Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Little History

My wife has joined the blogging community EVERYDAY AT THE HOPKINS HOUSE. She is a pretty good writer and has some good viewpoints on life. I love to hear her comments on what I write.

But that is not what I am writing about today.

People who know me know my back story. I was voted most likely to drop out of school as a sophomore at Douglas County High School. I tell people that I was such a stand-up student the staff decided to ask me back for a fifth year. I was so flattered by their offer I accepted their proposal and graduated with a 1.3 GPA.

I am also the only one in my immediate family of 6 to accomplish a high school diploma.

My family also had financial struggles growing up. My sister and I worked jobs to try and help support the family (really she has to take most of the credit because she helped my mom pay rent) and that often meant that work was more important than school. My last semester in high school I missed 20 plus days. Hard to do well at something you don't show up for.

After observing my mom and dad getting a divorce and the financial struggles they endured, I decided I wanted more from my life. I decided that the Air Force was the right way to go. I mean, it was that or construction and I watched my dad tear his rota-tor cuff in his shoulder, get better, then a few weeks after his recovery he fell off a roof and broke his back. Yeah something was telling me that career didn't end so well for most people.

I wanted to be in bomb disposal, EOD or Explosive Ordinance Disposal. Apparently if you bounced a check in High School and have no depth perception they really don't think you are cut out for this career field. I disagreed at the time, but hey I just didn't want to fall off a roof and break my back so whatever they gave me was a better option than what I had.

I ended up a Special Purpose Vehicle Mechanic. It really was my last choice and the mechanical aptitude was my lowest scoring area on my asvap test. In basic I really wanted to try out for Para-Rescue, but I didn't think I could do the minimum amount of pull-ups. I had everything else smoked. I ran a 10 minute 2 mile, had 50 plus push-ups in 2 minutes, and 50 plus sit-ups in a minute and a half. I can't believe I didn't think I could do 12 pull-ups.Oh well, hind sight is 20-20.

There are a handful of events between now and then which would take more time then we have now, but getting to the point..........

I was never supposed to be where I am at today.

I was never supposed to own my own home.

I was NEVER supposed to have a Bachelor's Degree.

I was never supposed to be married for ten years.

I was never supposed to be successful in my career.

I have recently been accepted in to Drexel University to begin a Master's Degree in Human Resource Development. I finished my bachelors degree with a 3.1 GPA. Maybe I wasn't Suma Cum Laude like my wife, but it is a far cry from a 1.3. My wife and I have a wonderful marriage. It's had it's ups and downs, but she is still the apple of my eye, and I think I am still hers as well. We have owned our own home for a few years now and thanks to help from family, we have been in remodel mode for a year or so now.

I recently was offered a contract worth 3 times what I currently make.

I turned that one down.................. some decisions take more time than we have now to explain. Maybe tomorrow or next week.

I know what I have is a blessing from God and He has created me with a purpose in life. It's in this belief that I stand on any accomplishments. God's provision has been great in our lives and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He has delivered me through what was supposed to be to what IS now. The big money gig is only a shadow of what He has in store for my family and I.

Galatians 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Making That Decision

You have to appreciate life.

Everyday there is something new- or the potential of something new. Each sun rise is slightly different than the last although it rises at the same place everyday. With each new day there is a decision to make a direction that could change the course of the rest of your life and potentially the course of your family's life as well. This was a concept I realized at a pretty young age. I remember being so consumed with not kissing anyone until I found the woman I was going to marry. It was a big deal to me. I didn't want any one else to have my affections but her. I did manage to keep that value, but I MAY have kissed my wife before we were married.

It's the little decisions that impact the future.

It's like working out really. All it takes is the decision to go to the gym, or take that walk, or go for that bike ride. Doing a little everyday is way more healthy than blowing up a work out and doing that once a week (which right now would still be better than my current participation).

The same goes for my spiritual health. Spending time focused and talking to God 15 minutes a day is going to keep me in better shape than waiting until Sunday's 3 hour service or until there is some emergency needing prayer.

Focused prayer keeps us in tune with God and with ourselves.

The problem with most of us is, that we allow ourselves to be consumed with business or entertainment. It's simply our western way of life. We are never still (sitting in front of a screen does not count- I am talking about letting our minds sit still). Subsequently when we never let our minds sit still we become disconnected, disjointed, and less effective in life. Oh you may become a millionaire or get lots of things accomplished, but life itself becomes a task another work project one more "thing" to take care of.

So what's the main point of what I am writing? It's to encourage the slow drifting of the mind. To allow our brains to take a break and spend time with God and with ourselves listening to what our bodies and our hearts are telling us.

If I have a decision to make I need wise counsel from God, other people, and myself.

Romans 7:23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.

Because the Spirit of God lives within me I have access to that Spirit at all times. So often times when I listen to that voice inside my heart I know the right decision to make.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Just a Moment

Life is full of moments. Fleeting like wisps of smoke on a dying fire. They come faster than you can realize and are over before you can react to them.

This journey started a long time ago. Through all the adversity and the turmoil I have to believe that God's hand has been all of it. A couple months ago I had an allergic reaction to something I ate. It literally was one of the scariest moments in my life. My entire body had swollen up, my skin was covered with blister like hives, and I was the color of Bob the tomato.

My heart rate dropped below 40- I started having seizures, and I blacked out. In that moment I was walking with two other people. We were walking in a field. It was the most peaceful place I had ever been.

I was probably just in a dream, you know one of those dreams that find you in between being awake and sleeping. One of those dreams you have right as you are waking up, you know the ones that feel like they are real and you just can't shake them as you come to the full realization it's just a dream?

Regardless of the "vision" I had to face my mortality. I had to think about what life for my family would be like if I wasn't here.

These thoughts are not happy, but they help me to realize that they have to live life without me often when I choose not to be home. There isn't a paycheck big enough and there isn't enough prestige to miss those wisps of smoke that is my kids lives or the beauty that God has given me in my wife.

I have dreams of ministry, and changing the world. My first dream, and subsequently my first calling and purpose, is to be a great dad and an amazing father.