Posted in Blog Posts, Debt-Free Journey, Ramblings

Tipping Point

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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!

Posted in Blog Posts, Ramblings

A look back to a marriage lost

My youngest turned four on Sunday, and it really made me stop and reflect on the ways that my life has changed.

Five years ago my now ex-wife was having an affair with a man that was her guildmate on World of Warcaft. I’m not certain of all the symantics and lies she told him, but needless to say it wasn’t pretty.

We fought all of the time. She was a slob, and very lazy. I later discovered she didn’t do anything all day because she was sleeping. She had been staying up all night talking to this guy halfway across the country.

In June she tried to get me to hit her by yelling at me and spitting in my face, etc. I ended up saying I just couldn’t fight anymore and our marriage was over.

So she left and took off to her “sisters” in Texas. Needless to say she had just run off to be with this guy she had been talking to online. Shortly after she got down there she discovered she was pregnant. My pastor had also been working on my heart about what the right thing to do was.

So I “convinced” her to come back home. Saving my marriage is what God would want me to do. Coincidentally, I still stand by that this was the right thing for me to do. It allowed me to learn how to truly forgive and make amends. I wouldn’t be who I am now without making that decision.

We received some marital counseling, but we couldn’t ever talk about what she did in Texas. If I tried she would threaten to have an abortion. This was unacceptable to me, so I never did bring it up.

I became a better and much calmer person. When I discovered the affair on her way down to Texas the first time I had went into a fit of rage. God used my pastor to shatter me though. I don’t really have the capacity to stay angry at anyone anymore. It only hurts myself.

So fast forward to February 18, 2013 and here comes our youngest son. I thought our marriage had been restored and everything was swell, but it wasn’t. 6 weeks later she took off with the kids and it was a whole nightmare scenario.

Feel free to check out this post to find out about my pre-divorce attempt at marriage restoration. https://nerdychristian.com/2012/11/20/where-to-begin/

And this post for a more in depth description of what happened:

https://nerdychristian.com/2014/08/08/remnants-of-marriage-and-the-evidence-of-lies/

 

I’ve dated some since the divorce, but nothing has ever really been lasting. The first couple were based off of not wanting to be alone. The subsequent ones I don’t honestly know that I was ever able to trust them enough to be in a good and healthy relationship with them.

There was one girl I went out on a single date with, and it pretty much wrecked me when she stopped responding to me. I was really insecure with myself and was not in a position to have a relationship.

There will be a second part to this post so stay tuned for that.

Posted in Blog Posts

How Not to Be Your Own Worst Enemy

This is pretty accurate.

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

When my writing first left the relative safety of WordPress for the great untamed wilds of The Huffington Post, I was elated. The first post hit big and I eagerly sat down that afternoon to read through the rapidly appearing comments.

And for every comment that made me feel good about myself or sorry for someone else, there were two that seemed to be personal attacks. Soon, the excitement I felt about being published was replaced with a sense of discomfort and malaise.

Yet I kept reading. For months, I dutifully read every comment, every review. I carefully weighed each criticism as though it was coming from a known and trusted source.I tried to answer each barbed question and address each complaint. I grew increasing anxious and melancholy.

And then finally there was one comment that broke me open. A stranger claimed that my ex was right to do what…

View original post 586 more words

Posted in Parenting

Fatherhood – The struggles

Fatherhood is by far the best thing that God has ever bestowed upon me. It is, however, a constant struggle. I’m responsible for raising my children in the way that they should go, and I feel like I mess that up a lot. I wouldn’t be able to do it if it weren’t for the amazing grace that is provided to me every day. His new mercies every day. Today is one of those days that I just feel like I have failed miserably.

My oldest son is almost 13 years old. He has ADHD and ODD and can be very disrespectful towards people including myself. He bosses his younger brother and sister around, and they get mad at him for it. It leads to days where there is a lot of stress and tension in the house.

This morning, my almost 4-year-old son was up early. God only knows why, but he is cranky when he doesn’t get enough sleep. So of course this annoys my oldest son to no end and he proceeds to be rude to my youngest. He agitates him to no end and that starts the spiral.

Without going into a lot of detail about how the spiral went down, it ended up with me intervening and eventually losing my temper towards my oldest one. For those of you that know me, I’m not actually one to lose my cool. I find that losing my temper never solves anything and in the end all that is left in hurt feelings. Every time I lose my temper with my kids I am the one who has lost. I have failed to perform my fatherly duties in a way that is glorifying to God.

Anyhow, I told him I wasn’t going to let him to go on the ski trip tomorrow. With him being ODD his response is I don’t care. I know logically and rationally that this isn’t the truth, but he’s been pushing it for some time and all I really want to do is finish getting around and head out to work so that I’m not late. It led to a blow up between the two of us though with him stomping off to his room crying and me leaving for work all out of sorts.

I over-reacted by taking his ski trip away, and I have since backed off of my stance on that, but what gets me is when I give into this.  I love that child so dearly and it grieves me when I respond that way. I wouldn’t treat a stranger that way, and it is not the way that I want to respond to him.

I am heartbroken over this today. It isn’t who I am or who I want to be.

Father Forgets by W Livingston Larned speaks really well of how I feel right now.

Text – http://faculty.spokanefalls.edu/InetShare/AutoWebs/kimt/father%20forgets.pdf

Audio – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXvGxha_ioA

If my parents read this, please know what I’m about to say isn’t meant as anything against you. I know that you did the best that you could in the circumstances that you were given and that you loved us kids. However, growing up my dad wasn’t around much. He skipped out on a lot of things at the last minute or would have an excuse not to take us for the weekend. I never really saw fatherhood modeled for me as a child. In order to support my brother, sister, and I my mother worked a lot of hours. We really didn’t get to spend a lot of time with her, so I didn’t have much of an example there either.

The one saving grace was my grandmother, but she didn’t really take on a parental role. She also had the patience of a saint. The biggest thing that I learned though, is genuine love. She loved all of us kids equally and I know she was very special to us all and we all miss her dearly.

I swore to myself that I would set a better example for my children. I strive to be there to put them to bed every night. I go to all of their conferences, and I miss as few events as possible. I desperately want to be the father to them that I didn’t get to see as a kid. I want to pour so much love into my children that they have an easy time seeing God’s love for them, but also that when I’m gone I will have left a legacy of love that will last for generations.

There is one last thing I want to add. Being a father has given me insight on God’s love for us that through faith in Christ are his children. I see how much it grieves my heart when my children go through and make mistakes. How much I wish they didn’t have to go through the pain and the consequences of their actions. When I rebuke them it is very hard on me as well. I feel this experience has really shed light on God correcting me in my own life.

Posted in Weightloss

Weight-loss brings new life

A History of Weight Problems

For most of my life I have struggled with weight. I was always one of the biggest guys in school for as long as I could remember. I was picked on as the fat kid relentlessly. A lack of self-confidence and an addiction to food ensued.

By the time I graduated high school I am certain I weighed well over 250 pounds. I didn’t really feel I was that fat. I would look at the super obese people and think to myself “at least I’m not as big as that guy.” I even made comments to my ex-wife that “I would rather die than get that big.”

Well two kids, a bad marriage, and a binge eating order solidly in place I managed to gain all the way up to 385 pounds. I was busting out of a size 58 pair of pants and squeezing into a 3xlt shirt.

In 2010 I had a car accident and had one of my children been behind me they would have died in the crash. I wish that I had a good picture of the inside of the car, but the back of the drivers seat was embedded all the way into the car seat behind me. If you look closely in the picture you can see how far the drivers seat is tilted.

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It served as a wake up call to me and I started dieting using Herbalife. I lost almost 100 pounds and I kept it off for a time, but as my marriage really went on the rocks I started to put the weight back on. That is a story for another time.

My weight varied wildly over the next few years.

Hope for a change

In May of 2016 the contract holder for my job changed. With this new employer came far better benefits than I had ever received before. I found out that many years of prayer were finally answered, I had insurance that would cover bariatric surgery.

After looking at a few different places I ended up settling on Grand Health Partners. It took a few months to jump through all of the hoops, but finally on August 29, 2016 the surgeon and the wonderful staff at St Mary’s hospital performed a vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure. This procedure removed the bulk of my stomach leaving only a little sleeve to be able to fit food in.

As of yesterday I am down almost 122 pounds (less than 250lbs), wear a size 40/42 pant and a large or XL shirt depending on the brand. Below I have provided a before and mostly current picture for comparison.

This photo was taken the end of May 2016.
January 25, 2017. Down almost 120 pounds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new lease on life

When I was 370 pounds I didn’t like life. I wanted to hide because I was miserable. My interpersonal relationships suffered for it. I became a bit of a hermit and didn’t want to do anything.

Today life is very different. I suffer from self-confidence issues, but I get out and do a great many things. I workout, dance, date, and just all around enjoy life. Its the small things in life that you don’t realize you couldn’t do until all of the sudden you can.

Restoring work of Christ

As I work through untangling all of the emotions that are tied to weight and food it is important for me to see this as a time of the sanctification of my spirit. By using this tool to help get my weight under control, I am finding new found strengths in other parts of my life as well.

I am thankful to God every day for this new found lease on life. I give God the glory for these changes in my life because I know what a wretched sinful man I am without him.