Posted in Blog Posts

Days of Gratitude

As I continue to walk through all of my emotions I think it is important to take time and pause for moments and days of gratitude. Right now as I walk through depression it is doubly important to spend time focusing all of the positive things in my life.

I am super thankful for being a dad. My kids inspire me and make me grow every day. It isn’t always easy having sole custody of my 3 precious ones, but I wouldn’t trade having them for anything in this world.

 

Posted in Blog Posts, Ramblings

Fear

So I am writing these posts to help me open up and share the deepest and darkest parts of myself. I am currently working on finding a counselor and getting the help to walk through the things that I need. In an effort of self-reflection I write. I don’t mind sharing these dark things because I have the love of Christ to sustain me through. My hope is that by writing these out and sharing them that not only will I find healing, but maybe someone else will stumble across them and find solace in the fact they are not alone.

That dovetails in quite nicely with what I am planning to write about today. My fears. We all have them, some are irrational and others are warranted. I’ll start out with my biggest fear, and that is of truly being alone and unloved; abandoned by all of those who were supposed to care about me.

Many years ago my dad left my mom when I was really young. It messed with me. My dad wasn’t around and my mom didn’t really let us see him much at first. As we grew older he missed a whole lot of weekends with us and broke a lot of promises too. My mom worked all the time and my grandma really raised us. With my primary love languages being physical touch and quality time this made me feel so very alone. I wanted to be able to cuddle up next to my parents. I wanted lots of hugs and kisses, but neither of my parents were around much.

I also have a very sensitive soul. I’ve always cared for others, but I am not good with my emotions. I never have been. I wanted to explore and play with things, and I always wanted to have companions. However, the kids at school just seemed to compound my issues. They would hit me, call me names like Scotty Potty, and make fun of me relentlessly. I hung around the adults all the time and was labeled as a teachers pet. The reality was I just wanted adult attention. I wanted to be validated so badly by an adult. I never really received that validation from my peers.

When the few friends I had, like Amber, moved away I struggled with it. When my good friendships would drift apart and fall apart I didn’t know how to make new ones. When I was in 5th grade I made became really good friends with Steve. I was never quite sure if he were going to stay around. When I had my breakdown in Chicago he was there for me when no one else would. I’m morose about the fact that I never talk to him anymore.

Then I made friends with Tony, and through extension Ken and Matt. He was very good at dragging me out of my shell and making me do things I normally wouldn’t have done. I drove him nuts about my first crush so many times. She was all I could talk about. He still stayed my friend. Then he moved away our junior year of high school. We were’t really super close at that point, but we were still friends. It was another blow to me being close with anyone.

I could go into so many stories of girlfriends leaving and my insecurities, but I don’t really feel like writing a tome here.

The opposite side of that coin is that I have a hard time letting go. In the case of my children its a good thing. When my ex wife took off with them it led me to the search to find them. When it comes to things like relationships though, it has made me into the crazy ex more than a couple of times.What happens is that because I cherish my relatoinships and friendships so much I tend to put my own needs on the back burner. I put my own needs aside trying to make them happy, but eventually the insecurities start to show up.

With my ex-fiance it was manifesting itself as wanting to see her more. I should have told her that I needed more quality time together and explained to her what kind of physical touch I needed rather than just letting her do what she was comfortable with. When I talk about physical touch, I’m not talking about sex either. I mean t does work, but I’m talking about things like sitting on my lap or cuddling up with me. Coming up up behind me and putting her arms around me. Stealing a kiss when I’m not looking. I hate being the one that always initiates touch. I should have explained all of these things to her, but I didn’t. I was too worried about how she would respond.

This is where my fears manifest the most. I give so much of myself, but never ask for anything in return. I am to afraid that asking for anything would inconvenience the other person and they would not want to be my friend anymore. I realize these aren’t healthy relationships or thoughts, but its how I’ve been. So when people leave me, like my ex did, after having denied my own desires so much they come spewing out. I can’t deny them any longer and it breaks me. Then I end up saying stupid things because I’m lost in the torrent of those emotions. I’m trying to hold onto what is gone. If I would just learn to let things go maybe they would have come back. Instead I just break them because I’m broken too.

I have two other big fears that paralyze me. One is the rejection of physical touch. If I go to give someone a hug and they recoil it hurts me. When someone hits me it hurts me twice. It hurts physical, but emotionally as well. It is being the antithesis of what I actually need. It says you hate me rather than you love me.

My other fear is of asking women out. I have always had this issue. It always took me a lot to get up the courage to ask a woman out, but there was one that went out of her way to humiliate me. She was a freshman and I was a senior. She led me to believe she was interested in me, but she used me. She used me for rides and other things. She flirted with me and acted like she liked me, but when I asked her out she publicly humiliated and shamed me. She made a big deal out of it, and loud enough that a bunch of other people around us could hear too.

I still struggle with not being good enough. I suppose those fears really fall into line with the others as well. I apologize all of the time for things that don’t require it. I’m overly cautious for it.

I think I’m going to wrap this up for tonight, but if you made it this far, thank you for spending the time to read it. I have a feeling there will be several more of these posts coming in the next few days. I’m trying to sort through my emotions and get a better understanding of them. Trying to learn how to deal with them in healthier ways.

God Bless

Posted in Blog Posts, Ramblings

Pain

As some of you know, my engagement came to an abrupt end at the end of last year. I have been left to deal with all of the pain, sorrow, and heartache that goes with that.

Alas, I must admit that there are times I have become that crazy ex with this relationship. I think that had I been patient maybe she would have come back at some point, but my emotions run to strong and I lost myself in them a few times. Every time I lose myself in my emotions I say and do things that I regret. It pushes those I love further and further away from me. I let her into places of my heart that no one has ever been allowed to go before. I let myself trust her and be genuine with her. When she left, it tore me to shreds, and I have been trying to pick up the pieces and close that chapter of my life.

From my experience pain can really cause you to do one of two things. You can either become bitter, or you can become kind. It would have been very easy for me to be bitter. If I am honest, I was bitter for a short time, but I love her. I always will. As such, I hurt double. I hurt because she left, but I also hurt because I know she hurts too. My pain has made me kind, and compassionate.

As I look back over my life and contemplate what to do moving forward I am faced with the stark reality that my life has been full of sadness and pain. I cannot deny the fingerprints this has left on my life. There are very few bright moments that I remember. The pain always sticks with me.

  • My earliest memories are of my dad leaving and going between my mom and dad’s house. My step-mother wasn’t really nice to us. She just tolerated us kids, barely.
  • My closest friend betrayed me and became my biggest bully for years to come.
  • My friend Amber moved away and I never heard from her again. I still wonder how she’s doing.
  • I was absolutely horrible at PE. My classmates made fun of me so much for it.
  • I had a teacher tell me that I would never amount to anything in life. Thanks Mrs. Martin.
  • In 4th grade a bunch of boys ripped my pants off before school and shoved me down in the snow.
  • Missing the cut off for KAMSC was devastating for me. I stopped caring about school at that point.
  • I was coerced into doing sexual things with another boy when I was just barely in puberty.
  • I felt so desperately alone in middle school that I cut myself regularly and wanted to die.
  • I was publicly humiliated by a girl I asked out in high school. This still causes me issues with dating to this day.
  • The other boy scouts made fun of me for being scared of raccoons. I had one that just wouldn’t leave my tent alone.
  • I was so shy I never felt like I had any friends.
  • The first woman I loved left and I was devastated by it.
  • I got my ex-wife pregnant out of wed-lock and the church punished us even though we were trying to repent. They tried to convince us to give our child up for adoption since we really shouldn’t have been married.
  • I married my ex-wife and she had affairs on me.
  • She took off with the kids and ran off with another man.
  • My fiance left.

Those are just a few of the ones that I struggle with the most. I could easily justify bitterness and hatred. I could be mean and cold. I could be like a stone.

By the grace of God I am not. All the pain has made me softer. It has made me kinder. I value life and love. It is so short, and so precious. I have so much of it to give. I want to have deep meaningful friendships. I want to be more kind, and more generous. I want to love a woman who loves me back. Who knows that I’m willing to walk through anything, if they just stay.

There is only one problem, all the pain has made me guarded too. I don’t really know how to make friends or to let people in to see my pain. I’m more than willing to help someone with their burdens, but I guard mine so close. Some day I will learn to trust others and let them in, but that my friends is a post for another day.

Posted in Blog Posts

Sober Judgement

“If I don’t like your face, I can get rid of you.” That was a common statement from a former boss. He constantly told us he wanted us to be contract employees because he liked not having to deal with the union if he wanted to get rid of us. He said that he could just get my employer to replace us whenever he wanted.

Being a contract he certainly was entitled to ask for different employees. It was well within his rights. However, it isn’t his place to say those kind of things to the employees. Sure he was “joking” about it, but the Bible talks a lot about what we say:

Proverbs 12:18 – The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing

Proverbs 26:18-19 – Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”

What we say matters. In this case I was at the receiving ends of the words, but I didn’t chose the best of response either. I felt that I couldn’t approach him with genuine concerns and went a round about way through my employer. I went to them because I felt that I had needed protection from him. While I loved the work I did and most of the people I worked with, I couldn’t stay under him. I had talked with my employer about it. I miss the challenge of the work, and my coworkers. Especially the other 2 programmers. So in short I am no longer on that contract. It was mutual, but I wish it wouldn’t have had to be that way. I made my choices knowing the potential consequences of them.

I have spent the last couple of months really evaluating my motivations behind it, and it has caused growth inside me. It took me awhile to really nail down what I wrote above, but its been very freeing for me. I wish that I could have seen this earlier and put the value into my relationships. I would have invested in trying to restore that relationship. A note in and of itself would ring hollow and of self-justification.

On the other side of the coin God has really convicted me of my response to it. While I may not have done anything wrong, I could have done things better. I could have shown initiative and humility. I am here to serve and not be served. I let my anger get the better of me and the Lord hammered me: [Emphasis in bold]

In Romans 12

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Proverbs 13:3 “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”

I wish I would have taken this to heart. I see the same types of sin in myself now. I see that I say things that are not edifying to my children. I have the same type of behavior for them as I received.

I find that as I write these posts God changes my heart and shows me more sin in my life to root out. While writing this God has convicted me with the proverbs verses listed above. How many times have I responded in anger with words that I shouldn’t? How often have I said “I was only joking.” Lord my prayer is that you teach me how to remove this sin from my life. Let me not joke in ways that are demeaning to others. I pray that for the strength, the character, and the wisdom to learn to control my tongue.

Posted in Blog Posts, Debt-Free Journey, Ramblings

Tipping Point

scale

The Meriam-Webster dictionary defines a tipping point as “the critical point in a situation, process, or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place.”

In life, there are a lot of tipping points, when to end relationships, when you find a new job, when saying no to that cupcake is easier than it was the last time. When we reach a tipping point with something we often make changes in our lives.

I’ve been on the debt reduction journey for a few weeks now, and I have paid off almost $3,000. It involved selling somethings that I didn’t want to sell, but they were holding me back from being the person that I need to be.

So, to back up a few steps, for the last few years God has been working on my heart about collecting way too many things. In my case electronics, mostly. I would feel convicted when I would read about believers selling their things and giving to their brothers and sisters in need.  Then from time to time I would catch a Dave Ramsey program on the radio or hear about how someone would donate this, or donate that.

I always thought that is nice, but I’m a single dad and there is no way I could ever afford to do those types of things. I was barely getting by, or at least so I thought.

As I’ve come to study the Bible more, I have become more convinced that the way I was living was wrong. When I would read about tithing, I would tell myself that’s not for me. I am barely getting by.

Recently, at church, they did a 3-part sermon series on giving. It was all stuff I had heard before, but God had been working on building up a tipping point. Then to top that off my girlfriend is a saver, but she is also extremely generous. God used her to show me what it is like to be able to give without worrying about the money.

God used all those things to really break me, and start opening my heart to doing things his way. I had started all of this, and worked out the details of my debt when a couple of weekends ago, God really broke me on Sunday at church.

One of the church member’s sons had had a heart transplant and wasn’t doing well. The father couldn’t afford to be off work and had to come home and be separate from his son, while his son was in bed in a coma. There was no way he could know if his son would live or die. God really laid it heavily on my heart that I should be able to provide a weeks’ worth of pay for this man so he could go and be with his son.

It broke me. I had to tell God no. I didn’t have the funds to be able to do this. For all the faith I speak of having, I didn’t have the faith to say, “Yes Lord”. It really has been devastating on my heart.

God has done so much for me. He has changed my life for the better in so many amazing ways, and I had the audacity to not trust him to say “Yes” to his prompting.

This realization has been my tipping point. With all that God has taught me, and all that he has walked through with me; I cannot bear the thought of saying “No” to God again.

From this point forward, I will do my best to strive and say, “Yes Lord, I trust you” whenever I feel prompted by the Holy Spirit.

Posted in Ramblings

Rainy Sunday Ramblings

Greetings everyone,

I wish I was better at writing on a consistent basis. I greatly enjoy writing and it is very freeing for me. Lately I’ve been trying to make a lot of changes to my life, but these changes have been absorbing a lot of the energy I have.

However, I need to remember how important that writing is to me. It helps me free my mind to be creative and to process all the things going on in my life.

There has been a ton going on in my life that I want to share, but I’m not certain on if one post will do it justice.

I have entered a new relationship with a wonderful woman. It is a God honoring relationship and I’m honestly surprised by how easy it is to follows God’s will for a relationship if you are intentional on it.

God has been using that relationship as a catalyst for a lot of changes in my life. I am now attending church again regularly. I had been looking for a church, but not looking with any fervor. My life had been super busy, but only with unimportant things. I was just existing.

I started looking in earnest shortly after I met her. She is such an amazing godly woman, and I knew that if I really wanted a relationship with her that would last, I would need to start being serious about my walk with the Lord again.

For those of you who don’t know I’ve been separated and divorced from my ex-wife for over 4 years now. She had committed adultery, but she also had taken off with the kids across the country to her lover’s place.

I grew closer to God than I had ever been during the time they were missing. However, over the last 4 years I have been working to raise my kids by myself. After moving back, I didn’t find a church and started to do things on my own. Slowly, I drifted away from the importance of finding a church family. I would go once or twice a month to find a church, but it hadn’t been a priority for me.

Anyhow, I started checking out churches around here, and was pleasantly surprised when I went to the church she attends. It was amazing, and I have been attending it since. I really enjoy studying under the lead pastor.

As I’ve come back into the church God has really convicted me of the debt that I have accrued. Even more so than the debt, is all the junk that I have. All the unnecessary things I have picked up. To that end, I have been working on becoming more minimalistic, and working diligently to get out of debt at the same time.

In the last 30 days, I have managed to pay off over $3000 in debt. Some of that was from reducing funds I have in savings, others were from the sale or return of items I could get the money back for.

One of the most difficult things for me to part with was my Nintendo Switch. I loved the system and Breath of the Wild was/is an amazing game. However, it isn’t where my heart needs to be. I sold it because I was too attached to it.

 

Posted in Weightloss

6 Months post Surgery

Good Evening Everyone,

I had my six month post surgery appointment a week ago today. I know I am slacking on this post, but life has been busy dating, and playing my new Nintendo Switch. It’s amazing, maybe I’ll write a post on it later.

So today I hit a milestone 136 pounds lost! I now weight 233.4 pounds! Pretty darn excited about that if I do say so myself.

The numbers above are from my 6 month appointment. My high weight was 369.4 and I was at 233.4 when I stepped on the scale.

If you think about it, I’ve lost an entire small adult off of my body. That is crazy!

The non-scale victories are huge too. I am so much more agile; I can bend over and tie my shoes; I can do a ton of things that I couldn’t do before. I’m also slowly finding more confidence in myself.

Just wanted to throw out a quick update post. Take care everyone!