We Are The Halls


My wife and I hear it all the time:

“You only have one kid, you have it easy.”


“Just wait until you have more, then you’ll know.”

There is an insinuation that our experience is somehow lesser due to the amount of children we have. That as parents, we are clueless because we have only one child. People are stupid with their words. Including fellow Christians.

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.- James 3:9-10

I want to implore my brothers and sisters in Christ to watch what they say in passing. To those who do not believe, to be wary of your words. Words have the power to cut like a knife. To rip open wounds that are healing.

Do not dilute my family’s experience based on a trivial number. We are the Hall Family. We are who God has designed us to be.

Armello and the Matter of Text


I was recently given a review code for Armello, a digital role-playing strategy board game. Imagine HearthstoneRisk, and the Redwall book series put into a blender. The end result is a fantasy setting filled with animals, intrigue, and violence.

Below is some video from the first tutorial mission:

Right away you’ll notice that Armello suffers from text sizing issues on the PS4. The developer, League of Geeks, is aware of the matter and has stated that they are working on a solution. In the meantime, I get to sit up closer to my television. Not sure how I feel about that. The whole purpose of playing a game on a console is to relax. There is nothing relaxing about sitting right up next to the TV. I can hear my late Great Grandma Nelson telling me to back away, one does not want to become blind.

May the patch come soon.


Tembo: Videogame Subversion


Tembo the Badass Elephant. Big attitude distilled down to the size of a peanut, or something like that.

Side-scrolling games scroll to the right. This is a founding principal established by the platforming forefathers Sonic and Mario. Game Freak’s Tembo the Badass Elephant goes against convention in Stage 8 of the game. Check out the first few seconds in the video below:

Yes, I charged to the right and plunged to my death. Videogame experience has taught me that the developers were toying with me. There had to be some sort of invisible platform or some such device to catch me, right? Wrong.

The level began to the left. Videogame subversion.

A Muddled Exchange


“He thinks he is a god.”

Have you ever had one of those conversations that validates everything you’ve ever thought about a situation and yet bugs you to no end? I had one of those this weekend.

While truth was spoken, biases and human perspective muddled the exchange.

If I have learned anything over the years, I have learned that:

  • A person is a person no matter how they talk, treat, or otherwise engage you. This is a hard one, but as a Christian I believe that we have all been made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). This requires us to treat those who treat us poorly with a measured level of respect.
  • Villainizing a person due to them holding you to a higher standard than you are used to is a coping mechanism. Do great work from the start. Don’t cut corners. Don’t try and cheat your way through a job by using slight of hand.
  • Most importantly, sympathizing with someone over a tough situation is okay. A kind word goes a long way.

Gracious words are a honeycomb,
    sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. – Proverbs 16:24

The Coke Incident


After a long day at work, a cold glass of Coke sounded good. Really good. So I grabbed a can and walked across the kitchen to get a glass. Somehow, someway, the can dropped from my hand and hit the floor just right. BOOM!


The Coke can spun around on its side like a firecracker. Coke flying across the floor, onto the cabinets, the stove, etc. All aided by a floor fan that was right behind me when I dropped it (I was set up!). As the can settled down, I looked around and noted that the kitchen was doused in carmel goodness.

Wyatt laughed.

Tabitha laughed. Then she sprang into action and told me to go get cleaned up. She is so sweet!

That’s when I noticed that the Coke had somehow shot up my shorts. Did I mention that I was all ready to walk out the door for Bible study that evening? Figures.

A quick side story: Back when my wife and I lived in a duplex, she somehow managed to explode a bottle of BBQ sauce all over the kitchen. When we went to move a few years later, we were still cleaning up BBQ sauce that we had initially missed. I guess now my wife and I are even. If this was an intentional contest. Which it wasn’t.

Good times. Good syrupy times.

Longing For That Missing Person


There is a room in our house that is empty. Sure, there might be an odd trainboard or even a bed and dresser, but the room is missing someone. Someone my wife and I have yet to meet.

For the past six years, we’ve been trying to have a baby. Methods have been tried, doctors have been visited. Nothing.

This is a pain I carry, a pain that feels like failure.

My wife and I come from big families. Raising an only son, we’ve come to discover just how much we learned about life from our siblings. Precious life lessons that have aided in our basic survival:

  • Someone punches you, punch them back
  • Trash talking
  • Learning to get along with someone that might not be nice because they are the only person around to play with (I’m looking at you, Kayla!)

Social media is filled with photos of babies. Beautiful children who are all snugly and cute. While I am excited for my friends and family who are pregnant, there is always this void that gnaws at my soul.

Someone is missing. I can feel it. And at the same time I am trying to be thankful for what has been given to me. Struggling to wrap my mind around raising an only child. Wondering if my wife and I want to go back to the baby stage. We do/we can.

There is hope. Anguish. Emotions that ebb and flow.

God is working. Weaving a story together we cannot see. The pain my wife and I experience may not be physical, but the pain is real. I am grateful that I do not have to go about this alone (I love you, baby).

I’m tired of being silent. I want that missing person to come home.

Lord, my heart is torn in two. It’s up to You, God.