Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | September 10, 2015

Attack of the Invisible Something

Let me set up the scenario for you.  I am sitting in my recliner, my brother-in-law is sitting on the far right of the sectional, my wife is sitting in the middle where it curves and my sister is sitting on the far left of the sectional.   We just got done watching a show and a commercial was on.  My brother-in-law had gotten up and went into the kitchen when it happened.

As I picked up my phone to look at it a scream so powerful and frightening came from my left side. I quickly turned to look in that direction while my brother-in-law ran back into the living room.  At first I didn’t even recognize the person yelling was my wife.  From the beginning of her scream she jumped up and started to pound herself in the head.  She seamed to be hitting herself hard enough to knock out Mike Tyson.  Then, while still screaming at the top of her lungs, she starting running her fingers through her hair so violently that I thought she was going to pull chunks of hair out.  Her eyes were as wide as tennis balls and they had such a crazed look in them.  I didn’t know what was going on.  So there she is jumping up and down, elbows flailing around, and her hands crazily going through her hair.  I WAS SCARED!  About the time I started to yell for everyone to run before she murdered us I heard what she was yelling. 

“Get it out!  Get it out of my hair!”  Followed by screams of terror.  I didn’t know what was in her hair but I knew I didn’t want to go over there and check either.  My brother-in-law and I just kind of stood there.  We didn’t see anything but the way she was acting we kept waiting for something giant to come out of her hair.  I looked around to see if there was something I could find to hit what ever this thing was when it came out but there was nothing, we were defenseless.   

“GET IT OUT NOW!” she screamed with a final fling of her hair.  Now all her hair was in front of her face and I thought, “Oh crap she’s the Grudge!  It’s not in her hair it has taken over her body!  I am definitely not going over there now!” 

At the same time of her flipping her hair we hear another deathly scream and my sister jumps up.  She went from the couch to the other side of the room and the only way I can tell you how she got there was by flight.  I didn’t see her feet touch the ground.  She is standing there screaming all the while her legs are moving up and down likes she was going to run somewhere.  Now I am thinking the girls are under attack by something.  Another scream from my wife led to another scream by my sister.  I didn’t know what to do.  Was I also supposed to scream?  Was I supposed to run?   Was I supposed to be checking my hair?  What was I supposed to do?

My brother-in-law is confused, he is just standing there looking back and forth at the two girls and my thought was that if he starts to scream the kids are on their own and I am out of here.  Another scream from each of the girls and then my wife runs towards me yelling at me to get it out of her hair.  I am like, “Oh hell no you aren’t running towards me!  I am too young to die from something invisible!”  As she is running towards me I think about running away from her and how I was going to explain this to the police if I got away and they didn’t.  But instead I man up for a second and look closely at her hair and I don’t see anything.  I tell her there is nothing there and even though she keeps messing with her hair to make sure there is nothing there, she does start to calm down.  I guess my sister still thinks she is the next victim as she screams again.  We look over at her and she looks back with eyes as wide as golf balls and her legs still moving like she wants to run but is stuck in place.  It takes a few more minutes and finally both are calmed down. 

My wife swears up and down something was stuck in her hair and was buzzing and that freaked her out.  I never really asked but the only reason I can guess then that my sister started screaming also is that she was for sure something was attacking my wife and she was the next closest person so logically it would make her the next victim. 

It took a good long while for us to stop laughing afterwards.  We never saw any bug or flying insect so I am not sure what she felt, I guess we will never know.

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Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | June 2, 2015

On My Mind Today

Here is what is on my mind:  I am just wondering why it is when someone is born disfigured, with a disease, with mental handicaps, etc. or when someone has an accident and becomes disfigured, gets a disease, or becomes handicapped, etc. that we can look at them and tell them that everything will be alright.  We live in a fallen world but don’t worry because God doesn’t make mistakes and He has a plan.  He loves you and love is the most important thing.  So all we have to do is love them and let them know God is with them.  BUT when it comes to transgender, homosexuals, transvestites, etc. it is not about God has a plan and is with you and loves you.  No, it is about how much of a sinner they are or how disgusting their acts are or how God is displeased with them for those sins.  Am I missing something?  Are we all not sinners?  Do we all not fall short of His glory?  Did He not send Jesus to die for ALL of us?  Is love not the greatest commandment? 

Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind; This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  Matthew 22:36-39

Hmm, we sure do miss that second one a lot.  How can we tell the first group that God has a plan and loves them but not the second?  “They are choosing to do this to their selves,” you say.  Well I ask you, “Do you have some magical gift that allows you to be inside another person and feel what they are feeling?  To feel their struggles and their turmoil.  To be one way, or at least the way the word is telling you to be, but to know you are to be something else?”  How can you tell me that their struggles and their coming out is not part of God’s plan? 

You say well God doesn’t make mistakes and I say you are right.  But then you say well then because He doesn’t make mistakes, “If they are a boy they should stay a boy or date a girl, etc.”  Well I counter to you, what if it isn’t a mistake but instead a lesson for us, all part of God’s plan for all of us to learn something?  Could it be a chance for us to take someone who might be considered different in our world view and to just show them nothing but love?  That is all God is asking us to with his commandment.  He does not say judge one another, spew hateful words to one another, or make them feel like they are less a Christian than we are because the world view says they are different. No instead He tells us to love one another as we love Him. There is no condition with God’s love and there shouldn’t be with ours either. 

People say they have a choice to be gay, a transgender, a transvestite, etc. but I say society has a choice to be accepting or to hate.  Society has a choice to have their arms wide open to embrace or be closed minded to turn away.  Society has a choice to love and only love with no constraints, no boundaries, and without judgment.  We have the power through God to make this world a place of love, compassion, and happiness but we choose everyday not to and that is on us and we all will have to answer for that one day. 

Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | May 11, 2015

Remember, Words Can And Do Hurt

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There is an old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”  We have all tried telling our children this and things like,  “Don’t worry about it, shrug it off and just walk away, just toughen up and ignore them,” and while that might be some good advice lets be honest with ourselves, could we?  Look around at other adults and then look and examine yourself.  Have you ever been called a name (curse words especially) as an adult and just took it and walked away or did you say something back?  In most cases we tend to say something back and why is that?  Well it is because we demand respect and for someone to call us a name is disrespectful, takes a jab at our character, and is something that can hurt our feelings.  Sure maybe you can shrug it off once or twice but once it is said enough times it doesn’t matter who you are it hurts your feelings.  Go ahead try and sit there and deny it, but if it doesn’t then why do we get mad and retaliate back by calling the other person names that we know will hurt them?  What if someone would tell you, “just to shrug it off and toughen up,” would you listen?  I doubt we would.  Maybe it is a defense mechanism, maybe because we got hurt we want them to hurt, either way it doesn’t matter because there is no reason for us to do it.  So how can we teach our children to ignore words when we as adults can’t even do it?

The bottom line is that hurtful words are spoken because we know they hurt the other person in one way or another.  So for us as adults to stand there and say words don’t hurt is just one big lie, because if they didn’t we would just turn and walk away every time but we don’t.   In fact for people my age (40) and older we can’t really compare our times as youth to that of our children’s when it comes to this subject.  When we were in school if someone was saying something you heard it and then once you got home you didn’t anymore and now that is not the case.  Now kids have facebook, twitter, instagram, and all other social media outlets to keep those hurtful words going.  So now instead of passing someone in the hall twice a day to hear them call you a name, they get to see it 10’s, 100’s, or 1,000’s times a day so that hurtful comment that maybe they could have shrugged off at school won’t leave them alone.  Now it is everywhere they look and they can’t escape it.  It starts to eat at them, it starts to tear them down, and overtime they start to believe the words being said, even if they aren’t true. 

From there depression could set in, maybe that turns to self harm, to a worst case scenario of suicide.  Could you imagine if even the simplest negative word you said led to someone committing suicide?  Sure maybe you don’t even know them and have never even talked to them before but because they were too slow checking you out, mixed up your order, or any other possible scenario and you said something negative.  Now they have decided, “Well now it isn’t just coworkers or schoolmates that are saying things to me but strangers,” and they decide that night was their last and you found out about that, could you handle that?  Would you be alright with that?  If the answer is no then why are we allowing this to be ok when it comes to our kids? 

“Just toughen up, let it go, they are just words.”  They are just words; painful, cruel, unnecessary hurtful words.  If people think words can make you laugh then how in the world do we not understand that words can also make you cry and hurt?  It is never too late to talk to our children about the effect our words can have on someone.  We need to teach our kids to come to us, school officials, counselors, officers, or any authority figure that can help.  “Back in our day” does not work like it did when we were kids because the world has changed way more than it did from our parents to us.  Generations before didn’t have social media where people could taunt you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  If you don’t think that is a difference maker then I will pray that you never have to see otherwise either, because it is cruel, unrelenting, and very, very hard to ignore.  It can take such a drastic effect on someone who was high energy and full of life and bring them down to the lowest of lows. 

So, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is such a full of crap expression I will never say it again.  I will make sure my children grow up never believing in that expression either.  What I will do is to continue to teach them what the difference between kindness, love, and compassion is compared to rudeness, hate, and cruelty.  I will teach them about God’s love and grace and how much more important it is to show that to everyone you meet than allowing hateful words to come from their mouths. 

Maybe I am wrong but I have never seen kindness make someone feel hurt, dejected, or sad.  I have never seen love and compassion towards someone make them feel unwanted or hated.  Yes maybe you think love, kindness, and compassion are the easy answers but lets face it, they are the only answers.  Now it is our jobs to teach the younger generations that.  There are many ways to say hurtful and cruel words and they can come from all kinds of different circumstances but love, kindness, and compassion can only come from one place; our hearts.  Please talk to your children today and let them know that words can hurt someone, and in the worst cases a simple word can even lead to someone’s death and no one wants that.  

Ephesians 4:29 “Don’t use foul or abusive language.  Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” 

Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | April 8, 2015

Almost 40, Girls Softball Coach, What Could Go Wrong?

Our minds can play cruel jokes on us sometimes.  Take for example one of the things my mind likes to do, as long as there is no mirror around, is to try and tell me I am still a young 25.  Usually I have to do something or look in a mirror for me to remind myself I am not that spry young 25 anymore.   Well last night was no different.  For those who don’t know me I will be turning 40 this year and I coach Sr. girls youth softball (ages 9-14), and that is where this story starts.

The field is soft and wet due to the rain we had off and on all day.  It is only about 45 degrees outside and practice is winding down.  The girls are cold but are toughing it out because I tell them if they can play when it is cold and wet then they can definitely play when it is warm and sunny.  I want the girls to get some more batting practice in so I go ahead and start pitching to them all the while harassing them while they are at the plate by telling them I am going to strike them out and how good the breeze feels when they swing and miss.  I get down to my 3rd to last batter and there is a runner on first and third.  I throw the first pitch and a big whiff as she swings.  On the second pitch is when it all goes down!

I release the ball and it is headed to the plate and will be a perfect strike.  The batter’s eyes light up as they see this ball come towards them and they know this is the one they are going to get a hold off and just launch it to the outfield.  As she starts her swing her form seems to be perfect and in line to crush the ball.  As the ball starts to cross the plate and the bat is coming around to meet it, the batter for some reason takes her eyes off of the ball at the last second causing her to raise her bat just a little.  As she swings for the fence the bat makes contact with the ball but instead of hearing the solid crack of the bat we instead hear a softer ping as she hits the top of the ball.  The ball falls in front of the plate and starts to slowly roll just to the right of the third base line in fair territory.  It only rolls a few feet before it stops.  At that moment is where my mind tells me I am 25. 

I look over to third base to see if the girl is going to try and score on me.  One look over and I knew she was going to run, in fact I believe her eyes said; “there is no way you will get me old man!”  I take off towards the ball at the same time she takes off for home plate.  As I get closer and closer to the ball my mind is telling me, “See I told you so.  You are young and agile and this girl is going to pay thinking she can score on you!” 

As I get to the point in my run where all I need to do is bend down and pick up the ball while in running stride to get an easy out, everything starts to go terribly wrong.  I start my bend downwards to pick up the ball and my mind says, “Oops I was just kidding, you are not young or agile!”  All of the sudden my body starts to shake and shudder, you know like on those videos of people doing motorcycle tricks and right before they crash the bike shakes violently and then they crash.  My feet suddenly start to forget how to go in front of one another as I am running and in fact the heels of my feet seem to miraculously start kicking me in the ass with every stride I was taking.   I was now becoming top heavy and my head seemed to be in a race with my glove to see who could get to the ball first.  I am somehow able to scoop up the ball with my glove but I am still heading down towards the ground and it is all becoming terrifying for me now.  My right hand can’t move fast enough to stop the fall and all of this is happening as I see the runner in the corner of my eye getting ready to go by me.  I have but only one option left!

By the grace of God I am able to get my feet to line up the way I need them too and with a mighty thrust I lift myself in the air to attempt a diving tag.  I thought, “Wow this is going to be a great play and a great lesson to the girls to never give up on a play.”  Well you know in the cartoon The Road Runner, in every episode there is a part where Wile E. Coyote is getting ready to do something stupid but doesn’t realize it until it is too late and there is that one second pause where he looks like, “Oh crap!” and then bam.  Yeah that was me.  With my outstretched glove trying to make the tag I realized something very important.  When I made that mighty thrusting leap the top half of my body was still heading towards the ground!

While I hung there in mid flight that one second pause seemed to be an eternity.  I had enough time to get my eyes to look up and notice that the tag wasn’t even going to be close.  The pause button seemed to be released just after the runner running by me looked down with a smile on her face and in Road Runner fashion said, “Beep, Beep.”  As I looked back down I am also pretty sure I saw an ant with a cardboard sign that read, “The End is Near!”  This was going to be bad!

My face hit the ground first bouncing up and down a couple of times like the wheels of a plane when it lands.  What’s ironic about that is that in a plane it is the back wheels that land first not the front.  Second to hit the ground with a mighty thud was my midsection.  As it hit, my slide across the sand started.  My face dug in hard and deep trying with all its might to slow down the skid.  I tried applying the emergency brakes but my arms thought they better served me flapping around in the air, like they were confused and thought I was trying to fly instead of landing.  Finally with a thunderous crash my knees came crashing down, sticking as if that part of the diamond had hands and where trying to pull my pants off of me.  At that time the thought did occur to me that just maybe I should have worn a belt as I felt them starting to slip away from my waist! 

With a final effort my head did its best and dug in as deep as it could and it worked.  All of the sudden the front of my body came to a complete halt and the back, well…Lets just say it was as if those hands in the diamond decided they didn’t want to pull my pants off so they let go allowing the back half of my body to slingshot forward.  In a split second I went from an out of shape 40 year old man to a professional body contortionist as my feet flew pass my butt and over my shoulders, moving back and forth as if they were waving to them as they passed by.  They finally arrived at their destination, the back of my head.  They stomped on it to make sure that my head was firmly planted into the ground and then immediately returned to their proper location.  For a few seconds I just lay there hoping I would wake up from this nightmare but no such luck. 

There was nothing I could do but to use every bit of strength and courage I could muster and stand up.  Once I was up and steady on my feet I started to spin around to see every player and coach looking at me with there jaws dropped and eyes wide open.  I looked down to see my jeans ripped, my shoe torn apart, and my clothes muddier than if I were to have let a pig wear them.  As I continued to look at everyone I preceded to spit the sand and dirt from my mouth.  I could tell no one wanted to say anything so I did. 

“She’s out!” and I dropped the ball from my glove like a boss.  I knew I didn’t even come close but no one disputed it as I wobbled off the field like a penguin because I was afraid if I moved any part of my body it would fall off.

Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | February 25, 2015

The Evil Stairs

The event of changing a light bulb started out just like the other thousands of times I had done it.  I unscrewed the old light bulb and screwed in the new one and then flipped the switch to see if it turned on, which it did.  Mission Accomplished!  I take a second while I am upstairs to look into the boy’s room to see how it looks and to my surprise I could actually see at least 25% of the floor.  To most that would represent a total pigsty but for me that meant at least it was a quarter of the way cleaned so I smiled and knew right away if the wife asked I would just say it didn’t look bad.  I turned and started to head downstairs.

As I took my first step down my heel hit the edge of the step instead of right in the middle of it.  You would think maybe I had never went down steps before and didn’t realize how much more important the middle of the step was compared to the edge of it.  As my heel slipped off the edge I felt the top half of my body immediately start to fall backwards as my legs kicked out from under me.  My first thought was, “Oh please Lord do not let the last thing I ever see be my son’s room!”  The image of toys, dirty clothes, and candy wrappers strewn all over the place just hung there before my eyes for what seemed like an eternity and this time I didn’t see any clean floor space.

As my back hit the top of the steps my feet decided to stay in the air and I started to slide down the stairs one by one.  I tried and tried to force my legs and feet down in order to stop the slide but it was like the devil had a hold of them.  It was as if he was using my legs as ski poles and my body as a sled.  I could see his evil horned red faced head looking at me and the only words that came out of his mouth were, “Weeee, Weeee, Weeee!”  I knew I was in trouble.

During the slide down my right arm decided it would throw itself into the air so that no matter what happened it would not get hurt.  My left arm on the other hand tried to be a hero and reached out for the balusters on the stairway railing.  It was not a hero!  Instead of grabbing one of the many balusters it continued to go in between them slamming itself into each one like it was trying to separate itself from my body because it just seemed like it was the right thing to do.

My back made sure it hit every single step square in the middle of it because after all making sure you touch every step on the way down is the proper way to go down stairs. 

After what seemed to be an endless amount of time, I came to a stop.  I looked up and the devil looked down and this time he had a few more words for me, “Thanks for the ride, it was a blast!”  I just laid there for a moment and thought what an ass that guy was.  After a few more seconds I decided it was time for me to start moving body parts one at a time to see if anything was broke.  As I started to do that self examination it was as a herd of horses where running through the house towards my direction.  All 4 kids and my wife stopped and stared for a second, I think they were quickly examining me also so if they started to see anything gross they could turn and run. 

A few seconds pass and I hear my oldest say, “Whew I thought we were having an earthquake but luckily it was just you falling.” 

That was followed by another child saying, “Wow you really shook the house.”  That was followed by laughter and I believe them trying to ask if I was okay but I am not sure because there was so much laughter.  After all of them settled down and I knew I was alright my sons finally asked to where I could understand them if I was alright.  I stood up, put my hands on their shoulder, smiled, and said, “For the love of God please clean your room,” and I started to walk off towards the living room.  After a few steps I stopped and turned around said, “Later there will be a class on what to do if an actual earthquake happens so that you can be more prepared next time.”

“Yep he is fine or he wouldn’t be such a smartass.” My wife told them.    

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