In Rememberance

I’ve been watching Band of Brothers lately, a show about World War II – it’s inspiring, but brutal.  Those guys earned so much more than a few moments of remembering, but today – we offer a feeble moment and pause, and I’m thankful for their sacrifice.

I’m also remembering my co-worker Chris Worden today and especially his family that was left behind when he was killed while on duty in Hay River.

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10 years…

Just contemplating ten years (as of tomorrow) married to Tara … reflections:

  • time flys.  Old news to anyone as old as me, but true.
  • As Jack Johnson says: we’re better together.
  • It’s been tougher than I thought, but… deeper and more satisfying too.  Years of sharing the real, tough, mundane, fun, good, bad stuff has been better than I thought it would be.  Hard to explain.
  • We’ve had good mentors.  Some I’ve noticed more than others, but we’ve been blessed – that’s made a huge difference I think.  We couldn’t have guessed how good it would be for us to move off to YK and be adopted in by Doug & Cindy, or how much more we would respect our parents as we learn from their marriage journeys over the past decade – those are just a few.
  • Here’s a bit of advice from one of those couples I respect a ton who are hitting 32 years today (Kerry & Lavonne) – hope she doesn’t mind me broadcasting it to the world! “Work hard and stand firm, as you enter your 11th year together and remember, love doesn’t just happen by chance, it takes hard work and decisive action.”
  • As my Dad reflected on 72 years of marriage for my grandparents a couple of weeks ago:  quantity is one thing, but what about quality?  This is really something to respect and work towards.  How do we get there?
  • Kindness works – and forgiveness counts because it doesn’t count.   Those two things might be all we need?
  • 13 Ways To Invest In Your Marriage : just happened to be the post at A Place For The God-Hungry today.

O For Grace

“O for grace to trust Him more”

I don’t know how many times I’ve sung ‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus, but last Sunday night was the first time I noticed this line.  I like it.

Another Classic

All the way from 1997… I realize classic is a subjective term.

Attitude

          “The Longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than   education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than  what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance,  giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church …a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our  attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I  react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”

 Charles  Swindoll

Random Kindness

I found an old diskette with some documents from my time in Saskatoon in 1997, I was kind of on a kindness kick for a while back there – wonder if these would still apply 10 years later?

Practical Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness

  • When you come out of a mall in winter, scrape the ice and snow off the windows of the car next to yours.

  • The next time you’re in a coffee shop, pay for three or four (or ten!) coffees and give an anonymous gift to the people who are behind you in line.

  • Leave your change in a vending machine.

  • Give a friend a hug for no reason.

  • Put a kind message in a bottle, seal it up and let it float away.

  • Tape a quarter to a pay phone with a note saying that anyone who needs it, please use it.

  • Write notes of appreciation to people who don’t normally receive recognition (firefighters, police officers, janitors, etc.).

  • Send your mother flowers “just because.”

  • Buy something from a vending machine and leave it inside at the bottom for the next person who comes along.

  • The next time you hear of a family or individual who could use some money, send them an anonymous gift (drop it in their mailbox or use a money-order). Money in the mail is so wonderful, especially when you can only guess who it might be from. When you receive anonymous money, it feels like God mailed it to you Himself.

Reflections on Role Models

A blog I was reading today was discussing public role male role models of the day. The list included people like George Clooney, Jon Stewart, Matt Damon, etc.

It’s an interesting topic to think on. Role models are a tricky thing. They have a huge impact on the way you view the world, but I think it’s fair to say one of the tough things about growing up can be figuring out your role models are not as perfect as you thought. Of course this is much easier to deal with if you grow up enough to realize that you’re not perfect either. Who would my role models be? Dad, Grandpa, teachers I’ve had, Charles Barkley – I’ve been blessed with quite a few actually. I wonder if we can know just how much they impact us…

Loser

Ever feel like a loser? I do. Patrick Mead does too and writes good stuff here about it. Got me thinking.
I remember these sweet sweatpants I made in home ec class in grade 9 and wore to high school all the time – I truly was a loser. Leah probably remembers how much of a loser I was, and my only solace is that I have memories of the sweet hairdoes she had, being lucky enough to be a female in the “big bangs” 80’s days, not saying she was a loser – just that she had cool hair. I’ve mostly recovered from my high school days… but sometimes I wonder if I really have changed much.

In my lower moments over the past while I’ve thought about just how little my list of good friends is. It sometimes seems like if my incredible wife or I didn’t invite people into our lives we could kind of float by in isolation…. not really being noticed. That’s in my lower moments of course. I’m not writing this so that you will leave me an encouraging comment saying you are my friend – it’s okay – I’m not that depressed. (although Chelsey you better leave one or I’ll never forgive you and our friendship will be ruined – Jeremy you can just take me out for lunch some time, and Heather & Harmony, as my sisters you are obligated to say something nice – an email would be fine).
It’s just that I think we all feel pretty disconnected sometimes. One of the great things about being married is that some of that disconnection is balanced out by the other person, and some of the depressing thoughts are cleared out, called stupid, or just listened to, but still I think I’m likely safe to assume most of my acquaintances feel like losers sometimes too.

It’s all more proof for me of the need for a intentional push for community, even though true community sometimes seems to be an elusive thing. I also know that giving up on pushing outward won’t help at all – that just makes me more depressed.
I’m not sure what the point of this post is – it’s a bit more “diary like” than usual and that’s not really the reason “YI BLOG”, but perhaps just the encouragement to push out – I’m betting your friends and family appreciate it.

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