Meet The Waves

Took my daughter to the beach just a week ago. The first day didn’t go well. It consisted of her clinging to me and freaking out if the sand touched her. She’s a bit OCD when it comes to messes to the point where she walks around picking up any little things on the floor and throwing them away. She couldn’t stand the mess or the thought of what she thought was dirt being on her. She didn’t leave the beach blanket the whole day.

So going back for the second day I wasn’t sure how it would go.
It started off better, she walked down to the beach area despite the sand getting on her feet. I picked her up and took her down to the water. With each wave of water that crashed onto us she clung a little tighter to my neck and pointed to the shore where she wanted to go to get away from the water.

I know my daughter and she is a little adventurer. She has no fear and I can tell already she has a type A personality. She strikes up conversations with everyone she meets and is a take charge person in a group of kids, so I knew she would love the ocean if she just got over that initial fear.

So despite her requests and pointing to go back to the beach area I stuck it out. Soon I knelt down so that when the waves came they would hit her. At first she started freaking out. But after about 10 minutes she started to get used to it. She then was brave enough to release her death grip around my neck and stood in the sand as the waves crashed around her feet.

Five minutes later she was running towards the water, letting the water crash over her and laughing hysterically.  She had zero fear as the water smacked her in the face, and she ran up and down the beach giggling for an hour.
How often do we act like that? We don’t know how something is going to go, so we just stay where things are safe, where we are comfortable. We are comfortable with the seashore, but don’t want to venture towards the waves, so we stay with what we know, we stay where it’s comfortable, and because of that we miss out on so much of life. There is so much waiting if we put our foot in the water and embrace it. So what is holding you back?

What do you want to do that you have fear about? Get over your fear and race out into the water. You never know what great things are waiting for you.

It Gets Better

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Sometimes we go through really hard times in a relationship. We question everything we thought about the other person.  Question whether they truly love us or care about us. When things are hard, they are usually really hard, and it can be difficult to see beyond the pain and the hurt.

Then to make matters worse our mind starts racing with all these worst case scenarios. We wonder what will happen since our significant other is angry. Will they do more things to hurt us?  And so our imagination runs wild.

One of the best and most helpful things to remember in times like these, is that the current situation will pass.  You won’t forever feel this way, neither will the person you love.  When the dust settles, and smoke clears, you’ll find that you are the same people.  In marriage this is crucial.  You have to hold onto the reality that your spouse does love you, just at the moment neither of you “feel” any of that towards each other.

Coming to terms with that will make it better, and then realizing it won’t be like this for long. Whatever the disunity stems from, be humble, ask for forgiveness, don’t hold out and try to “win” the fight.  It’s not about winning.

Stick with it in hard times.  You agreed to that.  For better or worse. And while in a perfect world the worse wouldn’t exist, but it makes the better all the more good.  So stick with it.

Bigger Than Yourself

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I have a problem.  I am selfish.  Not incredibly so but still, it’s there.  I like to think that I am a kind giving person willing to do anything for my family, and that is pretty true.  But what other things do I really lay my life down for?

How am I helping those who are less fortunate than my family and I?  Those who are downcast, who are being abused, mistreated, sold for sex, those living in a box, those going to bed hungry.

What am I don’t outside my cozy four walls?

It’s a sobering question that kind of smacks me back to reality and makes me realize I live a very selfish life.  Selfish if measured against what I do for those who are hurting.

Because in truth, I wish I was doing more, and the fact that I am wishing that makes me realize I am not doing enough.

 

Leading What Matters

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What does it mean to lead your children?  Is it having it all together?  Is it being able to provide every wish and desire?  Is it making all the right decisions?

While leadership consists of many factors, the above are not the answers when it comes to leading your kids.

Kids need direction.  Psalms talks about children being arrows in the hands of a warrior. What are arrows designed for?  They are meant for war, they are placed on a bow string and flung into the distance to strike fear in the hearts of enemies.

I have my child for 18 year or so.  And in that time she has to learn how to live life.  She won’t hit 18 and have all the answers of life, but I have to provide her with the knowledge of how to find the answers for herself.  How do I do this?  Well how do kids learn?

My daughter is two and she mimics everything.  I can sing a song and dance like a crazy man around the room, and she will do her best to dance just like me.  Why?  That’s how she learns.  I can’t sit in a chair and tell her to dance silly around the room, just doesn’t work that way.

I have had many argue with me and question whether I or my wife do to much now that we have a child.  The answer, no.  I don’t think we do.  Between the two of us, we have a full time job, a self-owned business, both are college full time, we both blog, we travel constantly, and much more.  We fight for our marriage which includes making sure we have alone time together to build that relationship.

So what do I want to impart to her?  I want her to know she should life to the fullest.  Life doesn’t consist of watching tv all day, or playing games in a fantasy world all day.  It consists of getting out in the world, chasing your dreams, your goals, your passion full heartedly especially when it’s hard and you are tired and worn out.

The best way I can teach her that is through my own actions and chasing after those things myself.  And I can rest assured that she is watching.  She is learning how to fly on her own.  How to make a difference in her world, how to serve.

Dream On

 

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When we stop dreaming we stop living.  We have to go for the improbable, the seemingly impossible. Any person we tend to look up to in history has overcome ridiculous odds.

Helen Keller was blind and deaf.   Einstein was considered dumb and didn’t speak until age 4. Jim Carey was homeless.  Oprah gave birth at 14 and lost her child.  Edison failed over 1,000 times.

It’s easy to blame our circumstances or present condition on someone else, or some hardship we have gone through. But adversity should be nothing but a propellant for us to push ourselves further.

How do we do this?  Don’t stop dreaming.  It’s really easy to get stuck in your routine.  Work, paying bills, college, taking care of your family.  These are all admirable and very good things.  But in the midst of these things it’s easy to give up on our dreams.

We all have some time in a week, whether it’s our weekends, the time we spend watching football or the Walking Dead.

So don’t use the excuse that you don’t have time to pursue your dream, because we all have time if it’s important enough to us.

I remember when I was dating my wife, long distance. For awhile we lived 6 hours away.  At the time I was working, in Paramedic school, and played drums in a band.  My life was fairly crazy.  Yet I made time to come see her every weekend, often driving all night to get there.  Why?  Because it was important.

It’s not a matter of time, it’s a matter of importance.  Remember your dreams.  They are important, and you must chase after them to fully be alive.

Demands

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Demands, we all have them.  Demands from our family, our work, our church, our social groups, our peers, our teachers, our professors.  Almost everywhere we look there is something that requires our attention.

So how do we balance all this?  One word, “no”.  It’s an incredibly simple word, in fact it’s one of the first words we learn to say as we grow up, but somehow we lose our ability to say it.

We grow wary of telling someone no for fear of disappointing them, or looking like we can’t handle what they are asking of us, so we over commit ourselves and find that we have no time for the things we want to do.

While some demands you can’t say no to, (unless you want to go without food or a roof above your head), there are plenty of demands that you can and should say no to.

Time is the most valuable thing and it’s something we can never get back.  Think about that the next time someone asks you do to something, is it a distraction, a time eater that will keep you from pursuing your goals?  If so, the answer is no.

Kids Are Not An Excuse

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I recently came across an article on Huffington Post which in a nutshell said how dating and time with your spouse was never the same after having kids.  While there is nothing wrong with doing lots of things with your children, there are times when you need to do things without them, but let me explain.

I love my daughter with all my heart, she is my pride and joy, and love getting to spend time with her.  Because I love her so much, I realize it is very important to make time for my wife and I to spend alone, date nights, one on one, without our daughter.  A getaway now and then by ourselves is also so important.

You see as parents it’s our job to teach our kids how to have good character, good morals, and a healthy outlook on life. If I don’t model a good relationship in my marriage, that is like teaching her that bad moral values are okay.

I want my daughter to grow up knowing that her parents care enough about each other to value each other, and to spend time together.  I want to teach her that mommy and daddy need alone time sometimes so that we can be a stronger family, with firm relationships.  I want her to know that our wedding anniversary is a special event that should be held dear.

As a teenager I want her to secretly be glad that she knows her mom and dad love each other enough to still go on dates, even if it may gross her out a little, someday she will look back on that and smile.

By making time for my marriage, I am helping to build a picture of what she should look for in a man.  If she never sees me “dating” her mother, how will she know what healthy dating looks like?  How will she know the balance of having her own marriage and her own children someday if she doesn’t learn it from me and her mother.

My faith is very important to me, and nothing can replace prayer or alone time with God. In the same way nothing can replace alone time with my wife.  That doesn’t mean all other aspects aren’t good.  They are.  But so is alone time.  Kids should not be an excuse to never date your spouse anymore, if anything they should be an excuse to continue it all the more.

 

I Was Wrong

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“I was wrong”, that’s something I know I hate saying, and I would imagine a lot of people have trouble saying that.  It admits we messed up, it admits we aren’t perfect, and it admits we have struggles to work through.

Furthermore when we tell someone that, it gives them power over us, that they were in the right.

But it is far better when we just admit we were wrong, apologize and move on, striving to be better next time.  By doing this first we save ourselves from being defensive, from saying things in anger that we don’t mean, and from fighting with someone we care about.

“I was wrong”, three simple words that we should get more comfortable saying.  It doesn’t mean we are weak, it doesn’t mean we are inferior, it means we can admit that we have faults, and areas in our lives that need improvement.

Don’t be afraid to say when you are wrong.

The Big News

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Well for some time now I’ve been hinting that I’m making a huge change in my life and implying that something new was on the horizon.

I am joining the Navy Reserve.  It has been something I’ve given a lot of consideration to and had a lot of talks with my wife about.  We both feel it is a step in the right direction for where I want to head and where we as family want to head.

It’s a big deal, especially for me.  I like to have everything planned before I do something and that’s not fully possible with what I am going into. There will be a lot of unknowns. But I am looking forward to it.

It will be a new adventure and a new step in my life.