I want my wife to know, that I love her more every day than the day before.

(This is a continuation of 2014: A PREVIEW)

For those who know me and my wife, you know one very obvious thing.  I married up.  Like climbing Mt Everest up.  I am a slightly overweight, lazy, college dropout; who has never held the same job for more than about 18 months.  Jenn on the other hand is a very attractive, driven, doctor.  It honestly doesn’t make any sense.  So I wake up every day reminded of how blessed I am to have her in my life.

I want to spend all of 2014 making sure she knows just how blessed I am, and how much I love her.  My plan of attack for this goal, is to be sure and tell her I love her at least once a day, no matter where I am, or what I am doing.  I want to spend more time doing things she wants to do.  I want to utilize the “Jenn List” more effectively.  (The Jenn List is a shared google doc that Jenn can edit with restaurants and activities she wants to do around Charleston so I can look inside her head a bit.)

I want to lose weight.

(This is a continuation of 2014: A PREVIEW)

4 years ago I married the love of my life, and my wedding day was the heaviest I have ever been.  If you have ever seen my wife, you know I married up.  Like climbing a mountain summit kind of up.  So my first thought when it comes to explaining this goal is simply to say i need to measure up, but honestly I don’t think thats it. When we first got married I joined a gym got a trainer, and lost a 50 pounds.  Only to gain it back the following year.  At several different points in my life I have lost weight only to gain it back like a yo-yo, and I think the reason for that is I never had the right reason.  It was always to look better, or just because I happen to be hiking up mountains for an entire summer.

Finally I think I have gotten to a point in my life when I just want to be healthy.

A month ago this post would have been just this simple.  But I was given an even bigger reason when we were approve to go ahead with our adoption.  I want to be around for a while.  I want to see my kids grow up.  I no longer just want to be healthy because I’m tired of being tired after walking up stairs.

So this time I’m gonna take my time.  I’m not just gonna kill myself exercising for a few months and drop the 50 pounds I need to lose.  I’m gonna look at what I eat, and learn what I should be eating.  I’m gonna create habits of exercise that can last when life gets crazy.

So my goal in a nutshell is to be more healthy.

I want to become a dad.

(This is a continuation of 2014: A PREVIEW)

I skipped the first couple of goals so I could announce some of the biggest news to hit the SC Brangers since 2009.

But first let’s talk about this goal.

I think this one is pretty straight forward, I want to become a dad.  Measurement is easy, kid exist = success.

The plan for attainment is a bit more complicated though.  At the end of 2012 Jenn and I decided we wanted to start a family.  It’s why we bought a house, and it’s why I got a job where I work a bazillion hours.  So we spent 2013 trying to make a kid, it didn’t happen.  So about a month ago we started the adoption process.  Let me be perfectly clear about something. We aren’t adopting because we couldn’t get pregnant. We stopped trying to get pregnant so we could adopt.

The adoption process can go a couple different ways.  You can pick an agency, and a country and then be matched.  Or you can look through waiting kids (normally these kids have mental or physical special needs) and go after that kid.

We were looking on Reeces Rainbow and found a few kids we wanted to get info about.  Once we got the info back we decided to pursue a kid named Phineas.  We talked to the agency that had his file and something awesome happened.  Phineas got adopted!  True we still didn’t have our kid, but Phineas got parents.  After what felt strangely like a loss from our family we paused on looking.  After a couple weeks had passed we were back to searching.  We looked at several different agencies and matching services and we started to notice one kid who always seemed to be in front of us, no matter where we looked.  So we found the agency that had his file and went full steam ahead.

Fast forwarding a few weeks through several mountains of paperwork I get to announce that we were pre-approved today by China to pursue our son.

The next year is gonna be insane, but at some point in the next several months we are gonna get on a plane a bring our son home.
We can’t share details publicly yet but when we can, we will.

2014: A preview

This next year is panning out as a big one for the South Carolina contingent of the Brangers family, and I’ll explain that a little more later. First I want to outline a few things that are normal to talk about this time of year. Resolutions. Though I prefer the idea of a goal more than a resolution. A resolution feels more strict and as soon as you drop the ball, your whole year is bunk. A goal is something you reach for, something that is measurable and attainable. So what are my goals for 2014?

I want to create more than I consume.
I want to lose weight.
I want my wife to know, that I love her more every day than the day before.
I want to become a Dad.

I am going to spend the next week writing more in-depth about each goal. Explaining what I mean, how I plan to measure, and the plan for attainment.

So what are you goals for 2014?

2013: A year in review.

This year I want to create more than I consume.  So as a step in the direction I am going to try to start blogging again.  I went back and looked at my old xanga and decided to import it here.  I always enjoyed writing posts that recapped where I had been over the past few months, so that is how I have decided to restart.

2013: A year in review.
This year I….

Bought a house, painted it, moved in.  Finished being a Cares Team, but I still care.  Got my dream job, and decided my dreams had changed.  Tried to have a baby, didn’t.  Worked a ton of events (concerts, conferences, vocal competition, high school conventions, charity auctions and balls, company parties, and a New Years Bash on a BIG BOAT!)  Played some music, wrote some code, took a ton of pictures.  Hugged and kissed my wife, played with my dogs, and watched far too much TV.  Went on a cruise with my ENTIRE family, it was awesome and made me wanna move back to KY (but its like 0 deg. in ky right now and 40 here…so nvm) Had a house full of women for a few weeks, and got to spend some time with my little sister.  58 hours of Love Gave.  Photographed and Video’d some weddings and enjoyed my home from a Kayak.

Here is a few reviews from the past:
Year in Review 2003
Spring Semester in Review 2004

The ship jumper

Well folks I’m jumping ships. The reason for this ship jump has nothing to do with pirates, but rather a change in life that my require a greater convenience in blogging. I started thinking the other day how I might best update the world while walking across the country and few options seemed feasible at all. The easiest being taking my cell phone (which will happen) and leaving it off most of the time except when I am near a plug and while I’m there calling a few choice people that need to know I’m alive. This however doesn’t allow those people who I may not think of during my 5 mins or so of phone time, not that you aren’t important, you just aren’t mom or Jenn. So I began scouring the web for an alternative and thus the birth of .:Promises for the Imperfect:. With this I will be able to update via email and I have created a mailing list anyone can join and be updated when I add a new post. So anywhere I can access an email account be it someones house or an internet cafe even if they have filtered internet that my not let me access to the “blogging sphere” I will be able to update. So this will most likely be the last update for xanga.

.:Promises for the Imperfect:.
Xang Off

And for all those with questions ChaCha

Promises for the Imperfect never happened, cause well…Facebook did.   Also, I only lasted 3 days on the road.

Mummified man found in front of TV

Mummy found in Front of TV

Ok, so this guy was found sitting dead in front of his TV 13 months after he died. First of all, why did noone notice this man was missing. The only scenario that makes since in my head is that he had no friends was collecting his retirement through direct deposit, and his bills were all paid with auto bill pay. Good Bless America. Home of the brave, Home of the free, Home of the I’ve been dead for a year but noone knows and my bills are still getting paid.

Sometimes you just need to hitchhike across America

I suppose its time for more than a sentence or link or video…

I am currently reading Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. He went and lived with Mother Terisa for a few months part of which time he lived in a leper colony and learned the importance of community. He brought back a passion for curing the poor problem by tackling the rich problem, and currently lives and works at The Simple Way. When asked what he does on an average day he responded with this …

“We hang out with kids and help them with homework in our living room, and jump in open fire hydrants on hot summer days. We share food with folks who need it, and eat the beans and rice our neighbor Ms. Sunshine makes for us. Folks drop in all days to say hi, have a place to cry, or get some water or a blanket. Sometimes we turn people a way, or play Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who will answer the door on tired days. We run a community store out of our house. We call it the gathering and neighbors can come in and fill a grocery bag with clothes for a dollar or find a couch, a bed, or refigerator. Sometimes people donate beautiful things for us to share with our neighbors; other donate their used toothbrushes.
We reclaim abandoned lots and make gardens amid the concrete wreckage around us. We plant flowers inside old TV screens and computer monitors on our roof. We see our friends waste away from drug addiction, and on a good day, someone is set free. We see police scare people, and on a good day, we find an officer who will play wiffle ball with his billy club. We reclaim abandoned houses. And we mourn the two people who dies in this property (where I am writing now). We try to make ugly things beautiful and to make murals. Instead of violence, we learn imagination and sharing. We share life with our neighbors and try to take care of each other. We hang out on streets. We get fined for distributing food. We go to jail for sleeping under the stars. We win in court. We have friends in prison and on death row. We stand in the way of state-sanctioned execution and of the prison industrial complex.
We have always called ourselves a tax-exempt 501c3 antiprofit organization. We wrestle free ourselves from macrocharity and distant acts of charity that serve to legitimize apathetic lifestyles of good rich intentions but rob us of the gift of community. We visit rich people and have them visit us. We preach, prophesy, and dream together about how to awaken the church from her violent slumber. Sometimes we speak to change the world; other times we speak to keep the world from changing us. We are about ending poverty, not simply managing it. We give people fish. We teach them to fish. We tear down the walls that have been built up around the fish pond. And we figure out who polluted it.
We fight terrorism-the terrorism within each of us, terrorism of corporate greed, of American consumerism and war. We are not pacifist hippies but passionate lovers who abhor passivity and violence. We spend our lives actively resisting everything that destroys life, whether that be terrorism of the war on terrorism. We try to make the world safe, knowing that the world will never be safe as long as millions live in poverty so the few can live as they wish. We believe in another way of life-the kingdom of God-which stands in opposition to the principalities, powers and rulers of this dark world (Eph 6:12)
So that’s an average day.”

As many of you know I have taken a brake from school because I still have know idea what I should be doing, and am tired of giving Morehead money. Seth Hail and myself are planning a trip starting toward the end of the summer this year to pack some bags and head west, and as I think on why I have a passion to do this slightly insane, completely stupid thing. I found this passage in Shane’s book to scream volumes about what I feel inside. I don’t want to be “successful.” I have no desire to make money and have a “nice life.” I seek to glorify God in every aspect of my life, even if that means throwing mine away. It basically drives me insane that I am still sitting on a couch in Morehead waiting for the moment to leave, but I know it is in God’s timing that he will be glorified. So as I sit I must find ways to glorify God right now, through daily seeking him and worshiping him, finding ways to feed the hungry and heal the sick however I can.

So when this trip thing started I joked about writing a book while I was gone and the more I think about the more I think I may as well try, So about a month ago I started jotting some stuff down (digitally of course sense my handwriting is illegible) and so far all I have is a list of motivations for going; here they are

I want to know/find out how other people are.
I want to be able to enjoy silence
To get away from technology
Remove temptation
Get by on nothing
Rely on God
See creation
Learn to trust people
Hear peoples stories
See God
I want to talk to someone for hours that I’ve never met before
I want to hop a train

So far my idea for the book is basically part autobiography, part peoples stories, and part what I see God doing along the way.

Obviously their are people who think this a stupid idea (including my self on occasion); but God calls the foolish to act foolishly. So I must continue to seek him continually and have faith that he will guide me where I need to be even if its in a train or the passenger seat of a semi somewhere in Oregon.

“Dave the horn guy listened to God. He left his great job. Moved his kids, his wife, his entire life to Colorado Springs. God said ‘Go,’ and he went. God needed the Horn Guy in Colorado. Understand this is what these scenarios look like. Dave’s story is common. When you listen to Christ and follow him, ‘it will be an adventure, filled with the outrageousness of a circus clown and the wisdom of an omniscient God.” – Craig Gross Starving Jesus

VOD: Matt 14 : 22 -33 ( Don’t fear the wind )
22Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat by this time was a long way[a] from the land,[b] beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
28And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind,[c] he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

The life and times of a guy that has no idea what he's doing….