Sunday, June 21, 2015

What I've Learned from My Dad...

I am privileged to still have my dad around.  This year he will turn 85.  There are 3 values that I have learned from him that have shaped who I am.

#1. Faithfullness.  
I watched my dad care for, come along side of, and love my mom.  For those of you who didn't know her, she was a remarkable woman who struggled with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  A disease that crippled her and brought many debilitating side effects.  In a day and age where convenience was rampant and divorce became 'no fault' dad stayed faithfully beside mom's side until the day she died.  As a young boy, I knew my parents were in love and I marveled at the faithfulness exemplified by dad.  He faithfulness extended into other domains of his life, for 40+ years he would get up at 6:00am and be in at the office by 7:30.  His faithfulness extended to church where he served on numerous boards and committees.  His faithfulness was to the community where he led a school corporation through the daunting task of consolidation and building a new Jr. Sr. High School.  He donated blood regularly and has surpassed the 50 gallon mark. He was a volunteer fireman for over 50 years.  I have watched and learned to be a man, you must be faithful.

#2. Work Hard.
Dad was raised by depression era parents and the value of hard work was ingrained into him.  So guess what he passed on?  As a young boy, I hated this one.  Too many "spring breaks" were spent hauling manure, picking up rocks in the field, etc.  But I learned the value of sticking with something until it was finished and putting in my best effort.  The only person I ever saw out work my dad was his dad.  Grandpa was the epitome of hard work.  I have experienced the benefit first hand of having the same work ethic and realizing the satisfaction of seeing a project completed.  

#3. Integrity.
If dad says he will do something, it'll get done.  This integrity thing has shaped me in many ways and has been a real drag at times.  Anytime I think about not living up to my word, I am haunted with the thought of trying to explain it away.  Dad taught me and my brothers this lesson over and over by his example and by holding us to our word.  He is a firm believer in you need to inspect what you expect.  Many times I can remember the follow up questions of: 'did you finish, do, or take care of...?'  He knew that the wandering mind and body of a young boy could lead to a lack of followthrough.   

So, there you have it.  Three values that I am grateful for and am indebted to my dad for.  Thanks Dad, you taught me well.  I hope I can be as faithful, hardworking, and as full of integrity as you are.  Love You and Happy Father's Day.

Marty, your favorite son!   

Friday, June 19, 2015

Mind the Gap

Gaps...they are all over and show up in some of the most interesting places.  The other night we were watching TV and someone said: "wow, she's got a gap between her front teeth!"  A gap is a space between something that usually is filled.  Gaps can be beneficial: time between big projects at work, cool weather between heat spells, quiet between excessive noise, or deep breaths between long underwater dives.  

A gap that happens to me is knowing what to do and actually do it.  Before we moved to Australia there was a gap.  In the midst of that there was that irritating time called waiting!  Waiting can be a very real part of "gapness."  

Waiting has become synonymous with inactivity and that becomes a choice.  I can sit and wait in the doctor's office and do nothing.  I last about 5 minutes!  I don't know if I'm A.D.H.D or just wired to do something?  I really don't like to wait, especially when it means being inactive.  

I hated English class, it wasn't all the rules that tripped me up but all the exceptions: 'i before e except....' 'the vowels are: a,e,i,o,u, & sometimes....'  I couldn't seem to keep track of them all.  But one thing I did learn; verbs are action words!  The word wait is a verb.  Waiting requires action not inaction.  

So, what action can I engage in while I'm waiting?
I can...Think, Pray, Encourage, be Aware, Love, Serve, Praise, Reflect, be Generous, Care, be Patient, Read, Learn a new skill.  The list seems endless.  So, as you find yourself in a Gap, what will you choose?   How about the 'Action of the Wait?'  

Monday, June 8, 2015

I have a pretty good sense of direction.  There have been few times I have been lost and so disoriented that I didn't know which way to go.  I've noticed recently though there is a place that I can get lost in and not realize the huge amount of time spent.  Facebook.  For the most part, I see it as a good thing.  But like anything, if taken to the extreme it can rob me of other great time and living my life!

I can spend a lot of time reading, scanning, stalking, I mean catching up with friends and their lives that I forget to live my own life.  I've also noticed the temptation to fall into the "Facebook reality mode."  If I'm not careful, I can get so caught up in other people's lives and activity that I become depressed with my 'boring life.'  Everybody seems to be going places, experiencing the greatest food, and hanging out with really cool people.  Am I the only one not doing those things?  I begin buying into the lie: 'I'm a nobody who's life is really boring.'  Not True!  Well, it can be true if I exist only in Facebook world!  Am I the only one who has been sucked into the Facebook vortex?  I'm open to your thoughts and suggestions on how you maneuver this maze!  In the mean time I'm going to go run a couple of miles!