Brad the husband

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 28, 2014 by b2therad

I got married at the age of 33.  There is a lot you know about yourself in 33 years, but you don’t really know squat about yourself until you get hitched.  I have learned a lot about myself and have a lot more to learn.

The best part of marriage is that you cannot run into your room and close the door until the storm passes.  You are sort of forced into immediate group therapy.  Facing your demons, your weaknesses … the unknown cracks in your stoic persona which in reality was always a facade.  Did I already say the best part of marriage is …?  Yep, well I was lying.  The absolute best part of marriage is that this other person who forces you to come to terms with the worst parts of you … loves you in spite of them.  Now that’s the fingerprint of God on this institution.  ‘

My advice if you are married, stay married and make them your world. If you aren’t married you shouldn’t enter into marriage thinking you’ve got it all figured out.  There is a lot of learning on the job.  It is the best and worst thing you’ll ever experience but well worth it!

Connected-Unplugged

Posted in Reflective with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2013 by b2therad

I am an avid supporter of electronic devices and social networking. I think in some ways it is to my detriment. I believe that being too connected can actually damage us and our relationships.

We walk into church or work, put on a face… do our hello, how’s it going, goodbye and head back out the door. We cannot autopilot fellowship.  We have to decide to share our lives with others. Yes, it takes effort.

This is especially true when you are in leadership. How open and honest can you really be when everyone is looking at you or up to you? Sometimes, because you can’t share something with everyone; you end up sharing it with no one. I have seen this happen many times. People hold things in and hide their faults, failures, and doubts mostly because they are trying to hold onto this persona that doesn’t even really exist. This is where no one is safe… this is where the enemy lures us into solitude without the support and love of God’s people.

You could always spend your life inside a house and never go outside. What you will find is that you don’t get wet by the rain but you also never feel the breeze or the sun shining down on you. Yes, going outside does make you vulnerable to the elements of nature, however, living life as an emotional and relational recluse is a terribly tragic existence to choose when God has prepared so much more for you. And, to be honest, even the low points of life, the hurts, the rejection, and the disappointments cause a growth in you that you will never find elsewhere. So, pain to our hearts as rain to the soil… causes growth.

But, what will people think if they know you are imperfect? I dare you to be yourself. I dare you to open up and connect with someone. Why is this so difficult? It is because it forces us to be vulnerable. Well you know what? The most rewarding relationships you will ever experience are the ones in which you are the most vulnerable. So, take a chance… let someone in.

Waiting to be killed… Waiting to be killed…

Posted in Rant with tags on April 8, 2012 by b2therad

So much of life is waiting – waiting in line, waiting for your shift to be over, waiting for the right time to have a baby. We’re already here such a short time, it seems tragic to spend it all working, worrying and waiting.

Sometimes waiting dwindles down your options and sometimes it multiplies them. I prefer few options… chocolate or vanilla? Too many options can be overwhelming and they tend to cause me to want to wait until there are fewer. The more options there are the more likely I’ll make the wrong one. I personally do not like waiting, but I’m just as opposed to making mistakes . I’m sure I’m not the only one.

It does make spontaneous people look appealing sometimes, especially when they do something in the heat of the moment that actually works out for them. You’re just sure that if you did something like that there would be no end to the destruction your impulsive answer would bring upon you and those you love. Yes, I’m being dramatic. That’s what writers do.

The bottom line is – sometimes it’s smart to wait, sometimes it is pointless procrastination that only delays the inevitable… Everything in life is about balance – find yours.

Your search did not return any matches. Enter additional criteria and re-submit.

Posted in Reflective on December 6, 2011 by b2therad

Your Job – Does it feel like a waste of time, energy, talent and youth? I think a lot of people can relate. I suppose it is like a chicken that gets its head cut off, but continues to run around. We stay in jobs, relationships, or any other venture long after we’ve lost the passion needed to find fulfillment in it. Do what you love and the money will come… I just wished I loved something enough to know it was the one and only thing I was meant to do. There are so many things I could do. I look at these people whose talents are so well defined. I don’t think that they can do something that I can’t. I think maybe they just are 100% dedicated to a direction. If you set your mind to something you’ll accomplish it. I sit here and it kills me sometimes to put my energy into something I don’t care about. I’m not a money-hungry person either. I can’t simply work for money. That motivation seems tawdry. Maybe it is an effective motivation for a while but eventually it wears off.

That, eventually, happens to be today.

So, how do we find our passion and create a career around it? I don’t know. I think you should find something that is monetarily fulfilling and equally morally fulfilling. Do something that makes you feel like it’s worth the breath God grants you. Do something you believe in and make a difference. I will keep searching for this elusive job and I encourage you to do the same. I put all of this into my company’s internal job search engine. The results to that query are listed in the title of this entry, and the search continues…

sigh…

This message is brought to you by Captain Planet.. after all… he’s our hero…

Posted in Rant with tags on September 10, 2011 by b2therad

It seems that people today are completely consumed with saving the planet. We worry… Yes, we worry about the economy – the deficit, heck we’re even worried about the Post Office. Yes, I said the Post Office. On the one side you are seeing all these lovely little green leaves and happy arrows chasing happier arrows in circles… please stay green! Yet, while we save the planet we’re killing the Post Office. What would we possibly do without the Post Office? Who could go ‘postal’? Where else could we stand in line for what seems like eternity and pay a small fortune to mail cookies to our loved ones for Christmas? Allow me to rise above my own stinking sarcasm to say this: Opening an email is much less exciting to me than opening my mail box to a hand-written letter. When I moved to Florida in 2001 my Grandmother and I corresponded through ‘snail’ mail for years. She passed away in 2007. I now have her letters, in her hand writing, on her stationary to have, hold and cherish. For some reason it just wouldn’t be the same if it had been an email that I had printed out. That being said.. I’ll close with this… Save the Post Office… Kill the Planet…

I should put that on a t-shirt…

The Golden Rule

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21, 2011 by b2therad

I found this on an old jump drive and thought I’d share it.

At the age of 31, I’m just beginning to accept myself. I think the first 25 years, at least, we spend trying to force ourselves into a mold. That mold depends on our views of who we should be. In my life, who I should be didn’t match up to who I was; although, who I am really has never changed. I think that’s the most devastating reality. When we accept who we are and we hear all the reactions from those who think they know us. You’ll hear things like, “This isn’t you.” “This is completely out of character.” “What happened to the Brad I used to know?” The truth is you’ve always been you. We lie to ourselves, we hide our weaknesses, we deny our faults, but in the end, it is our course of action that changes… not ourselves.

The best way to find out who you are is to sit down by yourself and ask yourself some questions. What do I enjoy? What makes me happy? What do I believe? I think the biggest reason for unhappiness in the world is that we do not allow ourselves to exist. We deny ourselves the things that make us happy and we continue doing things that make us unhappy. The question is why. Perhaps it is social pressure, or our own need to be approved and accepted by others. Maybe it is the fear of being alone.

The first person you need to love is yourself. The good book says. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” The most common statement in reference to this passage is that we should love others unconditionally and put their needs and happiness first. No one ever considers the fact that few people actually love themselves that way. Most people that I know, including myself, love themselves very little. So the first part of this commandment isn’t to love others but to love ourselves, because you cannot truly love others until you love yourself.
If you sat down and made a list of things in your life that make you unhappy, what would you write down?

Retrospect can be a good and bad thing. I definitely don’t want to become obsessed with the past, but I don’t want to ignore it either. If we don’t look back and see why we ended up in this place, we’re doomed to repeat every mistake we’ve ever made. Blame is something that we do to ourselves when we refuse to look back on why we made the choices we’ve lived to regret.

These are the writings of one person out of 7 billion. Just imagine what thoughts, dreams and revelations are out there, in this world that have yet to be written down.

Living Nightmare

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , on November 15, 2010 by b2therad

My submission to the Three Minute Fiction contest.

The rules were that it had to be under 600 words, start with “Some people swore that the house was haunted” and end with “Nothing would ever be the same after that.”

LIVING NIGHTMARE

Some people swore that the house was haunted, but that’s not why I hesitated to go inside. After all, It was the living, not the dead that terrified me.
We were here, but I could not muster the courage to open the car door. I knew that I had to do this. I had to face my fear; to see that this was no longer a place of evil. If I didn’t, it would control me forever.
Myra, my foster mother, held my hand. She glanced at the building and her grasp tightened.
The house loomed over us like a terrible nightmare. It almost seemed to dare me to come inside.
Myra gently rubbed my hand. “You don’t have to do this Charlie.” She said softly.
I turned to face the window… more to hide the tears that streamed down my face than anything else. No, this house wasn’t haunted, but I was. I was haunted by my memories.
I tried to reason with myself. He is dead Charlie, this is only a house. With that, I took a deep breath and opened the car door. As I began to climb the stairs, those very memories started to flood my mind.
June 1st, 1995
“Let’s go!” Aunt Arlene snapped.
She was a frigid woman – her icy glare was matched by her cold hands that grabbed me by my arm.
“Right now you little bastard!” she demanded.
She dragged a 5 year old version of me up the porch stairs, through the front door and down a cold hallway. I was left crying in a room ironically called a ‘playroom’.
After a brief discussion with my father she left me. Abandonment was a very familiar thing in my young life. Most recently I was abandoned by my mother. She went to heaven and didn’t take me with her.
My father shut the door behind Arlene. His hand lingered on the door handle as he slowly turned and began walking toward the playroom.
I heard his footsteps coming closer and closer and was frightened. My mother refused to let me see my father. She would say “He isn’t good… not for me… not for you…not for anyone”.
Daddy’s voice interrupted my thoughts, “You do understand that your ma is dead and she ain’t comin back.” He taunted.
I didn’t respond and looked at my shoes. Mama had picked them out for me.
“Do you hear me you little brat?” he said as he took a step towards me… “When I speak to you, you had better acknowledge me damnit!” he screamed.
Before I could look up I felt the power of his hand against my face. The blow knocked me to the floor. The seer of hot pain quickly spread through my face as tears flowed freely.
He grabbed me by my arm and dragged me down the hallway. His hands squeezing me so hard that I thought he was killing me. He opened the door to the cellar and lifted me up. He had both of my arms in his hands and held me to his face as he shook me.
“You will learn respect or you can rot in here!” He yelled as he threw me inside and slammed the door.
When I collected myself I noticed that a nail in the floor board had torn one of my shoes.
It was then that I heard it. Something I would hear a thousand times over the next ten years; the sound of a key locking me in the cellar, my new home, my prison.
Nothing would ever be the same after that.

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