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Posts Tagged ‘Life’

The Winter Blues

winterWe are so ready for winter to be over.  It’s been a long, cold, and snowy one this year.  I’ve gained around 7 pounds of weight, and have been very inactive.  Bleah.  Hopefully things will warm up soon.  Work is still really slow.  Thanks to the credit crunch, dealers are still having trouble getting financing for their boat orders.  The future is very dim right now.  Nothing is breaking loose like we hoped it would after the inaguration.  Honestly, things have gotten worse in the economy since then, not better, and the spendthrifts in Congress are only hurting us all long term by driving the national debt to unsustainable and possibly insolvent levels.  The level of angst in our area has been especially high.  More boat companies have laid of worker, more RV companies as well, and our suppliers are even working part time.  I’ve had two weeks of layoff time since January, and am still fighting to get unemployment for one of those weeks.  I’m thankful for it, but wish it wasn’t so complicated to get.  And the government wants to run the health care system as well?  Not a good idea…

Our house still hasn’t sold.  We haven’t had many showings the last few weeks.  This is a good thing, since we’re still not sure what we want to buy since the layoffs/company wide salary cuts.  So that’s a blessing in disguise for right now.  God may be protecting us from getting into something too inflated in price.  We do need to move though, our house is too small.

We need warm weather, the ability to go out and enjoy it, and I think the winter blues will pass.

Back From Vacation

Vacations are always too short.

This year, we stayed in Ohio with my wife’s family.  We had a great time fishing, eating, going to the zoo, eating, seeing fireworks, eating, and eating.  We did a lot more, but I won’t bore you with the details.

Brielle was so excited to see the fireworks, so we left her up way past her bedtime.  We arrived an hour and a half early, so we had to keep her occupied, and we did (Thank you DVD player in laptop).  She laid down for awhile, but was still really excited.  Finally it was dark, and they started.  She had on her headphones, and was holding her blankets.  Two seconds later, up goes the blanket over the eyes.  “Too bright!!”.  We thought the noise would bother her, not the brightness, but it did.  Funny thing was, she couldn’t stop talking about them afterwards, she had a great time!

The zoo was fun.  Perfect weather, and both children did great.  Brielle loved fishing, and stood outside with us in the rain for at least thirty minutes.  She was able to touch a fish, hold a minnow, and hold the fishing pole.   That day the fishing was poor, but the other few times we went out, we did well.  Posted is a picture of a 3.3 LB 19″ bass I caught the other day.

Categories: Family, Life Tags: , ,

Bryce

April 14, 2008 Leave a comment

I just wanted to thank everyone for their support, prayers, and encouraging words during this difficult period.  We know that Bryce’s open heart surgery is going to go well.  We still pray for a miracle, but if God chooses to heal Bryce through this upcoming surgery, we’re fine with that too!  We will be updating via this site, as well as Lael’s.  We are leaving for Indianapolis’s Riley’s Children’s Hospital Wednesday morning.  Our pre-op visit, consultation, etc. will be at 3:00 that day.  His surgery is scheduled for sometime Thursday.  We don’t know what time yet, and won’t until Thursday.  Our surgeon is assisting on another operation that morning.  We expect to be there for five days post-op.  Pray that it will be less.  Please pray for wisdom for the doctors, peace for the family, a quick recovery for Bryce, and for Brielle, that she will have a good time with her extended family while we are with Bryce.  Once again, thank you all!  I can’t imagine what this would be like if we didn’t have the support of family, friends, and most of all, our Savior and Healer.

Categories: Family, Life Tags: , ,

Meaningful Excerpts from “Blue Like Jazz”

April 13, 2008 Leave a comment

“The most difficult lie I have ever had to contend with is this: Life is a story about me.”

“…no drug is as powerful as the drug of self. No rut in the mind is so deep as the one that says I am the world, the world belongs to me, all people are characters in my play. There is no addiction so powerful as self-addiction.”

“It comforts me to think that if we are created beings, the thing that created us would have to be greater than us, so much greater, in fact, that we would not be able to understand it.”

“When we worship God we worship a Being our life experience does not give us the tools with which to understand. If we could, God would not inspire awe.”

“I know our culture will sometimes understand a love for Jesus as weakness. There is this lie floating around that says I am supposed to be able to do life alone, without any help, without stopping to worship something bigger than myself. But I actually believe there is something bigger than me, and I need for there to be something bigger than me. I need someone to put awe inside me; I need to come second to someone who has everything figured out.”

Categories: Life, Religion Tags: , ,

Thoughts on Growing Old

April 12, 2008 Leave a comment

We moved my grandmother into an assisted living facility today. She has multiple sclerosis and has regressed to the point that it’s not safe for her to live alone. It is a sad day. She’s been living alone for a few years, since my grandfather died from cancer. We hope that she will be able to make friends, and be accepted, and enjoy herself. So for that, we are relieved. No more late night phone calls for her kids, needing to pick her up off the floor. With everything going on with Bryce, it’s been a few days of deep thinking. Which is rare for me.

When we are born, for years we are totally dependent on our caretakers. We would die without their help. When we grow old, eventually, we are totally dependent on our caretakers. We would die without their help as well. Why is that? Why aren’t we born and grow to maturity in a day? Why did God create us this way? Is it because we need to learn to rely on others, like we need to rely on God? Is it so that we grow up to realize that the ones that took care of us, and kept us alive, make mistakes? And because of our closeness with them, these mistakes rock our world and make us realize that we are all sinful, when we’re hurt by the ones we love, and then the idea of God becomes more real to us? A caretaker that makes no mistakes, doesn’t yell at us when He’s mad, doesn’t forget to come to our baseball game, doesn’t forget to call on our birthdays (etc.), and cared enough that he died to save us from death? I don’t know why life is the way it is, other than God willed it that way. Someday, I will be unable to care for myself. I know it’s true, death comes to all men. But when that day comes, I’ll know I’m still loved and taken care of by the creator of the world, and that will help heal the sadness that comes with losing my independence.

Categories: Family, Life, Religion Tags: , , , ,

My Thoughts from Today

April 10, 2008 Leave a comment

I came home late today, and Brielle ran up to me and said “Hi, Daddy!  Miss you!”  Man, that hit me, what a cutie!  I love her so much.  I think she got the saying from me.  When I get home, I make a point to give her a hug and tell her I missed her today, and that it’s good to see her, and that I love her.  I guess it made a difference and something stuck!

I’ve been reading John lately.  To get to know Jesus better, I need to learn about Him, I love reading the New Testament.  Anyway, I searched today on why Jews don’t believe in Jesus because of all I’ve read over the years about how much the Jews hated Jesus.  The one website I saw listed a few spurious reasons why they don’t.  But there are so many prophecies and signs that He is the Messiah, I don’t understand why they don’t believe in Him, other than their blindness.  The arguments the Rabbi put forth were very weak, in my opinion.  The evidence for His divinity far outweigh what I’ve read against it.  I feel very saddened for the Jewish nation.

We watched the newest episode of “The Office”.  Just when I thought they couldn’t make the show more uncomfortable and realistic, BAM, it hit me like a ton of feathers (you think that wouldn’t hurt, but c’mon, a TON is a TON!).  It was really funny.

Here is a humorous picture of a kitten getting a bath.

My Quirky Habit

April 10, 2008 2 comments

Here’s a weird thing I do, and have done for years. I eat soup straight from the can. I know, just when you think you know a person, and being to enjoy his company, he tells you THIS! I’m been going to lukewarm soup eaters anonymous (LSEA, in no way affiliated with the local Christian ministry of ALMOST the same name). But I’m not cured. I don’t like taking the time, and dealing with the mess, of dumping the soup into a bowl, heating it up, eating said soup, then cleaning up after myself. I eat at work most of the time, and time is precious. Plus, the difference between cold soup and warm soup doesn’t make or break the meal for me. I was excited when they started to put those pull-tab quick-open tops on cans. When I used to work production during the summer during college, I would just put the soup on my dash in my car (where I would eat), and that actually got it warm. Not anymore. I know I may lose a lot of readers because of this, but I had to get this off of my chest. <whew> I feel much better now…

Categories: Funny, Humor, Life, Politics, Video Tags: , , , ,

The Root of All Evil

April 8, 2008 1 comment

You may read the title of this post and say, “Oh boy, this is going to be a really serious discussion on money.  I’m going to skip this post, and go back to whittling that piece of wood I found on the shore of Lake Michigan last summer into a bear holding a fish”.

If you have said this, you are wrong.  And need to find a new hobby.  I’m not talking about money, I’m talking about slow drivers.  In the last 24 hours, I have had the opportunity to learn patience and self-control while driving.  Last night, it was late, and I really wanted to get home, and I was stuck behind someone going 40 in a 55 zone.  Finally, I was to my turn, and guess what…their turn signal started blinking, slowly flashing, pointing in the direction I was going, taunting me with every blink.  I was aware that I was getting upset, so I had to calm myself down.  Today, on my way home from work, it was 40 in a 50, and the truck was about 300 years old, made of rust, and smelled like a burning oil refinery.  Same thing, I had to have self-control.  It’s funny, the more you learn about what is wrong, the more you realize how bad you actually are.  It’s not killing people, or stealing, or watching Jerry Springer, it’s the thoughts about others, the frustrations, and the little things that we do that end up being the “sins of the day”.  Life as a believer is a constant tweaking of who we are as a person, and the continuous “putting to death” of the flesh.  These slow drivers were the root of all evil to me, at those moments.  It was at the forefront of my mind.

On another note, Bryce is sitting on the floor, playing.  He’s so funny.  He’ll look at me, smile, and yell.  He’s such a cute kid.  I can’t believe in little over a week he’ll be on an operating table.  We have peace about it, but I still have a sadness that wells up when I think of my little boy having such an invasive surgery done to his body.  He has such a personality now, he’s not just a sleeping, pooping, eating baby anymore, he’s Bryce, the kid that loves to yell, enjoys his ring toys, smiles all the time, and loves rubbing his gums on his teether…  We trust God fully, and still pray for a miracle!!

Writer’s Block

April 7, 2008 1 comment

It’s difficult to write when I’m exhausted, so here we go.

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To summarize:

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I hope this makes sense…

🙂

Today was a great day, I had a good day at work, very productive. I felt good about how things went, and how I treated people. I left from work to drive straight into South Bend to spend some time with some friends of ours, and my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew for dinner (along with my family of course). We took five kids to the park after having a great dinner. We had three two year olds, a seven month old, and a 2 1/2 month old. It was fun, but not dissimilar to trying to lasso 45 drunken calves with a piece of dental floss four inches long. I may be exaggerating a small bit, but you get the picture. I’m fascinated at how much energy little kids have, and conversely, how little I have the older I get. It’s worth it though. Even though a two year old can be very independent, headstrong, and disobedient; the times that she says “Daddy, dance!”, or “Daddy, play!”, make it all worth it.

Categories: Family, Funny, Humor, Life Tags: , , , , ,

Blue Like Jazz

April 6, 2008 2 comments

I’m reading a book a friend let me borrow called Blue Like Jazz (by Donald Miller).  I haven’t read a lot lately, short of the internet and the bible.  I go on reading binges now and again, mostly the latest Grisham or Crichton novel…but this is a non-fiction account of a man and his realizations about God and how he became a Christian, so it’s a welcome change of pace.  His testimony is so different than what I’ve experienced (growing up in the church and believing that God was real from a young age), that his perspectives are changing the way I think about God.  I learned about God in an institutionalized atmosphere.  Sunday school, Psalty the Singing songbook, McGee and Me, the Bible itself; you get the picture.  It wasn’t as experiential as I would have liked, but I was young.  I do remember a few times that I experienced God in a tangible way as a child, but now that I’m older, I understand the world around me better, why we need a Savior, and what selfishness and “the flesh” really is, so I am experiencing God more now than I ever have.  Especially during these trying times with life stuff happening (Bryce’s heart condition, being married with two kids, ministering in the church, realizing I’m still selfish and needing to reach out to others more, that the Cubs won’t ever win a world series in my lifetime, and that the Hokey-Pokey ISN’T what it’s all about).

What I like about Don’s account is that he didn’t approach Christianity as a get-out-of-hell-free card, like the Gospel seems to be sold so often.  He understood that there was something in him that wasn’t right.  That he was doing things that felt wrong, and he had guilt, and a nagging feeling that the problems in this world were due to people’s self-absorption.  Wars, genocide, racism: it’s all a direct result of sin and people’s selfishness.  He finally equated this selfishness with sin.  This, in turn, pointed him toward God, who forgave his sins and loved him unconditionally.  He speaks of his struggles as a Christian to accept God’s grace (always feeling, like I have at times, that he needs to be self-disciplined in his own strength to be sinless, in order to be loved by God, and if he sins, he feels bad and condemned all the time, not allowing God’s grace to set him free), and to accept God’s love so he can love others.  Sorry for the run-on sentences, it’s late, and I’m a business, not an English, major.  I haven’t finished the book yet, but so far I like it, enough that I want a copy for myself so I can write in it (I have a bid on a used copy on Ebay right now…”Shop Victoriously!”).  I hope that I can take some of the truth that he found about God and apply it to my life.  I’d like to change my thinking and understanding of God to fit the truth more closely.  I feel I have a partial truth and I know my whole life will be spent pursuing the complete truth of who God is, and what He wants for and from me.  It’s refreshing reading other accounts of how people “found” God.

There is so much he’s covered that I wish I could relate.  I want the book so I can read it again, because I have a tendency to read something, really like it and want to remember it, and then forget it soon afterward.  It’s frustrating!  Wow, long post…gotta get to bed.