Friday, September 24, 2010

A Solemn Day

A week and a half ago I was able to make the trip to San Antonio to for my grandfather's 90th birthday party. I think I briefly wrote about this in a previous post. He recently suffered a second heart attack and came out of surgery the day before he was to celebrate with the entourage of family members that came in for the occasion. Well to make the story short, his body deteriorated rather quickly since that Sunday and this morning at 1 am James Lowell Mason went to be with the Lord. I wasn't sure how this would make me feel but the entire day had a somber undertone to it. Death itself is such an interesting. It is hard to think my dad and my family will not see him alive again. I find myself living as though this life will go on into perpetuity but in reality it is fleeting. Today a life was lost to an ailing body but a newness of life began. I'm so thankful for the brief time I was able to spend with him and my family roughly two weeks ago. I'm also thankful that he knew the Lord and i will see him again one day. Death has been conquered.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's was interesting, today at church we heard a message regarding Paul's letter to the Philippians. Paul spent much time in prison and starts this letter talking about how his time in prison and everything that has happened to him had served to further his message and for it to be heard. This was interesting because Paul was essentially seeing a glimpse of the Lord's perspective which is exactly what I was writing in one of my most recent posts. In no way am I comparing myself to this amazing apostle with a similar name but rather challenged by his eternal view. For those who have been reading, thanks for listening as I have been learning and thinking about this a lot lately. Here is a great quote that I heard this morning as well:

"God plants his saints in the most useless places. We say, 'I should be here because I am so useful.' Jesus never estimated his life by the standard of greatest use. God puts his people where they will glorify him, and we are not capable of judging where that is."
-Oswald Chambers

Friday, September 17, 2010

My girls are almost home from a week in Houston. Only an hour more. Yeh!

My day today looked something like this. I said goodnight to my beautiful wife last night which was actually this morning and hence was a wonderful start to the day. Upon waking up I slowly prepared myself for school by making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while eating a bowl of cereal. Too much information I'm sure. I proceeded to go to campus where I had my 9am seminar class. My seminar class involves a dozen PhD students discussing multiple finance papers and dissecting each model and analysis therein. This morning's topic happened to be debt structure and the relationship to credit ratings. Fun stuff I know.

After class I ventured over to my office which is a term i use rather loosely. It is a large room full of 20 cubicles, yes I'm back in a cube farm, which is where I can do most of my studying. It is nice because it is quiet and I have a computer to study with and post on my blog. As I began to study this afternoon one of my classmates and I started chatting. We spent the next hour or possibly longer learning about each others stories, cultures, food, and family. This was not the first time I had the opportunity to learn of my classmates countries and their cultures.

Since I've started my program I keep asking myself if I'm qualified to do this work. If I have the capacity to succeed in academia. I often ask myself what I should do when I fail. All valid questions but as I remember the path that the Lord took me down to get to this point I remember there is purpose for where I am yesterday, today, and going forward. I write this because as I sat listening to my classmate share of his traditions, his country's cuisine and culture I began to realize that the Lord has a different perspective than I. Although obvious in principal much different in action. From when I can remember I have had a love for food. Since college I have loved adventure. Since marrying and moving to Colorado I have loved traveling. My perspective of these things is incorporated in my longing to see the world and traveling to various places.

I was brought to UT Dallas to work on a doctorate degree but I'm beginning to see a glimpse of how the Lord's perspective is different than mine and still incorporates the things he has given me a passion for. I feel I was traveling and living an adventure by listening to my classmate share about a world I've never experienced. These relationship excite me and I thank the Lord for this as I look ahead to more adventure in the cube farm at UT Dallas.

Random thoughts so I apologize for poor sentence structure, grammatical errors, and unorganized writing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Coffee Anyone?

So I have been in this bad habit of drinking coffee around 9 or 10 o'clock to give me a little boost of energy so i can study for a couple hours before I head for bed. Well tonight I found myself distracted from studying and now it is almost 1 am and you guessed it, I'm still up so i decided to write a bit.

Last weekend was a packed weekend. It was a bitter sweet time because my girls were out of town but my buddy Michael and I raced in the Dallas City Chase. It is basically a grown-up scavenger hunt. Each team of two has to decipher clues that tell them where the checkpoints are. Each team has to complete 10 of 20 possible checkpoints before returning to the finish line. You can use public transportation or your feet to get around. We chose to use our feet primarily. We ended up running roughly 8 miles across downtown Dallas. From jumping in pools to racing through an obstacle course we made it through the 10 checkpoints and back to the finish line. It felt like we were in our own little Amazing Race pushing hard to avoid elimination. I realize that I love competition and the adventure. At the same time I realize one I'm getting old!

On Sunday, my dad, Sam, his girlfriend and I drove down to San Antonio for my grandpa's 90th birthday party. Early last week he had a second heart attack so we were forced to have his party at the hospital but that didn't deter from the celebration of his 90 years. It was such a sweet time of hearing stories and memories from people that have been impacted by this man's life. It has been almost 5 years since I had last seen him and it felt like I had missed out on so much even though this is not reality. I realized a couple things as I sat listening to the stories being told. One thing was the importance of having my kids know their grandparents and family in a deep way. I'm grateful for being back in Texas for this very purpose to have help and encouragement from our family. The second is also in response to a recent book I read by Donald Miller. It speaks about living a better story and how sometimes this entails risk, fear, and pain. I listened to the stories of my grandfather and they were such good stories. Some of risk, some of fear, some of pain, and some of good times shared over ice cream. All these separate moments in aggregate have made up his story. A good story. We are writing our story now. There is fear involved, risk, love, character development and growth, and pain. I feel we as a family have been called to a good story and thankful we can rest with the author to unravel the chapters to come.

Some fun pics:

Elyse and her new bike

Like I mentioned earlier. It has been great getting to be around family. Elyse loved going over to Aunt Shelby's and hanging with her cousin Cohen. He is such a cool kid

A picture from our trip to St. Lucia. Amazing island.

Elyse loved putting on daddy's t-shirt. I love this little lady!

Elyse loves to color. I'm amazed because she holds the colors like she has been writing for years.

Time for bed. Thanks for reading the rambling.