Culture

For Better or Worse, In Sickness and in Health

 

These past 11 days have been rather unique.  I recently had surgery on my hip… yes, I am 31 years old and had to get some work done on my right hip.  Even though it was outpatient surgery it still shook things up quite a bit.  I have been on crutches, unable to drive, limited in some of my functions and mobility, and have had to be far less active than I normally am.  Through all of these changes and issues, my wife has been a freaking beast and has killed it.

“For better or worse, in sickness and in health.”  Most of us whom are married have uttered these words, and over these past 11 days my wife has perfectly executed on them.  I am blown away at her level of service and how she so deeply cared for me.  She met my every need and then some. She was always there asking what I needed and offered up help and solutions to problems and wants I didn’t even know that I had

It’s in these inciting incidents, these moments of giant change, when we as people can really shine and make an impact, and that is what my wife did.  It has encouraged me to take my game up to 11 and serve her not because of what she has done for me, but because she is more than worth it.  When you are served and loved in this way, it only encourages you to do the same.  So please let this blog not only honor my wife, but be an encouragement to you to honor those words, “For better or worse, in sickness and in health.” Let this blog be an encouragement to look around you and serve well those that are in your life.

Who is in your life that you need to serve well, and how can you live it out today?

Community

Patience: A Party 30 Years In The Making

Impatience doesn’t care about gender, race, or age and it reeks havoc on individuals, companies, and relationships.  My wife and I have had countless conversations and even arguments because one of us, usually me, is being impatient.  
It wasn’t until recently that we came to a realization about the word patience and how it relates to our lives.  A few months back we, along with so many others from Lindsay’s old neighborhood, were invited to a party to celebrate the marriage of the brother of one of Lindsay’s best friends from childhood.  As the day arrived, we packed up the family and went on the five minute drive to the neighborhood where my wife grew up. The home where the party was held was perfection.  It had gorgeous hardwood floors throughout and each room was perfectly furnished.  There was beer, wine, snacks, and desserts set up throughout the house and a local BBQ company had catered the event.  The backyard was beautifully landscaped and had a relaxing water feature and a stunning lake view to cap it all off.
As I mingled with the other guests, every single conversation would always turn towards fond memories from years gone by.  The memories would usually include how my mother-in-law taught their kids piano and stories about Lindsay and her parents.  This party, in every aspect, was perfection.
As we packed up the kids and started the five minute trek home, we talked about how beautiful the house was, how unbelievable it was to have refreshments all over, and how great the conversations were.  That was the type of party I wanted to throw.  I wanted to have the perfectly manicured landscape, food and refreshments flowing from all corners of the house, and conversations of moments long gone by.  As our tires hit our driveway, a different thought popped into my head.  That party, as perfect as it was, took over 30 years to execute.  It may have been a day of actual planning and follow through, but it took over 30 years for the whole thing to come together.
When the house was first purchased it wasn’t fully furnished with updated features throughout.  It took years to fully furnish, make updates and additions, to get the perfectly manicured landscape with that calming water feature. The conversations weren’t trivial because everyone had the base of 20 plus years of background.  About the only thing that didn’t take 30 years was the food and refreshments, but even having the ability to purchase them without blinking an eye takes years of putting money away so that you can have celebrations like these and not have to focus on the cost. 
In the weeks that have passed since attending this party, I have come to realize how I need to have the patience to see the small steps through.  When we look at the small steps taken over time, we get to see a big improvement. But in the midst of the shuffle, they don’t seem to matter at all. We all need to learn to deploy patience because it’s what helps give us perspective to see the impact we are making, and the legacy we are leaving.

Authentic Manhood

The First Thing High School Wrestling Taught Me:

popewrestlinglogoFor my entire high school career, 2001 – 2005, I was a wrestler.  Yes, I realize that was over a decade ago and even thinking about that is still wild to me, but the lessons I learned back then are still impacting me today.
In 2001 my friend and I joined the wrestling team because we wanted to do something after school and wrestling sounded fun.  Not sure how we thought sweating and grappling with other hot sweaty men sounded like a good time, but we signed up for the team.  A week or two later my friend ends up quitting, and honestly I am surprised that I didn’t do that as well since I had already tried the sport out in middle school and I hated it. I had mild success the first year, if I can really even call it that, and as the first season came to a close, I thought I would hang up my wrestling shoes and and never return.
My coach, Jim Haskin, had a different thought running through his mind.  As I came up to him and told him my thoughts on quitting, he took me for a lap around the halls of the school and said something that has forever stuck with me.  “Stippich,  this choice is the start of the rest of your life.  This choice of quitting or staying with the team will set you up for how you view commitment the rest of your life.  This will set up your future relationships, and even the type of commitment you hold in marriage.”  He told me to think about it over the weekend, and let him know on Monday what I decided.
I wrestled with what he said all weekend, pun intended.  It consumed my thoughts, and even though I was on a church retreat that weekend, all I could think about was commitment, and how it all started with small decisions like the one I was having to make.  Come Monday, I let coach know that I would stay with the team.  That lesson on sticking with your commitments, no matter what, has shaped how I view my word and the bond it creates when I agree to do something.  I don’t go half way on anything.  I am all-in and fully committed to what I say I will do. 
I never thought high school wrestling and what I would learn through that sport could be so integral to my life.  I am grateful Jim Haskin pushed me to stick with my commitments, because it has forever changed my life.  

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I am dead center just behind the first row.  My big bobblehead is blocking my team mate. Wow… What a picture.