Sharing my adventures, thoughts and occassional jokes. Sorting through laundry, and a little bit of life…This is How I Train My Dragons…


You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their hands.

Sometimes you can tell what they do for a living, what they spend time doing, or even what mistakes they might have made along the way.

I remember when Emaleigh was in kindergarten and she learned how to do the monkey bars, she had blisters all over the palms of her hands. It was almost like a kindergarten rite of passage to get these blisters. As she got older and quit doing the monkey bars as often, her blisters went away.

When I was younger, my Dad had this special orange soap (literally it smelled like oranges) that was supposed to be tough on grease. Every night before dinner, he would wash his hands with that soap and no matter how hard he scrubbed, his hands still looked dirty. You see, my dad was (is) one of the hardest working people that I know. He worked sun up to well over sun down on and around the farm. Years of dirt, grease, oil, joy, and pain filled under each fingernail and within every crease of his rough, cracked, hands…making it almost impossible for them to be fully clean.

I’ll never forget when I saw my Dad for the first time about 4 years ago. I didn’t notice the green uniform that made him instantly identifiable as an inmate, nor did I notice standard issue boots that every other male in the gray chairs were wearing. As crazy as it sounds, it wasn’t completely shocking to me to see my dad as a prison inmate (bear with me).

What caught me most off guard was looking down at my Dad’s hands. They were no longer the hands I remember so fondly during my childhood. The rugged hands that grease the tractors, the hands callused from shoveling for hours, or the stained hands that would clench the spoon over his late night bowl of cereal; these were not the same hands. The hands that I was looking at were stark white and there was nothing that said, “now there’s a hard worker”. These hands that reached across the table for mine were soft and unrecognizable.

Yesterday, we were able to go see my Dad again. Again, I saw his hands. No matter how many times I am faced with the hands, I will never get used to them. No matter how many times we make the trip to see him, it will never get any easier when it’s time to leave.

As we were driving home I couldn’t quit thinking about his hands. Then I realized, no matter how many times we try to wash our hands they will always be dirty. We try and try on our own to wash them clean. Sometimes, we get them as clean as we are able to and call it good not even realizing that we are doing it all wrong.  But, it’s not until we give Jesus our hands for Him to clean,  that all of the junk is washed off of them. We can’t do it by ourselves.

Nothing can take away the hard work that my Dad did with his hands…the lines of a great life and hard work are still there. I do miss seeing his old, rough hands but I am thankful to be able to reach across and grab his hands that are clean.

As hard as it is to admit and as hard as it is to see him there, my Dad is where he needs to be. I say this because it is the place where he was at his lowest but it was also the place where Jesus was able to get, and keep, his attention.

It is in that very place, in that cell,  where Jesus washed his hands (and continually washes them) with him.






How Sweet It is…To Love and Be Loved


No, I’m not talking about those pieces of paper in your safe deposit box (do people even use those anymore?)…I’m talking about relationships.

Relationships come in all different shapes and sizes.  There are those special bonds you had when you were a child.  Relationships that you lost and then those that will remain with you for a lifetime.  These bonds that I am speaking of aren’t even with other people…I’m talking about those lifelong bonds you have with your pet.

When Emaleigh turned one year old, Ray decided to get her a puppy. I was not happy.  I was not happy because I knew that the dog wasn’t really for her.  I was not happy because I knew that I would probably be the one picking up the dog poop.  I was not happy because the puppy he got was a boxer, so I’m sure you can imagine how big the dog poop would be.  I was not happy because we lived in a basement apartment and I couldn’t imagine what having a boxer would be like in our tiny living space. I was not happy because Ray did it without me knowing about it.  I was just not happy.  Ask Ray.  I think I gave him the silent treatment for at least a week. At least.

Shortly after he shared the news of our new family member, he took me to go meet him.  Ok.  I’ll admit.   He was cuuuuuute.  But, I wasn’t about to let Ray in on my soft spot for this dog.  Then, the dog made this noise that sounded just like Chewbacca from Star Wars…and that was it.  His name was Chewy.chewypuppy

Poor Chewy.  I was so determined to not give in and love him (openly) until about a year and a half later.  That’s when I noticed his unconditional love for our family.

The first time I noticed it was shortly after Elijah was born.  We were expecting some visitors, so I laid Elijah down on the floor and as soon as our friends walked in, Chewy walked over and stood directly over Elijah.  My first thought was, “You big dummy, why are you standing over my newborn baby!” But as I watched him closer, and then Ray explained…he was protecting him.

Time moved on and Chewy got bigger (about 94 pounds bigger). Yes, Chewy is a BIG boy.  I think his great grandfather may have been a horse…the jury is still out on that one.  Anyway, almost 3 years ago our family grew again and Eydan was born.  I watched Chewy be the same protector over him as he was over our entire family at this point.


But with Eydan, something is different.  Not only do I see the love that Chewy has for him, but the love that Eydan shows for Chewy is incredible.

Unconditional love.

Not a day goes by that I don’t witness Eydan walk by Chewy and give him a great, big hug. Every.  Single.  Time.  I’m not talking a one armed, limp hug.  I mean the type of hug where Chewy has to feel the love…atleast when he gets his breath back.  Don’t get me wrong…Eydan can also get upset with Chewy and bonk him on the head, or scream at him for eating his toast off the table…but it never fails, he walks by him and always gives that dog a hug.

chewyhugsAnd Chewy has the patience of a monument. Eydan can use him as a chair (sometimes a bouncy one), he has had his eyes poked, his legs pulled, balls thrown at his head, his tail nub yoinked, and his ears used as Eydan’s personal kleenex…yet, he still loves Eydan and our entire family all the same. We are his family.  All Chewy has ever known…is us.








Chewy has been the most faithful pet I have ever owned.  He is the pet that no other pet will ever compare to.

Yes, his farts are something fierce (seriously, they can clear a room), but his love for us is even fiercer. Even as I sit here typing this, he is in the other room audibly passing the most disgusting things ever…but it’s a smell that I will someday miss…ok, yeah, definitely won’t miss that.

But, all joking aside, can you imagine what the world would be like if we loved like our pets loved us? Or if we loved the way that Eydan loves his Chewy? If every time we passed someone, we hugged, or even just smiled at them? If we just put away all of the anger and the eye for an eye mentality and just…loved? Maybe we could actually learn a little something from our pets.

I can imagine it…and it’s beautiful.  It looks a little something like this…



Dust Yourself Off…

So, I’m going to be real. I should have known when I didn’t have time to shower before class, it was going to be an “off” day. I can honestly say that this is the first time this semester that I haven’t showered before class…probably just like the rest of my fellow (and much younger) college students today. And, to make it worse, I went to boot camp this morning. I know, gross right? But, I had to get cakes frosted before my 8 o’clock class and there just wasn’t time.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering why in the world I’m sharing my lack of hygiene with you today. I’m just keeping it real…this is me. Today has been stressful and a I’ve had a bit of a knock to the gut. It’s amazing how it can go from one day being so perfect to the next just getting all of the air taken out of your sails.

You see, I’m an English major, therefore taking 2 English classes in that department.  There are only 4 weeks left in the semester and I feel so behind on my reading. I’m also a business minor (add 2 more classes) which I’m struggling to keep a B- in one of those classes right now. Today, we had an exam that I barely passed. I felt so defeated. Wondering, why am I even doing this? Just feeling completely overwhelmed with life and everything I have going on. So you see, just one of those days where I feel blah on the outside and it’s reflecting how I am feeling on the inside. It was one of those days where as soon as I saw Ray, I cried. You know those kinds of days right? I hope I’m not the only one.

Well I got home and as I was walking inside I glanced to the front of the house, where a bunch of little daffodils were peeking out of the dirt. I thought about how much crappy weather we have been having lately and yet, they still managed to make it. They have survived wind, rain, freezing temperatures, and snow…and they are still standing tall as and shining the most beautiful yellow I’ve ever seen. They persevered, pushed through the soil, and grew.

I want to be like the daffodils in my front yard. I don’t want a bad day to decide what is going to break me down.  It’s times like this that I have to decide what I will allow to break me and what I will allow to make me. The work that God is doing inside of me is so much bigger than a bad day (without a shower) and an almost failed test. I’m going to push through, pass all of my classes, and move on to next semester knowing that I can do this. I’m going to dust myself off…and try again. Today doesn’t define me. Tomorrow is a new day. The daffodils didn’t let the wind push them over, or the snow wilt their leaves. They grew into beautiful flowers. And, just like them, I’m not going to let these circumstances get in the way of the growing that God is doing in me…neither should you.

Just like the daffodils…push through the soil…feeling the sunlight on your face (the light at the end of the tunnel) will be worth the fight.

But first, I should shower.









that church for people who don't really like church

My Lord and My Blog: A blog by Arron Chambers

My Thoughts on Life, Leadership, & My Lord is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

Rocky Parenting

Parenting between a rock and a hard place. Join us.

Happy Chaos

Tales of a happy, chaotic little family

Children's Book Reviews

the prodragonist

this is my story. maybe you can relate.

100 Days of Summer

Exploring Fort Collins family style.

Ripples In The Water

Navigating life when the vision is not clear

Just another crazy family...

Colorado Springs Volkmann Family - all mixed up as usual

(B)logging the Miles

"Runs end; Running doesn't."


Sharing my adventures, thoughts and occassional jokes. Sorting through laundry, and a little bit of life...This is How I Train My Dragons...

Union Pacific Caboose # 25251

A story of the rescue and restoration of an old caboose