Say hello to the bad guy?!? part 1

Yep that’s me… The bad guy! Allow me to explain…

It was a normal day… I was hanging out with my family working on a project. My son as smart as he is knows that writing on the wall=bad. So being the testy young lad that he is, having a momentary lapse in judgement, he decided it was a GOOD idea to write on the wall with a pen. I told him with all the love a father could “where’s your head son”(not a direct quote but gets the point across). After some persuasion, He then agreed with me that he would no longer write on any walls. We had a gentlemen’s agreement, if you will!

A while later the strapping young lad had a pen in his hand and his mother, in her gentle motherly way reminded him of his fathers words and not to write on the wall.

This is the point we all can relate to!
He had his pen so close to the wall and wheels were spinning! He had to make a CHOICE!

photo (3)Needless to say… he chose wrong.

He ultimately suffered the consequences and after a few minutes and tears streaming he stood up and with a hint of tears still in his eyes he looked at me and said it “Dad you’re a bad guy”.

I took him in my arms and asked him why he was in trouble and he admitted that HE made a wrong choice. I reminded him that every choice he makes has a consequence, good and bad, and if makes a choice he has to deal with those consequences and accept responsibility for them.

How many times have I held the pen?

Knowing what was right and what was wrong

Knowing that the path I choose might not end well for me

Knowingly standing in the place right next to the very wall that I never needed to be any where near.

Knowingly disregarding sound, WISE, advice to do what I know in my heart I should do.

How often do I play with a little fire and don’t get burned, It was warm sure, But I could handle it. The fire was tempting and I made it through. The little bit didn’t hurt. Convincing me I can “Handle” what God says I don’t even need.

As followers of God we accept the fact that God will always be there in the midst of the fire and often forget to Take RESPONSIBILITY at times for being in it. Sure there are circumstances beyond our control, That is not what I am talking about this time.

Maybe you are playing with Fire (or a pen) and you know you shouldn’t. You have gotten burned in the past but you think you can handle it now.

Take it from the Bad Guy, Don’t willingly choose to walk towards what God has already redeemed you from. If you and I are going to choose, Choose to walk closer to God.

~~Raul

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When the grass clippings settle

I woke up early at 6am and hit snooze… Eventually you have to come to grip with reality that the morning is here, it’s not a dream and you get out of bed. I am just about to leave and look out my door and see my daughter. 1 year old standing in her crib, quietly looking out her door. She sees me and starts saying over and over in her adorable little baby voice, “dayya, dayya…”

Who could resist it, not a soul on earth. I pick her up and she smiles and laughs and snuggles her little head onto my shoulder. Who wakes up this joyous? I mean really? How could my day not be better already with this magnificent send off. But alas I must leave and go to work… I hear her in the background as I walk out the door… Dayya, Dayya…

I put in my last intern shift and come home at 4, with just enough time to change and run out the door to mow the lawn. As I make my front lawn pass I see a familiar little ray of sunshine standing at the front door!! She is so happy she starts dancing and I see her lips moving saying … Dayya, Dayya… I wave at her and say “HI, baby!!!” and she starts to dance more and runs away to share her excitement with someone else! I see her back again at my next pass waving and saying “hi dayya”

Eventually the lawn is mowed and I have to leave for work at 5, I come in and see my baby girl come running at me with arms wide open! She sits in my arms. She doesn’t want me to talk to her, she doesn’t want to talk to me. She just wants me to be there with her. She gets down and runs right back! I hug her again and start to leave for work. Then she starts following me with her arms open, in a frenzie, beginning to cry …Dayya, Dayya…

At this point I can’t simply walk away… My heart is literally broken as I watch her come running to me! Again she doesn’t want me to do anything… Just be there! So once I again I muster up the strength to walk out the door for work knowingly breaking my baby girls heart in the process. This time she frantically grabs her big diaper bag … “Dayya,Dayya”and tries to go out the door with me as if to say “fine if you insist on leaving where I am, I will go where you are!? Such persistence!!! I gave her a big hug and ran out the door!! Wow what a jerk I am right!

Eventually I came home at 1030 and she was awake and crying, I walked in the door scooped her tired little self up… She immediately rested her little head on my shoulder and stopped crying! I rubbed her back for a minute and laid her in her bed. She went to sleep as joyous as she woke up!

I know I missed a lot, i can literally tear up thinking about it, but in my small little moments I had with her today, I was just reminded that above anything else the most important thing I could ever give her is to just be there!!

Just be there!

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New Morning

2012-12-25 15.33.30I woke up this morning excited… to see the look on my son’s face. It’s Christmas!! He doesn’t even totally understand what that means. To him it means that when he wakes up, His dada will be home (almost never happens) and will spend the entire day with him. I can’t help but think at times like these that Rachael was right!! She wanted kids more than anything! ME, I didn’t. Now look at me. Excited to spend the day with my awesome wild son and gorgeous little girl and amazing wife.

On a morning like this I can’t help but think about those people in Newtown. I don’t even know them. I don’t know their names. A part of me doesn’t want to know, that I way I can pretend it isn’t real. That it was all just a horrible dream. It was horrible, and for those families it was and is no dream. It is a loss I can barely fathom. I can remember waking up the next day after my wife Rachael passed away. The feelings all come back when I hear the story of Newtown. I can see the sights, remember the feelings, and hear the sounds just like it was yesterday. It is something those families and many more are experiencing this very morning. They aren’t waking up to smiles and laughter. It may seem unreal, but tears are their only comfort and sometimes are the only way to let the emotions loose.

If that is you today, Hold your head high. Celebrate the life that you had the opportunity to be a part of. no matter how long or short it was. Don’t be afraid to talk about them often, and cry if you have to. Just do it. It is all part of the process. You are stronger than you realize and because bad things happen doesn’t mean there isn’t Hope. Celebrate those that you DO still have in your life also!

 

If you woke up this morning and are surrounded by family and fun and laughter and love… cherish it all

  • hug a little longer
  • Cuddle a little longer
  • Stay up a little later
  • Laugh a little harder
  • Forgive and forget
  • turn off the tv and games and TALK a LOT longer

God is the only constant in this life. You never know what turns life will take tomorrow. So make today matter. My tears today are tears of joy. Tomorrow may be a new morning, with different twists and turns. All we can do is make today matter while we are still here.

Take a moment and pray for those families in Connecticut, and spend some time with those in your family that are alone this season. And never leave without letting the people you love, Know that you love them… tell them.

Merry Christmas

~~Raul~~

 

Battlefield normalcy

I always say it… It’s the little things that matter.

There we were standing, ready, prepared to take on the world. I had my toolbag in hand, some call it a diaper bag, others call it necessary tools for success. Nothing could stop us. It was us against the world, and the world was about to lose. We knew our goal. We knew the outcome before we started. We would succeed, we had to succeed! There was no turning back now and only cowards knew the way anyway. We trudged forward… Determined! I started up the engine. With a few quick short bursts it ferociously roared to life. The gentle purr of the engine a precursor to the explosiveness that lay dormant, ready to take flight if need be…

So I gently revved the engine of the little white mini van as I made up some random song to sing my baby son. (he enjoyed it)

That’s right, there was no speech, no last words that inspire thousands to die on the battlefield of nobility. There was no loud cheers to spur a dead sprint to face the enemy and possibly eternity. It was just Saturday morning. It was a normal day. It was me and my son. We would spend the day together. A day that we would most likely soon forget. Jumbled together with the hundreds of other days just like it. What makes this day so special you ask? Ah hah now I knew I had you at hello! The truth is there may not be anything that makes it note-able. But… Special… it is (a little Yoda-esque no?) I have time with my son, time I would never get back if I missed. Time I would always regret if I didn’t take advantage of it. So take advantage… I did (Yoda laugh)

You see time is something we can’t get enough of and always need more of. I spent the day, laughing, singing, feeding, playing, smiling, and loving my son. All of those things are so little, All of those things aren’t the things that we sit down and plan out. They just happen throughout the course of a day. Couple them with thousands more just like them and we have something that is memorable… Something that is to be cherished.

That is a life that is spent on what really matters. I look at my son daily and thank God for such an awesome person to share my life with. He has forever changed the way I look at the world. For as long as I can I hope to have as many uneventful days like I did this Saturday. Ones where we are just living life together and laughing a lot in the process. That’s my prayer today. That I don’t take the little things for granted.

And I beg you my friend… don’t you either!

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a Post about Nothing

For the first time in I can’t remember i looked at my calendar this week and there it was staring staring me in the face, taunting me even! It was… nothing.

My week was free (for the most part). No appointments, no song preps, no plans. Ahhhh, how will I survive!!!

My first thought was, “What am I going to do?” i know… crazy, right! Life is crazy and it only gets crazier. Why do we always feel that we have to fill all our free time with something. We can be frantic (as I was) to fill it with anything.

I am not a lazy person but I do enjoy the occasional free day,uhh… I think! Its refreshing. But only if we let it be.

I came home from work Monday night after deciding to embrace the day, Carpe Diem! I had all night and I was going to give it to my son and wife. There I sat periodically wondering where my phone was and then remembering, oh yeah I put it away. In my brief down moments my mind immediately began racing trying to figure out something to do! You have been there right? (tell me I am not alone) It didn’t feel right not having my phone, not running from place to place , and actually having room to breathe. I have to tell you, a conversation is so much easier understood when there is no phone in your face! Can I get an Amen!

Maybe it is the thrill of the chase I enjoy. Maybe it is the feeling of accomplishment I get when I know I did it! Whatever IT may be.

So now here I found myself sitting on the bench. But… But… Who is in the game? Won’t the world stop spinning if I take a day off?

No… It won’t, and the truth of the matter is your checklist will never be done, there will always be something else to do.

As I sat there that night playing with my son I soon forgot about my phone, and all the things I needed to get done. I no longer felt compelled to do something with my day. I gave him all of me and I don’t regret a single second. As I layed him in bed last night, I wished the day was longer and we had more time!

I think of all that I would have missed if I chose to give in and waste my night by choosing lists over my son.

 I know that years from now when my son is older I won’t remember another busy night. I know I will always remember when we played so long and laughed so hard until he sat in my lap hugged me and began to fall asleep. THAT… I WILL NEVER forget!

Today, embrace your free time. It is precious, it is an endangered commodity in this life. It shouldn’t be taken for granted or wasted with minuscule details. Fight the urge to fill up every moment with something and enjoy the nothing. And if you don’t have any free time, then its time to make some,  and if you are a list person, then put it on your list and take pleasure on crossing it off.

Remember your purpose!

LIVE!

Imagine with me for a moment that your whole life as you know it comes to an abrupt screeching halt. You know the feeling. You are driving in the car with someone and not really paying attention (neither is the driver) when all of a sudden… they slam on the pedal and the car(along with your body) tries to go from 50 mph to 0 instantaneously. 

What happens? Your heart starts racing, Your more aware of your surroundings than you have been in a while, You thank Jesus that your alive(and whoever is in the car with you). Bottom line is You are still alive!

I was unfortunate enough to experience a situation in my life like this, head on. You know, the whole “world comes crashing down moments” you think only happens to someone else, and almost always only does. Until it happens to you. Continue reading

Guys… Guard Your Eyes

Alright here goes… This is a subject that I have studied a lot recently and looked to understand the dangers more and more. What could happen if I allow myself the pleasure of a moments glance?

What starts out as something so very small can very quickly spiral out of control.I have read multiple articles on people who have failed in this area. One in particular of a pastor who got so wrapped up in the area of pornography that he eventually went outside of his happy marriage multiple times.

I look at situations like this and think to myself probably the same thing he and all the rest of us think…

That could never happen to me!

That in itself is the most dangerous statement I can imagine… Continue reading