another year older…35…

   

On Wednesday, December 2, 2015 I turned the big 3-5.  To be honest it came and went with little excitement on my part.  In some ways it was fitting that it fell on a Wednesday.  You know Wednesdays are those days of the week where we feel sorta just alright and hope we make it through.  That’s sort of how I felt about getting older.  As I get older, I look back and  I am thankful and excited for all that God has blessed me with like my amazing family.  Waking up another year older and getting birthday hugs and cards from my kids was awesome.  

And as I look at 35 there is really nothing that I am depressed about, but there are areas of life I feel stalled in right now and know I want to change before 36.  For instance, I know my relationship with Christ needs to grow deeper this year.  I want to move beyond surving and start thriving.  I want to find more and more refreshment through diving deeper into the Word.  I want to seek Christ more and more for what He has for my future.  The complacency and survival mode I often find myself in is not where He wants me and not what He has planned for me.  I want to use my gifts, talents, and my whole being to bring Christ honor and glory and not be stuck in the rut of just doing ok.  

While I am excited and thankful for my family, when I get to 36 next year, I want to be found to be a much improved and still improving father and husband.  My family deserves my best and deserves an active father/husband who comes home excited and not defeated.  I want to be there for them when they need me and not just when the schedule fits.  While I pray daily for the spiritual needs for my wife and kids, I want to be more active as the spiritual leader in our family, leading them to grow deeper in their relationships with Christ.  And in the case of my son who has not yet accepted Christ, letting him know how much Jesus loves him and sharing how he to can have an awesome relationship with Christ.  

I know at 35 that I am not the Godly man, husband, and father that God has called me to be.  I don’t want to arrive at 36 with this same feeling of being in a rut.  Please pray for me this year that I will grow in my walk with Christ and be growing into the man he wants me to be.  Pray for my family that they will seen the husband and father that they need in me.  Pray for wisdom in decisions that I have to make.  Pray that when others look at me they see Christ in me.  I am serving a great God who has called me to great things in Him.  Pray that I will answer His call always…

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a bit of reflection…

so thankful for my family...

so thankful for my family…

Over the past week I have been busy celebrating every thing from Thanksgiving to turning the big 33.  Both of these things have emphasized in my life that I have much to be thankful for.  First of all, I am truly thankful for my family.  Coming up the stairs on Monday morning to my little boy smiling at me while my little girl ran up and hugged me and said “Happy Birthday Daddy!” , was a great reminder of how much God has given me.  I also got to spend a good portion of the day with my beautiful wife, including a great bday dinner out.  It’s almost hard to imagine that about 6 years ago I was celebrating my birthday all alone and wondering if I had the “gift” of singleness forced upon me.  Little did I know the blessings that God has had in store for me!

Another big thing that I was reminded of that I have to be thankful for is friendship.  I have often struggled with being away from my closest friends since moving back to Kentucky.  Living rurally and on a missionary salary sometimes makes it rough to spend the quality time that I would like to spend with friends who have meant so much to me over the years.  However, even though I couldn’t spend my birthday with them in person, God reminded me about how truly blessed I am with friends and family that care so much about me, as I received countless birthday wishes via phone, card, and social media.

I know we shouldn’t need things like holidays and birthdays to be reminders of the blessings that God has given us.  At the same time, I love how the passing of another year causes us to have to think and reflect on how God has blessed us. When we look past all our complaints, frustrations, and sometimes just plain old whining, if we are truly seeking God will show us how abundantly blessed we are.  That’s where I find myself, a truly blessed man!

mowing in full force…

the top of my burnt hand...

the top of my burnt hand…

On Saturday, I jumped full fledged into mowing our yard.   We have three acres of mowing here and so it takes me quite a while to get things done.  Being a person of pasty color who is also bald, before mowing I have to do a lot of skin protection.  So before mowing I made sure my arms and legs were protected as well as wore my ever classy/sexy bucket hat to protect my shiny head.  I ended up doing a combination of push and riding mowing for over 4.5 hours.  There was a half hour break that broke up the 4.5 hours where I couldn’t get my riding mower to work.  I went to get the battery tested and it turned out to be fine, so after I cleaned and tightened the cables it worked fine.

One of the things I enjoy about mowing is it’s actually a time of thinking, processing stuff, and just down time to listen to some music as well.  Over the course of my mowing I felt like I was able to get a good game plan together for this week at work.  I also enjoyed some time listening to go some Dwight Yoakum and some Garth Brooks!  Hopefully I didn’t scare my neighbors.

By the end of the end of the day my yard looked great and I had actually enjoyed all the hard work and though time I had.  The bad news is that while I tried to protect my skin from the sun, I made a big mistake.  I forgot to protect the back of my hands with sunscreen.  So therefore, my hands currently look like bright red boxing gloves!   Washing my hands is quite painful too…..but hey, at least my yard looks good!

back to a love hate relationship…

With spring arriving early this year, I am back to one of my old relationships that I both love and hate at the same time….mowing.  This year more than ever I am conflicted over this relationship as i have gone from having to mow one acre to mowing three.  While mowing is very time consuming and draining, part of me really likes it.   While mowing I am able to have some time to process what all is going on in my life, spend time in prayer, and listen to some music.

This year even getting started with mowing and yard care has been more of a challenge than usual. I went to start my riding mower only to discover the battery was dead.  I went to start my weed eater only to find it was really messed up.  Finally my push mower seemed to be working ok, but I found out an hour into mowing that my gas cap was cracked and leaking gas as I mowed.  So, I bought a new battery, had to get a new primer bubble and carburetor on the weed eater, and hopefully tomorrow getting a new gas cap.   It looks as though things for the mowing season are starting to fall into place.

Tonight I took my riding mower out for the first time and mowed the majority of my yard.   While I did have many other things I needed to be doing, I really did enjoy my hour of riding and working on my yard.  The time of thinking and reflection while also seeing something visibly accomplished was very relaxing to me.  So, while I know there will be times I am going to hate the time consuming and overheating mowing, I am looking forward to it at the same time….I know…I’m weird like that.