This morning, as I was journaling, a thought came to mind; I am always trying to think of ways to serve and add value to those around me, but not right next to me. What I mean by this is that I find myself thinking of ways to add value to strangers, coworkers, and neighbors, but I am not putting that much time into how I can best meet the needs of my wife and son. Its a thought that is hitting pretty hard and one that I believe you may find yourself dealing with.
I am also realizing that even though my goals are to serve and add value to others, I am being incredibly selfish because most of the time I’m really just trying to get recognition and praise. So instead of helping for others, I am really just doing it for me.
This post is a reminder of two things: to stop serving selfishly, and that my main focus isn’t about my neighbor or coworker, but about the needs of my family because they people that matter most, and are the ones that I have vowed to love, serve, and protect.
How have you found yourself dealing with these issues of selfishly serving and putting others, even maybe yourself, before your family?
I’m not sure about you, but I literally just went through the most stressful season of my life and I am pumped that my heart didn’t explode and that I still have a full head of hair.
Just to give a little more context, my wife and I are pregnant with our second little baby, a girl. We have just recently sold our home and bought a new one. We have started in a women and mens Bible study. I transitioned into a new, very hands on, numbers driven role to cover for someone on maternity leave. I have been asked to help train a new group at my church, and we have a two year old adventurous little boy, and probably a couple other things that are escaping my mind.
Now I know the list I gave may not seem like a lot to some, but it was quite overwhelming to us. Constant phone-calls about the new house and making big boy decisions with my wife. The stress of doing well at my new job and completing some training that they asked me to go through at work. I mean aren’t you getting heart palpitations just reading this??? But I digress, because I am writing this post on the other side of this stressful season.
At times, the stress seemed way to much to handle, but after every big decision and after every event, like my dad and I snapping some plumbing to the dishwasher and water spraying all over the new house that we didn’t even own at the time, life moved on. I realized that if the worse thing was a little bit of water in the kitchen, or missing out on $5,000 over thirty years, nothing seemed earth shattering when I compared it to all the life I have lived and will live. That brought a lot of peace. That one thought changed the way I handled some accidents. That thought, took away quite a bit of stress.
Stuff is going to happen. Some of it will be in our control, and the other stuff won’t. We just have to deal with it when it comes up and realize that life will continue to move on. We have to realize that in the span of the thirty plus years, you and I have left to live, that one accident or worry doesn’t have to amount to much.
So, what is one big stress or issue that you have recently gone through and how did you handle it on the back end?
Today is the day that my little baby boy turns into a big two year old. I swear it is like magic…One moment hes bursting into this world and the next he is laughing, running around, throwing food, saying mommy and daddy, and millions of other things.
As I think back over this past year, a single thought pops into my mind, and that thought is “Have I wasted my time with my son, or have I taken full advantage of the opportunities I have been given?” Each year I think about this and luckily I can say that I have no regrets. This year has been full of going to the pool, running around at parks, dance parties, boyz weekends, bro time, and so many adventures.
Y’all, I can’t believe he is two. TWO FOR PEET’S SAKE! He is such a big boy and I love every little thing about him, from his stinky little feet to his slick and styled hair. My wife and I are the luckiest of parents and I know that we both cant wait for this next year and many more.
So, when this day comes around next year, I know I will be struck with the same thought, and just as in the past, I hope that I will have used the time that I have been given selflessly and wisely. I hope and pray that I will continue to learn how to not always be focused on the next, but instead, to be focused on the now. I am so thankful for my son, and how my interactions with him has taught me so so much.
My wife and I have been talking a lot about the memories we have with our son.
At times my wife has mentioned that she stretches herself outside her comfort zone as she goes outside in the nasty GA Summer and plays with Sam, or as she takes our son to adventourous places like the park or Catch Air. We recognize that this is a stretch we both want to take because of the impact it has on our son and the memories we are creating together.
When my wife faces her anxieties by doing these fun and adventourous activities, it is creating memories WITH our son, not memories OF our son and there is a drastic distance between with and of. We see how some people interact with their kids in a very far removed way and it breaks our heart. We know that we don’t want to look back at his life when he is 18 and headed towards college thinking, “Wow, we have a lot of memories OF our son and what he did, but no memories WITH him.”
As parents, heck, as people living life surrounded by communities, we need to be creating memories with others and not just of others.
I hope and dream that both my wife and I can look back when we are sending our son away to college and think of all the memories we had with him, and not just memories of what he did.
I am probably the worst loser in the world… nay, the universe.
I get so emotionally invested into competitoins, even of the useless variety like Mario Kart on the Nintendo Wii. Whenever I have these outbursts I always feel so dirty and horrible. I mean who really wants to see a grown man complain and gripe, because I know that I surely don’t.
In my most recent loss to my wife on the Wii, my first thought after our competition and my outbrusts were over was what would happen if I had responded in love? Now I am not suggesting that I give her a big fake highfive and false words, but what if my actions didn’t reflect my emotions? What if had I humbly said congrats, gave a kiss and even did a little playful jarring?
I am learning that love is definitely more than a feeling, it is action. It is something that I need to do more of for sure, especially after losing in any sort of competition. What I am realizing is that losing and the emotions that flow from that loss only last for a fleeting moment, BUT my actions can potentially last for a lifetime.
I know that I don’t want my son to grow up and hate playing with me or to play golf with friends and kill the fun time. Instead, I want to respond with love, the action, and temper my emotions with some positive responses.