Even though I lack music talent; in my mind I try to attach music to random concepts. This song [below] allows me to envision the tiniest image of what heaven may one day be like.
I’m assuming that everyone has the notion at one time or another in life that they’re going to do something great, they’re going to be on some amazing adventure, you know…they’re going to change the world.
I know at least that teachers think it when they enter their first year in the classroom.
…that was a partial joke… Continue reading
I’m trying to keep my eyelids open as I type this…there may be typing with the eyes shut. Excuse the typos.
I have dirt on my hands and legs, something weird is throbbing in my right foot, and I have a rather epic sunburn.
Running season is here.
Today Darco and I finished our second 5K race of the 2014 year with a trail run through the timber along the Kansas River. We were not prepared for the trail [no pavement, literal trail], so needless to say we were rather ‘punk’d’ by today’s events. However, we survived for another day. Overall the weekend was a blur, fast, and tiring. Though I don’t believe that either of us regrets it. When life throws you a curve ball; family tends to be about the only thing that you have to rely on. This is the case as of late; we’re both trying to figure out ‘what is next’ after the collapse of the soccer team, some changes in her plan of action for work, and just life as a whole.
I tell you the truth; predicting your life events is just as worthless as predicting the weather. We’re definitely ‘minimizing’ life a bit. With the running going on; diet [what we eat, not starving ourselves...there's a difference] is vital, so that kicks out eating at restaurants. In turn that saves money, and allows us to work on repairing our expenses. It just requires a little extra self discipline.
My days Monday through Friday tend to be rather routine now; I’ll head to work. Stay there until 4:00 or 5:00. Stop at Jim and MC’s house to go run [country running is a must for me], and then I’ll head home around 7:30 or 8:00 at night. Between all of that is a cup of coffee, a lot of water, a few meals, and coconut water to hydrate. I’m 100% with this life. Basic focus points allow us to take care of requirements, while still focusing on dedication to a better self.
We work, we train, we get paid, we pay bills, and we repeat. Frankly, it’s just going to be that way for a while. There’s no point in adding debt to life when we have a unique opportunity to extinguish so much of it over the upcoming summer months.
It’s nice to have someone to fight the spending habits with. The truth is Darco is terrified of spending money if it doesn’t have to deal with bills, fuel, or food. I know there’s probably a huge majority reading this thinking, “Hey, that’s what I spend my money on too.”
I’m learning, painfully, that as much as we’d wish; we can’t run through life spraying, praying, and hoping God cleans up all of our problems and we never face consequences. Divorces, failures, out of breath 5K races can all be pulled back to mistakes made. More importantly is how we recover from the mistakes. Do we continue to be reckless, thinking, “Oh, God’s got it…”, or do we make adjustments to realize, “God expects me to be responsible with what I’ve been given”? At the moment, I’m learning the second one. Let’s face facts; since this website started God has blessed me with some pretty awesome people, travels, and adventures. It’s been a riot to be a part of His glorious plan, but He also expects me to be responsible. Something that I’m not a big fan of, but am learning [through running] that is a necessity for life.
Example: Looking at my training schedule this week I’m looking to hit between 20-25 miles worth of running. There’s no coach, there’s no gym, there’s no command. It’s just myself, my shoes, and the open road. No one is holding my feet to the fire; I do it because I know it’s required to become better at what I enjoy; running races. Life in general is no different; we have to practice self-discipline in order to have a better enjoyment of the life God’s given us.
I thought that I would hate this realization; knowing that I have to slow down, take inventory, get my house in order, and restructure life. A lot has changed and I haven’t taken the time to adjust to those changes. Part of it was denial, and part of it was just refusing to face hard questions. Nobody enjoys failure or rejection, but it will make one stronger later in life.
As for now, I’m off to bed. Cool analytic nerd stuff for work this week, training picks back up on Tuesday, and another beautiful week that God has given.
Oh…and here’s a fun shot from our ‘haul’ over the races this weekend:
Words that I’ve found myself repeating more often this past week then any other time that the phrase has come to mind. Sometimes, life is just hard. The ones you trust are the ones that drag you down, and ones that you foolishly gave up on are the ones that lift your spirits high. I suppose God works in mysterious ways. Continue reading
This morning I started writing an extensive post about life spiraling out of control, and forgetting to give thanks to the one who makes it all possible…
Instead, at midnight I find myself in a dark living room, wife asleep, wind howling, and just lost in my own thoughts:
It’s been nearly three years since my ex-wife divorced me. In three years I’ve witnessed a transformation that books and video can’t even begin to describe adequately. I’m remarried, now to a woman that I hold close to me every, single night. I have a ‘real job’, I own a soccer team, and my life is just…completely new.
There are so many new readers on this site, that many don’t even know the struggles from 2011 and 2012. The rejection, heartache, emptiness, and desperate need of redemption. Many have missed the late nights, sickness from exhaustion, and my attempt to find my footing in the world.
So many have missed my life as Christian, leading a strange woman to know who Christ is, only to wind up marrying her down the road.
I’ve lived a lifetime in just three years.
I can’t remember most of college, and my previous marriage is a blur, high school felt as if it was someone else’s life, and my childhood is merely a rumor lost in history. I’ve completely removed myself from who I once was, and I’ve lost so many pieces of who I was. This isn’t a case of mistaken identity, it’s the case of redemption and life with new eyes.
I can’t express to you, through the drowsiness of my awakening each day, what it’s like to be alive. To loose a life, just to gain it again. Not to mention losing humanity nearly every night in my sleep. I awake Monday through Sunday, almost as if I was reborn once again. How’s that for random and somewhat creepy sounding?
My writing doesn’t revolve around soccer, that’s just the moment of the life that I’m in. I would have never dreamed in all my life, quite literally, that I would ever be in charge of something like the Kansas City Shock. More so, through the troubling ‘education’ within the church I grew up in and Southwest Baptist University; I would have never envisioned a program that I run having people that aren’t “like me” around me. Reality is, while I don’t agree, I would rather be around someone living a lifestyle deemed “sinful” then be around a Christian that’s too prideful to admit their own shortfalls.
I am a worthless waste of space. I am a sinful creature, that even though I openly know I am redeemed by grace, that of which I’ll never deserve, I continue to screw up. I get lost in my pride, worship my obsessions, and dream of the falsehood of rising above. Every night I find myself mentally sobbing, begging my Father to forgive me of my mistake of living throughout the day.
I tell Him my fears of reliving the hell on earth at I witnessed in 2011, and I beg Him not to give up on me. I open my tear stained eyes knowing that my Father loves my pathetic soul, and my desperate attempt to please Him.
If you ever wanted a reflection of my life since 2011, since the time FilingThePapers started, it would simply read:
I deserve none of this. I only deserve death.
Until you’ve lived a lifetime of living, breathing in new air on a continual basis, you’ll never know what I’m saying. Only those who have lost their life will understand what grace and redemption feels like. There isn’t even a word in this world that describes the sheer joy of standing in the doorway, watching my wife sleep, knowing that I’m responsible for her safety. There isn’t a single visual aid that can depict the heartfelt expression of what unconditional love is. In no way is there enough “#getyourpraiseon” statements that can envelop that life that I’ve lived.
I state this case just because tonight my heart hurts. It isn’t some mushy, fluffy Christian-speak. It’s coming from the soul of a troubling time in life. Personally, I’ve messed up as I’ve missed the mark with the Kansas City Shock. I’ve made it about revenge, bitterness, and the hope of crushing those who oppose. I daydreamed of ensuing chaos and demonstrations to let the world know who we are.
The world doesn’t need to know who we are. The world needs to know who I operate under. The lack of evidence to support that claim falls directly on my shoulders, and it is my sin to hold.
I proclaim this gospel, this faith, this stance because I’ve come to understand that being a Christian will never make you cool. If it does, you’re doing something wrong. Imagine this; I’m a Christian, based on the Bible I do not embrace same-sex marriage. I don’t accept abortion as an option, and I’m not an advocate for female preachers [talk about creating some targets tonight]. Imagine the same person telling a person on their roster, who is openly gay, that their safe from the world. Imagine the confusion, complexion, and complication that, that makes in the perspective of the world.
To put it bluntly, if you really want to know what Jesus would do…that’s exactly where I get my belief. There’s no way Jesus would look at a sinner, condemn to hell, and give up on them. He wouldn’t demoralize them, tear them down, or make them feel worthless. If you don’t believe me I’d encourage you check out the Gospel’s in the New Testament of the Bible. That isn’t Christ, and to act that way isn’t Christ-like, meaning it isn’t being a Christian.
If I’m a person who is to stand by my faith, no matter the outcome, then I can’t condemn the world around me. I don’t embrace it, but I’m not in a position to shun anyone. There is no right, no moral obligation, and no power from God that embraces that concept. Why? Because God would never do it.
I’m a liar, cheater, thief, adulterer, and idol worshiper; and that’s on a good day. Does God suddenly decree, “D is a lost cause, there is no hope for him.” No! God is hope, and God loves His creation. God loves me, God loves the people on my roster, God loves the people of the city I live in. That is His description, God is love. He is a wicked harsh judge in the end, but He’s a loving Father. If you want evidence, read the past months worth of posts on this site and read the first month in July of 2011. The whole idea behind FilingThePapers was to one day demonstrate that I’m one screwed up, random piece of trash…and yet somehow God still blesses me with things that I’ll never deserve. I’m not monetarily rich, but I have a family that I wouldn’t give up for anything. I don’t have a 45 foot yacht, but I have people that would surpass that type of value any day of the week.
Perhaps this rambling is a question, thought, and statement all in the same:
Question: Why are Christians so quite? They really have nothing to hide.
Thought: Jesus was never quiet, but He wasn’t rude to those that didn’t believe all in the same.
Statement: How could I live for Christ, but give up on the world?
I’m not a hero, just a story teller, one from experiences of my own vice. One day I’ll probably get skewered by someone for stating my faith, but I’m alright with that. To you dearest reader, know this right now; I’ve lived a life of no regrets because I know where I stand with God. He loves me and all my warts, He’s blessed me with a wonderful wife, a beautiful life, and a reason to breathe new air each morning.
I fear the future, because of the turbulent world that I currently reside in. However, know this as a fact [Jack], God isn’t going to let us disappear. It isn’t His plan, and He’s got some amazing, earth shattering [literally] stuff up His sleeve someday. I’m only here in this existence for a split-second, but in that time I can do so much through all the things that He’s given me.
Being humble with success.
Embracing the unknown, unwanted, and undesired.
Speaking truth, abstaining from lies.
Loving my family with every inch of the soul that exists within me.
Never giving up, on anyone…because my God never gave up on me.
*…takes sip of an overly sweet peppermint white mocha…*
Remember this post a few weeks ago?
I think we pulled one thing out of that entire paper, things are changing, seasons are changing, and our lives are changing.
Looking back, I had no clue how drastic that concept would actually be. Two weeks ago I took a life changing job, with my first paycheck coming this Monday. Again, without playing the numbers game, it is life changing. Today, Darco and I came home with a new adventure:
Doing some number crunching tonight:
One of my new social media accounts just crushed their all time record for a post to be viewed. I mean destroyed in ways that are hard to describe.
God is good, He is blessing me in unspeakable ways with this job. It isn’t easy, but He’s killing it.
It’s taken a few days for the adjustment to sit in with the realization of the job that I now face. It’s incredible, a daily challenge, new adventures, and I never sit still. I’ve never required coffee so much in my life.
It’s late tonight, I’m working from home tomorrow, which trust me; it’s going to be wonderful to get things organized in my head after a week filled with numbers, campaigns, and meetings. I’d say that I feel like a ‘grown up’, but my job isn’t 9-5 and for the most part I don’t work in a cubicle…sort of.
I was eating dinner with Darco tonight, after fighting the sleet and ice to get home from the ‘office’. I was explaining to her that on all accounts this is a dream job that people can’t even really wrap their heads around. I mean, guys come on, I’m being paid to create social media campaigns, operate social media accounts, and build a following. How cool is that?
I’m still learning about Mazda; as of yesterday I was placed in charge of the two dealerships social media accounts. I’ve given up on some YouTube work this evening; I grew too frustrated to even care and didn’t wish to break the laptop. However, that’s a good frustration; knowledge that you’re working on a project and you’re going to see results.
All of this really stems from a motivation, a drive, to go above and beyond. It’s no longer about proving myself, it’s more about just doing what I’m actually good at. That was the first hard step; recognizing that I am good at something. LinkedIn numbers don’t lie, the amount of people that have endorsed me for social media usage is…high, when compared to other endorsements. I never thought of it really being used as a tool or even a specific skill set until now. It was really implanted in my head when I was sitting in the interview, day two, and the owner looks at me and says:
So, what’s it going to take to have you.
Naturally, I won’t go into details about what that was. However, what I’m still shocked at to this point is the idea that someone wanted me, I mean really wanted me on their team. They desired to have a skill set that they thought I had to assist in the betterment of the company. That’s an eye opener for me, and something that I’m not accustomed to. The harsh truth is that I’m used to being in the way, and making myself known, but rarely do I ever have the honor of being wanted. I’m sure the owner will never know about what that meant to me, and that’s alright, but if there truly was something ‘life changing’ about that experience, it was knowing that for a change I had something, something unique about me, that was in demand.
The image from that conversation will sit with me for the rest of my life.
As for now, time for some sleep. YouTube has been fixed, and my eyelids are getting extremely heavy.
Woke up next to a beautiful woman.
Currently listening to Norah Jones and folding laundry.
What a beautiful life!
Up at 5:30 AM, fighting a seasonal cold. Can’t hear out of my left ear because my congestion is so severe.
Darco had breakfast ready. Hot shower needed. Espresso drink from Starbucks (via my bride). Needed.
It’s 6:30 AM…
By 7:10 AM I’m heading to my classroom at Staley High School, thinking of a life that never happened. 7:25 AM and my first class is in. I’m pouring sweat for reasons I don’t know, and by 9:10 they’re out the door.
The next ninety minutes were spent in the library. Reorganizing mixed books of fiction and non. I won today’s battle against the Dewey Decimal System.
By lunch time I’m enjoying my apple, banana, and Greek yogurt; something Darco got me started on. Everything is cold in my lunch box, enjoyed for each last bite.
The afternoon dealt with three waves of freshmen, all still adjusting to this ‘life’. One boy spent ten minutes telling me about his stop animation Lego videos he puts on YouTube, and another girl shared her dreams of varsity volleyball.
With the bell ringing I was the door. Adventure number two was at 3:30 PM. I placed gas in the car and headed to an interview about the Kansas City Shock. By 5:00 PM I was late to meeting number three and slight burnt from meeting number two. I went north to pick up Darco, who had been at work since 6:30 AM. Together we caught the end of the first social media marketing meeting for the city we live in. A part of #TakeTheCity programming.
After the hens next to us scared us out of the bar, my wife and I spent the evening grilling chicken, cleaning dishes, and enjoying the leftovers that fill our fridge.
It’s now 9:00 PM and the Ny-Quil is kicking in. Absolutely exhausted, and smelling of something strange, the beautiful reality is looking back at today and acknowledging how blessed by God our family is.