I Am Found

My body is tattooed.
My hair is long.

Due to the insane amount of rain that we have received in days past, the typical running routes have been closed. Because of this, finding places to run has become a bit of a challenge. Primarily, this is in part to my disdain of running on asphalt highways. A concept that I never thought I’d actually accept as my running philosophy.

However, after spending the week teaching and sleeping off a sickness, I had to stretch out my legs. I had to run.

Visiting my parents, I brought clothes to run in, in the event that I had some time to take off. When the moment arrived, I laced up my shoes and took off along a familiar path that I had ran so many times in years past. In fact, I’ve ran this route since 2001; so fifteen years now.

It has been two months since my feet had touched blacktop. I was curious as to what the sensation would feel like after spending eight weeks in the woods, along the dirt, through the mud, and on top of the rocks. I started at my parents house, moved past the local post office, up the slight hill at the post office, clearing the Christian Church, and eventually turning at the softball fields. I ran past the cemetery, around the corner of corn fields, and up the hill that a girl named Amy lived on and always had water waiting for me during the summer. Past her hill, I turned left and continued down the road. I passed the farm that was our ‘turnaround’ during track practice in high school, and down the hill to the bridge that was replaced in 2011. I climbed the ensuring hill, carefully turned along a blind corner, and down a slow decent surrounded by trees into the river plains just west of the town that I once called home.

I wasn’t breathing hard. My legs did not ache, and I was able to converse with myself without a shortness of breath. I was living in an entirely new world. I ran and I didn’t grow weary. I took a few photos, shot a little bit of video, turned around, and began my journey back to where I began.

The one benefit of running on the road is the repetitive nature of your leg movement, you can easily get lost in thought. Yesterday, while on this run, similar to my legs, I unlocked my mind and just let it wander for two hours I spent outside.

While I physically passed foreign memories, my mind focused on the journey that I had, had since first witnessing this route. I thought back to familiar faces, school time, small town events, and first kisses. I transitioned to college, mistakes, bitterness, and heartache. I finished while remembering the beginning point of so much of this. Papers at my doorstep, an officer informing me of the dramatic changes coming to my life, and am emptiness of not knowing what to do.

Cooling down in the final two blocks, God was loving in reminding me of the new life that I currently live. Mentoring young minds, loving an amazing wife, and trying to figure out how to live in accordance to what is right. Friends have left, family members have passed, and times have changed. However, only yesterday can I say that I found myself smiling for the duration of an entire run.

Within ten miles I charted out my life from beginning to present, connecting dots, giving thanks, and on occasion running down the road with arms extended; as if I were envisioning myself flying with the newfound life.

I’m grateful.
I’m blessed.
I’m found.


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.


XXXI: Memories Become Fragments


One of the first ‘rules of blogging’ is to not apologize to the reader when it’s been some time since you’ve last posted any thoughts on your own blog.

Honestly, I’m not sorry.

I would apologize, but doing so would mean that I’m regretting the time spent with students, time spent with my wife, and time spent…well…living life. It’s almost supernatural to consider how so many vivid memories become nothing more than just fragments of a bigger picture. Turning down the trail, a mile under my belt already early in today’s crisp morning, I tried to think back on the motivation that propelled me to run for so many years.

I couldn’t envision it. I couldn’t remember it. I couldn’t grasp it. The once horrific onslaught of guilt and corruption no longer could be found in my veins. Truly, I’ve been cleaned and purified.

I haven’t written because I moved on with the life that I still have, and I’ve in turn walked away from the life I once had. Nights of sorrow are filled with days of life. Days of frustration are filled with nights of peace. This is the best I’ve slept in nearly twenty years.

Is it alright to just claim the ability of healing and redemption? Is it alright to forge life on dreams? I’ve never felt so reckless in my life like now, and I’ve truly loved life no more than currently in this strange state.

Shopping for light bulbs? Sure!
Splitting wood for the fireplace? You bet!
Grading papers while the sun spills through the window? Wouldn’t want it any other way!

I’m curiously fascinated by Darco’s take on my desire to always run against the grain of the socially accepted. Moreso now because there are so many things to this life that I’m 100% good with. I enjoy living in the suburbs, running to the local coffee shop, and spending the evening with my wife. I’m happy that we don’t try to conquer the world after a day full of work, and I love waking up to the light peering through our windows each morning.

It’s not even the point of thanking God for getting me out of once was; it’s about thanking Him for what He’s currently provided me with. Nowhere can I find Jesus suggesting that we hold onto the scars of our past, I can only find the encouragement to learn from them. I don’t read about accepting eternal guilt, I find lines and lyrics of embracing eternal grace. Why…how…could I negate the works of my Father when He’s completely revolutionized my life? Not once, not twice, but everyday that I continued to find breath.

What I didn’t think, or even envision in my own life is that revolution spins around more besides just a divorce. I thought for years that, that was going to the pivotal moment of my life. My defining moment of the legacy that was left on this planet.

Can I tell you the one thing that I’ve learned since grasping that thought?
A divorce is only one piece of the entire puzzle of one’s life. It doesn’t define anything about the individual, it’s merely another struggle to overcome, accept, endure, and embrace when trying to figure out your place on this blue dot we call home.

Darco accepts my weird scars, but she also doesn’t let me get away with using them as a crutch. A divorce five years ago doesn’t dictate if I can do dishes tonight or not. It doesn’t excuse specific spending habits in the bank account. It doesn’t justify hostility and negativity towards other humans. It’s merely a point in time.

Can I be honest with you? Part of the reason I don’t write as much on this page is because there isn’t nearly as much to share. So much about clicks, views, likes revolve around dramatic, traumatic experiences. I don’t have them to share. The cat got a cold and I think I have a few cavities, but that’s as crazy as it gets. After living some of the strangest chapters of my life already; I’m just fine with admitting that life in the view of the world’s perspective is rather peaceful.

I’m alright with conforming and not fighting against God’s desire and plan.
I’m alright with just embracing the naive, novel idea of peace.


XXXI: Dreams Are Made Of

Let’s talk about money.

Because what would a fun monologue be without such a joyful, uplifting topic (especially right after Christmas).

It’s been mentioned a few times throughout FilingThePapers.com that student debt, payday loans, and selling all my DVD’s have been either cursed or used in order to determine not sucess, but survival. Continue reading

Mobile Minutes: Times of Height

These are the times that I swore that I’d remember when they came…

It was the student who brought me a bag of chocolates today (and a stress ball; I fear it was an unspoken indicator of my constant state in class). It was the ‘Merry Christmas’ text from the guy who set up the amazing house that Darco and I now call home. It was sitting on the floor, leaning against the bed where my wife laid, talking about the direction of our lives, and thanking her for existing.

Continue reading

XXXI:Taste & See

It’s all because of Facebook and its memory feature. It, in some ways, can be that painstaking reminder of the life that you left and the life that you’ve currently chosen to live.

Curious of the random image from five years ago that came across my social feed; Darco and I dived deeper into the world of a time when we didn’t know one another. Through the past posts of five, ten years went by. Resulting in at least one prior post on this day from FilingThePapers.

The story revolves around one of my journey’s with Subway. I traveled deep into the southern part of our region. I went back into the town that I called home during college and enjoyed sushi for the first time since my divorce earlier that year. There’s so much to be thankful for, as illustrated in the post.

However the writing of the past doesn’t even compare to the undeserving manner that my soul currently resides in; in this strange euphoric realm that allegedly is referred to as ‘life’.

As strange as it sounds, I try earnestly to forget the world that once was. I purposefully try to forget about people, events, actions of the past in hopes of allowing scars to become hidden. I love waking up in the morning, forgetting that I’m divorced, that I had a life before this one. I’m not sure if that’s the Christ-like attitude to have, but the present is so much clearer, wonderful, and truth-be-told it’s so, so much sweeter.

I wrote in that post, from four years ago, a simple verse that I recalled at the time of biting into the most emotional piece of sushi ever…

Taste and see that the Lord is good…
-Psalm 34:8

Jobs have come and gone, apartments have disappeared with friendships, and lifelong connections have grown like the licking flames in this evening’s fireplace.

I have tasted.

He is so good.

Darco and I sat on our living room couch tonight, staring at our fireplace while the cats laid in front of the mantel. Toasty, warm, and safe. It was one of those moments where words weren’t even required, because everyone was at peace within the house. Last night Darco and I spoke more about the fact that there’s nothing deserving in the lives of ourselves that should allow us to be in this house. There’s no reason that we should enjoy a fireplace at night and the country sun during the morning. She shouldn’t have an amazing job that she loves in the coffee shop, and I shouldn’t be able to enjoy walking into a classroom every day.

Too many times we stare into each other’s eyes wondering whose lives we’ve taken over. I was alone and she was lost; how did we come to this moment?

There’s no equation, logic, or solid answer. It’s only God. How on earth could I stand before the multitudes and foolishly try to answer with any other key? How could I state that my hard work has equalled this moment of tranquility? I can’t!

Whether it’s sushi from four years ago, or a fireplace tonight, I will never be able to express how glorious my God truly is.