Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Where is a surfboard when you need it?

The waves of transition and blessing have been washing over us recently. In fact, they are coming so rapidly and with such force that we feel as though we are barely keeping our heads above water.

We are adjusting to the parental life...you know, feeding, changing, lack of sleep...repeat the process. I never knew such a draining and intensive activity - that is caring for an infant - could also bring so much joy.

On top of that we are attempting to help a new church plant, finalize things with our current position, get things going with our new church in Oklahoma City, buy a house, pack, say our good buys...as you can imagine these last couple of weeks have been a blur and I don't expect things to calm down for a while. You'll understand and forgive me if I don't get around to updating this blog as recently as I used to...at least for a while...I'm desperately trying to locate a surfboard that I might learn to ride these waves. Until next time - Blessings in Christ ~ RLS

Monday, May 5, 2008

Ephraim Todd Schneberger's Birth Day!

At 5:27am on Sunday morning the miracle began. Sara had her first real contraction. Obviously, we were excited and anxious as we anticipated all that this new day might bring.

Sara's friend Jaye, who just happens to be a labor and delivery nurse, had just arrived from New Mexico on Saturday. Sara wanted to share this experience with her best friend and receive all the support possible. Shortly after her first contraction, Sara went in to Jaye's room to get the diagnosis - labor had begun!

It was time to take a shower and begin making all the calls. The first call was to Dawn, Sara's doula. Since Sara wanted to have a natural birth, she began working with Dawn and she was a God send. We really couldn't have done it without all the support that we received.

Sara wanted to labor at home as long as possible. The contractions were coming pretty regularly through the morning, so I had to call our worship pastor Tim and let him know that I would not be preaching on this particular Sunday...time to go to plan B.

Sara was contracting about every 6 to 7 minutes and they were lasting anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds. Around 11am we decided to go for walk. During and after the walk the contractions began to come more regularly and were lasting longer. Soon they were coming every 3 minutes and lasting 75 to 90 seconds. It was time to go to the hospital.

We arrived at St. Luke's Northland on Barry Rd. around 1:00pm. They checked Sara shortly after arrival and she was dilated to 7 cm and 100% effaced and the baby was at 0 station. We had made lots of progress and we knew our little boy would be coming into the world soon.

Sara continued laboring so well without any pain medication. Around 3pm they checked Sara and she had only moved to 8 cm and not progressed any further, but that was primarily because the bag of waters had not broken yet, which was providing a cushion that was prohibiting the baby's head from coming down much further. When at 4pm Sara had made no more progress and was still at 8cm, the doctor talked to us about breaking Sara's water in order to help labor ...we took a few minutes to think about it and then decided to go ahead.

The doctor came in and broke Sara's water at 4:06pm. Then, everything began to progress very quickly. Around 4:30 pm Sara began to feel the urge to push. She started pushing at 4:48pm and Ephraim was delivered at 5:18pm. Only 30 minutes of pushing for her first baby! Sara did such a great job with the whole pregnancy, labor and delivery - no pain medication whatsoever.

The first hour after delivery was full of frenetic activity. Cutting the cord, getting pictures, weighing and checking vitals, getting pictures, making all the calls, getting baby to feed. What a miracle. He is here! Ephraim weighed 6 lbs 15 oz and was 19 3/4 inches long. Mom and baby are both healthy and doing well. And I got video of the whole thing...but I don't think mom will probably let me post it on the world wide web. But, if you are lucky enough to come by our home, you might get to see some of the video.

Ephraim got his first bath around 12:30am. We've been up and down all night checking and feeding and changing, but it is definitely worth it!

You can check out our pictures at the link over on the left. We will constantly be updating our family blog and our pictures of our miracle!

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Morning After

Powerful storms hit our area of Kansas City in the overnight hours. Here are some pictures of houses and businesses that really aren't too far from us.

Living in tornado alley all of my life, I've become fairly accustom to these sorts of storms in the spring. The morning after a storm like this is always a time to assess the damage and grieve over our losses. It is a tragic and difficult occasion when life is lost. More often than not, though, we lose memories, space, time, energy, and some of the material things that have become a major part of our everyday lives. It has always amazed me how quickly we begin to plan and prepare for restoration after the storm. It can be a time that draws people together with a common purpose to rebuild and unified in the hope of renewal.

I sometimes wonder why we don't respond this way when we face other storms in this life? Often, when we face a spiritual storm or relational storm or a financial storm...when we face storms in our family, at school or at work...we shut ourselves in and once the heaviest part of the storm is past, we rarely assess the damage, grieve what we've lost, or reach out to others that we might begin the process of rebuilding and restoration. It seems that we often walk away from the wreckage and attempt a new build. I tend to find that our foundation weakens with each new build.

May we learn to build our lives once and for all on the only stable foundation. He can withstand any storm. That doesn't mean that we will come through every storm unscathed. We are affected by the storms of life. Yet, even if there is damage to our house, the foundation will stand. We, then, are able to rebuild a more stable structure for the future.

Of course, as a pastor it is difficult to pass up this metaphor, which is probably of little consolation right now to those who literally lost their homes or businesses in this real storm. Nonetheless, I hope that we learn from the reality of our experiences. And I pray that those who have been affected by this storm may find this deeper reality a sustaining and stabilizing force through these difficult days. Until next time - Blessings in Christ ~ RLS