What if it Was Your Child?

Having children certainly changes your life.  More specifically, it changes the way you live your life.  At least it should.  When I got married I was already in a pursuit to let God change me.  I knew there were areas, and there still continues to be areas, that I God wanted me to change and ways He wanted me to grow.  I became more conscious of time, a little more organized, tried to manage my finances a bit vetter too.  And although getting married changed me greatly, it wasn’t until I had children that I really noticed the changes.

My mother in-law said to me recently that she is impressed with how much I have changed.  She  noticed that I see something that needs to be done, and instead of waiting till it really needs to be done, I get a move on and get ‘er done.  I appreciated to compliment, and appreciated the fact that she was watching even more. 

“So…what of it?  What’s the point here Al?  How does this have anything to do with Every Monday Matters?”

Glad you asked…

As I said, having children can really change you.  So, this week’s challenge, which is actually the challenge from 2 weeks ago, was to sign up to have AMBER alerts sent to you.  I chose to have them sent as a text to my cell phone.  I figure, it’s on all day every day as it is, so it’s probably the most reliable way to get an alert to me.  This challenge really struck home. 

“What if it was your child?”  Whoa!  What if it were my child?  It’s scary to even think about, but it is a reality. 

Since my mother in-law advised me that I was a “man of action”, I couldn’t be lax or forget about this challenge.  I signed up and will get text each time there is an AMBER alert in my area.  I have to tell you, I was really burdened by this challenge though.  I can’t seem to get it out of my head.  It’s not like a constant fear or anxiety that my children will be abducted.  It reminded me of how important it is to teach your chiildren these lessons, and also some of the things my parents did in preparing me and brother and sister for dealing with strangers.

I grew up in the era of Adam Walsh and McGruff the Crime Dog.  I remember learning about Adam, and how scary that was.  I also remember my mom getting me a set of books that taught a bunch of lessons on how to deal with strangers, and going over them with me to make sure I understood everything.  I remember one really cool thing that we implimented…the “code word.” 

Did you have one?  Well, it was a word or phrase that only me and my mom and dad would know, unless they gave it to somone.  The rule was that I would never leave with someone, stranger or not, that didn’t have this code word.  It was kind of cool.  Like I was some sort of kid spy, and knew that people were on my team if they had the code.

I think mine was the name of our first dog, “Pepper.”   It’s amazing the things you remember from so long ago, but it was a valuable lesson.  I remember my mom saying something like, “Even if your aunt comes to your school to pick you up.  Unless your dad or I tell you ahead of time, or she has the code word, you do not go with her.  No matter what!  Even if she says I was in a bad accident or something like that, you never go.”

Erica and I talked about this for a while last night, and decided that 3 1/2 years old is not too young to start these lessons.  Wyatt, our oldest, is a really out going boy, which could be dangerous.  I mean, I’m pretty confident that he wouldn’t just get in a strangers car, but hey you never know. 

So, she and I are formulating our plan, and we’ll probably enlist McGRuff to help us.   But I want my children prepared for the dangers in life.  I want them to know that there is so much beauty in life, but there is also danger.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

If you haven’t signed up for AMBER alerts…McGruff says to do it!  Besides, what if it was your child?

How are you making Monday’s matter?

Livin’ Out Loud,


Tune Out To Tune In


Another week ended, and another began.  I looked to yesterday (Monday) with a new anticipation.  I didn’t look ahead in the book, so I didn’t know what this weeks challenge would be.  I opened the book yesterday whie I was on my lunch break and began reading the short article for Monday #2.

Immediately I was grabbed by the picture of a sledge hammer bashing in a T.V. Screen and the phrase “turn off tv, turn on life.”  Short & sweet, and man is that simple.  Which is great for my mind, because I need something that gets to the point quickly, but says it with power.  The article ended with some facts and a challenge.

It is incredible to think that 70% of people say that no matter how had they try, they never have enough time to do everything they need to do.  It is even more incredible to me that I would claim that, and I am part of the tribe of 70% ers that claim that.  The article points out that if I turned off the T.V. for one day per week, I would have enough time to exercise for the recommended weekly amount necessary for healthy living, read over 20 books a year, or spend more time with my loved ones.

Man…that’s pretty stinking incredible.  By giving up one day of loafing on the couch, probably watching crap or re-run crap, I can get so much more done.  Amazing, absolutely amazing.

So, what have I learned – other than the fact that I waste a lot of time on the couch in front of a glowing box??

2 things.

1.  Reality should not be found on TV. 

It should be found in real life.  The characters should be real people, with real struggles and real emotion.

2.  I need to get involved.  (Tune out to tune in)

I need to be sure that my life is full when I have those real people I mentioned above actually tuned in and hanging out in my life, and me in their’s. 

It is so much more fun, and not to mention fulfilling, to live in the real world, with real people.  I can be involved in the drama if I want.  I can be a part of the solution – or the cause- if I choose to.  I can actually get in on the good times and build relationships with people, which will last much longer than the half hour to an hour that my shows will give me.

So, what have I decided to do with my knew found knowledge?  I decided to take one full day off of watching the “tube.”  I will no longer spend time watching TV, which includes video games, on Fridays.  This is not an easy thing for me, but it will do so much in getting me on track and focused on more important things!

Every Monday Matters… “Stop watching reruns of FRIENDS and go make some”

Livin’ Out Loud, but not Alone,


What Matters Most?

Monday I wrote about a new book I’m reading.  “Every Monday Matters” is a challenge to take one of the most dreaded and down right awful days of the week and turn it into a day that matters.  Mondays would become a day to look forward to.   A day filled with excitement, and one that you are enthusiastic about starting eaching week.  Why?

Because you would be taking each Monday to attempt to make your life and that of the people around you different. 

This week I was challenged to list what is most important to me.  I have several things that I have determined are most important, but I’ll focus on the most important thing this post.  I broke down this “most” into a couple different parts.

Relationships: I believe relationships are one of the greatest gifts that God has given us.  It is certainly one of the innate desires that He has created us with.  Each one of us longs for other people to be on our side, another person or people to relate to and that relate to us.  Without relationships, life is lonely and would certainly be boring.  God understood this from the beginning of creation, and directly address is when He said, “It’s not good for man to be alone.”

God’s purpose was for mankind to have a relationship with Him and in turn with one another.  This is why I have chosen relationships to be the most important thing to me.

1. God – I want this to be the most important realtionship I have.  I want all other relationships to directly flow out of my relationship with God.  If I have intimacy with Him, the hope is that intimacy will flow into my other relationships.  It can be tough to keep this as the most important thing, but I will keep on trying and striving to make it numero uno.

2. Erica (My Wife) – She is the 2nd most important relationship I have.  There are many times that this realtionship is in competition with, and some times even takes priority over my relationship with God.  She is my partner for life, the one that knows me better than anyone else will or can, and she is the person that I have committed my heart, mind and body to.  We serve God together.  We raise our children and build our family together…Wow!  I could go on forever.

3. My Children – Wyatt, Liam and coming soon (12/04/08) Charlotte.  I want to have a great relationship with my children.  Not as their friend, althought I want them to feel as comfortable with me as they do their friends.  I want there to be a respect in our relationship, but more so I want there to be love.  I want them to experience the love of their father.  And I want that love they experience through our relationship to mirror the same love that the Heavenly Father has for them.  Again I want my relationship with God to flow into all others, and all my others to flow out of my relationship with God.

What’s most important to you?

Livin’ Out Loud,


Every Monday Matters


For those of you who have followed me, you’ll notice I’ve been absent from writing for quite some time now.  I’ll cover that at another time, since I have something so incredible to write about.  I think it will be life changing. Not just for my life, but those around me, and also those around those people, etc.

So, today I begin a journey to make every Monday count.  I began reading a book, which is entitled “Every Monday Matters.”  You should check it out here.

Most people dread Mondays, especially Monday mornings.  I’m right there with ya man!!  I hate getting up out of bed…Well that’s something I hate everyday, not just Mondays.

Each Monday I will have an activity that I am working on.  Sometimes it will require me to enlist help, sometimes it will require me to sacrifice.  Alls I know is, this is going to be one incredible journey.  Today’s activity is to compile a list of what matters most to me.  I’ll be working on it tonight, and I’ll share some of it tomorrow.

I am so excited to do this, and just as excited to share it with all of you.

Finally Livin’ Out Loud Again,