Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Christmas Song

I work with elementary students and what happened this Friday wrecked me in a profound way. In the bathroom of a Lowes, with tears streaming down my face, I wrote this song for the parents of the victims of this tragedy. The only comfort or hope I can stand on is that Jesus himself is with those little children who were so wrongfully taken from us. Say a prayer for this broken world and for those who are hurting the most right now. Cling tight to loved ones this Christmas. And know that whatever is intended for evil can only bring about a Greater Good. Thank you.

Christmas with Jesus
Dedicated to the parents of the victims of Newtown, Connecticut

Dear Mom and Dad, it’s Christmas time.
I know you miss me, I see you cry.
I know you’re hurting, hear what you say,
But where I am it’s Christmas everyday.  

Cause I’m spending this Christmas with Jesus.
I know you want me in your arms.
Don’t worry His are strong and warm.
Cause I’m spending this Christmas with Jesus.
So please sing Silent Night,
and bow your heads tonight.

Dear Mom and Dad, keep going on.
We’ll be together before too long.
I only wish that you could see.
They have the biggest Christmas tree.

Yes, I’m spending this Christmas with Jesus.
I know you wish that I were there
so you can tell me that you care.
But I’m spending this Christmas with Jesus.
I know you love me, just you wait.
And we’ll meet you at the gate.

He’s with you too, He told me so.
So know no matter where you go,
we’ll always be together, and be with Him until forever.

And we can spend this Christmas with Jesus.
We’re praying over you tonight.
Yes, it’s going to be alright.
And we’ll spend every Christmas with Jesus.
Yes, we’ll spend every Christmas with Jesus.

Dear Mom and Dad, It’s Christmas time…

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sailors in the Storm

I am a sailor in the storm, seeking refuge.
Rough seas and cold midnight winds deepen my hunger for home.
I see lights in the dark.
Lighthouses peppering the cliffs of a violent black sea.
A panorama of cascading castles of light.
A sailor’s delight.
Lights, lights, lights.
Reaching into the night.
Restoring hope.
Showing me the way.

Closer to them now, they seem to span the run of the horizon.
An endless lighthouse-buffet.
Oh, but which one?
Where to steer this vessel?
All point to safety, or so they claim.
White, bright, clean hope.
Dry land, sturdy on my feet.
A warm place to hang my coat.

My hope turns to despair.
In the pale moonlight, I see many ships dashed on the rocks.
A graveyard of wreckage bowing before the jagged cliffs.
Tombstones for what they sought.
Bone-chilling fear seizes me.
There is no safe haven in these lighthouses.
These sirens of light point to death.
Calling those who crave shelter from the storm.
Drawing them into their hollow, empty promises.

Losing my grip, I follow the shoreline.
Where am I?
Is there a way?
But all I see is a way of death.
Where to look, oh where to turn?
No place is safe.
The waters crash their hands upon my decks and icy winds tear my last shreds of comfort to pieces.
The lighthouses seem to pull me in.
This vessel barely within my control.
All is lost.

Just before my ship is thrown and splintered into a thousand pieces, I hear a sound. A sound that pierces the blinding electric luminescent mirage and the percussion of dead ships against the rocks.
Pierces the fibers of my heart which so long for a home.
I hear a horn in the fog.
Perhaps there is a way?
Someone sounding safety to ships?
My quiet desperation turns hope again.

I close my eyes, grip the wheel and let my ears do the steering.
My heart.
I toss in the foam, but somehow drift away from the cliffs.
As if something or someone were guiding my ship.
Trusting the sound, I drift closer.
Closer to the sound.
Somewhere safe.
Anywhere but here.

As if my magic, I am saved.
The waters and winds are stilled and I roll into an unseen place.
I open my eyes.
Home has found me.
A calm cove with welcoming docks.
The echoes of a fog horn.
A cabin and the soft glow of fire light.
A warm place to hang my coat.


Sailors be warned of lying lights—of sirens drawing you unto to death.
The lighthouses which save you are the ones that will sink you.
Close your eyes and listen for the Horn.
Do not try to listen, but trust that it is sounding and you will hear.
There is but one Horn.
So hope in the Horn.
Until the docks.
Until you are home.
A warm place to hang your coat.
But do not stay within the comforts of the cabin for too long.
There are many sailors lost at sea, blinded by lights.
They must know of the Horn.
So sail on, and return another day.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Flavor of the Daily Grind

Some people break rocks for a living. Some enter numbers into a computer. Some make tiny plastic toys for the coin machine at Steak N' Shake. I am a substitute teacher. For now.

 My job is to create an atmosphere of stability while the regular teacher is out. This helps the students continue their education when life happens to teachers. At times, quite frankly, it can be babysitting. Other times I can be giving a fully loaded lesson blasting new knowledge into the cerebral cortex of young minds. Whether we are reading silently, watching a movie, or tearing through a packet of paperwork, my college education is being used. How to present new information, how to talk to students, how to manage a classroom and make sure it doesn’t delve into chaos with little Billy and Sarah eating little Edgar while roasting his remains over an open fire in the middle of the classroom. This has never happened to me.

 My daily grind varies as everyone’s does. It ranges from very colorful (having students leave the room literally yelling that they hate me), and very boring (the students working quietly while I count the ceiling tiles). I am certified to teach high school students but I mostly sub for middle school teachers. This can be very trying. My wife, Katherine, and I have found that dealing with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to be the best birth control around. After eight hours of needy 6th graders I often want to castrate myself in the parking lot so that I never have to bring that sort of whiney annoying problem home with me. In time, I suppose, my heart will change.

 And actually on really good days (especially with the younger ones) the buds of fatherhood begin to peek their little heads out of the tree of my soul (you’re welcome for the strange imagery). All in all, I do not want to do this forever nor does it do anything for my ambition to be a teacher. A lot of the time it makes me want to pursue some other trade altogether. Like welding. I could weld some things. Or do something with science or robots or something.

 After a really bad day the other day (yesterday) I wanted to never ever, ever, ever substitute teach again and I never wanted to see that group of kids again. Too bad it was at the school I sub at ninety percent of the time and I was also contracted to sub for the exact same teacher the very next day. It was one of those days that got progressively worse as it went on. You know the type. It’s always darkest before it gets really, really dark. Then they turn out the lights. After school let out, I wanted to punch something beautiful. Right in the face. Not a kid. Although some of them need a good spanking, but maybe a Nazi. I was all in a fog.

 I yelled at my last class harsher than I ever have. I told them I was going to be a serious monster the next day and that they will never treat me how they treated me today. I actually dismissed the class with the words, “get out of my class.” I hate hearing myself say things like that. I hate being a disciplinarian. I hate coming down on them and feeling like Hitler.

 I gave a kid detention because one of the other teachers suggested it might help show them I follow through with threats. It was a kid that has gotten into tiffs with me in the past. He was kind of on my bad list already. He was pretty upset. Probably dreading going home to tell his parents he was in trouble. Probably dreading every minute he was going to have to spend with me today.

 But I had a revelation between yesterday and today.

Being in a place where I’m constantly stretched and forced to practice forgiveness and reconciliation might not be a bad thing. Every industry has challenges and difficult people. There is no oasis. I cannot change the gifts God gave me. I cannot run to some mirage thinking that better circumstances are going to solve all my problems. I just might be the common denominator to all my awful days and difficult circumstances.

 As a Christian that actually believes in sin as a real thing that is just a part of my nature, I am inclined to believe that this may be true. The sin within me taints my perspective. My heart seeks to blame everything except its own attitude. It wants to be the last place to point the finger. Man, this makes marriage interesting. More on that later.

 Because I am learning to suspect myself first and work on placing the blame where it is due, I had a serious heart check before today. Maybe it wasn’t the kids or the fact that I hate how little they pay me, or how awful everything felt. Maybe it was because my heart likes to be in control. It feels safe when I am in control. In power. Maybe when they don’t behave the way I expect them to this threatens my comfort. Maybe when they don’t like me it makes me feel unloved. So what? God is in control. I will never be. Why try? The power I have is laughable. Why hold on to it? Comfort is irrelevant as Christ didn’t die for me to be comfortable. He suffered. I will too. Who cares if they don’t approve of every little thing I do. God’s approval in me because of Christ is all that matters. I am fully accepted because He has Redeemed me. Not because I work for it. I didn’t and can’t earn it. It’s a gift.

Accepting it is really, really freaking hard.

 Because God was gracious with us, through Christ, we ought to steward this grace to others. Those that need it and those who don’t deserve it. But we suck at this. Me especially. I was reminded of this, and His Grace broke through in a practical way. Before the worst class began today, I pulled the kid out into the hall for a private conversation. I told him I wanted to tear up the detention slip and pretend his offense never happened. I told him it was up to him. I told him I knew he could have a great class and be respectful and succeed in being restored to my good favor.

 He was the perfect student.

At the end of class I approached him and held out the detention slip with his name and then dramatically tore it up (its all about theatricality, baby). I patted him on the back and walked away. What happened next threw me for a loop. Broke my heart in a Gospel-ninja sort of way. The way that only God can. You know, when He grabs your heart and turns the tables and says, “See! My way is so much better!” After class I began cleaning up and I noticed this student intentionally was the last to leave. He handed me a sheet of paper, looked up at me with admiring eyes and then walked away. Cue the tears. He had drawn me a really good picture of the cover of the book he had been reading. Above the illustration read, “Mr. G,” and below read, “on a roll.” (aka Mr. G, you're the bomb digity).

 Parents, I will not pretend to know how you feel or know what it means to be a father or a mother but when a kid goes out of their way to say thank you or to say I love you (especially in a creative way) I have a feeling that it warms you in a way that no other thing on earth can.

 If you don’t know anything about public education…this sort of thing does NOT happen to substitutes.

 I was glad the kid left soon after because I thought I was going to cry. Some of you may be thinking, “Brian, that is so lame. Some kid gave you a drawing and you wanted to cry? You have mental problems!” I probably do.

 I almost cried because it was beautiful. Reconciliation is beautiful. Shalom is beautiful.  Sunsets are beautiful. My wife is beautiful. Mountains and an ice cold Boulevard Amber Ale after a long hot run are beautiful. Yet beauty in this life is but a reflection of that which is truly Beautiful—The Creator of Beauty. God’s Grace is Beautiful. Experiencing it is palpable and heavy sometimes. Especially when you sort of understand it in a new way.

 I could have chosen to follow through with the detention. I could have been a jerk to this kid. I could have punished the rest of my classes for making my job harder the previous day. Something prompted me to do otherwise. To reach out instead of push away. To build a bridge instead of burn one. To forgive. Don’t get me wrong. Actions have consequences. Sometimes you gotta bring down the hammer. Others you have to just let go.

 As meaningful as this story is to me it is not entirely theologically sound. I know that. The kid worked for my favor and I rewarded him. Cause, effect. The Reality of Christianity is the opposite. We did nothing and Christ died for us. In fact, we didn’t just do nothing, we were openly rebellious and murderous in our thoughts to him. We actively persecuted him and he still died for us. We still do. We turn our backs on Him and He still offers His Grace…free of charge.

 We love to pay for the things we own. I for one hate getting gifts. I feel like I owe the person. But we cannot earn his Grace. That is religion (I do this thing and a deity rewards me). My pastor, Kevin Cawley, reminds me every week that playing the religion game will kill me. I am thankful for that. It will kill you too.

 Believe this gift is yours, as it is mine, and be changed. You cannot earn more of that which is fully and freely given. “It is finished.” There is no need to seek more. All we can do is respond. Respond and be thankful and give to others the same kind of treatment—Grace to the undeserving. Putting this into practice, I fear, may take a lifetime of teaching, marriage, and raising my own little disrespectful brats.

 By the way, I want to publicly apologize for being such an awful smartass to all my substitutes when I was in school. I had no idea…

 As my mother in law says from time to time, “you plant peas, you get peas.” God has a sense of humor that way.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Combining Acting with Teaching

Frequently my students ask me how old I am. They say I don’t look old enough to be a teacher. Sometimes I tell them I have Benjamin Button Disorder and I am actually sixty five. Then I get really emotional and tell them it is a sensitive subject and ask them not to bring it up again. I often wonder how many I am able to convince.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Already Rescued

Stranded on The Beach we send messages in bottles out to sea.
Watching the horizon, we wait.
By dawn and by dusk, we wait.

The more bottles we send, the brighter the sparks of electric-hope burn.
Yet it is the waiting that exposes who we really are.
What we really believe.

Anyone can be filled with hope sending messages out to sea.
It is the waiting, the ever present dance of hope and despair, that reveals our true colors.
So we wait.

We wait.
Never losing hope, we wait.
Scanning the water, we wait.

We wait until our messages are answered.
Until we know we will be Rescued.
Until our Ship comes in.

But until That Day comes…we wait.
Send a bottle or two.
And wait another day.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Smell A Conundrum!

As a substitute teacher I’ve learned a lot about waiting. At times, I will be requested like honey at a bear convention (cause they have those). Other times, it’s as if I don’t exist. I try not to take it personal. I typically advertise myself as much as possible when I am at a school and I try to be awesome so people will request my services again. Yeah, me!

But no matter how hard I try and how much I flex my advertisement muscles, chance and fate ultimately hold the cards to whether or not I get a job on a particular day. I hate that.

It leaves me in an interesting position. As someone who believes in the power and utility of prayer I find myself perplexed in a moral dilemma. If I pray for more work, I am essentially praying for teachers to get sick or to have some sort of personal crisis. That’s awful. And so oftentimes I do not pray for more work even when I should.

To be fair, teachers need to miss school for thousands of reasons which aren’t always negative. Recently I subbed for four days for a teacher who became a grandmother. That was a great reason. In that instance, everybody won. Baby—good. Work—good. Win-win.

But in a larger way, I am in a season of waiting. Waiting for a more stable and permanent full time teaching position (can I has job?). Waiting for circumstances to change. Waiting for something to happen to me.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not just sitting on my hands (most times I’m sitting on my butt). I am working in the meantime to prepare for a more fruitful season. I am applying when I see things pop up. I am emailing, networking, making phone calls for favors, and begging my students to name drop me if they hear anything from their teachers. I honestly have no shame.

Even after all that, I still have to be still and let things sort themselves out on their own time. This is typically waaaaaayyyyyyyy slower than I would like. But if I am really honest, it’s probably better this way. If I achieved success in every context of my life and saw immediate results, I wouldn’t properly appreciate the end results.

The waiting and the struggling and the failures make the victories worth winning. A story isn’t a story without conflict. We want to live in an exciting story—but would rather do without that pesky conflict part.

And so, I will practice day to day efforts—no matter if the fruit of that labor isn’t seen for years. The work we do today creates our realities tomorrow—or at least shapes our attitudes to those future realities.

I have a theory. Not only are we waiting now, but we will be forever. Waiting for something (Godot). It is our natural state to wait and hope for change of some sort. Prove me wrong.

In our present cultural context of being the richest of the rich and over stimulated with all sorts of gadgetry, long-term labor with no immediate gratification is very difficult for us to handle. We want now, now, now! Instant results! Digital speed! This is not good for our souls.

My closest friends know that I have an odd relationship with technology. Part of me is very suspicious of it and never wants to use it and to just become Amish (The Matrix trilogy really affected me). Another part of me gets totally geeked-out on it and wants machines and robots to do everything (Wall-E much?). Cause that would a good thing…

In our increasing dependence on technology, in many real ways, our species has been damaged in our ability to be patient. We aren’t farmers anymore (they exist but most of us don’t know one, and a majority of the American ones use big robots to do a bulk of the work so they aren’t as “farmerish” as others are or have been).

We don’t know what it means to anxiously wait for the rain and the beautiful sound of thunder—the hope it brings. We don’t know what it means to work together with a beast to plow a stubborn field and ready it for the sowing of seed. We don’t know what it means to work sunrise to sunset and yet be patient in our hearts knowing that if the rain and sun don’t come, our labor will be lost.

The ability to be patient and live in the tension of work and waiting is a vital skill set which farmers embody the best. They are the hardest workers on the planet and the wisest as they know that it’s more up to weather than their own labor. And yet they still work hard—and would be screwed without their work!

I smell a conundrum!

They work like it all depends on them, but know that it all depends on the rain. Chance. Fate.

But we aren’t farmers. Do farmers read blogs? I digress.

The point is, we aren’t very good with waiting for things that take a great deal of work and preparation and depend highly on outside circumstances that are not in our control.

If you haven’t already figured out, I did not get a sub job today. So I am watching the news, taking care of the apartment and writing this blog. I am writing this not for immediate gratification in the form of approval from my readers and friends (but I also am). I am writing this to remind my soul (and yours) that the best things are worth waiting for and that there is plenty to do to get ready while you wait.

At the same time, I so easily incline to make things I am hopeful for my Ultimate Hope. I think that they are going to transform everything and set my circumstances the way I want and everything will be smooth sailing. Has this ever happened? I don’t believe so. And it won’t. Ever. Once we get that thing it’s on to the next thing. We look to something else to look forward to. To complete us. To save us.

But my identity is not in what I do. When I do get that job someday it will not make all my pain and struggles go away. If anything, it will complicate my life and add changes and more work. I am not what I do or what I will do. I am redeemed creature because of what Christ did on the Cross. Hoping in Him alone is where I need to rest. Be still and know that He is God. He has done it all. He is in control. He will provide. Be still, O my soul….Oh, and get to work too cause there is so much to do!

What are you waiting for? A job? Getting into that program or school? A friend? The woman or man of your dreams? The Chiefs to have a winning season (please, Lord?)?

Whatever it may be, just know that it can’t complete you. It’s not designed to. We were made only to be complete in a relationship with the God of the Universe. That is only possible through a relationship with Jesus.

I will leave you with some quotes for your consideration. Keep working. Keep waiting. Is that thunder in the distance I hear? Have fun storming the castle.

“Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become your habits. Watch your habits for they become your character. Watch your character for it becomes your destiny.” –unknown

Find out what you can control and don’t worry about anything else. –old man I met at a friend’s house

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings." –Shakespeare from Julius Caesar

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Asthma Induced Exercise

Warning: Brian gets a little controversial and spiritual in the following blog. Read at your own risk.

I went mountain biking the other day.

Look, I know I live in Kansas City and to my friends who live in Utah, Colorado, or Switzerland I apologize for the misnomer. I understand there are no real mountains in Missouri. It is a truth that pains me everyday of my existence here. Sigh.

The lack of actual mountains aside, I did ride my 2007 Gary Fisher, hard-tail Wahoo Racer (For reals, yo. Before Trek ate that line of Mountain Bikes—Sell outs.) I rode it on an actual trail. This was certainly not my first rodeo. I have ridden in several places (on actual mountains) and this particular trail quite frequently. The odd part here is that it was in January. I think mother nature forgot about winter this year. Oops.

The temperature around 4pm on this day was in the mid 50s. To be honest, I could have used a little warmer air, but it was more than comfortable. The hard thing about trail riding in Missouri is the trails are often overgrown with vegetation, poison ivy, and closed off by millions of crisscrossing spider webs. In mid July, if I had taken this same ride, I would have eaten thirteen spiders and been covered by itching, blistering poison ivy. Yuck! In fact, I believe it was July that I last attempted this trail (Stocksdale park in Liberty). I rode for a total of three minutes. It was awful. Charlotte’s web was on my face and I had poison ivy in my DNA.

However, my most recent expedition was perfect. The lighting, the lack of spiders and itchy plants,the dryness of the dirt, the bareness of the forest (thus increasing the visibility of my surroundings) was all perfect. The ride was smooth like butter. Like Morgan Freeman reading the genealogy from Abraham to Jesus in Mathew chapter one. Perfect.

Then there was asthma. Not so perfect.

Asthma ruins everything. I mean it really was a great little forty five minute ride except for the five year old child sitting on my chest the whole time. I really need to keep up with the running. After a couple weeks of regular exercise, it usually gets better. Last year I was doing that and actually feeling pretty great.

Then there was Thanksgiving and Christmas.Egg Nog much?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it is right to blame a holiday season and its accompanying treats and sweets on my lack of discipline. But I also kind of am. I just stopped my routine and got a little lazy with my diet. Now I’m paying for it.

If I believed in New Years resolutions, I would make one. But I don’t.

So this is where I am at: I really want to enjoy those peaceful yet adrenaline pumped rides through deciduous forests. I want to be thrown from my seat over my handlebars and land in a tree or a creek or a puddle of mud. I want to ride to the top of a hill and charge down as fast as I can. But I can’t enjoy those things to their fullest until I invest in my health in a real way. My body will always fight me and prevent me from getting where I want to be if I don’t take care of it.

I ought to do what I need to do, so I can do what I want to do.

As a Christian, I have a real problem seeing bad health as an acceptable thing. If I really believed what I believe, then I would take care of my body as it is not my own. It’s out on loan and I ought to take care of it so I can be here for those I love. So I can continue the ministry given to me and build God’s Kingdom as much as possible (Mathew 28:19-20).

Now, pursuing rock hard abs, chiseled features, and being able to leap over buildings is not where I place my sights and ambitions. Building up my physical body is not the Gospel. It is not my Ultimate Hope. The Gospel is good news about a Person who Redeemed us to the Father. Speaking that Metanarrative into every aspect of my life and trusting in His Transformative Power and Grace to change the whole of humanity is my only ambition. Forever, Amen.

That is my identity: Who I am at the very core of my being. Not a writer. Not a husband. Not a man. Not an actor. I am a Redeemed creature because of what God did for me through Christ’s sacrifice. Nothing I can do can earn any favor with God. That is religion. I am fully accepted. I am adopted. Therefore, Christ ought to be my only vision. My only Hope. For apart from my relationship with Him, I am a walking dead man. Six pack abs or not.

That’s the rub. I can look to building up my body as a source of identity and worth. I can place my faith and hope in longevity and feeling good physically. I can worship a high endorphin flow and an adrenaline rush. But that’s not good enough to save me. That can’t keep me from the Grave. Anything I do to improve this sack of meat covering my bones is merely a temporary patching. It’s like painting a building scheduled to be demolished.

Then again, I should see investing in my health as Obedience. After all, I can serve others better if I am functioning in a healthy way. I might feel better about doing the dishes to serve my wife if I tear it up on the track for a little bit. I just can’t make that my Only Aim. Tricky business, this Christian walk.

Some Christian person once said that human beings are idol factories. I agree with whoever proposed this idea. We were made to worship. We place our Hope in such silly things. Approval. Power. Comfort. Control. Being a Christian doesn’t mean I am free from this. That’s the beauty of the Gospel. Even though I deserve death and constantly seek other gods before Him, I am still dealt with Graciously. It is by His Grace alone that I can even call myself out on my idol-junk. Look to the Cross and repent. Lather, rinse, repeat.

That is the Christian walk--The cyclical dance of repentance. Lather, rinse, repeat, knowing that Jesus has paid it all. Amen.

Dang, son! You just got preached at! When life gets crazy and anxiety fills your heart, where do you turn to medicate? We are made to turn to something. If it’s not God….then it’s probably not real. I have to tell myself that everyday.

I dare you to ask Jesus if He is worthy of your Hope. And I pray you find what you are looking for.

Until next time. I love you all.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Life Updates

Well hey there, friend. It’s Wednesday, January 4th, in the year of our Lord 2012. I haven’t written on this here blog in a wee little bit. If that matters to you, I am sorry. Oddly enough, the only reason I am updating you on my life is because a student I was subbing for encouraged me to write. Random. My wife, family and friends encourage me to write but sometimes it takes a random person’s off-hand comment to motivate you. And I’m okay with that.

I have been trying to write but nothing was “ever good enough.” That’s never a reason not to do something. We seem to pay more attention to the million and a half excuses to not do something while hardly ever listening to the few reasons we should. We are such bizarre little creatures.

The piece I was working on (which I don’t know if I will post) was my heart reflections on the Occupy movement. I was going to go all political and spiritual on you. Brian being spiritual and political with a touch of sarcastic, often ironic what-he-deems-wit type tone!? Never.

So this is me updating you on my life. I am married. I am substitute teaching. I am writing (literally and at other times too!). I am trying to awaken the runner in me again. I am seeking a job (can I has job?) I am trying to figure some stuff out, namely what it means to be an effective Christian in the 21st century, what it means to exist, what it means to be a man and what it means to be a husband. Tired yet? I am. It can be quite exhausting.

And it can be awfully boring. I don’t believe in being bored but it seems to find me anyway. Not sure how to deal with that. The boredom phenomenon comes from a few places. 1—The fact that I don’t have “a real job” (a big boy job). 2—The fact that I lack discipline at times when I have no sub job and no shift at Crepes (On the Square). 3—That part of me deep inside that is sort of struggling with waiting for things to happen to me rather than making them happen.

Quite frankly, it’s an awkward time. Not awkward in the sense that I am uncomfortable in my own skin, but awkward like watching a newborn gazelle try to figure out how to stand when the dangerous lioness is watching and waiting for lunch. We know the lion is there and we know that stupid baby gazelle better get up and start running before he becomes that lion’s snack.

Tangent. I think I might actually hate google. Almost as much as I hated my third grade teacher whom I blame for crippling my ability to spell. I can’t spell and as you know, I suck, at, knowing, when to, properly use commas. I must have missed comma day. Google makes us lazy. It enables my bad habit of sucking at spelling. All you have to do is type: define: the word you want to spell. And the internet does it for you! Then again, this is the same function as a dictionary, but the difference is, with a dictionary, you have to know how to freagin' spell it already. That’s the evil beauty of autofill. Google knows how bad you suck at spelling so it corrects you as you struggle to type it in. It’s as if it’s saying, “hey, I’m a robot and you’re a dumb human. Let me help you.”

Part of the reason why I haven’t blogged about my personal life in a while is the fact that so much has happened to me that it's honestly hard to keep up with. I just ended that sentence with a preposition. Thanks third grade teacher!

I am a husband. First of all, marriage isn’t easy. It’s the hardest thing I have done albeit attempt to file taxes without calling my dad. In all seriousness, God has blessed me with an amazing woman that believes the same things I do (this really helps). We are growing closer to oneness everyday. It’s beautifully painful.

One of my best friends (you know who you are. Your name rhymes with Frett Hach), has been encouraging me to write down all the amusing and un-amusing anecdotes I learn about marriage. He likes to listen to me talk about it. I don’t know why. Maybe in some way it’s preparing him for when he comes across that road. That burden is frightening. The idea that I (a fool) have a shred wisdom to share for others. If I do, it is by God’s grace and not my own understanding. A lot of it is borrowed wisdom. I have been blessed with a great Earth Dad who taught me by word and deed how to be a good husband. The rest I am figuring out through prayer and trial and error. I like to tease Katherine by telling her I make mistakes on purpose as an opportunity for her to show me grace. Christian jokes are so silly sometimes.

I realize I have stolen a few minutes of your time, and for that I am grateful. I hope we can meet again soon. If not, pray that God blesses me with a big boy job and that I keep seeking Him first to learn how to be a good husband.

Have a superb January. Bis spater und viel gluck!

P.S. I wrote this while “on the clock” as a substitute ( Shh! Don’t tell!). Does that technically make me a professional writer? Just kidding. But not really.