Mobile Minutes: Black Friday Survival

I did it.
I finally did it.
For the first time in my life I braved…wait for it…Black Friday!
*bum, bum, bum…*

In reality Darco was at work, and it was myself and our teenage cousin, Chey. After cooking five scrambled eggs, Chey (shy) and I made our way into the city. Mind you, we were also blessed with 33℉ temperatures and freezing rain.

The stage was set.

60 miles away was a running store that I was targeting; there was a potential of a serious snag (and I desperately needed new running shoes). 7:00 AM we show our faces, we ducked in, dodged the marathon specialist, the runner that just finished training in the rain, and the two folks talking about GU running gels. There I saw them; two size 13 pairs of Saucony Guide 8’s. One box in each hand, hurdled the sale table like Lolo Jones, paid, and ducked back out into the rain.

Total time: 10 minutes
Money saved: $200.00


New gear.

After breaking a sweat, stretching our limbs, we flew across the metro to Under Armour Outlet and…ready for this…snagged sweat pants. Due to the ‘fat years’ of my childhood elastic sweat pants scarred me. Chey talked me into getting a pair of sweats, along with some other goodies. Due to the outlet mall being an outdoor facility no one was out and about. There were no stiff arms, Chey even tried clothes on, and we still made it out in twenty minutes.

Total time: 20 minutes
Money saved: $130
Bonus: $20 gift card from Under Armour

Coffee, lunch, a quick jaunt to IKEA and the day was done. We only needed a few light bulbs for the house at one last stop.


Wouldn’t you know it, even at 1:00 PM, Chey and I dodged two moving vehicles, one lady with some wicked eye brows, and at least three chain smokers just for a few bulbs. Easily Walmart brought upon more stress than my most recent job evaluation.

Total time: 30 minutes
Money saved: Not worth the increased blood pressure

But hey…it was all worth spending time with a crazed teenager.


XXXI: Three Year Honeymoon

I finally found the batteries. They were stored somewhere in one of the kitchen drawers.

This is what happens when you move from one place to another in your life.

The past three weeks have been mind-blowing. Time has sped up, seasons have changed, rain has fallen, sun has shined, and we have relocated from our apartment into a house.

True. Story.

Continue reading

Mobile Minutes: Where I Come From…

The chicken is still thawing, so Darco and I hit the town!

Setting: Old brick building turned into bar, restaurant, and pool hall (no smoking). Music? Country. Number of men wearing camo? Eight (including one flannel and a John Deere hat). Four televisions have boxing documentaries on, and two have “Realtree Monster Bucks” playing.

Most seats are taken, small talk all around. Tuesday night obviously equals taco Tuesday, and the local high school football team eats for free on Friday nights.

The only men in here without beards are well over 70 years of age, and hats? Make sure you’ve got yours on and it’s stained with sweat and dirt.

Who knew the town I’d move to was so similar to wear I grew up.


XXXI: Broken Judgemental Hearts

Tonight, with the internet finally running, I was planning on giving some details into the moving process that Darco and I just went through over the past week. However, something took place this evening that gripped my heart to the point that even the joys of moving cannot trump such an event.

I am an awkward individual. How I walk, talk, and even write, so please bare with me if something just seems…well…awkward.

This is new territory for me.

Darco and I were visiting with a family member of whom we love dearly. It’d be months since we had seen them, and Darco took some time to ensure that they saw our new living arrangement. When I got home from work (and later running), we chatted, ate, and just had a fun time sharing stories of the oddities that we conclude are indeed our lives.

Towards the end of the evening, they began to prepare to leave. It was about that time that Darco looked at them, and simply asked, “Well, aren’t you going to tell him?” I, stuffing myself with food, was curious as to what the conversation was about. I noted that they were holding a artistic illustration of a name that I assumed was associated with them.

They started to giggle.
They started to avoid.
They stated, “He’ll make fun of me”.
They said, “He won’t like it”.

It was about that time, thank you education world, that I started putting the pieces together. Our loved one is holding onto a drawing of someone’s specific name. They’re laughing, making comments such as, “But, we’re not yet, so I can’t say it…”

That’s when something came out along the lines of, “She’s not my girlfriend…officially…yet.”

In one unique way, or another…a child (younger than me) who I love dearly, frankly (to put into awkward, politically correct terminology) came out of the closet tonight.

My heart shattered.

Not because of the desire of the wanted love, relationship, etc…
Not because I was so disappointed in their “LIFE CHOICES”…

Because they were afraid of my reaction.
Because, somewhere, they were afraid of judgement.
Because I go to church. Because I’m the Christian. Because somewhere, somehow there’s this disillusion that I’m inherently going to condemn anyone who is gay, anyone who is a Democrat, anyone who votes wrong, anyone…well…period.

I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I’m spiteful.

That reaction, that reaction is exactly why I struggled in college. I didn’t want to be grouped, I didn’t want to be identified as “judgemental”. I look at Christ and the only judgement I see from Him tends to be towards religious hypocrites. If I’m to be Christ-like then how on earth could I justify that kind of condemnation towards a soul that I love dearly?

It makes no sense.

It’s an everyday reality.

This is what makes my blood boil. When Christian’s cause more damage for God’s kingdom compared to the glory that we’re to bring God. It makes me angry, a righteous zeal towards the religious elite. These are those moments when I’m happy that I’m divorced, that I’m a failure, that I’ve caused so much pain for my God. Because I’m able to look at the rest of the world and realize there isn’t a inch of my body that could justifiably be placed higher than any other human.

My life is forced humility. How could I dare bring myself to judge? What has that young child witnessed that’d cause them to ‘joke’ about being looked at differently because of a choice they’ve made? Where does it say Jesus would do that?!?! Where would it say my loving, caring Father would treat His own in that nature!?!?

Show me in the red text.
Show me the verse.
Show me where my God gave up.
Show me when my Savior told me to condemn those who are looking for hope.

Until I see that…
Until I hear His voice saying that…

I will love those closest to me. I will care for those who fear the rejection. I will house the lost.

I. Was. No. Different.


XXXI: Welcome Home

I can see the stars!!!

Around 8:30 PM last night I wound up yelling this exclamation to Darco in the driveway.


Real. Driveway.

Over the three day weekend we’ve been doing nothing but moving our possessions from our apartment to our house. Praise God for friends and family. So many people have helped us with cleaning, moving, and even cooking for us. It’s truly a memorable experience that’ll forever last in my heart.

…but about those stars…

Like any other soul, I too have my silent prayers. One of them was to see the stars again. Growing up, the stars were in my backyard. Moving to college, then moving to the city, I lost the stars. City lights, parking lot nights, I lost track of my childhood home.

Our home is now in the rural escape around the city. The stars come out each night, shining past the occasional flight preparing for landing. My prayer is answered. I find myself clamoring to the sky, my wife lost as to why this was such a big deal. Answered personal prayers are a big deal.



I can see the stars.
Welcome home.



I’m “adulting”…

Last weekend, between sighting in rifles for deer season, Darco, MC, Jim, and myself started to embark on an adventure I never thought would happen.

We began the moving process.


It’s gorgeous. The basement has the drywall completed, along with the painting. Tiling is being installed right now.

Stepping outside with MC, I noticed a noise I never imagined hearing in isolation again…

As it turns out, after final calculations, there are a grand total of 62 miles…62…miles…of running trails around the lake that our house sits on.

Our. House.


I don’t know if Darco has had this sensation, but each time I’m at the house I have to remind myself that I’m not visiting. This isn’t a friends house. It’s a strange, almost sobering, sensation of accepting this gift. Believe me, any reader here knows this, this is a gift.

We’ll be completely moved in over the weekend.

God is good. In ways I’ll never understand, but each day I lock the front door, it’ll be s gentle reminder of what God does.


XXXI: Cheers Old Friend

I’ll be the first to admit that death really isn’t my thing. I’m the person who has the horrible reaction, awful timing, and is frequently thinking about what food will be served after the service has concluded.

Horrible human, right?

Death is just that; it’s death. Personally it’s merely a gateway from this fragment of life into something eternal. Therefore, it isn’t the easiest thing to accept, fret, or even try to stir emotions over.

Again, horrible human, right?

While sitting with friends this afternoon, enjoying lunch with colleagues of our house church, I received a notification on Facebook. The obituary for an old friend. I’ll confess; it stirred my emotions over the time of our existence, friendship, and overall presence in unison on the earth. Continue reading