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

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What if Star Wars became the paradigm we used to understand life?

What if Star Wars became the paradigm we used to understand life?

So much of life is mirrored in the Star Wars saga. Every major life situation or dilemma is found in the hallowed stories of what is arguably the greatest movie series (greatest story outside the Bible) in all of human history. 

All of the emotions each of us cope with everyday are found in Star Wars: love; hate, fear, betrayal, belonging, connection, depression, anxiety, joy, sadness, excitement, loss, despair and hope. 

We see stories of people being broken, we see redemption, we people use their talents/gifts/powers for good and evil. 

We see fear in the eyes of a little boy taken away from everything he knows to chase a dream. 

We see the hurt in the eyes of a young adult when he realized his friend and mentor has lied to him. 

We see the sting of betrayal by a close friend. 

We see the brokenness in the eyes of a young man who knows he has done terrible things and now he no longer owns himself. 

We see disappointment in the eyes of a father when he couldn’t save his son. 

Star Wars resonates with so many fans because, the story is their story too. They can identify with the feelings our heroes and villains feel. They can see themselves in their shoes. 

Star Wars has become our story. 

Make a Choice

For my job, I needed to get certified in First Aid/CPR. As I was completing the class, during the introduction the course stressed the need as a bystander when seeing an emergency you must decide to act. First and foremost, you have to make a choice. Make a decision. Either get involved or walk away. 

This is true for everything in our lives. We have to choose, make a choice to engage… to do something. That something is either walk away or get involved. 

This is especially true within relationships. This is true when we someone hurting, whether that hurt is physical, emotional or mental. Each day we make numerous decisions to get involved or to not to get involved. What is the difference between the two? Why do choose to engage in one situation and not another?

Sometimes we choose not to get involved because we don’t want to be bothered. It always takes less effort to disengage than it does to engage. Disengaging is actually the opposite of choosing to engage in a relationship in that it actually does harm.  Not only does it not strengthen the relationship, it causes it to be weakened by causing separation. 

Sometimes we don’t engage because we don’t know what to say or do… we feel unqualified or unequipped for engaging in a way that would be helpful. Oftentimes, if we wait until we are properly equipped or qualified we will never engage. 

Other times, our selfishness gets the best of us and we don’t engage simply because we can’t see past our own problems. We deceive ourselves into thinking we are the only ones with problems or that we are somehow the only ones suffering. We are self absorbed and uncaring of those around us. 

Each day, multiple times in them we will face situations where we must choose to engage or walk away. It’s up to us to prioritize relationship, to prioritize people, to decide to engage and invest in those we care about. 

We are going camping


We have reached a new level of crazy today. We are going camping and we’re taking all the kids the dogs the kayaks everything.

This is insanity I feel like I’m going to go crazy and we haven’t even started packing things up to leave for the trip yet.

I fancy myself a reasonably intelligent individual although if I continue to do things like this I will question that.

This is very decidedly going to go one of two ways it’s either going to be epically awesome or an epic fail. 

This may sound crazy but I’m actually kind of looking forward to figuring out if it can be epic awesome epic fail. I’m not saying I want epic fail but that certainly would be something if it was epic fail to see how that would look and turn out and become.

My intention is for me to take some pictures on my iPhone because I call myself an iPhone photographer and then I’d like to share some of those along the way over the next few days.

We will see what these next couple days hold for us but I kind of would like an opportunity to write a little more about some of the things are on my mind and spend some time with Jesus but I will have to see I would have three dogs to give me three kids two dogs and a wife with me camping.

I’m excited the rest are going to be doing something this year for spring break last year we didn’t really get an opportunity to get out a couple day trips planned but it didn’t really work out the way that we had liked.

So hopefully you can join with me in over the next couple days you can see the adventures it is a life of Eli Westfall the one and only.

Being sick could be worse


I’m sick.

I hate being sick. It is the worst thing.

Ronda was sick for the entire Christmas break. It sucked. And now I am sick. I hate being sick. Ronda is out of town until tomorrow afternoon. She’s been gone since Wednesday evening. I came over to my in laws house because my boys are really annoying me. I can’t believe how loud they are. And their farts really stink.

I want to do nothing other than sleep… or maybe die. Either would be fine. I almost didn’t get the boys from school today. I woke up 3 minutes after their school let out. Luckily we live close.

I realize I’m sorta rambling & not really discussing much, but I want to keep my commitment/challenge to write 500 words everyday for 30 days. I can do this.

In reality, being sick right now most frustrates me because it is keeping me from running. I have a race in nine days. A marathon. I need to make sure I am ready and taking a couple of unplanned days off from running doesn’t help my anxiety level when it comes to ensuring I am prepared. I’m sure I will be fine, but I still am a little perturbed I couldn’t run eight miles today. Just makes the next few days busier with miles.

I am very excited about the race, it’s going to be awesome.

But being sick really sucks.

I ache from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. I’m coughing, sneezing and wishing I was dead. No fun.

I am glad I have family living close enough to me they can help in a situation like this. If we lived away from family and Ronda was gone it would be all out lord of the flies at my house with my boys. There is literally no telling what they would do. I would wake from a medicine induced coma to find rodents and small woodland animals in various states of consumption and taxonomy in my living room. The dogs would have war paint on them. The whole house would be a giant fort. They would be hopped up on Mountain Dew and donuts. It would be epic levels of awesome manliness by three young men. Awesome.

I can see Ronda now, she comes home and wonders why the house looks like a warzone. She’ll wonder why the dogs have war paint. The boys would probably have war paint too. How do you explain that? Uhh, honey I have absolutely no idea what happened… that would work about as well as if you admitted you knew exactly what was happening. You’re screwed either way. Nice.

Lucky for me, this isn’t the case because I have family close. Family I can run to for help. Family who can handle the boys while I sleep in the next room. Family who will tame the savage beasts and choke on the farts that smell like dead wildebeest.

Turns out being sick could be far worse than it is.


The power of an image is incredible. We all have at least two images of ourselves. The image we see and the image others see. Kinda like who we think we are and who others think we are. And then there really is a third one – who God knows we are.

We cling to our image of ourselves and our image of who people think we are. It drives much of what we do on any given day. How will we act, what choices will we make, decisions, words we use, all driven by our sense of image. Either the image we have of ourselves or the image we want others to have of us.

Recently, I decided to take a break from drinking coffee. I was drinking close to a pot of coffee each day. I felt like not just the amount of coffee was unhealthy but the ‘control’ the coffee had over me. I had to have coffee in the morning, at lunch, in the afternoon, after dinner, all the time. It became a driving/controlling force behind much of what I did. So I took a break. It wasn’t really for lent. It wasn’t really to stop drinking it indefinitely. It was to re-gain perspective.

This was hard for me on a couple different levels.

1. The coffee itself. I really like coffee. I mean I really like coffee. You have no idea. I would drink it all the time. Literally. There is no beverage I prefer to drink more than coffee. I just really like it, a lot. This fascination with the taste of coffee started at an early age when I would make my way to my parents bed room from mine as a toddler. We lived in a trailer and our rooms were on opposite ends with the kitchen in the middle. I would stop at the kitchen trash can and grab a hand full of coffee grounds and munch away. I got hooked and I haven’t looked back…

2. The image itself. The image is hard for me. When people think of me they think of 2 maybe 3 things. 1. Coffee. I always have a cup of coffee with me. Everyone I know just associates Eli and coffee with each other. If there’s Eli there’s coffee and if there’s coffee there’s Eli. It’s a big deal to me. 2. My beanie. I have a Halo 3 beanie that I wear all the time. I often sleep in it too. It’s just kinda understood that if you see Eli he is going to be wearing this beanie. 3. The third image that is most likely associated with me, although maybe to a lesser degree because it is witnessed first hand a little less often is my motortcycle which has been dubbed Mad Max by all who spend anytime with it. If a Café racer and a street fighter had an illegitimate child, it would be my Mad Max. Rude, crude and socially unacceptable.

As you can see, the act of giving up coffee for a time was loaded with not just the act of restraining from the drink, but from who I am and who people think me to be. Laugh and chuckle at me as though I’m being trite and ridiculous, but I’m not. Coffee is as much a part of who I am as any other aspect of who I am is. Walking away from it was/is hard.

However, I have learned that I can do it. I can walk away from it. Now I don’t have to, because I know I can. In a strange way, this gives me the power to walk away from other habits I have that are much more destructive than drinking coffee.

Like anger.

I don’t have to get angry as easily, because I can control it. Scriptures warns us not to sin in our anger, I don’t know that I have ever been angry and not sinned. Yes, things bother and irritate and I can let them do such… But I don’t have to be mad about it. I can validate myself and express the emotion/feelings I am having and still not give into anger. My therapist would disagree…but he is not me.

I joked when I began to not drink coffee that it was an exercise on self-control. And it has shown me some good information. I know where I stand now. It has given the hope that I can exercise self-control to master other behaviors.

Is there an end to my coffee hiatus? You better believe it! Sunday, March 25th. I will be in Georgia drinking a morning cup of coffee with my parents. A good way to end the drought.

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