Spent the morning in the workshop mocking up some reindeer ornaments. Excited about this version. Christmas is just around the corner and I am excited for all that lies in the season ahead.
I cannot tell you how excited we are to partner with Harp Design Co. We dropped off the first of what hopes to be many collaborations with Clint and Kelly Harp and are excited for what the future holds. We took our first of what hopes to be many trips to Waco. The trip yesterday was both one of inspiration and one of celebration. We continue to celebrate what God is doing through our little store. I know you have seen it, but each item is handmade with sweat and tears (and a few splinters along the way.) This delivery represents one major step closer to our adoption, and truly item we make is symbolic of the restoraion we all need! It is an honor to be part of an incredible group of makers and craftsman. The Harp Design Co store is filled with great stuff! I cannot tell you enough if you get a chance go online and see what they have or if you are in the Waco area check them out!
The future is bright thank you for joining us on our journey.
In a few days I am flying to Guangzhou in southern China to shoot some documentary footage for my ministry. We are meeting with a few people to discuss what our Father is doing in Asia and across the world. I am torn with emotions, I thought i would have the chance to see my daughter on this trip, but we are not yet matched so that will not happen. But I am also excited for the experience and impact the trip will have on us and the minister we represent.
Our family is in the process of adopting a little girl from Asia. Due to the cost of adoption we are trying to raise support. These carefully handmade Letters, tables and decorations are made from recycled pallets and reclaimed lumber. Each purchase goes into our adoption fund and helps us defray the cost of bringing our little girl home. Thank you for your help, and we would love to hear from you!
What is a “Son Of Whale?”
Simply stated my father left me one of the greatest legacy I could ever ask for. In college he had the nickname Whale, and in both jest and honor I started blogging many years back about our adventure together. My father died in the summer of 2008, and since then his legacy and the name Whale has become a thing of legend. I invite you to read about his story at http://www.sonofwhale.com. Today I thank God for the few years I spent laughing and learning beside him. He not only taught me the creativity you see expressed on this shop, he taught me how to be a man and a dad. His legacy lives through our crafts and for generations to come.
“We are adopting”, these are the 3 Words that will define the next year of our family’s life. It’s a phrase we throw around our house as if it is normal, and everyone already knows. Most days the kids debate about whether our new baby will have curly hair or straight hair, as if that is the biggest hurdle ahead. Melissa and I are are often discussing new ideas on how we can raise funds to cover the huge cost of adding a new life to our family, and most conversations we have together seem to drift to the future and life with a fourth child in all of our photo books. Yet I feel we have not told anyone else, so consider by reading this you are being brought into the cool kids club. (Actually not really sure how cool Mel and I are, but you get the point.) Today I confess that we do not know what the future holds, but we long to hold a little Japanese baby girl in our arms and family. (So the children who are betting on straight hair probably will win that argument.)
Adoption means so many things to so many people, yet to us it a personal journey that began 14 years ago with Melissa spending 2 incredible years as a missionary in northern Japan. The story of adoption has always been intertwined in our lives, but we have not taken it farther then a conversation or prayer. 2 years ago, through a God inspired set of circumstances we learned of an opportunity to adopt through an American/Canadian agency, and signed up a few months later. We have now been waiting a little over 1 year, and have begun to see light at the end of the tunnel. Currently we are around 6 months to a year out from traveling to Japan to bring a little baby girl home to our forever family. We still have many hurdles to overcome the two biggest are paperwork and financial costs. We encourage and covet your prayers in the coming days and will try to keep you informed with the process as we move forward by faith. Thanks and welcome to the Club!
I know it is a cliche, I know that thousands of parents experienced what I experienced just today, but still my heart jumps for joy. Champe learned to ride his bike. Now to be clear – at this point he can’t start it and I am 100% sure based on the wrecks that he cannot stop it, but he can ride.
When I learned to ride, I remember the joy of knowing I had freedom. I could go as far as my legs could take me (or at least to the stop sign at the end of the street because I would be grounded if I went past it.) I owned the block because I had transportation. I am not sure Champe realizes that yet, but for me it was a milestone and a memory I will always remember. It was my Kodak moment for the day, and I am one proud daddy.
Lists are what make the world go round. So today in the hustle and bustle of Easter and TYW and Xtreme Camp and my mom Selling her house and Champe’s Birthday and A WMU Convention and you get the picture… I wanted turn to the blog and list things I was thankful for. A list that is bascally a thankyou to God for all that he has blessed me with.
It starts with the 4 favorite things in my life. These are the easiest four things to be thankful for.
1. Melissa – My sweet wife who is ever supportive. Her smile always puts an extra bounce in my step.
2. Champe – The ever faithful artist
3. Eli – The loyal comedian
4. Genevieve – The little bundle of joy
Now the List gets a little harder
5. My Job – I am thankful that God has blessed me with the chance to do something I Love each day. Yes I get tired and worn down, but in the end I get to be creative in so many exciting ways.
6. Our new house – We looked for months for a house that would provide memories for our kids, and God has given us that. With the trampoline up and the playroom full let the memories begin.
7. My Miter saw – I know this is a little weird, but it really represents the whole craftsman hobby thing I have going on. I recently have been making pallet tables, and when you see the sawdust fly and the nail gun start it means I am having a grand old time in the garage.
8. Pizza – For some reason every list I read always mentions pizza, and I do love a good sausage pizza. So I am adding it to my list also…
9. My church – My church is teaching my kids the foundations they can stand on later. They love to come to church, and that makes my heart fill with joy. For some reason though their favorite thing to do is to come into the booth with me. I am not sure if that is me, or the 28 TV screens we have in there?
10. My life – The truth is I am tired and worn out, but in the end God has blessed my family and I. The sun rises and the sun sets what happens in between is life, and He has given me a great life.
If you have not had a chance. Take a look at my sisters blog at www.thistlewoodfarms.com. Her tiny little blog about a house in the middle of nowhere (I’m not even sure it is on google maps) has taken off to thousands of readers each week. The Presley inside of me is a little jealous, but the brother inside is also really proud.
KariAnne and Denton have helped Melissa and I in so many ways. Even this morning I was asking her to help me solve some of life’s greatest questions. As I look back on the conversation I am pretty sure she did not have the correct answer but she made one up anyways. That is true Presley style…
I sit in the chair with the boys fast asleep upstairs and my heart and mind are racing. Tomorrow our family moves from 4 to 5. At this point it is not the number that is getting me, it is the whole girl thing. If I’ve heard it one time I’ve heard it ten thousand times – a girl will change my life, she will be the apple of my eye, the catch phrases go on and on. But my mind is still full of questions. Questions I know that won’t be answered for days if not years to come. I can still remember the days running up to both Champe and Eli’s birth, and the uncertainty and joy that filled my mind. I remember bringing each one home and sitting on the couch, looking at Mel and saying. “Can you believe we are parents. Who in their right mind would let us raise kids?” (i actually ask myself that once a week) I am not sure what tomorrow may bring but i do know it will be a blessing. I love my wife and my boys, and I’m not sure how i can give out anymore love to a baby girl. But as a good friend John told me, God provides the love. He is the giver of love. Now when do we get rid of all this pink stuff around here?
By now the news has spread that my pastor, Jeff Warren, is leaving First Baptist McKinney and headed to Pastor Park Cities Baptist. Although the thought of FBC without a creative a inspirational pastor like Jeff is hard to imagine, it is still possible. As I thought about the future I was reminded of what my Dad told me right before I took on a big challenge, just take a deep breath and plunge in. That is what we must do. We can’t hold back and wait for someone else to tell us what to do or think, we must make the moves and decisions we were called to make. I truly am humbled once again at the thought i was called to serve along side a great team, but am excited at the future ahead of us. In the next few months we will begin the search for a pastor, and until then i will dive in a begin to mold a legacy for others to follow.