Monday, June 30, 2008

Micah Update Pt. 5

If all goes as planned, we're set to go home today. As great as this hospital is, it will be good to be at our house, sleeping in our bed. Mandy was able to walk around the third floor yesterday. When she had a c-section with Adam, it was day five or six before she was able to do this, so we were very pleased. Micah has been discharged, and we're waiting to see Mandy's doctor this morning so she can take out her staples.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

More pics

If you want to see more pictures, click on the slideshow to the right. It will take you to our Flickr site. Then click "robgrish's photostream", then "Slideshow" at the top right.

Introducing Micah Jonas Grisham

Yesterday ended up being a little crazier than we would have liked, but I'm happy to say that we now have a beautiful baby boy. Micah was born yesterday at 5:38. He weighed 6 lbs 8 oz and was 20.5 inches long.

As the day wore on, Mandy's contractions were getting stronger, but the dilation was very slow. That, coupled with the fact that Micah's heart rate was occasionally spiking, caused the doctor to want to perform a c-section. Mandy's doctor was not there, so we didn't really have a choice, though we wondered if she would have done the same thing.

The bad news about all of that is that the surgery was pretty rough on Mandy, though once again she was such a trooper. It also means a longer road to recovery. The good news is that we had Micah a lot sooner than we would have had she continued laboring, and he was very healthy! Almost all of his family got to see him soon after his birth as well. Even Adam was there when it happened.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

At the hospital...

A little after 5:00 this morning, Mandy woke me up and said that she had been up most of the night having contractions and thought it was time. My first feeling was guilt for having slept through it all. She was very calm, which impressed me, and told me to call my mom and ask her to come to the house to keep Adam. I got up and called Mandy's parents. We got ready, then waited for my mom to arrive. We left the house around 7:00.

When we arrived the nurse said that she only dilated 3 cm or so. An hour later this was still the case. Normally, they would probably send her home, but since she had a c-section with Adam, they wanted her to stay. Megan is here, and Mandy's parents will be here soon. I'm sure Adam is having a great time with his Nana (she is taking him to the Children's Museum this morning).

Her contractions have been getting stronger over the last hour, so hopefully they are doing what they are supposed to do. We may be here for awhile, but I'm glad we're here.

More to come soon...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Meeting with God

Our Sunday evening worship gatherings at Neighborhood Church has been awesome the past couple of months. We've really gone back to the basics of what it means to follow Jesus. For the past five weeks we've been discussing what it means to abide with Christ (John 15). We've been able to be honest with the fact that at times God feels very distant. (I'm really glad to belong to a group that is honest, transparent and vulnerable when it comes to spiritual issues). I've also seen in the group a sense of expectation on what God is going to do next. This whole thing has been out of Jason and my hands for awhile now, and we're really seeing Jesus lead our church. I have no idea what next Sunday is going to look like. I assume that God will reveal something to Jason and I over the next few days, but I know that I am anxiously awaiting our time together.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What's a man gonna do?

For the first time in my life, I am out of BBQ sauce! That may be hard to believe, but it's true. I've never been without a bottle of BBQ sauce. While we lived in California, anytime we would come home, my mom and my dad usually had a bottle to give me, and it was normally from Corky's. We would often have three or four bottles at a time. Over time Mandy thought that was a bit much, and encouraged me to stop accumulating. I agreed...and look where it's brought me!

I guess I'm going to have to go to the grocery store and buy a bottle...or three.

The Phases of Friends

Mandy's final project before Micah comes has been to burn all of our VHS tapes to DVD. This morning we watched our wedding. It was the first time that Adam had seen it. At the beginning I told him that Mommy was hiding in the back, and that when she appeared, she was going to be dressed in white and would look very pretty beautiful (he always uses those words together). Needless to say, he was very excited!

As we watched, Mandy pointed out that all of my groomsmen now live outside of Tennessee. The funny thing is that while I was in California, most of them lived in Tennessee. Anyway, it got me thinking about the life stages we all go with, and the friends that we have as we go through those stages. At our wedding, our high school and college friends were with us, but we also had many of our newer friends from Nashville, where we spent our first year of marriage. During that time in Nashville, I began to lose touch with my college buddies. Then we moved to California, met new friends, and once again lost touch with friends.

Now that we're back in Tennessee, it's happening all over again, though we've been able to reconnect with friends here (facebook has a little something to do with that). I realize that I'm not very good at keeping up these relationships, especially when long distance is involved. I know that some of that is inevitable, but some of that is also just part of my personality.

In each phase of life, Mandy and I have been blessed to have some very significant friendships, and I'm very grateful for that.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Today Mandy and I went to see Cats at the Orpheum. My cousin, William, is the music director for the show. He got us 10th row seats, right in the middle (it's great to know somebody famous, right?). William has been on this path for quite some time, and I was really proud to get to see him in his element. In July he will be leaving the Cats tour and moving to Las Vegas, where he will be the assistant director of the new Phantom show at the Venetian.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Don't Want to Be Like A-Rod

Of course I would love to hit 50 home runs a year (or make $25 million a year). That's not what I'm talking about. This is what I'm referring to. I have a pretty weak stomach, so I realize that I need to take precautionary measures so that I too don't pass out while Mandy is delivering our baby. She's doing all of the work. I have to do my part!

Micah Update Pt. 4

We are expecting Micah in the next few days, or at least that's what Mandy's doctor is saying. Mandy is quite uncomfortable these days, so she is very ready for him to come. Last night we started burning our home movies of Adam's early days onto DVD's. There were quite a few videos that we had never watched before, so it was a lot of fun. It was fun for Adam as well. It made me excited to have another baby in the house.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Weekly Links

  • Starbucks now has free wi-fi. Go here to sign up.

  • Rolling Stone interviews Chris Martin of Coldplay. The title of the article: "Jesus of Uncool."

  • Speaking of Coldplay, their new album is out today (yay!), and you can stream it in its entirety here. Note that you might have to download a plugin.

  • Kevin Rains writes about positive deviance. Very thought provoking. Be sure to check out the Fast Company article as well.

  • Great quote by Elizabeth Fiorenza on the relationship between spiritual formation, community & mission.

Audio book sale is having a big sale. All of their downloads are $9.49 through June 22.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Church Planter Training

I mentioned last week that I was going to write about my time in East Tennessee a couple of weeks ago. I was asked to help revamp our denomination's church planter training materials to have a more missional focus. The team consists of three church planters and two strategists who work within the state of Tennessee to start churches. We did our initial work over our two days there, and will continue working this summer. The plan is to be ready by this fall, when a new group of church planters comes in for training.

One of the big changes is in our terminology. We're using the term "missionary" more than "church planter." The reason is that we feel it is necessary to take the posture of learner when we step into a new culture. We want to help them to better understand their culture before deciding what the church should look like.

Life Transformation Groups

This morning I began meeting with two guys from my church in a life transformation group (LTG). Jason is getting a second group started in the next couple of weeks. I think the ladies' book group is going to begin implementing the ltg into their time together as well. There are three commitments that we make to one another:
  1. Mutual accountability and confession of sin
  2. Scripture reading
  3. Prayer for our friends who are not followers of Jesus
I am so looking forward to the growth that I know will take place through my involvement with these guys, and I'm excited about how God will work in our church through this.

Weekly Links

  • Ed Stetzer gives his opinion on the multi-site church strategy

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Micah Update Pt.3

Still no baby. Mandy had lots of contractions yesterday, but her doctor advised her to wait before coming to the hospital. Guess she was right. Mandy slept much better last night, and hasn't had any contractions since around 9:00 last night.


Hugh Halter talks about MCAP here. I started going through this a few weeks ago. So far it's been very good.
Essentially, we wanted to help church planters consider how a missionary would start a church through incarnational means instead of throwing up a church service and hoping people would show up.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Micah Update Pt. 2

Last night was a rough one for Mandy. She had contractions off and on for a few hours. Before we went to bed we thought it might be the night, but we also remembered that we made a visit to the hospital on a night like this before Adam was born. They sent us home that night. Mandy felt that this would be the same we waited.

During all of this, I realized that I am far from ready. We went to one birthing class, and I've already forgotten how the breathing works. My reaction: I need to read something. I probably also need to chill out a bit, but I want to be there for Mandy during this time. I want to be a good coach. She has to do all the work, but I want to play my role with excellence.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Micah Update Pt. 1

Yesterday Mandy went to her doctor's appointment. She was told that she was already dilated a bit, and that Baby Micah could be here in the next couple of weeks (instead of June 29, as we had been led to believe). So last night Mandy and I packed the suitcase. Tonight I will work on mapping the best routes to the hospital.

You might be wondering why we are behaving in this manner since we already have a child. We have an explanation: Adam was born via c-section. On the Monday morning that he was born, Mandy talked to her doctor and he asked, "Would you like to have your baby this afternoon?" After checking our calendars, we said, "Sure, that sounds good."

It's going to be a little different this time.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Weekly Links

I read a lot of blogs each week, so I decided to highlight some of what I read on my blog. I'm hoping to make this a weekly habit...

Bob Roberts writes about Missional Families

Southern Baptist Pastors think differently than the rest of America (no, this isn't a joke; very eye-opening; make sure to click on the photo gallery)

Alan Hirsch reviews Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath (I'm currently reading this book)

Helpful definition of Missional Community

Philip Yancey writes about brokenness. Check out the subtitle: "Why I Sometimes Wish I Was an Alcoholic."

David Fitch says that it takes 5-10 years "to nourish a missional community into a sustainable church."

Monday, June 02, 2008

Learning How to Abide

Today has been a weird day. Before I tell you about today, though, I need to mention last night. We had a great night at our worship gathering. We talked more about what it means to abide in Christ. Last week we had the opportunity to put into practice what we had read from The Practice of the Presence of God. We had some great conversation, and we had a great time of Lectio Divina and communion to end the night.

This morning I woke up in a funk. Without going into two much detail, I felt very anxious and worried. It wasn't really one thing. It's more that when this happens, everything becomes a bigger deal than it probably is. I immediately knew that God was trying to speak to me, and I recognized that this was probably God's pruning.

Last Wednesday, on the way to East Tennessee (more on that in another post), Mandy and I began listening to John Eldredge's new book, Walking with God. It seemed timely as I listened to it, but I don't think I caught some of what God wanted me to hear. Today, though, I was beginning to get desperate to hear from God, so I went back to this book. This time I heard God speaking to me. Here's an excerpt from the book:

This story actually begins back in June, with the first day of summer vacation. I’m sitting on the porch of our cabin listening to the rain on the tin roof and watching it fall on all my plans for the day. I cannot hike. I cannot do chores. I cannot fish. The mud is so deep, I cannot drive anywhere. I’m trapped. Pinned down. With myself and God. There is nothing I can do but pay attention to what surfaces inside of me when I cannot charge into the day. I am paying attention, my journal on my lap, and this is what I begin to write:

I am tweaked again.

Royally friggin’ tweaked.

I’m so tired and wrung, my body hurts from being tired.

Or hurts at the first chance to let down and be tired.

Granted, it has been a hard year. So much going on, so much required. But God is after something. As I journal, I feel like a prisoner writing his confession.

And I know why I’m tweaked.

I’m tweaked from pushing.

Pushing, pushing, always pushing.

This pushing is such a way of life for me, I barely know how to live otherwise. I’m always working on something. Trying to make life better for me or for someone else. It feels like I heave myself at life. Always looking for some way to improve things. I come up here to the ranch to rest, and in the first ten minutes of quiet, here is where my mind goes: I ought to teach Sam how to cast a fly rod. We ought to finish that back fence. I ought to work with the horses every day we are here. I could paint the door now. Better look at that topo map for my trip with Luke in August. Make a plan.

Jesus, have mercy.

This resonated so much with me. Pushing, pushing, always pushing. Striving, striving, always striving. Why do I strive? I think part of it is that I want my life to count. I want significance. I want to work hard, and I want my work to be both meaningful and productive. It probably has something to do with my line of work. In the past two years I have started a church and a business. I create all of the time. What happens when what I have created fails? These are fears, and they are deep within me.

As I was processing this, I heard the whisper, "Cease striving, and know that I am God." That's Scripture if you didn't know it (Psalm 46:10).

The day is almost over, and though there are still some of the fears within me, I have encountered God. He has made Himself known. I said this last night, but I think I believe it even more today. Abiding isn't the end goal. We abide so that God can show up in our times of desperation and bring the hope, healing and joy that we need.

Robert got a new toy

Last weekend Mandy and I went to an arts festival in Paducah. While there we met a couple who makes percussion instruments. Mandy bought me a didgeridoo for Father's Day. If you've never heard of one of these, check out the video. And no, that's not me on the video :)

I have to learn circular breathing now!