Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Multiple Topics (of course)

1. Priorities
2. Getting things right
3. Futility
4. All or Nothing

What am I thinking? Or rather, what have I been thinking about.
Those four phrases have been floating around in my grey matter off an on for a while. It feels a tad exhilarating, with a dash of frightening to try and maintain one’s balance on the fence of hope and despair.

Now, don’t worry, this isn’t mid-life crisis (too young for that) or teenage angst (too old for that) talking. I just like trying to sound philosophical. ;)

To elaborate: It was primarily a decision of priorities when I decided to give up the band director career. It was difficult, because that was my dream for so many years, and is what I have so much training and experience in. Yet it conflicted with the priority I had developed of putting my family first.

Which leads to “Getting things right”. I don’t like doing things wrong. Whether it’s a major life changing decision, or misspelling a word….it irks me greatly when I attempt something and fail; not because I wasn’t able to do “it”, but I’m capable of doing it right, but didn’t for whatever reason. Perhaps this is why I get so intense when I watch Jeopardy or play a board game or anything else competitive in nature.

This concept can be applied spiritually as well. As with any follower of Christ, I can look back at many times I “got it right”…and of course, there are many examples to look back on in which I got it very wrong. The Enemy will, of course, try to get us to focus on the latter, and the disparity between the two. I think it is an ingrained part of my disposition to allow that…to feel overwhelmed by my failures. That is probably why I respond so well to praise and encouragement. I forget about the good things I’ve done and am capable of, and feel such elation and validation when it is recognized by someone outside of myself.

Anyways….Futility. This is where the balancing act on that fence really comes into play. In my Walk, the whole “seasons” concept is very frustrating and discouraging to me. I have “seasons” in which I am reading the Word, praying, pursuing righteousness, etc. Then there are seasons in which I go weeks or months not reading the Bible consistently, embracing sin instead of spurning it, and feeling completely ambivalent about righteousness. It feels like a cop-out to say that “that’s how it goes.” That we are in a war, and some battles are won…others are lost. The important thing is to keep trying.

Ahem….there I go, down that line of thinking. The ultimate destination of that train of thought is: Futility. So I must remind myself that many of these thoughts/feelings are tools the Enemy uses to discourage me so I become mired in them rather than charging forward boldly with confidence.

All or Nothing – I tend to see myself this way.
• I did the 100 pushup program intensely for about 2 months….haven’t done pushups since
• I was running 2-3 miles every other day and lost 30-35 pounds between Feb-August and haven’t exercised since
• Blogging: as you may have noticed I imply that I desire to be consistent with the blog, but easily go weeks without a post and then BAM! A novella is born.
• Speaking of Novels (sorta)….in November I wrote 55,000 words on my novel…not a lick of work on it since. (To be fair, I have been intentionally following other NaNoWriMo writers’ advice to take a break in December, but still….)
• Jeopardy = I want to hear/read every clue and try my best to get them right, or turn off the TV….I don’t want to only pay half-attention.
• Etc., etc., etc……..

Well, this has turned into a bit of a soul-baring journal. That’s fine. I’m not embarrassed. Those who know me best, know that despite some of the “downer” concepts in this post, ya’ll know how fond of myself I am. My confidence and contentment might pass for arrogance to the casual observer, but at least I gladly give credit to the God who made me, the parents who raised me, the wonderful wife who loves me, and all the other friends and influences that I’ve met along the way for 32 years that have bettered me.

Oh yeah….I forgot…..I was trying to wrap this up, not ramble on.

The end.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Aahhh....it's nice, long 4-day weekends like this that sometimes make me miss teaching. Can't get a better working schedule than that! (Aside from the fact that I became a workaholic and worked on all the days off....)

It's been a great Christmas morning (and why wouldn't it?). My parents (in town from CA) and Steve and Nikki came over a little after 7:30 so they could be here when the kids woke up. It seemed like there would be no end to the presents for the kids! Our family is very blessed...and not just monetarily. The kids and us are healthy. We've not felt terribly pinched by the "economic downturn/recession", and last night Connor was explaining the reason for Christmas: "It's Jesus' birthday. He came to live in our hearts!!" Yes!

Once the carnage from unwrapping settled, me and my bro hooked up the new Wii his wife surprised him with for Christmas. For the last 4 hours or so, we've been taking turns playing all the different sports games. Even mom and Connor had a go at the bowling.

Almost a year ago, I started thinking about how it would be great to make the move to a flat screen HDTV by January, 2009. I was still hoping for it until about a month ago, when it looked like that might not happen. But then....

So many great blessings rolled our way:
1. I was able to work a few extra times at church over the last month or so = a little extra $$
2. We got a nice bonus at work last week! I had gotten $100 each Christmas while I was teaching, so was hoping for something in that ballpark. Very happy to see it was quite a bit more than that!
3. My parents have given so much to my brother and I over the years...and this morning they gave us a nice chunk of cash.

So I'm looking into the differences between LCD and Plasma tv's, brands, and where to get the best deals.

I should have plenty of spare time on a 4-day weekend to blog a little, eh? I'll try. =)

Monday, December 22, 2008


Hi, remember me?

I was thinking of doing a post this weekend, when I hit an unexpected Wall of Indecision.
Do I post about the things that have been happening in my life? Or do I discuss weighty philosophical issues I've been kicking around. Or a mixture of both?

Unfortunately, I never decided which to do....soooo...may I impose on you for a moment? I'd like to poll my 4-5 readers and see what you would rather see me post about. I'm hoping that ya'll have my blog in your RSS feeds now, otherwise it might be a while before you decide to check back to see if I've posted yet.