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I Will Not Pray For You, I Will Be Here For You. aka: No Parent Should Ever Have To Bury Their Child. 

I Will Not Pray For You, I Will Be Here For You. aka: No Parent Should Ever Have To Bury Their Child. 

(This post was inspired by the tragedy that occurred at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City Sunday, August, 7th. And dedicated to all my friends who have lost their child.)

A parent should never have to bury their child.

That is not the natural order or progression of life. It makes no sense. And such is life: nonsensical at times. 

I am overwhelmed and feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut when I read of a child dying in a senseless accident  (that is not placing blame for yesterday’s accident)  such as being forgotten or locked in a car that overheats. No matter the instance, no matter the accident, illness, or malicious intent of someone, a parent burying their own child is an absolute tragedy. 

I’m only one person and know of too many friends who have had to bury their own child. Think of what I just said: 

Bury. Their. Own. Child.

If you don’t have children I’m not discounting your ability to understand this scenario but the rush of love that fills your life when you have a child is astronomical. Words can’t explain the amount of love that coarses through your life. I didn’t (couldn’t) understand this before I had my two sons. 

But then, to have the focus of your love taken from you – feeling helpless and impotent and frozen. With NOTHING able to fill that void. 

Good god. 

Horrific. 

As friends we think of the parents the day the tragedy happens and maybe periodically afterwards (not a guilt trip, just reality) but the parents have to live with the heartache every single hour of every single day. 

To all my friends who have had this tragedy happen, I am so sorry. I love you. I can not fathom or empathize what it is like to be in your shoes – to experience a heart-wrenching loss. My heart breaks when I hear of your tragedies. But please know I am here for you. 

To everyone else, please keep your children safe. 

Walk alongside your friends who have experienced this tragedy. If you’re a flesh and blood friend don’t tritely offer to pray. If they are religious they might be questioning a whole helluva lot of faith’s worth and don’t want to hear a hollow offer. I know I wouldn’t. 

Here’s a song by the band Needtobreathe singing of the importance of friends and community and how we should be there for each other during times in our life that can rock our foundation, crush our spirits, tear our souls to shreds. 

At the same time, their faith could be their only shred of hope they have to cling on to as they feel the walls of the natural order crumbling around them. Everyone reacts different. 
They need continual, tangible help; a shoulder, an ear, or a body to just sit with them. Be there and be available for them as they need you. 

Lord be with us all. 

I am here for you. 

Thy kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 

https://youtu.be/R3-wie9NOZE

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Posted by on August 8, 2016 in creation, culture, spiritual, theology

 

Dear Mother Nature, You Suck

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Dear mother nature,
You suck.
Last week Topeka got 13″ of snow and yesterday in Topeka it was a high of 15 degrees with a wind chill below freezing, and today they have a possibility of more snow – that honestly sounds lovely to this Northerner.

Here are my complaints: This past Friday In little Rock we barely got 3″ of snow, and while it unfortunately, but not too surprisingly, and also somewhat humorously, to me, crippled our lovely city, all of that snow had already completely melted away as of Monday. No trace whatsoever – like it never even happened…except for the people who are still going to pick up their cars that they abandoned after getting stuck the evening of the semi-frozen-torrential-white-out which amounted to the previously mentioned whopping 3″. Three inches.

photo

photo courtesy of LR Fire Dept – we drove up this hill past all the abandoned cars

Two nights ago…let me rephrase that…for the past 5 nights (prior to Tuesday) Little Rock meteorologists forecasted a possibility of 7″ of snow coming in on Tuesday; in a way such that seemed like they were promising a winter storm of biblical proportions…

…I was giddy with anticipation…I wanted to stay up all night to watch all the snow come down…but instead of 7″ we got zero snow, not even a dusting, nothing, zip, zilch, nada.

$5,000,000…wait, what’s that number you ask? That’s my estimated guess of the revenue of Kroger and local liquor stores from people stocking up on essentials to survive this potential apocalypse. They were the only people smiling along with me when the weathermen forecasted the 7″. But again you dashed my hopes.

Additionally, this weekend I’m going to visit my family in Topeka to celebrate my Mom’s birthday, and my Son’s first birthday. All this week in Topeka it’s supposed to be in the upper 40s and by Saturday you’re going to make it be 60 degrees?! C’mon, are you kidding me?! Hello moron, the snow will melt! But you’re well aware of this and you’re doing it on purpose. I know how you work. Thanks a lot. Sheesh.

The only good thing to come of the heat wave you’re sending Topeka this week is that hopefully it will melt the ice on my parent’s lake…

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current picture of my Parents’ lake – yes there is a lake out there

…so we can have the Second Annual Blaylock/Wilson Polar Bear Plunge.

2013

2013

But I bet you’ll do something to kick me while I’m down.

Sincerely,
Livid in Little Rock, and Tepid This Weekend in Topeka.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2014 in creation, Uncategorized

 

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My First 14er

Getting to the top is optional.

Getting down is Mandatory.

– Ed Viesturs (summited Mt. Everest 7 times)

A couple years ago one of my best friends, Jeremy, asked me if I wanted to climb a “14er” with him. A “14er” is a mountain peak that is more than 14,000 feet tall. I don’t exactly have a well-defined bucket list, but if I did climbing a 14er would be on it. Growing up in Kansas we spent alot of our vacations and spring breaks in Colorado skiing, mountain biking, or hiking in the Rocky Mountains. Colorado has forever been my 2nd…I mean now 3rd favorite state behind my home-state of Kansas and  Well, a couple years ago I was in the middle of helping to plan my wedding. He asked me again last year but we were taking a family vacation at the same time they were going. He asked me again this year…glory be, I was free! The plan was set in motion to climb 14ers, finally. Then it hit me…I’m going to climb a 14er…I better get my butt in shape. I’m in fairly good shape, but playing in and adult soccer and softball league doesn’t exactly qualify as living my life according to a hard-core training regimen. So I set out to construct a training regiment that would at least get me to the top of the mountain and if all else fails I would fall back on gravity to get me back down the mountain – what goes up, must come down.

My training regimen consisted of 2 sets per day of: 40 sit-ups, 10 push-ups, 60 curls per arm (in various manners) of 20 pound weights, 3 minutes of leg-lifts, and finally running  a total of 2 miles per day. The running portion was planned to be very beneficial since we live in an extremely hilly neighborhood – but then tragedy over-zealousness struck me on the softball field. Three weeks before I was to leave for Colorado I was playing in a softball game and while sprinting to chase down a pop-up in foul territory I heard my short-stop yell, “You’ve got room.”, but then I felt my body hit what seemed like a mack-truck when in actuality it was the fence. Apparently I didn’t have enough room. In case you’re wondering, I actually caught the ball but when I hit the fence, in the same manner like cartoon characters who run through a wall and it leaves a cut-out of their body in the wall, I wasn’t that lucky. The fence jarred the ball free and it resulted in being a very dramatic strike 2 on the batter and left me with a wrecked ankle. When I hit the chain-link fence my body hit it and bounced off but my right ankle got caught in one of the holes of the fence and while my body fell my foot was still stuck in the fence and we’ll just say my ankle looked like a beach ball (swollen and colorful) about 15 seconds after the dramatic strike 2. One of my teammates said he thought I was dead since I took a little time to get up and my short-stop who told me, “You’ve got room”, shook his head and apologized repeatedly. Unfortunately my job doesn’t lend itself to staying off my ankle since I have to walk in to speak to the doctors instead of them coming out to my car to speak with me (the nerve), but I’ve normally been a quick healer my whole life and was hoping for that again. Thankfully this was the case again as I was able to start my training regimen again for my first 14er. While my ankle is still not 100% (two weeks after returning from the mountains), it was at least strong enough at the time for the hike.

I’m going to end the word description portion of this post and leave you with a picture description for the remainder of the adventure. All I can say is it was an amazing experience of enjoying God’s creation all around us for 4 days – picturesque scenery, wildlife running free, fresh mountain air, aromatic pine tree scents wafting all around us, babbling brooks of crisp mountain water, cold evenings curled up in our sleeping bags, crisp, early mornings and trying to wake up with our warm coffee, majestic views from just about everywhere, great companionship and dare I say, “fellowship”…and returning to our roots and basics of life and getting away from the phone, email, and civilization. Basic tasks of setting up my tent and pulling out my sleeping bag out of my pack actually left me quite winded and I would have to stop to catch my breath. We saw amazing wildlife – elk across the grassy ravines, mountain goats running and bounding up the rocks in our camp, porcupines walking right outside my tent since my tent was 5 feet from our “kitchen”, marmots and prairie dogs all over the place, and even a Disney movie-esque encounter with a hummingbird who flew into our group, hovered at eye-level, and stared at us as if to say, “Good morning, god-speed and safe travels on your journey gentlemen.”

So we packed everything we needed into our backpacks, used the streams and lakes for our water supply and had a fun and truly spiritual experience. As a bonus, we returned with the same number of people as we left with. 😉

packed and ready to go

on our way to Colorado – Kansas sunflowers

met by rain showers on our way to the trail head

testing the water depth

our caravan fording the water

on our way

you mean we have to hike uphill?

our route to base camp – where the streets have no name

finally at base camp

base camp

my wife slipped a note/pic into my bag and I hung it in my tent

another view from base camp – I look stoked

our friends in base camp

another view from base camp – Cresstone Peak

thar she blows – Humboldt Peak

on our way up to Humboldt Peak

our highway

still on our way up

almost there – don’t look down

finally made it! – Humboldt Peak – 14,064 feet

signing the register at the summit

me and my best friend Jeremy at the summit

view from the summit

another view from the summit

another view from the summit

another view from the summit

backside of the mountain

last view of Humboldt Peak

had an amazing time and hope to do more 14s next year

time to hit the trail and head back to civilization

once we were back in Colorado Springs I gorged myself with a huge piece of medium rare cow

…and a banana split blizzard

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in creation, spiritual

 

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