“God Hears Sam” Has a New Purpose, For Now


“God hears Sam” has moved over here to WordPress. I started this blog for Samuel (on the left above, obviously, with his little brother Nathan) over on Blogger when he was a micropreemie- born at 24 weeks and 3 days gestation. It was a way for us to communicate with friends and family near and far about his hospital progress, prognosis, and how to pray and/or what help we might need. Today, Samuel is a strapping middle schooler. We’re still dealing with some of the repercussions of his early birth, like very mild Cerebral Palsy and Autism diagnoses, but all in all, we are exceedingly fortunate, blessed, and grateful. Sam might have been devastatingly impacted by his early birth. He could be trach-dependent and wheelchair bound, and instead, he’s not home from school yet because he’s in a running club and is at practice. He says he’s the slowest kid in the group, but I’d bet a month’s salary he’s the most resilient, and his story is an inspiration to us all.

So I’ve wondered what to do with his blog now that he’s really growing up. Recently Samuel and I started working our way through Scripture a bit. We’re using the Jesus Storybook Bible, which is an amazing resource that we’re super grateful for. As I said over at my personal blog:

The Jesus Storybook Bible (is) our favorite children’s Bible and frankly the only one we can tolerate, (because it) tell(s) the “big story” of God’s “never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always, and forever love.” I love this Bible because it distills for 5 year olds what I incurred massive student debt to learn in seminary, that the Bible is best understood as story, for starters; that it’s the big story of God’s love, God’s wooing of humanity through the ages; that while the Bible has heroes and rules, it’s not just about learning how to live like those heroes or following all the rules (I’ve long said that “rules are for relationship”); and it’s not even really about us and what we should do. It’s about God and what He’s done.

So Sam of course is a bit old for the JSB, but we’re reading and discussing the stories at dinner with Nathan, and Sam of course is present for that. It’s also the children’s Bible we used with Sam when he was younger. There are 44 stories in it covering the whole Bible, and each of them are based on one or more chapters. So I’m taking each reading from the JSB and Sam and I are working through it for a week. I give him the chapter(s) from the Bible that the JSB passage is based on, and ask him to read them each night. After he reads it each night, I’ve asked him to email me either a question that came up in what he read or something he learned, and then I respond. I’m excited. I think this will be good for both of us, forcing both of us to do a deep dive into a passage for a week, reading it over and over and reflecting on it. I know many of my “answers” to his questions he might not fully understand just yet, but that’s why I’m putting it in writing. He can refer to it now and hopefully for years to come. So that’s what you’ll see on this blog for the next little while: the passages we’re reading, his questions, and my responses. Stay tuned!


6 Years Old…and soon to be a big brother!

So much has happened since the last post here on Samuel’s blog. Here’s the news, in brief. At the end of February 2010 we quickly moved down to Dallas, TX due to the sudden terminal cancer diagnosis of Robert’s Dad. He was only expected to live a few months at the time, but survived over a year longer before finally passing just a few weeks ago on May 11, 2011. It has been a very long, crazy year+ for all of us as you might imagine, including/especially for Samuel, who turned 6 about six months ago. We did leave behind our house in OH which we still own, but there will be more news about that later. In the meantime, Samuel started Kindergarten this school year and has done very well. His last day of school is tomorrow and he’s wrapping up the year with a number of awards including high honor roll, a spelling award, and a character award for perseverance. We’re very, very proud of him. Samuel can read quite well now and we’ve enjoyed seeing this journey begin for him…and us. He really enjoys reading to himself but still likes when we read to him at bedtime too, for which we are grateful. We’ll have a fair bit more news to share soon, but for now here’s a self-portrait Samuel did at school and a link to Grandpa’s obituary.