25.

Well, today was my 25th birthday.

I ended up having the day off of work so it was a pretty relaxing and quiet day…just what was needed. Then this evening I met up with some of my closest friends for dinner, always a good time.

Here we are, at the start of another year and this idea got me thinking. It is not the year that ends of being good or bad. I mean, a year is simply the time it takes the earth to travel around the sun. Rather, the year will be what we make of the time we have ahead of us.

So…rather than hoping the year is good, I know it will be good because I am going to take action into my own hands. With guidance from Christ and the support of my friends/family I look forward to seeing what the year holds in store…ironically, I will end by saying it will be a good year!

Cheers and stay tuned for stories of my 25th year!

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12 Years…Where Were You?

Today marks 12 years since the September 11th terrorist attacks.

12 years…

It is astonishing how quickly the time has gone by, but I have never forgotten what it was like that morning. I was in the 7th grade, and I remember it like it was just yesterday. I never thought I would remember a single day so clearly, but I do.

My parents woke me up early and told me to go look at the tv. This was weird for two reasons: both of my parents were in my room and they told me watch tv…I spent the next few hours glued to the tv, watching attack after attack. Those new stories and images are forever burned into my mind’s eye.

I was at home with my family, before going to school and being with my friends…where were you?

10 Minutes

I meant to write about this a few weeks ago, but time as escaped from me. However, I still find it worthwhile so here you go!

A number of weeks ago, the forest fire season began in earnest across the country. Perhaps the most noted was the large fires in Colorado. These fires appeared relatively quickly and ravaged the land, destroying homes and changing people’s way of life. I do not remember the final number, but the fire left behind hundreds of destroyed homes and will cost well into the millions.

Due to the proximity to the fire, many people had to be evacuated and did not know if they would have a home to return to when the fire had passed. During this time of evacuation, I heard stories of families who had 10 minutes to evacuate their homes…that is 10 minutes from the time there is a knock on the door to when they had to be driving away…10 minutes.

This got me thinking: what would I do with only 10 minutes to pack and leave. 

Honestly, it was difficult to think at first what I would grab and what would I leave behind, knowing full well that I may never be returning to my home. So after some thought and walking through my house, here is a rough idea of what I would grab:

  • My dog would be the first “thing” I would grab, she would go in the car right away to reduce the chance of her getting in the way
  • Photos. Many of my families photos are in albums and in one place in our home, I would grab all I could and get them in a car. Many of our photos do not have digital backups and could never be replaced.
  • Irreplaceables. There are a couple things in my house that could never be replaced and things I would hate to loose…jewelry from past generations, couple of books (first editions/autographed and my Bible) and a couple random trinkets (Ken Griffey Junior signed ball, Eagle Scout medal). I would only go for the small ones that I could quickly grab, toss in a box and put in the car.
  • Electronics. I would not grab my x-box or tv, but would make an effort to grab my laptop, external hard-drive and the tower component to our family computer.
  • Anything else. Time depending I would make an effort to grab anything else that would be hard to part with or replace…quilts my mom made, awards, etc…

Now I know it is one thing to think of these things when just sitting at home and looking around, but during an emergency it would be entirely different. Above all, and above myself, I would make sure my family was safe and out of harm. We do have several cars and actually talked about who would take which car and what would be in each, based on the amount of time we would have to pack and leave. Each of us have different ideas of what is important, it would be interesting to see what we ended up with. In all honesty, I would want to pack up the rest of the family and get them on their way before I left.

So there are just a couple thoughts I had regarding having to pack and leave with only a few moments notice. It is a good reminder to remember that overall stuff is just stuff and nearly everything can be replaced, but chances are there are some things that would be difficult to replace and may be worth grabbing as you head out the door.

Now here is my question for you…there is a knock on the door, someone tells you it is time to go and you have 10 minutes to pack and leave: What do you grab?

You have 10 minutes.

Go.

The Fight Against

Just a few weeks ago, my family received news that impacted us like no new has before: cancer had entered our immediate family. On November 27th I received the call that my mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Now, I have known other families who have had this tragic news called into their lives, but it is still hard to imagine that it has been brought into my family. I cannot fully remember what I felt in the moment I was told…I remember being in absolute shock and feeling numb that it had happened. In fact, I got into my car and drove the hour and a half straight home to see my mom. We spent some time talking and praying together, with some tears mixed in throughout.

In our desperation and despair, my mom and I did what we knew to be right, although difficult: we turned it over to God. We could sit around forever asking why and trying to blame God for allow this to happen, but what would this accomplish?? When sin entered our world, death and disease entered into humanity, and this cancer is a clear and physical example of this sin and evil. Rather, after my mom and I allowed ourselves a few minutes of pity, we turned it all over to God.

You see, I have total and complete faith that in some way God will use this as a way to bring glory to His name, as well as bring my family closer together. I do not know why this has been brought against my family, and I have prayed to God to not allow me to enter into asking why, for I know that will lead to no good. Instead, I have prayed to Him to give my mom the strength to get through this and to bring people along side her to help her get through this. But more importantly, I have prayed for His will to be done and His plan accomplished.

I pray over this situation every day, and if you feel inclined I welcome your prayers as well. My family is gearing up to face the biggest hurtle we have ever faced together; I know that through the strength that God provides, we will prevail in this fight. We are entering into a period of doctor appointments, referrals , consultations and information gathering as we prepare for the first surgery.

Please join my family in praying over this time. There are so many aspects to something like this to pray for, in addition to God being glorified in some way through this process. Prayers for the doctors, the safety of the surgery  and that the cancer has not spread beyond the lump that was found. God is a miraculous healer, He has shown this time and time again, and I ask now for Him to step in so we can first hand see His power at work.

I seek to surrender this all to God…

He is our Healer…nothing is impossible through Him…

Psalm 23

Thank you for your prayers during this time. 

Labor-less Labor Day

I must say… I love three day weekends! And this past weekend was no exception…go Labor Day Weekend 2012….let me tell you about it.

So, as good as the weekend turned out being, it did not start off well. I left work early on Friday due to being at my hours for the week, and because I was not feeling well at all. I got home and slept, woke up to eat, and slept some more.Saturday was a mix of sleeping, watching tv/movies, and playing Call of Duty. Saturday was a bit bitter/sweet because my buddy Evan hit the road to head home to Montana. He has been living with me all summer and is off to get himself married next Saturday (you can bet on a post about it).

But then I woke up on Sunday and felt so much better! Sunday was basically a family day, the first in a while! All three of us had the day off and we decided to go to the fair. We spent a good part of the day at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe. We saw animals, booths, various displays, a lumberjack show and more. It has been a while since we have been to the fair so it was really nice to be back and have time to cruise all around. And as it usually is with the fair, we ate too much…but it was all so tasty! After the fair is was back home for a nap then I headed over to Amanda and Robert’s for pizza, fun conversations and Madden ’13 (it’s awesomeeee).

Monday was the true adventure day, however. After visiting one of my friends who just had surgery, I met up with Bryan and our adventure began! We jumped on the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry and cruised over across the water. After grabbing a quick lunch we made it to our destination: Island Lake Camp! Yes, the very same that I used to work at and is so near/dear to my heart. There were not too many staff members still there so late in the summer but it was fun to see the staff that were there. I was especially glad to see my buddy Joel (who you know by a previous post is going to India soon). Byran and I spent time walking all over camp, and it was fun being able to tell him all about it and about some of my fond memories from Camp. We also decided to take a short trip to Miracle Ranch and I was able to see a couple friends there too before getting the ferry back home.

So, there is the basics of my weekend. It may not seem like much to you, but I greatly enjoyed it! It was three days full of a little bit of everything: laziness, adventure, travel, hanging out with friends, and reliving great memories. All in all, a very good Labor Day Weekend…relaxing and rejuvenating.