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?

Culture

The Gift Of Valentines Day:

Valentines Day… it’s just another corporate holiday that marketers have taken over so that men and woman can be forced into passionless nights of pressure filled “romance” and spend way to much money on crap you don’t need.  Can I get an amen.

Oh, and by the way, I don’t believe anything I just wrote.  If you don’t celebrate valentines day with your significant other, that is totally up to you, but as for me, I see this day as a brilliant reminder to love and pursue that special someone.  I know what your thinking, “Paul, I pursue him / her every day,” And to that I call bull shit.  Lets not kid ourselves, thats just not true.  For most of the folks who would agree with the above paragraph, I am willing to bet that your significant other only feels pursued three to four days out of the year: Your anniversary, their birthday, Christmas, and maybe one other day thrown in there for good measure.

Valentines day is a gift, and it doesn’t have to cost you much, or any, money depending on what you actually do.  This is a day that is forced into our society for sure, but it is one that I take as a blessing because it gives me an amazing excuse to direct my attention not only to my wife, but my kids as well.

I want my kids to know how to pursue their love.  I want my son to know how to woo a woman and I want my daughter to know what it is like to be wooed. I want to build up in her this understanding that if a man doesn’t woo her, he is not worth her time.  She is a beauty to be taken on an adventure, not just to be looked at and potentially admired.  By the time my kids are really ready to date, I want to have given them an amazing example for them to follow.

So to all those haters out there… take a second look at this potentially under-marketed holiday full of sugar, delicious meals, and lots of trees sacrificing their lives so you can express your love via a card.  Take a second look and realize the opportunity you have been given.

Happy Valentines Day 

P.S. Let me know what exciting plans you have for your love.

Family

She’s Two, Me Too, And Fathers:

I’m not sure how this happened, but she’s two.  My adorable little princess is two.
StoppichFamilyPhotos-625
I know, every parent in the world says that every year their child gets a year older, but it’s true… I have no idea where all of this time went.  How in the heck is she two?
One of my favorite things to do, and this started when Sam turned one, is to reflect back on the year and get a 50,000 ft view of how I think it went.  This year with Emma was a blast.  She has started coming into her own personality, she has long dirty blonde hair, a belly that sticks out three feet after every meal, a passion for puzzles, and loves singing a “Whole New Worrrrrrrrrld” before bedtime while I pull her around on her blankie.
I feel that this past year was very foundational for our family.  Lindsay has done a great job figuring out all of this allergy stuff and has come up with some great guardrails for keeping Emma safe, healthy, and happy.  We have found freedom in what most people would consider a very scary prison.  Even though Emma’s allergies are prevalent and ever looming, she is full of fire and passion and I can’t wait to see what kind of princess she becomes.  Whether it’s Pocahontas and she jumps off of cliffs and saves two nations, or maybe she is a beautiful bookworm like Belle who saves a beast, or she could quite possibly be the best pastry chef like Tiana and battle dark voodoo warlocks.  Whichever kind of princess she ends up being, I just pray that she knows she is loved, adored, supported, has so much value, and her body and worth is not made up by what others may think of her.
(This post is now going to take a turn)  The #metoo movement has been at the forefront of our nation and it is awful and despicable hearing the stories that woman and men are coming out with.  When I hear these stories I don’t so easily blame the obvious.  Don’t read that as I am writing off what others have done, because I am doing anything but that.  What those men, and even some women, did to others so that they “could have an opportunity” is awful and should never have happened.
What I mean by the comment of “not so easily blaming the obvious” is that there is a whole group of people we are leaving out… fathers.  As fathers, we have absolutely failed our daughters.  When our daughters believe that the only way up in society is by offering their bodies or beliefs up so they can “get an opportunity” that falls on us fathers.  This #metoo movement has forgotten where it all started, and that is with dads not loving their daughters and letting them know that their value isn’t in their looks or what others say, but it is in what the Creator thinks of them.
I hope that as Emma gets older she feels loved, adored, safe, and that she’s strong and can conquer the world.  I hope that if something like this was ever brought up by a boyfriend or future employer that she would run to myself, her mother, a trusted friend or mentor and let us know what is going on.  I hate the fact that so many daughters didn’t feel confident in who they were and that there fathers didn’t instill a value that goes beyond their words, actions and accomplishments.  I know that as Emma’s father I am her biggest ambassador.  It is my sole responsibility to make sure that she is prepared to tackle this world and for her to know unequivocally that she is loved, adored, and valued beyond measure.  Right now that means I get to hold her tight, sing Disney songs and tell her I love her.  It also means that I have the honor of protecting her heart and showing her how she should be treated and respected. 
She’s two.  I’m not sure how that happened, but I do know that this princess is going to take the world by storm.  I also know that her “me too” won’t be the one of today, but it will be one of hope, accomplishment, success and an exciting life that isn’t at the expense of giving up her body or beliefs. 

Dad Life: Kids

An Elephant Never Forgets

My sons memory is a lockbox.  Lindsay and I are in shock with how good his memory really is. I bet there is going to eventually come a day when Sam says, “Mom…Dad… remember 12 years ago when you promised you would do this? ”
We have to be so careful with our conversations in the car because not only is he really soaking up every word we say, our conversations also spark memories that we don’t want him to relive, like ones of the mean old doctor.  If you mention the words choke in conjunction with a picture of monkey’s, this kid will start talking about his sick visit to the doctor and continue on for a good thirty minutes recounting all of the horrors of the doctor making him choke and what him and Lindsay did after.
He also brings up Cow almost every time we go to church.   Not that sentence is not grammatically incorrect and what or who is Cow you ask?  Well that is because this past Easter, North Metro Church had their annual block party and Chick-fil-A catered dinner for everyone.  Well Chick-fil-A made sure that Cow was there and Sam remembers playing with Cow and giving high-fives and still brings up that memory months later.


Just this past weekend we dropped off a meal for some of our friends, the Andretta’s, because they just had their baby boy. Well as we started nearing the neighborhood Sam started saying, “Happy Birthday. Piano.” For the life of me I couldn’t think of why he started saying those words until I remembered that back in May we went to their house to celebrate Danny being in a new decade.
The best part is how Sam’s memory seems to work flawlessly until you ask him where the key to the front door is that you saw him playing with thirty minutes ago and he leads you on a wild snipe hunt around the whole house to where he “thinks” he left it. Then you come to find it when you are cleaning under his booster seat, that is strapped on to his chair in the kitchen, and realize that you have just thwarted his master plan to break out of the house.
This kids memory is a great thing and massively impressive.  I just hope he does much better then his dad when it comes to names because that would be a huge win.  All I know is that Lindsay and I are in for a trip, because that 12 years down the road thought I mentioned at the top is totally going to come full swing and it will end with Lindsay and I stumbling over words to try and figure out or next parenting move.