April 7, 2007

Moving On

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:46 am by tlbignerd

Looking at the statistics for the past few days, everyone has safely moved over to the new blog at www.tlbignerd.com. I attribute most of that to not changing the RSS Feed and having a domain name.

In any case, I’m going to stop posting on WordPress. They are a decent provider, but the lack of support for putting in your own HTML is a deal-breaker for me. I thought I could live with it, but since I can’t add a link to my Feedburner feed, can’t add my own hit counter from Google Analytics (awesome tool btw, definitely check it out) and, most importantly, can’t post images when I post from Word (their forums advised not using word because of the weird characters it uses, which Word 2007 no longer does) I quit. I don’t need to fight to post, so, Google, here I am! Blogger is definitely the best of the free services.

With that said, I’ll no longer be posting to this blog.

Peace,
+Tom

God’s Sense of Humor

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:28 am by tlbignerd

If you ever wondered whether God had a sense of humor, this past winter makes it clear that he must. I mean, even this past week, we left the hospital one day to find 85 degree weather. Today it’s snowing. Seriously, God must know how to mess with someone’s mind.

Peace,
+Tom

Great Story

Posted in Thoughts on Life at 12:49 am by tlbignerd

I was finally catching up on reading blogs (can you believe it, 170 posts in 4 days). I came across this story from William H. Willmon.

A story: A man died. He had not lived the most worthy of lives, to tell the truth. In fact, he was somewhat of a scoundrel. He therefore found himself in Hell, after his departure from this life.

His friends, concerned about his sad, though well-deserved fate, went down to Hell, and moved by the man’s misery, rattled those iron gates, calling out to whomever might be listening, “Let him out! Let him out!”

Alas, their entreaties accomplished nothing. The great iron doors remained locked shut.

Distinguished dignitaries were summoned, powerful people, academics, intellectuals, prominent personalities. All of them stood at the gates and put forth various reasons why the man should be let out of his place of lonely torment. Some said that due process had not been followed in the man’s eternal sentence. Others appealed to Satan’s sense of fairplay and compassion.

The great iron gates refused to move.

In desperation, the man’s pastor was summoned. The pastor came down to the gates of hell, fully vested as if he were to lead a Sunday service.”Let him out! He was not such a bad chap after all. Once he contributed to the church building fund and twice he served meals at a soup kitchen for the homeless. Let him out!”

Still, the gates of Hell stood fast.

Then, after all the friends and well wishers finally departed in dejection, the man’s aged mother appeared at the gates of Hell. She stood there, stooped and weak, only able to whisper softly, in maternal love, “Let me in.

And immediately the great gates of Hell swung open and the condemned man was free.

Something akin to that great miracle happened for us on a starry night at Bethlehem

By the way, if you’re looking for a good blog with some great insight on what it means to be a Christian, this one’s great.

Peace,
+Tom

April 5, 2007

Heard in the Leary Family Today

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:16 am by tlbignerd

Today we brought Colin home. He’s doing great! He’s lost a bit of weight and was at 5 lbs. 10 oz. (losing about 8 ounces). They aren’t too worried, but we’ll be going to the pediatrician a day early. He’s eating awesomely now, and I have to say I expect breastfeeding to rock (since I can’t do it overnight, I get to sleep…

Anyway, here are some things heard around the house today.

Daddy: Baby Colin is going to come home with us today. He’s going to be with us forever.

Rachel: Forever?… … … Oh.

Or, as Rachel was in her rocking chair:

Grandma Candy: Has Rachel ever rocked so hard she’s fallen backward?

Erin: Nope.

BANG

Rachel goes falling backward in the chair. Don’t worry though, she hopped right back up and rocked so hard she almost did it again.

Then there was:

Daddy: This morning Winnie went into Rachel’s room and woke her up at 6:30.

Mom: Ugh.

Daddy: I can’t wait until Rachel can turn the knob and leave the room, so we can close it at night and not have this problem.

… 7 hours later …

Erin: Rachel, stop screaming, go have a time out in your room!

Lots of screaming ensues until to door is closed tight.

Erin: Hey, how did you get out of your room? Did you open that door yourself?

Rachel: Nods

All around, be careful what you wish for.

Then my favorite (though it began yesterday instead of today).

Mommy: You’ve held Colin for a while; can Grandpa Ed have a turn?

Rachel: Ok.

Grandpa Ed: Thank you.

10 seconds (at most) later

Rachel: Ok, my turn again.

I know there were more I missed. But these were certainly the most fun. I have the best daughter EVER!

Peace,
+Tom

P.S. The new blog at www.tlbignerd.com has pictured linked in it. I’m switching the RSS Feed link to the new blog today.

April 4, 2007

Good Days

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:41 am by tlbignerd

Today has been one of those incredibly great days you remember for a very long time. This was one of those days where you get to see God working in the details. To be fair, yesterday God was sure working the details. Colin coming into the world was a miracle I’ll never forget. Today was an awesome follow-on to that.

Without going into too many details, a friend of my brothers’ failed to pay rent, took $4,000 (this goes back to my surprise that you can cancel a certified check months later), neglected to pay back a loan and (possibly) stole from him. Being in the hole a bit we had no idea where help was going to come from. So…

Jim won his court case. A friend of his convinced him to sue Aaron for the money they never paid him in rent and the loan they never paid back. He went onto the show Judge Joe Brown, and apparently Aaron and his girlfriend made complete asses of themselves (thankfully I can finally say asses without Rachel overhearing me). Apparently the judge was laughing derisively at Aaron and his girlfriend, something I knew would make James feel better. They also tried to counter sue him for defamation of character and checks they said Jim received. The judge threw all of that out and they can never again sue James, a HUGE relief all around. Talk about some safe closure to make sure Aaron doesn’t try to retaliate in some way.

In any case, I’m reading in Titus about anger and being quarrelsome and how we should turn the other cheek. At the same time I can’t tell you how great it is to see justice finally done. Jim finally has some money to pay back the $4,000 and, more important than anything else, he has some happiness and hope. He has hope that he’ll get the bill paid off, and happiness that after everything he did for Aaron someone recognized his sacrifices.

I can’t wait to TiVo that in a few months.

Above avoiding quarrelsome people though, at the beginning of Titus it mentions, “Remind the people to respect the government and be law-abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand.” Jim did lend a helping hand, and it got slapped. He obeyed the law and followed with the procedures, even when most of his body was turned completely to anger and he was ready to retaliate physically.

I know suing wasn’t the action Jesus would have taken. But for someone who seems to have nothing but bad luck lately, this is the helping hand Jesus and God have lent him… And I’m so grateful for that. Hope is one of the best gifts we really can give to someone, close on the heels to the ultimate gift of His Love.

On top of it all, Colin began eating today! He wasn’t eating at all after the first feeding. I was pretty nervous there, since it was almost a repeat of when we had Rachel (who never did very well breast feeding). Thankfully everything is going well now. Early this afternoon he began eating, and now he’s doing much better than Rachel ever did. It was a HUGE weight off of both Erin and my minds.

It’s been an awesome day all around.

Peace,
+Tom

April 3, 2007

Colin Pictures

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:41 pm by tlbignerd

I promised pictures of Colin, and they’re up on Flickr. I hear I have more coming from family, but I can’t seem to get at them yet. So here are a couple.

Don’t ask why they aren’t included in this post, the short answer is that WordPress is far, far, far too limiting unless you host it yourself and I’ll be switching blog providers AGAIN soon.

Peace,
+Tom

Colin’s Here

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:56 am by tlbignerd

For real this time!

I have called (almost) everyone on my calling tree. Next on my list was Jess, but then my phone died (sorry Jess, but it keeps with the tradition of learning about the baby from the blog). To make it up to you, we’ll give you final naming rights… Well, not really.

So, here are all the details!

  • Born around 4:10 (none of us are completely sure of the exact time.
  • 6 pounds 1 ounce (btw, I won a bet on this, the OBGYN guessed 6 ½ lbs, Erin guessed 6lbs. 11oz. I guessed 6lbs. 6oz. Gutsy I know, guessing a size smaller than the birth mother’s guess).
  • 19 inches (no bets in this case, I guess everyone was afraid I’d put them to shame again).

Beyond that, we are all very, very well. Erin was laughing and chatting afterward. Colin is eating semi-well (better than Rachel, but that’s not saying much). Rachel came and couldn’t get enough of holding Colin. She would “share” and let a family member who hadn’t held her yet get Colin. Then, 10 seconds (at most) later would say “ok, my turn!” It was awesome.

Truly, it was a great day. Took longer than expected, but the nurses were great, doctor was great, family was great and Erin was just amazing.

In case you want to send gifts, send chocolate to the nurses’ station at Loudoun hospital. They hooked us up with a corner suite after I sheepishly asked for the best room in the place, they changed our rooms. Awesome staff at the Birthing Inn at Loudoun Hospital.

I’m uploading the 115 pictures (I kid you not) of the day. I’ll link to them in the morning once all are up and filed accordingly.

Now I’m back to the hospital for a bit to help with feeding.

Peace… And thanks for all your prayers,
+Tom

April 2, 2007

Colin @ 6:41 a.m.

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:42 am by tlbignerd

Today’s the day! We are about to head in and induce Colin. I have but one job left, to gather thing together so Erin and the rest of us have stuff to do during labor.

Funniest thing that’s already happened today?

Erin mentioned we’ll have a lot of family, so we should bring the camping chairs to make sure there are enough seats. I can’t even imagine the looks we’ll get walking in with camping chairs, but simply the suggestion shows how relaxed Erin is about all this.

Man did I marry good.

Peace,
+Tom

March 29, 2007

Colin’s Here

Posted in Thoughts on Life at 10:37 am by tlbignerd

Ok, not really. We induce April 2nd, only 4 days from now. I’m crazy excited. I had a dream about it last night….

I was home with my mom (who in real life just came into town last night) and suddenly felt like I was going to have a baby. I went down by myself (I think I was in our old townhouse in DC) and quickly and painlessly pushed this baby out, kind of like a poop. Then it was in a sack (not a paper bag by kind of a placental sack). I went to get someone to help, and then realized the baby wasn’t crying. I went back down and pulled him out of the sack. The umbilical cord continued into the sack.

I turned on the sink in the bathroom with only hot water so that it’d warm up quickly. Then I dunked Colin in to clean him off, before testing the water. I quickly pulled him out and checked, the water was still cool, so it was ok. I cleaned him off a little and began heading out to the hospital. I was driving the car while my mom was beside me.

As we drove I began thinking about Erin. If I was carrying the baby, how did we hear a heartbeat when the OBGYN was checking Erin each appointment? Then I began wondering whether we were going to essentially have twins, since I had a baby and Erin had one inside her.

At that point I woke up.

If you ask Erin, this isn’t even close to my weird dreams.

Peace,
+Tom

Matthew 27

Posted in Thoughts on Life at 10:16 am by tlbignerd

As I journal each day I’ve been working through the book of Matthew. It’s been good, but those chapters are incredibly long.

I was looking at the question from the leaders “He saved others – he can’t save himself!” (Matt 27.41-44) This is the first time I think that I can really put into words what this means. It is the difference between being outwardly vs. inwardly focused.

The statement from the leaders makes very clear that they are only focused inwardly. They think that if you’re in pain, then you should do whatever you want to make the pain go away. When you’re suffering, it doesn’t matter how other people are affected, just stop the suffering. There is no consideration of how other people may react of how your suffering affects them.

Jesus, on the other hand, is in a ton of pain. He even calls out to God, chastising him a little. Asking why he must go through so much pain. But, he is ever outwardly focused. He knows that the pain he goes through now will have a positive effect on everyone in the world. The pain and struggles he goes through are making a difference for everyone else, even as they are more horrible and I can imagine.

Looking at church, and people in general, I think we’re incredibly inwardly focused. We worry about how we can make ourselves better or how to end our own discomfort. Sometimes we may be unhappy in a marriage, so we end the discomfort by dissolving the marriage instead of taking the harder road of counseling and healing to make it better for everyone in the end. At church we talk to each-other, make friends and relationships with each-other, and worry about the state of our building or the church as a whole.

What if we spent that same amount of energy on everyone outside? What if we got uncomfortable (something inwardly focused people avoid) and went up to strangers. What if we helped someone we had never met? What if we sacrificed our own time and money for someone we cared nothing about (or even disliked)?

If there’s anything we should be doing over the decades to come it is that we must change from an inward facing society to one of sacrifice for others.

Peace,
+Tom

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