Everyday is a chance to train yourself for something. I’m #trainingformy40s, what are you training for?

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Another day in the books.

Day 7 of #28daystohappiness –

Today was long. I’m tired. I’m not finished with work. It’s 11:21.

I stayed true to my commitment… I ran. However, I ran a short enough distance I don’t want to say how far. Let’s just say, I fulfilled the letter of the law. Truthfully, I don’t want to be up too late because I really want to get up and run a real run in the morning. As it stands, it’ll be midnight before my head hits the pillow.

I’m scribbling a few thoughts, to keep my commitment if writing. I did write earlier today for work as I worked on writing some assessments of families. And while those are some wonderful works of writing, I can’t really share them here.

You’ll just have to wait until tomorrow for something better in the running and writing department.

Thoughts, Musings, and other Randoms

I am following through with a commitment to find happiness in 28 Days. I committed to writing something everyday. And running too. I already today. Now I sit to scribble (metaphorically) some words. I haven’t really thought about to write each day. Just sorta writing. I used to write. A lot. There was a difficult time a decade ago that writing and running were about the only things to keep inanity at bay. But like many things in our lives, it outlived it’s usefulness to me and fell by the wayside. I began to feel like I had lost my voice. Maybe I did. Maybe I still don’t have it.

For me, writing is kinda like talking. I could talk about almost anything. Ronda constantly tells me I have an unparalleled knowledge of useless facts about 90’s music and movies. I take it as a compliment each time she informs me.

I do know lots of stuff. Stuff that doesn’t matter to anyone. I know things like the Jeep Scrambler was the rarest Jeep, based on production numbers. They built about 24,000 of them. In 1984 alone, they built 20,000 CJ7s. That’s helpful, I know. No one cares about that but me. It seems I always have insightful comments regarding 90’s music when it comes on the radio.

I know other important things too. I know how to read people and gauge their inner thoughts and feelings. With a fair degree of accuracy. I know how to build things and use math. I know how to string together a series of words into a coherent sentence.

I also know that many people are surprised by the actual breadth of my knowledge. And that I can be taken seriously. I know how to utilize humor. Everywhere. Both appropriately and inappropriately. I know how to use humor to deflect and avoid the hard stuff. With extreme efficiency.

I know how to screw up. (Don’t we all?) I know how to eat humble pie. A lot of it. I know how to learn from my mistakes. Which is a really useful skill. Especially when you make as many mistakes as I do. I think that’s actually one of the most useful things I know. I also know it’s ok to screw up. Also, a useful thing to know.

I guess that leads me to the takeaway for today – it’s ok to mess up. Just learn from the mess up. That way the mistake isn’t in vain and serves a greater purpose. Mistakes are inevitable. Are you able to learn from them?

It’s time for an Execution

I just wrapped up today’s run for my #28daystohappiness challenge. I must confess, I didn’t want to run. Not because I had anything better to do, I just didn’t want to do this. While there could be multiple reasons for not wanting to go run, if I’m honest the real reason is because I tend to be a quitter. I tend to lean towards not doing things I don’t feel like doing.

In January of 2014, I ran a marathon. Yeah, sure I ran 26.2 miles… but I’m dissatisfied by the outcome of that race. Add to that dissatisfaction, in the ensuing years I’ve attempted to train for others only to quit a few weeks into the training. I just stopped. My heart wasn’t in it, whatever.

The point is, I quit. I stopped. I have some significantly strong feeling about my performance in that marathon (to be honest, the whole thing feels like a failure) and I can’t find the motivation to overcome what is a black mark I’m an otherwise satisfying history of running.

Which leads me back to walking out the door to go for a run tonight. I was very close to quitting. To giving in and being typical Eli who makes big plans and promises and then walks away from them the first time he doesn’t feel like it. But this can ncept is bigger than my desire to run or not.

I look into the mirror everyday and I see a sarcastic, cantankerous, mean, rude, disrespectful, dismissive, haughty, condescending human. I see someone who is angry often, for no reason in particular. I see someone who doesn’t find joy or happiness except when they are making those around them miserable.

Running everyday is about that guy. It’s about that asshole. Quite literally, it’s about killing him. It’s about finding the joy and happiness I so long ago surrendered to anger and discontentedness. It’s about recapturing what once was and what can be again.

So you see, not only am I finding happiness in 28 Days I’m also finding an execution. I putting death someone who should have died years ago. I putting death someone who has caused me much hurt and difficulty. I’m putting to death the traitor who has supplanted me and all but taken over my life.

I want him dead. So I run…

What does God want from me?


Three weeks ago at Grace Orlando we kicked off a new series of sermons. The series is entitled ‘One.’ With the main focus to unify the church (all 6 campuses) to one purpose. It’s sorta a capital campaign that is focusing more on 100% participation by the church members than it is on the money. It’s about discipleship more than anything.

During last week’s sermon, Pastor Mike asked the question – what is God asking you to give him that you aren’t sure you are going to be willing to give up? As I sat listening to the sermon, challenged to be sure, I wasn’t sure what God is asking of me. As the day progressed and I thought more about the sermon and talked it over with my wife, I think I may have come up with something. As I write this, I’m sitting in the lobby of a DCF office waiting for my new supervisor to come and get me. I think maybe one of the things God is asking me to give him is my job. Over the last few years, work had been pretty much what it always has been for me. After almost 20 years of work experience, the longest employment I’ve ever had anywhere is 3.5 years at a part-time job. I have lots of experience in essentially the same field, but very little in any given place for any amount of time.

Jack of all trades, Master of None.

This is how I feel. When I don’t feel like a failure for being almost 40 with nothing more to show for myself. (It may be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I feel the pull of this midlife thing.) I feel like I have the opportunity to start over. Begin again. Embark on a new career. And as such, I am committing this one to God. I am letting go of expectations or regrets and letting God supersede in this endeavor.

I will excel at this job, not for my own career advancement but to glorify God. I will realize this is my calling. This is where he has placed me.

As I sit here waiting for this job to start, I’m anxious and nervous… hope and waiting with anticipation. I am ready to go to work for God in the setting he has placed me.

To God be the glory.

What if?

What if?

Not every sentence that begins with ‘what if’ ends in regret or guilt, but many of them do. It has been my experience that regret and guilt are luxuries I can’t afford if my goal is to move forward in life. Regret robs us of our ability to move beyond the experience we regret. It prohibits us from looking to the future and moving on to whatever experience is next in our lives. 

I’m not the expert on moving past regret (or an expert on anything… except maybe Jeeps and Star Wars), but I have come to realize regret is not only not heathy, but unhealthy. I have found. These three techniques useful when moving past my own regret:

  1. What could have happened isn’t what happened. This is simple, yet critical. The what ifs are where we are. What happened has happened and wishing for another outcome that hasn’t happened and at this point, can’t happen is wasted time and energy. Accept the reality of where you are right now. Work with it. Figure out how to make the best of the reality you are in. My favorite band, Celldweller, on his second album has a song called ‘The Best It’s Gonna Get‘ and this is the outlook we bed to have. This is it. This is the best it’s gonna get. This is what I have to work with and it makes more sense to make the most out of what I have rather than wishing I had something else. 
  2. It isn’t all bad. So things didn’t go the way I wanted, planned, hoped or maybe I totally screwed the pooch on this one. Ok. What can I learn from this? Where is the upside here? How can I learn from this and make better choices in the future? How can I use this experience to grow and become a better person? Regret keeps me from learning and growing and moving on to something else, potentially better. 
  3. The past doesn’t define my future. This experiences, usually mistakes are not definitive of who I am and who am becoming. I am not defined by my past experiences whether good or bad. What defines me is bigger than any action or non-action I could have or should have made. What defines you is also bigger than what you have done. Find the bigger, more complete definition of who you are and use that to define every aspect of you life. My life is defined, that is to say my identity comes from, by the love of a Savior who was willing to die for me. Are you willing to look to a Savior for you identity?

What are you regretting today that you need to let go of?

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