XXXI: My Declaration


I’m sitting in my basement. The sun is shining through two windows and the blinds are currently drawn on the patio doors adjacent to this entertainment room. Above I can hear our two cats wrestling with each other in the living room. The laundry is caught up, washed, dried, and put away. We’re working on a way to correct our frame for our new bed so that our cats will not destroy our box springs (again). The kitchen is calm, dishes are washed, and I’m thinking of cooking ribs tonight for dinner. I washed my truck for the first time in six year. Darco’s tomato plant is growing, and our new landscaping in the front yard looks great thanks to my wife’s hard work. Her dress is currently drying in the summer breeze out on our porch looking over our backyard. We just learned that my wife will be receiving another ‘promotion’ within her company in the next six months. Granted, if I gave details she would be all bitter towards me for sure.

Later today, time permitting, Darco and I will drive six miles down the road and explore the trails that surround the lake that we live next to. Tonight Darco and I will attend Bible study with a group of people that are relatively close to our age. We’ll laugh, study, and talk about our positions in life and what we think God is directing us towards. In a few days MC and Jim will come to our house and we’ll watch the fireworks display that is being set off only two miles away from our neighborhood. Tomorrow morning I’ll run from our house, across the dam of our local lake, into the small downtown of our town. I’ll grab a cup of coffee, eat a cinnamon roll, and then run back to our house. Afterwards I’ll meet MC and Jim and we’ll depart to the city 15 miles south of our neighborhood. We’ll ride the streetcar, shop through the open air river market, and explore antique stores through the city’s old industrial sector referred to as the West Bottoms.

***

Between the founding concept of this website and the world currently outside my front door, negativity is something that plagues the world around me. Someone is upset, offended, hurt, or dead it seems every minute (maybe even more). Social media tends to be toxic with people arguing over what is right and what is wrong.

This world is a shockingly hard place to live in.

If I get wrapped up in what is so wrong with the reality around me I’ll miss the blessings that have already seen set before me. The truth is God is good and has blessed me tenfold in the past five years. I have a loving wife, a pretty entertaining job, and I live somewhere that I would have only imagined living in, in my own wandering dreams. I have central air conditioning…and tile floors…and a garage! God has given me more than I should ever deserve. Biblically speaking I only deserve death, so there’s that. I’m only curious, and this is solely directed towards the ‘Christians’ of the world. Whatever happened to us giving praise for the life we have? The enjoyment that we should never have had in the beginning? It is so easy to rely on God when the chips are down, but what about the other moments.

One of my objectives since 2011 was to experience life to its fullest. That included a crazy marriage, moving, and many different jobs. However, guess what, God has stayed faithful through every single moment of my life. He never left me, never forsake me, never gave up on me. He ‘s still right here, and I can’t express how comforting that is.

Let’s be real; I’m a divorced Christian that remarried to a woman who wasn’t even a Christian when we first met. I watch anime from Japan, teach middle school students, enjoy tattoos, running, and electronic dance music. Sometime during the year my beard is dyed different colors, and sometimes I even wear headbands when my hair is getting long. There is nothing, I pray, nothing about my life that fits the criteria of being a ‘Christian’ in today’s society.

Even thinking back to the days of youth church camps, mission trips, etc…there always seemed this unspoken urge to be sad, broken, or devastated about this, that, or the other. Don’t get me wrong, Paul, David, John, Job, and many others all tore their clothes for the sorrows of their own life’s and that of others. However, they also danced, rejoiced, and praised the high points of life.

I don’t think God expects us to be stoic.

I think God expects us to live a life worth living, and to reflect back knowing that we gave it our all and we had a blast along the way.

I will declare my happiness, my joy, and my peace at this moment in my own life. Darco and I are blessed, and I firmly believe that as a Christian couple it is our responsibility to not only seek God throughout our days, but also to give Him praise when life turns out in ways we could never dream of happening.

We’re praising. We’re blessed. God is good.

-D-

#getyourpraiseon


In college I had an odd friend. She was a student athlete from Sweden who knew little to no English. I had zero friends and she was new to the campus, so we struck up an odd friendship that has lasted for a decade now.

She was a soccer player; a keeper specifically. Turns out she was good, really good.

She graduated around the time women’s soccer as a professional sport started to blossom in the United States. Where she was from they had a professional league with multiple tiers (Tier 1 being the highest). She played after college back home, but I wasn’t sure how serious she was about the game (college can burn you out rapidly).

Today, via Snapchat, she showed me a black keeper jersey. It said “Jitex” on it. From the years of covering the sport I knew what this meant…

Jitex is a soccer team…

Jitex is tier 1 in Sweden’s domestic league…

That jersey was Jo’s new jersey…

Jo signed with Jitex…

Jo is now a professional soccer player…

Jo made it…

I’m so happy that God blessed her with this insane opportunity. Even through dark times He never ceases to amaze!

-D-

#getyourpraiseon


Strange packages I come home with…

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5K Category

True story; 28 years of never winning a single athletic event, and today I brought this award home.

I’m happy. While the accomplishment isn’t perfect, it’s still an accomplishment. God gave me strength to move, and a heart to run.

I’ll get my praise on because my God continues to refuse to give up on me.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Pi Day


Because there’s no way that life should just be boring and routine, right?

While sitting in a meeting with other instructors this morning, the day of March 14, 2016 began to populate in our discussions. For the non-math individuals out there (including myself), this day is known by many as “Pi Day”.

March 14=03/14=3.14.

Make sense?

Precisely.

Actually, it’s a really cool deal that math teachers make of Pi Day with their students. So much so that with our school of awesome teachers, I was informed that this year there would be a race involved also.

March 14=03/14=3.14=3.1=5K.

As part of the celebration of Pi Day, our 7th grade students will be running with a few teachers in a 5K race for the ages. Personally, I think this is something completely awesome. So, next month I’ll be lacing up and instead of entering the classroom, I’ll be stepping onto the course with coworkers and students alike.

That’s pretty cool in my book.

-D-

#getyourpraiseon


I run, and I run, and I run…
Waiting for a moment of change and excitement between broken miles…
It finally happened today.
After school, in my inbox, I found the results of an application that I had placed nearly two weeks ago…

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…since adopting running as a living joy five years ago, today I was accepted onto a running team, sponsored by a local running store.

It may seem trivial, but to me it’s another step towards future goals.

Personally, this is a monumental prayer answered. I’m not one to cast myself out in the public eye. My God is so good.

-D-

XXXI: Full Circle


I tried on several different occasions to record a video that demonstrates the current setting and situation that I’ve been in. However, between multiple cats, a malfunctioning phone, and well…time, I’ve come to the conclusion that the reality is, it’s better for me to write.

For those of you, the reader, who pop in and out of this site, you’ve known about my journey for the past four…going on five…years. It’s the sadly standard story of so many lives; lost, left, and praying for a second chance at life. Mine began with a divorce, financial collapse, and the utter helplessness and recognizing and accepting that I was all alone.

My, how the times have changed.

The point of this piece isn’t a recap as much as it’s an opportunity to demonstrate a dream coming true for myself: Continue reading