Monday, November 26, 2012

What a difference...

As many of you have read this blog you have read about triggers that bring up certain memories. I am married to a woman who remembers every detail of everything that has happened in the last two years. These things would include my hurtful words, actions, holiday's, etc... Sometimes these memories are triggered by something or anything for that matter. I don't remember half of the things my wife has remembered. But, I love her and like an infection, sometimes those things just need to come out in order to heal. I said in the very first blog that I was not allowed to get mad or frustrated when this happens. I created these memories, I was the monster, and I need to make sure I am patient when these times come along. Am I good at being patient, understanding, loving, kind, and a good listener able to remove ones self from ones self? HECK NO!! There have been times where my frustration has boiled over and an argument has ensued. That frustration resulted in just wanting to move towards the amazing future ahead of us with my wife. I am not nor will I ever be a person who will choose to live in the past. It hurts, stings, brings pain, and I will forever hate what I did. But... I hurt my wife deeply and like a deep splinter, it takes a while for it to work its way to the surface and come out. We are close to a year removed from all of this, but to my wife that is a very short time as compared to the almost three years of crap I put her through. Trust me when I say a lot of healing has taken place and we are learning this whole marriage thing together. We are different spouses to each other and love, patience, kindness, grace, and forgiveness have healed and taken place of those wounds that were open. I can say confidently that we love each other more every day and we are light years ahead of where we used to be.

I say all that to say this, we are in the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years holiday season. I am sure you already know where I am going with this, But last year, every one of these holidays was a complete disaster. Since December 26th, I have left my old life and started a new one filled with Christ and many reasons of being a stand up man. Now let's not full ourselves or myself or what have you. I fall short of perfection daily as a husband. No one said that this journey from the brink of marriage collapse was going to be easy. No one said this journey back from the brink of personal collapse was going to be easy either. You have heard me talk (or type or write about... ) many times about the highs and lows of the spiritual roller coaster. As with the life roller coaster that has ups and down's, so does the spiritual roller coaster. Listen to what I say, there have been many times where I thought I had something right and it back fired in my face big time. Lets face it, we as humans cannot possibly live the perfect life like Christ did when he walked this earth. Like I said, I fail daily as a man, husband, father, and person. Maybe not all of those at once in a day, but usually one or two at least. The great thing about failing, is I serve a God who is there to pick me up, brush me off, forgive me and allows me as many times as I need to get it right.

What I am finding is we as humans, don't quite get that concept very well when it comes to others. How often do we forgive, love, and accept our spouses, kids, family, and friends ( and the list goes on ) faults, imperfections, ideals (I could write forever on ideals and judgement) , like Christ does with us. I honestly think that as a human it is impossible to constantly live this type of concept. I think it is definitely something to strive for. There are those around me who do love me unconditionally. My wife is the best example of it that I can think of right off of the top of my head. She loved me at my worst. She showed me tough love when I needed it. My wife loves me the same at my worst and best. She may never forget what I did. The big joke between her and I, is that she remembers EVERYTHING. And she does, but her love for me overcomes that. My wife's love for me has given her the ability to forgive me.My wife has really been an example of Christ to me. This is something that I want to be to her, my kids, as well as to others in my life.

So the time is coming for me to make new memories for these up and coming holidays. Last year was not a shining moment for me. But this year I will be turning things around. I have been given another chance to create GOOD memories with my family, start traditions, and continue the healing process in this journey that I am on both personally and in this marriage. I want to encourage you and your family to let the things go that would stop you from being who God wants you to be. Lets take this Christmas season to gather around and worship this little baby Jesus who came to this earth to change our lives forever. Lets be thankful for the forgiveness that Christ extended to us through his death and resurrection. Remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross. Maybe we could extend that same forgiveness to others that need it from us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fathers... some things you should know

As I sit here, I right this from a fathers heart who loves his family very much. I want nothing but the best for my wife and my kids. But this letter comes from the heart and from an experience I am going through right now.

Some things you should know...

1. You are the peace keeper. Your job is to step in and help your kids solve conflicts between them to restore a loving relationship among your kids, mom, and dad etc... Do not.. I repeat DO NOT sweep conflict under the carpet. It will not go away. It may for a while, but it will always be there unresolved.

2. You are not to be the example of how not to be a father. In other words, don't give you son or daughter a lesson of what not to do as a parent.

3. When choosing to be a father, you are to love your wife and kids unconditionally. This means not at the times when it is most convenient for you, but at all times.

4. As a father it is your job to be a 100% involved in each of your kids lives. You jobs is to be the one constant source of consistency. One day when they have YOUR grand kids, you are to be involved in their lives as well. Do not make statements that you have tried everything to have a loving relationship with your son or daughter without actually trying everything. .

5. Fathers you must admit that you are human and that mistakes will be made along the way. Apologies to your kids are going to happen. It is a fact that you must deal with. Being humble is important.Own up to your mistakes.

6. Fathers do not be selfish in raising your kids. When you choose to have kids, self goes out the window. Enough said...

7. Fathers be an example of Christ to your wife and kids. Raise your kids in the church and show them how they should go. Give them the tools they need to always remain in the Lord and to make smart life decisions. It is also good to let your kids make mistakes, life and reality lessons are good and your kids will learn plent of them.

8. Fathers understand that your interest may not be that of your kids. Take interest in your kids interests. Embrace them and allow your kids to be who God made them to be. Be supportive in all endeavors they may embark on.

9. Loving advice given to your kids should always be based on the following. Your past life experiences, what the Bible says, and prayerfully based.

10. There will be times where tough love will need to be shown at any age. Make sure your tough love is justified, but that love is always shown in these situations.

11. Fathers, last but not least... Communication and understanding is a must in order for your child to always be open to you. We are a father first and a friend second. But embrace all that being a father is.

I could go on and on. My kids are still quite young and I have no idea what the future will bring with them. I am positive that the most interesting and best is yet to come. Being a father is not for the weak or the weak of heart. But the experience is one of the many rewarding experiences you will have in life. A roller coaster being a father is, but the ride sometimes will not always be fun. But being a father is the most important job a man can take. It is a life time commitment, not just when you feel like being committed. Imagine if the Jesus would have ignored his father and not died on the cross. Imagine if God would have given up on Moses even after me messed up. Fathers join me in being Jesus to our kids.