How’s your faith these days?

Ephesians 6:10-20 (New International Version)

The Armor of God

 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.  19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

What are we doing?

Do you ever look at your life and wonder what the heck you’re up to? 

I’ve been doing that a lot lately. 

I mean, overall I think life is good – but every so often reality raises its ugly head and looks you in the eye, and then what are you supposed to do?  These last few weeks have been a little introspective for me; perhaps Grandpa’s passing spurred it, or maybe it was just time.

What is the point?  Of life, I mean?  We’ve definitely made some interesting choices.  Choices that in a lot of ways have cost us a lot, and in other ways have given us much.  But sometimes I wonder where we would be if different choices had been made.

If we didn’t own the store, would we still be working over 100 hours a week, barely meeting our own bills, dealing with each emergency expense by the seat of our pants?  Would we (one or both) have a “real” job, a steady income, benefits, a less insane work schedule – or would we now be laid off with nothing?

Sometimes I feel like I’m swimming backwards.  When do we start to stand on our own two feet?  Right now, without parents to help with the bills, we’d be screwed.  That’s not a cool place to be.  How will this affect our retirement, and our lives down the road?  What would God have us do, if indeed there is a path we are to walk?  When does life on the edge become obscene instead of adventure, irresponsible instead of hopeful?  How can we possibly make a valiant effort to live within our means when our means are almost non-existent and change every month?  When do we look at life and say “it’s not working, we have to figure something else out?” 

Why do I care all of a sudden?  Are we doing what we’re supposed to do, or are we just doing because we don’t know what else to do?

The Passing of Time, and Life Goes On.

Yep, it has officially been … at LEAST forever …. since I posted anything.  I don’t know that that’s healthy for me – I don’t have a lot of outlets for pretty much anything at the moment, and blogging at least makes me slow down for a bit.

It’s pretty amazing to me the speed that life can reach.  I feel like all of last year was a strange combo of being in a meat grinder on fast forward.  I’ve told a couple of people lately that life has handed me my ass on a rusty platter, and I think that about sums it up.  It’s been a very VERY tough stretch (and we’re nowhere near out of it yet), but there have definitely been some truly high points among the days.

For one, Ben is fast approaching 3 years old.  THREE FREAKIN’ YEARS OLD.  Where the Hockey Sticks has the time gone?  But BOY is it fun.  He’s in to everything.  Exploring and learning new (and complicated) words every day, slowly learning to master his emotions (he’s quite emotional, actually – and I’m still deciding if it’s a good thing or not), and seeing the wonder in every day life that I have seemed to have lost.

Having Ben around 24/7 has been a unique challenge.  Janene pretty much lives at the store trying to keep that afloat, and with my parents taking care of Grandpa Ed (before he passed) and Grandma Esther, they haven’t been able to watch Ben like they used to.  Interestingly enough, I’ve learned quite a lot about myself – and definitely not all of it happy.  But that’s what change is supposed to be for – find the things that suck and turn ’em on their heads.  We’ll see how that goes.

Janene and I have been married 6.5ish years now.  We’ve been together almost 11.  11 years.  That’s seriously crazy – makes me feel old.  I think, despite all the stress and crap of the last year, and everything we’re dealing with – and how rarely we truly SEE each other – that our relationship is doing amazingly well.  She puts up with a lot, let me say.  In looking back, there’s certainly things I would change – but more that I wouldn’t.

Ok.  Enough of this looking back crap for now.  If anybody actual reads this (doubtful) you’re now caught up.  Maybe I’ll post again sometime, something besides boring.

Times of Change

Life certainly has been crazy this last year. I can’t believe Benjamin is already over 10 months old; that’s just crazy talk! But he is, and he is absolutely – as the cliche goes – the light of our life. Also a bit of a terrifying thing, since I can’t imagine it’ll be long before he’s all out walking…

So let’s see. Where are we now?

Janene has quit her job at Children’s Hospital in order to be home full time, work at The Weed Patch, and get back into her art. Everybody is benefiting from this (have you SEEN the dinners I’ve been eating? Holy crap!) in so many ways. What finally made this all possible was several big, long term contracts coming through for Chris, including working for a friend doing design and development work on a “as much time as I can” basis. This means I get to learn all kinds of new things, from getting much deeper in to css than I ever was able, to .NET, .php, Actionscript, Javascript, Silverlight… for anyone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about – pretty cool stuff (there, wasn’t that helpful, and deep?).

We’ve purchased a house in Everett, and while our hearts belong in the farmlands of Snohomish, the house is a really incredible gift from God. We’re in the process of finishing the basement, which will become my office and Janene’s art studio – not to mention one of the nicest rooms of the house. 🙂

It’s interesting, but since I’ve stepped away from the store I’ve found my brain working overtime on thought processing again. The Weed Patch is far more than a full time passion and job, and it left (apparently) very little room in my tiny brain for deep thoughts. And it certainly didn’t leave any time for me to gather what thoughts I did have. And, as my close friend Holly mentioned in her blog, I’m finding myself thinking again. Very strange. So, maybe – just maybe, I’ll actually revamp my page and blog again. I have a billion photos to upload, which I’m going to manage and do via Lightroom, so hopefully those’ll come sooner rather than later, but no promises.

Here’s my thought for the day: Slow Down.

Mad World.

So for my first blog post in almost a year… I’ve very much been enjoying Gary Jules’ version of Mad World (Video) – I really like how haunting this version is. Particularly paired with the visuals of Gears of War (regular / extended). However, from just a totally bizarre standpoint, here it is in techno version – complete with breakdancing animals. Yeah, I laughed – hard.