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‪reck·less /rekləs/ adj. without thinking about the consequences. rash, heedless, impetuous, impulsive, daredevil, audacious, madcap‬

Category: Being Married (page 1 of 2)

Razor’s Edge

  
Maybe it’s just me, but I find I live life on a razor’s edge. 

What I mean is this: each day has the propensity to be a good day or a bad day. It all depends on which way I lean. Which way am I going to go. Which direction do I allow my day to be taken. 

If I allow my day to be dictated to me and don’t specifically take steps to make it a good day, it won’t be one. It’ll be a bad day. This shouldn’t be surprising to us. We live a world marred and broken by sin. We live in a world where selfishness and sel-gain are the order of the day. Our world is broken and leads towards destruction. So it shouldn’t be surprising that our days can easily become bad days full of pain and suffering. 

On the other hand, if I wake up and determine to make this day a good day it is more likely than not thT it will be a good day. I know what you are thinking, some days are always going to be bad due to their circumstances. True, but our perspective incredibly affects our outlook on life. Perception is 9/10 of the law, right? We can’t always make everyday an epic specimen of existence, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying. Here’s four practices I utilize in my efforts to make everyday a good day:

  1. Remember today is a new day. P.O.D.’s song Alive starts with the words, ‘Everyday is a new day, I’m thankful for every breath I take’. I often find myself reciting these words at the conclusion of a tough day or at the beginning of the day. Everyday is a new day. Today doesn’t have to be like any other day you’ve ever had. 
  2. People depend on me. I’m a dad, husband, boss, mentor, friend and role model. People are looking to me to gain insight on how to handle their lives. People are looking to me to learn something. People are relying on me to be strong and consistent. I am not an island. People need me to be the best I can be today. 
  3. God has blessed me beyond what I could ever deserve. Even in my darkest moments, my life is favored and blessed. As a child of God, I am in dwelt by the Holy Spirit and therefore have found favor with God. He loves me. He watches over me. He is preparing a place for me that is free of pain, suffering and hurt. 
  4. The last practice is somewhat more practical in nature and may qualify as more than one practice, but whatever. I use everything at my disposal to make each day good. Counseling, prayer, reading the bible, wise counsel from friends, self-help articles and books, time with my kids, video games, anything. God has blessed me with a myriad ofresources at my disposal to make my day good, all I have to  do is reach out and use one of them. Surprisingly, God doesn’t want me to be miserable. 

I still have bad days. It happens more than I want. But those are the days when I let life happen to me and not the days when I happen to life. Decide today to be more than conquerors and Almagest today a good day. 

17 Years

eli climbing

On Saturday (8/1), Ronda and I celebrated 17 years of marriage. I am not 100% sure if she knew what she was getting into when she married me… but I am glad she did. We have had our ups and downs and rough roads, but despite it all we love each other and have committed to work through whatever comes our way.

We celebrated this year by doing some activities that only strange, warped married couples would enjoy doing to celebrate…

We started the day off with an 8 mile run at 6:45am. Yes, we went running to celebrate.

Then I did yardwork. Then we cleaned the house.

After this, we went to a rock climbing gym.

We capped off the night with Greek food.

As you can see, we spent the day punishing ourselves by physically… this doesn’t seem right, but it’s what we did. They may seem like strange activities, but they are activities that are special to us. They are activities that speak to the core of our relationship. The first date I took Ronda on was to Mt. Currahee in north Georgia to go climbing and rappelling. We had a blast. We have continued to participate in outdoor, adventure type activities throughout our relationship. I believe it assists us in remaining together. We like the same things. We enjoy the same activities.

Mind you, this is the only ingredients in the recipe to last 17 years, but they are critical pieces. Since you asked, I will share three thoughts which I am sure have been essential in our success.

  1. She is my best friend. This may seem a little silly, but it’s true. I don’t use that term frequently… at all. Ronda is my only best friend (other than Jesus). She is the one person I would spend time with hands down everytime given the opportunity. She is the one person I would want with me no matter where I am going or what I am doing. She is my best friend.
  2. Our commitment is bigger than just us. We committed to more than just each other when we got married. We made a commitment to God. I know for a fact, it is this commitment that has saved our relationship. If the commitment was just to each other, there is always room to wiggle out of it and to allow our own sinfulness to torpedo the relationship. Bringing God into our relationship has without a doubt been the glue that has kept us together.
  3. Stubbornness. Yep, you read that right. I am certain there is some piece of Ronda (and myself) that will forever stay married to the other just so we can pridefully say we weren’t the one that gave up. I have often told Ronda, most mules have nothing on her. She will not yield her position on almost anything, just so she can win. And so will I. Of course, this is all in healthy humor. Which is the real thing, fun. We just plain have fun together. While we may frustrate and annoy each other, no one can make us laugh like we do.

Over the course of my relationship with Ronda, I have noticed she embodies and typifies Christ in ways I can only wish I do for her. She has an unwavering commitment to me that goes beyond love and devotion. It is purely supernatural in its origin. More times than not, when I see her I see Christ. In her love, I see the way Christ loves me.

We have had an incredible 17 years together and I can’t wait for 17 more.

Objects

Westfall Family Stone Mtn
I’m sitting here at work, and we are watching a video for our weekly Bible study with our dudes in our Independent Living home. As I think back to this last week and the vacation I was able to take with my family, my mind is drawn to my preoccupation with things.
On Tuesday, we went tubing in Helen, Ga. As we were preparing to go, I went to get a waterproof case for my iPhone. I felt as though I needed the case to protect my iPhone from the water. After all, my iPhone is my camera and I wanted photos of my family as we tubed. Over the course of the day, I dropped my iPhone in the river twice. I can attest and affirm, the Lifeproof case is actually waterproof. Each time I dropped it, I fumbled along the river bottom to locate my iPhone. Each time, I thought to myself ‘how terrible it would be if I couldn’t find it!’
As we neared the end of the experience, I looked down and noticed my wedding ring was gone.
Lost.
Somewhere at the bottom of the river.
Never to be found by me again.
As I floated in my tube, realizing my wedding ring was gone I felt an intense sense of loss. My marriage wasn’t lost, but the outward symbol of it was. It’s just a ring, but it holds a powerful and special emotional connection for me. This was the ring I used to symbolize my commitment to Ronda.
I will never get this object back. I can buy a new ring, but it’s not the same thing. It’s not the same one. As I feel these feelings, I recognize I am a traditional kind of dude. This ring holds a special place in my heart and I can never get it back.
Had I lost my iPhone, I would have had a sense of loss but not like this. My iPhone is just an object, not a sentimental object. This is an occasion for me to reorient my mind and priorities and be reminded I need to keepy mind and heart focused on things that matter and not be consumed with things that don’t.
The ring itself isn’t what matters. The relationship it represents does. I may have lost a wedding ring last week, but I had a fantastic family vacation. I got to spend quality time with my family doing things we enjoy doing and we had fun doing them.
That’s what matters.

Epic

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Epic.

What do we mean when we say something is Epic?

It is out of the ordinary. It has blown our minds. It has stood out beyond our other experiences because it was special.

It was unique. It was disastrous. It was unbelievable. It was unreal.

It defies explanation and is therefore EPIC.

But what really makes something epic is whether we decide an ordinary experience has somehow transcended the laws of physics, space & time and has stood out as something special.

We decide.

We determine it to be EPIC.

So, what becomes epic now? Anything.

Yep. The ordinary has transcended the boundaries of the ordinary and broken into the extraordinary and is now EPIC.

This opens up a whole range of possibilities when it comes to epic-ness. The mundane, the ordinary, the normal, the routine can now be epic.

Why not? Must something really be ground breaking, earth shattering to be EPIC?

No.

EPIC-ness comes more from the meaning behind the event than the event itself. Soccer with the boys can be epic. Hiking the local state park is most certainly epic… especially when the hike ends at a spring and we jump in and swim over the hole in the earth that millions of gallons of water are spewing out of forming not just the spring we are in but a river that sustains entire ecosystems. How could not be epic?

The first time your family camps together and listens to the sounds of nature as they drift off to sleep after having huddled around a campfire with s’mores.

Kayaking in the ocean with your wife as you celebrate being married. Watching the sun rise or set with loved ones.

Building stuff and repairing things around the house with ever so helpful little hands making the task t hand take three times as long.

EPIC.

Life is full of epic-ness around us waiting to be discovered. Will you continue to live a life of the normal, or are you ready to break out and live an EPIC life?

History

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There are times when it is almost too difficult to forget where we have come from. Times when our past overwhelms and not just informs our present & future but times when that past consumes the present & future.

Today is one of those days for me. As I think through my past failures and mistakes and realize the depths of brokenness I have come from, it feels as though I haven’t come far enough. Like I haven’t overcome yet.

Truth is I haven’t overcome. I’m done. Or should I say God isn’t done with me. He isn’t done redeeming me.

I am a sinner with a broken past… a past full of hurt and damage down to those I love the most.

But that is not who I am anymore.

Who I am is a son, an heir, a sought after purchased child of God whom he has lavishly poured out his love on.

Does this erase the past? No.

But it does keep it from defining my present and future.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)

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