7:15am

Well, the doctor called today. The plan as of yesterday afternoon was to induce Tania sometime this week if the baby didn’t just come popping out by herself. Maybe Wednesday. Maybe Thursday. But at the latest, Friday.

I was totally pulling for Friday. Not that i don’t want to see my daughter’s face. I do. I am completely excited to finally see the face of the my other favorite girl in this world. It’s just that i have a few “little” things to take care of before then.

So, as i was saying, the doctor called today. And somewhere in the back of mind i guess i already knew what she would say… “we have you scheduled to come in tomorrow (wednesday) at 7:15am and we’ll get things going.”

Tomorrow . . . 7:15am . . . I don’t get up that early on my early days!

Tomorrow . . . 7:15am . . . really, I am going to be a dad in 24 hours?

Tomorrow . . . 7:15am . . . what is up with 7:15? Why not 7:00 or 7:30? Do we really need to be that specific?

Well, either way, tomorrow is the day she arrives. But, in the effort to make it on nature’s terms and not just the doctor’s, we took off to the mall this evening and met up with some good friends of ours that are having a baby too. They, unlike us, have made it to the full 40 weeks and now some more. (Lucky, punks. I bet they feel a lot more ready!) So, both of us hoping to use gravity and excercise to coerce our daughters out, went walking through the mall.

Nothing happened. I don’t know what i was expecting, maybe one of the ladies to lean over as we passed the baby Gap and wince, “oh, there’s a contraction!” But, no. Nothing. Maybe it was because we started talking more than walking. Maybe it was because there was some cool software that loured me into the Mac store. Maybe it was because we got bored of walking past the same shops and stopped and ate ice cream at Cold Stone instead.

Maybe…But, then again, maybe it is because our daughter is coming tomorrow at 7:15am.

Psalm 139:13-16 says, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb . . . you watched me as i was being formed in utter seclusion, as i was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before i was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

What crazy verses, huh? To think that God knows my daughter so intimately, and i have yet to even see her face. To think that God knows exactly what is going on in there . . . humbling, to say the least.

And maybe, in God’s book, her time is written down as Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 7:15am.

Ready or Not?!

What a difference a few hours make…

At 2:00pm this afternoon life was pretty normal. I was thinking about what video camera i should buy (HD capable or just inexpensive?), enjoying the snow that fell in our area last night, and plotting out the time that i could play xbox360 while not annoying tania too much (probably when she goes to bed).

All that was fairly normal until 3:20pm when we walked into the obstetrician’s office for the latest check-up on our as yet to be born daughter. (By the way, does anybody have any great name suggestions?) Actually, by the time we saw the doctor it was more like 4:00pm. And, i suppose even the doctor visit is mostly routine at this point, since we have been going in twice a week. It was really just one sentence that the doctor said that really messed up my world…

“We need get this baby out this week.”

Hmmmm…. now, i was under the assumption that we had about 2-3 weeks left. In fact, i feel a little bit confused, because for my whole life i have been taught that it takes 9 months to make/bake a baby. And now, i learn that some babies are done two-to-three weeks early!

My question is what if the parents aren’t ready at the same time as the baby is ready? What if they aren’t exactly sure what to name her? What if they haven’t totally got their “bag” packed yet? What if they just bought the infant car seat today? What if they have a major student-ministry leadership summit that they are hosting at their church next weekend? What if they haven’t washed all the clothes the baby will need to wear when born? What if the kid’s nursery is still not complete?

What if we aren’t ready yet?

I wonder if Moses ever felt ready when God asked him to go rescue His people from Egypt. His constant excuse making in Exodus 3 seems to say otherwise. I wonder if Joshua felt ready to take over the leadership of the Israelite people. God’s encouraging words to him in Joshua 1:6-9 seem to indicate that he may have felt unready and afraid. I wonder if the many prophets in the old testament that God used to deliver a rather unpopular message to his people ever truly felt ready for what lay ahead. Their many struggles and prayers recorded in scripture seem to show their trepidation.

I wonder if Jesus Himself was ever actually READY to go through with the act and purpose He was born for–to go to the cross. Maybe eventually. But during the night before in a little garden outside Jerusalem, he at least prays the prayer of those that are unsure.

Are we really ready? …maybe it just doesn’t really matter… maybe what is most important is not whether or not i feel completely ready, prepared, poised or organized for what comes next. Maybe what is important is that we simply trust that God IS READY, to take us on this journey that by ourselves we will never be adequately prepared.

Maybe Moses, Joshua, the prophets, and Jesus didn’t need to be completely ready, what happened didn’t depend on their readiness, but on God’s. God was ready. God is ready. Those before were simply willing to trust His readiness and step out and follow.

I guess i’m really not ready. But, God is. And in the end, it is good enough for me.

Living Imitation

I honestly don’t like imitations. Every morning for breakfast, i have two eggo waffles and a cup of coffee. Pretty healthy, right? Well, i did recently switch to low-fat nutri-grain waffles. But, as much as i love this breakfast, just try and switch out my eggos for some cheap store brand version and i’ll flip out. They just don’t taste the same.

lucky_charmsI didn’t always eat that for breakfast, though. I remember being a little kid and only wanting to eat Lucky Charms! Remember those? I’d still buy them today if i didn’t look like such a kid when the cashier rings them up. Although, i am having a baby soon…maybe i can sneak them in that way! The problem was my mom was cheap. She didn’t like paying the price of Lucky Charms. So instead she would come home with some Malt-o-meal version of them like “Treasure Marshmallows.” But, you know as well as me that they weren’t quite the same.

I guess that is why when i came across Ephesians 5:1 the other day it kinda bothered me. I’ve read it a hundred times before, but only this time did i realize that i didn’t really like it. It says, “Therefore, be imitators of God…” And if there is anything that i don’t want to be it is a cheap imitation!

I suppose i feel like there is a lot of that out there already, you know? People pretending to be one thing. Imposters. Phonies. Knock-offs. Especially Christians. Doesn’t it seem like every time you turn around you meet someone that is only a cheap imposter of who Jesus was and is? In fact, i am embarrassed to identify myself as a christian most of the time because of all the “imitators” out there.

And yet, Ephesians 5:1 is clearly calling us to be “imitators of God.”

So, i looked in the mirror several weeks ago. And instead of seeing my amazingly handsome, young face looking back, for the briefest of moments, i saw my dad peering back at me. It was strange. It was only for a second, but i could have sworn i saw his face in the mirror i was looking into. And it occurred to me, i am becoming like my dad. In fact, i’ve been a little worried about this before. My hair is turning grey in spots. My abs are reverting from their chiseled beauty to the famous Loyd belly. But, it isn’t just physical. I was talking the other day and i caught myself saying something that my dad always used to say to me growing up. I was sitting in my office when it dawned on me that i have the same profession (if you wanna call it that) as my dad. I took a look around my office and realized my collection of books is catching up to his. But, it isn’t just that either. I was explaining some theology the other day and realized that i approach a lot of my critical thinking the way my dad does. I was counseling someone and noticed i was offering advice my dad has offered to me. In short, i am starting to look, think, act, and enjoy things that are the same as my dad.

Wow! I have tried many times to not be like my dad. Not that he is a bad guy (he is actually a phenomenal man), but because i have wanted to be my own. And yet, whether i want it or not, i have spent so much time with him and have been so influenced by his guidance in my life that i am starting to look like him. In fact, the other day, somebody came up to me and said. “i see a lot of your dad in you.”

I wonder if this is what Paul meant in Ephesians 5:1. What if he didn’t mean a cheap imitation at all? What if he meant that we are to be so absorbed in the relationship with our Creator that we would find ourselves simply thinking and loving and feeling and acting like Him? As if our DNA was being rewritten with His. What if He wasn’t calling for imposters, but for children who grow up with the imprint of their dad.

And so, i now want to be an “imitator.” I want my life to be shadowed by the Divine. I want my life to slowly start to mirror the image of God. I want people at the end of my days to say, “I saw a lot of his God in him.”

Living Imitation.

Hello world!

Well, here I am at 2:00am writing my first blog. People keep saying that real grown ups are doing this and as much as i hate to admit it, i am getting older. So, if this is what grown ups do, then i better give it shot. Besides, if it doesn’t work out, i guess i can just go on being a really old, slightly fatter kid.