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Monthly Archives: March 2013

A Man’s Home Is Where His Peace Is

A few weeks ago I read a blog by Rae about the sometimes unpredictable nature of love.  One statement she made stood out to me more than all the others. That line was:

“…home is often a person, not a place.”

Can you say mind *BLOWN*!

I had to let it marinate for a few days before I could really tackle writing about it. It’s a simple statement, but not much in life is truer.  And yet, I feel like the ultimate feeling of “home” is when the right person, and right place, are present.

It’s especially tough for men who don’t necessarily feel like they are home, or have a home.  The restlessness that we tend to feel is not always a yearning to run wild and free, as some people would like to think.  What it really is, is that our soul isn’t at rest where we have been relegated to calling home, or have decided to call home.  The comfort and security that we need isn’t there.  Granted, it’s (usually) in a man’s power to decide where to plant himself.  However, once he’s planted, it will take him a while to truly know if he is in fact, home.

And if he’s not, it will show. He may do just enough in his relationship to keep it solvent, but no more. His emotional, mental, and physical availability will be minute. All because he’s not in a “good spot”.

There’s no feeling of peace within him. Home is supposed to be a refuge; a place of rest. He can’t get that because either the person he shares his life with doesn’t provide it, or the place is not hospitable. The worst part about it is that if he hasn’t done any self-analysis, he won’t be able to pinpoint the cause of his unrest. And if he can’t get to the source of it, peace will forever be elusive for him.

Oh, but when he does.

When he does, people will know just how dangerous such a man is. Not in a “people need to find safety” way, but in a “he’s determined” way. He won’t let anything or anyone interfere with the rest he’s found. He’ll look for ways to increase it, protect it, and cherish it. By extension, the person and place that provide it will get the same treatment.

And the man? He’ll be grateful for the peace that’s in his life.

-D.G.

Fellas, is “home” peaceful for you? If not, why? If so, how’d you get it?

Ladies, is this applicable to you? If not, why?

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Posted by on 03/28/2013 in Life, Random, Uncategorized

 

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Impending Fatherhood Lessons For My Younger Brother

I have two younger brothers.  We have the same father. I never knew how much our decision making processes were the same until my middle brother shared some news with me recently.

At 25, he’s expecting his first child. My oldest daughter was born the day before my 26th birthday, and I was born when my father was 24.

Nevertheless, I didn’t have an older brother to “give me the real” about how life was going to inevitably change. Some of these realizations, I’ve come to through trial and error. The rest are knowledge that’s been shared with me, or that has recently occurred to me.

1. Life isn’t over, but it will be on hiatus for a while.

While preparing for the baby’s arrival, get as much stuff done, whatever it may be, as possible. The impending birth should be your main focus. Right after that is anything you want to accomplish i.e., finishing college, or that last hurrah with the fellas. It’ll be a good year or more before some normalcy returns.

2. While working to keep the stress level of your girl/fiancé/wife down, do the same for yourself.

Because she’s “with child”, her total health (mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical) must be considered. You don’t want anything to affect her too much, because it will affect the baby also. At the same time, remember that you’ll be going through changes as well. Don’t forget to take care of yourself because she’s going to need you. If you’re overall health suffers, what good will you be to her, or your child?

3. If you have concerns, share them.

It’s said so often, but communication is very important. When it comes to the family y’all have started, talk about what may bother you. She should do the same. Talk about how you want to raise the little bundle. Any fears or uncertainties should also be shared. Being on the same page with the impending life change will greatly enhance y’alls ability to weather the curveballs that life will throw.

4. Since you’ll be the pappy/fiancé/husband, you’re the backstop for your family. Can your shoulders handle the weight?

Admittedly, it’s a tough spot to be. When things are going good, it’s gravy. But when they’re bad, will you be able to handle it? When it’s more month than money, or your girl decides she wants to work part time to enjoy the baby’s first year, what are you going to do? Also understand that you’ll be looked to/at if things are good or bad. It comes with the territory of being a protector and provider.

5. Teamwork really does make the dream work.

As much of a cliche as this statement is, it’s also true. If the two of you can work together, it’ll be easier for both. Where you’re weak, she may be strong. Be humble (and wise) enough to lean on her if you need to. I’m pretty sure she’s going to do the same.

6. No matter how close she is to her folks (especially her mom), make sure she, and you, realize that you two are the baby’s parents.

This is sorta like number 5. Be present and be active for her and the baby. Appreciate the help that will undoubtedly be offered, but be proactive in participating with child care. If you don’t, she may begin to resent you, and some in her family may as well. If “they” do, you’ll have more problems than just an upset lady.

Lastly…

7. Enjoy this journey.

What you’re embarking on is not easy, at all. Some days you’ll want to throw stuff (and people). Other days you’ll wonder how you could be so blessed. It’s all part of the journey of having a family. Your outlook on life will play a big part in how you view the days. Just know that at the end of them, you can only do what’s in your power to. The rest you have to leave up to God.

Good luck!

-D.G.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on 03/26/2013 in Life

 

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Painful Transparency

Sunday morning, I attended church for the first time in over month.  It was much needed.  It was also the first time my senior pastor had spoken in a few months, so I was geeked.  What I didn’t expect was to gain even more respect for him.

Since he hadn’t preached in quite a while, I was looking forward to a soul stirring message from God.  Alas, it wasn’t to be.  What I, and the other parishioners got was an open letter. One where my pastor opened up about why he had been MIA, the valley experience he had, and where God had him in this season of his life.

He acknowledged where he had fallen short in his marriage, as a father, and in the ministry. He mentioned how God showed him that his ambition had been channeled the wrong way. What stuck out most however, was him telling the congregation that he had been wrong about certain things. No doubt it was humbling. Not just because he is a pastor, but also a man.

In being so open, his moment of revelation was a catalyst for me, and hopefully others, to be “real”.

The only way to get to the place where God really wants us to be is to be real. We’ve got to be willing to strip away the layers of BS and knock down the walls in our life. Our ability to be open is also our chance to see the real us. We have a tendency to get wrapped up in issues, situations, and roles. Then, when we’ve reached our wits end, we don’t recognize ourselves. There are so many layers of *stuff* on top of who we really are that we wonder if we’ll ever see “us” again.

God knows who we are at our core (He made us), but He’ll only reveal this when we take the time to look. He’ll provide us with the necessary time, energy and strength to start the process. Our free will allows us to either keep digging, or to give up. But, it can be a rewarding, if not, painful endeavor.

The pain comes from peeling back the layers of stuff that’s covering us. It takes time to amass the various layers, so it’s going to take time to remove them. As they come off, God will reveal a little bit more of us. As He reveals, we get a chance to become reacquainted with ourselves. An added benefit of getting reacquainted is that hopefully, we start seeing ourselves, the way God does.

The more that gets stripped away, the less covering we have, until it’s just us. When we reach this place, we reach a new level transparency. Our entire being is laid bare before God. We’re in our most vulnerable state at this point. We’re also at a point where we can’t do anything but rely on God to cover us.

It’s in this covering where God will reveal things to us. His promise to the Israelites will be revealed for our understanding. However, we have to be willing to a) be receptive to Him and b)trust that He knows what’s best for us. When we reach these points, we’ll be on our way to submitting to God’s will, and truly letting the Lord be Lord of our lives.

Do you find yourself struggling to know who you are? Do you believe that when we give God control of our lives, things tend to work out for the best, or the worst?

 
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Posted by on 03/05/2013 in Uncategorized

 

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