Archive for May, 2009
Congrats to Elena and Justin Dunn. Liv and I just got back from their wedding today (ceremony #2), it was lovely. Olivia kept trying to steal the show on the dance floor, but my peruvian friend was going to give up easy.
Congrats guys. So happy for you!
Here is the gallery:
PS…I’m planning on finishing the “missing blog” for monday morning.
When we launched anthemofhope.com, I installed some really cool analytical tools on both this site and that one. That was just about 2 months ago (can’t believe how the time flies).
Anyway, I was looking at the stats and thought it was interesting that leblanclife.com has had readers from 46 countries this month. I wanted to give a shout to our friends from Canada who are a very strong second place to the US readers.
1. United States
5. Isle of Man
7. South Korea
8. United Kingdom
9. New Zealand
Then down at number 46, bringing up the rear…was Oman, with one visitor hanging out for about 78 seconds :)
To further the enjoyment of this inexplicably riveting post (yes, I’m joking), I decided to sort by cities. Here are the top viewing cities/towns:
1. New York
4. Red Bank
8. Corpus Christi
10. Terre Haute
15. Asbury Park
20. Avon by the Sea
Each of those had hundreds of visits a month, so props to those towns/cities for hanging out here. Anyway, I do hope something great is happening today in your life, because as you can see I am obviously procrastinating from doing anything productive!
I was having such a good day. I got a ton done in the office today…got to the doctors over lunch to get shots for my upcoming trip to Zimbabwe(I’ll explain later)…had a nice dinner with olivia over her new friends house…got home and was getting a bunch more work done after Liv went to bed…
Then, I needed to get something out of Misty’s email account to pay a bill online. Well…when I signed into her account, everything was gone. Literally, everything. Every email she ever saved, archived or left in her inbox was deleted. Apparently, I hadn’t signed in for 120 days, so lovely hotmail deleted everything. 4 months…are you kidding? Thats a long cruise for some people. ANd since storage space is just so expensive nowadays…
I’m not sure I can express how bummed I am about this….an email acount is like a life journal that you don’t intentionally write. I had been keeping her email account as something I’d get to in the future…just another lovely set of memories. I really wish I had signed in a couple weeks sooner…
Anyway, if you happen to work for hotmail and can fix this…I’ll pay you.
Today, as I was driving home, I got pulled over on rt 36 eastbound – just after the Home Depot plaza. I knew I wasn’t speeding, and I’m pretty sure I don’t have any lights out or anything. I politely asked the officer why I was pulled over and he told me he was on seat belt duty…and I wasn’t wearing said critical protection device. My first ticket in probably 8 years or so. And despite my disagreement with its mandated use, I do usually wear my seat belt!!
It is fairly amusing how 12 days ago I posted THIS. Apparently, the Click It or Ticket campaign is quite real :)
By the way, the officer was quite pleasant.
Last night marked the 8 month anniversary of the day Misty died. It’s been two thirds of a year, and I miss her. On Mothers day, I wrote about a bit of depression I was going through. Well, I’d venture to say I have had a few nights since that were in the same realm. This isn’t an ambiguous, unidentifiable depression…these roots are clear…they are birthed in loneliness.
In talking with a friend tonight on the phone, it became so very clear that she was feeling the pressure of a stigma, all too popular in Christian circles. That is:
You shouldn’t ever be lonely because God will fill your needs.
That idea really doesn’t work for me. Does the “God will fill your needs” concept work in every area of life? Like, “You shouldn’t ever be out of shape, because God will fill your needs”? Obviously not…that would be an asinine idea. But why is that idea so obviously wrong with physical needs, but not emotional needs. This is the same reason many people stay away from the field of mental health. We treat an ear infection the day it comes on, but struggle with depression for years without even talking to anyone.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I want to be very clear. God could very easily fix someone’s emotional issue, just as he could very easily make my body to be in shape (even though I am far from that). But like the silliness of expecting God to tone my body without work on my part, I think it’s also silly to expect him to fix every emotional issue I have, without work on my part.
So yes, I am in some aspects a bit lonely. And it’s fairly upsetting to me, that others I know in a similar situation, add guilt to their normal montage of already crazy daily emotions because they are convinced that they are wrong for being lonely.
So when I identified this obvious thread in my life, the symptoms were blatant.
- Finding old friends to reconnect for lunch or just on Facebook
- I’m pretty sure I freaked out a few people, calling them after a decade or so. Especially the girls…)
- Buying a few nice new pieces for my camera gear arsenal
- This is an investment….yes, I really do believe it :)
I found a teaching outline online that covered loneliness by a Bible College professor. He listed “loss of a spouse” as a potential cause for loneliness, so I think we are talking apples to apples here, and this is some of the verbiage he used:
- Loneliness is a choice
- Christian couch potatoes are transplanted not planted
- God designed it that way so we would seek fellowship among other believers because even if you do not feel it, you are part of the greater body of Christ and you have a purpose.
- Loneliness is Self-Centeredness
- Lonely people crawl into the “woe is me” syndrome and stay there.
- They tend to use other people to feed their sympathy ego.
I kinda chuckled when I read his material. It was so not relevant to me…but I wasn’t at all offended. Misty was my best friend for 13 years. We had a human relationship that no one can replace…and that’s ok. I will miss her forever. Lately, that missing has made me slightly depressed, but I’m not staying there. Nurturing healthy relationships with peers and a renewed focus on God provide a solid starting point for growth.
But this post isn’t about me. It’s about those of you who are lonely. I just wanted you to know that I am too…but ‘m not sticking around for long.
I flew into Orlando today and had a bit of deja vu. One year ago, this month, I flew into the same airport with Misty. Here is a clip of what I posted that night:
As seemingly impossible as this situation is, we need to remember that Jesus already overcame the world. Curing cancer is nothing for him. So today, we are believing that God is going to do something big in Misty.
Tonight we will be at a prayer meeting, expecting to get something from God. I’m really trusting him to heal her. If you have any faith at all, join us in prayer anytime from 7pm to 11pm tonight. (read the whole post HERE)
That prayer meetingI referred to was the “Florida Outpouring” or the “Lakeland Revival”. I never wrote about it because there were quite a few thoughts flying through my mind and I didn’t know what to make of it. The controversial Todd Bentley had been drawing huge crowds to Lakeland FL and streamed the services across the globe on GOD.TV with various dish providers as well as on the internet through his ministry site. There was quite a buzz, as Bentley claimed to have raised handfuls of people from the dead and have healed hundreds from serious sickness.
If I were honest about our emotional state last may, I’d have to paint you a picture that was fairly grim. We were desperate. Misty was dying of cancer…and nothing was stopping it. Within weeks of his gaining popularity, my inbox was full of people telling me to watch his show. Now, I watched these services on the computer first, and to be honest…I didn’t buy it. But I’m a skeptic; I always have been. I question everything and anything. So when faced with the idea that my own skepticism may be keeping us from some miracle healing…well, you can imagine the tension I’d have felt there. I so wanted this to be the real thing, but was having a hard to totally buying in.
I was still working at the time and an important meeting came up down in FL. So I decided I’d bring Misty along a day early (on sunday) and visit this church. Interestlingly, it happened to be mothers day and Todd mentioned he was going to pray specifically for Mothers and also specifically for terminally ill cancere patients. On the way to the airport, Misty’s situation got worse. It was noticibly worse than the night before and I remember being terrified about taking her on a plane away from a chance for medical help. I still remember sitting in the atlantic city airport with our friends (Timm and Megan, who decided to make the trip with us) and thinking through this decision, before finally moving forward to get on the plane.
I have to go to sleep, but this is to be continued. And following are all parts of the story to look forward to:
- Misty on worldwide TV.
- Mysterious woman in the rental place (who knew everything about us…)
- Todd Bentley cheating on his wife while he’s praying for mine…
- The good and the bad of the trip.
I have two congrats to give today…and both of them come with galleries….and both of them are my sisters :)
Congrats to Shannon for winning the first place rank in the division with her softball team. Shannon is the only freshman playing on varsity right now! Here is a shot of her getting a double in a game this week. Click the image for the full gallery.
Congrats also to my sister-in-law, Genevieve. Genevieve graduated from TCNJ today with a degree in English. Here is one from her ceremony. Again, click the picture for the full gallery.
As I crossed the George Washington Bridge tonight on my way home from MA, I landed on one of the local NYC stations. There was an ad sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration promoting their Click it or Ticket campaign. I didn’t really love the ad…and at first I was even annoyed that my tax dollars were spent helping big brother remind me to be a big boy.
I have somewhat loathed the whole seat belt law for years. Not because I want to be reckless, but because I feel like it should be my decision to protect myself or not. I always wear a seat belt, but shouldn’t that be my decision? And if the government imposes rules about my personal private safety in a car, why don’t they impose it in my house. By extension, I would expect that it should be illegal to shower without a non-slip mat underfoot (as there are thousands of slip-fall deaths each year in the shower).
Well, here is where my high school political science thinking was wrong. No one (especially not the government) cares about my getting hurt. If they did, the Golden Gate Bridge would have safety nets since well over 1200 people have committed suicide by jumping from it (yeah, probably multiple people this month). The choice to not implement that is largely to maintain aesthetics but also due to the cost of implementing it (their words are “engineering challenges” which as an engineer I know means it just costs a few bucks). The decision to make me wear a seat belt comes back to the same thing everything else comes back to: money.
“On average, inpatient hospital care costs for an unbolted crash victim are 50 percent higher than those for a belted crash victim. Society bears 85 percent of those costs, not the individuals involved. Every American pays about $580 a year toward the cost of crashes. If everyone buckled up, this figure would drop significantly. By reaching the goal of 90 percent seat belt use, and 25 percent reduction in child fatalities, we will save $8.8 billion annually.” (reference)
I’m glad my fundamental right to worry about my own safety is infringed upon for something more than just my own well-being :)