Settings…Alarm Sound…Beautiful Day!?!

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Some people really love to sleep. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a problem with sleep. Rest is extremely important for our bodies. I’m not above taking a power nap. Unfortunately, I don’t have much time for them with my work schedule and children.

One thing is true; whenever, I do hit the sack. It’s a done deal! I’m not counting sheep. I don’t need lavender or chamomile tea. Once my head hits the pillow, I’m out for the count. It amazes my wife how quickly I transition from awake to sleep. I think it’s a beautiful thing!

If sleeping isn’t the problem. What’s going on?

Well, there are two things in play!

The issue is that I have a hard time going to bed. I guess I feel like I’m going to miss something. Even though I feel tired, I’ll stay up way longer than I need to just because I can. Most of the time, I’m engaged in some mindless activity to wind down for the day. Before I get too far down this rabbit hole, the importance of sleep is not what we’re discussing. Albeit, a good discussion to have.

My other problem is that I don’t like waking up early. It’s not like I’m one of those individuals, who sleeps 10 hrs at a time. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

I’m very capable of rising early. It must be on my own terms for me to rise. Take for instance, I can wake up early to bike or run without giving it a second thought. No alarm clock necessary!!! It doesn’t matter what time I get into the bed. If it’s something that I want to do, I’m up! Simply put!

In order for me to get out of bed at 4:30 AM, I’ve got to be fired up about the possibilities for the day. Getting up and getting dressed before heading out of the door, with the family, left me feeling unproductive outside of work. My creativity dried up. I wasn’t fueling my passion. Then, I came across
The Miracle Morning and Bullet Journal. The answers to my quest for focus and organization.

I started using them, and I saw my productivity increase at home and at work. I worked it for several months during the summer, and I let it go. I’d come back to it, and then I’d stop for one reason or another. (If this sounds like you, take a look at my previous post. It was written for you!) I didn’t beat myself up about it. Neither should you! Just pick up where you left off, and get back to it.

That’s, exactly, what I started doing at the beginning of the year. And 4:30 has never felt so good! I’m getting in my quiet time with silence, affirmation, and visualization. I also get some movement for the body and mind with exercise, reading, and writing. These methods help set my intention for the days. It’s helping me to prioritize all of the things, which I say and feel are important.

Is it perfect? Not at all! I still struggle with visualization. But, I’m learning. Am I completing all of the tasks on my list? Not quite! It’s okay! We’re, only on day 4 of this new year. However, I am getting most of it done. It’s a work in progress. All of which were designed before the sun comes up.

And, this sound in the setting called Beautiful Day is creating opportunities for the beautiful days ahead. And, that’s why I rise!

Don’t judge! I rise early on the weekends. Just not…4:30!!!

What time do you wake up? How do you set your day? What success or challenges have you experienced as an early riser?

Leave your comments below!

Another resolu….

Yesterday, we let go of 2018! Today, we embraced 2019!

With this new year, the world is going crazy with resolutions for lives. The gyms are full of individuals looking to get healthy! The grocery carts are loaded with fruits, vegetables, and high quality proteins. The journals are receiving fresh marks of ink. Many of these are made with good intentions, and they’ll benefit a small portion of the population. However, much of the population will revert back to what is comfortable faster than the ink dries on that brand new journal.

Now, I don’t want you to think that I’m coming from a place of condemnation. That, my friend, is not my intention. I have become all too familiar with the process of starting with hopes high, only to fall flat on my face. Brutal!

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There are the times when I’ve soared high like an eagle searching the country side! That’s when everything is working as I desired! In these moments, we’re feeling good about the decision to make changes in our lives. It’s easy to wake up at 4:30 a.m. for quiet time before the day gets away from us. It seems like the articles and podcasts are full of creativity, that will never dry out! The weight is falling off!

Things are clicking! But why is that? It’s simple!

Every result comes from action! And the opposite is true. If there’s no action, then we can expect to have no results. Make no mistake about it. Both are related to lifestyle choices. One will do work, and the other will choose not to work for it.

Human beings are the only creatures who have the ability to write down their goals and design their future. And here is why most of us don’t. We’re trapped either by regret of the past or the routine of the present.
Jim Rohn

I don’t know where you are currently located on the spectrum of life. Just know that another resolution isn’t the answer. I’m not saying to continue doing what doesn’t serve you. If you want to make changes, then make those changes. However, it means to figure out what you need to have in place to make your desires more attainable.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Identify your priorities.
  • Find your purpose and passion, and fuel it with your WHY!
  • Set SMART goals.
  • Put your thoughts into a journal.
  • Find an accountability partner and/or mentor.

There are so many things that we can do to create results. But, they start with changing our mindset and our habits. So as the scripture tells us, “Write the the vision and make it plain!” I wish for you much fruit in this season! Isn’t that why you started in the first place?

What, Exactly, Do Fathers Provide?

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A few weeks ago, a discussion around fathers as providers became a topic for deliberation in our fatherhood group.  And, the conversation was nothing short of spectacular! Who knew that guys have more things to talk about then women, cars, and sports? As someone, who sits with fathers on a daily basis sharing in their lived experiences as fathers, I’ve been privy to this phenomenon for some time.

When this conversation comes up; usually, the typical response for fathers around provision comes down to money for shelter and other basic needs. Granted those things are very important for the family’s well being.  They are not the most important thing, that the dad brings to the proverbial table.  If not, then what is it?

Why is provider, consistently, mentioned before any other traits to describe his role? As fathers, we’re hard-wired for doing.  We constantly measure for progress and success to show that our doing is working in our favor. When we meet someone new, we quickly ask the following question: “What do you do?”  It’s followed up with “I am a … (insert some occupation).”  More often that not, it doesn’t lead to anything of significance for further discussion.

Often times, we’re engaging in doing something that we don’t like for the sole purpose of taking care of our family. It might be stealing our joy or time with our family, but we do it with little thought of the consequence or toll on our love ones. One thing I know this to be true is  when I put my energy in places that it shouldn’t be, operating at my best is not possible.  It’s a disservice to my well being. 

As fathers, our children need us to be at our best for them.  More importantly, they need us to be the best for ourselves. When he’s the best version of himself, he’s providing his children with so much more than basic needs.  He’s providing them with everything that they need, which is a healthy, whole father loving himself for the sake of his family. Now, he’s giving from a completely different place. He’s giving from his heart, which was designed for unconditionally loving his family. He’s providing vision for the most important people entrusted to him.  Ultimately, it will outlast the money for physical shelter and basic needs.  This love is the building block for his legacy!  When it’s all said and done, his family will have an accurate account of what he has done with his life. 

What vision do you have for your family?  What legacy do you want to leave? Fill free to comment below.

No Words!

This morning, I woke to the news of the shooting that took place in Thousand Oaks, California. And, immediately, I knew that this tragedy will start yet another discussion on the reasons for or against stricter gun laws. Truth be told! I’m sick of the insensitivity of both sides of the argument.

People are mourning over the loss of loved ones, while our country takes up their banner to promote their belief system. Let’s step down off of our moral high ground to show honor and respect for those, who are grieving.

No Words!

If you saw and heard the father of one of the victims, you would realize that there’s a time and a place for everything. As a father, the devastation in his voice touched me deeply! I can’t begin to imagine, what he might be feeling, as he processes the lost of his first born son.

After watching the video on my timeline, I thought about my own children as they lay peacefully in their beds.  Doing life with a two- and a four- year old is tiring and crazy! But, that’s what I signed up for as their father.  God forbid that someone would take that away from me.

As a father, I want the ABSOLUTE best for my children. Why? Because, they are a part of me.  I give my all to protecting my children from the demons of this world. And, this father has been stripped of his role of protector of his son’s well being. His heart has been ripped into peace like skin, that was penetrated by bullets.  It’s been trampled like many of the individuals, who laid on the floor as the the shoots rang through that little bar.  Think on that for a minute before you carry on with the gun control debate.

Hopefully, speechless has become a part of your arsenal to help heal a hurting community and Nation. Please…No more Words! Unless, you have words of encouragement to offer.  As I finish clicking the keys on this laptop, I’ll get up and place gentle kisses on their heads. I’ll whisper these words into their ears: YOUR DADDY LOVES YOU! I’ll pray for those, who have been directly and indirectly impacted by this tragedy.

Why? Simply put!  We need to recognize that life and death resides in the power of the tongue.  The time will come to make your voice heard loud and clear.  However, I believe that the time has come to be still.

It’s time for…No Words!

sunset person love people
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Fatherhood is Important!

The thought of not being able to see my children for an extended period of time is unfathomable to me.  Yet in this country, there are 19.7 million children living without a father in the home according to the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau.  This figure is down from 25.4 million children a few years ago.  But, it’s still unacceptable!  If it doesn’t upset you, then you must not understand the importance of fathers to their families.

When we look at the impact of a father’s absence, we see how lives are touched in a negative way. Check out the info graph created by the National Fatherhood Initiative for facts on this father crisis. A father’s absence can manifest in a child’s life as the following:

  • Increased risk for teen pregnancy
  • Increased risk for criminal behavior and jail time
  • Increased risk of poverty
  • Decreased health outcomes for mother and child
  • Poor educational outcomes.
  • Increased risk of substance abuse
  • Increased risk for obesity

I’m sure that you’ve seen how this plays out in homes across the country.  Dad leaves (or is not in the home) for whatever reason, and the family begins to suffer.  The mother-father relationship is fractured. The parent-child relationship is strained. And, the child is trying to make sense of who they are in this world. As well as, processing whether or not they are loved by their parents. Ultimately, the children begin to act out!

Through it all, this fact remains to be true.  The dad is impacted by his absence on a much deeper level than people realize. I’m convinced of this state…the more that I work with fathers.  With the exception of those really bad apples, a large majority of the fathers want to play a role in the lives of their children.  He is the one, who sees his role as provider, protector,  and teacher of his children. He is the role model for his son on how a man is to treat women. He is the model for his daughter on how she is to be treated by men. The family, which is believed by many to be the foundation of society, is operating at a huge deficit. When the family unit suffers, our society is guaranteed to suffer.

Where are the fathers? Why aren’t they sticking around for the long haul? Why was involved, responsible, and committed not a part of his story. There are so many valid reasons. Of them all, shame and guilt is the biggest culprit in my mind.  You don’t know how many times, we’ve had men opt out on a relationship with their children because they felt inadequate as a father. They’re not making the kind of money, that they want to make. Therefore, they don’t go around to see their kids. In their minds, it’s a valid excuse. But, time is more important than the money.  The statistics above prove that too us.  Many times, it’s the mom withholding the child. Why? She’s frustrated that it didn’t work out, and this is how to get back at him.  All too often, the family leaves due to the father being violent towards the mom. Domestic violence is never the way to lead as a father!

“A true father should be a standard feature…not a temporary option!”–Isaac Rowe

If you’re a father, and you’re reading this article.  Do whatever is in your power to stay involved, responsible, and committed to meeting the needs of your children.  Their well-being is counting on it. Most importantly, your legacy is being created one way or another. How you walk that out is completely up to you!  My prayer is that at the end of your life, your children (as well as mine) and their mothers will have nothing short of praise for us! Hopefully, our absence will not leave an abyss in our families.  But, will flood their hearts with the most important thing a father has to offer. LOVE!

grayscale photo of baby feet with father and mother hands in heart signs

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