Tag Archives: Family

Changing Resolutions

IRS LETTER TO NEW PARENTSThere is something about the first couple of weeks in January that make us want to try and become someone better. So you set your goals, get your memberships, or buy the patch.

You want to be a better person.

For the past ten years I’ve set pretty ambitious New Years resolutions for myself. I’m not a Type A personality, but I’m close. Like a type A- or something. I love to work hard toward accomplishing a goal, and the thrill of having done something difficult. So in the past I’ve started rigorous work-outs or planned to read through the Bible in a year, or combine the two (B90x) or whatever it was.

But not this year.

This year Leslie and I didn’t have any goals, we had a baby.

And for the past few days our little family has just been living life through the baby fog.

I saw the above picture sometime last year, and I loved it. It’s an actual return letter from the IRS. A couple apparently was being audited because there was some discrepancies in their tax report. And the couple gave as their excuse that the human brain turns to Jell-O when having a baby.

And the IRS accepted it!

Which makes me feel better about where we are at in life. Because if the Federal government accepts this line of reasoning then we are at least somewhat in a normal frame of mind.

Hannah Grace has already gained a couple of pounds, along with her daddy, (generous church members and no resolutions don’t mix well). She’s already growing taller, doing new things, and making new faces. And if our experience with the other kids holds true, these days are long and the years are short. She will one day become a toddler, then an adolescent, and then a woman.

She’s born to change.

So I’m thinking about change, and resolutions and becoming a better person, all while I hold our new little baby that can’t really do anything, and I realize that this season just might be a word from God for my life. And maybe for you too.

We Americans love to do. We are constantly going and producing and resolution-ing. Most of us know the Christian story says that you can’t be saved by works, and then we jump to talking about how we are saved for works.

But maybe it’s important to remember before we are saved for works, we are saved from work. Continue reading Changing Resolutions

Hannah Grace: A Christmas Miracle

Eden holds Hannah for 1st time
Eden holds Hannah for 1st time

“God makes babies, because God loves stories.” – Elie Wiesel

So yesterday afternoon at 1:14, Leslie gave birth to our 3rd baby. She’s a girl, named Hannah Grace, despite my coworkers‘ suggestion to name her Hannahkuh.  Actually, at the time she wasn’t named Hannah, we decided to wait until we actually met the new little girl before naming her.

We didn’t want to give her a name,  and then have her come out looking like a Barbara. However, we now think that might be a mistake. Mainly because we forgot that all babies come out looking like Winston Churchill.

I also forgot how crazy being in the labor and delivery room is. It is very much like being in a war zone. The nurses heard all the  crying and moaning and were concerned for a while, but eventually I pulled myself together (Leslie barely broke a sweat). Each time we go through this I’m reminded how  incredibly tough she is. I don’t even handle paper cuts well…so I’m very glad that my role is just to do jazz hands and have the nurses sedate me.

G.K. Chesterton once said that he learned more about God from watching children than from all the books in his library. And each time I hold a new born baby I get a glimpse into what he  meant by that. Especially when you get to have a baby on Christmas Day. the sheer vulnerability of this little 6lb bundle of skin, makes the Christmas story seem all the more impossible.

She’s so fragile and wonderful, and so dependent. She depends on others just to stay alive, and for every Christmas after this one, I’ll have a better reminder of how far the trip was for the Word to become flesh.Hannah getting her foot printed

But this Christmas birth was especially powerful for Leslie and I, because it was exactly a year ago at this time that we were in the same Hospital for very different reasons. Last year we had a later term miscarriage that was difficult, and as we were holding our new little girl today it dawned on us that we wouldn’t have her, if we wouldn’t have gone through that.

Last year one of my good ministry friends told me about something a delivery doctor at his church had said.

She had told him that the more she found out about the reproduction systems, and the biology of the human body, she was not surprised by the occasional tragedies, she was shocked that they didn’t happen so much more. Because millions of things have to line up just right for a human baby to enter the world without major problems. It is, in her words, a miracle.That’s exactly how we feel today.

And while we know that Hannah Grace will grow up to be her own person, with her own personality, Leslie and I want to say this to her.

Hannah, I want you to know how much your family already loves you. You’ve got grandparents and aunts and uncles that are on pins and needles to meet you. You’ve got a big brother and sister who have prayed for you for the last 9 months, and will for the next 90. But I also want you to know about your mommy. She’s got the biggest heart in the world, and you’ve already stolen it. She’s tough and smart and funny, and if you turn out anything like her, you’re going to be just fine.Samuel holding Hannah for the first time Continue reading Hannah Grace: A Christmas Miracle

Storment’s: Party of Five

Storment’s: Party of Five from Jonathan Storment on Vimeo.

So a few weeks ago we find out that we were pregnant again. And after having such great kids like Eden and Samuel, we couldn’t be happier with the news.

This is a video of our trip to the doctor yesterday. This video is our way of sharing our trip with the people we love. We had a blast doing this, Eden and Samuel are pretty excited (as you can see) and we are, as a family, pumped to welcome a new little one into the world. So thanks for being a part of life, and for helping to welcome a new little baby into the world.  Love, the Storment’s.

Continue reading Storment’s: Party of Five

Naming The Loss

Sothis past Sunday I was able to share publicly for the first time about what happened with our little family last year. I’ve been inspired by Mike Cope’s blog over the past two weeks, and the way he’s been able to create a space for those with similar experiences, so I decided (with permission from Leslie) to share our experience on here as well.

Sometime early last August, Leslie and I had discovered that we were pregnant. We had been “practicing” for quite a while and so we where very excited to add another baby to the Storment’s family. After the first trimester ended, we started telling people, and picking out nursery color schemes. But when we went to the Doctor sometime late December, well into the 4th month of pregnancy,  we discovered that the baby had stopped growing a couple of weeks earlier. And that she was never going to be born.  We went into the hospital the next day, and began the long journey toward picking up our lives and finding a new normal in a story that would feel a bit incomplete.

It’s interesting that in the Garden of Eden, God allows Adam to name the animals. From a purely linguistic standpoint that is a actually a really big deal. To name something is create categories for it, it is to help shape the way that reality is experienced. The same is true for pain. The problem with a miscarriage, and with losses like it, is that it is a unique kind of hurt. One that is hard to explain to people who haven’t experienced it. In some ways, you wonder why it hurts so much.And the temptation can be to believe that it really shouldn’t be that big of a deal. But for those who have experienced it, you know differently. There’s something wrong that you can’t even put words to. But you must try. We must name our pain.

Now I believe that God is one day going to set the world right, and that means we will see our baby again. But all Theology must begin with the facts, and the facts are often bleak. To shy away from naming them isn’t making you more spiritual, it only makes us less honest. Tomorrow, I’m going to continue the series on Revelation by tying this in somewhat.  But, ever since this experience,  the #1 comment Leslie and I have had since sharing our story is “Me too” I thought it might be helpful to post how we named our loss. For those who have gone through something similar.

Because the emotions swirling around inside me were so hard to define, I sat down a couple of nights after we got the news and wrote a letter to Mary (our little baby who would never be born). I never planned on sharing this publicly, but I am doing so in hopes that it might bless others who are going through, or have been through, similar situations. Here’s how we named our loss. I hope this helpful to some. Continue reading Naming The Loss

Samuel’s Birthday

So today is Samuel’s 1st Birthday. It seems like yesterday that he showed up. We weren’t ready for him to be here, but here he came nevertheless. (We hadn’t even settled on his name. So for the first 6 hours of his life, he was Baby Storment). His entire first year has been pretty topsy-turvy. We’ve moved 4 times, changed jobs and cities. We left a church community that we loved and came to one that we are growing to love.

A lot has happened in this last year. And we are so glad that Samuel has been around to be a part of it. This is a post I wrote on Samuel’s actual birth day. And it’s more true now than ever. Thanks for being here little buddy. Leslie and I are so proud to call you son.

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God’s continues to make babies, because God loves stories.” – Elie Wiesel

So yesterday morning at 5:18, Leslie gave birth to our 2nd baby. It’s a boy, named Samuel David. Actually, at the time he wasn’t named Samuel David, we decided to wait until we actually met the new little guy before naming him. Our thought process was that we might name him one thing and he come out looking like a Zebediah. We now know that is a mistake. Mainly because we forgot that all babies look like potted hams during their first few moments, and we didn’t want to name him Spam. Continue reading Samuel’s Birthday

Dancing with Eden

Maya Angelou was once asked what was her secret to being such a good writer and poet. Her response was, “Because when I was a little girl, every time I walked into a room my daddy’s eyes lit up.”

One of the greatest joys of my life is to have a daughter. It’s also is one of my greatest concerns. I know that the way a lot of little girls grow up to think about God is influenced by how they saw their dad. I’d like for my life to be a bit of a parable for Eden to see God more clearly through.

But I also have learned something about God through Eden. Actually, I’ve learned a lot through her. I’ve learned what it looks like to trust someone implicitly. The other day, Eden actually told me “Don’t worry about anything daddy, because God is in your heart!”

Did I mention that she is two?

Leslie and I have learned a lot about unconditional love through how we feel about her.  We’ve re-learned about the kind of innocent curiosity that life can beat out of you. And she’s taught us how to treat people better. Eden sees people. Better than I do, the world hasn’t taught her yet that certain people aren’t supposed to be treated kindly. So she will stop in the grocery store, and make Leslie say hi to people that she wants to get to know. She hasn’t quite bought into the whole concept of boundaries just yet.

But probably the best thing that she has taught us is how to dance.

Almost every night, the Storment’s have a dance party. One that is almost always initiated by Eden. Her particular favorites right now, are Nelly, Black Eyed Peas, Nat King Cole, and of course, the Tangled soundtrack. And almost every night, we get together and dance. Some might say that what I do looks more like convulsions. But Eden hasn’t complained yet. Continue reading Dancing with Eden

Swagger Wagon

This is a follow up to the recent post on being a Mini-van Owner. One of my friends showed me this video to help console me. It worked. This was greatness. The creative team behind this was genius…Loved the line: “Every mother’s day proves, I’m kind of a big deal.”

Special thanks to Jim Settlemoir for passing this on.

Seasons (or the Death of Cool)

I remember when we first had Eden, I was obviously pretty pumped about having a daughter,  but I vowed then to never to be the owner of a Minivan. We would be the cool parents, you know the ones, they just throw the baby in their messenger bag and hop on a motorcycle as they speed off to whatever cool social event they had just been invited to. Obviously showing up fashionably late.

That dream died this week.

I’ve heard it said that owning a minivan is the death of cool. And while that’s true, I never realized how little value “cool” would be to me at this season in life. I remember reading Paul Reiser’s book “Babyhood” in college, and this paragraph has stuck with me through the years:

“The Mini-Van is the last stop down in the ‘I used to be cooler than this’ slide.  Because in a Jeep you can still at least pretend to be cool. When you’re at a stoplight and an attractive woman pulls up alongside you, you can still smile and convince yourself, ‘Maybe she thinks I’m enormously rugged, and the car is loaded up with equipment for that dangerous geological expedition.’ But in a mini-van you’re fooling no one. You’re on a your way to Gymboree, the side compartments are stuffed with diaper wipes, and the interior is all sticky with Apple juice. But you know what…You’re a dad, not Indiana Jones.” Continue reading Seasons (or the Death of Cool)

Turning Thirty

I remember when I was in College, whenever I would meet someone in their thirties,  I would always assume they weren’t long for this world. Thirty seems like a different dimension. One in which people went to bed at 8 p.m. after watching Matlock and eating at Luby’s.

Only one of those is true.

On retrospect, I was very, very wrong. But at least I can still remember what my perception was. By the time I turn 40 the memory will go.

Yesterday I spoke at Lipscomb University’s Chapel, I got to meet a lot of students there (Let me just say, Lipscomb is doing some great stuff, The Lowry’s are some amazing people who have a vision for that school that is exciting). I was glad that my last time to preach in my 20’s was to college students…while I can still relate. Continue reading Turning Thirty

Ordination

I once heard a scholar talk about the way Rabbi’s worked in the world of Jesus. It wasn’t just anyone who could become a Rabbi, you had to really know your stuff. You had to not only have huge chunks of the Hebrew Scriptures memorized, but also had to know how they related and interconnected to each other. But the Rabbi’s that people were really drawn to, were the ones with authority. Continue reading Ordination