The Real Meaning of Christmas

It’s a New Season

My divorce was final this week. It’s sort of a yipee.

I’m glad that I’m no longer in the seperated-status limbo. I can now get on with my life back as a single. I have started going to singles events like those sponsored by Echo Ministries. They attract a really amazing group of folks looking to grow in their walk and have fun too. I’m also getting more involved in service in other organizations with which I am involved. I’m becoming more active with folks with whom I’m already familiar.

The Christmas Hub-Bub

It’s easy to get tied up into all the activities of Christmas. There are parties, concerts, get togethers, drop ins, etc, etc, etc.

But I think the Charles Shultz character, Linus, does an excellent job of describing the real meaning of Christmas.

The Reason for the Season

With all the activity, it’s easy to forget, Jesus is the real reason for the season. I keep myself grounded in The Word and my prayer and meditation.

What do you do to keep your focus on Jesus?

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Lessons Learned


Four and a half months in

I would like to tell some of the things I’ve learned over the course of the last few months. These are things I wish I had known about going in and have had to learn the hard way.

Expect Difficulties

In their latest book Love & War: Finding the Marriage You’ve Dreamed Of. John and Stasi Eldredge say how surprised they were at all the difficulties they faced in their marriage. We too were surprised that this is hard!

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A New Look

More Changes

Effie has asked that I try a different look to my hair. It really doesn’t matter to me so I’m trying a new “do.”

Patrick Portrait

I am getting compliments of “have you lost weight recently?” //WIN!

What do you think of it?

Cha, cha, cha, changes!

Three Months In

We have been married three months now. This had been a very stressful time of changes. We have had our work cut out for us adjusting to living with each other.

Selling the houses

We have always planned to sell our houses and buy “our” house together. Since Effie’s house was much more market-ready than mine we put her’s up for sale first. She had a contract on it in less than three weeks. We said it was a God thing for it to happen that fast.

My house is now getting the Effie-makeover. I figured that since she had her house so ready for sale, that I’ll follow her “suggestions” on how to make mine that was too. We started in the basement and have done lots of work there. We’ve brought in a 20 yard dumpster, filled it with junk, and had it emptied and are now working on our second dumpster. When we finish in the basement we will next move to the main floor.

New Family

We are both enjoying each others extended family. I’ve been fully embraced by Effie’s children and grandchildren. I’m enjoying getting to know them and they let me be the photographer at a lot of the functions. I got some great shots at her newest Grandson’s dedication. I was specifically requested by her Granddaughter to take pictures at her Junior Prom gathering. I got some great shots of Savannah and her pals.

Next month, we look forward to spending time with my daughter and Granddaughter when they come to the Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival.

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You


I’m filled with JOY!

This Thanksgiving season, I’m reminded not only how I am thankful but also how filled with JOY I am.

Having Effie in my life has been a blessing, yes. But the majority of my joy this year has been because my relationship with Jesus has deepened to an unbelievable level. I’m enjoying a new closeness that I didn’t know I could have with my Lord.

Don’t get me wrong – it was hard getting here. But it was God who has lead me down the paths He wanted me to follow. He pointed the way and I just “cleaned up & showed up.” There been some tough trails and He has been faithful and has been with me even when I couldn’t see His hand.

How I met Effie

I crawled up into God’s lap and He invited me into His heart. When I got in there I found Effie waiting for me.

The Last Three Years

My wife died of cancer three years ago yesterday (11/22). It was tough. But The Lord doesn’t lead us into anything that He isn’t prepared to walk with us through.

In the last three years, my walk with Him has grown incredibly rich. He has been my support, friend, and help. Doing the grief work and becoming single again at my AARP-eligible age has been an interesting journey. He has also used the time to bring me incredible healing to some very deep wounds.

The past two anniversaries were tough.

Today, I have been filled with JOY!

I’m am so GRATEFUL that I’ve been through this season. I have grown so much closer to Jesus and I really love that. I’ve had so much healing that has been precipitated from all the pain I’ve been through.

I’m so grateful that, it appears, Lord willing, that this season is about to end and a new season will take it’s place.

So, today, I’m grateful for all that has happened and the end result is that I KNOW God IS who he says He is and He IS doing what He says He will do.

Relationship Status Changed to “In A Relationship”


A New Phase

I’ve been in the “singles world” for year and a half now. [I don’t count the year I spent grieving my loss and working on my relationship with God.] I’ve met a lot of nice people both men and women. Some of whom I count as friends, also both men and women. God has brought many people into my life but none has had the impact as one special person.

Effie Roling
Effie has been special. I met her at a singles gathering called 222. I’ve been attending different 222 gatherings for over the last year. There are great people who go there. I met Effie there. We started dating. I liked her and she liked me. So it seemed natural to “go public” with our relationship and let the world know that we were exclusively dating each other.

What’s Next
We continue to see each other; we attend different events and services together. We plan on serving with her church’s community service project next month.

The rest is up to God. It will be interesting to see where He leads.

Doing Scary Things

Photo by Oddstock

These are a few of the scariest things
I’ve become more aware of how I procrastinate on doing things just because I’m afraid. Why? Usually I delay doing things because I don’t totally foresee the outcome. I’m afraid of making the wrong choice. I’m not sure which way is the “right” way to do it.

So I put off doing anything. I ignore that something needs to be decided or acted on. I’ll wait until another day.

The Antidote
I’ve found that I have to remind myself of the saying I’ve heard “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly.” Now, I know I can do almost anything poorly. So I give myself permission to do it poorly and I do it. I usually end up with a pretty good result. The other thing I remember is that “If I’m not happy with the decision I’ve made, next time I can make a different decision.”

How have you handled those things that you would rather not face?

The Forgotten Productivity Tool

The Telephone

How many times have I gotten into an e-mail flurry back and forth with one other person?

How many times have I also CCed people who “might” be interested?

My  wise boss (who is one of the unfortunate recipients of the “might be” CCs) has “encouraged” me to PICK UP THE PHONE and call the person rather than e-mail back and forth.

Since practicing this discipline, my productivity has gone up.

What is your favorite productivity tool and why?