Dad: the final years

There is something transcendental about holding the hand of my father in his final days knowing he held me during my first days.  Just as I entered this world knowing as I was loved, protected, and cared for, I want him to exit this world with that same knowledge.

Many do not know my dad’s story over the past seventeen years. For anyone who knew him from before, it’s not what we would have expected.

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Dad: stories that shaped me

As I’ve realized my father is coming to the end of his life, I find myself feeling incredibly thankful he was may Dad.  I often shared with him that although the past seventeen years were difficult, they could never negate what a great father he was to me as a child, teen, and young adult.  Nothing could erase those memories and the slide show  is never ending as I sit by his bedside.   There are not words sufficient  to share them all but here are three that stand out.

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Dad

As some of you know on Monday I made a very quick last minute trip to GA to handle some Medicaid business for my dad.  His steady decline associated with dementia and cirrhosis meant he needs the end of life care only a nursing home can provide. The trip was about as exciting as it sounds- long meetings with nice people involving lots of mind-numbing paperwork.

Many of you know I grew up in a tight knit family and enjoyed an especially close relationship to my Dad. Much in our relationship changed during the past seventeen years as a wedge developed between me and him-the combined effect of affairs and alcoholism. Over this past decade I’ve watched the weight of regret and guilt slowly crush my dad.  Although I told my dad many times I love him and forgive him, a palpable tension continued between us. This wedge, the tension, and his spiraling spiritual, emotional, and physical decline has proven to be one of the greatest pains of my life.  I’ve seen firsthand you can choose to love someone, you can choose to forgive, but true reconciliation can never be forced.

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Sabbatical Recap: Maine

20150806_094713If our week in Southern California was all about equipping and our week in Pennsylvania was all about unplugging, then our three weeks at a cottage in coastal  Maine was definitely about refueling and listening.  As many have asked what we did, the answer includes long strolls on the beach and through the woods, cycling the rolling hills of a coastal peninsula, hunting for hermit crabs with the kids, lots of time with the family at the pool and beach. What we did doesn’t really describe the significance of what happened: God truly used this time away to deepen my relationship with Him and with my family. Continue reading

Sabbatical & Summer Update

As many of you know, me and my family are heading on a sabbatical from July 6 to August 7.  Christin and I will begin with just the two of us attending a church-planting conference in Southern California, then head with the whole family for one week in the Poconos of Pennsylvania and three weeks on the coast of Maine.  Thank you to all who contributed to making this possible.

We have three simple goals: unplug, refuel, and listen to God.  Please pray with us Ephesians 1:16-20:

16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.

You can also download our summer update here: summer 2015 update

Prayers for my mom

Friends & Spiritual Family,

I want to solicit your prayers for my mom. On Friday afternoon she was taken to the hospital via ambulance due to a high fever (105+) and lack of coherence.  She was showing some improvement over the weekend and I spoke with her briefly on Sunday.

This morning my brother Brian called to tell me her condition had  worsened.  Continue reading

A NEW SEASON

Spring bring a sense of newness to Burlington as the chill of winter fades and the warmth of summer takes over. The sounds of birds chirping fills the air. City parks become repopulated, Lake Champlain beaches reopens, and Church Street comes alive. Neighbors reintroduce themselves.   For me, my family, and our church, this sense of newness is especially true.

photoA NEW SON. By far the biggest news of our lives this spring was the birth of our son, Skye Maloy Pounds, on May 25.  Continue reading

So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

“So you’re telling me there’s a chance?”  were the first words I thought to blurt out.  The doctor found my awkward sense of humor lacking: “no- I’m telling you that it’s highly improbable that you’ll ever get pregnant apart from medical intervention.”  Christin and I already knew the results before our follow-up visit with Reproductive Medical Associates, so we knew this meant NO BIOLOGICAL CHILDREN. Continue reading