#Blessed

hashtag

divinely or supremely favored; fortunate: to be blessed with a strong, healthy body; blessed with an ability to find friends.

blessed

 

It’s Tuesday again, and you know what that means… today is Truth Be Told Tuesday. Thanks for checking in.

It’s funny; as my oldest boys get older and I increasingly mature into a “young” 49 year old adult I seem to annoy my boys more and more. This fact is no more evident than when it comes to my 18-year-old son, Bryce.

Much of my behavior has become the bane of Bryce’s existence. Like when I ask his close friends if we can follow each other on twitter or become friends on Facebook. He especially dislikes when I dance in front of his girlfriend or comment on his suspect attire, which in turn he replies; “I’ll do me, you do you.”

Exactly. There is only one catch to that proposition, when your son is so poor at “doing him” it’s a father’s parental duty to step in and save the day.

 

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Father & Son

Anyway, he also hates when I use hashtags when I text and Facebook. This behavior probably sets him off more than any other idiosyncratic quality I possess, which my only reply to his uncalled for and unwarranted angst is; “I’ll do me and you do you poorly Bryce.”

Besides, I told him the hashtag symbol has been around a lot longer than twitter you twit.

The social media iconic symbol found its Internet origin beneath the casual observers eye, as it was “developed to enable communication within discussion forums, and was used to distinguish specific topics and groups. For years, these symbols were buried within the deep recesses of the world wide web, unknown to the masses.”

#WickedSmart

And speaking of smart, the last two weeks have been an unbelievable experience for my family and me as we witnessed the graduation of Austin from Denison University and Bryce from Columbus Academy. Both events have left me feeling happy, proud and more satisfied than I ever thought possible.

In the end, I appreciate their desire to obtain knowledge and the fact that they value intellect, and have worked extremely hard at pursuing those two desires in their lives.

 

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All the President’s Men | Columbus Academy Graduation – 2014

These past two graduation events have reminded me how much my three older boys have matured into impressive adults. It also reminded me how my little ones are growing at a rapid rate.

As I acknowledge those two facts -and type these words- I can’t control the stream of tears that are running down my face.

“Tis a happy thing to be a father onto many sons…” – Shakespeare, King Henry the VI, Part III

In a word I’m blessed. My kids are healthy and happy and are pursuing their dreams. There is not much more I can ask for than that. Well, maybe they could stop asking me for money, but that would be utopia and we all know heaven doesn’t exist on earth.

 

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Stephen Austin Bailey | Denison University – 2014

It has been said that a parent is as happy as his saddest child. I agree. Its also been said that the responsibility of a parent is to raise their children in a manner that prepares them to leave home and enter the world.

We as parents – and grandparents – raise them in order to let them go.

I believe the parents involved in the lives of these three young men have done just that. I believe they’re ready to enter the world.

It seems just like yesterday that I had no money, no dreams and was devastatingly close to losing all hope. My best friends were misery and despair. I was losing time, borrowing money from friends, and faking my way through life, as I knew I had great potential but I was continually becoming my worst enemy.

I couldn’t get out of my own way to save my life.

{But} in 2005 everything changed with the arrival of two young boys and a serious relationship with Ronnie- my wife. My life was changing and things were beginning to look better. Jake Tuckerman, the 2014 Class President at Columbus Academy, said his grandmother always told him, “it takes rain and sun to create a rainbow.” No truer words have ever been spoken.

It was raining for me over a 13-year period, pouring actually, but God was preparing me for the sunshine that would soon come. I believe he had to so I would appreciate everything I have now. He created a tender heart that would allow me to cry in Austin’s arms after he graduated from Denison and cry as I listed to Brad Luckett (Valedictorian) & Jake Tuckerman give their speeches at Columbus Academy’s ceremony.

 

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Brad (Valedictorian) & Bryce | Columbus Academy – 2014
But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
-Mark 4:27-30

As I listened to those young men and met the friends of all my adult children I soon realize that they’re in good hands because their peer group is more than impressive. Life, and doing well, is important to them, but more importantly they care for one another.

Maurice Clarett told me one time “show me your friends and Ill show you your future.” Again, I couldn’t agree more.

 

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Charlie, Jack, Jake, Bryce, Jono, Lee & George |CA 2014

Why do I share all is? Because, I want to.

God has blessed me beyond measure with His forgiveness, mercy & grace. I have friends that love me deeply as I too love them dearly. I have healthy happy children that have an understanding of who they are and who Jesus Christ is. I have a wife that has loved me unconditionally since the day she first met me. I have favor and I’m blessed beyond belief.

When I look at our family home and our wonderful kids I can’t help but say thank you God, thank you for never giving up on me and allowing me to experience life in the fashion I have over the last 8 years.

The words Leo Tolstoy shared in the opening sentence of  his definitive novel, Anna & Karina, carve deeply into the trunk that is each of our family trees: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

 

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#Family

I will end with this, when Rhonda and I got married we picked a piece of scripture we would stand upon. We haven’t been perfect and we have failed- individually and collectively – repeatedly but we decided to pray, hope and faithfully believe in these words from Psalm 90:17:

“Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good. Let us, your servants, see you work again; let our children see your glory. And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!”

The misery that was in my life was 95% my fault but praise be to God that His love for me was 100% and for the very fact He is blessing the labor of “our” hands daily. I’m happy, I’m appreciative, and I’m satisfied.

In a word, I’m #BLESSED– sorry Bryce.

That is my “Truth Be Told” for June 10, 2014 (tbtt . #57)

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Israel Houghton - Power Of One

Moving Forward .  Israel Houghton

iTunes | Spotify

 

 

 

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