My Graduation Day

It was my graduation day from Strayer University, and I was numb. It may have been from all the hard work that I had put in or whatever the cause was I really wasn’t into it. My children and wife were saying how big it was to me though it felt as if I had really been the let down because I should have completed this piece earlier in my life. The family came down to watch me walk across the stage, as I type this now I feel the gravity of what completing this accomplishment meant. It was huge!!

I get there and I have to get my cap and gown and put all of the articles on and proceed to the area where all of us graduates are to wait. Still not accepting that I had done anything big but always wanted to walk across the stage to get my degree.

We walk out and are seated and this speaker is tasked with giving our commencement speech. She was awesome I will post the video of her speech above. She spoke about things that a lot of adults feel and experience as they undergo an experience such as trying to add to your current legacy or hoping to inspire yourself to even greater heights at this moment in our lives. All of her words were so strong and heavy and that was when I began to feel the power of what I had completed. It was a great day, one that I won’t forget. 

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Emotional Currency

We as men really need to guard our hearts for the relationships we are in; there shouldn’t be an area of our lives that we are afraid to share with our spouses. If we can get to a place in our lives such as this we can finally become the man that God intended us to be.

Many of us get busy with different things in our own personal lives and forget that we have entered into an emotional contract with our spouses when we said: “I Do”. Having a career and other outside interest is great but it doesn’t replace the people that you have vowed to protect and love.

How will use your emotional currency today? Will, you hide behind a job or career or will you step and be a light to those who are looking up to you for guidance?

 

Arthur Poston Jr.

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Want Impact?

“My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>”

Want Impact?

If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed—Luke 17:6

We want our lives to matter. We want these few days we spend here to mean something. We want some sort of impact. Well, brother, if we really want impact, we’ve got to allow the amplifying power of the Holy Spirit to work through us—by being willing to act in faith. When we act alone (as we so often do), we do so with our own strength. But when we act in faith, our actions are amplified by the strength of a great and powerful God. Men and women acting in faith have “stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight” (Hebrews 11:33-34).

The surprising thing about acting in faith is that—unlike when we act alone—it’s not our skill, nor our cleverness, that determines the magnitude of impact. When the Apostle Paul worked to start the church in Corinth, he spoke “in weakness and in fear,” lacking “plausible words of wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:3-4). He must have doubted whether he’d had any impact at all. But the church was established nonetheless. “God’s Spirit and God’s power did it,” through Paul’s seemingly unimpressive actions, taken in faith (1 Corinthians 2:3-5 MSG).

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Asking My Spouse These 2 Questions Every Week Keeps Our Bond Strong

My mother-in-law sent a text myself and my spouse this past week that contained this article. It was a great observation that many couples probably go through. I know me personally I have often asked my wife the same non-starter conversation starters. Even when I am really engaged in finding out about her day the opener really needs something.

Take a look at this article I have posted it below.

Hope you enjoy it too.

Arthur Poston Jr.


Recently, my husband, Marc, and I started testing out a new ritual. We are habit people and find that when we can put key aspects of our connection on autopilot — that is, we get them to happen without having to think too much about making them happen — we find each other more in the slightly chaotic, sometimes harried, often muddled, basket weave that is life.

For over a decade, we’ve carved the habit of a weekly date night into our family blueprint, amassing a dugout of equally delightful and reliable babysitters and teaching our kids that mom and dad time is the norm, no different than morning breakfast or nightly tuck-ins. It’s just what we do. This is simply how the Manieri family rolls.

Call us overly self-indulgent, but we find that after 13 years of marriage, we’d actually like even more couple time together (gasp!). Sure, we see each other every day, but the bevy of hurried, innocuous, and sometimes snippy interactions Marc and I experience throughout our busy day feel more like baton passes in a relay than anything close to a meaningful connection.

So we’ve started the practice of meeting once a week for tea (wine or seltzer works just as well if that’s your fancy). And rather than let the day’s headlines or our endless checklist guide our conversation (i.e. Did you call the roofer? Should I book the flight before it gets too expensive? Are you going to call the bank about those extra fees?), we anchor our interlude in two questions that have completely changed how we spend those 30 minutes together: “What would you like to be acknowledged for?” and “What would you like me to know about your life?”

Notice that these are different from “How are you?” or “What’s going on?” which usually elicit fairly standard and bland responses such as “fine” or “not much.” These questions require the responder to actually reflect, step inside themselves, and call something deeper to the surface. And when my husband asks me these two questions, the floodgates of my inner world literally break open.

What would you like to be acknowledged for?

For starters, this question immediately sends the message to me that the often thankless and mostly unnoticed work I do to keep our family and business humming matter to him. Being asked what I would like to be acknowledged for launches an internal inquiry that truly gives me pause. Hmm, what would I like to be acknowledged for? What is something I’ve done lately that deserves a little credit?

It’s not about praise or pats on the back, two things I care little about. In Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages, I place “Words of Affirmation” at the very bottom of my list of ways I feel loved. (“Quality Time” and “Acts of Service” are tied for top position for me.) I don’t crave recognition or get a sense of elation when I receive them. But I do want to feel seen. The opportunity to say what I want to be acknowledged for, gives me the chance to feel known, noticed, relevant, and appreciated, and that has enormous connective benefits for our relationship.

External appreciation has tremendous value, but here’s the thing: the real juice actually lives in the way that speaking my accomplishment out aloud (no matter how big or small) allows me to acknowledge myself. I get to unearth and underscore my tiny triumphs for the sake of my own recognition and notice. I’ve asked to be acknowledged for big things — like when I was nominated for an award! — and seemingly small things, like how I held my temper with the kids when they couldn’t find their shoes and we were already late. Marc speaks his appreciation for my feats, and then we switch so I can do the same for him.

What would you like me to know about your life?

In my experience, this question has such a different spirit from “What’s going on?” It’s not asking for a laundry list of to-dos. It’s recognizing that even married people, who live their lives in parallel, have their own distinct worlds they move in, and it invites each other into those worlds.

“I want you to know that I’m really worried about my dad, and it’s really hard to see his health fail.”

“I want you to know that I’d like to start spending more time with my friend Erica, and I wondered if it would work for us if she and I met for a walk on Wednesday mornings before the kids go to school.”

“I want you to know that I believe Elizabeth is having a tough time with your travel schedule, and I think it would be really good if you took her out for dinner, just the two of you, this weekend.”

“I want you to know that I’m so looking forward to getting away together next month. I really miss you.”

There’s a level of revealing and disclosure that this question seems to tap into. It offers me the opportunity to search for an answer I probably haven’t been totally present too. It’s amazing how worry or inquiry or concern or anticipation can hum away in the background like radio static. And then we look right at it, actually take stock of our life and all the balls we’ve tossed in the air, and boom, it’s like someone has tuned the dial perfectly.

It’s not always groundbreaking. Sometimes I want him to know that I think the cats have fleas again, that he really needs to move those boxes into the attic, that I’m really tired of how much chicken we eat for dinner, or that I started listening to a new podcast that I think he’d love, too.

Not every conversation is going to have us baring our souls, but some will. The point is the opportunity, the invitation, is there if we choose it. What bubbles or is beckoned to the shallows gives us the chance to reveal a glimpse into our world neither our partner nor even sometimes ourselves knew was incubating.

It all boils down to this: I matter. You matter. And even if we experience feeling truly significant nowhere else in the world but in the company of our spouse, the practice of being seen and known (even just by one single person) can be everything.

 

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Blessed to Bless

“My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>”

Blessed to Bless

Good measure, pressed down, shaken together,
running over will be put on your lap—Luke 6:38

Have you been blessed? [Pause for a moment to consider.] What’s your reaction to that question? Is it easy to see how and how much you’ve been blessed? Or is it difficult, especially with so many people around who’ve been blessed more? Well, make no mistake; all of us have been blessed (Genesis 1:28). I mean, do you have a job, some money, enough to eat, a safe place to live, family, some friends, a church, or an education? It may be in unique ways and in varying degrees, but we’ve all been blessed . . . abundantly.

So how then should we think about these blessings? I mean, how can we reconcile the fact that we’ve been blessed with so much—so much more than countless men and women alive right now in other parts of this country and around the world?

The only way to think about our blessings, brother, is to view them as means to bless others. And the only way to view ourselves, then, is blessed to bless others. You see, knowing what we do about God and about his intentions for us (Matthew 22:36-39), how could we ever conclude otherwise? How could we ever conclude that we’ve been blessed simply so that we may live in comfort and security and isolation? What kind of story would that be, anyway? No, we must view these blessings as personal invitations into God’s much greater story of blessing other people.

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Just a thought

Morning thought –

This morning my thoughts lean a lot toward just being thankful for what we have right now. I look around and can see that all 6 of the kids are healthy. The ones that are old enough to have kids of their own; their kids are healthy too. Waking up and knowing that is a blessing in itself.

I also am blessed to still have those that raised me and all of the family except maybe a couple are still in-place. We have been smiled on a lot in life.

Thank you,
Arthur Poston Jr.

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