Tag Archives: family

The Lost Wallace Treasure

I have only one memory of my grandfather. As a little child (very little), I walked to a back bedroom of our home in Phoenix. My grandparents were sitting on a couch in the darkened room with the window behind them. All I could see were their silhouettes against the light. I stopped short, and my grandfather said in a tough, manly, deep voice, “Well, what do you want?” I do not know that I wanted anything, but the sound in his voice scared me, and as I turned to run, my grandmother scolded him for frightening me. That is my only memory of him.

My mom never wanted to talk about her dad or her childhood. All I have through the years are bits and pieces of her childhood growing up. Bits and pieces of stories put together in my mind like a jigsaw puzzle that is missing most of the key pieces to really know who not only my grandfather was but also my own mother. As a kid growing up in California, I did not put much thought into this; it was just the way it was. Besides all the stuff of adolescence, my grandparents lived in Kansas. They might as well lived in the Appalachian mountains. It’s all the same to most people in California.

It’s funny, how the course of a river can change its path over time, or in my case, my life. You see, I married a girl who, like my mom, is from Kansas, and over time, life brought me back close to where my mom was raised.

I made a couple of trips up to the little town of Winchester, Kansas and drove around using the puzzle pieces my mom had given me. I found the old farm. I even recognized some places from old picture slides. I eventually made my way nervously and sheepishly to the rest home where my grandmother was. I remember when I saw her picture on the door, I was taken by the resemblance between my own mother and her. I knocked and made my way into her room, introduced myself, and explained who I was. She remembered, well, for about five minutes. We talked anyway. I read to her some of the cards that were on her bulletin board, she enjoyed that. I would explain who I was from time to time, and she would light with excitement and say “Oh my stars!” in disbelief that I was really there. She would tell short memories of her children, of my mom. She was so proud of her babies, her boys, her daughter, and her daughter’s daughter.

One of my wife’s friends grew up just down the road from Winchester and asked her uncle if he had heard of my grandfather. She shared some stories and encouraged me to try again to get in touch with my uncle. I had about given up  when he finally called back and agreed to meet.

I remembered him. He visited us often through the years when we lived in Phoenix. It was like kin that had been lost across the world and years later reunited. We talked a lot. From him, I was given bags, boxes, and buckets of puzzle pieces. That made me want more. I was hooked. I wanted to know more about my family, more about my mom. I lived with her for years and years but there was so much that was “none of my business.” Now I was able to add to the puzzle and begin to make out some kind of picture of where I came from. Even though I did not know my grandfather, there is a lot of his personality and build in me, I think. Some stories make him out to be a little like James Dean. I picture him as a John Wayne of sorts, or maybe the kind of man Louis L’Amour would write about, a good man. That is how I am going to remember him.

Through the last two years, I have met cousins and another uncle I had never met. I have met my mom’s best friend from when she grew up. I like them, all of them. I obtained all the “known” slides of my grandmother which have since been digitized. I learned about ancestors and relatives that I will never meet. This is truly the best part. Family. That is the true lost treasure that has since been found.

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My grandparents, Marian and Durland Wallace.


The Baby Blanket

Blanket 008

Last night as a husband and a father, I learned the importance of a baby blanket (a lesson that every dad will learn), especially one that was handmade by a dear friend and given as a gift to our daughter. It turned out it was my doing that caused it to mysteriously come up missing.  Big surprise, right?

We journeyed out last night on a double date, plus one — our friends and our youngest daughter, Charlotte. Charlotte was having a hard day, so we did not feel comfortable leaving her behind with the sitters. I had flashback memories of when I had taken care of a baby and could not sooth him to be at peace. I thought about the young girls with five walkers and runners to take care of along with a upset five-month-old baby. I imagined getting the call in the middle of dinner for a rescue.  No, let’s just keep her with us.

Oh, yeah, this is supposed to be about “the  blanket.”

After a superb supper at the Keltic Star, we prepared to depart and became, for the first time, aware of the missing “hand-crafted blanket.” The look I received let me know that the recovery of said item was detrimental to this outing being a success.  After surveying the restaurant and interviewing staff, I came back with nothing but notes in mind. We departed. On the drive to retrieve our older children from the home of the other half of our double date, I took notice of the expression on the face of my passenger. It was like a very special friend whom she had deep, deep adoration of was never to be seen again. “Maybe it was with the other girls,” I commented, offering a glimmer of hope. We were sure it had been with us, though. After loading the girls into the car for the ride home, I offered to search the city until the successful recovery of the “hand crafted by a dear friend baby blanket.”  Well, at least the route of our adventure this particular night.

I dropped the girls off at home and asked the Lord for help as I departed the driveway. The first restaurant we stopped at had a hour wait, so we did not stay there. I interviewed the hostess and bartender with results of heads moving side to side. I checked the area where we parked and departed to the second stop. As I drove through the dark, icy streets, I remembered the story of my father-in-law  driving for a hour to a known location for a blanket recovery when his daughters were young. I rounded the corner on the street where we had parked, and a block and a half later, there lay the infamous blanket, warming the dirty, slushy snow on the edge of the main path of vehicles.

Blanket 003

I had been carrying the car seat as I walked behind the car, and one of two blankies draped over Charlotte slid from the carrier. This was not the first time this had happened, but it was the first time that nobody was behind me to call out my mistake.

On the drive home, I thought of the relief my wife would have and how she’d be able to sleep peaceably–well, as much as a woman can with a five month old. I also thought of the snow that was covered by the “hand-crafted-by-a-dear-friend, green-with-frilly-edges baby blanket.” Did those crystals of ice appreciate the time that they had with the warmth and security of this piece of fabric? Did they know just how special this particular blanket was? Or did they just feel smothered with a barrier placed between them and the cool wind?

My wife was relieved, I was relieved, and Charlotte had her  “hand-crafted-by-a-dear-friend, green-with-frilly-edges baby blanket” that doubles as something neat to chew on.

Blanket 009

The moral of the story? Make reservations when you take your wife out for dinner.

You might want to keep an eye on that blanket, too.

The Power of Prayer

Not too long ago, another blogger (Time Warp Wife) posted a picture on Facebook from Little House On The Prairie.

Little House

The moment I saw this picture, it struck a chord in me.  Seeing how happy Caroline Ingles (Karen Grassle) is as she kneels with her husband Charles Ingles (Michael Landon) moved me.

My thought was “I am going to start doing this with my wife, starting tonight,” and I did. Over the years, we prayed together in our bedroom, but it had been laying in bed, and it had been very inconsistent. When I asked her to pray with me on our knees by our bed, she was instantly excited.

Something changes when we are on our knees and not just laying in bed.  It is a position of respect before the Lord to kneel before Him as we make our petitions and offers of thanksgiving.  It is also a position of humility, putting our hearts in a right and sincere place. It also keeps the other from falling asleep mid-prayer.  It seems a lot more serious, more real, and more authentic.

We’re tired. My knees begin to quickly hurt.  Side by side and hip to hip, we come together before our God as husband and wife.  It strengthens a deep and intimate bond between us.  It places security deep in the heart of my wife knowing that her husband is man enough to get on his knees for his marriage and pray.  She sleeps more at peace, and, in turn, so do I.

We don’t do this every night.  We are not perfect.  We are just too tired at times or one of us beats the other to bed and simply passes out from fatigue.  Over Thanksgiving, we were not together.  I stayed home sick, and my wife and kids went to be with family in another town.  When we do pray together in this way, it is good.  It is very good.  I have even looked her way and seen her beam with joy and adoration as in the above picture.  A great joy fills her heart that her husband knows the importance of prayer.  Our home is filled with security for the night.

Men, I challenge you to pray with your wife and for your wife.  The more you do, the better it gets, and you’ll get more hugs too. 😉

I love my wife…. well, sort of. Part 2

Part 1

Part 2

Chad on mountain

There is something about being in the mountains that gives me a sense of peace and amazement. Sitting on a high place overlooking the vast expanses of canyons and ridges. Seeing the clouds roll from the higher peaks. Watching water as it finds its own way around rocks, over falls, and on to its destination. A large bird hovering in an invisible updraft of air, enjoying just being alive. I was able to live for years in a small cabin on the side of a canyon overlooking Santa Barbara, California. In many ways, it was the perfect bachelor life. A season that is past, and I am ok with that. One night before bed, I prayed a prayer asking God that I would have that special woman to share life with. Despite all the benefits of the bachelor lifestyle something was missing, I knew what it was, and I was willing to trade everything for it. I told that to God that night and was 100% sincere about it.

God answered that prayer.

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From Santa Barbara I moved back to the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix Az. This is where I was born. I moved there to get to know a girl I had met on an airplane in route to Tel Aviv Israel. That was January.  In August, we were married, and thus my education began on the building of a marriage. I had thought I knew all there was to keep a woman happy.  True words of a fool were these. I knew nothing! Not only did I know nothing, I was (and still am) an arrogant fool in training to become a tender warrior (Stu Weber).

Our wives will never find unending happiness in us. It is not our job to fill that void. I do not think that was to ever be really filled in anyone, but we will save that for another time.

Women (This is just my understanding here, ladies.) need to feel safe, that we will do our best to protect them as the need may be–what ever it be! This includes provision. They need to feel loved, this is a HUGE part of feeling safe. There is so much in the world that nips away at a womans sense of well-being that tears her down, wears her out, and makes her venerable to destruction. We are men, and we MUST protect them mentally, physically, and emotionally from the world and from our selfish desires. If we do not, we will suffer along with our women. Deep inside of our being, we will know we failed, period. Big, bold, the-size-and-weight-of-a-massive-boulder period! God commands it of us, and we know it. We snivel like little goloums from The Lord Of The Rings. That is what we look like when we don’t step up as men. We are responsible for doing our part without rest to love our wives.

You might say, “You haven’t met my wife.” and you would be right. God has, and He knows your exact situation. He knows you can handle it, and I know that you can too because you were designed by the Creator to do it like nobody else can. We have to get an education in husbandry. We have to get it from the RIGHT source. We owe it to God, our wives, and our children to get a 4.0 GPA. There are so many resources out there, but you have to pursue the material. The time I spend away from building up my marriage will have a significant effect on us all. If your wife is not a gamer, and I mean a serious gamer, then get it out of your life. Take stock of how you spend your time. You are the one who gets to decide what life, marriage, and legacy you will have for your entire family.

Husbands Love Your Wife!

A couple of weeks ago we had a guest speaker at our church who shared incredible insight which I have never heard before. I am saddened that most pastors zip through Ephesians 5 as fast as they can to keep some kind of peace. Maybe they just don’t like all the worms in the can getting loose. Women look at submission like a container of stinky maggots freed in their britches, and it is our fault. Step up and take the blame with me.  C’mon be a man. Let’s grab our tools and fix this thing together!

This guest speaker talked about how we focus on the last week of Jesus’ ministry and death on the cross. We need to focus on how Jesus loved the church as a whole, the entire time he was ministering to the people. He was compassionate with the harlot; He turned away every man who was about to throw stones at her. He protected her and forever changed her life for better. He was a healer, both physically and emotionally. He prepared food for His disciples. He calmed raging seas. He encouraged. He showed the way.

You and I as men cannot do it perfectly, but we can do it well.

“Any fool can have a trophy wife. It takes a real man to have a trophy marriage.”

 -Diane Sollee

I love my wife, and I will learn to love her more every day.


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