Posts Tagged With: marriage

The Priceless Population


As a society it seems as if we value just about everything as it ages. Things like…

Wine(Paul Masson “We will sell no wine before its time“) There seems to be a general belief that when it comes to wine, older is definitely better. People have paid out extraordinary amounts of money to own rare and highly sought after spirits.

And houses: Although most houses fall into the “decrepit” category after 100 years (or less in some cases), there are still many houses (even older) that are considered “vintage” and sell for a premium, especially American Craftsman Style homes if they have all or most of their original “built ins” or have been designated historical landmarks.

And of course, baseball cards: One of the most expensive baseball card in the world is one from 1909 that was sold for a staggering $2.8 million!

Now, while I certainly think all of these aged-collectables are nice, the most notable and surprising exception to inclusion in this time-established ranking of seniority… is people.

It’s really sad to me that as people get older, instead of treating them with respect and dignity, many of them are treated like a nuisance. An inconvenience at best. We cast our elderly aside like yesterday’s newspaper. Maybe good for recycling, but more likely to be used as lining in bird cages. Where is the honor many of the aged among us so rightfully deserve? When did we become so careless with our ancestry?

I’ve purposed to simply record conversation with my older relatives, especially my parents. I sit and ask questions about a bygone era that shaped the people they eventually became. People who fell in love, got married and gave me life. I realized a long time ago that there is so much to be learned from their lifetime of experiences. I learn about our country’s history from a first-hand accounting of events. I learn about the transformation of what constituted entertainment. And I learn about our community both large and small, as well as its victories and its defeats.

So just remember, by the grace of God, we’ll all get old eventually. Make the time to give your elders the time and attention they deserve. Because the hearts of this extraordinary population, and the wisdom-laden information they provide are in a word… priceless.

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Are You Loved or Wanted?


As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I thought I’d take it a little further and explore the underlying motivations of some of the relationships I myself have experienced and/or observed.

I was never the guy who went on lots of dates. If I approached girls at all (you know, shy introvert and all), they would be girls I found attractive and those I could see the potential for something long term.

I know there are many of us who sometimes get into a relationship, not because we are looking for love, but are instead longing for affirmation. We convince ourselves that we are satisfied with being wanted, although not necessarily loved. The fact that some person wants us becomes enough upon which to base a semblance of a relationship. Even if, in many cases, it is destined to fail because of the shaky foundation.

Of course there is a huge difference between being LOVED and simply being WANTED.

To have someone LOVE us typically means that they’ve committed to accept us; an imperfect person with all of our relationship baggage, emotional filters, and strange family dynamics. They’ve identified something within us that makes us someone they’d rather not live without.

To have someone WANT us often means that we are more akin to a possession. It’s not so much about who we are, but rather what we represent. We’re an award, proof that the person is capable of being with someone (anyone?), or perhaps we provide the person with bragging rights or some increased level of prestige. Depending on our previous experiences, either with family or prior relationships, we somehow find this acceptable.

If we settle for just being wanted, it can leave us feeling empty, unsatisfied and undervalued. And that’s an unhealthy dynamic for any relationship. Some people see being wanted as a means to an end. Some of the women to whom I’ve spoken are in their early 20s and are afraid that if they don’t settle for someone now, they’ll have no one later. They have convinced themselves that a relationship built on being WANTED can become one revolved around being LOVED. Unfortunately, shallow relationships rarely, if ever, achieve any depth beyond their initial superficial existence.

However, I can tell you unequivocally that LOVE is worth waiting for.

My amazing wife, whom I absolutely adore and thank God for every day, was 34 years old when she married me. That would seem late to some people, but we’re going more than 15 years strong and have six (6) beautiful children. As the Rascal Flatts song says so well, it was well worth the broken road that led us to each other.

So please don’t sell yourself short because of a false perception that you’re running out of time. Because when you have a fulfilling love, it can make the rest of your life feel like an eternity.

…entirely different.

Categories: intimacy, marriage, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s Real


I used to wonder why people run to the scene of a car accident, or overload web search servers when the latest celebrity photo scandal breaks. But then I realized that it has more to do with the fact that we are drawn to situations that are outside of those to which we are accustomed. Car accidents happen, but they don’t happen to most people everyday. There’s a good portion of the population that are foolish, but 99% of us are not people in the public eye who decide to take naked pictures for our boy/girlfriend-of-the-week only to feign disgust when they sells them to TMZ.

Perfection should never be the goal.

What’s my point? My point is that what should be a simple 1 + 1 = 2 thought process is not computing for the masses. If our collective attention really is drawn to what is uncommon, atypical or rare (1), and people have long since mourned the demise of healthy marriages (+ 1), then why are some people uninterested (or so quick to dismiss) the discussion or promotion of successful relationship? (= 2).  We still focus on the relational train wrecks, the adulterous politicians, the bed-hopping socialites, and staged “reality” drama in the form of The Bachelor(ette)’s bevy of eligible (and some emotionally broken) men and women. Maybe it’s just a form of entertainment for people? A necessary distraction?

This is one of the reasons I purposely post stories about my marriage and my kids, because I believe that exposure to positive relationships has been completely overshadowed by recurring themes of hurt, fear, hopelessness, betrayal and despair. I do realize that we’ve all had bad experiences. Maybe it has to do with the old adage that misery loves company. Or perhaps people have such low expectations that they buy in to the belief that relationships are destined to fail.

In the past I’ve gotten private messages accusing me of making up the stories about my wife and kids. I’m like, really?? It blows me away. Honestly, I wouldn’t have the attention span to dedicate the necessary time to such an elaborate hoax. I barely manage to balance time to write here, work and invest in my family. A full time gig x3 for sure.

That being said, I am a huge proponent of promoting healthy relationships and will always encourage questions and responses on this topic. I don’t think we can have enough of them. I can’t speak for anyone else here, but I’m all about being real. REAL stories about REAL people experiencing REAL success.

As most of us have probably heard before, what you see is here is DEFINITELY what you get.

No life filters here.

Categories: opinion, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Refilling The Quiver


This is my entire nuclear family... my wife, my 5 boys, and my one daughter.

A Quiver Full

If there’s anything I’m certain of, it’s that there will be changes in 2020. I know that some will be amazing. While others will be completely unexpected. But with the passing of time, change is inevitable. Nevertheless, there is one change that I am particularly looking forward to… refilling my quiver.

See, my wife and I are multi-generational parents. Meaning that our six (6) children range in ages that cover two generations. Our oldest is currently 24 and our youngest is 6. It means that while we have several adolescent children at home whose very lives depend on us 😲!, we also have two adult children who are independent and fully capable of maintaining life without our intervention 😏. It’s a beautiful in-between season. I feel like we aren’t so old that we can’t relate to our adult children, and we’re still healthy and vibrant enough to keep up (most of the time 😉 ) with the younger ones.

A Crazy Quiver

These are my people… and by the end of this month, our oldest son will be moving to Phoenix, and the exodus from California will be complete. We are super excited about this upcoming season. Our older sons will be living (peacefully) together, and pursuing their dreams in careers about which they are passionate. Our younger children will be cultivating their talents, growing in their gifts, building new friendships, and giving back to others and to the body of Christ. My wife and I will finally get our grooves back with writing, singing, worshipping, and loving life!

I’m loving the outlook of 2020!

What are some of the things you’re looking forward to this year?

 

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KNOWING LOVE


This is a picture of my wife at 4 years old.

andrea-at-4

Every time I look at this picture, I smile and think to myself, “I wish I’d known her then. I would’ve been her friend!” Seriously, I would’ve friended her so hard. lol I would’ve rode bikes, made mud pies, endured protracted doll activites, discovered bugs in the yard, and listened to every fantastic tale her young mind could conjure. I would’ve done all of it. Gladly.

I used to lament the fact that I didn’t know her when she was younger. That is, until I understood something very important…

She is still that little girl.

That 4-year-old little girl lives inside of her. And every time she shares with me stories of her childhood, or introduces me to cousins she used to visit in the summer, or I sit and watch while she reminisces over faded, old photos of Canadian farmland, I learn more about her 4-year-old self… and her 13-year-old self… and any other year-old versions of her that I may not have witnessed firsthand. And I fall in love with each and every one of them.

Because they are all still there.

As I picture this beautifully blonde, rambunctiously creative, spirited little girl, I realize that I love and have loved… all of her, throughout time. It is impossible to separate the woman she is, from the girl she was. They are one and the same.

So I no longer wish I’d known her at 4-years-old, because… I do. I know her as a preteen in the school performance at Play Mountain Place. I know her as the high school graduate who set off on her first year at UC Santa Cruz. I know her as the coed who took a summer trip to a lake house with friends. And I know her as the woman who bought her first house in Pasadena. I know… HER.

Instead, I now wish that I will continue to know her until she’s 104-years-old. Because I can’t imagine a more amazing gift than over a century of knowing and loving someone like her.

Happy Valentines Day, my love. ❤

Categories: marriage, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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