Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Other Half...

Hey, this Hampton (not the better half). I am Nicole's husband, and have shared first-hand in the experiences that have led to the creation of this blog. Although I have been here every step of the way, I have my own story to tell. My thoughts have been less "cyber" to this juncture, but I will be contributing here and there. It has been 8 months since we lost the girls, and though the pain has been mostly private in the past, many of my friends know that I am in no way afraid to talk candidly about this struggle. I have strongly encouraged this venture from the outset, and I believe my next step in doing so is to start adding my thoughts to the mix to complete the story.

A little about me. I met Nicole in college as a freshman. In many ways back then we were on the same trajectory, we just didn't know it yet. We were both in the Honors Program at the University of South Alabama, and we both independently (well, of each other at least) became heavily involved in Baptist Campus Ministries, a student outreach group. We became friends, eventually started dating, and we were married going on 4 years ago. In that process, we grew together, both towards God and towards each other, and we truly became one. It could have in no way occurred any better for each of us if we had planned it ourselves. As a natural outpouring of who we both were, we wanted children, and still do. More on this later.

Some things about me have to be said outright if I am to be completely understood. I am defined by few things, but first and foremost, I am a Christian, a disciple of Jesus Christ, saved by His grace from my state of sin, and crucified with Him to abundant new life. I have been a believer nearly my entire life, and any meaning to my existence starts and stops there.

I am also a physician, currently about to start my fourth year of residency in General Surgery. This has been a long pursuit for me, and will be a pursuit for the rest of my life, I am slowly beginning to realize. This is by no means separate from my faith-- it is how I believe God has called me to live out my faith and to show the fruits of His salvation in my life. It also profoundly shaped my experience with our girls. 

A word of warning: I am a doctor, and I can't really separate myself from that, so some of the things I contribute to this blog may be unsavory for dinner-table conversation. I am also brutally honest and frank at times, but at those times I believe I am telling the truth. Remember: he who is easily offended is often uneducated. I try to state things outright to avoid confusion (of which Satan is the author).

I love my wife, and she has asked me to do this, so this is a labor of love. I will not be able to post things nearly as much as Nicole or as much as I want to, given my work schedule. But I think it is important for the readers here (both ladies and gentlemen) to hear my thoughts to hear the male perspective, as this experience is indelibly shared between Nicole and I.

Just keep runnin'...

I had a pretty good run this morning with my TNT group! I ran/walked a little over 4 miles. The first mile was fairly easy, so that's a good sign! Then, we went up the Ocean Springs/Biloxi Bridge and that part was TOUGH.

I wish I had taken this picture!

Coming back down the bridge wasn't too bad (I ran and let my momentum do most of the work)...then, it was back to the beach sidewalk and a little bit of a struggle to finish. But, I did! :)

Here's Heather and I after the run! :)
She looks so cute and I look drab! lol
So, overall, I feel good about the run and I'm looking forward to 5 miles next Saturday. I will say that I like running out and back better than a loop. I'm not sure if it's all in my mind or what, but today's run felt shorter than Wednesday's (and it was only 3 miles!).

I've updated my Chronicles of Running page and I'm trying to keep better track of my miles. It amazes me to look at the miles I've run so far! :)

Hope everyone is having a great Saturday. I enjoyed a yummy breakfast with my bestie after the run this morning, then took a nice nap. Hoping to finish some things in the house and get everything back to normal here! (By the way, we are still loving our wood floors and hope to have peeps over to see them soon!)

Do you like to run out and back or do a loop/repeated loop?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Abundant Life…

This morning I was listening to the radio on my way to get McD’s for breakfast and Joni from Joni & Friends was speaking at some kind of event. (I caught it halfway through, so I don’t know all of the details.)

Now, before I go on, let me say that I had NEVER heard of this lady before so I had no idea what her life was like. And, of course, this was on the radio, so I couldn’t see her. As I listened, she started speaking about attitude. And about how Americans lately have a really bad attitude about life…how everything’s going downhill and our country will never be the same, yada yada. Then, she offered a “what if”: What if, instead of being so pessimistic all the time, we had a positive (but still realistic) attitude about life? What if we woke up each morning determined to make the best of each day? What if we shared that POSITIVE attitude with others and it spread? What if, as the Bible tells us, we had a Christ-like attitude as laid out in Philippians 2?

Here’s where she inserts a personal story from her own life. You see, Joni is a quadriplegic. Yep. AND, recently was diagnosed with breast cancer. Yep. She talked about her struggle each morning waking up and facing the day. Facing quadriplegia and breast cancer. Facing the fact that someone would have to give her a bath and put on her clothes and feed her. Facing GIANT struggles that most of us have no idea about.

Talk about perspective! And here she is, appropriately telling us to put on our big girl panties and DO LIFE. But not just survive…LIVE ABUNDANTLY.

I know there are days when I just want to stay in bed. And sometimes I feel like I have good reason to feel that way. You may be struggling with these same feelings or be in a situation where you just want to survive the day and go back to sleep!

DON’T. Jesus said that He came to give us life to the fullest. Abundant life. (John 10:10)

SO, how do we do this? Is it as simple as willing ourselves into a positive attitude? Is is simply a matter of personal choice?

Not exactly. I mean, like I said yesterday, I have good intentions all the time. I really WANT to have a positive attitude and to live life abundantly. But my want-to doesn’t translate into DOING so easily.

I think the key is the Holy Spirit. You see, without Him, you will never experience the abundant life Jesus came to give you. In John 10:9, Jesus says “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved…” So, FIRST, enter the door! Not sure how? Check out this story…

THEN, learn to trust Jesus with each day of your life. He knows what’s best. Ask Him what He wants for you TODAY.

And then, in the power of the Holy Spirit (who resides in every believer), LIVE ABUNDANTLY.

What will it take for you to embrace a Christ-like attitude and live abundantly?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My First Plank...

I’ve been thinking about doing this post for some time now…like at least a month, if not more! Jessica over at Bohemian Bowmans does this weekly Plank Pullin’ post and invites her readers to join her in pulling a plank each week. SO, here goes…

plank-1It’s Plank Pullin’ time! The one day a week that we strongly resolve to ignore the multitude of specks and sawdust around us and pull one bona fide plank from our own eye. Matthew 7:3-5, style.

I sponsor two Compassion children: Norma in Guatemala and Martha in Tanzania. I love these girls and I’m great at donating my monthly support (because it is automatically deducted from my bank account). I’m also great at sending a little extra money for their birthdays and for Christmas.

I often encourage other people to sponsor Compassion children. I think it’s an amazing cause and almost anyone can spare the $38 a month.

Before you think that I’m tooting my own horn, hear me out. Unfortunately, the money-sending is the bulk of my interaction with my girls. For those of you who know about Compassion, you know that the most important part isn’t the money, but the letters. And there’s my plank – I don’t send letters. I haven’t written to Norma in over a year (I’ve sponsored her for several years now) and I’ve never written to Martha (just started her sponsorship last year). Ugh.

I have good intentions of writing. I see great ideas on others’ blogs about writing and sending stickers and stationary and all kinds of creative things. But, somehow, life passes by and I haven’t written.

So, I’ve pulled that plank and I’m going – RIGHT NOW – to write both of my girls. Ask me tomorrow…really. I need accountability on this!

That was a BIG plank to pull on my first Plank Pullin’ post…

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Little Bit of Everything…

So, it may seem to be a strange statement, but this past week was the longest week that I’ve had in a while – due to helping with Vacation Bible School every day and working at the church several afternoons as well, getting ready for Mega Camp…in addition to all of my regular activities, like running and Bible study! SO, it was a very FULL week, and I LOVED that. I’m thanking God today for ministry activity! He has truly blessed me with the time and opportunities to be a part of His work. I’m excited about leading Mega Camp in July and for whatever opportunities God has in mind for my future.

Seminary classes are going well. My Ministry of Teaching class has given me opportunities to teach again, which is GREAT. I’m looking forward to more of that as well! I also pick up two more classes a week from Monday, so I will have a very busy couple of weeks as I finish up my first term class and start the others.

Running is not going so great…just feel like I’m not making much progress. I’m hoping that my body will adjust soon and get going!

Pictures of our floors with furniture back in the room will be posted sometime this week! We are LOVING the floors and I can’t wait to get the living room put back together.

Siesta Scripture verse…
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” ~2 Timothy 2:15(NASB)

Hope you are having a great weekend! We are headed to a picnic for all of the Resident families – a kind of welcome for the new interns and their families, too.

What are your plans this weekend?

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Ahh…hardwood floors. LOVE it so far. As I’m typing, my brothers-in-law are putting the finishing touches on the floors in our living room and hallways. It looks great already – and it’s still dirty! :)

floors.wade  floors.almostdone2

I’m so excited to see it completed and clean!

This morning I taught Sunday School and these renovations in my house bring to mind the lesson. It was about confessing the sin in our lives and restoring our relationship to a Holy God. That process is kind of like a renovation of the heart. We have to strip away the old and allow God to forgive us and make us new. A simple analogy, yes, but fitting if you think about it. I believe this is a daily process. Every day we have to come before our Lord and admit our shortcomings and accept His grace. Every day He will make us new and show us His will. I’m SO thankful that God’s love is UNFAILING! His mercies are new every morning. He doesn’t give up on the dead (that’s us – dead in our transgressions!). His grace is sufficient and covers all our sin. Praise Him!

I hope everyone is having a great day of rest. Half of my household is resting right now and the other half is working hard to finish these floors! My brothers-in-law are doing a great job!!

Looking forward to a week of VBS, running, and planning Children’s Camp!

What are you looking forward to this week?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Team in Training...

I finally signed up officially with Team in Training! I'm really excited to be training for the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in October! You can see the link to my fundraising page over on the right. Any amount, however small, is greatly appreciated!

Also, I will be going to Vancouver in September on a mission trip with my church. SO STOKED! I went a couple of years ago and had so much fun. This time we will be working on the campus of the University of British Columbia, which is super exciting!

So much fun stuff coming up! I'll be back soon to recap what's been going on the last couple of weeks...I know I've been all but non-existent! SORRY!

Last time in Vancouver! :)


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