Today I woke up in an odd mood, a reflective mood. Not sure what brought this on but I really took some time to think about not only everything but more importantly everyone that the Lord has put in my life. I often joke with my wife about how lucky she is to have me in her life but in reality I am the one that got lucky. I am lucky to have my brothers in my life, there was a spell where we didn’t always get along but as grown men do, we learned to set our differences aside in order not to miss out on whats really important. I truly don’t know what I would do without their support and encouragement to move forward. I am grateful for my employment, I had the opportunity to get in at the ground level with a growing company and am sure glad I took the chance. Last year I remember praying plenty of times begging God not to allow our boxing club to go through another winter in my two car garage and as always……he provided.

It truly baffles me how a kid who was certain to fail in life could have so much. From believing that I would either end up dead or in prison forever, to faithfully believing that God has a greater plan for me. We once had a Pastor from South Africa come visit our church who said, “You may think you had a hard life but in reality God just had one heck of a training plan for you!” I say all of that to say this; It’s never a loss or failure if what you have learned from the situation has made you a stronger and better person.

I haven’t spoken to my mother in probably over 10 years, the sad part of this situation is that we live so close yet we are so far. I never really knew what her issue with me was but I always felt as if she just simply hated me. There was never anything I could do right and instead of I love you’s and good jobs, I received a whole lot of I hate you’s and I wish you were dead. I know it sounds harsh and maybe even a bit over exaggerated but this was my reality. I was broken for many years, plenty of times I would wake up and ask myself, what is the f*@#%^& point? Why am I alive? I blamed her for a lot of the trouble I had gotten myself into, I blamed her for the fact that most of my teenage years I never had a stable home. I spent most of my time living out of friends homes and basements which is another thing I am truly grateful for. It took many years for me to forgive her in my heart but eventually I was able to make peace with it. This was definitely not something I was able to do on my own, but through Gods strength I was able to release that hate.

Now as I look back at that situation, I am truly grateful for how my mother was. It taught me how to survive when my back was against the wall. It taught me that just because someone is close to you it doesn’t always mean that they are good for you. It taught me the importance of letting my children know how much I love and appreciate them every single day. It taught me the value of relationship and always checking in with those that I love. It taught me how to be supportive of the dreams and desires of those around me and how sometimes their needs are going to be more important than my own. It taught me to sit back and count my blessings from time to time in order to keep me from forgetting how great God has been in my life. And last but not least, it has taught me how to appreciate my current trials and how to smile when things get hard. I’ve learned that in every battle, God has exposed a weakness in me that needs to be worked on….

If you haven’t already, take a moment and look at all the good that has come into your life. Hug those you love and trust that God has a plan for every single one of you. When it gets hard, lace up those boots and push through! because with any great training plan comes great results..

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