Posted in My Journey

Giving Thanks

Next Monday will be Thanksgiving for us Canadians. I can honestly say that this year has been one of the most remarkable years of my life. Never have I experienced such a powerful renewal of spirit as I have. And I believe this year is just the beginning.

The little things are what I am thankful for.

Such as when I finish shopping, a line will open up for me at checkout, saving me oodles of time later on. I enjoy how the lights going home all turn green, as if by some unforeseen miracle the lights themselves know I am on the road. It still impresses me when I arrive in a restaurant with the family with no reservation and the server gives us the last booth in the place. And I am in awe whenever I go to a movie to find it has sold out, but when ordering the ticket, a spot just happens to become available. This has happened on more than one occasion.

I am thankful for autumn, when the leaves change into a rainbow of colors, and all I can do is stand there wondering what have I done that I should so enjoy such an incredibly inspiring sight. I am thankful for this season’s rain, and the way it makes the moss on the rocks in the woods smell musty and worn. I am thankful for the lake in town, that I can watch the ducks paddle in among the fallen leaves by the shore, and relish in their simple life.

I am most of all thankful for my family—for my wife, Luana, who has supported me this year during my change from being lost to being found. I know she has prayed to God for my change in heart, as I know the kids have had their hand in it, too. I am thankful for my kids, one who is studying business, and the other who is pondering the life of a preacher. Both have been my inspiration. Both have provided me countless hours of joy.

Lastly, I cannot end this post without being thankful for my new church, where I have learned that I am worthy to go before the throne of God and worship him with my whole heart. No other place have I felt this before.

Oh, and of course, I am thankful for God patiently waiting for me (Isaiah 30:18) while I got my head straight as to realizing what is important in life. He has blessed me with peace (John 14:27). He has given me the hope that lies in Christ (Ephesians 1:11-12). He has shared with me his Sabbath rest I so truly sought for so long (Hebrews 4:9-12).

For all these things, next week’s Thanksgiving Day will be a day of absolute gratefulness in my home.

Posted in Freedom Friday, Other Things

More than Friends

By the time you read this, it will have been a full two weeks since I wrote it. Yes, this is how far in advance I plan these things. Tonight, or rather two weeks ago, my wife read me a journal entry she’d written about our courtship almost a year before our marriage. I had to cross-reference it with my own journal entry for that same period to find what I thought of our friendship.


Can you believe we wrote journal entries of our experiences together before we got married, and we didn’t know we did until a few years ago? Enjoy this Freedom Friday post, it’s about my wife and I, and how we became more than friends.

As I’d mentioned, my wife and I kept journals. We didn’t know we did, and we certainly didn’t know we’d write about our experiences from two different points of views. For instance, a few months prior to making my intentions known that I’d wanted our friendship to move to a new level, she was dating other guys. Nothing came of those relationships, but she did learn what she didn’t want in a guy.

In the meantime, I’d written how I had dated widely—not the girl Widely—widely in the sense of extensively or broadly. I know, corny joke. Anyway, at the time, I’d dated almost every girl in our church. It was a goal I had, and I’d almost completed it had I not chased after my wife.

When we first met, we had zero attraction to one another. Yep. Zilch. Nada. Squat. Don’t get me wrong, we got along. We dated a few times, you know, because we liked each other’s company and all, but we didn’t have that “love at first sight” lightning bolt strike us like you hear other couples had happen to them. We just became good friends, which meant hanging with the same crowd, doing stuff together, and simply having fun. We didn’t feel any pressure to become anything more either. Our families and our church let us do our thing while they went on their merry way.

Marriage Rings
Marriage Rings

And thank goodness we weren’t part of one of those cults that grooms kids to get married as soon as they hit legal age, and then the couple pops out a bazillion kids, and then one or both feels empty, lonely, depressed ‘cause one or both had to give up their dream on account of thinking they were doing what they were supposed to do but now they’re scratching their head wondering what went wrong since, after all, they fell in love with each other as soon as their eyes met in second period Chem. class and those awesome feelings were there and, and, and…

Whew! Where am I? Oh, now I remember—us.

By contrast, our relationship grew slowly. We dated other people while we stayed friends. Our Saturday nights consisted of practicing our singing routine with our outreach group that toured retirement homes on Sundays. As well, throughout the week, we’d stay in touch by phone, talking about the mundane things in life, like the way the fabric softener hides in the clothes when sorting them in baskets.

But it wasn’t until one sunny afternoon when we’d gone to the library together that we had realized something else brewed beneath the simple conversations, the spur of the moment dinners, and the long walks. I’d noticed it months prior, yet she hadn’t come around.

I can never forget where we were. We stood between bookshelves with the Italian section looking straight at us. And it happened. A giddy moment between friends. We exchanged the words, “I love you.”

From that moment forward, the awesomeness kicked in. Whatever we thought we hadn’t felt for each had suddenly appeared in gushing waves of affection that remains to this day. Not a day goes by that we don’t hug or hold hands. Like the other day, when she picked me up in the pouring rain from my walk, and she didn’t immediately put the car in drive but just stared at me.

I said, “What?”

She said, “Well?” then smiled.

Oh, of course. I kissed her.

We drove home to where I wrote another journal entry for that day.


How would you describe your relationship with the love of your life?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday


Who can ever forget Rocky Balboa calling out Adrian’s name in the middle of the ring after going the distance with the boxing champion of the world, Apollo Creed? I never did. Rocky is the energy, Adrian is the strength. Let’s have a closer look at Adrian for this week’s Women Who Wow Wednesday.

Rocky and Adrian
Rocky and Adrian

Adrian is ordinary. Plain. Almost non-existent. Her hair greasy. She dresses like an old woman who’s never been alone with a man. Insecure. Yet, Rocky sees beyond the funky glasses into her heart. She has a good heart.

She works in a pet shop. Not the most exotic of jobs, but she manages to pay the bills. Her deep love for animals is a testament to her warm nature. When she closes shop, Rocky visits her bringing a new joke, “The last turtle food I got here had more moths in it than flies.” Not funny as it is sweet. She let’s Rocky be Rocky.

When they go out for the first time, Rocky takes her skating. The rink custodian would not budge on giving them ice time. It is Thanksgiving, after all. Rocky had to convince the custodian Adrian isn’t feeling well and he is performing an act of charity. Sure, ten minutes, ten bucks. As they skate, they know something is there between them. He had gaps, she had gaps. They fill gaps.

Rocky: “My old man, he was never too smart. He says to me, ‘You weren’t born much of a brain, so start usin’ your body.’”
Adrian: “My mother, she said the opposite thing. ‘You weren’t born much of a body, so you’d better develop your brain.’”

Adrian and Rocky
Adrian and Rocky

Soon after, Apollo’s people come a callin’ on Rocky to give the unknown contender a title shot at the Heavyweight Boxing Championship of the World. All because his ring name is the Italian Stallion and would sound incredible on the billing. What Apollo doesn’t know is Rocky is not the type to give up. He will keep coming after the champion until the end.

At the same time, a transformation begins to take hold of Adrian. Gone are the glasses, greasy hair, and frumpy attire. In their place, a beautiful complexion, a wonderful cut, and stylish, comfortable clothing. Adrian also fights back against her controlling brother Paulie who kept her down for so long so she could take care of him.

When the night of the big fight arrives, Adrian stays close to Rocky providing support. There’s no other place she’d rather be than by her man. Rocky knows this, using her as his strength to get through round after round of butchering. And when he does make it to the fifteenth and final round, when everyone tells him to stay down from a knockout, Adrian shows up at the auditorium door with her little red barrette. She couldn’t stand being away from him, even though he asked her to wait for him in the dressing room until it is over. She closes her eyes and accepts Rocky’s fate. Does Rocky see her? Is it her? We don’t know. His eyes are sealed shut. Apollo made sure of that.

The crowd chants, “Rocky! Rocky!

He gets up, tosses a few more punches, and the fight’s over. The auditorium goes crazy. Reporters break into the scene. Police try to keep everyone back. Paulie complains the cop’s damaging his suit.

In all of this Rocky cries out, “Adrian! Adrian!”

She makes her way through the crowd, “Rocky! Rocky!”

Reporters stick microphones into Rocky’s face, “Will there be a rematch, Rock? Will there be a rematch?”

“I don’t know.” He barks. “Adrian! Adrian!”

She finally makes it into the ring.

“I love you!”

“I love you!”

Fade to black.

As the series progresses, Adrian becomes Rocky’s conscious. His strength. His reason. She comes into her own. Her self-confidence blooms. When Rocky’s not sure, she is sure. She has no doubt. Through it all, there’s no other place she’d rather be than by her man. Filling gaps.


What do you think of Adrian? Do you have a favorite Rocky movie?