Happy Birthday! Now Go Out And Do Good!

Birthday, Family, Good, Jesus, Life, love

Today is officially my birthday and for the first time in a very long time it will be a joyous day. March 4th can no longer be a sad day, even if the world is falling apart around me because I now get to share this day with an incredibly special person! So, happy birthday beautiful girl! You are so very loved!

I loooove Winnie the Pooh… 🤷‍♂️

A weird thing happened over the last 10 days that hasn’t happened in a very long time… I haven’t had any feelings of insecurity or sadness. I have been filled with so much happiness and love in my life that it has started to spill over into the way I go about my days.

I’ve been reminded lately that the gifts I have been given are not mine. They are a blessing that I was given to share with the world, and to help others when I am able (and to sacrifice when I am unable).

Right now, at the point I am in with my life, the best thing I have found that I am able to do is to bring joy and happiness to others.

That’s crazy, right? Me, a person who has just so recently felt like they had no purpose in this world, now feels like they can make a difference in other people’s lives?


So how have I been doing this? Simple…

Do Good. If you don’t want to listen to me, take it from the brilliant Mr. Feeny:

That’s it!

Simple enough, right? If you go into a situation with a positive, helping attitude, it just makes all the difference. Headed into a tough situation? Do something to make it better. Talking to someone that has a negative disposition? Point out their positives.

There is positive in every single situation. Focus on those and multiply them. Bring them to the forefront of a conversation.

Be the person that others want to be around. That people will feel comfortable around and know that you will bring a smile to their face.

I will warn you, however, that we unfortunately live in a very harsh world. People are always skeptical of kindness. They believe there has to be an ulterior motive.

To that, I will remind you of the “Anyway” prayer attributed to Mother Teresa (originally written by Kent M. Smith):

So do it anyways. If you are doing things out of the pure nature, kindness and love of your heart, who cares what others think? Now, of course, be respectful of other people’s feelings and levels of comfort. But try to bring as much joy and love as you possibly can to this beautiful world we live in.


Stop living each day as if tomorrow is promised.

Tell your loved ones you love them.

Give people your time. It’s a rare and precious thing.

Make others feel welcomed.

If you have gifts, share them with others.

Build others up so they can go far in life.

Compliment people you do and do not know. Let someone know they are beautiful. Or that you like their clothing style. Or their haircut is nice. Or that they just made you smile.

Bring love, joy and happiness to everyone around you!


Can you imagine a world where we are all supporting one another and helping others achieve happiness and success? What a beautiful thing that would be!

I have been hurt in the past, but I don’t wish poorly of any of them in any capacity. I thank God for the learning opportunities and pray that he will watch over their lives.


Do Good. Live this every single day and watch how the world changes around you. You stop noticing the harshness and see wonder instead.

Let’s make today a great day.! I don’t need anything special for my birthday, but knowing that people are going out of their way to brighten others’ lives simply because I reminded them will bring a smile to my face.

So, I will get this “Do Good” movement started…

I love you. Yes, YOU! The person reading this. You are an absolutely beautiful soul! If knowing that brings a smile to your face then I am so glad to be able to share this life with you!

Today will be a day filled with love, joy and happiness!


Dear God.

Today I want to quickly thank You for blessing me with another year and for being patient as I found my way back to You.

Now that I’m out of the way, today I pray that You bless the lives of so many people! Give them comfort, and joy, and love and happiness. Let them feel Your presence!

Please protect my loved ones who have been under constant attack lately. Please allow them to stay focused and continue fighting to spread Your good word. Their hearts are aching and I pray that You will grant them peace and comfort.

I pray for the continued health, happiness and safety of others.

Today starts a new year of life and I am so excited to spend this year building my relationship with You!

Amen

With all of my love!

Kyle

How the Love of Two People Saved My Life

Community, Family, Life, love

Little bit of a dramatic way to start a post, right?

Hardly, especially once you truly understand how things have completely changed for me over the last 6 months.


This post is going to be all about Josh and Stacy. Two of the best, most sincere, beautiful people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. This post isn’t going to be about my wife or kids (that’s in the drafts for another day…).

Fair warning before I jump right into this, you’re walking into an emotional post. It’s going to get pretty sappy. I’ve cried. A lot. You might, too. We can ugly cry together. Let’s make this a bonding experience. I tried to break up all the sentiment with moments of humor throughout.

This has been in my drafts for weeks because I keep adding to it before I get around to hitting the publish button. It’s a long one, and honestly I could keep adding to it with each passing day. But at some point it’s got to get posted. The point of this post is to share with everyone how much of a difference a simple act of kindness and generosity can so significantly change another person’s world. I’m not trying to make anyone cry. I’m not trying to brag. I’m not trying to make you feel like your life would be better if you knew these two people (although, let’s be real, it absolutely would be).


In the past I’ve been pretty open about my periods of depression (see here…). I’ve dealt with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, sadness, etc., but I’ve never been truly lost. I couldn’t always process my way out of my feelings, but I always had a sense of self-awareness. For 31 years, that is until last year happened.

So there I was just making my way through life, lost, running on auto-pilot for most of the year.

Just some background. I’ve “known” Josh for about 3 years. He was Maddi’s cross country coach. Maddi would always have stories about him. How he would run practice really hard. How she preferred when one of the other coaches were training them for the day because he never took it easy on them. He pushed her. Every day. And cross country is the one thing she’s never quit. And I know it’s because he instilled the confidence in her she needed and pushed her to be better and to love something she was good at.

And then he became her teacher. And we heard stories about how “scary” he was. He was passionate about what he was teaching. Breaking rulers on the first day of class to “intimidate” his students. And then she would tell stories about his dad jokes. And she would talk about how her and her friends would spend their lunch working through life with his assistance.

I just assumed that it was just a silly school crush Maddi had on her teacher. Let’s be honest, we all went through that. But Maddi doesn’t really let many people in. She likes to keep to herself. This was someone she trusted and felt safe around.

And then my youngest, Benny, started kindergarten and was in the same class as Josh’ son. And they instantly became best friends. All Benny talked about was his new friend. All. The. Time. It was the cutest thing. For anyone who knows how far Benny has come (see here…) you will understand how amazing it was to see him take to someone socially so quickly. I didn’t know who this kid was, but I loved him for the change he was making in my own son’s life.

The boys would schedule their own play dates and my wife would coordinate everything with Stacy, who I really didn’t know at the time. I was just starting to let my guard down to Josh a little out of sheer respect for the impact he was making on Maddi’s life.


So this brings us to around August of this past year, where I was just floating through life. Benny was having his birthday party and really wanted his best friend to be there. The boys had had a few play dates at that point and the adults had often said over the prior few months that we should all just get together. It’s something you just instinctively say to be polite, right? “Let’s catch up sometime.” “It would be great to have you over for dinner.” So, we decided to invite their entire family for the birthday party.

That day changed everything.

Stacy and Allissa just clicked. They connected immediately. If you ask anyone who was at that party, they all assumed that those two had known each other for years. They had so much to talk about. I was still in a weird place where I was trying to be someone I wasn’t, but I think Josh saw that and he just made himself part of the party. Maybe he saw something I didn’t see at the time. Maybe he saw me screaming out for help. Maybe he just thought I was an alright person?

At the end of that day I told Allissa we needed to follow through and actually get together with them. These were genuinely nice people, like the ones we met in Ireland. You just don’t find that kind of kindness here. Or at least that’s what I told myself.

We would see them during cross country season, and Allissa and Stacy would get to know each other during the meets whenever she was there and I slowly started to get to know Stacy a bit. We didn’t actually schedule anything for about 2 months until we ran into each other for the school Trunk or Treating. We finally said enough was enough and made plans.

Our families got together for dinner for the first time a week later and immediately the kids were overjoyed. They ran off and the adults didn’t exist from that point on. Me being me, I was awkward. Of course. I was still in this mind set of staying guarded to protect myself. Because “everyone will hurt me”.

It went well, though. We played games together, we ate dinner, and we started to pull back my shell just a little.


Things escalated very quickly from that point. Next thing I know we are trick-or-treating together on Halloween. Dinners happened every few weeks or so. The kids were so excited and I was finally starting to realize that I could open myself up to these people. They made me want to by the way they accepted us.

And then we were invited to their New Years Eve party with their closest college friends. Talk about intimidating. But it ended up being amazing. Josh has a way of bringing people together and making them feel like they belong. I met some amazing people that evening that I can not wait to know better and be a bigger part of their lives and for them to be part of ours.

After that, dinner every few weeks became every week. And it was something I looked forward to. One of the highlights of every single one of my weeks. Mondays always seem so far away. We would talk, play games, eat, and just open up to one another. People have never been able to get me to do that before.

And these two people, who were absolutely destroying the walls I built up around myself, just kept showering me with unconditional love. They were giving me what I needed in my life without me realizing that I was missing it.


For anyone who has known me at any point in my life will know that I do not have a very good track record with friendships with other men. As in, aside from elementary school friends (who are no longer in my life), there has been no successful friendships at all. And I would even be as bold as to say that includes my siblings. I’ve always been able to relate better with women. Probably has a lot to do with fear of competing for dominance and proving masculinity.

I’m not getting into psychology today. I’m not talking about how it bothers me that people shame me for not caring about sports. Or that I’d rather stay in and watch a good Hallmark movie and get in touch with my feelings. Or whatever… someone asked, right?! Riiiiight…

So for Josh to come into my life and be someone I wanted to pour my heart out to, you should truly understand how meaningful that is. It’s never happened. As in… ever. And yet I can tell this man everything. And I usually do. Without a single fear of judgement! I could come to him and tell him I did something terrible and he would look at me, hug me, and ask what he can do to help. Granted, he would at some point tell me if I did something stupid, but that’s just something I love about him. That he will call me out on my crap.

And he makes me want to be a better person. In basically every aspect of my life. He is an absolutely amazing father. He is a fantastic husband. A huge extrovert and everyone absolutely loves being around him. Even Maddi loves him, and she has some people issues.

And he is a devoted Christ follower. His passion in the things he truly believes in is so incredibly inspiring. When he gets going on a topic that he is into, it’s amazing to see him go. It’s like watching a science experiment with a bunch of chain reactions going off all at once. It’s mesmerizing to be a part of. Sometimes chaotic, but it is something beautiful that you want to be a part of.

He never knew of my past, and yet he came to me with unconditional love in his heart and accepted me before I even knew what was going on. He made me a part of his family before I could make sense of what was happening. Josh introduced me, indirectly (but if you know him, more than likely intentionally with a long-game plan), to what unconditional love actually was. Before I met Josh and Stacy, I didn’t know. My heart was filled with pain, anger, bitterness and sadness. And it’s, mostly (about 95%), free from all of that now.

He didn’t see me as a project. He didn’t see me as someone that was broken (granted, I definitely was). He didn’t see me as someone who needed to be fixed. He didn’t even know my religious views. He just said “Hey, man. I love you”.

He told me once that the timing of me coming into his life happened for a reason. Oh boy, I hope he truly knows that the timing of him coming into my life was a moment of Heaven on Earth.

Josh has a way of seeing the bigger picture. He can see into people’s hearts and knows how to speak to them on an intimate, personal level. It’s a gift. And an amazing one at that.


Josh has a way of getting you energized. He’s the pep talk before a big game. Stacy, on the other hand, has a way of calming your soul. She’s like a bedtime story after a long day. When you’re with her the world just slows down, in the best way possible.

One of my absolute favorite things about Stacy is the way she hugs you. If you’ve ever been given a hug by her, you will know exactly what I’m about to say. If I am having a bad day, my mood is instantly lifted. If it’s a good day, it just gets even better. She doesn’t give you a hug like you’re a new acquaintance, quick and with a few pats on the back. She embraces you, squeezes, and holds you. A hug so tight that it just puts all the broken pieces back together again. It makes you feel like everything in the world will be okay, even if just for a few moments.

The best way I can describe it is you can feel the love of Jesus radiating from within her. It is a hug full of unconditional love and warmth. Odds are, knowing the person she is, she probably makes everyone feel this way. But you know what? I’m going to ignore that and just pretend that I’m special. ☺️


Stacy is a truly amazing caregiver. We have entrusted her with our kids at least 5/7 days of the week. And she loves them so much as if they are one of her own. Benny and Shai, who both have some social anxieties of their own that they are overcoming, tell us constantly about how much they just love her. I trust her with all of our lives, and I’ve told her time and time again when she has the kids that they are hers. Her rules, her discipline, her fun. And she doesn’t treat them any different, which I have so much respect for.

She shows up when the kids are sick, bringing them things to make their days special. She makes everyone around her feel so loved, whether it’s in the way she talks to you, or makes you feel included, or cooks you dinner, or bakes you desserts (she could definitely open her own bakery someday…. yum!).

Stacy has taught me to fully embrace my emotions. I don’t need to hide who I am, and she seems to have a way of sensing when something just isn’t right. If you need to cry, she will be right there and cry with you. It’s pretty impossible to be in the same room with her and not leave with a smile on your face. She just has that effect on others.


These two people brought me out of one of the darkest points in my life. When I was going through one of the toughest times they both came to my side, put their arms through mine, and asked to walk with me. I didn’t know at the time that they were helping me walk a path back to salvation, but I can tell you now I’m really not surprised. These two are living examples of what it means to be followers of Jesus.

I am blessed to be able to see Josh every weekday morning when I drop the kids off. And as I make sure to hug my kids and tell them I love them, I do the same with him. Why? Because he means that much to me.

Whenever we are all together, it’s something we all do. And it just brings so much joy to my life.

We have, on multiple occasions, been up into the early hours of the morning talking about all sorts of odds and ends. We lose track of time picking the kids up and talking for an hour. I don’t know about them, but it never seems to be enough. Sometimes with people I struggle to find things to talk about. It’s never happened with them. Not once. And we spend hours together every single week.


When I fully opened myself up to the two of them on where I was with my faith, I asked them how they were able to be such devoted Christ followers and compartmentalize that part of their lives and not have that be a big part of our friendship.

Oh how naive I was.

They weren’t compartmentalizing anything. What they didn’t do was try to build our relationship around something that we may or may not have been on the same page about. What they DID do was love me unconditionally. They were living their lives following the life of Jesus. They weren’t hiding anything. They were 100% being true to themselves. They didn’t care one bit about what I believed. They loved me anyways.

They loved me anyways!

I would do absolutely anything for their family. Any of them. And I know that they would do the same for mine. I trust them with everything I have. Literally everything. These are people I would genuinely give my life for.

Now our families have become one. We are not 5 of one, 6 of another. We come together as a family of 11. We have trips scheduled together. We have plans a year out from now. I am looking forward to my birthday for the first time in a very long time because of them. We laugh together. We cry together. We pray together. We break bread together. We joke around and tease each other. We have full on gif conversations. We have inside jokes (flowers, and freezers, and chica bread!). We create lifetime memories. Together.

We love one another and the world is a better place because of it.

They are helping me in my journey to be a better follower of Jesus. Never once telling me I should do things one way or another, but supporting me and loving me as I work through things. Giving me answers when I have questions. Giving me a shoulder to cry on when I’m having a bad day. Directing me to look at things from a different perspective to work through troubles. They speak to me on what they believe and it resonates with me on such a profound level because it just makes so much sense!


If you’ve made it this far, either you are the people this post was written about or you are just drawn to who these people are (which, you should be!). And if you are the people it was written about, you might be in tears now (Stacy, I’m sure you are since you tell me all the time I make you cry.). Sorry, not sorry! I needed to document this turning point in my life.

Josh and Stacy, you are truly disciples of Jesus. You both mean so incredibly much to me.

You are not my friends, you are my family.

Josh – I love you!

Stacy – I love you!

And I love your family, which I feel I can safely call an extension of my own. It just melts my heart to see how excited the girls get when they see me and run and give me lots of hugs (wonder where they get that from?!).

If I were not here tomorrow I am glad to know you will have these words to forever hold. To know that you made a difference in someone’s world. You saved a life – mine.

Dear God.

Is there more I can say to thank You for bringing these beautiful souls into my life? I asked for a message and You sure did deliver. Hand-picked, embellished with love, kindness, generosity, compassion. A special gift from God. And You chose me to be blessed with their presence? How great is Your love!

I pray that You love and protect them. Your love is so evident in the people they are, the things they do and the way they live their lives. You have given me a brother that will take me by my hand and show me how to live a better life and be a follower of Christ. Who doesn’t judge me but fosters my growth.

You have given me someone who has shown me that it is okay to cry. And to do it often! You have given me someone who has taught me to give myself to others. To accept people for who they are. To open my home to strangers. You have given me someone who has taught me the power of a hug, and the difference it can make on someone’s life.

You have given me love. You have given me guidance. You have given me inspiration.

You have blessed me with these people. I only hope that I can be the same blessing to others. I want to change the lives of others as these people have done for me.

I want to make a difference. I want to live a purposeful life. I want be a follower of Jesus and live a life as He did. I want to give all of myself to You.

Amen

With all the love in my heart!

Kyle

*Please feel free to follow my blog if you would like to receive email notifications whenever I post. You can subscribe down below or off to the right of this post. I try to post at least once a week, depending on what is currently going on in my life. Let me know below if you have any comments, questions or concerns. Hope everyone has a blessed day! YOU ARE LOVED!*

Lauren Daigle – Rescue

You are not hidden
There’s never been a moment
You were forgotten
You are not hopeless
Though you have been broken
Your innocence stolen

I hear you whisper underneath your breath
I hear your SOS, your SOS

I will send out an army
To find you in the middle of the darkest night
It’s true
I will rescue you

There is no distance
That cannot be covered
Over and over
You’re not defenseless
I’ll be your shelter
I’ll be your armor

I hear you whisper underneath your breath
I hear your SOS, your SOS

I will send out an army
To find you in the middle of the darkest night
It’s true
I will rescue you
I will never stop marching
To reach you in the middle of the hardest fight
It’s true
I will rescue you

I hear the whisper underneath your breath
I hear you whisper, you have nothing left

I will send out an army
To find you in the middle of the darkest night
It’s true
I will rescue you
I will never stop marching
To reach you in the middle of the hardest fight
It’s true
I will rescue you

Oh, I will rescue you

What’s In A Name? A Reminder of Where I Came From And Where I Want To Go

Community, Dinner, Family, God, Jesus, Life, love, Neighbor, religion

When I created this blog over 4 years ago I was in a place in my life where the only thing I wanted was solitude for my immediate family of 5. This blog was created to be about OUR little infinity. I had shut the rest of the world out and was focused on my wants. My needs.

But I’ve come to realize that “our” is a relative term. It does not have to be about my wife and I, or a family of 5. And I’m so glad that it is not that way! I am so grateful that I am no longer the person that I once was.

I’ve thought about going through the process of changing the blog name. I know the steps that need to be made to switch the domain name, how to change the authors, etc. But I don’t want to any longer. As I have mentioned in a post on my Facebook, my past is what has brought me to be where I am and the person I have become. And I want to embrace my past, the pain and all.


Let’s break this out and over-analyze, shall we?

Table For Five. Today, this means I am setting a hard limit on the number of people I let into my life. I am closing myself off from the world, putting up walls and telling others that if you don’t belong in my small group, you’ll never get to know me. The only people allowed to sit at my table are my wife and children.

That’s not who I want to be! Not anymore. Not ever again! As I’ve mentioned before, we are planning on moving before year end. One of the biggest reasons that I now want to move is because I do not physically have the space in my own home to be able to have people over. I want my new home to be a safe haven for others. I want it to be a second home to my loved ones. I want it to be open to my neighbors. I can promise you now that other people will have keys to my home. Where you don’t have to knock to enter. Where you will always be welcomed.

I want to be surrounded by loved ones every day. I want to share meals all the time.


One of my absolute favorite things that I get the privilege of doing is having dinner with my best friends and their family once a week. Every week, aside from times of sickness, we prioritize sitting down and breaking bread together.

And my favorite thing about it is that when we all sit down together there is not a division in families. If you ever watch us together, we do not separate. The adults do not sit apart from the children, spouses do not pair off and stay right by one another. We come together as one. And my heart is so full being able to speak to every single one of them individually as if we have known each other our entire lives.

And it’s something I want to be surrounded by. I want to just give so much love. I want to have plans every night of being with loved ones. I want to build relationships. I want to share the love of Jesus.

I don’t want a table for five. I want a table for fifty.


I am this new person now and all I want to do is just give my love to others. And it’s such a weird feeling to me because just a few months ago I was so closed off to the world. But now my eyes, and my heart, have been opened.

Love creates such beautiful transformations.


Our Little Infinity.

How naive I was to believe that my life, and the life my family had, was from my own doing. That I had a right to claim it as my own. To take possession of “our” little infinity.

Our little infinity is so much greater than I could have ever imagined. To have the love of God, to be a follower of Jesus. To be given eternal life. Oh how it just opens the doors to so much beauty and joy.

We have a life that has been blessed upon us, and we get the honor of sharing this with others. “Our” grows from five to a community of so many.

Our little infinity now means the life I get to share with my community for the time I am alive. And what an amazing thing that is.

I am brimming with love. And compassion. And joy. And happiness. Oh, my heart has never felt this way before and I never want it to change.


I’m eager to make this transition into our new home and begin sharing my life with those around me. Please fill my life with love. Let us share a meal together. Let’s go for a walk. Let’s cry together. Let’s pray together! Let’s just be together, with love in our hearts. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion.

And for those who already welcome me into their homes, you are a big reason why I strive to be a better person. I hope these meetings happen often as it is easily one of my favorite moments each week and something I look forward to.

My family of five is no longer. It has grown and I am so blessed.


“Dear God,

Oh how You have made Your presence known in my life! I see You all around me. I stop and notice the amazing things You have done in this world that we take for granted on a daily basis.

I recognize Your blessings and I cherish them!

My heart has been opened because You worked through others to bring me back to You. I see You in their eyes. I hear You in their voice. I feel You in their hugs.

Today I want to thank You for everything in my life. I know You are not responsible for the bad, but know You never left my side through them. You allowed me to try to do things on my own, and were always there to catch me when I fell. And You have forgiven me through them all.

How loving You are. That You would sacrifice so much to allow me be here, as significant and small as I have felt in the past.

I pray that You allow me to share my love with all those who are willing to accept it. I want to bring love and happiness to others lives, as You have done for me.

I pray to be blessed with a table for so many! That I can serve others and give them a place to rest their feet and their hearts. To give others a second home and a place to feel safe and loved.

I thank You again, as I will likely do every day, for bringing loved ones to my life. Those who make me be a better person. Who make me feel so incredibly welcomed.

I pray that You continue to be there for those who are in pain this evening, and that You may grant them peace and serenity.

I thank You for everything You have blessed my life with. You have given me so much and I am eager to give back in any way I can.

Thank You for opening my eyes and my heart.

Amen.


A fair warning before I end this post this evening, I am making an effort to express my feelings every chance I get. We are not promised tomorrow, and if today happened to be my last I don’t want anyone to ever question how I felt about them. So, I will tell you I love you. Often. Because love is such a beautiful thing, and just being told that you are loved, in my experience, just makes everything so perfect. And hugs are one of my new favorite things. Not little ones, though. Long, full embraces are the best. ☺️

So, with that said, I love you! If you are reading this post it is because you are someone I care about and wanted to be a part of my life.

Kyle

P.s. since I am letting more people in to my blog, please don’t forget to “follow” down below. Just put in your email address and verify it and you will get emails anytime I post!