Archives For life

Who Needs Sequential?

Sam Mahlstadt —  August 13, 2010 — 1 Comment

My wife and I got married in March, and had moved to North Carolina within a month to help plant One Church.

Conventional wisdom says to “just be married.” Conventional wisdom and a bunch of people who found out about our plan.

It was very difficult, but strengthened our marriage incredibly.

We moved back to Des Moines before I had a job lined up.

Conventional wisdom says, in this economic environment, to play it safe, and avoid risks.

I was offered a great job a week before we hit the road, all our belongings in a UHaul.

Now I am dreaming big, planning for the next step in life. Calculating my personal escape velocity, that Chris Brogan recently shared about.

Conventional wisdom says, in this economic environment, to stay at the job, save for retirement, and lay low. Count your blessings.

I’m counting. At the same time, I’m moving forward.

Sequential growth, in life as in creative pursuits, can be a miserable lie. Sometimes you have to jump before it’s all in place (that’s the lie: it will never make total sense, and you’ll never be entirely sure). Sometimes, the only way to make your next move is to make the move first, and work/hope/scratch/claw/pray that the risk pays off.

But then again, sometimes the best thing you can do is to stay put and take a breath…

On Monday morning, a nurse approached me in the waiting room of the ambulatory surgery center. I knew why she was waking toward me, and I knew it wasn’t good news. If it were good news, the surgeon would be coming out to deliver it. But he was still in the OR, operating on my wife.

We have to go in and take out the other side.

The deal was, no cancer – just take out one thyroid gland, cancer – take out both.

“The results came back from the lab?” I asked. I already knew the answer.

Yes, they came back, and we have to take out the other side.

She was doing everything she could to avoid the word. I wanted her to say it, to give it to me straight. But she wouldn’t. Because she knew, cancer is a scary word, and I was scared.

It’s interesting to be faced in a moment like that with the reality of destruction. Cancer is just that, a perversion of what was created as a building block of life. A destructive force.

So is the reality of our time on this side of eternity.

At the risk of writing an overly dramatic post, I’d like to say the surgeon was very pleased at how well my wife responded to surgery, and they are confident that after a treatment of radiation, this will all be behind us.

I will also say this: I believe in a mysteriously powerful Creator who is continually creating in our midst. He is creating something beautiful, transformative and redemptive out of this situation. It is our job to recognize that opportunity to join him in that space, not to ask why. Why is simply an unanswered question that keeps us off track. It’s Resistance.

So now, in the face of destruction, we ask God what he is creating, and we join in. Unanswered questions and all.

I Can’t Help It…

Sam Mahlstadt —  August 3, 2010 — 1 Comment

Kennedy had a photo session last night, with Des Moines photographer Justin Meyer. He does great work.
This photo was snapped during a break, so the star could catch a snack.

She was born at 4:28 on Tuesday, July 20th. At birth, she weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces, and measured 20 inches.

Mom and baby are doing wonderfully.

We are entering the last few days before our baby is due to come on the scene. I’m going to be taking the next week or so to step away and unplug. When I return, it will be to formally announce CreativeTheology.com and way more importantly, Baby Mahlstadt!

In the mean time, if you have any parenting advice, or well wishes for Baby and Mom, I’d love for you to leave them in the comments section. Be well and see you soon!

Sam