Lessons learned the hard way.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 5, 2014 by anthonyjay

It was a great holiday season, lots of food, family, friends and fun, then came a few days that will forever change me…

I was all dressed up- nice pants, nice button up shirt and yes…a tie.  Ashley and I had plans for a New Year’s Eve party with our cell group- get all fancied up, go to Jolly Holiday lights, come back to our leader’s house and just have a great time of celebrating and fellowship.  Then my phone rang…My grandfather had taken a pretty nasty fall and was in the hospital.  I changed out of my clothes and went to my parent’s house where my sister my dad and I took off to the hospital.  Upon arriving we found the rest of my family already there with tears in their eyes, I didn’t think much of this as my family is a very emotional one.  Besides, I’m the strong one, I couldn’t be seen this way.  As I walked back to the emergency room where my grandfather was at, I did not expect to see what I saw.  Such a hardworking man, always willing to do whatever it was that needed to be done, in a hospital bed- frail, weak and beaten up badly.  Still, I was the tough one, fight back any tears!  We stayed with him in that ER room for a while, taking turns holding his hand, stroking his head and just being there with him.  Soon he was moved to a different room out of the ER and in the hospital, again we took turns holding his hand and just being there with him…again I fought back any tears I could feel swelling in my eyes.  Things looked grim, but reluctantly we decided to leave for the night and return early the next morning.

One thought haunted me all night long-”I hadn’t made enough of an effort to go visit Grandpa and Grandma”.  I rarely went to their house to see them, I rarely sat down and let them tell me stories, I wasn’t the grandson I knew I should have been.  All this was to my shame, and the Lord had shown me what a selfish, prideful, stupid man I had been.  Walking into the hospital there was a very heavy feeling, a feeling that would continue during the day.  Grandpa had taken a turn for the worse, and the inevitable was working it’s course.  I was able to bring myself to go into his room, albeit for short lengths.  I just couldn’t bring myself to stay in there for a long time, and see this once hardworking man in this bed while at Death’s door.  During all this though…I had to stay tough, no tears, and I was succeeding.  I walked back into his room and sat with my mom and sister, it was silent-a comforting silence.  Then my mom told me about a conversation she had with my grandfather a while ago.  She talked of how he was proud of me, and how special it was to have me come across the parking lot at church and tell him and my grandma that I loved them.  I had been struggling still with that thought-”I hadn’t made enough of an effort to go visit Grandpa and Grandma”.  The flood gates opened, and the tears started rolling down my face.  Despite my shortcomings as a grandson, and not being more loving-he was proud of me.  That thought still gets me, and it’s hard not to hurt over that.  Just like my Godly grandfather loved me despite my not taking more time to get to know him, so God himself loves us.  What an amazing thing how God can use such a heartbreaking event to show me these truths about Him.  Anyways, as we sat there by my Grandpa’s side I shared my feelings of not being a better grandson with my mom, to which she replied that grandpa obviously didn’t feel that way and he loved me no matter what.  With this heavy feeling that I had since coming to the hospital we sat there a few more minutes before my Grandpa started taking fewer and fewer breaths.  I had the privilege to stand by my Grandfather’s side as he took his final breath on Earth, and know that he was now in Glory with his Savior. 

The heavy feeling was gone, there was a feeling of relief that fell over me.  I was so sad over my grandpa’s passing, but I was so happy for him to be in Heaven with no more pain or suffering.  It was the truest from of bitter-sweet I have ever experienced.  I still struggled with thinking about how I didn’t take more time to get to know him.  I shared a bit of this struggle with my grandma at the viewing, to which she said that was the devil working in our minds and I am a great grandson that they are very proud of.  I tell you that helps, but I still wish my grandpa was here for me to tell him that.  I know he is in Heaven though, and I know he can hear me tell him that.  I guess I just want his approval of me as a grandson, but that will have to wait until I get that approval from him in Heaven.  

If I could give anyone a piece of advice it would be this, don’t wait.  There are things you should do, places you should go, people you should be around, so don’t wait.  We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so get out there and live life, do the things you know you should even if they aren’t at the top of the list for you.

And Grandpa…I love you so much, and maybe throw some of your talent my way as I try and take over the stained glass for you!

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Good things gone bad…

Posted in Uncategorized on December 23, 2013 by anthonyjay

They say “too much of a good thing can be a bad thing”.  Exercise is good for you, but when you over do-it can be bad for you.  Healthy eating is good for you, but if you over eat-it can be bad for you.  Television is a good source of entertainment or news, but to much of it is not good for you (and don’t sit to close to the set, or you’ll go blind).   I’ve always believed it to be true, but recently that was made very real in my own life.  Even as I write this and think back on my recent events I laugh, but it was a different story at the time.  At this juncture I like to imagine you are asking yourselves what was it that was too much of a good thing, and here it is folks…water.

No no, keep your glasses on, your eye sight is fine and your not imagining anything.  I said water.  H2O.  Aqua.  However you want to say it, that liquid which sustains life and is good for you-I overdid it.  I had actually heard of people getting water poisoning, and I thought it sounded a little absurd myself.  I now have a much different view on that:-)  My experience with fitness and what I’ve read or heard is that water is a very important key to losing weight.  In the past I have always drank plenty of water and stayed fairly hydrated, but when I had done a group fitness class they challenged A LOT of water consumption.  I kept up with that water intake, and I knew by how often I would visit the bathroom:-)  So I thought that if I could keep drinking a lot of water and flushing out my system that would be beneficial.  Wrong!  After going back and realizing that I had consumed three times the amount of water that is recommended for 1 day, I realized I had made a mistake.  

My error had been made manifest as I woke from a dead sleep at 1 in the morning thinking my innards were going to explode.  If you ask anyone who knows me they will tell you have I have very high pain tolerance, but let me tell you this was the worst pain I’ve ever been in.   Debating for 2 hours I finally decided to wake my wife up and go to the hospital and upon arrival they took lots of blood, ran many tests, and asked LOTS of questions.  The tests all came back normal, and they said I was a very healthy young man.  All this was nice, but the best thing about my trip to the ER…the pain meds!  Now I’m not some cracked up drug addict but I could actually sit, or stand, or whatever I chose to do-AMAZING!  Now for all you Nurses or Doctors or self proclaimed health experts, your right, I didn’t get a definite answer to my problem.  However over hydration/water poisoning seems, to me, to be the only explanation.  If you find yourself laughing at my expense, it’s okay- I can now laugh about it also.  Just know however, when you hear that saying, “too much of a good thing can be a bad thing”…well it’s true.

Stay happy, stay healthy, and we’ll see you again next week.

By the way Merry CHRISTmas, none of this happy holiday junk.  Jesus is the reason for the season, so MERRY CHRISTmas!!!

Attempt number 2

Posted in Uncategorized on December 18, 2013 by anthonyjay

Hey there interweb ladies and gentleman!  I had started this blog a long time ago as a way to be funny, and I had no intentions of ever using it again.  WELL……a lot has changed since then, and I feel like I have some good things to write about.  Ok so maybe not earth changing, world shattering things, but things…  I’m not even sure where to start, so I’m just going to jump in.  About 2 years ago (and I had created this blog WELL before that and not done anything with it since before that), sorry that just made me realize how long ago that this blog was created.  About 2 years ago (sorry about that rabbit trail, I do that a lot), shoot I did it again.  

Ok focus…  About 2 years ago, I was challenged by a friend to start living healthier.  It was the whole gamut, healthy eating, working out, reading nutritional articles, all that jazz.  The challenge however was unknown to my friend, it was a challenge as he started his own journey to a healthier lifestyle.  I was SUPER passionate about the “challenge” for over a year; I had lost close to 70 pounds, dropped several pants sizes, wearing smaller shirts and just all around feeling better.  That passion slowly started to diminish.  I found myself slowly going back to my old ways; eating whatever I wanted, eating however much I wanted, being lazy in the gym (when I would actually go) and making excuses for my all to familiar lazy lifestyle.  Well, I’ve had enough!  I feel I’ve had a fire lite under my butt and I feel that passion back in my life.  I know that my friend who took it upon himself to become a healthier person was a huge challenge to me, and therein lies my inspiration to try this whole blog things again.  I hope to inspire even just one person to live healthier, or encourage one person who is about ready to give up on their own “challenge”.  And I’ll admit it, I have selfish reasons to start this blog again…accountability.  If I’m not living a healthy life and doing the things I’m trying to encourage others to do, well then I’m going to look like a huge failure:-)  

I have no clue what a “good length” is for a post on here, but I’ll leave you with this.  About a week ago I heard a saying regarding health, the gym, better lifestyles-“In here it’s not work, but love for ourselves that keep us going”.  Hearing that at first was a welcome, uplifting, encouraging, cool statement.  Upon further review however, there is a lot more that that quote.  ” Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.  As a Christ follower that first statement suddenly becomes a selfish, disgusting statement.  Love for ourselves that keeps us going?  Seriously?  Jesus Christ came to this earth, became a man, took on the sin of the ENTIRE world, and was tortured on the cross for me.  Love for ourselves?!?  It’s love for the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords that keeps us going as believers.  I don’t know if some of you are thinking that it’s silly to make that connection to the gym, but to you I say this…God cares about us period.  It doesn’t matter if it’s sickness, health, a sore tooth, a hang nail, death, life, whatever.  HE CARES FOR US!  If I can honor the Lord with living a healthy lifestyle and working out in the gym, then I plan to do that and hopefully encourage others to do the same.  

Ok for real now, I’ll leave you with this…a refreshed, updated, newly focused quote-“In here it’s not work, but love for our loving savior, who gave us His all that pushes us to live a better live to glorify Him.”

Stay happy, stay healthy, and we’ll see you again next week. (Hey I kind of have my own catch phrase)