Friday, January 27, 2012


A weird week for my grandparents this Grandpa Harvey moved into an assisted living complex because his Alzheimer has increased to the point that my Grandma can no longer care for him by herself...and today on the way to the salon my Grandma Peoples had a fall that is leaving her with almost 300 stitches in her scalp due to an 8" gash about 1" deep.

Watching the way their children and grandchildren (my parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins) have responded reminds me no only how much we need each other but also how people will respond when our needs are made known to them.

I want this to be a lesson that I take and learn from.  I want to build deeper relationships with my family so that we can support each other better.  I want to have friends that can lean on me just as I can lean on them.  I desire community in my life.  And not just for me, but for you, my friends, as well as my children and your children.

Do you want this too?  If so, lets build this together.

Monday, January 23, 2012

What to write...

I feel that I need to write something, anything, just to keep some momentum with my blog, with my openness. I just don't know what to write. I actually feel a little numb.

Until right now. Literally right now, so bear with me as I process these emotions. I am on my way to Chicago for the first time since last June when all 5 of us went together. Not just landing in O'hare like I did in November but an actual visit to the city. The AHR Expo is in town (a big heating nerd convention and well, I am a heating nerd) so a few of us are making a trip down.

I was reminded by a friend recently that the first are always the hardest. First holidays, birthdays, and other special events. I thought getting past Liam's birthday, Christmas and New Years meant I was going to be able to slide until Valentines day and then Ryan's birthday. I thought I had a couple weeks.

Seeing the sign for a restaurant across from Wrigley did it though. It touched a place in my heart that I have not been allowing myself to venture into. Kim and I would frequent this city and it has a special place in my heart because of those many memories.

My "work" today will keep my mind occupied as I walk around viewing and learning about all sorts of products and whatnot so I will be able to escape this a bit today. The truth is though there is only so much escaping I can do and only so much I should do, if I want to be healthy (emotionally available to others and able to love) that is.

The path to healing lies within these moments, within these firsts, as I abide in Gods grace and mercy.

He has brought me far already and I look forward to the day to be able to look back on this part of the journey knowing that it was through this deepest darkest valley that I learned to feel his presence more closely and listen to his gentle voice, to cast off my own desires (which is so difficult at times) and to fully trust him and his ways.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

just a bit of where i am at

A piece of my testimony is that through all this I have learned to admit that I am broken.  As I spent time evaluating who I am and the things I do, all while trying to save my marriage, I realized I needed help and that is what drove me to Seattle with Dr Hawkins.  I wanted a course of action to take and the result of those actions to be the outcome I wanted.  It was there that I left with an understanding of who I was, why I was that way, and with an idea of who I could be instead of a course of action.  I also left with a freedom to fail.

I am still learning how deep my brokenness is within me, and am starting with a counselor here in Muskegon to help sort more of me out.

So when I use a word like intimidated to describe myself, it is part of my brokenness that draws that out.  Even though I gained a freedom to fail in my counseling intensive, it is a freedom I only allow myself in certain parts of my life.  I judge myself constantly, and many times act within those judging thoughts because I am fearful of what people will think of me.  It is as if I was trying to augment the person known as Rob Peoples with my actions instead of my physical appearance.  I look at myself and see a person who has failed in his marriage, is often late to work, doesn’t spend enough time alone with his boys, has no degree, and on and on and then compare it to people who are successful like my "neighbors" in North Muskegon and such.  Even then, there are people in my life who don’t have worldly successes but have a close family, whom they love and cherish and compare it to the brokenness I have, not just quirkiness and other character flaws, but something that I can only describe as disunity.  It is almost if we were not blood relatives that we would not talk to each other.

The ways I am broken is why finding my identity in Christ is so important and my largest struggle is to lay down my perceptions of how things should be.

God means all this for good though, and I believe that as I embrace and learn from this brokenness, and work through these hurts, not just the ones created by Kim’s absence in my life, that the joy and ministry that will happen on the other side of this is going to be awesome.  I have to remember that a masterpiece is not made in one stroke of a paint brush and that each stroke is made with precision and that a masterpiece is what God is making with me.

(there are so many people that have prayed, helped, encouraged, and listened as i am working through thoughts similar to these that i feel ashamed to admit I still struggle.  there is a great hope that i have in the promises of God and i know there are days coming, and coming soon, where we will be able to look back and continually praise the Giver of life for what he has brought from "all of this" please continue by me.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A summer day

Today was a unique gift. This winter season has been a gift but today was very special. On my lunch and amid frustration I drove to Pere Marquette. There was a summer such a long time ago I would go to that beach, I would walk the pier and I would talk to God, even just sit in the lake and let the waves pour over me as I waited for him to reply. My struggle then was God what is next. Can I, should I really go to Oakland, what about leaving my friends, what about leaving Kim, what about leaving all the things I am doing and could be doing at OVCC. Do you really want me to give all these things up?

Today as I walked the pier the sun was painted in the sky just like a summer day. The pending threat of the coming winter was silently speaking to me by the ever present chill that reminded me this day was special, unique.

I was there for the same purpose as those summer days though. I wanted to meet with God. I wanted to hear from him and calm my heart about what is next. Just like those summer days I cried over what I am leaving behind on this next stage of my journey. The life I envisioned is gone. The woman I love is gone. I am entering this next stage with massive wounds that need to be tended to and a great fear that I will be abandoned again by other people. I want to be needed by somebody, to be important to somebody, to be cared for by somebody. I want to be accepted for who I am even when I screw up.

My needs are still present and my wounds are still fresh, but God is calming my soul. He is reminding me that there is nothing I can do to make him love me any less, that the height and depth and breadth and length of his love is so immeasurable. He won't leave me wounded and is promising to heal my broken heart. He is promising and abundant life, filled with joy and strength in my inner being.

I don't know what location this journey will take me to, there isn't a set destination like Oakland, California but I am ready to continue just as I was in those summer days of long ago and to find out just what exactly he has in store.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


i am thankful for my friends.

old friends and new friends

single friends and married friends

friends with a work relationship and friends with a church connection

male friends and female friends

there are a lot of you.

there are many reasons why i am thankful for my friends, but today i am most thankful for my friends because they offer me perspective.  they help me see the forest through the trees.  they challenge my natural thought patterns.  they have my best interest in mind.

i am needy, but you look after me when i am not able.  i am wounded, and you cry with me and point me to the doctor.  i have been transparent, and you have chosen to not walk away.

i am glad that you have chosen to call me friend

Sunday, January 08, 2012

mark driscoll and henri nouwen

I seem to be filling my life with a lot of things these days. You could say that I am trying on different shoes until I find the perfect pair for me. In some ways I am trying to find myself...what do I like and prefer...what haven't I done that I would really like to do...what do I do that I really don't like. Sometimes these answers are scary because it means taking a risk that I have not been ok with taking before. Many times I am still unwilling to take the risk, even with something as simple as saying words that could be encouraging to another just because I am fearful it could be rejected or change the relationship in a negative way.

I have found at least 2 pairs of shoes that fit perfectly though. Sermons from mark Driscoll and books by Henri nouwen. The holy spirit uses their words to convict me, to help me see my sin problems in a different light. They are not the only tools that god is using in my life to help shape me but they are my favorite ones right now.

Tired of death

Yesterday I was faced with death as I attended the funeral for the 26 year old son of a close customer. I had met him once or twice but I was really going for his parents. I work with them often enough for them to know my work performance this summer was greatly affected by Kim's leaving. Shari had even spoken encouraging words to me now and then. I wanted to be there for them at this time that would be their greatest loss since I began to know them.

I am tired of death though. I am tired of the enemy. I am tired of brokenness and I am tired of the wounds we are left with.

Perhaps that is why Hebrews 5:8 spoke to me the way it did today.

Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered (Hebrews 5:8 NIV)

The death and brokenness we experience in our lives, the pain and the wounds that sometime never seem to go away...these things are all meant to shape us, just like they shaped and taught Jesus. Perhaps the question we should be asking instead of why is this happening is what should I be learning here or maybe even what is God trying to teach me

I hope in your time of solitude that you ask those questions, even though they are much harder questions to get answers for because the response God gives often requires a response in our part...often an act of obedience.

Nothing, you see, is impossible with God." (Luke 1:37 MSG).

Friday, January 06, 2012

What is next

I find myself asking that today. What's next. Kim is resolved to not come back. Her counselor seems to not want to participate in healing our marriage. I am guarding my heart from Kim so that I do not have any more emotional meltdowns. So that I am not wounded any deeper and can begin to heal from what has happened. Henri Nouwen's writings are helping my head know what to do with my heart. Turn my mourning into dancing is only 110 pages but the truths Henri shares were so piercing to my heart that it took me over a month to read the book. It is not hard reading just deep and piercing. I love it. It is shaking my presuppositions but leaving me with a greater faith and foundation.

So what is next...more books...more shaping...more healing...more preparing for the journey ahead.

Thursday, January 05, 2012


today is a weird day...will be a weird day i should say.  i am working in our grand rapids office to avoid a lot of drive time during the work day.  i am going with kim to one of her counseling appointments.  maybe this is the first of many yet to come or maybe this is the one and only.

i do not know what to think, what to say, how to feel, whether i should be skeptical or excited.

and another weird aspect is that with every day that passes, this feels more normal.  i do not want divorce, but i do not want kim to come back in the way that she is either.  i want her to desire to pursue God.  perhaps that is part of the beauty of it...because really the only way she is going to come back is if she does begin to pursue God, his love, his healing...

ill be back later today