This is It

Today we intentionally practice what is perhaps the most important discipline any of us could exercise in for the happiness we all seek.

Don’t be anxious or worry, but talk to God with thanksgiving. Right in the middle of the circumstances which are problematic enough to hold the potential for anxiety and worry, give thanks. Not thanks for the trouble, but for the faithfulness of the One that walks with us through the valley. The One who is Faithful. His faithfulness is never more evident than in our faith and our faith is only faith when it doesn’t require satisfaction of our desires first before thanksgiving.

Then, when we are thankful even in the middle of our junk, we can experience true joy.  We don’t have to stay in the funk that can accompany the tough stuff. All of this is right out of Philippians 4; a practical “how-to” guide for experiencing Joy.

If there is one area that I battle most frequently, it’s this one. It’s the contentment and joy of living with thanksgiving in the moment. All too often, I allow the potential troubles or even opportunities which are just around the corner to occupy my focus and steal my joy. When I stop to give thanks in the present, there is a shift. Even knowing that, I mess that up way too much.

I am so thankful and joyful that I know the love of a Father who loves me unconditionally. I am thankful for the parents who raised me to walk into His love and for my bride whom I can serve in a way that puts His Glory in her on display. I am thankful for my children who will impact the generations that follow with His blessings. I am thankful for friends that we walk through life with. I don’t want to do this deal alone.

I am thankful for the abundance of joy available in the simple act of thanksgiving. Thank You, Dad.

Two, Two, Two

Ten years ago today, everything changed.  On February 2, 2002 at 2:02, I said, “I do” to the love of my life.

The ten years has flown by and we are each entirely different people than we were then.  Our common ground has been our faith.  From the very first day, we were yoked together with equal measures of faith and that faith has grown in pace with the other.  We have gained courage because we were not alone.

We have learned to walk together, not one getting ahead of the other or one lagging behind.  We have learned to trust in greater measure that the other one is for us and that our direction is True.  We have stepped out in faith understanding that the risks of failure were risks that we would share together.

I could not have found a better bride than Julie Ann.  She compliments me perfectly and encourages my by who she is.  She has made my life rich and full.  Hopefully, I am making a way for her beauty and gifts to be put on display for the world to see.  I am thankful today for the ten years I have spent as Julie’s husband as well as the lifetime of love she has given to me.

Happy Anniversary, Julie!  I love you and am for you . . . to be continued in the decades to come.