What’s In A Name? A Reminder of Where I Came From And Where I Want To Go

Community, Dinner, Family, God, Jesus, Life, love, Neighbor, religion

When I created this blog over 4 years ago I was in a place in my life where the only thing I wanted was solitude for my immediate family of 5. This blog was created to be about OUR little infinity. I had shut the rest of the world out and was focused on my wants. My needs.

But I’ve come to realize that “our” is a relative term. It does not have to be about my wife and I, or a family of 5. And I’m so glad that it is not that way! I am so grateful that I am no longer the person that I once was.

I’ve thought about going through the process of changing the blog name. I know the steps that need to be made to switch the domain name, how to change the authors, etc. But I don’t want to any longer. As I have mentioned in a post on my Facebook, my past is what has brought me to be where I am and the person I have become. And I want to embrace my past, the pain and all.

Let’s break this out and over-analyze, shall we?

Table For Five. Today, this means I am setting a hard limit on the number of people I let into my life. I am closing myself off from the world, putting up walls and telling others that if you don’t belong in my small group, you’ll never get to know me. The only people allowed to sit at my table are my wife and children.

That’s not who I want to be! Not anymore. Not ever again! As I’ve mentioned before, we are planning on moving before year end. One of the biggest reasons that I now want to move is because I do not physically have the space in my own home to be able to have people over. I want my new home to be a safe haven for others. I want it to be a second home to my loved ones. I want it to be open to my neighbors. I can promise you now that other people will have keys to my home. Where you don’t have to knock to enter. Where you will always be welcomed.

I want to be surrounded by loved ones every day. I want to share meals all the time.

One of my absolute favorite things that I get the privilege of doing is having dinner with my best friends and their family once a week. Every week, aside from times of sickness, we prioritize sitting down and breaking bread together.

And my favorite thing about it is that when we all sit down together there is not a division in families. If you ever watch us together, we do not separate. The adults do not sit apart from the children, spouses do not pair off and stay right by one another. We come together as one. And my heart is so full being able to speak to every single one of them individually as if we have known each other our entire lives.

And it’s something I want to be surrounded by. I want to just give so much love. I want to have plans every night of being with loved ones. I want to build relationships. I want to share the love of Jesus.

I don’t want a table for five. I want a table for fifty.

I am this new person now and all I want to do is just give my love to others. And it’s such a weird feeling to me because just a few months ago I was so closed off to the world. But now my eyes, and my heart, have been opened.

Love creates such beautiful transformations.

Our Little Infinity.

How naive I was to believe that my life, and the life my family had, was from my own doing. That I had a right to claim it as my own. To take possession of “our” little infinity.

Our little infinity is so much greater than I could have ever imagined. To have the love of God, to be a follower of Jesus. To be given eternal life. Oh how it just opens the doors to so much beauty and joy.

We have a life that has been blessed upon us, and we get the honor of sharing this with others. “Our” grows from five to a community of so many.

Our little infinity now means the life I get to share with my community for the time I am alive. And what an amazing thing that is.

I am brimming with love. And compassion. And joy. And happiness. Oh, my heart has never felt this way before and I never want it to change.

I’m eager to make this transition into our new home and begin sharing my life with those around me. Please fill my life with love. Let us share a meal together. Let’s go for a walk. Let’s cry together. Let’s pray together! Let’s just be together, with love in our hearts. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion.

And for those who already welcome me into their homes, you are a big reason why I strive to be a better person. I hope these meetings happen often as it is easily one of my favorite moments each week and something I look forward to.

My family of five is no longer. It has grown and I am so blessed.

“Dear God,

Oh how You have made Your presence known in my life! I see You all around me. I stop and notice the amazing things You have done in this world that we take for granted on a daily basis.

I recognize Your blessings and I cherish them!

My heart has been opened because You worked through others to bring me back to You. I see You in their eyes. I hear You in their voice. I feel You in their hugs.

Today I want to thank You for everything in my life. I know You are not responsible for the bad, but know You never left my side through them. You allowed me to try to do things on my own, and were always there to catch me when I fell. And You have forgiven me through them all.

How loving You are. That You would sacrifice so much to allow me be here, as significant and small as I have felt in the past.

I pray that You allow me to share my love with all those who are willing to accept it. I want to bring love and happiness to others lives, as You have done for me.

I pray to be blessed with a table for so many! That I can serve others and give them a place to rest their feet and their hearts. To give others a second home and a place to feel safe and loved.

I thank You again, as I will likely do every day, for bringing loved ones to my life. Those who make me be a better person. Who make me feel so incredibly welcomed.

I pray that You continue to be there for those who are in pain this evening, and that You may grant them peace and serenity.

I thank You for everything You have blessed my life with. You have given me so much and I am eager to give back in any way I can.

Thank You for opening my eyes and my heart.


A fair warning before I end this post this evening, I am making an effort to express my feelings every chance I get. We are not promised tomorrow, and if today happened to be my last I don’t want anyone to ever question how I felt about them. So, I will tell you I love you. Often. Because love is such a beautiful thing, and just being told that you are loved, in my experience, just makes everything so perfect. And hugs are one of my new favorite things. Not little ones, though. Long, full embraces are the best. ☺️

So, with that said, I love you! If you are reading this post it is because you are someone I care about and wanted to be a part of my life.


P.s. since I am letting more people in to my blog, please don’t forget to “follow” down below. Just put in your email address and verify it and you will get emails anytime I post!

The Value of Time

Family, Life, religion

For those of you who don’t know, I have been back in school part time, year round, for the last 5 years completing my third degree. I am officially, finally, in my last semester. As of today I have finished the 5th week of classes and have 87 days left until commencement!

This semester is the hardest yet. Not because of the source material, or the workload, but because I am wanting to give 100% of myself to this new path I am on, and yet I have this massive chapter that still has to come to an end.

It’s a reminder to me that sometimes in life, we have to be patient. While we really want to get to the end and cross that finish line, the journey there is often just as important. Sometimes, we just don’t get a choice.

The work, school, home, personal life balancing act this semester has been difficult. I’m only gone one night this semester for a class, and the other two classes are online. That one night, though, interferes with activities that I would rather commit myself to.

I’m not short on time. If you look at our Google Calendar you would think I was lying, but there is plenty of time to give to the things that matter most. Time is something I’ve been forced to be pretty good at divvying up. And I keep my schedule very flexible.

This semester comes with classes on Thursdays, gymnastics and guitar lessons on Wednesdays, month end closing every Friday on a 4-4-5 schedule. Exams thrown in there every once in awhile, too. It’s a lot, yes, but when the priorities come up, nothing else matters. I will always, always, always have time for my loved ones. And I will prioritize it.

Time is something that we often take for granted, though. It comes and goes so quickly that we don’t even pay attention to it. But it’s something that is so important. So I’ve made a point to not only prioritize MY time lately, but also prioritize others as well. While I would love to give all of my time to those that make me the happiest, I’ve realized that you have to set limits to ensure they have their time as well. We all have routines in our lives, and it is so important to keep to a set schedule and to respect others and their lives.

It’s respect. And I have a lot of respect for my loved ones. So it’s something I’m prioritizing. People give up their precious time to be there for me. I promise you, the first time I get a phone call at 2:30 in the morning, or in the middle of the work day, I will be there faster than you can imagine.

But this semester is making me long for a new routine. This year comes with a lot of change in all of our lives, and I’m so anxious to get through most of it and just be at the end result. Graduating, buying a new house, oldest starting high school (😪), etc. and I can’t wait until everything has settled and a new schedule is in place.

I am happiest when I am with my loved ones. And I can not wait for this semester to be over so I have more time to dedicate to the priorities in my life. Yes, the finished degree will be great and worth all the hard work, but having the freedom to do more, and to give more, is what I’m so excited about. I want to be able give more of my time to Jesus and live his words. To have more time to pray, and to read the Bible. To write. To spend time with my growing family. To be a bigger part of the community.

I know it is coming. I just have to be patient. In the mean time, I will keep recognizing my blessings and living a life with intentionality and priority. Especially when it comes to the relationships in my life.

Dear God.

Thank You for the love that You continue to show me on a daily basis. For the words that speak directly to my heart when I need them most. For my loved ones who will tell me the words I need to hear on a bad day. For the embraces that bring joy and happiness to my life.

I pray that You please look after my children and give them the kindness and patience to love one another unconditionally.

I pray that You look after my loved ones and keep them safe. Bring joy to their lives and let them see Your love in their days.

I pray that You continue to be by my wife’s side as she navigates all the changes in her life, including giving herself to You.

Please give me the wisdom to be a better husband, father and friend. I want to give all of myself to them, and ask nothing in return. I know I have asked a lot of all of them lately, but I pray they all know that I am so incredibly grateful for all they do. Please allow them to see the love I have for them, not only in my words, but through my actions.

Please continue to be there for all those who are in suffering today. Please look after those who have been carrying heavy hearts lately.

Lord, I beg of You to please give me the strength to carry these burdens for them. It breaks my heart to see sadness in the lives of others, and I pray I can take their pain for myself.

Please forgive me for my sins. For allowing fear and doubts to cloud my judgement. For being a failing husband by reacting instead of listening. For being a failing friend for unloading my emotions on others and not asking how they are doing themselves. I pray that others come before me. That my shoulder will be wet from their tears. For the warmth to warm others’ hearts when we hug as theirs do for mine. I pray that You guide me to be the BEST version of myself for all others, not for my benefit, but for theirs.

Lord, I pray that the needs of my family and friends are met long before my own.

I pray for more good days, but also thank You for the blessing of every day, even the ones I feel are bad. They allow me to seek You more and to learn and grow my faith.

I thank You for loving me even when I feel unlovable.


I promise to be better for all of you. And I will ALWAYS have time for others.

With so much LOVE!


Today… I Am Not Okay

Life, religion


Today, my heart is heavy.

Today, my insecurities are winning.

Today, I am consumed by doubt.

Today, I am reminded that the pain I have caused before will have lasting effects.

Today, I am reminded that sometimes trying just isn’t enough.

Today, I am living in fear.

Today, I am not okay…

Dear God,

Today, I need You more than I have in awhile. Lord, I need You to be there for me as I cry out to You and seek Your guidance. Please help me with trusting the path You have set me on. I feel I am making the right decisions. I feel I am directing my love to all the right places. I feel like I am doing what You have set out for me to do. But I also have fear that I am doing too much. I have changed so drastically that I have given people reason to doubt me.

My heart hurts so much today. I am trying so hard to be the person You want me to be. My heart has been broken so much that I am so fearful of losing my loved ones. I have found peace. I have found happiness. I have found love. And I don’t want to lose it. Please take away the fear, and the pain. Please mend my heart. It hurts so much…

Please don’t let me lose it.





Sometimes I just need to cry, and pray, and listen. This is the song that decided to play next for me this morning:

When he told you you’re not good enough
When he told you you’re not right
When he told you you’re not strong enough
To put up a good fight
When he told you you’re not worthy
When he told you you’re not loved
When he told you you’re not beautiful
That you’ll never be enough
Fear, he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar
When he told you were troubled
You’ll forever be alone
When he told you you should run away
You’ll never find a home
When he told you you were dirty
And you should be ashamed
When he told you you could be the one
That grace could never change
Fear he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar
Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel
Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel
Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel
Oh, let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel
Oh, fear he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar
‘Cause fear he is a liar
– Zach Williams

Finding Peace In a World of Chaos

Family, Life, religion


I wander, aimlessly, in no given direction. There is no light to guide my way. Am I moving forward or am I going back? A cold chill rushes over me every few moments and my body aches. I rub my hands over my arms to bring them warmth, but there is no warmth coming from within. Flashes of light burst to my sides as if they were lightbulbs exploding. Hope overcomes me with each spark of light, but the hope quickly turns to fear as I descend back into pitch black nothingness…

I scream out in the darkness asking for help. Asking for someone to guide my way. There is no answer. There is never an answer. I drop to my knees and cry as I realize I am so alone in this world. I am so alone…

If someone were to ask me how I would describe the beginning of last year, those words above, my words, would be it.

For the majority of my life I believed I was wandering aimlessly through this crazy thing called life. No real direction. No real objective. No real purpose. I believed that I was in control of my life and that I was just going to keep doing more. To get more. To have… more.

More of what I thought I wanted in my life.

I eventually ended up in a place that many would call “success”. What did this success look like? I ended up in a dream job at 31 years old. In a position that many work an incredibly long time to get to. I had life figured out, and I was on a path to have more.

You want to know what came from my success? Sadness. A near end to my marriage. A loss of my identity.

But I am here to tell you that I am not successful. In fact, I would be as bold as to say that I have been a failure.

I thought success meant having more money, having more things, being enviable to others. You know what doesn’t truly matter in life? Money. It is such an evil thing and corrupts the mind of so many.

My world was chaos. I was so blinded in life that I missed so many good things around me.

Let me get back to my story…

I feel a gentle touch on my shoulder and am pulled off my knees. I turn in circles, swinging my arms to see who is by my side. There is no one, but the gentle pressure on my shoulder never lifts. Tears begin pouring down my face and I whisper in the darkness. Please. Please…

A dim light sparks far in the distance. I feel a touch on my other shoulder and one more on my back, gently pushing me forward. My body struggles to move, almost to the point of giving up. I stumble forward and nearly fall but something catches me before I hit the ground and lifts me back up. Another step forward, this one stronger than the last, but still feeling the pain. Another step.

I cry out in agony as my body aches. Another touch, this time on my heart. For the first time I can feel myself enveloped in warmth, enough to give me the strength to begin running towards the light.

I do not know how long it will take me to reach the light, but I do know that I am headed in the right direction.

And I do know that I never have to walk alone again…

Chaos – complete disorder and confusion. My life was the definition of chaos.

But out of chaos comes peace. It does not happen on its own, it happens with intentionality. It happens with purpose. It happens with priority.

It happens with love.

Not only love for God. Not only love for others, but love for yourself.

I have found peace in a world full of chaos, for I have decided to turn away from chaos and RUN the other direction. It is a distraction from what matters most in life.

And I have found peace in giving my life to Jesus, no longer living under the illusion that I am in control. I don’t want control. Look at the bad things that happened when I tried to do things on my own. And look at the amazing things that happened when I let go…

I have found that settling and being content are NOT bad things in life! They are blessings that allow you the flexibility to prioritize. I no longer want the next best thing. I’m not trying to maximize my career. I’m not concerned about how much money I have in my account.

I want a life filled with love. And I want to return that love tenfold. I want nothing from those around me, but I want to give to them everything I have, and everything I am.

I have found peace in my life because I have found purpose, something I have never had before.

My purpose is to give my life to Jesus, to love so much that I better the lives of those I come across, to raise my children to follow in His steps, to spread the love of God and to be an example to others that forgiveness is there when we are ready to ask for it.

I will be a husband who supports his wife, a father who is a role model for his children, a friend that becomes family. I will open my life to others and will open my door to my neighbors.

Peace and purpose are such a strange thing to me, but they feel so comforting.

Dear God,

Lord, I want to thank you for loving not only me, but loving those around me. For showing us what true love is and how to live a righteous life.

I ask that you forgive me for my failures as a husband, as a father, as a son, as a brother and as a friend.

I ask that you provide for others as you have provided for me.

I thank you for the blessing that today was. Although we struggle with navigating this new balance in life, priorities are shifting to allow the most important things to take the most time.

I ask for more time to give to my loved ones.

Please guide my wife as she works through all the changes in her life, and please give me the strength to serve her better.

Please look after my friends who are working through loss and look after those who are dealing with sickness.

Lord, I feel your blessings and recognize your love.


With LOVE.


Communication – Learning to Speak Up and Speak Out

Family, Life, religion

I’ve been told throughout my life that I have a way with words. That I can transform them into emotions with elegance and heart. But I’ve just recently come to realize that I can only do this through written communication. When it comes to speaking out loud I can come off as a babbling fool.

So I’ve been trying to figure out why it comes so naturally to me to be able to share my thoughts and feelings when I’m writing, but struggle with forming a cohesive sentence when talking with someone face-to-face. And what I’ve come up with is when I write I am able to process my thoughts before they come out.

I’m literally able to filter the dumb thoughts or comments before speaking.

But I started to question what that means. Am I being more truthful when I stop and think before speaking, or when I just let things come out as my mind is still processing? In my heart I believe the filtered message is what is my honest thoughts, because when I speak poorly of others I feel ashamed and sad.

I’m not in a place yet where I have surrendered my life to God and can speak to others with no judgement. I know this is a place that I want to get to, but for now I’m still working on letting go of the past. I know there are steps that I need to take to get there, but I’m working on them one day at a time, a relatively new concept to this hardcore planner.

I need to put God back into my life as my top priority. Before I can fix my communication with others, I have to be able to speak to Him. Prayer is something that I do, but not with confidence. I know there is no “wrong way” to talk to God, but every time I do I feel like I am messing it up. How can I speak to others when I can’t even speak to the One who I know never judges me?

So I’m challenging myself to pray more often. And to pray out loud. And to find my outer voice and build the confidence I need to speak to others.

I, ashamedly, struggle with communication with my wife. I have always believed that I needed to be this strong, masculine person in her life who always had everything figured out and was always there to hold the family together. So I would bury my emotions. Deep down. And in doing so I pushed down the guidance that He was giving me. I pushed Him away and allowed the sin to fill the void. And you know which emotions seem to never be able to be pushed aside? Anger. And fear. And negativity.

But I don’t have it all figured out. I’m not SUPPOSED to have it all figured out. I’m supposed to share my feelings with others and I’m supposed to let God work through them and to help me process the things I can’t do on my own.

I’m not meant to be the strong, masculine person. I carry a lot of emotion. A lot of deep emotion. But I’m starting to learn that I need to let that part of me out. Because it’s who I truly am.

I need to cry more. And I need to cry to others more. I need to let those I love know I love them. I, just today, told my two best friends (hey guys, yeah I’m using all the words now) that I loved them and how much they mean to me. Did I just come to this realization? No, it happened awhile ago. But I was so fearful of running them off or being too intrusive in their lives that I never shared that with them. How ridiculous is that?

And do you know what happened? They told me they loved me back. And do you know what that does to a person?

Why today? Well, for one I listened to a service that one of them gave at their local church, and it was profoundly impactful. Guess what it talked about? Yeah, loving one another. Coincidence? I’m quickly learning that that word is one of evil. There are no coincidences. And two I’m learning that not speaking openly and telling people the things I am feeling is hiding a piece of myself.

I talked in my last post about how I can no longer communicate with people in my life, including my family. Do I want this relationship where I can’t speak to them? Absolutely not. Is it a permanent thing? Absolutely not. Once I clear my heart for good, I want to rebuild my relationships with all those in my life that I have hurt or that I struggle to speak with. But I need to be in a place where I am speaking with LOVE. I don’t want to live in the past anymore. I want people to know me, the new me, as a person of love, who walks a strong path with the Lord. Who does not speak ill of others and loves them unconditionally. And I know that day is not far away.

And I need to get to a place where I can speak to my wife the same way that I speak to my closest friends. It is so easy for me to share with them so much of my life and my story (and I do share, a lot). But I know I’m not being judged by them. And I know they have no reason to doubt the things I’m saying. And I know I don’t have to be a certain type of person for them.

I need to do the same with my wife. I need to let her in and share my emotions. Cry to her, and with her. Pray with her. Give her back a piece of myself that I pulled away from her so long ago because I was fearful of being judged by her and falling short of an expectation I put on myself, not one she put on me.

I know, I’m an idiot, right?

Wrong. I was stupid for so long but I am not the person I used to be. If you thought you knew me 6 months, 1 year, or several years ago, come and get to know me again. I’m not the person I was before and I’m never going back there again.

My wife and I spoke for hours this morning. And it felt so good to be vulnerable to her and to admit to her that I know I’ve gone about things wrong in the past but I want them to be different moving forward.

I am moving forward with LOVE in my heart. And I will be open about it.

I am working on building my communication with God and my wife. Once I get there I will be ready to start a NEW chapter with those I had to walk away from.

And I will continue to be open and share my life with those who are choosing to walk beside me on this path I am on. My community is growing; and it is truly such a blessing.

Dear God,

I know I have sinned and I know I will sin in the future as I am human. But I also know that Your Son died for my sins so that I can be forgiven. I ask that You walk with me as I clear my heart of the anger, judgement and fear and fill that void with love instead. I want to love ALL others, as You have done for me.

I pray that You please watch over all those in my life, especially those going through personal troubles. Let them find guidance and love through You.

I thank You, Lord, for being patient as I found my way back to You. And I thank You for bringing people into my life who taught me that it is okay to love again.

I pray to one day soon be washed away of my sins again, of my own doing this time, and walk anew on a path with a loving heart surrendered to You.

Please continue to look after my family and those I love and bring peace to their lives.



Guide to Living a Less Stressful Life

Family, Life, religion

Life is tough. Being an adult is difficult, and being a responsible adult is even harder. At times. It’s enough to make you long for the days of innocence and carefree worries – the life of a child. Or a cat.

The anxiety has been getting the better of me lately to the point where those closest in my life were beginning to wonder if I was regressing to the state I was in 2.5 years ago. Those were dark times, those that I don’t want to revisit.

But I wasn’t approaching that point. My mind has just been running 90 miles an hour, playing and replaying “what-if” games constantly. Questioning and doubting every little decision, always looking for the “right” answer.

I had to take a step back and reevaluate again. And it was difficult because I have a tendency to see the bad in every situation.

I sat down and made a list. Or a “guide” rather. Looking at the things that stress me out, and taking the wisdom from those around me I finally came out with the following, which is growing daily:

Guide to Living a Less Stressful Life

  • Trust in God and ALWAYS keep your faith.
  • Stop pretending that you are in control. No amount of planning will change what He has planned for you.
  • Stop living for a false idol. At the end of your life you do not get to take any of your money with you.
  • You are not supposed to know all the answers. Stop trying to find the meaning behind everything that happens in life. Life is a journey and everything that happens is there to guide you along the way.
  • It is not the obstacles and challenges in life that define you, but rather how you respond to them. Always look for the positive in every situation.
  • No matter how hard it gets, it will always be okay in the end.
  • You are not living your life for others around you. Your accomplishments and achievements are noticed by those you matter, your failures are noticed by those who don’t.
  • Do not judge others for living a life that is different than your own.
  • Be kind to everyone. Those who it is most difficult to be kind to need it the most.
  • Forgive and clear your heart at the end of every day. Do not let the burdens of today carry over to tomorrow, which is never promised.
  • Slow down and pay attention to the little details. In the end, they make up the big picture

And I printed this off and have this at my desk at work so I can see it every day as a reminder.

1) Trust in God and ALWAYS keep your faith.

Oh how my faith has been so easily shaken. Our faith has been tested a LOT lately, especially since we decided to start going to church. Financially, academically, career wise, relationship wise. But I’m learning to trust in what matters.

2) Stop pretending that you are in control. No amount of planning will change what He has planned for you.

I am a planner. I, actually, probably take planning to the extreme. I scheduled this year’s Thanksgiving dinner last year. I have a 10 year financial budget. I have vacations planned 5 years from now. But it doesn’t matter. Yes, it IS important to HAVE a plan, but always be prepared for the plan to change. I do not know what tomorrow brings, but He does.

3) Stop living for a false idol. At the end of your life you do not get to take any of your money with you.

As I said above, I have a 10 year financial budget. And it gets modified and updated weekly, if not daily. But we have been so consumed with having a certain amount of money that we neglect the here-and-now. “We can’t do this because we have this coming up in a few years.” We are letting our lives and opportunities pass us by so we can have a certain amount of money on hand. To use for nothing. To just have. For who knows what reason. Live life, enjoy the present.

4) You are not supposed to know all the answers. Stop trying to find the meaning behind everything that happens in life. Life is a journey and everything that happens is there to guide you along the way.

This one is a struggle to me personally. And this has been one of the main reasons my faith has wavered in the past. I feel like I always have to know the reasoning. “This happened because of this.” I over-analyze, look at a million what-if scenarios, and think there’s always one true solution or answer.

5) It is not the obstacles and challenges in life that define you, but rather how you respond to them. Always look for the positive in every situation.

People don’t remember you for the events that happened in your life, they remember you for how you handled them. We ran in to this a few days ago when our septic system decided to fail on us. After we just had an inspection 3 weeks ago that came back good. Which we, in turn, went ahead and booked an international trip. So now we will be out thousands of dollars, that was not budgeted mind you. The positive? We will have a brand new system that we will likely never have to worry about in our lifetime. And after all is said and done, we get to go to Ireland for a week. It was hard to find those positives in the cloudiness.

6) No matter how hard it gets, it will always be okay in the end.

Let’s take this in the literal sense just to go from the extreme. As long as you lived a life for God, you get to go to Heaven. How can it be more okay than that? In the normal day to day extremes every bad situation is only temporary, as long as you make the decision to let it be.

7) You are not living your life for others. Your accomplishments and achievements are noticed by those who matter, your failures are noticed by those who don’t.

This is another struggle for me personally. I have this instinct to constantly prove myself to others. To “be better”. I’ve seen a lot of “failure” around me in my life and never wanted to be a part of that group. But I’m living my life, #1 for God, #2 for my family, and #3 for myself. Beyond that, it doesn’t matter. I’ve had times in my life where people are always finding my faults, and never recognizing my successes. And I let it get to me constantly. But I ultimately decided that their opinion doesn’t matter.

8) Do not judge others for living a life that is different than your own.

Oh .. man. This caused me to have my big breakthrough last year (see here). I was THAT PERSON I was just talking about above. Putting others down. Judging them on their “failures”, making them feel worthless. But just because they are on a different path than me doesn’t mean they are on the wrong path. God has a path for all of us, and NONE of them look the same. Period. That’s why we were given free will.

9) Be kind to everyone. Those who it is most difficult to be kind to need it the most.

Bottom line, if someone is making your life difficult, don’t return the favor. They may be going through things in life that you couldn’t begin to imagine. And maybe that act of generosity and kindness is all it takes for them to turn their negativeness around.

10) Forgive and clear your heart at the end of every day. Do not let the burdens of today carry over to tomorrow, which is never promised.

Even after my breakthrough I still struggle with this at times. It’s getting better now that I am letting go and trusting more in God and his plan for me. At the end of the day you have to ask, if I were not to wake up tomorrow, did I live a full life with a clear heart and conscious?

11) Slow down and pay attention to the little details. In the end, they make up the big picture.

My kids, especially my youngest, will sometimes ask me the same thing over and over again. Or to do silly little tasks. And I let these things annoy me because I forget these are all the moments in life that matter. They will all be adults someday, and no longer in the house. I will probably go days, hopefully not weeks, without hearing from them. They won’t need my assistance at a certain point. These moments matter.

My anxieties and stress had been getting the better of me. I finally decided to let it all go and hand my life back over to God. I had strayed, but He was there every step of the way to make sure I didn’t go too far.

I’ve been listening to contemporary Christian music lately because it has been speaking to me in such a profound way. Some songs just speak to me when I need it most.

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move

When You don’t part the waters I wish I could have walked through

When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You

I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

~Lauren Daigle

I don’t need my name in lights

I’m famous in my Father’s eyes

Make no mistake, He knows my name

I’m not living for applause

I’m already so adored

It’s all His stage, He knows my name

~Francesca Battistelli

I hear things during the homily, then I hear things from those around me, and I hear the words from these songs. It’s all bits and pieces that just come together and speak to me.

I’m living a life for God. I listen to contemporary Christian music without fear of judgement. I share the songs with friends and family. I carry my bible with me to work every day. I speak openly and unashamedly about my beliefs. And I am proud of it.

And I am proud that my family is wanting to do this with me. Not without some hesitation from a few, but everyone’s relationship with God is different and it is between them to find it in their own time. My family and I have signed up to become members of our church. We will be attending classes starting in September and the 4 of them (as I have already done it) will be baptized next Easter. And I can not wait to share it with all those I love.

This has been my guide to living a less stressful life. And it is helping me tremendously. I hope it will find a way to speak to others as well.