You’re Wight Dere

(***Note: Now that the weather is getting colder, I expect I’ll be posting with more frequency. Between the weather and our daughters just handing me posts, it is difficult to not share some of these little moments. Of joy and otherwise…hehe.)

Listening to my 3-year-old discover the English language is one of the joys I have in life. The letters “r”, “l”, and the “th” sound are three difficulties at this point. Just listening to her attempt to say “parallel lava lamps” causes me to giggle.

A few weekends ago we took the girls to Chicago. One afternoon we took them right downtown. It may have been the last good afternoon of the season. We were very blessed to enjoy great weather. I couldn’t wait to get our 3-year-old to Millennium Park to see the Cloud Gate, otherwise known as “the bean”. This great reflective work of art is an attraction. And on a nearly cloudless day it is even more impressive.

I didn’t realize getting from the parking ramp to “the bean” was to become a feat of endurance. For the first time we were going to have our 3-year-old walk instead of ride. That meant, in a time of poor judgement on my part, she would be walking the 8 block walk from the ramp to the park. Then walk through the park with us and walk back to the parking ramp. She started whining at the half block mark and I knew my patience would be tested on this trip. Seriously, a half block and she was already complaining about being (insert complaint here: I’m hungry, I’m tired, I’m sweating) that’s right sweating one half block into the walk. After a rest at block 4 things did get better.

If you haven’t walked on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago on a nice afternoon you may not realize it can get rather crowded. My wife is not a fan of crowds. Because of this I watched our 3-year-old even closer than I expected. Not only because of the crowd of strangers, but also just to make sure she wasn’t going to show signs of claustrophobia or problems handling crowds. The good news is she did great in a large group.

When we got to “the bean” I took the 3-year-old around it and underneath it. Those pics are fun to take as well.

While underneath I asked her how she was doing? I also asked if she was frightened. (Lately she has said, “I’m scared” a lot so I just wanted to be sure she was fine. I was just making sure.) Her answer, “Nope.” When I asked why she wasn’t afraid she pointed right at the reflection on “the bean”, “Because you’re wight dere.”

To translate, “Because you’re right there.” It does a heart good to know she felt safe because I’m near.

My mind went right to our faith. What if we could always see God, “wight dere”? How much better would we feel? How different would we act?

It amazes me how sometimes a small sentence from a 3-year-old can get a mind going.

“Do not fear: I am with you;
do not be anxious: I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Or, to quote the chorus of the David Haas song “You Are Mine” I had stuck in my head the rest of the afternoon:

“Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine”


A Time To Show How A Negative Can Be A Positive.

I heard someone ask a question last night that I’ve heard hundreds of times before, “Are you a glass half empty or a glass half full person”? I knew the answer right away. I am most definitely a glass half full-type person. This blog should prove that out. Sure there is a lot of negativity in life as well as on the web. I just want to make a spot where the negative can take a hike, or at least know that it isn’t going to win.

Allow me to explain. I am finishing up a day where my “glass half full” attitude is what makes the difference in my overall feeling in life. Just a few of the points that follow could have made me the grumpiest person to be around. I just try to make the best of it. Watch how my “half full” attitude saves me from saying and doing things I may just regret later on.

1. My First Time Away (this one is sappy, but true): Tonight is the first time I am away from my family in awhile. I used to travel a lot for my job. So being away from home was tough, but over time became “tolerable”. Tonight is the first time in over six months. A lot has changed in that time, especially the new addition to our family. So it is my first time away from my wife AND new daughter. Knowing I cannot be there to help when needed is tough. But knowing my Saturday morning daddy/daughter time while mommy sleeps isn’t going to happen is the toughest part. Does it make me sad. Yes. Is it hard to do. Yes. But it also makes me realize how blessed I am to be surrounded by two loved ones everyday.

2. Nine Hours of Driving: During this two day stretch I will be driving 9 hours total. Through The Chicago area twice. Traffic hassles always seem to be a great way to irritate even the calmest of souls. I’m not going to lie, the temptation to hit the horn and wave using only one finger was there today on more than one occasion. Tomorrow will bring a few more I am certain. I could keep rolling my eyes and yelling in the car. Instead, I’ve been listening to a combo of positive “relevant” radio, podcasts, and prayers. The podcasts in particular are an educational tool to keep up with the ever changing world of technology. So driving is a chance to take the hassle and turn it into learning more about what I do for a living.

3. Hotel: I work for a not-for-profit so the typical hotel isn’t anything to write home about. This one, although ok, has a smell to it. I can’t quite put my finger on it. The smell of an old hotel? The smell of a former smoking room? The smell of a piece of food yet to be discovered? I’m not quite sure. How can this be a glass half empty moment? Well, my sense of smell isn’t as good as I would like. I’m just grateful I cannot smell the entire “bouquet” in this room. Plus, it is an ok room. And the front desk guy was great in handling a few issues for me. To top that off they leave a package of microwave popcorn in the microwave. Now THAT is a smell I can wrap my olfactory sense around.

4. Keyboard: For the first time I am traveling without a laptop. I am using the iPad. Ever try to use the on-screen keyboard? It is ok for short typing events (Twitter, Facebook,…etc). But to write for a longer period of time, like blogging, it is a real challenge. (So I will blame any typos on auto correct and the on screen keyboard). But I lime a good challenge and have time to mess around tonight. Rather, I LIKE a good challenge. (Dang auto correct).

I guess the point of this post is this…

There were times in my life I was an irritating guy. I still am. I still have my moments. Yet, within the last few years, I have come to learn that if I spent much of my life complaining and being irritated with life I will have wasted a lot of good time feeling awful. It is simply not worth it.

So here come the cliches. When life deals you a bad hand, smile as you play it. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Always looks at the glass as half-full not empty. Then pick the glass up and take another big drink.

But tomorrow morning if my electric razor stops before I am finished shaving all because I forgot to charge it before I left and left my charger at home……well……A man has his limits.