Thoughts on Having A Birthday……

So, on the morning that marks a half century since the world first heard me cry, I thought I’d share a few thoughts that are bouncing around in my brain about birthdays, people and more……

I’ve heard it said that “50 is the new 40” and as my dad is three months from turning 78 and still working almost full time, I would tend to agree with that.

Having teenagers in the house when you are 50 makes you a lot younger than if we had been empty nesters for a number of years already.

Having teenagers in the house when you are 50 makes you feel a lot older.

This last lap around the sun went no where close to the way I thought it would.   But it was a process and I ended up being good with it.   God’s got a plan.

Every year in life is full of successes and failures.   Things that go the way you think and things that don’t.   That isn’t nearly as important as I used to think it was.

Life is a journey – and while I know my ultimate destination (and I hope you do too), I don’t know the route of how I’m going to get there.   But I know who controls the maps.

Life with your best friend, your best friend since high school makes living a whole lot sweeter.  Being married to my best friend is a gift from God.

You can’t solve all of life’s problems, but you can solve a lot of them by just listening to someone who needs to be heard.

I never thought I’d be an author – and now I can’t find enough time to tell the stories that I want to tell.   My first book published on Amazon on my birthday…….

What I thought was important 15 years ago pales in comparison to what really matters today.

I still like chocolate chip cookies way too much.

15 years ago, my “job” was to help people buy houses (by getting them thousands and thousands of dollars in debt.)    Now, I’m spending more time helping people parent children who are struggling because of their past.   (More on that later).

The devil is causing way too much pain in this world.    We can fight back by attempting to make that pain go away.

When we were at the Ronald McDonald House at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital last April, a volunteer told me, “You look at every single one of these families, every single one of them has a child who is sick, has a medical condition, is dealing with a medical challenge.

And every single one of them says, ‘It could be a lot worse.   We have a lot to be grateful for.’”

We have a lot to be grateful for.    I have a lot to be grateful for.

God is good.   All the time.


Parenting–Why Donald Miller is Only Half Right……

Confession, I’ve never met Donald Miller – but I like him.   I’ve read a lot of his “stuff” on the web and while I don’t agree with ALL of it, I appreciate who he is and what he does.

But I think he only hit half of the mark on this blog post.   You can read what he wrote at

Why do I think he only hit half the mark?   A couple of things:

First – he doesn’t have kids.   I’m sorry, someone who doesn’t have kids is telling those who do how to be a parent?    Isn’t that sort of like me telling my brother how to run a youth camp.   I don’t know what he does or how he does it.

But the bigger issue I have is that he misses a big component in the equation.   He talks about how great parents are ones who live transparent lives.    They are open to their kids about their shortfalls, they live lives that aren’t hidden behind a veil of secrecy.   He appears to also take that into the public realm.

In other words, we need to “live in the open” to be healthy.    Especially for parents who are parenting children “from hard places” I totally agree that it is important to acknowledge your failures to your children.    Some of the biggest and best healing moments with my children have been times of mutual apology.    We both acknowledge our part in the “incident” and we both admit to failing and ask for forgiveness.

If Donald is taking that into the public realm, then I think he’s missing a big component to it.   He encourages us to live open and honest lives.

But our society isn’t prepared and comfortable with dealing with that sort of openness.

Ask any adoptive parent, they’ll tell you.  

Society doesn’t know how to react when someone says, “No, I’m not doing okay.”    Or, “Man, it’s been a rough week.”   Or, “We can’t come to __________ because _________ is having a bad day.”

We need to not only be more open, but we also need to work for a society where society is more willing to accept pain, accept hurt, be verbal about struggles and let people be real.

When that happens, then we’ll see people be willing to tell the truth and connect with others. 

If society isn’t willing to connect and meet people where they are, then we’re going to live lives of isolation.

So, yes, Donald Miller is right – but he’s only half right.    Not only do we need to be more open, but we need to, as a society, be willing to accept the openness and the vulnerability and the pain that comes with that.

Are we ready to do that?

I think more people are willing to now than were, say 5 years ago, but we’ve got a ways to go.