Our Shell


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Why are we so guarded? Why is it that the life we live is out of a shell of who we are? Even when it comes to our close loved ones we tend to hide inside our shells. How is it that we can give up our body, we can give up our life to enter into a marriage yet we fail on a daily basis to communicate how we really feel on the inside? Do we need to be that guarded? Must we hide from the ones that care most about us? Or is it that the ones that are closest to us are the ones that have the opportunity to harm us the most.

Vulnerable: Capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon: a vulnerable part of the body. Open to moral attack, criticism, temptation.

As far as I can remember back I held my true feelings about everyone and everything buried deep inside, is it the fear or rejection of how I am feeling? Is it that I didn’t want to harm anyone with my feelings? Is it that I was scared to not have my feelings understood or validated? It was all of them!

I grew up as a very wild child, off the wall energy, seemingly endless play and sarcasm. On the inside was a much different story, I was guarded, I was full of fear and in hopes that I would be safe I was completely covered in armor. I have always been sensitive to others, I get emotional to the feelings of the actors in movies I watch, the lyrics I hear, or others going through pain and I fail to allow myself to address MY pain, my issues and fight to keep the feeling buried deep inside my shell.

I have been very successful at getting others to like me and that has been my way of getting through life. All through school, after school and after graduation I have always had a fairly large group of people that would say “he is hilarious” “I love Scott” and that would not have much bad to say about me. I was not picked on much, I was never bullied and still I felt alone. As I grow I am learning to see that in order to not feel alone you must share yourself, be vulnerable and don’t keep everything from the ones that are close to you.

Now after 16 years of a relationship with my wife, 2 children and years of struggling to hide my true feelings of fear of losing her we are about to enter a point of no return with vulnerability. We have reached a point in our lives that the hidden feelings and unspoken words are breaking down the small surface communication we have. We are learning to open up our shell and in very small words let the “children out to play again”. The adventure of my marriage in my mind has only just begun, the past 16 years were us feeling out one another and finding out “am I safe with her”?

The answer to the question, “am I safe” is no, not at all and THAT is the beginning of a real relationship. The beginning of building a relationship that will outlast the real storms that I see on the horizon.

August 12th, 2000 was the day I married my best friend, August 2014 is the date I begin to build a relationship with her.

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Worn Thin


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Daily stress from work, family turmoil, uneasy disconnect, marriage falling apart, raising two daughters one with anxiety and panic attacks, the other reaching the teen years and entering into the realm of “dating”, health issues that keep rising up and the list goes on and on. Living life to the fullest sounds like a fairytale and dreaming for a day that I don’t want to ball up and break down seems so far away.

Yesterday I met with a great friend and in our time of spilling out the gory details of what life can do a verse was told to me. Ephesians 5:25: For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.

 

I have heard this 100’s of times and read it just as many but when we began to look into just what the meaning of what Jesus did for his church it became apparent the level of love that we as husbands are expected to have. The thought of a love like that is mind numbing and seemingly unreachable as a human, that is the point. You will never reach your “true love”, you will never find the end or the pot of gold, we are not meant to reach that destination.  Life will continue to change and evolve into a new story, a new chapter, a new journey, life is not meant to reach any destinations or “finish”. We should not stop growing and changing until the day we take our last breath, in that time we will reach our “finish”.

 

This time in my life has worn me thin, tested my faith, pushed me closer to giving up then I ever have been and this is nothing compared to the sacrifices that Jesus made for his church. Is it my job to lay down my life for my bride as Christ did for his church? Is it my duty to hold back the world and filter out the terrors of the world from my daughter’s eyes and heart? Am I being called to break my body and mind to assure my family is safe from the dirty world we live in? Well if what Ephesians 5:25 says is God’s word then that is exactly what I need to do.

 

As I grew up being raised by a somewhat single mother and many different “father figures” in my life I learned what a man should be. A man should be there when it is convenient for him, he should provide a paycheck to help provide for what he has created, and he should do the heavy lifting of life….

I am learning today at the age of 33 that my entire life has been one test after another preparing me for this time in my life. I see the pain of my family, the disconnect of my wife’s heart and the sacrifices that have to be made, I see them as a man through a woman’s eyes.

 

God has raised me to be a bit more emotional than your typical man, he has allowed me to see the pain of a man and a woman that did not make it through marriage after marriage only to secure the feelings so deep in my heart to fight for mine so that I can “attempt” to live up to the standard of loving my wife like He loved his church. 

 

If my life would have been any different I may have simply let go a long time ago yet my heart still burns for my wife like the night we had our first kiss, my back is strong for my family to stand as a man, husband and father against the world and say bring it on…

 

I am a man of God, with the daily reminder of the name Jesus tattooed over my heart and a cross on my back to remind me of the past I come from nothing from this world will separate me from my family, I bear the scars of a battle that will never end… I am worn thin but will never be broken!    

Freedom is Never Free


Great words about Freedom!

Red Tent Living

The first time Elly straddled a bike she hoisted herself onto the seat with Mark holding onto the bike and said, “I can do this Dad.” A moment later she rode away from his steadying hand hold, her brown hair waving in the breeze as her little legs peddled faster and faster while she let out a loud, “Wheeeeeee!!!!”  As she rides she waves to the neighbors, comments on their flowers and often sings. She’s taken a few good spills, skinned her knees some and always responds by climbing back on her bike. For Elly riding that bike is pure freedom, independence for the youngest of five, free to explore the neighborhood and enjoy the wind in her hair.

The first time Libby straddled a bike she began by asking questions…”Why is the seat so high?” “Why are these brakes so hard to squeeze?” “What happens if I get going…

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“Connection Lost”


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As I sat down before my morning meeting, feeling unrested from another night of less than quality sleep, I open my phone and see this image appear on my Facebook feed.

Thanks for the reminder, I thought! This is becoming quite a frequent thought these days “Connection Lost”…

 

Thinking “So I see”, thinking of what a connection is or what a connection should be.

Definition of connection: Something that joins or connects two or more things, the act of connecting two or more things or the state of being connected. I have been disconnected for so long in so many areas of my life I’m not sure what a real connections is!

 

I have become great at disconnection, separating myself from anything that is negative or has a negative impact in my life and yet I find myself desiring a connection.

 Stepping back and looking at my life from the outside, “I am a common issue in the issues I see in my life”, well, that is not what I wanted to see…

Understanding a connection takes two or more in order to work, so where to begin?

I have always been a bit of a “do it myself” kind of guy, take charge and get it done on my time! A kind of “get out of my way and let me do it” well connection does not work that way.

A connection takes grace with both connectors, works to maintain a connection, desire to connect and is constant change. I fail at most, so the desire burns white hot to have a real connection and so the battle begins. Fear of connection vs the desire to have one.

 

With all my heart I pray that one day I can learn to connect, be real, stay true and connect with others in my life. I am fed up with holding everyone at arm’s length and trying to connect at a safe distance.

 

I have separated myself from friends, family and my wife because of fear of “what might become”. God created us to desire connection, the world breaks down the ability to connect and I continue to chose the world and tell God “I can handle this, I’ll let you know when I need you” and that time rarely comes.

 

Today, again, I am telling God I need you in this! I am tired of holding all the pieces of broken family, destroyed friendships, struggling households and loss of connections from the past…

holding the door closed


IMG_20140706_015113The day you came into the world my life was flipped upside down, I was no longer the only child. I now had to fight for the attention of a single mother. Jealousy and aggression came into my mind as a small child. You beginning to walk set our bond in motion as brothers as well as the trouble we were about to get into..

 

I became a guiding light to a little helpless child, and shortly after learned he would follow me to the ends of the earth to fit in and make me proud, I fled.  Life was up and down to say the least, broken homes and scars that cut deep became the bond we had. Coming from the same flesh yet not sharing a name began the long road of explaining to others how we are related. Looking nothing alike, myself being a tall and fair skin redhead and you being shorter and stocky with olive skin we overcame the appearances difference that sent questions into everyone’s mind. We are blood, as blood as can be. 

 

Our young childhood we were inseparable, from BMX to staying up until 3am watching Nightmare on Elm Street, we did everything together then our lives began to change for me as being the elder of the house, rebellion and fighting became very common and so the separation between us began. I finally reached a breaking point and decided to leave the house around the age of 14 leaving you to hold the pieces of another man walking out on us. You were now one of the men in the house and with no one to teach you what that means you began to rebel as well.

Our father were not around, we were the men in our lives and I now realize what I could have done and what I didn’t do. I’m not saying it was my fault things turned out like they did I’m saying I could have done more for you as my brother.

That leads us to what happened a few years ago when we helped you out of a dangerous situation, my way of reaching out to you for all the time that has passed when you were alone.

I continue to struggle with every part of my life and it is hard to “remember” the past and stay positive in the future. Our lives have been down some different roads and I have never stopped thinking about what you are doing, how you are doing and if you are holding everything together. I know I have been fighting to hold everything together and for so long we had each other and now I fight to be alone in my struggle. Knowing being alone makes everything much harder yet I hate to “rally the troops” into my war with myself.

I am sorry for leaving and never looking back, and I’m sorry for holding the door closed for so many years and hearing you knock, being consumed with the fear of what part of my past might be on the other side. I have been working on myself for over a year now and have only scratched the surface of who I am and why I do what I do. It has brought many memories flooding back that I do not want to remember. 

beginning a new chapter is certain, when is in question. I do not expect you to keep knocking but I hope you understand the reasons I hold the doors in my life closed. As I begin to let the doors open life will never be the same.

Celebrate the Journey


July 17th 1998 marks 16 years to the day I met back up with the woman I would call my wife.
It was a normal Friday night, hanging with the boys trying to get in trouble on Westnedge. Driving and listing to the loudest music we could find and rounding up as many other friends along the way to meet up and hang for the night, it was an every weekend ritual.

Little did I know I was about to meet a girl that would change the course of my life. I remember that night like it was last night!

It was HOT out and Westnedge was packed with people seemingly going nowhere as any normal Friday night. Sitting at a red light, music as loud as a jet, a little red Ford Escort pulls up next to me. We look over and hello, what is this, girl’s. We were on our way to TCBY to quench the heat with some ice-cream, so we invited the girls to join us.

I had white chocolate mousse with gummy bears (don’t judge) it was my favorite!
One if the girl’s decided to begin to steal all of my gummy bears from my ice-cream. I was shocked at first, who else would enjoy half frozen gummy bears? I mean think about it, they are not easy to eat when they are not frozen..

As the night progressed, numbers were exchanged and I think I was home 15 seconds before the long late night phone calls would begin.
A second date was a must, thinking to myself, huh 2 redheads together… This could be trouble. I remember the feelings that began to rise up, and stir in a new area in my heart as our conversation went to great depths about life and the struggles, desires and dreams; she was like me, a broken family, deep scars and life without a direction.

One sleepless night became two and three and before you know it we spent ever chance we could get together.

16 years later, 14 years of marriage, 2 daughters, a house and a full life of gymnastic and guitar lessons later here we are.

Life has changed so much from the days I remember. The fights are about life together now not where we are going out to dinner. The issues are deep, the stress is eminence. We are adults now!

With two girl’s, a teenager and soon to be teenage life has shifted into a new gear, the one you have to hold on to the “oh shit” handle and hope the lessons and guidance you have tried to instill in them bears good fruit.

As the nights press on later and later and the mornings seem to be getting earlier we are learning to dance again. Like two tired warriors after a battle we sit back and try to assess the damage that has occurred along the way. Processing the “why, how’s and what now” is more complicated then I would ever imagined.
One thing has remained the same in all the swaying and running our determination to break the cycles we lived. To fight no matter what to stand for what a family is and should be and to teach our daughter’s to stand up for what a family means.

To the woman I have been blessed to call wife, I want to thank you for being my rock, my soft place to meet me when I needed someone and my voice of reason when I spin out of control.
Here’s to the rest of our lives and learning to celebrate the Journey, whatever we face we face it together!