Category: Family

My Sister’s Wedding

My Sister’s Wedding

I had the privilege of officiating my sister’s wedding last night. Below is a copy of what I spoke to them and all who attended.

I’ve asked myself many times over the last few weeks – what am I going to say to my sister and soon-to-be brother at their wedding. And something happened that doesn’t happen all that often. I didn’t know what to say.

As I sat in bed one night, Ashley said something that was incredibly wise and incredibly simple. She said…just speak truth.

The God of the Bible created this beautiful, messy, joyful, painful, refining and transforming partnership called marriage. He did so very intentionally and specifically. So as you enter into this promise, each of you bring something to the marriage that your spouse simply cannot. And that’s by design. Colin, as a husband, God’s given you certain responsibilities, gifts and talents that Ali may try to do, but can’t & shouldn’t. Ali, as a wife, God’s given you certain responsibilities, gifts and talents that Colin may try to do, but can’t & shouldn’t. From this day forward, you’ll spend a lifetime learning how to do this dance. Thankfully God didn’t put us down here at take off. He is actively engaged in your life and in your marriage every day. Chase after Him and He will show you how He created you and what He desires for your marriage.

If I had to choose one essential, non-negotiable ingredient that must be found in your marriage, it would be this…Sacrifice.

Now that’s not a nice word, right? It’s at times the opposite of what we see all around us. We’re supposed to get ours, satisfy our wants and desires, pursue them at all costs. But if you want to learn how to get this ingredient into your marriage, look no further than the one who knows the most about sacrifice.

God sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ to come down to earth, live a perfect life and die a horrific death to redeem mankind. To make a way for us to finally know the God who created us.

If you are willing to sacrifice for each other, if you’re willing to put down your own desires, wants and needs and serve each other daily – the dance God has designed will go much smoother & be much closer to what He desires.

My prayer is that you would look to Jesus as the ultimate model of sacrifice. That you would get to a point individually where you are daily asking God to help you serve one another. That the person and work of Jesus would continue to become more real to you, that God would continue to reveal Himself to you and that your marriage and your home would be a place honoring and pleasing to the Lord.

Let me pray for you.

Father, you are so good. You knew Colin and Ali before they were even born. You saw this day before it was even a thought. We ask that you would continue to reveal yourself to Colin and Ali, that you would give them all that they need to serve each other as Christ laid down His life for us. We ask that their life as a husband and wife, their work, their home and their future family will be honoring and pleasing to you. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – bless them. Amen.

When Colic Is Not A Good Enough Diagnosis

When Colic Is Not A Good Enough Diagnosis

Our Daughter
Photo courtesy of Amy Lee Photography

The birth of our daughter was a beautiful day. The next eight weeks that followed however were not. Incessant crying, a trip to the ER, extreme bloating and a perpetual discontent for life made it a rough introduction into the world. Some could say, “welcome to parenthood” or “sounds like a baby with colic” but our daughter was our second child, she was very different than our first and we wanted to help.

Our firstborn was lactose intolerant so we started there. Our pediatrician recommended an elimination diet so my wife eliminated all potential allergens from her diet. Dairy, wheat, soy, fish, eggs and nuts were out. We also saw signs of infant reflux and began reflux meds (Ratadine) in conjunction with the elimination diet.

Fourteen days later and there was no significant or consistent improvement. Our daughter would wake up 45 minutes following a feeding in a level of screaming you hope never to hear. Gently pressing on her lower abdomen, putting her over your shoulder and repeating 2-3 times sometimes did the trick. Other times, you’d simply have to outlast the crying.

My wife, who was breastfeeding even made sure she pumped prior to every feeding to reduce the strong letdown often experienced by our daughter. This again brought little to no lasting improvement.

This is an x-ray of our daughters digestive system at 2-weeks old. All the dark chambers are pockets of gas.

If your newborn cries for more than three hours a day, doctors will often diagnosis your baby with “colic”. For us, only three hours would have been a blessing. But the potential diagnosis of colic never sat well with us. It seemed like the easy way out. And every challenging day and nightly battle spoke volumes to us. There is simply something not right with this little girl. While researching colic, we came across a reference to a study that found a reduction in “colic” symptoms when coupled with a probiotic supplement. An infant gut without the proper bacteria in it to aid digestion can cause “colic.” This set of bacteria is acquired through breastmilk/formula and improves with age. In other words, our assumption was that maybe, just maybe, the source of her problems were centered around an underdeveloped digestive system.

As we stood in our pediatricians office, our last ditch effort before making an expensive appointment with a pediatric GI specialist was to try 14 days of infant probiotic supplements.  After a bit of research online, we found a well reviewed probiotic powder for infants. Klaire Labs Infant Formula arrived from Amazon three days later. It includes six different bacteria and came shipped with a cold pack to protect potency.

We gave our daughter 1/4 teaspoon, per the bottle’s instructions via two syringes of warm water on a Tuesday morning. That night she went to sleep without any of the usual challenges. Never having two back-to-back nights without hours of crying and writhing, we again gave her another dose Wednesday morning. And again, she went down without issue.

The difference between our daughter before probiotics and after is remarkable. Her entire demeanor has changed. Her awake times include peace, calm and a happy disposition. We have enjoyed new freedoms as we’ve ventured out into restaurants and events as a family, without incident. After spending the first eight weeks of her life in turmoil, our daughters biggest challenge is now finding a consistent sleep rhythm. She’s still got a ways to go, but we are incredibly blessed.

If we had to summarize the factors leading to her improvement, while we believe the probiotic supplement was a significant contributor there were  definitely other factors:

  • General maturing. We have no doubt that as the weeks went by and our daughter grew, all of her internal systems were developing.
  • Great pediatrician. Our doctor and her staff were incredibly aggressive in their treatment and troubleshooting. She was open to the probiotic supplement and recommended it. When your doctor cares about the health of your baby as much as you do, it’s huge. If you’re in the Kansas City metro we highly recommend this practice.
  • Grace of God. Given the wisdom and insight to connect with great doctors and great supplements is truly a blessing. We believe that by His grace we’re where we are today with a healthy, happy daughter, a peaceful home and a strong marriage.

Hopefully our eight to ten week journey through “colic” can be helpful to other parents in a similar season. Our experience has shown us that ultimately you have to be your kids biggest advocate. Ask questions, stick with doctors who fight for your kids as much as you do and research. The side-effects to probiotics were minimal. We were ready for increased bloating and irritability. Thankfully, our daughter had neither. As always, make sure to check with your doctor before giving your infant anything. We’re not doctors and any advice we give shouldn’t be construed as such. We’re simply parents who weren’t satisfied to suffer through colic.