Here are some pretty flowers for my wife this morning. There are so many good things that I love about you! Keep smiling. :)

Sep 022009

Last night I cancelled a breakfast meeting because I needed a break to be with my family in the morning. At the time I had no idea how good of a decision that could be. We just finished breakfast with the whole family. That is so rare for all of us to be home together anytime, let alone in the mornings. Sara, Tasha, and Marena were all great to be around and we had a nice time. We had another family over for dinner last night and that was great, too. Sometimes it all comes together and what a great feeling that is.

Check out Matthew 18:19-20. God was present with us this morning. Thank you God for wonderful times like these. Thank you for my family. Thank you for allowing me to see the good around me and to slow down to enjoy it and appreciate it. Please help my family seek You out in their actions today. Help them to honor You. Amen.

While I was working with ACM in Coldwater, an opportunity came up for me to travel to NYC for a trade show (I had been there once before in college). ACM had a policy that would not allow for wives to travel with their husbands because of a bad experience with a wife of an employee on a trip to Japan.

But I couldn’t miss the opportunity to take Tasha with me on my trip. So Tasha planned her own trip and I decided the company couldn’t fault me if my wife ‘happened’ to show up at the same hotel as me in NYC – wink-wink.

In anticipation of my trip, I fill out the Late Show questionnaire online and I get a call. A production assistant asked me trivia questions about the show and I really screwed it up, apparently I’m not a spontaneous trivia type guy. So we go to NYC figuring the Late Show would never work out. But I decided to give the show one last try after arriving in NYC and they CALLED BACK! I couldn’t believe it. They made us jump through some hoops because Dave was being stalked at the time, but they must have liked the Midwest connection and they invited in the morning for a show that night.

Then the panic really happened. I knew my boss was a David Letterman fan. What’s he gonna think if the crowd pan gets a glimpse of me – and my wife! Now I left my trade show at 3pm to run across Manhattan to make the show, so I didn’t cheat the company, but my WIFE was going to be sitting next to me! When everyone else around us was screaming and waving to their family, Tasha and I are pointing at the lighting! It was a blast!

I really appreciated taking Mark out to lunch after I left ACM and told him the truth about my trip. A friend taped the episode and we are barely visible in the crowd pan so there was nothing to worry about anyway. All we have to show from it is a Late Night T-Shirt that Tasha got as a souvenir. New York City was awesome. I can’t wait to go back. It was an awesome trip and I love it everytime Tasha brags about having ‘been there’ when she sees various NYC locations on TV. I’d pray, but this is all ready a long post, thank you, God!

Tasha and I have really found a niche in the teen crowd. Tasha is doing a great job teaching high school Sunday school and driver education and I’m coaching cross-country and track at Coldwater High School.

I think I know one of the reasons the kids love Tasha so much. I’m tired at the end of the hot day at Warren Dunes, and Tasha is secretly rallying the kids to convince me to drive them to ColdStone Creamery on the way home. She is over-the-top sometimes and the kids like that. And let’s face it, over the top for ice cream is hard to be angry at.

Thank you, God, for the continued opportunity to rally kids for You. To feel young as we lead the teens of our church and our community. Amen.

That’s right, Tasha and I made it through 15 years of marriage on July 2nd of this year. I still remember so many things about the day I was married to my special gal. The honeymoon trip is still vivid in my mind – back in the day when it was just the two of us!

There was a trip the two of us took to Mt. Holly to go snow skiing. We were driving back and just couldn’t make it the rest of the way so we stopped at the Holiday Inn in Jackson. I was trying to be cute and surprise Tasha with something special so I blindfolded her for the drive to our restaurant. About 5 miles and two dozen turns later we ended up across the street at one of Tasha’s favorite restaurants at the time, Red Lobster. Hey, I was 19 years old ok?

This year, Tasha apparently remembers that story because after our dinner at Martell’s she blindfolded me for our anniversary date, drove me in a sea-sick pattern around Coldwater and ended up guiding me by the hand up some backstairs to the Holiday Inn Express in Coldwater (after she swears she said ‘stop’ a split-second before I hit the wall in the stairwell).

We had a great time and it was fun seeing how many good things we can remember about the last 15 years. I’m proud of my marriage today. Tasha tries so hard to be the best wife that she can be. The requirements for the job seem to change so much from one day to another and she does a great job adjusting. She’s working 60+ hours a week in the summer time when the driving school is the busiest. She’s not home usually in the evenings but still finds time to plan our crock-pot meals for the week so it is as easy on us as possible.

I love you, Tasha!

With an opening in our Youth Department at the church, Tasha, Susie, and myself were asked to take a show-must-go-on attitude towards a week long youth trip planned for the Alive Music Festival. I was told I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and that was correct! But the kids and leaders all had a good time listening to music, growing in our faith, getting to know each other better, and playing in the mud – yes, M-U-D. Check out this video.

Tasha and I joined Marena and Sara on their Power Of Love trip to Traverse City. We stayed at the wonderful Great Wolf Lodge. The kids had fun at the water park – Tasha and I did, too!

We drove and walked out to Mission Point in the Grand Traverse Bay. Pastor Anderson led an excellent devotional that begins to wrap up the season for the kids. I like these kinds of trips. There is an adventure to traveling 4 hours from home. There were about 35 kids from all different types of backgrounds. Several of the kids wouldn’t leave Coldwater if it wasn’t for trips like this and the peninsula heading out to the bay had some beautiful vistas. Then on Sunday they performed at the Windward Church operating out of the Traverse City Junior High in Traverse City, MI.

I’m glad that Marena and Sara were a part of this program. They got to travel to different churches and they had fun and fellowship with other youth trying to become more mature followers of Christ. Enjoy the pic and this link to the group making it on local news at 11 O’clock (once you are there, choose the play video link).

Apr 162009

Tasha and I were married in 1994. Between 1994 and 2003 Tasha consistently told me the things I did (or didn’t do) that “bothered” her. My father mysteriously found out about some of those items in 2003, too. So with enough encouragement from people I cared about, I picked a couple of the easier items and decided to improve things around the house for Tasha. One of those items was making the dirty clothes actually reach the hamper.

Since 2003 I’ve been proud of my efforts. With a nearly 100% completion rate my dirty laundry made it to the hamper. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t making extra work for anyone. There were other areas of improvement, too. But this is the one I’m blogging about and now you’ll see why.

In January of 2009, in the middle of a petty fight that sometimes happens in marriage, Tasha became angry that I NEVER take care of my dirty clothes. Never! Are you kidding! So from that day forward I digressed to the fresh out of college 20-something mentality to dirty laundry that I had long ago forgotten.

The point, during a rather nice evening around the house together, Tasha smiled at me and said, “I think I liked it better the way you used to get the clothes to the hamper.” She was acting all naïve and coy. But I knew. At that moment, I was rewarded for the hard work over those 6 years. The strike is over and I promise to start being a good boy again. Also, that is the last time I air my dirty laundry on this blog. :)

Between lunch on March 13th and dinner on March 14th, 2009, no food was eaten by the FBC high school Sunday school class that my wife, Tasha, teaches. Her class experienced a 30-Hour Famine. The kids understand better now what it’s like to be hungry, really hungry. People die every day because they can’t get food. The reasons are a combination of political, economic, and biological factors. But because the kids raised over $1100, 3 children will live for another year.

The class celebrated their accomplishment with a dinner at Craig’s Cruisers in G.R. On the bus ride home they talked about their experience. They are more grateful now for the food they enjoy so easily. It is food enjoyed because they aren’t desperate for it. The kids can turn to God for strength. They can turn to each other for comfort.

Dear God, thank you for the opportunities these kids had to safely experience a small portion of the hunger that people around the world live through every day. Please help these kids to have compassion in their hearts for others and help them to become more like Christ as they grow and mature in their faith.

Today was a big day for marriages in Branch County at First Baptist Church of Coldwater. Over 50 couples gathered together to “Focus On Marriage.” Altogether including singles and workers about 130 people were present. The live satellite feed from Colorado Springs, CO, included speakers Gary Smalley, Beth Moore, and music by Jeremy Camp.

These are excellent events, if for no other reason than Tasha and I get to come together to work on us. I know we’re around each other a lot, and we talk and have quality time. But the mere fact that we agree to go TOGETHER is a subtle message to one another that I thrive on. Unfortunately, there were a few couples that are struggling that weren’t there, and maybe their schedules weren’t as free, but maybe they don’t want to send subtle messages to one another that the marriage is important. It is sad. So today I called my wife an unexpected upgrade to a truck. I guess you’d have to have been at the simulcast in order to get the inside joke – but hopefully Tasha does. :)

Dear God, thank you for my marriage to Tasha. Thank you for allowing us each to heal from the harms we do to one another. The good outweigh the bad, but sometimes the bad are so intense, that it is hard to believe the good will ever prevail – but it does. Please help me to love Tasha in spite of her failings. Please help her to love me the same way. I pray that my daughters will someday have a marriage that they are proud of, too. If they are right with You, they have a chance of having that marriage. I pray they seek You out. Amen.

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