Remote, Yet Close

Strange times, pandemic times we’re in, we’re living, so much has changed on so many levels.

We’re restricted from each other for school, for work, for worship.

Fundamental to most faiths, the worship therein, we’re meant to come together, have a sense of the come together, can’t be together in-person just now. Screens and social distance are the necessary norm just now.

What does that do to faith? How do we exercise our faith? How do we teach our faith to our kids in these times? More effort needed, starting with an example, striving to draw near to the perfect example, is God near?

God is near…find God in every moment, draw near, God is close…

Now not my words, but good words for sure, have a listen, God is near,

“The design that God has for each one of us is always a design of love. And the greatest joy for every
believer is to respond to that call, offering one’s entire being to the service of God and the brothers and sisters.”

“In each act of service, in every work of #mercy we perform, God manifests Himself; God sets His gaze upon the world.”

“We are always on a journey in life. Let us choose the path of God! We will discover that there are no unexpected events, no uphill path, and no night that cannot be faced with Jesus.”

“A society is all the more human to the degree that it cares effectively for its most frail and suffering members, in a spirit of fraternal love.”

These from Francis, Jorge, and grateful, so very grateful for this voice, this humble insight. In these pandemic times, to find our way, how to find our way? This is the path.

God is near, God is with us, God is waiting for us to turn, let us turn, amen, AMEN.

Busy Brain

This little episode comes to from the middle of the night. Yep, awoken by my busy brain just before 1:00am, capturing the moment to share a few thoughts.

Mind you, I just went to bed three hours ago, intent on getting a good night’s rest to start the week. Hmm. Didn’t plan on this little situ.

But here we are. The kicker that got me writing instead of just rolling over? A middle of night “bio-break”, as we call it at work.

When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

And now my mind is flooded with work thoughts, and parenting thoughts, and so on…it is a little sneaky overwhelming.

So figure I’d make some lemonade out of this lemon (and red-eye interlude) by jotting and sharing a few strategies I employ when Busy Brain hits. Not sure what the science says about how to battle this situ, but here’s what I do.

1/ Like I tell my kids all the time when they say they can’t got to sleep, “Clear your thought box.” In your mind’s eye, counter the Busy Brain directly by forcing out the thoughts. Push them out; take control of your mind. Be persistent and insistent; clear your mind, or otherwise, focus on what you want to, not whatever pops up.

2/ Count your breaths; and make them slow, deep and full. Start with ten. Then repeat. And repeat again.

3/ Do exactly what I’m not doing just now. Keep your eyes closed; don’t turn on any lights( no screens. 🙂

STAY IN SLEEP MODE. Insist on it. And stay relaxed; and cozy; and comfortable.

That’s what I’m going to do right now.

Busy Brain? Stay relaxed, stay in control, OUT.

Soaked In Joy

So many little things filled the day, many little steps, along the way.

Planned on a little work, set aside for life, after life, after in stride, fit in the work, later.

And so it was,

Pancakes,

A walk with kids and dogs,

Laundry times three,

A little football,

Kids playing in the front until the sun went down as dinner came together,

Pulled pork tacos,

Another baby tooth gone, wrap up Saturday, done.

I think for me it’s clear, there’s always more to do, super important to make time to balance, balance the time, find the joy, realize it’s there, you might even realize, you’re soaked in it.

#halffullallgood #gratitude #dadslife #dadlife

What’s Fair?

I listen to my kids talk about what’s fair, what they want, what they prefer.

I hear my friends talk about much the same, what’s fair? The problems they have at work, in their marriage, and so on, why isn’t it fair?

Funny thing about fair…

at our best I think we strive for fairness, but shouldn’t expect it; in fact, I think we should expect things not to be fair. We should prepare in such a manner that we are ready when things don’t shake down fairly.

I think that’s the lesson I want my kids to learn. That’s the lesson we all need to learn.

Strive for fair,

Work for fair,

Even insist on fair,

But when it’s not, be ready for that too.

That’s the lesson. Learn it. And then apply it, refine it. Every day.

Lyrics Post: “Granny” Dave Matthews Band

Have loved this song since I first heard it. Still love it 30 years later. So much love, such a clear path…I believe it’s LOVE…

“Hello, how are you doing today?

Hope I find you feeling healthy

I’m so glad our paths crossed this time today

On our way into the night

I say it’s love, treats us well, keeps us dancing and romancing

Baby, I love you up and down and inside out

Say love when I approach to you, they fall like rain

You tell me, baby, your heart’s into a thousand pieces, dies

Stop, only old and wise with clouded eyes

You can’t see what I can

I blindly throw my faith to the face

Of the next pretty girl to come my way

So here we are, all of us stand around

We’re leaning heavy on each other

Always wondering what is it lies behind

The worried eyes of one another

Well, I believe it’s love that’s hiding there

Deep down inside us all

So baby, I do not understand this twist you have

Love, when I approach, the tears they fall like rain

You tell me, baby, your heart’s into a thousand pieces, dashed

Stop, only old and wise with clouded eyes

You can’t see what I can

I blindly throw my faith to the face

Of the next good thing to come my way

I say, it’s love, don’t keep it down, keep it out, let it out sellin’

Baby, celebrate it all, it’s doing fine

Say love, when I approach you, tears they fall like rain

You tell me, baby, your heart’s into a thousand pieces, dashed

Love

Baby

Love

Baby

Love teach us well, keeps us dancing and romancing

Baby, two of us turn, turn together

Love, oh yeah

Baby

Love, I guess I’ll never stop

Baby, gonna be an eternity in here

Love, each in the light of love with expectations

Baby, aah”

Songwriters: David J. Matthews

Granny lyrics © Colden Grey Ltd

Lego City

Our middle child, our solo chico has become increasingly entertained with Legos. I was going to say “obsessed”, but I don’t think he’s quite there yet. But he certainly loves spending time with Legos. One collection is in / around the theme of Lego City.

Is so fun, heart-warming, even gratifying, to see him lost in play. He’s in this own universe in those moments, make-believe scenes in make believe worlds, with Legos far more specialized than when I played with them decades ago.

Maybe that’s just a parenting joy, watching kid in imaginative play. And maybe that’s a life lesson, too. Allow yourself to get lost sometimes. Maybe everyday. In a good way.

Lost in the work; lost in something that your brain really wants to, has to focus on.

Oh, and Lego City? It’s more than just plastic pieces. It’s a whole animated world and series created to entertain; and to teach some life lessons; and maybe sell some Legos, too.

If interested, read more on Lego City here:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lego_City_Adventures

Face The Enemy

The following series of images are from an Instagram post put up recently by Jason Gardner.

Really good insights here. Leave it to a Retired SEAL Master Chief to take lessons from the battlefield and apply it to broader, everyday life, and things we all deal with everyday.

Sincere gratitude to Jason Gardner for allowing to share these is insights.

Check out Jason’s Instagram feed via

https://instagram.com/jason.n.gardner?igshid=1dqh5psq90s1i

The Hopeful Switch

Most every morning I wake up quite early, in the dark, feeling something like despair.

Every manner of negative thoughts flowing in my head: things on my list I’ve not done, mistakes I’ve made, my broken marriage, how I should have kissed the kids good one more time, etc.

Big things, little things, all flow, giving me this start to the day with worry and concern and innate angst.

Meh.

And then somehow I flip the hopeful switch, and somehow things start to get a little better; and the despair recedes, even if only a bit; and I get into the day. And it’s ok.

Flip the switch. Today. Everyday.

Seeking Tender Moments

I find that I really like and appreciate and will prioritize tender moments.

Example? As I write this piece I’m lying in bed while my son sleeps next to me. He came in a few hours ago, upset by a dream.

I listen to him sleep, and I feel really, really lucky. Blessed to have this child. Even more blessed because I have three kids – three super-special relationships.

Another, different, tender moment? Spending time on the phone with an old friend. It doesn’t take long to get into the familiar, old tempo of conversation. As I sit in a chair by the window, alternately listening and talking, covering all manner of topics…

It’s soothing, relaxing, reminding of simpler, pleasant times past, making the present more pleasant too.

Just two examples. They’re all around if you look, if you’re open.

Maybe that was something of what God intended when he came into the world as a humble human, as Jesus of Nazareth. If you believe in that sort of thing. I do, but you don’t need to.

Either way, they’re good for you. Good for your soul.

Tender moments. Take ‘em when you can get them.