Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy 3rd Liam

One of the most difficult things that I have to navigate as a divorced parent is missing out on birthdays. 

Forget the reminder of a broken family within the absence of my son on his special day, it is the absence of my son that does it. 

Yes, we will have our time together, and we will celebrate, but it is all the other echoes that creep into my mind. 

I love you Liam and I enjoyed our conversation where you proudly told me not only are you three but also that you had boogers in your nose. 

And tomorrow night it will be time to celebrate you for all that you are. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A response to that kmart ad

I wrote these thoughts in regards to the "jingle bells" joe boxer as that Kmart put out this year:

There are a ton of messages out influencing all of us, conditioning all of us, through television.  Agree, disagree or feel indifferent to these messages, they are still there.

As a father who is trying to rise above the limited expectations of our society  and be an example for the young men I am responsible to train at the same time, I am glad to limit the messages I am putting into myself by "boycotting" television. 

While I do not find this specific commercial raunchy, there are some messages that I don't like within it, mainly the ones that take your sexuality from the private to public.  This ad was designed to be sexual because of the hip movement, the same effect could possibly be had while jumping up and landing.  And then there is the term "ring her bell"...yeah, that one is there too. 

There are many more actually, but we have become so conditioned to the messages that we miss all these undertones.

As a society, we have allowed for the belief that the way we are cared for by another is sexual performance and pleasure, and we have missed out, leaving people lonely, empty, and searching.

I understand the fight against the commercial, but it shouldn't be this one commercial.  It should be so much more. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

It does not insist on its own way

Since I used to be a sports fanatic, I took the term CBA (collective bargaining agreement) from the MLB to refer to the give and take I expected in my marriage with Kim. 

This CBA was really a "you do this for me and I will do this for you"  

In reality, we manipulated each other, possibly me more than her 

I would do this so I felt cared for.  I would do this so I felt secure. I would do this for so many other reasons. 

But in all my positioning, it was ultimately all about me, and I sinned against her. 

Friends, please don't do what I did. Make it about her.

Friday, November 15, 2013


my heart is unsettled.

with every beat a different thought comes to mind.

at 1 am in the morning, i should be fast asleep, but there is no rest.

i am caught in between a place of dreaming about what God is going to do and fearful of what God is going to do at the same time.

i spent the night at glancing at books, being pushed by the spirit.  the excitement of seeing men grow around me, of my own becoming, and the oh so blessedness of seeing my own boys become men, i am beside myself.

i do need to sleep though.  God please give me rest.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Four Loves

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.

With those words, CS Lewis challenges my being.  I want to connect deeply with a woman, but I want to stay safe.  I cannot have both. 

So I am here, ready to travel outside of myself, ready to listen, ready to be vulnerable. 

In all actuality, it takes a strong man to be able to do this. God help me to be strong. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Falling out of bed

Liam loves to sleep in a bed with somebody else.  Most of the time it is Ryan or Noah, sometimes with me.  We all enjoy the snuggles he gives, but as he grows older, I have been trying to get him to stay in his own bed.  

Tonight was no different. I put him back in his bed a few times but while I was off with laundry and a bit of reading, it was the edge of Ryan's bed that he fell asleep on. 

Until a few minutes ago. 

I don't think Liam has ever fallen out of bed before but after he didn't stop whimpering for a minute I went to him.  Scooping him from the carpeted floor I said softly, "this is why we sleep in our own beds."  Kissed and covered, and all whimpers gone, he went back to sleep quickly. 

Back to my book I couldn't escape the thought, "how many times have I fallen out of a bed I wasn't supposed to be in?"  I don't mean sleeping around type beds, Kim was my only and will be until I am married again at some point, but metaphorically speaking.  How many times have I fallen on the floor, hurting myself, because I didn't listen to the one that gave me life?

And while I answer "too many to recall" I take solace knowing that Gods affection to me is greater than I will ever understand. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

i have started to write too many times

i have started to write a post so many times this summer but have not  been able to finish it.  or if i had finished it, allow myself to post it.

here is why:  kim is single again.  and i am overjoyed.

part of me can't post because i dont want to say anything that will give a bad impression of her.  part of me can't post because i feel shameful for being overjoyed when i know that she is hurting.

i really see each interaction as an opportunity for us to begin to build a new relationship.

there is so much more going on inside my head and my heart,  pieces that i cannot write at the moment.

one thing is for certain though, no matter what level our relationship reaches, i need to seek my value and worth from my Creator God, not his beautiful creation.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

simply live

there is so much that is rolling around in my mind today.

work, soccer, chores, love, rest, strategy, overcoming, conquering, old friends, jealousy, protection...the list goes on and on. (and on)

the constant thoughts are choking out the time to dream and to relish in the victory of where i have been.

and in the constant thoughts i am reminder to care for myself.  i am reminded to just simply live.

now i just have to figure out what that looks like ;)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I dream

I dream

I dream about being a part of something bigger than myself, about watching the boys turn into unstoppable men, about writing a book, about getting a doctorate, about being debt free, about changing the world we are a part of for good, about loving a woman well and being known deeply by her

I dream of adventure, about not being satisfied with the mundane of life, but rising above and taking the joy that lives in each day.  

Oh do I dream, and as I learn my way, I will achieve these dreams with stories that I hope will fill my grandchildren with fascination and wonderment of what they can do. 

What do you dream about?

Monday, July 15, 2013

So much to pray for

I am lying in my tent wide away at 12:20.  I know the boys will be up at first light when the noises of the campground welcome them to a new day. I know I will be dragging myself up to follow them out the door. 

My mind is moving at a crazy speed and  God is knocking at my hearts door.  Sleep won't come for a while. 

I have asked God to show me each boys greatest need, how I can fill it, and what I can be doing to prepare each of them for the calling in their live. 

Last March, I began to pray not that my boys would be protected and safe, but that they would be dangerous and live lives full of adventure. I began to pray that God would use the to shake the walls of Hell. 

I believe God will use them this way.  Each boy is unique but God is building a story in each one of them. They are little men, little men who make me proud. 

Satan wants to destroy them now while they are young, so my prayers and actions are so crucial.  Speaking peace to their hearts and shining the light of truth where darkness attempts it's hostile takeover. 

I look forward to see them grow older, and to see how God answers my prayer. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

When my heart gets heavy

When my heart gets heavy I head to Lake Michigan after dark.  With no sunshine to attract people it is a place of solitude, a place where I hear God.  Well, a place I hear God after I am done yelling and freely letting out my emotions. 

Tonight was no different, my heavy heart, heavy from what a friend has experienced and my own transference of the story, need relief. I needed to meet with God in that place. 

Questions of how and why and when flowed out as soon as I reached the shoreline. 

But there was no answer. Even the normal view of the lake was not there because I left my headlights on and the water looked cloudy. 

I ran out of time and said "God just teach me" and turned around back towards my car. 

My eyes normally would have adjusted by this point but my headlights had ruined all that.  Ruined it to the point that I could not see 5 feet in front of me, only the shining headlights ahead of me. 

"Step by step" is what was spoken to my soul. "You can look up and see the end goal, but you have to go step by step."

Once again, I entered into solitude with a heavy heart, and left encountering the Living God. 

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Parts of me

There is a part of me that is has deep sadness. 

There is a part of me that is hopeful. 

There is a part of me that is lonely. 

There is a part of me that wants to be alone and able to do it all with out needing anybody. 

There is a part of me that wants to be lives without fear of rejection. 

There is a part of me that fears I will never be good enough. 

There is a part of me that is filled with angst. 

Today, I find myself in between where I was and where I am going. I am not in that same place, but I have yet to reach the final destination of my journey.

It is in the journey though that I have begun to be able to hear the parts of me...and admit that they are there...admit that I have flaws and needs. 

The beauty from my journey is that as I learn to admit my flaws and needs I can ask forgiveness and for assistance.  I can grow.  The most beautiful part of it though is that I can rest knowing I am loved by God. 

And so today, as I look at the parts of me, I am asking to be brought closer to him because my needs are great for any person or role to fill. 

God please come near. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

The beauty ahead

It was work to climb the backside of this dune I am sitting on. I am fatigued. My legs are slightly throbbing. I am a bit winded.

I looked back a few times. As I ascended the hill the beauty if Muskegon Lake sparkled in the sun. Another stop towards the top and I saw the house I am blessed with.

But when I reached the top of the due , there it was, the beauty of all the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan.

In that moment God spoke to my heart telling me although there is beauty behind me when I look back, there is a greater beauty ahead. Just like the work of climbing the dune was exhausting, the weary work of moving through life these past two years will bring me towards that beauty.

And my heart is rejoicing as I sit here with the refreshing breeze and the sun warming my face.


Heart connection

I have always loved my boys, but these last few days I can really tell that we have developed a deeper heart connection.

It is spring break and I took time off so they would not have to be in childcare.

It has just been reacting to what they may want to do for fun, and watching movies, and snuggling, and laughing.

Yup, I have always loved them, but right now I can really feel it on a new level.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I have been entering the spiritual world lately through the works of CS Lewis, specifically through The Screwtape Letters. I am only 1/3 the way through, but I think this piece of work is brilliant.

The struggle between good and evil and each little battle within each life. A host of demons working together, strategizing to capture our souls for an eternal feast. Elder demons teaching and training the younger ones. A remembrance that there is a spiritual battle being waged in a realm that we cannot fathom.

Perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned this far though is a simple thought. God is bigger than I know. The scripture that says even the demons believe there is a God, and they shutter, is a bit more real to me through the first 11 letters. Screwtape reminds wormwood often that we as people do not live in the same spiritual form they do and as a result we are not constantly reminded of how great a power his light is. Screwtape talks about being in constant pain because of the overwhelming presence of "the Enemy."

Our God is greater, so much greater than we know.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


It is time for me to enter a new phase of my life. Beginning today, I am going to become disciplined in the areas where I lack.

In order to do this I must first start by acknowledging the areas where I am weak. Honestly, this will be easy. I do not have to look too far into my life to see areas where I need to grow.

I am going to write these down and hand them to a few friends.

I will also be telling handing them my plan on how to grow in these areas.

My journey will be full of small goals, and when the goals become victories, I will celebrate.

I won't be giving up on these things either, they will become a part of me. Don't get me wrong, I will fail, but I will carry on. The reward is worth getting back up and starting again.

This journey will be difficult, because it will be about me becoming. There will be a part of my life that I will have to face and willingly lay down. It has to be done though.

Please pray for me along this journey. I need it.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Into a place that once was lost

Navigating the waters of brokenness is a difficult task for somebody who yearns for another the way I do. It is my desire to be filled by another in a tangible have my level of worth be established by them, by her.

I fear, I disapprove of myself, of my ambitions and dreams. I doubt.

I look for encouragement and approval. I dream of being loved despite my ever present faults.

How much if me is wrapped up in feeding myself or creating an environment where I can be fed.

This angst points to needing a points to the dark places inside of me.

But I take heart knowing that in the asking for the redeemer to come that redemption is near. I take heart in knowing that even the darkest of darks is light to him.

I take heart in knowing there is one that has overcome.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Why bring me to this place, why create this heartbreak if you are not going to speak to me, if you are not going to heal me from what holds me back from being what you created me to be

I grow tired of sitting in this desert. I grow tired of the detachment of my idols. The evil places inside of me seek a safe comfortable place.

Come speak to me, come satisfy my deepest longings. Come soothe me with your presence. Let me know your peace.