36 reasons why turning 36 is awesome.

Today is the final day of being 35 for me. This has been a crazy crazy year. I’ve released a CD, quit the band that I released the CD with, moved out of my parents house after having lived with them for 6 years, celebrated 5 years of being married and my wife and I decided that we were going to become foster parents.

It’s been a crazy good year, though not without it’s challenges.

I had a major generalized anxiety disorder episode right after we moved, I’ve had a chronic issue with my shoulder I also had some unexplained dizziness that made life pretty difficult,

Through all the triumphs and challenges though remains a feeling of blessing. I’m blessed, I am blessed beyond measure. To illustrate this, on the eve of my 36th birthday I figured I’s steal an idea I’ve seen other bloggers do and write down 36 reasons why turning 36 is awesome. I hope you are taking notes because there will be a test later.

First the big 5

1. God, It’s not quite correct to say that God is first on my list. It’s not a linear thing it’s more about orbit. God is the whole reason I am here and the only reason that I can put anything else on this list. Without him, without his love, his sacrifice on the cross, his discipleship I would not here much less be blessed. He owes me nothing and I owe him everything¬† and yet he truly has given me abundance

2. My wife: Corrie. My other half, my team mate, my best friend, my partner in crime, the cream to my coffee, the harmony to my melody, My teacher, student and study partner. I’m head over heels in love and lucky to have her by my side all of the time. It is an interesting challenge to be two autistic people in a marriage but it’s one made all the sweeter just because Corrie is who she is.

3 My family: My folks who have always been there, my in-laws who love me as if I was their own, My grandma, my aunts, uncles and cousins. My nieces and nephews. Some are here in town some are far away but whenever I get time with any of them it’s always as if no time has passed since the last time I saw him. I realize that not everyone is lucky enough to have a family like mine and trust me it’s not something I take for granted.

4. My church: I’ve been going to The Village so long and we are small enough that they all feel like family now. We hang out more than just on Sundays, we find reasons to be together whenever we can. We laugh together, cry together, encourage (which literally means give courage to) each other and in all ways we live in community as God’s kids and family. I cannot imagine another group of misfits I’d rather travel life with.

5. My friends: Whether you’ve known me for 20 years or 2 months, whether we’ve met in real life or simply had online conversations, if you consider me a friend thank you. My friends have always been a source of strength for me, a light in the darkness that life can sometimes be and I will always be in debt to you. My phone is always on and my door is always open if you need anything at all and you know that.

Now lets have some fun. The rest of these are in no particular order.

6. coffee: this is self explanatory. GIve me a cup of hot coffee in the morning and life all just falls into place from there.

7. Netflix streaming: Seriously why did it take so long to come up with this technology, where have you been all my life. Did we ever binge watch TV shows before this?

8. Theology: From Bunyon to Bell, From Confessions to Calvins Commentaries I love to study the word. I love to dig into the text and find the stories within the stories.

9. Pizza: Again pretty self explanatory. The world’s perfect food. Give me a pepperoni pizza and I’ll be happy as a kid on Christmas.

10 Walking. It was a few years ago I took up walking seriously and now it is still my favorite way to exercise. Forget the treadmill give me the sky, the sun, the earth and I am good. Speaking of which…

11: Sabino Canyon: One of my favorite places to hike. If you have never been come to Tucson and check it out.

12: Turner Classic Movies. I don’t know what it is about an old movie but something about it makes you feel good inside and we are lucky to have a cable channel like TCM that has so many in it’s library.

13: Eegee’s. This is a Tucson staple, again if you have never been come to town and try it at least once. You will be as hooked as I am.

14: My wife’s cooking: Corrie is a foodie and the best part of that is that I get to sample all of her idea’s. My personal favorite is her baked ziti which she makes from scratch.

15. Karaoke: There is always going to be a part of me that loves singing on a stage, any stage.

16. playing the drums at church: This happened as a fluke but I am glad it did. One of the purest ways in which I worship God is through rhythm. It’s not my way of showing off it is just a way of telling Jesus thank you.

17. The Denver Broncos: Come on, it was only a matter of time that I brought them up right?

18: Tucson sunsets: No where else on earth are the sunsets are pretty as they are here.

19. Pillow talk: Those conversations you have with your spouse right before you drift off to sleep. Those are special.

20: Good beer: Lagers are my favorite but I also will go for a stout or a porter.

21. Massage: I suppose the one plus side to the aches and pains of aging is it’s a good excuse to treat yourself to a much needed massage. I wish everyone could afford to have one of these every month, they really do wonders.

22: Texas country: If you want to hear good country music that is also new it’s not in Nashville it’s in Texas. Here are some names to get you started, Stoney Larue, Aaron Watson, Jason Abbott Band, The Rankin Twins, Kasey Musgraves.

23. Settlers of Catan: Greatest board game ever

24. Settlers of Catan Cities and Knights edition. Greatest board game ever on steroids.

25. This song which is the greatest song ever.

26. Old school soul from the 60’s and 70’s: Nuff said.

27. Finally getting to the point in life where In don’t feel as if I have as much to prove, I can just relax and be me and live. It’s not a race or a contest, that’s pretty awesome when you can learn that.

28. Having a Dunkin Donuts near the house(see #1. Coffee)

29. Nico’s red chilli burrito: It’s hard to pinpoint why this is so good it just is.

30. My buddy Max: I dunno if guys like him and me are really supposed to be friends but we are. When we get together usually something hilarious ensues.

31: Pastor Eric: Paul to my Timothy, I will follow you as you follow Christ.

32. My counselor Jen: Jen is not only a good friend but she has served as my Christian Counselor. She has been a very important signpost pointing me back ot Jesus in areas where I was trying to fix things myself. She is a blessing not only to me but to many others.

33. Facebook. This goes along with my comments on friends but also beyond that. Facebook has helped me in so many ways to connect to other people. Connection can be hard for someone with autism but Facebook has made it easier.

34. My job and my boss: Perhaps I don’t have the most exciting job, I am not saving the world whenever I connect someone to admissions but it’s a job to do, one I’ve held for approaching 4 years and my boss Bren has been a great support to me as not only a friend but as an employee with disabilities.

35. Pima college: It took me a long time to decide to go back to school but since making that choice Pima has made learning and earning a degree a pretty fun adventure.

and finally

36. The future. I don’t know if the future is carved in stone or if we’re making it up as we go along but the process of discovery is fantastic either way. Whatever happens, good or bad, life is a sweet experience. I am into the 2nd act the plot is unfolding and character is being developed. This is the best part about life and I am blessed to be living it.

Thank you Jesus.