, right?

Not quite.

It soon became apparent that my little girl wasn't feeling so hot.

In fact, just a few minutes after getting Samarah dressed, it became quite obvious that Mr. Puke was not going anywhere.

Now, I don't know about you, but I have to agree with a certain Dane Cook who said there's a little tiny part of him that enjoys throwing up.

Personally speaking, barfing is a very relieving experience.

Now the moments leading up to the pukes are never fun. My skin gets clammy, my stomach starts feeling all funny, and something inside my head tells me, "Okay, Schneidster, get ready ... This is gonna be radical."

But when I'm done hurling, and it's just me and the porcelain seat, I am so relieved. It's almost euphoric.

There I sit, staring at my handiwork. My body feels better (although that can be temporary) and a small smile creeps on my face.

Thank God that's over!

Perhaps your vomiting experiences are different than mine, but there you have it.

Samarah, on the other hand, doesn't have that much experience with throwing up. It's this fact that leads me to believe she doesn't enjoy it at all.

You know how you can feel your stomach muscles begin to quiver right before you hurl?

While Samarah laid in my lap yesterday, wearing just a pamper because she wanted to take her t-shirt off, I could see her stomach doing the same thing.

In-between her childish breaths, I could see her stomach shiver.

And Samarah could feel it.

She sat up in my lap and began to press her stomach.

"No! No!" she said, in her very limited vocabulary.

I could only hold her close to myself with some paper towels under her chin as she started to heave and to ho.

I'll spare the rest of the smelly details, but please stick with me.

After she'd settled down, and after the mess(es) were cleaned up, my little girl fell asleep in my lap.

I sat there with her on the floor, her head resting on my legs.

I wasn't worried about the puke. I wasn't disgusted or grossed out. I just wanted my little girl to feel better.

Suddenly, I was reminded about how much God loves me.

You see, normally, when I hear people throwing up, I get sick myself. And if I even catch a whiff of puke, you can bet I'll start sharing some of my own.

But these were not normal circumstances. This was one of my beautiful princesses.

When she started to get sick, all I could think to do was hold her closer to me.

In her tears and her struggles, all I could do was pull her tighter to me and whisper in her ear, "Daddy's right here. I've got you. It's gonna be okay."

And my Father does the same thing with me.

Romans 8:38-39 reads this way: "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

There are many times in our lives when things can get pretty icky. In fact, they can get downright gross.

We start to thrash around and really don't know how to handle things.

And despite all this, our Father hugs us closer and gently reminds us that He's there for us, and that He's not going anywhere.

While the rest of the world tries to create distance, my Father fills the void.

While the rest of the world holds its nose in disgust, my Father opens His hands with grace and mercy.

This is my Father.

He holds me close when others push away.

He whispers his promises while others shout their empty threats.

This is my Father.

Thankfully, my little girl is feeling a lot better. And I'm not sure if she'll ever remember the lovely times we shared together that morning.

But I hope she recalls the feeling of security she had, even in her most desperate moment.

And I hope I remember, too.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No Facebook for a while ...

Hey everyone,

Thanks for checking out this blog o' mine.

As I take a fast from Facebook for a little while, I hope that you can check out this page and enjoy my silly ramblings every once in a while.

As you can tell from my last post here, it's been a while since I've updated this blog.

I hope to change that.

So follow along :)

~ Art

Saturday, August 14, 2010


This morning, my youngest daughter decided she was going to get up a little early and stay awake with her daddy.

Actually, I thought she was going to go right back to sleep, so I told my wife that I'd take her with me downstairs so I could study His Word a bit, and they could both sleep soundly.

Liviyah, our 7-week old, had other plans.

As the two of us came downstairs, I decided I'd hold her until she fell back asleep. Then I'd put her down in her bassinet and get to studying.

Again, things didn't go as I'd planned.

Instead, as I held Liviyah to my chest, her eyes stayed wide open.

I'm always fascinated by the way my baby daughter can just stare off into space.

As an infant, her eyes are still adjusting to this new thing called sight. In fact, at her age, unless what she's staring at is right in her face, it's all a blur.

Until her eyes are strong enough to focus on objects that are far away, they remain fuzzy and indistinct from everything else.

But this morning, as she strained to keep her head up, I noticed that her eyes were focused on one thing: the light coming from behind the curtains.

As I held her steady, and watched her face, Liviyah's eyes never strayed from what was undoubtedly the single most fascinating thing in her field of vision: the light.

When we moved into our house, my wife had an exciting time carefully picking out the curtains that are still in our living room.

Light tan and what I would call a soft-olive green hang from the windows and cast a nice light into the room.

And Liviyah was fascinated.

This got me thinking about a few things, and after I was finally able to lay Liviyah down, I grabbed my Bible and turned to John 8.

There, Jesus makes a wild claim about himself.

In verse 12 He says "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

Now at first glance, this claim seems like a beautiful metaphor.

Light. Darkness. Life.

But as other scriptures regarding light crept into my heart, I began to understand that this light and this darkness that Christ speaks of are more than metaphor.

In fact, this light and this darkness are real.

Recently, my wife and I watched a movie where darkness became very real for one of the characters.

After a mother and father make a series of bad decisions, based on one really selfish one, the antagonist of the film gives them a haunting choice: they can both live the rest of their lives enjoying the "fruits" of their selfish choice. Their only son, however, will live the rest of his life deaf. And blind.
Or they can sacrifice one of themselves to restore the missing senses to their son.

Don't worry, I won't ruin it for you.

But again, this got me thinking about light and darkness.

Blindness is always the result of some cause; sickness, abnormality, physical damage, etc.

In other words, something happens to an individual, one way or the other, that causes a person to go blind, plunging them into darkness.

The blindness causes the darkness.

The darkness that Christ speaks of, however, behaves differently.

In describing the danger of hating a brother, the Apostle John writes in his first epistle that one who walks in darkness "does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him."

Here we see something fascinating: the darkness causes the blindness.

And it is this darkness, this active, working, present darkness that Christ claims to deliver us from.

We walk in the midst of this darkness.

And without Christ in our hearts, we are held captive by it.

We are chained to this darkness.

We are subject to this darkness.

This darkness is working in our hearts, blinding our eyes and our hearts so that we cannot see where we are going.

So that we cannot understand why we are living.

And so we stumble and grope, walking along the walls.

"We grope for the wall like the blind;
we grope like those who have no eyes;
we stumble at noon as in the twilight,
among those in full vigor we are like dead men."
~ Isaiah 59:10

Fortunately, and thankfully, there is hope for our blindness.

Christ is the light to which we can look and which we can have with us to carry in our hearts.

The Apostle Paul reminds us in his letter to the Ephesians that our struggle with this darkness goes much deeper than what we can see or feel or touch.

Our blindness is not caused by a failing of our pupils or retinas.

No, our struggle is much more serious than that.

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."
~ Ephesians 6:12

Our opponents are spiritual, and our opponents embody darkness.

And so we live in this blackness, citizens of a town called Dark.

Yet there is hope!

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined."
~ Isaiah 9:2

This light is Jesus Christ, just as He claimed.

And just like the Darkness of this world behaves with different properties and intentions, so this Light moves with unique attributes and qualities.

This Light carries with it life.

And it is only in His Light that we have any hope of overcoming the Darkness.

The Apostle John declares in the beginning of his Gospel that "In him (Christ) was life, and the life was the light of men."

Coming into the Light of Christ is much more than gaining our sight. We gain life.

Christ has come to do more than rescue us from the Darkness.

He's come to remove us from Darkness, to place us in His Light.

"He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son"
~ Colossians 1:13

As spiritual infants, it may be hard to distinguish the beautiful truths of Scripture and it may be difficult to ponder the wonderful mysteries of our faith.

But we can all stare at wonder at The Light, fascinated by His beauty.

We can all gaze in awe at the wonderful sights provided by His presence in our hearts, and we can all walk with the true life of man, given to us by Christ.

The Light of Christ can never be extinguished or overcome by the Darkness.

Instead, His Light purges all darkness.

My daughter was captivated this morning.

Lord, captivate me with your light.

Let it shine all around me and deliver me from this present darkness.

Let it light my paths and guide me as I walk through this life you've given to me.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Blogging from my phone ...

So I set up my blog so I could blog from my phone. Hopefully this will allow me to get some crazy thoughts out of my head and onto the webs before I forget.
We'll see how this goes ...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


My name is Art.

I like to write things.

Different things.

Follow along.

- Art