#getyourpraiseon


No school.

Even though the students have been back for only a few weeks, I won’t lie in confessing that an extra day off during Labor Day weekend has been appreciated. Primarily so that I could take care of all the other things around the house that take the sideline through each week.

Time flies.

Teaching a ‘current event’ led course causes me to become immersed in the current trends of our culture, both locally and globally. Frequently it reminds me why I turn myself off to so much of it when school isn’t in session. The world is full of complaints, bitterness, and someone that is always upset with someone else. Someone still wants to build a wall, someone does not want to stand during the national anthem of a money-grabbing sporting event, and the world collectively either freaks out or rolls its eyes.

No wonder so many people struggle to find things to be thankful for in their day-to-day, or just plain forget about what joys are around them.

Driving with the windows rolled down in my truck this morning, while picking up supplies for this upcoming weekend, I was reflecting on what was and what is in my own existence on this planet. When not grading papers, tripping over rocks, or spending time with my wife this is a common place for me to be found. I have come to find enjoyment of seeing where life’s journey has led me in the recent years It continues to remind me how much praise I have yet to give for my time on this planet.

Last night Darco and I started budgeting out costs for carpet replacement in our house. I just brought in a new chair for our entertainment room downstairs, and I think finally we will be going on legitimate vacations during Christmas Break and Spring Break this school year. While I do get tired of listening about Starbucks over and over and over, I do have to admit the blessings that, that company has been in my wife’s life. She will be receiving another raise this month, she will receive a bonus this month, and a few months ago we learned that she will be receiving a brand new store to manage in 2017 (humorously it will be located 1/2 mile away from the school I teach at).

School is always teaching me something new. I have new sets of diversity within my classes this year. While students are still rather innocent, they still arrive with so much baggage and so many questions. I’m blessed because they always keep me on my toes, and I’m always curious as to what adventure we will tackle next in order to make the world a better place. A new year of education has proven to be a stronger year in terms of interaction with peers. I’m trying to work better with my colleagues and do a better job of giving praise in abundance. These folks know so much more compared to myself, and it is a crime if I don’t show them that I am grateful to be able to learn under them.

I didn’t think that running could get better compared to where it was, but somehow, someway it has. Darco joins me more often out on the trails, and she even attends a strength class every Wednesday night. The miles are becoming easier and easier for me. I’ve switched shoes, ate different food (donuts are the answer by the way), and have shown up for more group runs. It just does not hurt nearly as much. My next race is 16.6 miles in the woods of central Missouri next month, Darco is running the same race at a different length, and I’ve gone ahead and signed up for our local half marathon the weekend after that race. It is hard to describe, but the miles just melt by these days. Sure, I still have off runs and I still trip and I still have to fight spiders and mud, but all of that is just a little bit easier. I can feel myself getting faster, being pushed by my friends, and that brings me joy in ways that few things ever have.

Our church journey still isn’t complete. Over the past month Darco and I tried three other churches and sadly left unfulfilled and disappointed. Both for our own reasons. We have arrived back at the church we have been with for a few years now, but I’m still lacking ‘something’. I don’t know what it is, but it is something that burns in my heart throughout the week. I wish I had answers, but I know guidance will come along in its own unique form. I wish I understood more about why I struggle with the church setting. While I wish I could blame all of it on the university that I attended, I know that isn’t the case. It is a mixture of stereotypes, sheep, and my own foolish pride. Make no mistake; God still has so much work to do on me. I’m still convinced that I’m the Christian that people should never want to be.

Work, play, grace, family, home, and so much more. When I take the time to look at the internal works of my own life it becomes so hard to be wrapped up in the hopelessness around me. I don’t say that with pride, but I don’t say it with guilt either. I cannot save the world, but I can fulfill my obligation and responsibility to give praise when it is due.

God has blessed me with a life that I would have never imagined I would have ever had. I did not do a thing to deserve any of it, any of the joy, any of the friendships, any of the grace. That is the amazing thing about how God works; I do not deserve this life because of something I did or did not do, I have this life merely as a testiment of what God’s love looks like.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Waking Thoughts


A few quick thoughts this afternoon…

1. Starbucks new Starbucks Iced Double Shot with 20g of Protein is absolutely insane. I’m in heaven.
2. Give it up for afternoon naps. I’m not sure what it is, but two days in a row I’ve had a very short nap around 4:00 PM, and I mean I’m out like a rock. It’s incredible.
3. A huge thank you to you crazy number nerds! I was notified by WordPress last night that my ‘stats were booming’, and then I found out that yesterday the site had over 150 visits after this quick blog appeared. Again, thank you so much!

Anyways…carry on.

-D-

XXXI: Fresh Start 2.0


What if we got our Christmas present early this year? We can grab it on Black Friday probably…

Thankfully, I’m still in awe at how good God is to us, especially considering that none of us deserve any of His grace. It’s been an adventurous, heart warming past couple weeks for Darco and myself. As noted in the earlier post, I was offered a teaching position at the school of my dreams for next year. I gladly accepted. Darco’s review for promotion was yesterday, and again I’m humbled to report that she also was promoted to store manager of her Starbucks location in the city. These are both major changes for both of our careers, each of which we hold delicately and passionately. Continue reading

#getyourpraiseon


Bragging on Darco here…

She’s recently been an acting “in-training” store manager for Starbucks. Tomorrow is her assessment to become a full-fledged store manager, so it only makes sense that her store was audited today…haha…

Starbucks has their own company that solely works at inspecting their stores throughout the country. They score each store off 100 points.

Remember, her assessment is tomorrow…
She just called me…
Her store just received a score of 93!

Just an amazing woman.

-D-

Darco’s Corrections: Ecosure is a 3rd party auditor to prevent bias. They do dozens of different companies.

Mobile Minutes: Flats


Darco is woken up by her store, notifying her of a scheduling error…resulting in her heading to work for two hours this afternoon.
Phone call results in us falling behind in time to get to church.
The Mazda3 has hit the level of “epic” in regards to a flat tire.
Yep…it’s definitely Sunday.

-D-

XXXI: Unknown Travelers


A phrase I’ve heard more than once inside the school over the past several weeks, directed at students…

Being an adult isn’t always that fun. Right now, it stinks.

This usually coincided with sick days, retirement issues, and taxes. Continue reading

#getyourpraiseon


I’m supposed to be in bed right now…

I just turned in my third week of assignments for my class. That means I’m 50% of the way to getting my teaching license reactivated. Woot! Additionally, as I learned today, since I’m in school at the moment the student loans that create so many headaches? Yeah, they’re on hold because the university I’m enrolled in stated that I’m a full time student. So, Darco and I were figuring numbers, carrying one’s, etc…We figured out that if this really is the case, then why not just go ahead and finish up my Master’s degree and keep those loans on hold as her and I increase our take home pay in the process?

Speaking of Darco and take home pay…

I had to wait for nearly two hours after school today to pick her up from work. She was meeting with one of the higher up’s and it looked important. Even still sniffling she came to the car with a giant smile on her face.

I’m moving stores.

Remember that she’s currently an assistant store manager? She’s being moved to another store to temporarily ‘take over’ as an acting manager. These next two months will also be her ‘trial period’ to see if she’s ready to become a full time store manager. Oh, the store she’s being sent to? Three miles north of the school I teach at.

Speaking of the school I teach at…

I took a leap of faith today and met with the principal of the school (nice guy). I informed him that even if a teaching position were not to open up for me for the 2015-2016 school year that I would return in the role I’m currently in. I think that move caught him off guard, but I’ve seen enough schools to know where I’m most comfortable and where I can do my best, and I firmly believe that my heart is sold on that specific school. Classroom or not.

Outside of these rapid happenings today, we’ve found at least one new apartment down in the area that we’re interested in as May approaches. We’re still a hot mess, but the good Lord knows we’re trying to figure out this whole adult life thing.

…now to work on that speech I’m supposed to give tomorrow…

-D-

#getyourpraiseon


What a glorious way to end the weekend.
Interestingly enough Darco and I are on opposite sides of the state today with our own adventures.

I’m spending the evening enjoying dinner with MC at the local brewery. We were able to talk about work, family, and teaching. What a great night catching up.

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She had the special. I had the salmon.

Darco in her own right was a having an amazing day as well…

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Darco (left) alongside her "employer". You may know him as the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Shultz.

I’m so crazy proud of her. She’s doing so well in the company, and totally deserved this opportunity.

It’s amazing the opportunities God gives us throughout our lives.

-D-

XXXI: Recent Recap


Still trying to wake up…
Nasty stomach ache from eating fried squid kept me up this morning. Seems to be the theme of the week. Rarely have I awoken during the night, it’s been a tiring week. Since we’ve been swamped with things this week, I thought I’d drop a brief recap.
Life is pretty fun. Darco loves her new job, and I’m excited to actually, finally be a part of a school building. We’re commuting every day. She has the midweek off, and I have Saturday & Sunday off.
We’ve made financial sheets to assist the household, started making more meals from home, and are trying to be more physically active.
Bible study on Thursday is a nice, fresh breather in the week, and we continue to crave that interaction. Darco is teaching a Sunday School class on Sunday’s, and I’m working on a new project (for fun). Routine Monday through Friday is about our only chance for survival, that’s only half humorous.
Slowly, but surely, we’re getting bills caught up. Objective is to be 100% in the black by the time we move next May.
Our friends at the Boston Breakers (professional women’s soccer) are back at it, and after a year away from the insanity, Darco and I are pumped about supporting the Breakers from the Midwest.
I’m still trying to find time to run, and not break myself. I finally scheduled an appointment with an orthopedic sports doctor due to the ongoing issues with my Achilles (from April). It’s very discouraging as I would love to be able run without that nagging injury. Perhaps this winter will be a perfect time to rehab and recover. My big goal is to compete (and win) a mile race on July 4, 2015 in Flagstaff, Arizona. We’ll see how well that pans out.
Life is busy and life is good. I feel like I’m an official adult, and Darco and I are an official young couple. I suppose in a lot of ways I wouldn’t want it any other way, and it’s nice to wake up knowing you’re following God’s desired path.
-D-

Mobile Minutes: Patience Killer


God has a sense of humor…

We know this…

This is unspoken fact…

As you’re all aware of by now, Darco has been promoted within Starbucks (which causes sixth grade children to ask me for free coffee drinks on a daily basis). This is the first time in her life that she’s going from hourly to salary in the form of wages. Obviously, we’re both very excited.

However, like all good businesses there is a slight hitch with this good news. Paychecks. Due to the time of her official promotion her actual ‘real’ paycheck was pushed back a full pay period. We knew this, and it came right at the time that we knew we’d hit the pinch between my pay of my old job and my current job. It was the perfect storm by way of finances, something that we’re still learning to weather in this life.

If you factor that in with how my recent paychecks have worked out in recent weeks, it really only takes one stupid screw-up to throw an entire budget off pace. We’ve had around a dozen in the past two weeks.

The point to this story? This Friday Darco will receive her very first paycheck for her promotion. I will be able to move my payment process for my job over to electronic deposit, meaning I’ll be paid on time. After handling a brutal past month financially, we’ll be back on track. The really cool part? Between my current position (praying for positive change soon) and Darco’s new position, as a unit we’ll be bringing in the same amount of money monthly as we were before my prior job ended. Personally, I just see that as a nice way of God guiding us down the right path.

We still have the survive this remaining week, but praise God there is a very vivid light at the end of this tunnel.

-D-