Foxes at the Tower

Today, I’ve been spending a fair amount of time thinking about Romans 8:28. You know the verse. You’ve probably heard it quite a bit from your pastor. I know I have.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

I’ve been thinking about it because I never would have thought God would use what amounted to a nervous breakdown and a large cut in pay for good. Not that he couldn’t do it, I just didn’t think it would shake out like that.

It’s true my previous job function was very stressful, and that stress manifested itself very strongly through a series of very intense expressions of emotional…uh, energy. More like reactions, I guess–that resulted in a long medical vacation while I got my wits about me once more.

I’ve been fortunate at the opportunity to transfer laterally within the company (which is a very good one) into another position that I am perhaps more suited for, to a section with much less stress. I’m no longer in an isolated position and little opportunity for social interaction, either, but am working closely with a friend, and for another couple of friends, one of whom is the worship leader at my church.

My breakdown was ugly, and lots of people were around to witness it on a couple of occasions–one of which was at church. Yet God was faithful, and saw my hurt–even more importantly, my need.

So while I wouldn’t have chosen what happened, I see that God used it for my good.

I believe God used my brokenness to reveal something else within me, and to bring new healing to my life. I won’t complain about that at all.

For now, at least, I look out a dirty window every morning while the sun comes up instead of at a wall. I do my daily reading literally watching the sun rise over the desert. And this morning, there were a couple of tiny kit foxes watching me do it through the open door of my little shack.

That’s worth a pay cut in my book.

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It’s Different Now

Sitting at McDonald’s and watching my son play with a bunch of kids. I remember those days, although when I was a kid, they didn’t have these giant play areas. We just brought in rocks from outside to play with. Or maybe dead rodents if we were one of the lucky ones.

And we liked it.

On a side note, I think Dante wrote “The Inferno” in a McDonald’s play area.

Don’t Worry

I don’t know if it’s the meds or the presence of the master within, but I’m not too worried about this shutdown business. It may sound a little cliche for people who don’t know what it feels like, but I know the work situation is in bigger and better hands than the government of the US or anywhere else.

Scripture tells me not to worry, so I won’t right now. Nobody wants this, but it’s here. Let’s use it for the best, and do something good.

But maybe not expensive, because it’s still going to eat up my vacation time.

Morning Gratitude #29

The reason I do this in the morning is that it’s the time of day I feel the least grateful for anything. Consequently I sometimes have to really dig deep to come up with things I’m thankful for.

I know that sounds bad, because there are honestly tons of things I should be grateful for, but I think it’s human nature to complain sometimes. It’s certainly my nature.

But I’m not going to indulge that nature this morning.

I’m grateful to have stopped getting involved in political discussions on social media; I’m not going to change anyone’s mind about anything and I’m sure lots of people already think I’m a jerk. No need to prove it again.

I’m grateful for YouTube, because I love live music and you can always find a concert.

I’m grateful for alone time with my wife when I can get it because she’s my best friend and we both have careers and very active Boyz (you have to spell it like that) who need involved parents.

I’m grateful my church has a home now, and grateful to have a pastor who is a really good man with a really great Mrs. The Mondragon family are terrific people and you should stop by TRC and meet them sometime.

Morning Gratitude #28

Recently I was in touch with my cousin, Laura Wilkins Lang, via Facebook and email. She’s sort of the Wilkins family historian, and I’m so grateful to be back in touch with her because it shined quite a bit of light on the Wilkins family tree. I’ve also been able to add my own little branch, and that’s pretty cool as well. Wilkins people back to the 1600’s on the East Coast, including Vermont and Salem, Mass.

Just received a couple more emails over the weekend with some service record stuff from my dad. So interesting!

Morning Gratitude #27

We’ve got a busy day today, but I’m grateful for the busyness. We get to worship at TRC, and then head to El Centro for a PopWarner playoff game. If the kids win this one and one more, they head to Nationals. It’s a very exciting time.

John got a second stripe on his belt last week for taekwondo. He’s also been teaching himself a little piano by copying his big brother, who also can play drums.

I’m grateful that God gave us such talented and resourceful boys.

I’m grateful that a little adversity has also moved us to change a few life things around, which is working toward making a huge difference. 

I’m super grateful for those gentle nudges from God that will turn into shoves when we need them to.