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Payback for Anissa

As if Anissa didn't have enough going on, and apparently in response to her sneaking out to Little Tales sans Peyton, life decided to throw her a big fat curve. Her mac decided to stop working, which means she can't post. Tonight's role of Anissa will be played by a rather large bald man. So, while I've got your undivided attention, I thought I'd take the time to review the following:

1. How to build your own real working r2d2 unit
2. 1001 conspiracy theories on Lost
3. Logarithms and you
4. Was Elvis on the grassy noll?

Ok, but seriously folks, Peyton has clinic tomorrow to get her counts. Her booty is still irritated and she's still not sleeping through the night, but at least they're home. Being Peyton, she's still holding a grudge about missing Little Tales.

These days we just take it one day at a time.

I'm considering heading back down to Tampa again this weekend, possibly 3 in a row for me, but it's so hard to be away while my family is hurting. In the past 2 trips down, I think we've gotten to spend about 8 hours in total together as a family. Plus, I wasn't really that good at being a bachelor before we met. Now that I'm domesticated…let's just say I'm not that strong of a swimmer.

Doing this long distance thing is extremely rough sometimes. I want to be down there to help my family get through these trying times, but the job needs me on site, and we obviously need the insurance/money combo. Thankfully, I was able to get down there during some of the recent tough times.

I would like to share a pretty exciting thing that happened this past trip back up to Alabama. It's a 6+ hour drive down there 7+ hour drive back. You can tell I'm generally in a hurry to get there. I've done it a handful of times now. At first, I'd just crank the radio, drink coffee and drive. Lately, I've been doing it with fruit and without the music. Just doing some retrospective soul searching, and lots and lots of praying. So this past trip back up here was rough on me. Anissa and Peyton weren't yet home from the hospital, and my mom took Nathaniel and Rachael. Nathaniel does his best to be strong. He puts up a good front, but deep down he knows what we all know. We just need to be together as a family. Rachael doesn't put up quite that good of a front. She's a ball of tears. So after about 30-45 minutes of doing my best to get her calmed down, I wound up sneaking out while my mom took the kids down to the hospital. You can imagine I wasn't exactly in the best frame of mind on the way back up.

So I'm headed northbound on I-75. There was one of those picture perfect sunsets off to my left. I started praying and asking the Lord "why the heck am I doing this? I need to be home with my family." Both Anissa and I felt that He wanted us up here. About 5 minutes later, my phone starts buzzing me. An issue popped up at work. So I called one of the guys that works for me to make sure he was dealing with it. After he assured me everything was under control, we gabbed for a bit. I gave him the latest news on Peyton's situation. He told me that he's been praying for us and then he drops the bombshell on me.

He said, "I got saved last night!"

This is a guy who's had some problems in the past (who hasn't?). He's a great guy. He really is and he's very good at what he does for a living. He's recently had some life events happen to him, and in trying to help him through those tough times, I had an opportunity to witness to him and another co-worker. Yet another co-worker (who also happens to be a pastor) told me the other day that the Bible says something along the lines of "man can experience happiness, but joy is put there by the Lord." Getting the opportunity, one on two to witness to those 2 guys how the Lord has His hands around me and my family throughout all this gave me such an amount of joy as I simply cannot explain.

Sierra Kessler's daddy, Danny, tells a great story about how cancer dads are like oxen. I forget the details, but it's something like this, "An ox on its own can pull 2000 pounds. Two oxen together can pull 10 times that amount. We cancer dads are often the big silent guy standing in the corner on our own because that's what guys do. But when we stand together, shoulder to shoulder, we are 10 times as strong." My translation leaves a bit to be desired, but I think the visual is close enough. That story really touched me. Ever since I heard him tell that story, I've done my best to be like that with everyone, not just cancer dads. In my co-worker, I saw a father who was in trouble, and I reached out to him. All of you who read our site are doing the same for us. We've got that counter over on the side and sometimes it's up over 8000 individual hits a day (trust me, I retrofitted the software)! You all are standing with us, side by side, shoulder to shoulder to help get us through.

I'm 36 years old. I accepted Christ as my savior many years ago. My father was a Baptist minister for many years. I was brought up to be a Christian. I've made mistakes in my past and rebelled, thinking I knew what was better for me. Up until the past 4 or 5 years, I was that "closted Christian". I believed in Christ. I went through most of the motions of being a Christian. But, outside of family, I'd never bring it up in conversation. On Sunday, everything was a picture postcard of Christianity. Monday through Saturday though, was a different story. I'd hear the sermon, and it'd tug on my heart until Monday morning rolled around. These days, I'm actually doing my best to live it Sunday through Saturday.

Apparently I had a mini-sermon in me and didn't even realize it! Ok folks, I guess that's all tonight from your friendly neighborhood spider-man. Trust me, I'm as addicted to my wife's postings as you all are. She'll get her mac fixed in the next day or two and will be right back to her normally funny, sometimes twisted, always entertaining, posting self.


10 Comments on “Payback for Anissa”

  1. #1 Jayne
    on May 7th, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Thanks for posting Peter! :SMILE It is great to hear the dad's point of view, and extra special to hear your testimony! I read Anissa's posts every day, and have been praying for your family so much. There are so many of us who have hearts that ache and rejoice with you, and who pray for you daily!
    Love, your cousin Jayne 🙂

  2. #2 Kellyt Bryan
    on May 8th, 2008 at 6:55 am

    What a nice post…I come to check on your sweet girl every day and am praying for you and your family…Keep the Faith and Belive!
    Praying and thinking of you and your family!
    Kelly Bryan

  3. #3 Angela
    on May 8th, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Thank you for sharing the good news about your co-worker. I want to challenge all Christians (myself included) who read this post to think of someone they can share Christ with between now and Sunday and ask God to let that person to cross their path.

    Another note: We will be praying your family will get all the details worked out for the summer so you can see each other more.
    GOO glad Anissa and Peyton are back home. hopeing for better numbers today.


  4. #4 Lisa Benenhaley
    on May 8th, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Well you two have done it again, I'm in tears again. I'm normally a "lurker", I read about Peyton daily and have even told her story a few times. I just signed for the first time one day last week and was in "awe" that Anissa actually took the time to respond back the very same night. That says alot about your family. Peter, I loved your testimony and my Pastor often preaches on the very same subject. I'm 40 years old with 7 year old twin boy's (Peyton & Cameron), I have been struggling alot lately with the very same thing, don't get me wrong I am a christian but like you said I was a closet christian. I find that as I grow in my faith that it is impossible to be quiet about it. I just wanted to say that I truly enjoyed your post and we will keep sweet little Peyton and your entire family in our prayers. I have even asked that she be added to our church "prayer" list.

    Thanks to both of you for sharing your family with us.

    Lisa Benenhaley
    Sumter, SC

  5. #5 Shelley
    on May 8th, 2008 at 10:14 am

    You know how when you're watching a TV show and some deep voice comes on and says "The part of so and so is being played by a different so and so" makes you wanna turn it off because the "new" person playing the same part can't possibly be as good? It just didn't happen this time. Although I love Anissa's posts, getting Dads perspective is nice too. Trust that God will put you just where you need to be at the right time. Be careful driving back and forth and remember for all the hours on the road your family being together makes it all worthwhile.

    Hugs to all of you!

  6. #6 Lori
    on May 8th, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Hi Peter,
    Thank you so much for posting and sharing your perspective on things. It shows what is already so obvious from Anissa's posts–you guys are a STRONG family in Christ and are sharing the ups and downs as a united front –which is how it should be!
    It means a lot to me personally to hear your perspective on family because you see, my own family growing up consisted of a very loving mom and younger siblings but a very abusive stepfather. He sexually abused me for many years and church and school were my only safe havens. As you can imagine, I grew up not trusting men. In my experience the only man I knew well was NOT to be trusted and in fact betrayed me and caused some major damage in the process. So…to hear a "GENTLEman" brings tears to my eyes. To know that your family is cherished and respected and that you are a daddy that is a safe refuge for them is a wonderful gift.
    It's so great that your co-worker got saved–ty for sharing that testimony as well! I accepted the Lord into my heart at the age of 13 at a Billy Graham movie that premiered not far from my home. Soooo many times, my faith has seen me through because though people and circumstances may fail us, God never will!
    Your other children are so brave also… I KNOW they must be worried–I mean, heck sometimes we adults can't understand fully the magnitude of a cancer diagnosis and we become overwhelmed and so from a child's perspective it must be terrifying at times. Dr. Phil says that kids have this innate ability to think that everything is their fault. I hope Nathaniel and Rachael know that this is nothing that anyone did or could have prevented. I know you and Anissa are allowing them to freely express their concerns and answer their questions and so that's really all you can do aside from pray of course!
    Sweet Peyton continues to be in my prayers–as does your entire family. I hope Peyton's counts are rebounding to where they should be and I ask that the Lord put His healing hand upon her! Hugs, Lori

  7. #7 Patti Albritton
    on May 8th, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Peter, although we ALL love Anissa's postings, it's not like your lacking in feeling or wit. You two are a perfect match – although I think you are both taking up all the joke cracking for yourselves and leaving the rest of us with very little. =)
    You say you are torn with working in Alabama while the rest of the family is down here. But as you said, the insurance/money combo unfortuately does win out over what we really would like to do or where we'd like to be. Although I never really looked at myself as a "stay-at-home" mom, at this point I would really consider it. But the money/insurance/401K three pack makes it a difficult decision to make. And my children aren't even sick. So for you to do what your doing – and making the road trips to be here when it's REALLY needed – is remarkable. Anissa is lucky to have you – as you are lucky to have her.
    All the best. Hope Peyton's bum gets better.


  8. #8 Lisa Savage
    on May 8th, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Hi Pete,

    Loved the post! Missing you guys up here in Michigan!

    Big hugs to everyone,
    Lisa and family

  9. #9 LeeAnne
    on May 9th, 2008 at 8:31 am

    We miss Anissa, but I have to say, Peter, that you do a GREAT job posting. You two make quite the pair because you both are so funny, optimistic, faithful and 100% all about your family. Thanks for sharing with all of us. I read every single day, but rarely comment. However out of sight does not mean out of mind. I keep Peyton and all of you in my daily prayers.

  10. #10 dug
    on May 15th, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    whoa! goosebump city! pete you are on of the most awesome people i have ever known. i am so proud to consider you a friend. i too am a Christian and havent always lived that way. i know where i am going when i die and that gives me reason to live, to share that with my family and friends so they can be there with me.

    i did call you back the other day. we need to do a cancer dad's weekend part 2. us Christians do kno how to party!!!:TONGUE

    p.s. GO STARS [url=http://www.bradrichardsfanclub.com]www.bradrichardsfanclub.com[/url]