Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny: How I Chose To Love My Bride

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Our first date didn’t end with the kiss. It ended with April rescuing me!  After saying goodbye I jumped into my car and started to drive off only to have my gas run out two feet outside my parking spot.  It was past 10 pm and all the gas stations near the theater were closed.  My cell phone had only five percent of its battery left so April picking up on the first call was a miracle.  Without a moment of hesitation she turned around, picked me up, and drove me home so I could grab up a gas can.  Patiently she took me back to my car, helped make sure it would start, and finally followed me home, making sure I was safe.

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Looking back I am shocked it took my heart so long to open up. But, can you blame me, I had been show-goggled (a term here meaning the attraction lessens or increases based on the types of tv shows you watch like when a girl broke up with me because I didn’t like the show Friends), so I was being extra cautious. But April is kind and gracious and is definitely not petty.  Never has she held it against me that I ran my car out of gas on our first day nor that I have different opines on television or that I know that Harry Potter does not belong with Ron’s main squeeze Hermione Granger.

If you haven’t read any Harry Potter, all you need to know is that JK Rowling was able to create a world with super lovable and relatable characters.

As long as I can remember, I have always connected with the side kicks or the best friends in stories and TV shows; even though I would rather be the hero. I see parts of Harry Potter in myself, but when forced to choose a character I completely relate with, it would have to be the best friend, Ron.

Ron Weasley holds a special place in my heart because he too is the sidekick and is constantly given the hand-me-downs.

Maybe that is why my first major fight with April was over fictional charactersI was so adamant that Ron land Hermione as she is no hand-me-down.

I am firmly on team Harry and Ginny as well as team Ron and Hermione. April wants Harry Potter and Hermione Granger to end up together because she sees them as the two leads and thus believes they are destined to be together.

She told me that she thought Ron and Hermione argued to much and that if Hermione wasn’t to be with Harry she should at least be with Malfoy, a horrible bully. At hearing this, I was furious.

We are still arguing over this, but along the way, I realized, much like Ron does in the sixth and seventh books, that it is not important to always be right, but it is better to love and be loved. And my love is best when it is given away freely in sacrifice of my own pride.

This argument over the love lives of two fiction characters will not end us.

April was patient and courageous in her own way. She read all of my favorite books and even went hiking with me! She didn’t even run in fear when we heard a mountain lion as we hiked through the Colorado Hogback. Yet her real act of courage came in July after months of dating when she said, “I love you!”

I freaked out. I was convinced that I didn’t deserve something so wonderful, yet I couldn’t bench her (a term that means place the person you are dating to the side so you can check out other options), neither could I friend-zone her.

God kept telling me to be patient but something wasn’t right. I wasn’t being the leader I God had called me to be, nor was I communicating my feelings. Our relationship was more like Ron and Hermione’s than Harry and Ginny’s, meaning it was full of tension. I broke up with her believing tension meant I should move on, but that if she truly was Hermione and I was Ron, then our friendship would last, but it would be nothing more.

I broke up with her after a night out at the movies and through our breakup I learned that I loved April not because she was the same as me, but because she stood up for herself and was confident in her own beautiful unique self.

The night of our break up, as soon as I started communicating my feelings April listened and communicated her own desires. She told me that she did not want to only be my friend and reaffirmed that she loved me. When she told me this, I realized that she was my best friend and that I wanted to work through the rough patches with her.

I realized that when you really love someone, you work through the tension. After four days of crying, I asked her to meet me for coffee and said, “You’re my best friend and I love you.”

April is a die hard Harry Potter fan, but not like I am. She has her own opinions and that is what makes her so lovable. I am learning to love someone who is unlike me. April is not someone I am just with because she is like me and makes me feel better about myself, but she has become the someone I am with because she makes me a better person. She does this because she teaches me to love someone other than myself and unlike me.

In that moment when I told April I loved her too, April showed me true grace.

We’ve been at each others’ sides ever since! But this time with a purpose. Marriage!

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How I Met My Bride or Choosing Joy

View More: http://ketphotography.pass.us/brendan-and-april-engagementsWhat would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?

Online dating is a world of wonder. New terms have come from this world such as ghosted, bread crumbed, benched, haunted, and show goggled. And yes, all of these have happened to me. But if they hadn’t, I would never have met April.

It is amazing that I found someone so wonderful, considering she could have acted out any of those negative dating terms listed above. During my own dating journey I decided no matter what I would choose joy and be open to all that God has for me. So even though I was frustrated with being single and feeling at times like I was not worth noticing, I decided to trust that God had someone for me.

April popped into my life unexpectedly in February of 2016. I was a mess. In September of 2015 I nearly died of pneumonia and just six months later I was still reeling. So when she sent me a simple message I didn’t know what I was doing. But I did know I wanted to choose joy and trust God. So I messaged her back and little did I know how much that little decision would change my life. Van Gogh said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.

Her sweet little message asking about my trip to Harry Potter World started a great thing. April is the most genuine woman I know and that beautiful characteristic bled through her first message. I didn’t want to bread crumb her (a term here meaning string her along with tidbits of information about myself, but no real desire of actual an actual date) so when she asked me for my phone number I gave it to her without hesitation. Then with the kind of courage reserved for the most genuine or crazy man ever, I asked her out after just a week of messaging back and forth.

February is a crazy time to go on a first date. My birthday is February 17th and I was hesitant to ask April out because I didn’t want to make her think I just wanted her to give me a birthday gift. But then I knew if I waited until after my birthday she might decide to ghost on me.

February is also crazy because it is host to Valentine’s Day. When I decided to be courageous and stop worrying about going on a date super close to my birthday, it was the 14th of February. I sent April a simple text asking her if she wanted to meet and go see a movie. I explained that I knew it was Valentine’s Day, but that I thought it would be fun and we could make it super casual. She replied back shortly after with a yes!

That evening, after watching The Walking Dead I told my parents I was going to meet a friend for a movie which was code for I am going on a date and I don’t want to tell you that I am doing so. We met at the AMC near my house which turns out is quite a drive for her.

The movie was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and I should have known then that she wasn’t just after my brains, but she was after my heart as well.

I am so glad that I chose to find joy in all things and did not shy away from a date on Valentine’s Day. But the most courageous act I committed was hugging her after the movie. The hug lasted a little longer than we expected and so did the kiss.

Peyton versus Eli!

Camping at Stewart LakeFootball season has tarted, school is back in high gear, and I am blogging again!

First, I would like to apologize for abandoning my readers.  I’ve been quite busy for the last couple of months.  I finished all of my masters classes and I’ve now started student teaching at Columbine High School here in Denver.  It is great to be back in the classroom.  I really feel like I am learning lots.

During my time teaching in Guatemala I tried to keep a blog every other week.  Now that I am teaching again, I am going to try to keep that same commitment.  I loved sharing all of my new experiences with my readers while I was in Guatemala and so I hope you all will enjoy reading about my time in the classroom here in Denver.

On my first day of teaching in Guatemala, one of my students, who was part Guatemalan (her dad is from Guatemala and her mom is from Indiana) told me that I looked like Peyton Manning.  At the time I didn’t know that she’d grown up in Indiana, so this comment really caught me off guard.

People have been telling me I look like Peyton Manning since I was in the 7th grade, around the time Peyton was a senior at Tennessee.  Once Eli became a star in the NFL, people started to claim I looked like him instead.

People started to argue.  Families were split, I know how the manning family feels when the two play each other (Which is happening on September 15th, Go Broncos!!), all over this single question: no, not which Manning is the better QB, but who do I look more like, Peyton or Eli?.

And so I thought that my students here in Denver would jump right into this argument.  Who do I look like more, Eli or Peyton?

I didn’t bring it up, not wanting to distract my class, but I was sure that one of the football crazy students would say something.  I mean Peyton is the quarter back of our home town team.  But it took two weeks for any kids to bring anything up.

Midway through last week a girl in my freshmen class raised her hand and said, “Mr. Scott, has anyone every told you that you look like Peyton Manning?”  I think she was hoping she would’ve been the first to have this thought.  Like any good teacher, I shattered her dreams.  “Yes,” I replied seriously, “we’re related.”

Sadly, I am not related to the Manning, and no I didn’t actually tell her that I was related to him, but I wish I could’ve.  I wish I actually was, because then I might not be only five feet eight inches tall.  Oh well!  I’ll just live to accept being a stunt double for either Peyton or Eli.  I’m just sad that they didn’t ask me to be in their F.O.Y.P. commercial.

So who do you all think I look like?  Peyton or Eli?

Peyton, Eli, and Brendan

Start of Summer!

 

 

The Trail

I’ve taken an unexpected break from blogging.  I feel like I ran out of ideas, but I have also been out working on my masters.  That has taken a lot of my time.  The time I haven’t spent at school, I’ve spent at the gym.  152 days in a row as of today.

I’ve also been training for a bike ride up Waterton Canyon. I’ve been logging the miles like crazy.  Today I got in twenty miles and 2,600 feet of elevation gain.   We’re going back to Pine this July.  I am really excited, and I have been training a lot harder than last year.

I had planned on writing a blog about Mother’s Day, but school got in the way.

I planned on writing a blog commemorating my ten year high school graduation anniversary, which happens to be today, but a twenty mile bike ride took priority instead.

I guess the problem with my blogging, is I started taking it too seriously.  I was addicted to the stats. super concerned about how many people were reading my blog, but nearly two months off has helped me relax.  I just need to get words on the page and if people read them, awesome!

I’ll keep writing as long as I can keep riding.  Expect more blogging, I want to write a book review of Unbroken (finished it on Memorial Day), but for now, enjoy a couple of pictures from the ride I took today.

The Mountain

The First 101 Days Of The Year

Finishing The Race

I can’t believe that it’s already April.  Last year for the first 100 days of the year my mom and I did burppies every day.  It was a great challenge, one I decided not to repeat.  I decided to take on a different challenge this year.  Go to the gym every day for at least the first 100 days.

Well, I made it through the first 103 days of the year without missing, and technically I’ve gone 104 days in a row as I went to the gym on New Years Eve.

Going to the gym came easy, its what happened when I wasn’t at the gym that has been a different type of challenge.

The first 30 days flew by.  Other than making it to the gym on January first, when I felt too tired to do anything, it wasn’t  difficult to make it to the gym every.

Even though I thought making it a week straight would be the real challenge, as 6 days in a row was my previous top, but I set my mind to it  and January turned into February.   But as you may have read, my year came crashing to a halt on day 45.  If you do the math. you’ll know this was Valentine’s Day, the day my Pathfinder died.

But this didn’t stop me from going to the gym.  Still in shock from the accident, I made my way to the gym late on the night of the 14th.

Two days later, when I was preparing my house for my birthday party, I nearly ran out of time to go to the gym, but while the pork was marinading and the rice was cooking, I dashed off to the gym and did a quick 100 sit ups (my goal was to go to the gym every day, not have an extreme workout every day, and every little bit counts).

After those hiccups, it didn’t seem like anything could stop me.

Well, not a huge blizzard that canceled worship at The Neighborhood Church on March 3rd, day number 62 of the year.

Then the gym closed.  But did that stop me?  No, I didn’t let 24 hour fitness’s decision to remodel their Kipling location hinder my workouts.  From the 8th of March to the 13th I drove to the other 24’s in my area.  I thought about taking that time off, but since I’d made it when my car was wrecked and when I had hardly any time, I couldn’t let the inconvenience of having to drive 15 minutes stop me.

Heck when I lived in Guatemala I used to walk 45 minutes to get to the gym.  I guess that’s how I managed to make it all the way to 100 days in a row without missing a workout.

On the way to 100 Days I bought a car to replace my wrecked Pathfinder.  My car insurance really helped me recover from that wreck.  And then just as I passed 100 straight days at the gym, on day 101, my new car died on me.  It’s not fixable either.  That Thursday night, frustrated about my car problems, I found myself at the gym.  I didn’t want to be anywhere else.

Well, maybe in Guatemala where I didn’t need a car.  But I couldn’t go to the gym everyday there, as my gym in Xela was always closed on Saturdays.   But something I could do in Guatemala, and I’ve continued to do every day here in Colorado is read my Bible and trust in God.  This is something I’ve tried to do every day for the last 8 years.

And that part of my day, the time in prayer and the Bible, is what really helped me make it through the first 101 days of the year.

Spending time with God every day made going to the gym easy.  If my eyes are focused on him, my true prize, running, biking, and lifting will come easy.  The hard part is trusting God when everything seems out of control.  Like when my car died.

But here is what I read out of the Jesus Calling that night after going to the gym to burn off my frustration over the loss of another car, “This is the day that I have made.  Rejoice and be glad in it.  Begin the day with open hands of faith, ready to receive all that I am pouring into this brief portion of your life.  Be careful not to complain about anything, even the weather (or cars in my circumstance), since I am the Author of your circumstances.  The best way to handle unwanted situations is to thank Me for them.  This act of faith frees you from resentment and frees Me to work My ways into the situation, so that good emerges from it.  

To find Joy in this day, you must live within its boundaries.  I knew what I was doing when I divided time into twenty-four hour segments.  I understand human frailty, and I know that you can bear the weight of only one day at a time.  Do not worry about tomorrow or get stuck in the past.  There is abundant Life in My Presence today.

Going to the gym helps me feel good.  I like how I feel right now after setting aside time to be active each day, but spending time with God, reading his word, and praying to him, gives me true hope for a future filled with Joy, because he is in control.

He will redeem this day and he just might do it while I’m at the gym.

March Madness: How To Be A Winner

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I know all of my faithful readers have been wondering why I haven’t been posting?  Don’t you know that March Madness has taken over my life?

The games have started.  My bracket has been filled out.  And by the end of today my predictions will have amounted to a pile of slop.  I have Indiana winning it all in one of my brackets and my very own University of Colorado winning it in another. Both will probably be wrong.

But the tournament isn’t what has really been keeping me busy.

My March has been a little maddening, no not because of all the Harlem Shake videos out there, but because of school.  On March first I thought I had my positioning set for student teaching, only to have it fall through.

I have been in and out of so manny classes this month for school, I’ve gone a little mad.  From watching kids read Dr Seuss to teaching vocabulary and writing lessons, I’ve been busy!

By the second week in March I was scrambling to find a new car.  I bought a Nissan Sentra.  It has a squeak in it that is driving me mad, but I think it will turn out better than my basketball brackets.

And through all of this madness, (are you going mad because of my over use of the word mad?) I’ve started each morning doing the same thing.

For Lent I decided to spend each morning reading a devotional.  I’ve quoted the Jesus Calling devotional a couple of times, and I really think it’s helped me stay sane.  Yesterday I read this,” Thank Me for the glorious gift of My Spirit.  This is like priming the pump of a well.  As you bring Me the sacrifice of thanksgiving, regardless of your feelings, My Spirit is able to work more freely within you.  This produces more thankfulness and more freedom, until you are overflowing with gratitude.  I shower blessings on you daily, but sometimes you don’t perceive them.  When your mind is stuck on a negative focus, you see neither Me nor My gifts.  In faith, thank Me for whatever is preoccupying your mind.  This will clear the blockage so that you can find Me.

Through all of these maddening events in my life this March, God has assured me that he loves me and is in control.  I know I have a lot going on in my life right now, but I wouldn’t stop reading my bible and doing this daily devotional just to have some more time to relax.  I need to have this in my life so I can rest in God’s hands.  He is reminding me daily that he is in control.

Yeah, March is a maddening month, but we can be thankful for that, because when all seems mad, we can remember that God is in control.  So take time each day to look for God’s blessings, and know that God has his hand on us.  He is in control and will set our adventures down a path leading to him.  So take the time to thank God for all He has given you, because if you do so, your life will be a grand adventure and you will become a winner.  Maybe not with your bracket, but in life, and that’s what counts.

What To Do When It Snows

Out My Back Yard

I woke up to the sound of my phone, church had been canceled.  My parents are flying back from Tulsa today, and if their flight get’s canceled it will be due to an act of God.  So, can you say God canceled Church?

It's Cold Out!

After I made a couple phone calls to let the rest of the people at The Neighborhood Church know it was okay to stay at home and worship at home, I decided to figure out what to do with my snowy day.

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I decided to attend Lifechurch.tv online and read a devotional, the same devotional I quoted when I wrote about my worst Valentine’s ever.  Here is what Sarah Young has for us today,

“Be still in the Light of My Presence, while I communicate Love to you.  There is no force in the universe as powerful as My Love.  You are constantly aware of limitations: your own and others’.  But there is no limit to My love; it fills all space, time and eternity.”

Snow Art

God’s love seems to be as big as the snow storm that is howling outside.  His love, according to Craig Groeschel, is also big enough to forgive our sins.  If I have been forgiven, then I need to forgive as well.

Snow days are a great reminder of forgiveness.  When the snow covers the ground in a fresh white layer, it always reminds me that God can cover up my dirtiness and brokenness.

Today seems to be a great day to be still and know that God loves me and has forgiven me.

It’s also a great day to take a couple of pictures.

Let It Snow

I tried to use the snow-blower, but it is still broken.

The Snow-Blower

So I had to shovel.

Lamp Post To Narnia

Winter-Wonder-Land

Little Windy

Through The Trees

I hope you all enjoyed the pictures, and if you are here in Denver, stay safe, and be still and know that God loves you and will forgive you.