Words Hurt: Bad fathers are Evident…So are the good ones.

 

Hello,

It’s been a while since I have written anything.  Life has been happening and is still happening as we speak.  With school, my upcoming marriage, and children, time seems to get away from me.  This isn’t any excuse, per se.  Just an observation.

Speaking of children, I would like to talk about fathers for a second.  Yes, we get that annual day where we have the opportunity to be celebrated but there is a lot that is unseen during the other 364 days.  Now, I do not claim to be an expert in the art of Fatherhood, nor am I downplaying the art of Motherhood.  What seems to be prevalent are the numerous opinions and think-pieces about how there are so many bad fathers out there without too many opinions of think-pieces about the good ones:

The good ones that, despite lack of whatever, they still manage to sacrifice what they have so that their children get what they need.

The good ones that are trying to do the best that they can.

The good ones that are managing a career, school, etc. without neglecting their children.

Those guys.

Again, I am not trying to shame mothers in any way.  I just want the record straight.  When fatherhood is reduced to the showing of bad opinions, unresolved feelings, name calling and general disdain, it takes away from the MEN out here taking it to the max.  In other words, there could be a reason why “part-time dads”exist that have nothing to do with them actually being part-time.  Maybe, just maybe, their “part-time” status is not their doing.  Maybe, their “full-time” status has been reduced because of said issues above.  IT JUST MAY BE NOT THEIR FAULT!

For the Gentlemen doing the best that they can, this does not give you the option to slack off or stop.  This means that, despite what may be said about you, you keep doing what you’re doing…if not more.  Don’t let the words of some dictate how you help raise your children (some of this is directed right at me).  Stay focused, stay involved.  No matter the situation or circumstance, your impact matters.  You were given a gift(s) from God and the very least you can do is show appreciation by being present, involved, and dedicated.  That’s only the minimum.  The more you add makes it that much sweeter in the end.

Until next time…

(Photo courtesy of voicemalemagazine.org)

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Love in the Lunch

I was at work the other day and it was time for lunch.  I went to the fridge in the break room and took my lunch out. I opened the bag and put my container in the microwave to warm up my food.  When it was done I went to my desk to start eating.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  However, when I looked in the bag I saw a note.  It was a yellow sticky that read, “Have a good day at work babe.  I love you.”  Did I mention that my fiance was here visiting? Well, she was.  She was here for 10 days from Wednesday before Father’s Day until yesterday morning.  Normally, eating leftovers isn’t really a big deal but, there was something special about what was in the bag today.  She put love in my lunch.  This may not seem like a bog deal to some of you out there reading this but, to me, this was extra special.  For starters, I didn’t know she slipped the note in my lunch bag.  Second, she did it when I wasn’t really expecting it. Third, I wasn’t in the best mood since my car is acting up, yet again.  All I know that there was not in my bag that I did not expect and it was right on time.

This makes me think of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.  “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” (1 Cor 13:1-2).  You see all throughout life we have the opportunity to do things to and for people.  We have the chance, every single day to do something good.  The key is that you have to do it in love otherwise, what’s the point? If I tell you that I am going to do something for you just to let you know that I did something for you, that’s not what it’s about.  If my service to humanity is insistent upon itself, I’m not doing what Paul, more so what Christ has been trying to teach us.  In fact, it’s just a bunch of noise for my own gratification.  Not cool at all.

I said all of this to say that I love the Love in the Lunch.  It really made me feel special and it definitely made my day brighter.  I’m looking forward to more of the same and can’t wait until I can’t return the love.

P. K. Minister: The Sophomore Years

Well, here we are again.  I do apologize for not being so active in this space.  Things have been really busy on my end.  I hope and pray that you have been as equally successful in what you’re doing.

I just got word a few days ago that, after the fall semester, I will be a Sophomore at Liberty University.  You have no idea how excited I am about this.  I am almost done with my first year of college!  I honestly did not think that I would have gotten this far.  This is nothing but God’s grace and mercy.  Granted I’m not pulling a 4.0 or anything like that but, I am doing my best under the circumstances.  I am continuing to pray for strength and guidance, as I press on to my goal.  The classes themselves have been very enlightening and assuring me that there is so much to learn out there, especially when it comes to the Word of God and His Theology.  There were some days that I totally felt like my head would explode from all of the information.  It’s definitely been a challenge.

Can you believe that Christmas will be here soon?  I promise you that it seems like just yesterday we were saying “Happy New Year”.  Things seems to always go by a lot faster not that we’re in adulthood.  Not enough hours in the day when you’re working and raising kids and going to school.  You’d think that I wouldn’t have time for anything else.  Luckily, I was allotted some time so that I could take a mini vacation.  I was able to visit Chicago for the very first time a few weeks ago.  It was really cool seeing some of the things that I have only seen on TV and to also try some Harold’s Chicken for the first time.  I was not disappointed.  Most importantly, I was able to spend time with my Sweetheart.  It was her birthday that weekend so, I wanted to make sure that I was there for that.  I never really thought I could actually get into this long-distance relationship thing.  Seemed like a lot of work to me.  Well, to be honest, it is even though it doesn’t feel like it.  Probably because we spend a lot of time talking or shooting a text here and there.  We can’t forget about Skype!  That tool has been a blessing to us.  Getting to look at each other while we talk is a great thing when you have a few states distance between you.  We make sure we set aside time just for that reason.  Sure, it’s usually only an hour but I’d rather have that than no communication at all.  Basically, you make it what you make it. If that doesn’t make sense, try this:  Make the best of your situation in order to have a positive outlook.  Was that scholarly enough? LOL

My boys are definitely growing up!  I have a 3rd grader and a Freshman in high school!!  I’ll reference the above paragraph about how times can slip away from us.  They are becoming young men.  They say that life is full of new challenges.  Well, the three of us will be facing some together.  Two boys growing up in a crazy full-speed ahead world and their father trying to make sense of it all.  BRING IT ON!!!

Well, that will do it for this session.  Stay blessed folks!

What does it take?

Sometimes, I really dislike trying to be happy.  I know that sounds pretty strange but, it’s true.  You hear it all of the time, “I’m trying to be happy.” or, “I’m trying to be in a happy place in y life.”  The question I want to throw out there today is “why do her have to try so hard to be happy?”  Why does it have to take so much effort? Why do we have to waste so much energy just TRYING to be happy?  Shouldn’t being happy not require so much effort? Why should we have to do whatever it takes to make us happy?  Why can’t happiness just show up?  These are some of the questions that I ask myself as I’m just sitting and thinking.  What about you?

Please share your comments

Thursday Rant

Well, here we are.  Approaching another summer.  So far, things are pretty much even keel for me. Definitely some challenges that I had to overcome.  Still, new challenges are ahead so for that, I am grateful.

I think I’m really going to try something new this time around.  I’m really going to rely on my faith.  Now, I know this is probably sounding strange coming from me but, let’s face it; we ALL have issues with faith and its lack of use.  The Bible teaches us, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Heb 11:6)  This being said, we have to learn to adjust our faith so that it is at the forefront of our decision-making.  Lately, I have tried to use my faith but, I got in the way.  Too early, in fact.  God will always do things in His time and, when we deviate from that, it can prove disastrous.  You end up missing out on things that you could have very well had, if only you would have just waited.  I am a true witness to this.  I lost what would have been mine but I rushed it.  I was way too eager to seize the opportunity.  Was it fear? Was it pride? Was it selfishness?  Was it even all three?  Those are questions that we have to ask ourselves when we’re faced with this type of situation.  What am I afraid of if I wait? What happens when it doesn’t happen and how will that make me look?  What’s wrong with me having this? Everybody else does.  I WANT ONE TOO!!

Last time I spoke about removing the bandage in order to heal.  Well, this goes hand in hand with that.  The healing process has to begin but you have to trust God that He will heal whatever pain you have, regardless of whether it was self-induced or not.  Paul told the church in Corinth that he had a vision as well as a thorn in his side.  Apparently it was pretty annoying since he asked God to remove it three times.  This is when God spoke to him in verse 9, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Cor 12:9)  This means that, even though I am going through a period, even though my heart may be aching, and even though I feel like it can’t any better, God’s grace is sufficient.  It always has been, it always will be.  We just to trust and have faith that it is so…

Don’t Look Down!!!

“Calm down doctor. Now is not the time for fear. That comes later…” This is one the best lines from Dark Knight Rises. If you’re not familiar with the movie (seriously?), this is the scene where Bane and his cohorts have hijacked a plane belonging to the CIA that is carrying Dr. Pavel. Bane has captured Dr. Pavel and assured him that being afraid now won’t do him any good but, later he should be.

I remember, back in my Army days, there was always some sort of training that we had to do, Especially in Basic Training. On one particular day, we had to go through, what’s called, the Confidence Course. This was a series of obstacles that ran a few hundred yards. Along the course there were a myriad of obstacles that you had to negotiate. Some required crawling while others required, jumping, running, rolling, etc. However there was one obstacle that almost everyone feared. This was the one where you had to climb up and over at a pretty decent height. Sure, there were some that were able to get passed it but, there were many of us that were not. You heard the usual calls of motivation as well as tricks to get over it.

“Just keep your eyes forward…”

“Don’t look down…”

I could go on and on. The thing about it was that there could have been a million tricks but if you have a fear, there is no point in wasting your breath. Fortunately for me, I was successful at climbing but, because of my height, I was at a disadvantage. Still, I had to get over the wall. It took me two times but, I made it. However my greatest challenge was when I went rappelling for the first time. The wall in basic training was tough however, a 50 ft tower is a totally different animal. Not only was it high, this time, I had to rappel down the front. I was fitted with a harness and climbed the tower. Once they gave me a class on rappelling, it was my time to go over the edge (insert scared face). As I got into position, my heart was racing faster than a zebra being chased by a lion. I was over the edge but I wasn’t going anywhere. I was stuck. My friend told me that I had to kick away from the wall and pull my back arm away from my body loosening the rope. I was still at the top so I wasn’t able to kick very far but, when I started my descent, I was moving! It was all over after about three kicks.

After I got done, I went back a few more times because it got easier once I faced my fear. Noticed I said “face” and not “overcome”. The way I see it, we never really stop being afraid. We face the fear by looking straight at it and then we go on ahead. This reminds me of Paul’s second letter to Timothy. He tells him to not be afraid because that’s not how God operates. He doesn’t give us the spirit of fear. That comes from the enemy. God gives us the spirit of love and a sound mind. We go through life everyday thinking about ways to not do something because of fear. Myself included. There have been many times since leaving the army where I was afraid. I had a fear of the unknown. Even after my divorce there was still some fear. I had to push through and face it all. You can too…