Monday, September 8, 2008

one year closer to death...

today is my 31st birthday. last year, i realized that i never saw myself living past thirty. i, literally, had already accomplished all the life goals that i had set. i had been in the room for the birth of my child, i went skydiving and was a published author. bing, bang, boom.

this year, i've discovered a few new goals for the next chapter (or several chapters) of my life. strangely, none of them revolve around me or self promotion. they mostly involve my family, the students i serve and life of simplicity. this is very personal for me, but i thought this would be a good place for me to flesh them out on paper (so to speak).

1. i want my wife to truly know at the core of her being that her husband loves her.

-when you have kids, your marriage changes. if you're not careful, it can be for the worse. if you are intentional, it can be for the better. i want to serve my wife and lead our family with godly integrity. this goes to my goal of simplicity, but for the last month we have watched very little television. amazing things happen when you unplug and connect.

2. i want my boys to become men who love god, and love others.

-reagan and i went to the springboro v. piqua football game this friday night. he loved the atmosphere. he wasn't very interested in the football game... to my great displeasure. i asked him if he wanted to play football... nope. "do you want to be in the band," nope. so, what do you want to do i asked, "i want to be up there, so i can talk in the microphone." i've come to the point where i don't care if he plays football, or any other sport for that matter. i don't want him to be good at sports.... i want him to be good at life.

while we were at the game he met several people that i haven't seen in years. if you've been around reagan, he's not exactly shy. he is very verbal. when a man offered him a piece of candy, he accepted with a very sincere, "thank you". his mother has done good.

my life goal is to make sure i build into my boys godly character and an guide them towards an outward focused life. the big ZING, here is that i have to model these things. words are meaningless, i need to display the type of behavior i want to see in them.

3. i want to commission a generation for life long ministry.

-i've known that this is what god has called me to do for several years. however, i haven't quite put the intentionality into doing it. there is a cost to this goal and i'm ready to embrace it. i want there to be a generation of students who come out of the vineyard ready to use their entire life as ministry, no matter what vocation they go into.

4. simplicity.

-it is easy to let your lifestyle grow as your income grows. when hope and i were first married we had nothing. now, we both make a decent wage and it's easy to play the consumerism game. i don't need more stuff, i've already have all that i need. i recently made the decision not to buy and iphone. i would love to have one, i just don't need it. it costs more than my current plan... and i am most tempted to by it just to keep up with those around me.

i'm no longer into playing that game. i have some specific financial goals for the rest of my life and while some of them benefit my family... they mostly benefit the people that i will be able to bless because i have financial freedom.

that's about it for now. but, i feel as if i now have direction... something i was lacking when i turned thirty.



ylmurph said...

nothing about me? You want your wife to know the depths of your love...but what about me? I've known you for roughly 8% of your life and I don't even make the list?

My list:
1-annie know my love
2-mat know my admiration and love and respect
3-Mr. Bob Saget and I have a sit down

bshawise said...

you're a good man, matthew.

Joe said...

happy birthday.

John Arns said...

happy 31st birthday mat -- you've learned what most don't get at age 40.

Anonymous said...

Mat, Happy Birthday Your amazing, and i pray that my son Kenny can learn from you and grow in his relationship with GOD. Laurie