Reset, Reflect, Refocus

Welcome to 2017.  I know I’m a few days late, and it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I’m looking forward to this year being a year of amazing things.  2016 was a 2016 of a year, but like all the years that came before it, it had its ups and downs.  It’s all in how you want to look at the year you just left and the year you are going into.  We are 9 days in as of today, and if you are reading this, guess what, you are alive and have the internet.

I challenge all of you reading this to change YOU this year.  You are the only thing that YOU can control.  I titled this post: Reset, Reflect, Refocus for this main reason, we are 9 days into the year, and many of us have already forgotten the resolutions that we made, or didn’t make, or life has been life already these 9 days in.  So my challenge to you is to wake up everyday and reset your mind again.  Wake up with the attitude that today is gonna be a good day.

Reflect every night and everyday about what God did for you during that day and the day before.  Can’t think of anything?  Are you somewhere warm and dry?  Did you eat?  Did you find a parking spot at the mall?  Look back not only on the previous day, but on your previous days, months, years.  Look back at your history book with God.  The last time your electric was about to be shut off but wasn’t, the last time your car was running on fumes and you coasted into the gas station, the last time you were in the drive through and the person in front of you paid for your meal.  When was the last time you did something for someone else?  God, provides for us, not because we give to those we don’t know, not because we deserve it, not because of our actions, not because we are or aren’t “good” enough.  God provides for us, because he loves us.

As we start out this year refocusing on what is actually important, we can make the best out of our lives and situations.  Refocus your life, and check your priorities.  Make sure that you know why you are doing what you are doing, and that you haven’t just become a cold machine, that goes through the motions of life.  Look back on what you have been through, and figure out what you are going to let God do to improve the life’s of those that love you, and those that don’t even know you yet, through you.

Sometimes life is about taking the sourest lemons life has to offer and making something resembling lemonade…

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Married Mondays – Edition One

For the last few weeks I’ve been thinking through starting this series, so here it goes.

Married Mondays First Edition

Look I’m not a counselor, I’m not a specialist, I’m no expert.  I’m a married man, with a kid, and full-time job.  I have to make time for my family and life.

I wanted to take this first post and talk about marriage and being there for your wife.

Guys listen, once you get married life changes.  You are no longer a bachelor.  You are responsible for more than just you now.  I’ve talked before about one of the easiest things to do is to say you would die for someone, It’s the long time saying and heroic thing to do, but 99% of the time you’ll never have to do it.  What matters more is that you are willing to do the dishes for her.  You are willing to put her first, make her take a break, and you do the chores around the house that you hate to do.  Also face it, you’re not just you anymore.  Yes, you can go hang out with the boys, but don’t neglect her.  Make sure she is getting more attention than your buddies or your video games.

Look we all hear the stories of he/she really let themselves go after they got married.  Guys, you put in the effort while you were dating and engaged,  Why does that have to stop now that your married?  Your wife wants you to be the man she fell in love with.  I know stuff gets in the way and keeps us from doing other things, but come on at least make an effort.

Take your wife out on a date.  Date nights become a memory if you don’t keep them up after your married for a while.  You get stuck in the mundane tasks of life and get stuck in your routines.  Make it a priority to go out just the two of you.  And let me add, SET THE PHONE DOWN.  We spend too much time thinking about that next post, tweet, selfie, or whatever and don’t focus on the one that is right in front of us.

Spend quality time together.  As life goes on, it will be more about the quality of the time you get together than the quantity of time you get together.  You may only get a few hours of true time together each day, but make the most of it.  Make sure that you are communicating.  Talk, Listen, and Hear.  Talk to her, tell her about your day, tell her what is bothering you at work.  Listen to her, listen to the details of what she is sharing with you.  Hear what she is and is not saying.  Let’s face it guys, we need to all make sure that we hear what she is NOT saying.  Ladies we aren’t mind readers, we try to figure you all out, but throw us a bone here.  Some of us are doing the best that we can.  Guys in all seriousness, it is this communication that we as humans long for. Communication is what will build and strengthen your relationships.

My challenge to you this week – Take your wife on a date.  It doesn’t even have to be a night out.  Do something that you did when you were dating, grab some take out and watch a movie.  The other challenge for this week is to take 20 minutes a day and talk to your wife.  It doesn’t matter if it’s just about what was involved in each of your days, or about how much you love her and love being with her.  Talk, be genuine, be open, be the man that she fell in love with.  It doesn’t matter if you have been together for years, weeks, or months.  Work on these things and become closer to each other.

Be above the mix…

This past week, I had one of those moments where the most random thing just sparked an idea that I couldn’t shake.  “You need to be above the mix…”  I heard this in two different episodes of one of our favorite new shows, Empire.  Both times she was listening to a new track, and this was her suggestion, “be above the mix,” “Don’t hide behind the music.”

I just keep thinking of this in real life.  So many times in life we hide behind, what we want others to see and hear.  We are scared to stand out and be different.  To some comparing life to music production and songs, won’t make any sense, to others it’s going to click like it did for me.  When you listen to a number of today’s top songs, you will hear a lot of the same beats, you will hear the beats better than the lyrics, you hear words not lines.  Today songs come out, many sound the same, sale incredibly great, but the meaning is not there.  Songs are made to give people what they want to hear, they give that great beat to move to.

Many of us live our lives this exact same way.  We hide behind what we know others want to see or hear, we spend so much time doing what others want, we forget ourselves.  It’s the people who step up,  go above the mix, those that let their voice be heard, that speak clearly and with meaning and purpose, that are remembered.  These are the people who make a difference.

Are you willing to be above the mix and not hide behind the idea of who you are, but truly be you?  Are you willing to be the parent that says, my kid isn’t going to do that or I’m a parent not a friend?  Are you willing to be that husband that actually listens to his wife, that does the laundry and the dishes to give your wife a break?  Are you willing to be that friend, that slaps your best friend back to reality when they are just being plain stupid?  Are you willing to be that student, that stops the bully, that sets the example for the rest of the team, for the rest of the class?

Take just one day, and put yourself above the mix, put yourself above where others think you should be, and then prove why you should be there.  If you’re stuck in a hole, is up to you to grab the rope.  If your voice is far below the drum machine and the bass, you have to choose to move that fader up.  Others can put the equipment there, others can help only as much as you let them.  It is up to you to make the call to get it moving.