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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Who Is This Man (in my body)?

My wife and I have a love hate relationship with our living room fireplace.  We love to sit and watch its flames flicker,  listen to its soft crackle, and feel it's warmth. In order to enjoy those things, I first have to light it, (the hate!), and get it to burn. There are times in which this presents me with quite a challenge!

I am an amateur at this fireplace game, and lighting that fire can bring out the person inside of me that only my closest friends and family know.  He's the guy I fight to repress and replace every single day, because I know I can be, and do, better than my most primal nature. 
This man battles negative thoughts and insecurity, outbursts of rage, depression, and physical pain. Some days this battle is completely exhausting and defeating, and some days it is victorious.

Today, I'm going to get to know who I really am a little bit more. I'm going to focus on the victory. I'm going to focus on the positive. 
You can do it too! Let's light that fire and enjoy every second this life has to offer!

Until next time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What a souper day.

One thing I love to do in the winter months is making home-made soup.  This past Sunday I made a hearty turkey vegetable. Here are three reasons why I find this simple act a privilege.
1. It allows me to be creative and spontaneous.  Soup does this? Absolutely! I never use a recipe, and just go at it on the fly! This is completely opposite of my everyday life, so this offers a bit of change to my normal tendencies. 
2. I love the affirmation.  I really feel loved when my wife tells me how good the soup tastes! Plus, it is very satisfing to know I've helped her a little by cooking dinner, and that she enjoyed it. 
3. It helps me reminisce. I am so blessed by the memories of growing up in a loving home with the occasional dinner of "lunch meat stew." Dad is a pro at creating never heard of concoctions of leftovers and things hiding in the fridge, and turning them into tasty soups! I like to think he passed down his soup making skills to me. 
Whatever you decide to do today, do something that is fulfilling, and take pride in knowing you've taken the step to do it, even if it's just making some soup!
Until next time.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Moving On When It Hurts.

September 2015 was a month that changed my life. 
It began with the unexpected loss of a young man who's newly formed friendship had a profound impact on my life. As I led worship at Jordan's funeral, I was completely humbled and blessed as I looked around at the many, many lives he had positively impacted during the short time he was on this earth.
The month ended with the tragic loss of a couple in my life who, even though we didn't share the same family tree, we were family. As I sit and write this, grief still overwhelms me. 
As I consider the day we remembered Dave and Rita, as I sang the words to songs we played together for so many years, I was filled with equal amounts of joy, pain, and peace. What an amazing legacy of love they left us. 
As I consider these relationships, and thank God for them, I am inspired by the way they lived with transparency and passion, and I have to ask myself these questions:
Did I make a difference in their lives, like they did in mine? Did I show them love?
Am I taking people in my life for granted?
As much as the loss of these friends still hurts today, the relationship that I was able to share with them encourages me to carry on, and live a life that impacts  others. 
September 2015 taught me the importance of living this life, together.
Until next time.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What Motivates You?

I've always been the type of person who likes a challenge. 
My favorite class in high school was English. I loved the content of the literature, as well as the antagonistic nature of the teacher whom prompted me to think independently and always do my best work.
I remember a specific situation during my senior year in which I was given a failing grade on my mid-term exam because instead of writing what was discussed in class per the question, I wrote my own interpretation. Graciously, my teacher met with my Dad and I and allowed me to prove I knew the material and had studied it. He then also allowed me to explain how I had come to write the answer I did.  When all was said and done, my paper was re-graded, and I passed. 
This set a precedence in my life, it proved to me that I can be successful by being prepared, thinking independently, and working hard! 
There have been many times in my life since then in which I've failed, and circumstances haven't turned out as favorable as they did with the mid-term exam. 
One thing has held true from then until now, I've learned from my victories, and my failures, and have celebrated both.  I don't have everything figured out, and that's ok.
I don't know what challenge you may be facing today, but I do know that you are valuable, and you can impact this world in a positive way when you are the change you want to see. 
This life is challenging, keep on learning, be passionate about it, and don't give up.
Until next time.