When to get upset… and when to relax

When having a conversation with one of my friends, I tend to relax and enjoy my time. Even if my friend says something contrary to how I think or believe, I don’t get upset. I shrug it off and keep enjoying the conversation. I may not even notice a mistake in the conversation at all.

Why does all of that change when communicating with my spouse?

When we talk, I’m sure that Audrey does not say anything worse than a friend. She says how she feels and talks openly with me, but often times I get upset. Why?

I’ll try to explain a) why it is ok to get upset, b) why I tend to get upset, and c) why I should not get upset but enjoy the ride.

When it is okay to get upset: 

  1. If/when we are not on the same page with raising the children.
  • It is okay to be upset in this scenario because it is important for the parenting couple to really work towards unity in shaping their children. Be it through diet, proactive character development measures, or discipline, parents should be on the same page.

2. If/when we are not on the same page with our religious affiliation.

  • If we struggle with our beliefs, then we should be able to openly engage in conversation. These conversations may get heated, but they also must be constructive. In this topic I am including conversations about your place of worship. Some men don’t want to go to church which leaves the women and children going to church alone. You have to figure something out in this scenario, and don’t give up until this situation is rectified.

3. If/when we struggle with addictions.

  • Addictions happen to people. I know that people first make the choice, but that internal desire to cling to an addiction is a powerful force that must be dealt with through love, prayer, and patience. With that being said, a wife should not have to fight for a man’s attention due to his addiction. She should show emotion then and not give up on him. Likewise, a husband should not have to fight for intimacy because his wife is too busy shopping, cleaning, on the smart phone, etc.

Of course, there are more reasons to fight in a marriage (for the marriage), but that’s all I’ll include here. Please just begin to use your discernment and ask yourself if it is truly worth the fight or is it a time when you should shrug it off and laugh.

Reasons that I get upset:

  1. When my wife says something in the wrong tone.
  2. When I feel criticized about what I haven’t done when I feel that I have done a lot.
  3. When I don’t get my way… it may take too long to leave the house

There is a lot that can be said in just the tone of your voice. I know that I certainly do not use the proper tone-of-voice in many situations. When I don’t, Audrey calls me on it. She says that I sound really snappy, and then I claim that I’m just trying to get whatever it is done. I really should watch my tone, recognize it, apologize, and move forward. Rather than casting it back on Audrey by saying that she is being too sensitive, I should recognize the miscommunication on my part. This recognition allows for a more pleasurable day in all.

I also get really upset when I feel criticized about not doing enough at home. I am a guy who does help out, but I am also one who takes care of myself. Therefore, I may eat when others are still hungry; I may take a nap even though my wife is busy with the kids, cooking, etc. With all that being said, I do dishes on a regular basis, help the kids to bed, and take my son outside when I get home so that we can have some time together. I try to get honey-do lists completed in a timely manner (there are a lot of loose-ends), but there is only so much time in the day. A big portion of the day has to be devoted to work, so it’s hard to notice what kind of impact I have on the daily chores. (I know it’s not much.) I still feel like I make a significant impact, and it hurts when it is suggested otherwise.

Reasons why I should just drop it.

My wife is the only person on Earth that supports me to the end of the world. She knows what it is I want and need in life and is here to support me. She is not an enemy, and she never (I mean never) speaks poorly of me. So why do I take it so personally when we disagree?

If I can back up, take a breath, and find the humor in the moment, then we may both be able to enjoy the conversation. Making this choice sends us into a more playful mode rather than argue. If we choose to argue, it could worsen our attitudes for  the remainder of the day. Often times it is more important to have a good day with each other than it is to be right about whatever it is we are arguing over.

I encourage you, friend, to find the humor in situations this week. Start enjoying each moment with your spouse and kids. Enjoying the moments is almost just as important as having the moment. If you are devoting your time to your family, make it a pleasurable experience so that you will stay committed to it.

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Seriously… Funny

Over the next few weeks, I will try to stay on one topic. This topic is going to change your adult-mind. It is going to make you feel more at ease with yourself and with others. It will encourage you to find humor in the little annoyances of everyday life. It is a topic that will remind us to take a deep breath every now and again and… laugh. We will begin to enjoy life rather than be so stressed about daily living. Living with tension, anxiety, and a downright depressing attitude will vanish, and we will enjoy life through making memories, enjoying moments in the present tense, and living a life with greater clarity about what is important.

And so we begin…

The first part of this series of blog posts is about finding humor in yourself. I’ve heard it before that God has a sense of humor, and he definitely displays that sense of humor in some of us 🙂

To illustrate my point, I get to pick on somebody no other than… myself.

I am a funny dude. I don’t mean that pridefully; I mean that I do some things that if you knew about them, you’d think I was crazy. I bet you have some of those funny attributes about yourself too.

😉

Anyhoo, here is a very short list of some things about me that admittedly are a little odd.

funny things

 

So, what’s on your list? 

There has to be something on your list that you find a little embarrassing… but hilarious! Those funny things about you make you who you are. Don’t take them for granted. I know that life calls us to be serious. We want the best out of our kids. We want their futures to be better than ours. We want to be promoted to the next level in our occupation, and the list goes on.

Take a few minutes this week to think about what quirks you have and laugh about them. Remember that they make you who you are in some respect, and be a little more light-hearted about it. Don’t hate yourself for it, but laugh. Enjoy the moment while it lasts, because it is the only moment that you can enjoy.

 

CTRL F: Finding Your Passion through Family

Have you ever been on a webpage or other document for one specific reason but couldn’t find what you were looking for? After 30 minutes of not finding what you are looking for, you finally say, “Oh yeah!” and hit Ctrl F to find the exact match in less than a second.

I wish there was a Ctrl F button when searching for our purpose on earth. The closest thing to the Ctrl F button for me is Family.

There are actually three mindsets that people must maintain while finding their purpose, and they are listed in the picture below. I’m taking this advice directly from the book “Crush It” by Gary Vaynerchuk. Click here for a sample. (I chose to listen to it at Audiobooks.com/spi.)

Love Your Family

Love Your Family

Family. is. first. The main ways I love my family is through loving God, praying for them, and cherishing moments that we have together. Time is valuable and is ultimately the main way I know to raise a family. Without the time commitment, I find it hard to grow with them. If I’m not growing with them, then I am growing apart from them. Time as a family unit must be a priority, and you have to be committed to making the time necessary to work your familial relationships.

Work Super-Hard

Working super-hard comes natural to some people. You wouldn’t be on this page without some inclination of wanting a better life. You have to stick to your guns and determine when you are working, and when you are playing. However, work feels a lot like play when you love what you are doing. Simply put, sometimes we work super-hard in the wrong line of work. You have to love what you do; there is no substitute for desire or hustle.

If something hinders your desire, you either have to get through the hardship, delegate responsibilities, or alter your approach so that the work becomes something that you love to do again. Each situation is unique and must be evaluated by you.

Working super-hard is closely related to living your passion but not entirely the same.

A way to begin discovering your passion is to pretend that there are no hindrances in the world. Pretend that your food and shelter are taken care of, the house does not need painting, the yard is perfect, and you have no other outside obligation.

Now pretend that you have $500. What would you do? List your ideas in the Comments section below.

This exercise can get things done for you in the next 6 months that you would have never had happen because you did not dream of it beforehand. Even though you had always wanted to do it, you never would take care of yourself in that way. Why do we do this to ourselves? We need to start enjoying life!

If you really want to go crazy, imagine that you have $10,000. If you write a $10,000 goal, you can more than likely see your dream come into fruition within 5 years.

Then, imagine that you have everything. You own it all. How would you spend tomorrow?

The amazing thought is that we know the one who owns it all. We have conversations with the master of the universe, and then we somehow believe that enjoying a $500 splurge is too much. We think that Starbucks is too expensive, and we don’t give the first ten percent of our income away to the poor as Jesus instructs us.

An interesting point that I’ve come to believe is that

Everything is eternal. Everything is limitless.

Everything has energy.

Everything is attracted or repelled.

If everything is truly eternal, then why do we worry so much about the next paycheck. Why do we worry about what is going to happen next? God will provide.

We have no excuse, then, not to live our passion.

Put some feet on it…

Okay, now it is time to put some feet on the ideas that were discussed in the blog. Please take the time to dream and post a comment below. Post how you are going to be more committed to family. Post what you would do with $500 and no obligation. Post something you passionately love. Post something you hate.

I look forward to communicating with you,

10 Reasons Why You are a Great Father

There are many pathways to creating great children. Great people can sometimes rise from the worst possible parenting and have an everlasting positive influence on people around them. Take Joyce Meyer, for example, who was abused all her life but has become one of the most trusted sources in the Christian community and invests time in showing women how to break boundaries. She is a true hero; I learn from each message she delivers.

Abuse is definitely not the correct way to parent, however, and most people that are put in those situations as children abandon their parents and live lost lives restricted to their memories of affliction and torment.

On the flip side, my wife is an awesome human being. She encourages our children and shows them what it is to love through service, affection, and doing things that are fun for them. Just before our first son Clay was born, she wanted to display why I was going to be a great father. I was really moved.

Here is what she had to say :

10 Reasons You Will Make A Great Father

Each of us can learn from my wife’s words and soak up the different things that we ought to do to be awesome fathers. Having a servant’s heart is huge, praying for your family, undeniably important. Making your wife a priority each and every day, and openly communicating schedules and desires is an absolute must. There is no doubt that her words of wisdom run deep, and a preacher could make a sermon (or even a series of sermons)  on each point.

The Substitute…

I encourage you to go through the list one more time but replace “you” with “I”. See how it transforms you into a better mindset. Walking through this list at least weekly will definitely keep my priorities straight with my family.

Numbers 1 through 9 are reasons that any man would make a great father. The one reason that motivates me the most, however, is #10. The reason that I am a great father to my children is because I am me. Simply put, there is no substitute for who I am. There are only a couple of roles in my life in which there is absolutely no substitute, being a husband to my wife and a father to my kids.

Make a Decision

In a life full of demands from outside circumstances that seem to pull us away from the family, we have to decide on how we are going to spend our time. And if we find ourselves spending less and less time with our family, our family is growing without us, apart from us. We have to make a lifestyle decision so that our family is a priority, not the leftover. Family time is absolutely crucial to growing together into one unit.

Let’s face it…

You can be replaced in any position you have on earth. If you’re a teacher like me, there is another teacher out there that can replace you. If you’re a coach, replaceable. Even if you are doing the Lord’s work and must be away from home to spread the word of the gospel, you are replaceable. The only unique roles that you have in your life is that you are a husband to your wife and father to your children.

There is no substitute for “Daddy”

Even God in Heaven does not want you to claim someone else as Daddy. We are jealous of that title and rightly so. I urge you to please take time to watch and/or listen to this thirty minute message from Andy Stanley on making Breathing Room (Part 4 of series). If you don’t have 30 minutes, you can always download the podcast through your phone and listen on the way to work.

So what are you going to do, Daddy?

It’s time to make priorities in your life. Is your wife a priority? She loves you because she wants to. Your kids love you because they want to. They are pulling for you to be a dad who has great influence on them. They want you to support them and to make family time as important as making a dollar. Family time is more important than nearly any other event that I can name. Don’t cover up family time with television; kick the thing off. There is no substitute for you in your role as a father. I, just like all of us, am working on prioritizing my life and have some accountability to make sure that it happens. I encourage you to do the same.

What next?

I encourage you to leave a comment below to let me know what you will do (or what you have already implemented) to make family time a priority. As I stated, I am still figuring out how to balance work and family time so seeing your comments will benefit me as well. Let’s learn together.

Much Love,