Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

Our family of four is in Disney World this week. Having two under two makes things challenging and rewarding. Our Epcot day today was a great example. The weather forecast was 78 degrees, so not too hot, but we didn’t take into account the direct sun while walking Epcot or the amount of snuggly ‘hold’ time Daniel would want (so sweet but such body heat!). In the middle of it all, we found an outdoor playground with shade sponsored by Ralph Breaks the Internet. Ahhhhhh.

During some Daddy-Daniel playtime, I watched from the background as Daniel played by moving shredded tires into a mirror thingie. The mirror was in direct sunlight so I stood back and used my body to create shade instead of getting down to play with him, which I’m sure he would have preferred. He probably didn’t even know where the shade was coming from. For his greater good, I did what I knew he needed more than what he thought he wanted.

I wonder how often God treats us, his sons and daughters, like this. He loves us so much more than I love my own son. I know how much I want the best for Daniel and God wants that for us even more. When He seems distant or not doing what I want Him to, I need to remember He’s giving me shade.

Epcot certainly wasn’t just miserably chasing shade. We had a blast riding the monorail to the park (to say Daniel loves the Disney transportation system is an extreme understatement). Figment ride was fun. Le Cellier didn’t disappoint. France delivered tasty treats. I hit all of my Fitbit goals for the day. DaDaniel was completely wiped out. And our family had a good day in including Clark.


IMG_1830Our firstborn is transitioning from prostrate crawling to upright walking. Adorably, he’ll put out his hands for balance and waddle around. Other times he’ll hold one of his stuffed animals (he loves his stuffed anaconda snake) or an empty bucket for what appears to be his idea of balance. If there’s something on the other side of the room that he really wants, he will waddle on his own. I watch it all as one proud daddy! He prefers to hold my hand, though, and makes that abundantly clear to me by reaching / stretching out his cute lil hand in my direction. I know I should encourage him to walk on his own, but I’m a sucker!

IMG_1836When he is holding my hand or preferable to him both of my hands, he struts around like he owns the entire world. He confidently goes under, through and over anything in front of him. He’ll end up playing in a hamper of clean clothes, reaching on his tippy toes to tickle piano keys, or opening and closing our front door (over and over again, ha!). My recent favorite was when he scaled a rock about five feet high at a splash pad so he could get to the water fountains on the top. With my hands in his, he is fearless.

In my adult life, it’s easy to waddle around doing the routine of things I am comfortable doing. Father God is in the midst of it proudly watching me. I need to be aware and willing to take His hand when He offers it, though. Then, with the Creator of the Universe holding my hand and guiding me, I can be fearless as we go anywhere He is able to lead me.

Isaiah 41:13 NIV, “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you”


Walking the Atlantic coast at Amelia Island, FL (during a work / vacation trip)


Version 2Daniel has the first illness of his short life, a nasty cold bug. Being a lil guy we can’t give him any cold medicine and he’s too young to know how to clear his raspy throat or blow his nose. It’s really sad. So, Becki has become a pro with the Nose Freda (booger sucker), we run a humidifier, and we smear vapor rub on his chest (cleared with pediatrician), etc. We have also suspended some of our boundaries, one of which has been not holding him for naps (holding him helps him sleep better and keeps him more elevated so it’s easier for him to breath) …

Friday I held him for a midday nap in my mother-in-law’s room in Kenner, LA (holiday trip). Our go-to-sleep-holding routine consists of lullabies (esp. Twinkle Twinkle Lil Star), worship songs, and prayer time. He’s normally asleep mid worship time. I am, too, sometimes, ha (securely holding him of course). Yesterday, he conked out mid worship like normal. I held on and had some prayer time, well sleepy daydreaming prayer time . . .


Space Mountain Launching Area

I told the Lord I’d really like to fly while my phone next to me played some Interstellar-sounding sleep music. I daydreamed I was flying around our solar system with Jesus (so weird and so cool). Eventually, I found myself in a launching area like the beginning of a roller coaster (a lot like Space Mountain in Disney). I was strapped to a large, ornate piece of metal (like the metal around a mirror in my mother-in-law’s room). Blast off! I flew with this metal attached toward the Lord who was assembling other ornate pieces of metal into a square shape in the middle of space (kinda like when the Justice League built the Watchtower). I delivered my piece to Him. He responded, “Thanks, I needed that,” and went to work with my contribution.

Takeaways from my sleepy prayer dream:
1. Actively look for ways to turn mundane tasks (like sick baby naps) into God time.
2. Sleep prayers are random, weird, and the best!
3. My dream reminds me of prayer or any other daily activity. God is all-powerful and can do anything and yet He wants to include us in bringing about His plan and purpose around us. He could have blinked and had my piece of metal in His hands and yet He included me and thanked me. The same principle can be applied to prayer, sharing our faith, living an obedient life, parenting, marriage, etc.

img_0157Saturday, February 18, at 7:02 PM Becki delivered our firstborn, Daniel James Calaway. Leading up to that and since has been an incredible journey. Right now, I am talk texting this blog entry with him snuggled in my arms as we wait for his 1 AM feeding.

We are feeding him breastmilk and apparently that makes newborns poop often and in a wide variety of colors. Our little guy poops probably every two hours. This afternoon in the middle of changing yet another poopy diaper he farted and then gave me more poop to clean up. I’m glad I had his dirty diaper under his butt to catch the addition!

With all of this poop action, Daniel developed a diaper rash. We were given some Desitin to spread on his butt from the nurses at the hospital when we were discharged on Thursday. Friday evening, we noticed that we were running low. Early Saturday morning we ran out. We scheduled a Walmart pick up to get some but would not be able to get there until late afternoon Saturday. We considered one of us running out to get it but did not want to leave the other one alone at home.

img_5499As we contemplated the situation, a mom of one of the youth who has come to our small group texted us totally out of the blue. She said she was in Walmart and wondered if we needed her to pick up anything. We texted back our need for Desitin and in about 10 minutes it was sitting on our doorstep!

Isaiah 65:24 NLT, ‘I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!’

The same person signed up through our church to bring us food that evening. We were treated to London broil, mashed potatoes, and green beans. We received our much needed Desitin and had a yummy dinner all because God used this kind woman as His hands to provide for us.

All along this journey God has made Himself very known to us and taken care of us (‘us’ used to mean Becki and me but now it means Becki, Daniel, and me). It has been something to see He Himself involved through His presence, peace, and favor. It has also been something to see Him use the people of His body, the church, as His hands and feet in our lives.

I am thankful to God. I am thankful to our family and friends. And, I am thankful to play my part in His body both receiving and giving.