My Writings. My Thoughts.
Wow. A new blog post. Something must have happened!!! Yes, life has continued to happen.
A few questions about things in my life have surfaced lately and I figured it would be best to share. That way there isn’t any mis-information (or at least a little less).
First off- I’m not perfect and I never have been. Shocker, right? Nobody is perfect on this earth but how we deal with the “less than perfect” people can define us. It can shape our attitudes and our daily experiences.
However, this story about forgiveness isn’t about me. It’s about Renee. My wife of 21 years this week. She’s the hero of the story. Without her forgiveness there is no 21 years.
Around 20 years ago, Renee and I got in an argument. It was big enough for me to storm out of the house for the night. Not a night I’m proud of at all.
I won’t get into the details (if we are friends and you want the story I’m happy to tell you). We aren’t hiding anything but some details are meant for personal conversation.
Renee and I dealt with that night several years ago. She forgave. No, it wasn’t that easy. Trust is hard to come by. Forgiveness and memories are not easy to deal with. Renee dealt with it all and she forgave me. We moved on and life was back to normal.
Or so we thought.
This past weekend we met a beautiful young lady named Morgan for the first time. She’s 18. She’s my daughter. She’s pretty awesome and we are excited to add her to our family. Emma & Emerson instantly loved her as Renee and I did.
While I’m not proud of what happened I can say that I’m proud of Morgan and how she has handled all this. It’s hard to explain how something so awesome can come from a bad decision but it did.
Renee’s forgiveness didn’t end. She’s embraced Morgan as if she were her own. I’m so incredibly blessed by this woman that there is no way I could write enough blog posts just for her.
As for me. Forgiveness was a little hard to come by. I had a lot of anger. Anger at Morgan’s mom for hiding her and not letting me know. However, something that I’ve learned thru this is that God’s timing is perfect. I let the anger go. I’ve forgiven her mom for not telling me. Again, I want to put an emphasis on God’s timing. It’s perfect. I can’t explain his timing… I don’t think I’m supposed to.
Renee has truly lived out what forgiveness and love look like. Thank you Renee for loving me, forgiving me and standing by me when you’ve had so many reasons to walk away. I love you.
There you have it- the short version. I realize there will be some comments and thoughts that will be less than positive. Please save those for me and me alone.
Check out our new press release for Building Love!
Franklin, TN (PRWEB) October 17, 2012
Innovative nonprofit, Building Love is setting out to build safe, simple homes in the areas of Central America hardest hit by poverty. With an initial goal of working in Nicaragua, the organization will partner with both the families receiving the homes, as well as other nonprofit and mission organizations to accomplish this goal. Funded by crowdsourcing, the organization hopes to meet its financial goal of $15,000 to get Building Love off the ground and building homes as soon as possible.
Founded by Jason Bradford and Matt Tyler, Building Love is reaching across the world to provide shelter to families in need. Bradford was moved to do something following a trip to Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the world. After witnessing the living conditions of the people he visited there, he knew he had to act.
“While in Nicaragua we met families living in homes as small as 15′ x 20′. Sometimes there would be 10 or more people sharing one house,” Bradford said. “We were particularly moved by a young expectant mother named Haley and her family, who asked us to help her complete her house, which would measure 15’x15’ upon completion. During that trip, we helped give Haley a house for her husband and two children, plus the one on the way. We then knew we could do more, and the idea for Building Love began to take shape.”
“After analyzing how we could help provide additional housing to some of these people, we determined the cost of materials to finish the homes would amount to under $700,” Bradford said.
Individuals wishing to support the mission of Building Love are given the option of various donation tiers, giving people from all backgrounds a chance to participate in changing the lives of others around the world. The donation levels include the $5 “High Five Package”, the $10 Tools Package, the $25 Support Package, the $55 Walls Package, the $105 Water Package, the $355 Bigger Tools Package, the $690 Founding Donor Package, the $1010 Brick Package and the $5858 Journey Package.
The organization is in need of funding to support everything from legal needs to the tools and equipment used in building the homes. People wishing to donate can do so at the organizations crowdsourcing page, indiegogo.com/buildinglove
Building Love started with the seed of an idea. Build a house for as little as $700 for people in dire need of shelter. We know we can make a difference in the lives of so many, and are passionate about reaching across the globe to help, but we need the help of donors to get it off the ground.
About Building Love:
Building Love is a startup nonprofit group founded with a passion for providing basic housing to the poorest of populations in Central America. For more information, please visit http://www.BuildingLove.org, or email them at contact(at)BuildingLove(dot)org.
Our Building Love campaign is in full swing! We’ve raised over $1200 in just 4 days and have a long way to go. Thanks to those who have given and shared. I’m simply in awe of the generosity!
As a “founder” (sounds important but it’s really not) I realize that I too must give to this startup. I also realize that many will give in rough times because that is who they are and they know that building a home is important.
You’ll notice I keep using the word “home”. To me a home is built by love with family members and friends, with laughter and tears, a home is what we choose to make it. A house… well is a house. It’s got walls and a roof and sometimes a floor. We are building houses but our focus is to build homes.
As many of you know I’m an avid vinyl collector! My collection is well over 4,000 and I’ve decided it’s time to trim down to help Building Love. You heard it right. Trim it down. Over the coming weeks I’ll be putting groups of 10-20 records up for auction on ebay. The money raised will go 100% to the Building Love campaign (minus the ebay/paypal fees!).
So my vinyl friends, get ready- there is going to be some great stuff coming up! If you interested in a pre-sale and would like to make a generous donation before hand, hit me up!
In July I took my first trip out of the US. I went to Nicaragua with a team from Riverbluff Church in SC (where my dad is the pastor). It was a great trip and I absolutely loved it. First off, no I’m not planning a move- just working on some things that will allow me to go visit again.
While in Nicaragua we met families (and their extended family) living in very small (15′ x 20′) houses and many times 10 or more people were sharing one house. We met a young expecting Mom named Haley who asked us to help her complete her house. We visited her place and she had 4 posts up and the house was going to be less than 15′ x 15′! The size was not a concern because it was going to be hers. Looking into the specifics of this project we were able to find materials to finish the basics for under $500. Under $500 would give Haley a house for her 2 children, plus the one on the way, and her husband. Insane! Being able to change someone’s life and potentially alter their entire family’s future, for the better, is what gets me excited about this.
So, my mind goes out of control. How do I buy houses for these families? I want to help and I know people who’d be willing to help!
After dreaming through this and long conversations with my buddy, partner, co-hort, surf-master, and friend, Matt, we believe we can make this a reality. The company is called Building Love and we’ve launched a website at buildinglove.org – minimal information is available but soon we’ll begin adding names of families in need.
We’ve partnered with an established team in Nicaragua who has worked and lived there over 10 years. We will also partner with other non-profit & mission groups in the US to coordinate teams that will volunteer to go to Nicaragua. These teams will spend time with the families in addition to the building process.
Building Love will be a non-profit company that uses crowdsourcing, much like Kickstarter, to raise funds to build houses in Nicaragua. If you or someone you know specializes in non-profit filings please contact me. Please realize there are more nuts and bolts to this and so much is still in motion. Things will change and we’ll adapt to make this possible.
One key factor, we will not simply build houses and walk away. The families will help in some way, sweat equity if you will, as a way to show pride and ownership in their new home. We’ll also provide times where the families will meet to learn the importance of building a strong family and being involved in their community.
We’ve kicked off a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo.com- Our desire is to raise $15,000.
Where will this money go?
- Corporate Filings and Lawyers (Also known as a lot of paperwork)
- 501c3 Filing Paperwork and Fees (even more paperwork)
- Web Presence (site will display families in need & users can invest in one or more as well as track progress of their donation)
- Tools and Equipment (these are construction tools that will be used in Nicaragua by the teams)
- Marketing/Awareness Campaigns (conferences, emails, newsletters, t-shirts, wristbands)
- Graphic Design (website, logo, t-shirts)
- Videography/Photography (for marketing, website, brochures)
- Team visit (Airfare/Lodging to Nicaragua to finalize home plans, costs, procedures, team plans, video, photos)
- + If we raise more than initial amount we will look into buying land in Nicaragua to house a workshop, tools, and potentially a place for group staging & community events
- + Vehicles — Trucks/Vans will be needed to transport building material and teams. (This a bit further down the line but depending on initial fund raising it could happen sooner)
How can you help? Share. Share anyway you can- social media, emails, snail mail, schools, churches, businesses, community groups, phone calls, texts, refrigerators, airplane banners at the beach, doggie sweaters and any other creative way!
I know we can raise the money and even surpass the goal but sharing and getting the word out is equally important. If you feel inclined to give, we are happy to accept! Thank you for sharing it not only helps us get started but will impact the lives of thousands of people.
Thanks for reading this far!
My blog took a hit a few years back. It was once an outlet for my interests, passions and just life-thoughts in general. Now, I blog once every few months. It’s not that I have nothing to say it’s that I’ve adapted to 140 characters or less when I have something to say. Instead of trying to write short novels with deep thoughts to people who may or may not be ‘searching’ for it, I’ve just connected with like minds on Twitter and Facebook.
So, I’m not really saying goodbye to the blog but I’m pretty sure a new format/layout/design that incorporates my ‘shorter’ thoughts is coming. I have no idea what that means but I’m thinking thru it.
Today I turn 40 and so far nothing has happened to me. Shouldn’t I get instant grey hair or something?!
It’s hard to wrap your head around 40 years but I just wanted to take a minute to thank all the wonderful people who have been a part of my life. My parents, my wife, my sister, my in-laws, nieces/nephews, aunts & uncles, cousins and more recently my amazing kids.
I have many friends who have walked various parts of my life with me and there is no way I can thank you each individually.
Just know family & friends that I love you and I’m thankful for you. I hope that I treat you in a way that you realize how important you are to me! Here’s to another 40!!!
Last fall I was on a mission to lose weight, feel better and in general, live better to live longer.
Then I was given so many excuses to discontinue it. My grandmother passed away and seven days later my father-in-law passed away. We were out of town approx 8 weeks and I just let the ‘healthy’ part of me get pushed down. I eat when I get down or feel like I don’t have control. I eat a lot. After the ‘being out of town and grief’ excuses it was then the holidays and another excuse to wait for the new year to get back to business… The new year came and went and I was out of town 2 of the first 3 weeks. Again, another excuse.
I can make an excuse for anything! No more. Today is day 1 of getting back on track. I’m going to focus on the 4HB again. It was so awesome last time and truthfully it worked great for me.
Why do I need to publicize this? Nope, not looking for attention. I’ve found that if I put it out in public I’ll hold myself accountable better- I want to be able to say I’m doing great when I’m asked!
Oh, and I’m turning 40 on March 2nd- I’d like to lose 40 pounds (not by March 2- that’d be unhealthy!)… so a 40-40 deal.
What’s your perception of me? Do you know me mostly via Twitter or Facebook? Are we real life friends too? Do I have your phone number? It’s late at night and I was just thinking of all the stuff that is going on and this holiday season. This has been a heartache of a few months. My grandmother and father-in-law both died within 7 days of each other in September/October I’ve had countless other friends lose loved ones and truthfully its gotten to me.
Many friends and acquaintances know me as this social, funny (at least try to be), entrepreneur, driven, busy, family dude. And for the most part, I fill those roles… however, I just don’t feel like any of that right now. I’m burnt out. I won’t call it depression because I’m happy and I love my family and the work that I get to do on a daily basis- but sometimes, just being honest, I want to escape to an island with no computer, no phone, no TV and no internet. Just me, Renee, the kids and a few surfboards. A place with no cares and no ongoing to do list.
As I look back to the beginning of 2011 I set out to spend more time with family and I feel like I’ve accomplished that. However, a new adventure came up that I am stoked about but it’s just more stuff on top of all the other stuff. I’m not independently wealthy so I’m not just gonna disappear. I like what I do and I love the people that I get to work with- it’s not on any of them that I can’t get out of this funk.
What do you do when you get the funk? How do you get out of it? I know the ‘church’ answers that I grew up with; Pray about it, talk to someone, get counseling- Let’s say I’m doing all those, what else?
Because everyone does lists and I obviously don’t like to walk the same line… I give you my
My favorite record of 2011?
As if you had to read this post to realize that. Rock is alive.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year friends! Much love to you in 2012!
The past 5 weeks I’ve been in Charleston with family for work, vacation, my father in law getting ill then my grandmother passing away. We came home on Tuesday and we weren’t home 24 hours before we got the call that Renee’s dad (who I call ‘T’) may not have much time with us in this life. I took her to the airport immediately. The kids and I came down earlier today (Thursday). After dealing with Nanny’s death last week I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with another one- Especially with Emma and Emerson, they are smart, they both realize something is going on but obviously at that age they are still figuring out death- heck, they are at the beginning of figuring out life ( I’ll argue that we never figure out life, I haven’t- I live, I love and I do it with all my heart and soul).
I now sit in ‘T’s’ computer room, listening to him struggle to breathe a bit. He’s taking morphine to relax but the bottom line is that his heart, lungs and other organs are slowly but surely beginning to fail. Tonight we sat around and joked a bit, watched some football and then the ending of Road House. Not intentionally but it was on. I realize he is on morphine but I know he knew I was there- I got the occasional, “where’s Emma and Emerson”. I’m not so sure he’ll make it till the morning… so here I sit- more thoughts online.
I remember the first time I met Renee’s dad- I’m pretty sure he had no clue what the heck his daughter had just brought home. I was rough around the edges then- maybe I still am or like to come off that I am. Renee had always dated the preppy, clean cut dudes and she had a stable job. Me? The first time I met ‘T’ I had 5 ear rings, hair 1/2 way down my back, ripped jeans a tesla t-shirt on and I don’t even remember if I had a job. He made me nervous no doubt. He was retired military and in general came off as a hard-ass (which I can say is false- he’s a man who cares and loved a lot… just not a man of many words). Can you imagine his shock six weeks later when we told him we were getting married! I’m pretty sure he mumbled under his breath something to the effect of ‘not gonna happen’.
A few weeks later when I finally pawned enough stuff to buy a wedding ring I think he knew it was real. At Christmas he gave me my first handshake and 1/2 man hug with the traditional whisper in the ear “you hurt her and I’m coming for you”. Duly Noted. It wasn’t long before ‘T’ decided he liked me. There was no defining moment that we became friends, it may have been the 300th time that he told me to take my hat off during dinner. Can’t remember. Eventually I could wear a hat and he never said a word.
‘T’ has raised 3 daughters- I was the first to come into the family as a “son”. So maybe there is some special forces at work there but no doubt we had a good time together. Camping, NASCAR races, golf, cigars, antique sitting (this is where you sit and wait on your wives to antique shop- and we were the best) are just a few of the past times we enjoyed together for the past 20 years. There is no doubt in my mind that ‘T’ loves his family and that includes me. He told me many times, he called me son often. I’ve been honored to know him and to have become a part of his family. ’T', Know that I’ll take care of them just as you have… and yes, I still know that if I hurt ‘em you’ll come and get me.
Much love to you ‘T’. You will be missed.