Sunday, July 26, 2009

Blueberry Picking

Last weekend was the first weekend we have been at home in forever. We have been on the go. Between weddings, visiting our parents, going on a beach trip and business trips for me we have just been crazy. Summer has flown by. We had a wonderful time last weekend just being at our house. On Friday, Chance and I went on a date as part of the Great Date Experiment Auburn Church is doing (thank you Keightley for letting me know about this). Then on Saturday we went to Randle Farms and picked blueberries. If you are interested, they are located at 1215 Lee Road 54 (Society Hill Road). It is a wonderful place and the weather was perfect.

Tuck got tired and a little hot towards the end though and was ready for a nap.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

God please help me as understand You always have a purpose

I know it had been forever since I have blogged. We have just been so busy lately. I have lots to share so look for more blogs coming soon.

I wanted to share this e-mail I received. Lord please help me understand You always have a purpose. Your ways aren't my ways, Your ways are so much better than my tiny little brain can even imagine.

Thank you Lord for the men and women who serve our Country day in and day out so that I can life in America the land of the free.

Tattnall sweeps Stratford (These are 2 high schools in Macon, Georgia close to where I grew up.)

4/21/09 - Varsity vs Stratford: Won 8-4. With a lot on the line - a "must win" for a chance at the Region Championship - we rallied around a bottom of the first inning Grant Nicholson injury (which sent him to the hospital), and played with more heart and character than we've seen all year. Grant singled to RF to lead off the game in the top of the first with an 0-2 count, and scored the game's first run. In the bottom of the first after he and DeAndre collided on a ball in shallow CF, the game was delayed for 45 minutes, as we watched Grant being put in an ambulance and taken away. Hunter Wilkinson replaced him in the lineup, playing LF and moving Garret True to CF. Still in a little shock, we played flat and allowed Stratford to take a 3-1 lead in the first. Jordan Brooks (WP 6-0) settled down and only allowed one unearned run through the next six innings. Offensively, we battled back in the top of the third to tie it 3-3 behind a lead off double by Garret True and a great "slug bunt" single by DeAndre Smelter. True and Smelter both scored. True scored again in the top of the 5th after leading off the inning with a walk. The 6th was our big inning, as we capitalized on some Stratford errors to plate 3 runs and take a 7-3 lead. Stratford battled to make it 7-4, and we added one insurance run in the 7th when Jamie McMillan lead off the 7th with a walk and scored on a Colby Andrews single. Garret True and DeAndre Smelter each had 2 hits. This one was for you Grant Nicholson.

"On Purpose for a Purpose" - from Bobby Nicholson

Last night Grant Nicholson and DeAndre Smelter collided in CF and Grant received a slight concussion and a 4 inch laceration to his head. After being taken to the hospital in an ambulance, Bobby Nicholson (Grant's father) emailed me this story, which is very good. Please read it. It is a good example of the kind of Christ-like behavior we should all show at Tattnall Square Academy. I am extremely proud of Grant and his family, and what they mean to me, our baseball program, and our school.

To All,

Please excuse my spelling and rambling as I am on fumes right now
but wanted to get this out sooner rather than later.

One of Diane's new sayings now has been "on purpose for a
purpose." How true that really is.

Last night at the ball-game in the first inning of the Tattnall
Stratford game (one Grant really really wanted to play) Grant,
while diving for a ball was hit by one of his team mates (actually
one of his best friends who is quite big). The cleat of his team
mates shoe hit Grant in the head and knocked Grant unconscious for
a few seconds while producing a gash of over four inches long. The
game was delayed about 45 minutes as he had to be placed in an
ambulance and taken to the Medical Center emergency room. As I was
driving to the ER, I could not help but ask why this had to
happen. Especially, of all games, this one against Stratford and
knowing how much Grant wanted to play and hopefully make an
impact. After a C Scan and several hours of waiting, the doctor
placed over 20 staples in his head (she told Grant 27 while telling
Diane and me it was well over 20 as she stopped counting at that
point). We did not get home until just after 1:30 this morning and
had to stay up to check Grant periodically to make sure he was OK
due to the slight concussion he encountered.

My wife and I were very tired and quite simply exhausted and
overwhelmed due to our normal daily life stresses, etc. which we
all seem to have. We knew sitting there in the ER this was going
to be a long sleepless night and an even longer Wednesday. Again,
I asked myself why did this have to happen? My answer came very
late towards the end of our stay.

First, seeing all of Grant's friends who came and stayed with him
after the game meant so much to Grant and to Diane and me. The
adults who came meant a lot to us also. We really did appreciate
that from everyone that came, called and texted. Support means a
lot. While that was wonderful, that still was not the main purpose
for us being there. While about 8 people who came to be with Grant
were in his ER room (you are only supposed to have 3 but they let
us stretch the rules) Diane and I sat in the waiting area just
outside Grants ER room. As Diane and I sat there talking and
trying to rest our minds somewhat, a lady our age came out of the
ER room next to Grant's and sat a few seats from us in the waiting
area. We did not speak as it was apparent everyone was simply
tired. After several minutes of this, the Doctor who had been
working on Grant came out to speak with us about Grant. The lady
next to us could not help but over hear what the Doctor was telling
us and proceeded to ask us a few questions. We found out we shared
the same pediatrician which gave us more to talk about.

Diane then went back into the room with Grant while for some reason
I chose to stay in the waiting room a little longer. About that
time her Doctor came out and began talking to her about the person
she was with that was being attended to in the ER room next to
Grant's. I could not help but over hear some of what the doctor
was saying so after he left, I began asking her a few questions as
I could tell she was emotionally effected. What she told me and
how she told me quickly made everything very evident as to WHY.
The women's only son who is 23 years young had recently had his
colon removed and was experiencing severe abdominal pain. Several
times while we were talking he would scream and cry out in agony.
As any parent would she immediately broke down and cried. She told
me her son had received scholarships to North Georgia College (a
military school) for specialized training as a Medic. I'm not sure
as I was and am still mentally drained, but I thought she said he
was part of the National Guard that was deployed when he was 19 to
go to Iraq. Because they were so short handed for Medics, he was
pulled out of the College program and sent as part of this
deployment. While there, he contracted what she said the Military
personnel have called the Gulf War Syndrome while others called it
CDIFF which is short for some sort of chemical warfare which in
this case is a bacteria that basically causes holes to appear
throughout your intestines and eventually causes them to not be
functional. They do not know what else it damages or what the
eventual prognosis is but it now is effecting his abdomen. He has
been in and out of hospitals the last 3 years as he continues to
need medical care and all the while as he has got worse. Not
knowing what to do, I just listened as she clearly needed and
wanted to talk to someone. She went into how her son as a 4 year
old knew he wanted to be in the Military. She told me how there
was a time period of several months when he was overseas as part of
the War and she had not heard from him and had no idea of where he
was or if he was alright. She again broke down at this point.
After composing herself, she told me she remembers sitting in her
closet this one particular day with the door closed and lights off
while she sobbed endlessly. She said all she knew to do was pray.
That same day she said she received an email from her son telling
her he was on a plane headed for a hospital in Germany. He said it
was very bad and he was very low. Again she broke down. She told
me that his unit was now being deployed to Afghanistan and that he
told her he wished he could go. This from a CHILD who has paid
with his body and perhaps his life if something divine does not
occur for those of us to be home in a safe environment, playing a
game! About that time he yet again cried out in obvious misery. I
asked her what type of support she and he were receiving not really
knowing as she was alone. She told me her church in Cochran was
excellent and that she was sure her Pastor would be there in the
morning along with her husband. I asked her how she and her son
were holding up. She said he was the lowest she has ever seen him
and even said he had given up. He told her Saddam got him, maybe
not with a bullet but he got him nonetheless. She said she did not
know how much more she could bear.

It then became even more clear as to WHY. While she was at the
most emotional point of our discussion among her son's cries, I
asked her if she would mind if my wife and I prayed with her. The
look in her crying eyes said everything. Now, you have to realize
praying in public with a perfect stranger is something I had never
done before and was very uncomfortable with. BUT, God made it
clear to me to put my own fears away and just let him handle
everything. Nervously I went into Grant's room and got Diane. We
then prayed with this crying woman. She told me afterwards that it
was a perfect prayer and really appreciated it. While I really do
not remember exactly what I said and to me I am sure it was far
from perfect, it did not matter as to her it at least meant
something. I would like to think she heard God's words through our
prayer and at least for the moment felt God had not abandoned her
or her son.

Her name is Julie Peach and her son's name is Robert. We got her
email address and told her we would put her and her son on our
church's and Sunday School's prayer list. She was thankful for that.

Regardless of anyones political beliefs, we MUST support our
Military and their families. These are innocent children along
with men and women risking their life's for you and me. They are
very passionate about what they represent and what they are doing.
Please put them on your church prayer list along with our Military
personnel as a whole. They need our prayers.

We should also realize that one simple word to anyone, perhaps a
stranger, could mean everything to them at that point in their
life. I struggle with this also but realize after last night again
how true that is.

Again I want to repeat what Diane keeps saying: "On purpose for a

Bobby Nicholson