Thoughts At 33…

I turned 33 yesterday.

I have now had as many birthdays on this earth as Jesus.

I really just can’t accept the fact that many of the men in the Scriptures were younger than I am at this moment. I still find it to be true that you don’t really wake up one day feeling like an adult. You just find yourself with more bills, responsibilities, joint stiffness, and hair growing in the wrong places.

I have the rare opportunity this weekend to rest without my kids – thanks to my amazing parents – and rest usually leads me to reflection. As I reflect on finishing my 33rd year on this spinning ball of dirt and rock, and am primarily grateful. For my wife, my kids, my parents, my health, my country, my church… and for all the times God saved me from ruining my life.

The older I get, the more totally certain I am that any good in my life – any success or happiness – is all grace. I’m far too naive, selfish, and short-sited to have constructed the amazing things that God has done in my life.

For my 30th birthday, Stephanie arranged for me to have lunch with my pastor and pick his 40-year-old brain about what he would tell his 30-year-old self. I wrote a bit about that here.

Here are a few additional thoughts that I would share with a younger man…


Ever since we started sharing this fourth pregnancy with friends and family last Fall – and especially in the complete insanity of the last 4 weeks – we’ve heard a bunch of variations on “what the heck are you thinking”?

“Riesland, Party of 6” – Week 3

We’ve been a family of 6 for about 2 1/2 weeks now.

Well, I guess technically we’ve been a family of 6 for over 9 months, but babies are SO much more cooperative (and quiet) when confined to an amniotic sack…

Random Thoughts After A Marathon

I ran my second marathon last Sunday.

The so-called “City Of Oaks” marathon goes 10 miles through downtown Raleigh – the “City Of Oaks” – then, it turns onto the new greenway and the pain starts.

It was a fantastic experience.

Here are a handful of random thoughts – four days after the fact.

In no particular order and for no particular reason: