Sunday, December 21, 2014
My father and I never had the close relationship I wanted growing up. Part of it is that we have different personalities and part of it is that my father was figuring out who he was as I grew up. Do not get me wrong, I had a great childhood and a great father, I still do, but I was never as close to him as I wanted to be. I will accept some responsibility for it also, because I can see my personality in my daughter, a sort of loner at times content with being by myself. But as I grew, my father was (and still is) my hero. There was so much about him that I wanted to be like from the way he walked, talked, dressed, how he was funny and intelligent, I wanted to be him.
Now I am a father. I see what he went through from a different perspective. But what has not changed, is that now my son is my hero. I want to be like him. Fearless...really that is it. My son is fearless. I know some of that is my responsibility, but he was born that way, too. He does things at a young age that I would have not been able to do even as a teenager.
So what do I do with him as his father? I continue to teach him things like I am writing about in this book, and guide him into being a fearless, positive leader. With our faith in God and what is right and wrong, I need to make sure that I help him reach his purpose at a younger age than I did. I must teach him through words and actions what it is to be a loving, caring husband and father. I must teach him through words and actions that there is something greater than himself in this world and that is a great compass for him to keep him grounded as he grows, is tested, and fails which is inevitable.
Father of a boy? My goal is to help my boy grow and develop into a good man. My legacy in helping him is that though after I am dead and gone, my actions, love, and caring for him will be passed on to him, who will then pass it on to his children. It will be something that was passed onto me and will continue on for generations to come. Wow...what a responsibility? But I would not have it any other way.
Challenge: If you are a dad to a boy, hug him, kiss him, and tell him how wonderful he is. But do not hesitate to teach him discipline and to understand his responsibilities as a future man.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
I can remember when I was younger and some of the jobs that gave me a paycheck. They were not exactly fulfilling, yet I was able to go there, put in the hours, and they gave me money. But I remember being miserable. Part of it was because I was young and immature, but the main reason is that I had not found out my purpose yet. In fact, I had not thought about it much if at all.
I trimmed Christmas trees, worked at UPS, mowed grass at Covered Bridge Golf Club, built military tents at a factory, was a prep worker at Bob Evan's restaurant, and an assortment of other jobs that I did not like. I will never forget the time that John Bradley, then head basketball coach at Henryville H.S. in Indiana asked me at 23 if I wanted to coach his freshman basketball team. Why would he ask me? No way I would be ready to do that! He gave me 24 hours and after thinking about it, I accepted.
I was right, I was in no way ready to be a basketball coach, but I kinda, sorta found my purpose. It was to be a coach! Ok, so that's what I thought, but as I evolved as a coach to becoming a teacher, I started to figure it out. My purpose is to help others, especially teenagers in finding their purpose. As a coach and now as a social studies teacher, I am around these people daily and am able to help them with that purpose.
I try to give good advice, and good advice comes from experience, and experience comes from....bad decisions. I have always found it funny that teenagers, but kids in general, will listen to an adult they respect and they feel respects them more than their own parents who actually love them. This is a huge responsibility which can cause some problems at times, but I try to help not just the students, but also their parents. Because being a parent is a tough, tough, tough job.
But what is your purpose? This goes back to self-reflection. If you are miserable in what you do for a living, then you have not found your purpose yet. Your purpose is something that brings you satisfaction on a consistent basis.
Challenge: If what you do brings you very little satisfaction, then I challenge you to continue looking for your purpose while you do what you are doing now. Once you figure out what your purpose is, I challenge you to figure out a way to work your purpose into your current career, or better yet, turn your purpose into your career.
Friday, December 19, 2014
My daughter is a Daddy's girl, or it is more like I am wrapped around her little finger. Of the two children, I see her personality more in line with mine. She did not get a lot of my bad issues, but, I guess that is perspective. She is a perfectionist, a competitor, and really tries, sometimes to be a great person. She does so much to help other children, but we cannot seem to get her to keep her room clean, or have her brush her teeth without reminding her every day, but I guess that is part of being young.
It is funny that before I had a daughter, I tried not to participate in anything degrading towards women, but, unfortunately if we are honest, you do. From jokes, to comments, to...well I do not have to be that honest, but it was not always nice. But then you have a daughter and the way you see other women is through the eyes of their fathers. The jokes or comments that you might think funny, are not so funny anymore.
This is a scary world raising a daughter. Young boys will be exposed to pornography more than any past generation and they will develop much of how they treat women from watching that stuff. They will not be able to help themselves especially if they do not reflect or deny themselves that which is so readily available.
The scripture that I hang onto is Proverbs 22:6 "train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." I hope that the way I treat my wife and the way that I raise our daughter will be true as Proverbs 22:6 states. I will be intentional in how I raise her by loving my wife, hugging and kissing my daughter and telling her how special she is often.
No matter what age she is and what she is going through, I will still see her as the baby girl that I held in my arms the first time, and I was scared to death. I will still see her as the little girl who skinned her knee and I carried upstairs to make it all better, I will still see her as the little girl moaning in pain from a severe ear ache as I hold an ice pack on her, and I will still see her as the little girl who gives me the biggest, best hugs ever.
I will never give up in helping my daughter to be a woman of worth and if it takes monitoring her social media or reading the notes in her room, I will do it. I will love her, guide her and pick her up when she falls. I pray for her often in that she will find a good man who will love her half as much as I love her. If that happens, she will be just fine.
Challenge: If you have a daughter this is not just a one day thing, it has to be a habit. Be intentional in loving her and giving her self-worth. Give her space, but be the safety net, and when necessary, out of love, keep evil away from her.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Life is not about your happiness. The sooner you realize that, the happier you will be. Wait, that does not make sense. That is because life is hard, it can be a cruel, cruel world and you will not be happy all of the time. However, you can be joyful if you choose.
Life is not about your happiness, but it is about finding joy in as many moments as possible. Most joyful moments are so small that we often overlook them, thus missing out. Find joy in a song that reminds you of your childhood, find joy in a funny comment made by someone, find joy in breathing and being alive, find joy in the successes and failures of your life and of your children. They are learning and they will learn more by watching your reaction to situations than anything you could tell them.
Life can be hard, life can be unhappy, but there is much to enjoy. The choice is up to you to be joyful or to let the world beat you down. Choose joy as often as possible.
Challenge: Choose joy today in something...anything, the options can be limitless.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Ephesians 5:25 - Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.
What does it take to be a good spouse, more specifically here a good husband? I grew up in a home that was not religious, but I watched one thing every day that benefited me, a father who loved my mother, his wife. Many times I would watch him grab her as she walked through the house and kiss her, I watched him give of himself for her happiness and that example was good.
But growing up without any other guidance, I started to see women as an ends to a mean, as an object of my desire. I was baptized after I met my wife, but I still was not a good man or husband for a few years as I grew in my faith. As I grew, I started to truly understand Ephesians 5:25.
God so loved the world that he sent his son to die on the cross, and Jesus so loved the church that he willingly went to the cross. Jesus loved the church so much that he gave himself up for it. That is what we are all called to be as husbands, to give of ourselves, our lives if necessary, for the love of our brides.
As I grow in my faith, I have become a better man, but also a better husband. Everything about our relationship improved because of my deepening faith in God. That improvement is important for a couple of reasons. One, I am a better husband for my beautiful wife who is the daughter of my father-in-law which I get now that my daughter grows up. The second reason is that I need to be the example that my daughter will use when it is time as she grows up and some man tries to win her heart.
Challenge: Today, grab your wife, hug her, kiss her and tell her that you love her and that she is special. This is a challenge not just for today, but make it a habit. I promise it will improve your marriage and if you have children, it will be a legacy that lives on.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
While writing this, it is the Christmas season and each year during that time I like to watch my favorite movie of all time, It's a Wonderful Life starring James Stewart as George Bailey. George is a dreamer and wanna be adventurer who through different life events is "stuck" in his hometown taking care of the family owned Building and Loan. George cannot get out of Bedford Falls, and he battles bouts of anger/depression because of it.
At the end of the movie, a large amount of money is misplaced and it looks like George will go to prison and at that moment, he realizes he is worth more dead than alive. The moment he is about to drown himself, an angel drops into the river and George saves him instead of ending his own life. The twist is that during this encounter with the angel, George wishes he'd never been born and the angel makes it so. George then sees Bedford Falls from the point of view that he'd never been born and so many things changed just because George Bailey never existed. It's a great movie and one that I recommend in putting your life in perspective.
What a great gift it would be to see the world as if you had never been born. What I think we would see is how great an influence that we all have and how different the world would be without us. No matter how famous or lack of fame you may have, you are making a difference each day. Some of that difference may be negative, but there are so many positives you are doing without trying, just imagine if you were proactive in doing good.
Challenge: Take some time today and imagine if you had never been born. Your spouse would not have met you, your children would not exist, many of the people who have thanked you for helping them whether on purpose or not, would not have had that help and what happens to them? Your heart is beating in your chest, that means you have a purpose, that purpose is used all of the time, sometimes without your knowledge. No matter how down you can get, you are a hero to someone, I promise.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Reflection. If you are not happy where you are in life, it has nothing to do with anyone else other than you. Yes, that does not sound fair or politically correct, but you are not a victim. Of course, we have all had bad things happen to us, some have had terrible, unthinkable, atrocious actions happen to them, but you still choose to be a victim of that circumstance or not.
Some things can be overcome easier, some, well, you need much, much help from caring and loving people. But you can overcome it. If you are not happy with where you are or the result of your life so far, take a step back and reflect on your actions. Your actions. Not your dad's or mom's or ex husband or ex wife, or your brother or sister, or crazy Uncle Larry (I didn't have one, that's a random name).
Now that you reflect on your life and your actions, take a look at the results of those actions and now comes the hard part; be honest with yourself. Be honest with yourself. This is the part where you play the victim card because if you truly reflect and are truly honest, you will not like the things you see or realize.
So if you are not happy with the results of your life thus far, (sometimes it can not be so dramatic, it may be just the actions of the last few months) reflect on what you have done and what you can change, and what you can do to not be a victim of any experience you may have gone through.
Challenge: Take 5-10 minutes today to think about your life, maybe the last few weeks, months, or your entire life and see where you play the victim. Now once you have found where you have played the victim, think about why you did so. Then once you figure that out, come to grips that only one person control your behavior and whether you are victimized or not and that person is you.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
I have played and coached sports for much of my life. I have a competitive nature, I am the kinda person who will compete at anything from basketball to checkers to trying to do anything that someone has told me cannot be done.
When I played sports as a younger person, I was told often that sports prepared you for life. I can remember when I lost a game or won, that I had no idea what they were speaking about. Nothing in life could be as bad as losing a game that we should not or being blown out in a game. Nothing could feel that bad. So what I had to do was pull myself up and get ready for school and face the day after a loss. To me, it was the worst thing in the world.
When I started to coach, it was similar. Nothing was worse than losing. Then I got divorced and dealt with that, the anxiety and depression after the tornado in 2012 and dealing with that, my children were born and I realized that there were more important things in life rather than winning and losing a game. However, in dealing with with those earlier hard times (losing and thinking that my world had come to an end) they were precursors in how to deal with life's hard times.
Peyton Manning said once that "it's going to be a struggle, so don't be surprised when it is" when speaking of an NFL football game. Life is the same way. There will be struggles, so do not be surprised and rely on the lessons you have learned in the past. With me, it was sports, for others it might have been real life issues dealing with their parents or lack there of or other issues that you've made it through.
Just know that no matter what you are going through today, no matter how bad, this too will pass. When dealing with my anxiety/depression a few years back, I thought this was my new life, my new normal. I had someone tell me that "you know, this isn't forever, it will get better". And when those words were spoken, it helped lift some of the weight off of me because I did not think that way.
This too will pass and it is important to understand that and to compete. Compete through your issues as if you were playing a sport, you will win. It may take time and it may be messy, but you will win especially if you rely on that which gives true hope...Jesus.
Challenge: 1 Corinthians 9:24 "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." If you are down, compete, it will get better. Just remember to compete the correct way.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Ok, you have tried some of the things I have written about. You have gotten up and gotten moving, you have started reading about inspirational people, and yet, you still cannot find the desire to move. I get it, suffering from anxiety or worse yet, depression, can remove that flicker of light from your life. Both are normal parts of life, however, if you notice yourself staying in bed too long or a general feeling of "blah", do something about it.
I believe that you cannot control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it. I used to think that through pure mental toughness, you could over come anything negative. Then when I was 43 an EF 4 tornado passed over the high school I was teaching at and had a real near death experience. It was not like falling out of bed fear, but an actual "this is it" type moment as the school was completely destroyed. At first, I was fine, I felt I was invincible, then came the severe anxiety and then depression which I still suffer from time to time.
I felt helpless and out of control, I was not able to control my reaction to what happened to me and then through that perceived weakness, I sought help. I went to my medical doctor for medication and to counseling to get some of this off my mind. It helped, a lot. I was able to move on through much work and prayer. It was one day at counseling that I was not weak because I could not control how I reacted to this event, in fact, I was controlling it by accepting that I needed help.
Philippians 4:8 from the (NIV) "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." In the times of the worst anxiety, I would sing a song lyric: "lead me to the cross, where I first found love"(I don't even know if that is the correct verbiage). I would keep my mind on the most true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable thing I could think of...Jesus.
Challenge: Do something daily that brings a smile to your face. Listen to music, watch kids be excited, or watch a funny movie. Do something that helps you remember that living is a good and fun thing.
Friday, December 12, 2014
Mental toughness is everything! I truly believe that. I believe that most of our issues and how we deal with them come straight from the mind. I have written about motivation, getting up and get going, inspiration, self-motivation, but it all comes down to you moving.
Mental toughness is doing what you are supposed to do when it is not easy or convenient. Think about it, most of the time when we are lazy, or we put something off, it is because we just do not want to, it makes us uncomfortable. And we really, really do not like to be uncomfortable in this country.
I listened on the radio a few years ago, the Dennis Prager Show, I believe where someone called in with great guilt and shame. They were the caretaker of their parent who had Alzheimer's and it was depressing this caller so much they could not stand to go and help their parent. It was bothering them so much watching their parent go through this unfortunate process that they wished they would die. It would be better for both of them, the caller said. His guilt was that he felt this way and was ashamed for thinking this way about his parent and he felt like a bad person. Prager responded that it showed how good of a person that he was that despite his feelings, he still continued to care for his ailing parent. It took mental toughness to continue doing what he was doing despite his feelings.
Mental toughness or lack thereof shows itself in many ways and we are all mentally weak in some ways, we are soft, living in a plush world (USA). It can be seen in athletic events, getting up when the alarm goes off in the morning, never being late to work, going to work when sick, and attending to an ailing parent when it is the last thing you want to do.
Be mentally tough and remember Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." This verse is all about mental toughness, rely on God.
Challenge: Do something today or in the next few days that makes you uncomfortable. Better yet, reflect on those things that you do already that show you are mentally tough, but continue to stretch and improve.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
|(Card from Florida prison mission trip)|
The only motivation that is lasting is self-motivation. If you are waiting for someone else to motivate you to get up and get moving, you may just wait a long time. Many people in this world enjoy that there are the unmotivated, they are thriving off of it. Of course, there will be some people out there who are willing to give of themselves to help motivate others, but do not wait for them. Take care of yourself.
Find someone who has inspired you. Inspiration lasts longer and will get you moving and maybe even inspire someone else. There are many stories, find and read books for crying out loud, of individuals that will inspire you. I love the stories of the Bible and of Jesus himself, it is my faith in Jesus that has inspired me especially when I encounter how cold and evil the world can be.
When you read stories that some have it worse than you and are doing much more than you, it should inspire you to do more. Once you are inspired, you will not wait around for someone to motivate you, you will be self-motivated. By being self-motivated, you take control or power of your circumstances and take control of whether you succeed or not.
Challenge: Find and read a good book about an inspirational figure and read Psalm 23 often: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside quiet water, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name's sake. Even thought I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Trust in the with all your heartin all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.
Yesterday, I wrote about how when you want to change, you have to get up and do it, but there are so many times that we do not feel like it. There are many things I want to share about this ideal and will do so throughout the next year, but it is amazing to me how as I start to drift spiritually, if I just pick up the Bible and read fromm it, I suddenly slow or even stop that drift.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says to trust in the Lord, lean not on your own understanding and he will make your paths straight. It is so true. I know you may be struggling right now with your spiritual growth, and maybe you are not, but if you put yourself in God's word to begin the day, it will get you headed in the right direction.
Put the Bible next to your bed, download an app on your iPad, or phone and make the first thing you read in the morning something from God's word. I cannot guarantee that you will want to jump out of bed and be ready to attack the day, but it will give you a good foundation for the day and maybe, just maybe, you will be ready to attack the day.
Challenge: Surround yourself with God's word, read it, live it, and even more so when you enter a spiritual valley and believe me, they are inevitable.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
I have been writing in my blog for a few years now at coachperryhunter.blogspot.com and have often wondered if I should put it into book form. I have kept writing, and finally after seeing my friend Neil Coffman do something similar, I have decided to try and write something each day for one year.
One of the reasons that I have put it off is that I am lazy, just like many of us, I put things off. I talk about writing a book, I talk about organizing my closet, I talk about doing this or that, I, like many others, talk a lot about what I need or want to do. I try to be a disciplined, structured person on my days and may even have a reputation as being so, but my wife and children can tell you differently. There are many days where I want to stay in bed, there are many days where I want to do the minimum possible, there are many days where I want to talk about an issue or cry out that someone should do something about what I see going on around me, but I stay in my comfort zone.
But you have to get up and get moving. When Moses was leading the Hebrews out of captivity from Egypt, they cried out to God and in Exodus 14:15, God spoke to Moses and said as translated in the New International Version "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on." or as in the New Living Translation: Then the LORD said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!"
Indeed, get moving! We all need a swift kick in the behind from time to time, but the best person to do it for us is us. The best motivation is self-motivation, so get up and get going, do not just talk about what needs to be done, what you need or want to do, get moving today.
Challenge: Do something today that you have put off far too long. It can be as simple as replacing light bulbs in the living room or making a phone call to a family member you have wanted to reconcile with, do not put it off another day. Reflect on how it feels to do this deed and continue on.
Monday, December 8, 2014
My friend Neil Coffman has written a book with 365 days of pep talks which you can see and buy HERE, and it has inspired me to do something similar.
It will be close to what I do here on my blog anyway, but in a more organized way. There will be my thoughts that I have about what it means to live, compete, and endure each day through my relationship with Jesus Christ.
Sometimes I will reference scripture, and sometimes I will just give a tip or idea that has guided me through my 45 years. I am doing those for a couple of reasons, mostly to get my thoughts/beliefs written down, but more importantly, I want a book or something that I can give to my children to have after I am gone.
Hope you enjoy it if anyone comes around to read.