Sunday, September 29, 2013

Happy Birthday

I'm in the middle of the annual running of the fall gauntlet. It's like this every year. I love it as much as I'm always exhausted by it.

It hurts so good. Take my birthday for instance. I warned Lia as it was approaching. We'd just have to fit in the celebration where it fit. We ate cake for breakfast the day before the actual day. We still haven't opened presents. The actual day of my birthday (last Tuesday) I attended some meetings. Got some writing done. Played with the kids. Listened to my parents sing me happy birthday on the phone. Went to Dave Dave's back to school cocktail party. Hung out with my bro, Kyle. Then, played some night ultimate with a bunch of college friends. A perfect Ned-kind-of-day. All these people. All these relationships.

Most didn't know it was my birthday.

I talked to my friend Kyle about the fact I have a hard time having my birthday celebrated. I had this sort of epiphany while talking to him. It's not really being celebrated. I actually like being celebrated. The thing is I like being celebrated for having done something deserving of being celebrated. Birthdays you get celebrated for just the fact you were born. I didn't do anything to deserve that. So why be celebrated for it?

Then, it altogether hit me: that's why birthdays are so awesome. We celebrate folks for just the fact they were born. For who they are, not what they've done…

To be loved that way.

It is the perfect way to be loved.

The fact I have a hard time receiving this kind of love points to something deeper going on inside me. Maybe I think myself unlovely. Maybe I feel like I need to be something more than I am to be of value. Maybe this all translates into how I see my relationship with others, with God.

What if I thought differently? What if I thought that I could be loved just for being Ned? Not that would be something to celebrate…

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Toga Olympics

You were made for this…that's what we say at Young Life. It's not really Young Life we're talking about. Not exactly Toga Olympics either. Or jousting with wacky noodles covered with shaving cream. Or singing Enrique Iglesias songs loud and out of key. Not even relationships, though relationships are worth more than gold. 

I mean it, gold is nothing compared to Zeus and Hercules here. I love these guys. 

The honest truth is I was made for this. I'm thirty-eight (for another week), got a wife, two kids, I'm sore when I wake up, my eyes get glassy around 9:30, and I'm wearing a Toga with teams on it like the North Stars and Whalers that don't even exist anymore. And there's nowhere else I'd rather be and nothing else I'd rather be doing. Because it's not Young Life or togas or games or singing - it's life. LIFE - and a host of other words that mean everything to me - like freedom and meaning and love - and most of all and above all and really all there is to it - it's Jesus I was made for. And so were you.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sneak Peak

Hey Guys, 

Clay is getting close. 

Check out one of Beth's amazing illustrations. 

And below, there is my latest draft of my back cover teaser. Let me know what you think!

Have you ever wondered if there was something more to life? Have you wondered what it was? Or wondered how to get it? Clay has. Wonderings like that curl around his mind like question marks and keep him up at night. That is, they do until the day a boy bumped up the road.

Clay is a story about becoming, of what happens on the journey toward meaning and purpose. What happens to Clay will surprise you, shock you. It may even reshape how you see things, including yourself.

It did for me.


Monday, September 09, 2013