and here we are!

it’s me – MNJ.  if you were expecting the lovely MH, well, she’s on vacay with the kids & i’m stuck here with out a car (i just dropped it at the shop).  i’ll be meeting up with them in a week or so.  we were in UT last weekend and ran the wasatch back – ragnar relay.  O H  M Y  H E C K  it was incredible.  our team – the roaming gnomes – included two of our bestest BF’s and the rest of the bunch we didn’t know till race day when they crammed us into mini vans to head out on the trail.  what made the race amazing was mostly this group of strangers that instantly engulfed us into their realm & loved us without hesitation!  it has altered me.  there were so many moments where real – true love was shown without reserve.  i dream of what the life in heaven will feel like.  i think that i was shown a glimpse.  i want all the world to see it and feel it and know it and understand it and live it – and i don’t want this feeling in my heart to ever fade!  if we could forget judgment, and i’m not even talking about the big judgments.  we need more “assume positive intent” for the actions of other people.  we need less judgment of self because the judgment of others is often an effort to lift ourselves in some way.  a talk i heard recently commented that the final judgment will probably be a breeze compared to what we put each other through here on earth.  i tend to love quickly and deeply.  this trait hasn’t always served me well.  there are people who have come & gone through out my life that still hold deep places in my heart.  like hand prints (thank you wicked) that don’t ever fade.  the idea that this journey of life is to become something has been rolling around in my head the past few weeks a lot.  what do i want to become?  how do i want to live?  i know most of you have figured out the answers to these questions to some degree but here at 41 i’m just waking up to these possibilities.  i think mid-life crisis could be at play here.  i’m not running out to buy a fast car or trade wife #1 in for a newer model.  i just want to NOT be the person i have been.  the person i have been has not lived with integrity.  the person i have been has cared more of what others thought of him than actually CARING for others.  one of our gnomes left for a distant land to care others the day after the race.  i’m ready to sell off our junk & head out with MH & kido’s, to see where we could lend a hand.  but really, there are opportunities right here, all around.  my issue is that my junk tends to get in the way.  if i could leave it all behind i’d be able to see clearly. . .

just some ramblings – wanted to say hey.  MNJ

10 thoughts on “and here we are!

  1. My dear friend –

    I think you sell yourself short at times. You really are an incredible person that I have the privilege and honor to call my friend. I go back to the first time you and I met for lunch. You welcomed me with open arms. It was clear at that point what a loving and caring individual you truly are. You offered me a friendship when I certainly wasn’t expecting one. As I got to know you and the family, I learned just how devoted you were to them. Your kids, and the fabulous Madame Hawtness, all love you unconditionally! We all do!

    Now, for the ground-shaking revelation…we are all human. We all make mistakes at some point. Even God knows we will do so. No one is perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I have done things in my life I am not necessarily proud of. In fact, they make me hang my head in shame and beat myself up, much in the same way you are doing to yourself. However, I have confessed it all to God, and I have made a commitment to do better and try not to make the same mistakes again.

    While I will continue to beat and scold myself at times, I have to realize if I continue to beat myself down I will only destroy any chance of receiving the gifts and happiness laid out for me. Now, let’s be honest for a second. I am my harshest critic. I am constantly reminding myself of my faults, mistakes, sins, etc. I have become very adept at it! What I have worked on in the past few years is to no longer let others’ criticisms of me have an impact on my life. That is a huge step for me considering, in the past, I have always been more concerned with the perception of others’ on me than my own perceptions.

    Consequently, because I cared about others’ perceptions for so long, I never learned how to use the word “NO.” I was involved in so many committees and organizations that I literally put my own health aside. It has only been in the past few months that I have found the value of NO and made a conscious effort to take care of my health. What I learned is that if I don’t take care of myself then there is no way I can help care for others…which is what I strive to do at all times.

    I definitely understand your desire to sell it all and go do good in the world. Just after college I applied and interviewed with the Peace Corps. I wanted to go to some third-world nation and teach. I was ready to give it all up for that sole purpose. Part of me regrets not having the courage to complete the interview process and join the Corps. However, I know now that I was not ready for such a responsibility. What I did discover in time was that I could make a difference and help countless others right here at home. I realize now that I did not have to travel half-way across the world to be of use and help to others.

    (I think I may be rambling at this point and may have gotten off track. Let me try to summarize what I wanted to say to you.)

    (1) You are a good man. You have unconditional love for your wife, kids, and friends!

    (2) Yes, we all have done things we are not proud of in this life. Forgiveness is a gift given to us because it is certain that we will make mistakes and sin in this life.

    (3) You have got to care for yourself before you can be most useful and caring for others.

    (4) Please know that you are loved by so many people in this world. It is a love that is being returned for the love and friendship you have shown us.

    (5) You are never alone. We (your friends and family) will always be here to lend an ear, a shoulder, a hug, moral support, etc. You must allow us to help pick you up when you cannot do it for yourself.

    Perhaps I should have just listed talking points 1-5, but you know I have never been a man short on words…I think that comes with being an educator. We can talk for days!

    Take care of yourself, and know we are here for you.
    Love ya, guy!

  2. Hey there MNJ! I know you’ve commented on my blog before but for some reason I just discovered your blog! Ha! Shows how slow I am. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts. It’s amazing sometimes how beautiful life can be because of the people we know and get to interact with.

  3. Just stumbled on this after weeks of searching for something I could finally relate to. It was literaly like the cybersky opened up and the light could be seen again (forgive the Velveeta please). This is all new to me, 18 days to be exact. I knew it was a life altering thing, what with the 12 year marriage, 3 kids, and now the “big revelation,” but you two give me hope that maybe it could possibly be just a new beginning. Gonna join the blogosphere and let some of it go. Now that there is hope. Thank you. I really do mean that.

    • Jody- So glad you found us! We don’t post so much anymore, but although this part of our journey isn’t quite as riveting it is equally important. Feel free to email with questions or vents. The blogosphere can be a dark and dangerous place, so proceed with caution. Hang in there- Mandi

      Sent from Peach’s iPod

      • I have a lot to learn. Like finding an email address on a blog. I’ve never done ANY of this before 🙂

  4. mnj, I read this post a while back, but for some reason it didn’t register with me what you were saying at the end, and what you said really resonated with me. I definitely have not lived with integrity, and it seems no matter how hard I try, I can’t quite make it. I’m finding it tremendously difficult to let go completely and trust completely in my wife. I do things I’m not proud of, then she finds out and tonight I wonder if I can salvage anything. Sometimes I think I see our path clearly, then other times it is all obscured.

    I’m glad you guys post occasionally. Even though your experiences are uniquely yours, it does show what can be done through love and patience. Thanks.

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