This took guts…

Soldiers, Drinks, and My Messy Thank You

but oh man… it was totally worth it. I need to A) start loving people like this and B) be more open to following the promptings of the Holy Spirit in my life.

Is there someone or a group of someones you know who would say that they feel forgotten? What can you do to show them some lovin’? How can you help them feel remembered?


Gratitude List: July 4, 2011

1. Running around in my front yard while it was raining on Sunday night.
2. The momentary drop in the triple digit Oklahoma heat that accompanied the Sunday evening rain.
3. Swimming on Sunday afternoon at Annaleise’s uncle’s house.
4. Sunday afternoon naps.
5. Freedom.
6. The sound of people shooting off fireworks in our neighborhood after dark.
7. Feeding Isabella.
8. I did not mow my grass during the month of June.
9. Making crazy concoctions from watermelon.
10. God’s love.
11. That I was not born into any kind of precarious life-threatening situation.
12. That my daughter was not born into any kind of precarious life-threatening situation.
13. A body that can still move and a mind that can still think.
14. 4th of July celebrations with various friends and family members.
15. Isabella sleeping all the way through the night last night.
16. The smell of fireworks.
17. The smell of freshly cut grass.
18. The smell of rain.
19. The smell of a BBQ.
20. The smell of cupcakes cooking in the oven.
21. The smell of sunscreen.
22. The smell of chlorine.
23. Air conditioning in my car and air conditioning in my house.
24. Ceiling fans.
25. Less than 60 days until the first OU football game.
26. Free and convenient recycling program in my neighborhood.
27. The best rib-eye steak I’ve ever tasted at the Catfish Cabin.

28. Hearing God’s voice through books, friends, scripture, and in those still quiet moments when I actually clear my head and listen for it.
29. Isabella’s flag waving skills.

Gratitude List: Catchup Edition

It’s been a pretty busy week with not a lot of spare time for posting, but I have been keeping a running list of things I’m grateful for. In no particular order, here’s my list from the last 7 days or so.

1. God filling me with a sense of wonder
2. Waving at Isabella and having her wave back
3. Star Spangled Fried Chicken dinner at church
4. A high electric bill for June that reminds me how blessed I am to have electricity, a home, and air conditioning
5. AM’s commitment to keep our family eating healthy
6. A couple of really encouraging emails this week
7. Great feedback on a project at work that I’m leading
8. 3 and a 1/2 day weekends
9. A renewed sense of purpose
10. Planning several exciting fundraising projects from now until next spring
11. Three different lunch conversations this week with three different friends
12. No aliens coming to destroy our planet over the holiday weekend
13. Reliable cars to drive
14. Waking up to morning rain storms a couple days this week
15. Staying up late and sucking the marrow out of life
16. People who are willing to forward on resumes I send them… someone else’s, not mine
17. Freezing leftover watermelon in ice cube trays
18. Watermelon smoothies made from watermelon ice cubes, almond milk, and Greek yogurt
19. Dinner at the Isenberg’s house
20. Getting a call during dinner from the alarm company that turned out to be a false alarm
21. The Village Police Department
22. Sweet corn
23. Two weeks until my parents are stateside again
24. Two weeks until our second beach vacation of the year
25. AM’s booming Monday afternoon marriage and family therapy business
26. Good music that speaks to my soul
27. Free Southwest Rapid Rewards plane tickets
28. Sunscreen
29. Cookouts with friends
30. The smell of hot asphalt in the parking lot at work that reminds me of being at Six Flags and Frontier City as a kid
31. Good books
32. The seamstress who mended a tear near the pocket of my favorite pair of shorts
33. Watching Isabella crawling and scooting all over our house as she follows us around
34. Getting things done
35. Car trips with AM and Izzy
36. Babies who throw their cake on the floor at their first birthday instead of eating it
37. GPS
38. Dancing with Isabella for 30 minutes before bedtime while listening to our daddy daughter playlist
39. Naps
40. Being too busy fathering to do much blogging this week
41. The sound of locusts on a hot Oklahoma summer night
42. Watching Iz play on the floor
43. And so much more…

Thank You Tony Dungy


“But what does it really mean to be a man?

I say this: being a man is more than leaving our wives husbandless, our children fatherless, our employers passionless, our families hopeless.

You can be more. You were created to be more — and better. The messages of the world are a cop-out: the messages of sexual conquest, of financial achievement, of victory in general. Not only are these messages not fair, but they also fall so short of what you can do — and more importantly, who you are.”

-Tony Dungy, from “Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance”

Gratitude List: Weekend Edition

1. Safe and interruption-free flights to and from Los Angeles over the weekend.
2. Safe and interruption-free drive to and from Joshua Tree National Park.
3. Spending the weekend with Godly men.
4. Little boys, cowboys, warriors, kings, and sages.
5. New friends.
6. Seeing the Milky Way for the first time in my life.
7. Technical rock climbing and repelling for the first time in my life.
8. Riding a zip line suspended 150 feet in the air.
9. Safety harnesses.
10. Bouldering.
11. Hiking on big granite rocks.

11(b). Bright green shirts.
12. Lemon Gatorade.
13. Hanging out with Tate on the drive out to the park.
14. Sleeping under the stars on a cot in the desert.
15. The beauty of God’s creation.
16. Smoked Tri-Tip.
17. Jeff D’s heart for God and other men.
18. Excursions to Big Bear Lake and the San Bernadino National Forest.
19. Clarity on a lot of things.
20. Lighting a campfire with a flaming arrow

21. The night sky over the Mojave desert.

22. $4 for a 7 minute shower at the Coyote Corner souvenir shop after being out in the desert without showering for 48 hours.

23. Campfires.
24. A good conversation on the plane home with an old man who happened to be from my hometown.
25. Funny Southwest Airlines flight attendants.
26. Seeing AM after coming home late on Sunday night.
27. Peeking in on Izzy sleeping in her crib on Sunday night.
28. Sleeping in my own bed.

Gratitude List: June 22, 2011

1. Church family.
2. Helping Iz fall asleep.
3. Good ideas.
4. Inspiration.
5. My wife.
6. Never going without food, water, clothing, or shelter.
7. The family I was born into.
8. The family I married into.
9. The family that Annaleise and I have made.
10. A noisy but joyful baby in the backseat of our car on the way home tonight.
11. The color purple… just the color… not the play, book, or movie of the same name.
12. Skipping my pushup routine tonight and not feeling guilty about it.
13. Climbing into bed.
14. A chance to sleep.
15. Moving the needle on a various dials in my life.
16. The story of Esther.
17. Such a time as this.