Post Tryptophan Thankfulness

So this past weekend we made a quick 4 day trip up to Northwest Pennsylvania to spend some time with the in-laws. It was a good trip, full of plenty of time to relax, unwind, and give thanks. It wasn’t until I got home, though, that the depth of all I have to be thankful for kicked in.

We came home to a mess. A crappy mess. As in a backed up main sewer line so no one could shower mess. And did I mention a toilet had backed up while we were gone? Yeah. A mess. One doesn’t start shouting “Oh thank God we’re home” in such a situation. I didn’t, either. I think I was actually a little bossy and stressed towards my wife. In the end, though, we got things cleaned out of the bathroom and closet and piled out on the deck. I’ll probably need to replace some flooring, but that’s all doable. So I ventured out with my little snake to see if I could clear the clog, and couldn’t. I got some bloody, dirty knuckes, but no draining sewage.

Put a call into a plumbing company – they might be able to come the next afternoon. Tried another company, and lo and behold, they can be there in 90 minutes and it will only cost an extra $70. That’s money well spent in this house on this particular day. Sunday. Post 4-day weekend. School the next day. Hands covered in you-know-what. So at 10PM, the tech shows up, and the drain is cleared in 15 minutes, and should stay that way for a long time.

Monday was a busy day at the office, and Tuesday was just as crazy planned. The end of the month is looking good, which is never something I take for granted. At lunchtime, I decided to go out for a walk. I haven’t told many people, but my knee has been really messed up lately. Limping one day, no weight for an hour after that, and OK the day after that. Very strange. Made me a bit nervous. Called the doc and scheduled and appointment for a few weeks out. The thing was, I didn’t have much pain while we were up in PA. In fact, I wound up being Mr. Jungle Gym for my kids so many times I thought it would be quite sore, but it wasn’t. So I went for a walk today, which turned into a decision to see if I could jog, which I haven’t done in a month. That turned into “wow – no pain!” and I wound up running 3 miles without stopping, at just about my normal speed.

Upon getting home, I was able to spend most of the afternoon prepping some servers for the new year. I’ve written another post today about all this ministry means to me, so I won’t cover that here. Needless to say, it’s extremely rewarding work for me.

So yeah, all these sweet things after the not-so-great welcome home have given me another new perspective. So it cost me a couple hundred bucks. Stressed our relationship. Might lead to cutting out some subfloor and work I don’t “have time” for. But you know, that’s OK. Because there is all sorts of oter things that show up when you put what’s really not that bad in perspective.

Vision – Glimpses of the path

Back in college at Cedarville University I had this vision of my life taking the Bible to places it’s never been in ways it’s never gone before. In that glimpse, I figured it would be with a group like Wycliffe Bible Translators USA or JAARS or something like that. For years that dream lay dormant, even after I started listening and helping out at the Daily Audio Bible.

It wasn’t until last year, when the DAB began broadcasting in Arabic, that I realized I was right smack dab in the middle of all I was meant to be. I thought my dream had gone dormant, had been a tangent, or simply something I might support with my other resources. But there I was, part of an organization that’s taking the spoken word of God, anywhere in the world, to anyone that will listen…. even in ARABIC. That’s fresh ground, and I’m helping till it.

Today, I as reviewed some of the stats with Brian Hardin about how far this podcast has come in terms of terabytes, server counts, and all those other techy things, I’m reminded of how great my God is, how He loves to use my gifts and talents in a way that far surpasses what “I” would choose to do with them, and even how His sense of humor drives me to that place of knowing, without a doubt, that this journey I’m on is not a blind wandering but a trail worth following, a path laid before me, if I will only step up and follow it.

Today – November 16, 2012

Went for another walk in the dark tonight. These are such good times. So much of life is non-stop. It has been good to start getting out in the dark, quiet, cold air.

Spent the whole day doing on-site service for a long term client; didn’t quite get everything done, but nothing was broken at the end of the day. Several steps closer to completion, which will mean less hassle for us to maintain old equipment and less cost / more uptime for my client and their team.

Took some time to reflect on how much I love to CREATE. All through my life this has been there. Drawing… Wanting to be an architect… Going to school to take God’s Word and Offer to places it’s never been in means it’s never been taken… Writing Software… Designing and creating databases… Helping someone else start a new business… Wanting to help plant a church… Wanting to write a book… Starting my own business.

This also lends me perspective to those places that are tough for me – the long haul, the maintenance, the idea that someone else might not like my great idea as much as me. Just because these don’t invigorate me like creating something new doesn’t mean it isn’t a huge part of my life. But it also doesn’t mean I have to lose what I do love. I need to find ways to keep that alive, because it keeps ME alive.

I have a friend who likens my perspective on software design to that of a music artist. There’s beauty in those lines of code. You might not get it, but I do. In the organization. The orchestration. The flow. The cleanliness yet completeness.

I love it.

Today – November 15, 2012

Interesting day. Lots of sub-stories these bullet points will trigger as I look back on today.

Can you find the one thing I didn’t really do?

  • Stuffed my phone under the pillow so I wouldn’t be able to hear the alarm go off. Overslept by an hour. “No, I’m not tired, really.”
  • Ate leftovers for breakfast that were probably 5 times better than whatever you scrounged up at the fast-food joint.
  • Spent the morning finishing up a financial forecast that involves capital M’s within 18 months.
  • Confidently discussed said financial forecast with a very interesting friend.
  • Touched base with my coach Mark Sturgell and reminded myself about the importance of goal planning – not just goal setting, but SMART goal PLANNING.
  • Forgot to pay for gas at the gas station. Good thing I wasn’t driving the truck!
  • Continued to find my way into what may be a very promising monthly contract for the next several months.
  • Spent some bonus time with my kids while Erin went to one of those Pampered Chef parties.
  • Got in half a day’s work after 7:30 PM.
  • Created a shopping cart feature I’ve rarely seen, especially for mom-and-pop type businesses.
  • Found a local yokel to help me butcher my chickens this week… and he even offered to buy some of them off of me.
  • Only one poopie diaper today, and that was 10 minutes ago.
That’ll do it.

 

Today – November 14, 2012

Another day gone by. Got a lot done today, it feels like. The day wasn’t rushed, but it also was full. I didn’t make a couple appointments I would have liked to have made, but every day has its decisions that must be made.

Brian talked a bit about discipline on the DAB today. I had been thinking about how sobering the Old Testament feels, about how some of the stories just give me that vibe, even though I’m not in exactly the same boat as the Israelites. I can relate. Discipline is hard. It means having something taken away, or a sort of pain inflicted with a lesson to be learned. We can’t always see that lesson, especially in the midst of the drama.

I also got a lot from Hebrews today. Here’s chapter 12, verse 1:

So then let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith’s pioneer and perfecter. He endured the cross, ignoring the shame, for the sake of the joy that was laid out in front of him, and sat down at the right side of God’s throne.

Baggage. It’s everywhere. So much of it needs to simply be DROPPED. And yet there is also so much responsibility God has for us that He’d love for us to pick up, to carry with him, to even ENJOY. But the thing is, we just can’t when we’re carrying so much of our own junk.

I still have a lot to let go of. It’s not easy. Some of it is a form of discipline because I’m eating the fruit of a former life. 

 

Today – November 13, 2012

A bullet point of a day. Not bad, just out of time to put complete thoughts together.

  • Worked through last month’s financials for C2IT. We started really measuring some things about 3 months ago and it’s helped set goals and know what is and isn’t working to achieve them.
  • Made a strategic business decision to cut ties with a rather long term vendor in order to solidify ties with one that is better suited for our business. Not easy, but also not really that painful once I faced it head on.
  • Spent about 6 hours of the day working for the Community Foundation of Morgan County. While most of what we were doing were small “tweaks” to their website, they gave it a great face lift and solidified a good new relationship with a client.
  • Came home to my family, played with my kids while Erin made biscuits and gravy with dip eggs, a favorite of the boys in this house.
  • Took Colton to boy scouts. We went to the fire station. It seemed like a couple hours, but was really only about 45 minutes. Those boys sure had fun! Someday I want to be a volunteer fire fighter. I really do.
  • Took a walk in the cold. With my son.
  • Tucked Colton into bed after feeding horses.
  • Had my wife ask me if she could help me with evening animal chores to spend time together and with our horses.
  • Watched some TV while wrapping up a cool community project for the Daily Audio Bible that should be released soon.
  • Pulled together some records for the new vendor that I’m meeting with tomorrow and realized that while we took a $40,000 + pay cut a few years back as we reinvented our business, my family is doing just fine. I’m looking forward to getting that money back, though.
  • Shared news of my exciting day with my wife. 
  • Shot a bear with a bow and arrow.
  • Changed a poopie diaper (or was it two?)
  • Checked outside for coyotes.
  • Ok, I didn’t really shoot a bear with a bow and arrow.
That’s good for today.