How I’m Saving My Family


When I tell people I’m on a diet, they’re usually like, “Huh? Really? You?”

I may not look like Buddha, and my Wii Fit may tell me I’m not obese, but there’s more to it than that.

For a long time, I’ve been an absolute butt head to my family. I’m working on a couple different books at once, I’m trying to survive in a competitive environment at work with looming changes ahead, trying to keep my two toddlers happy and marginally quiet… so I’ve been overly stressed. And stress breeds anger, and anger breeds an uptight and irritable father and husband.

Stressed Man With Baby Working From Home Using Laptop

I questioned why I had no energy to play with my kids. It couldn’t be work, because I sit at a desk all day. My writing career is about to take a turn for the better, but I looked at my lunch options, and realized I am a compulsive overeater.

On my lunch breaks I would go to get not one burger but two. Spicy chicken wings were a favorite. Shakes were a daily drink. I gained 20 pounds over the summer.

And my family was suffering because I was too stressed and tired to do anything. It was the careless calorie indulging and the major lack of exercise.


Went on vacation recently and discovered, low and behold, my family is really a great group of people. My kids are well-meaning, and my wife is hilarious and a total hero for putting up with me and my moodiness.

Since I started my diet, I’m losing a tad over a pound a day. I’m determined.

I’ve cut my lunches down to half a sandwich and water. I’m running on my days off. And guess what! Everything I’ve heard is true, gosh darnit! I have more energy to play with the kids, to stay up later and talk to my wife, and I’m even gaining a splash more momentum on my book projects.

So that’s why I’m dieting. It’s to save my family. There are enough angry and stressed fathers out there, and I refuse to be one of them.

Follow my videos and dieting tips at #AndrewsAwesomeAutumn

My New Year’s Resolution Starts Today

Got back from vacation yesterday. First off, I’d like to apologize to the woman sitting in seat 9A for my daughter kicking your seat and trying out different hair styles for your noggin. I promise, we’re good parents. She’s just a little ball of energy that just has to indulge her creative side.

Anyway, getting back from South Florida we found out that Kentucky is a total culture shock – and not in a good way! I’d like to move one day since really, the most exciting thing to do here is drink Bourbon (I prefer Bloody Mary) and visit the Ohio River (or what I sometimes mistake as WIlly Wonka’s chocolate river).


But no matter where you live it’s depressing coming back from vacation. But even more depressing is what my Wii Fit Plus told me. I haven’t weighed myself in some time, but when my belt ends can’t even connect, I realized it was time to take a look. When I wash my chest and stomach in the shower it’s like doing the hand motions for the river part in “I’ve Got a River of Life.” Here’s the wonderful news my Wii Fit Plus gave to me:


And don’t be fooled by that 19.6-pound increase in weight. After I saw this I went straight to the kitchen and downed half my bottle of Bloody Mary boosting me up to exactly 20.0. Hey, I don’t want it tempting me in the kitchen this week!

So I’m starting my New Year’s resolution early. Because by the time January First rolls around, I’ll be that much closer to being as skinny as I want to be and able to dress more like Owen Grady rather than Andy Dyer.

Sure I’ve got my birthday and Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, but the good thing about starting my diet now is that I’ll get to take breaks for those holidays. Not week-long binges like I’ve been doing, but a turkey sandwich here, a slice of cake there. I’ve got two toddlers and two dogs who will eat anything I leave behind.

So do I have a target weight and a goal? No way! I’m an author, not a scientist. I follow no formula, set no goals. I go at it as though writing a book – I just do it. When it’s done it’s done. But the Wii asked me to set a goal, so I did:


So there you have it. And despite the cold weather we’re about to have, I’m also going to exercise. Anyone want to join me, feel free to post your goals and pictures at #AndrewsAwesomeAutumn and we’ll see who endures the holidays and loses the most weight by January 1st! Ready? Set. (One more drink.) Go!

Where Do Your Premium Payments Go?


You’ve seen them taken out of your pay checks. You’ve seen them shipped away in the mail box. You’ve seen them eat up your checking and savings accounts.

You’ve heard it said that insurance is there for your protection. But like anything else in the world, there is a fee. Fair enough. If you want a roof over your head you’ve got to pay the mortgage. You want insurance coverage, you’ve got to pay the monthly premiums.

But what happens when you go to the doctor and they slap you with a co-pay on top of your portion of the medical bill? Or what about when you get a letter from your insurance company saying that your medical services were rendered “not medically necessary”?

Has anyone ever slammed on the brakes and asked, “What’s going on here?”

Why don’t our monthly premiums cover it all? What’s with the extra costs? What’s with the denied coverage? Who’s calling these shots? Who’s making these significant health decisions for us while raking in our hard-earned money?

Or asked another way, why pay premiums at all if we’re still having to fork out so much on our co-pays and partial medical bills?

Maybe we’re all just so numb to the system that we’ve just decided to go blindly along with what we’re told and pay what’s demanded of us. No questions asked.

Maybe that’s the way Big Insurance wants it. In that case, they’ve won and we’ve lost.

But maybe we haven’t yet lost. Maybe there is still hope to level the playing field for the rest of us. Maybe there is still a war to be waged.

But before I go on, what do you have to say about this issue? Where do you stand? Where do you think your premiums are going here in the U.S.? Are you benefitting from your insurance coverage? Do you feel safer with your insurance company around, or threatened?

Feel free to share your thoughts below or comment on this post on my Facebook Author Page, and we’ll continue this conversation in future posts!

Do You REALLY Understand Healthcare?

MedizinYou’re sick. You begrudgingly take off work, using your last sick day of the year available to you. You’d rather not go to the doctor, but your boss is requiring a doctor’s note.

You drag yourself out of bed, buckle the screaming baby up in the car seat, drive to the doctor and sign in.

You provide the receptionist with your insurance card. You write a large check for your deductible (the very reason you’ve been avoiding the doctor). On top of that, you owe a copay, and this is ONLY if that doctor accepts your insurance provider….

Has anyone ever stopped to ask, “What’s going on here?” If you’re practically having to take out a loan to pay your deductible, and you’re expected to fork up a percentage of your bill, then what are your premiums going toward? Insurance retention?

But if we’re all honest with ourselves, I bet we’d say, “I wish insurance didn’t exist.” It’s a hassle at best. I mean, is it really so expensive to pay a doctor to look down your throat and prescribe an antibiotic that you can’t pay a flat rate yourself?

Is insurance really helping us? How much would an X-ray really cost as a flat rate?

And, not to get political here, but… well, I’ll save this question for a later post.

In the meantime, am I the only one who’s had these questions but has been too afraid to ask them? Is there anyone who can explain this or elaborate? Has your insurance provider helped or hurt you? Share your experiences as an insurance subscriber below. Let’s hash this out.

And keep checking back for further posts on this topic. I just might have some more to say on this topic that you and your family can benefit from.

I only share the best on my new Author Facebook Page.

Life After Abortion

Due to a high volume of interest (both favorable and adverse) in my past post, “Here’s the Great Thing About Abortion”, I have asked blogger Kristy Mapp to giver her first-hand account on the subject. You can see more of her writing on her blog,


I considered myself an average girl as far as promiscuity and drugs were concerned.  I never really thought that consequences would happen.  I just wanted to live life for me, my way, and for my benefit.  When I found myself pregnant at 19 I was shocked.  My boyfriend and I decided the best thing to do would be to have an abortion, because we didn’t want to deal with a child – nor have one out of wedlock, and we certainly were not ready for marriage.

I remember coming out of the Planned Parenthood feeling good about my decision, but also feeling sorry for all those women who were there for their 2nd, 3rd, or even 12th abortion.  I thought, ‘How selfish of them.  There was nothing wrong with them that they should be throwing their children away like that.’  My boyfriend picked me up and we went and had lunch and then went about our lives – we never talked about it – didn’t even think about it really.

At 24 I had a self induced miscarriage, and then just 5 months later another abortion. This time I didn’t think twice about what I was doing.  All I knew was that I was basically ‘good’ for not bringing a child into the world that would be fatherless.  I even coerced a friend to have an abortion, telling her that having a child would ruin her and her boyfriend’s lives.  This was the reality of my situation, of mynature.  I cared for myself, and told others to care only for themselves.  It’s a ‘me’ kind of world we live in.

I was always thinking of me… caught up in the politics that said I needed to have a stance on something like abortion.  When I met Christ my life changed.  I do indeed have a stance now, but it is not based on what I want.  It is based on what God says is truth.  He is the one that gives life, and He is the one who takes it away.  What matters in life is not our feelings or stances on political or even moral issues.  What matters is what we do with the truth God gives us.

What good does it do to wonder about the past – if things had been different – or even to wonder about the future – what kind of life could this child have?  Are we the ones who plot the course of life?  How can we say that by deleting a person from our wombs we are doing them a service?  Each life is a miracle.  Science cannot re-create it without stealing parts from that which already has life.  There is no such thing as a man-made, self-replicating machine.  Each cell contains information that was put there by …. well, what do you think?  Does it really matter what you think?

While I killed my children God was watching.  He knows what it is like to lose a child.  His son made a decision to die – to be made a part of this wretched world – hated and shamed, to take my place in punishment for all my sin.  Jesus, who committed no sin, died and took upon Him the wrath of God for the evils I committed.  He died.  He was buried.  He rose from the dead – defeating death and now sits at the right hand of God making intercession for those who He died to save.  How can I sit by and watch as people who say they know my creator fight for the allowance of sin?  I cannot.

The word Christian means ‘follower of Christ’.  How can we follow Him if we are not doing what He commanded or said to do?  Arguments will get us no where.  Truth is all that matters.  Pick up your cross – your life – and follow Him.  Read His words.  Be like Christ.  Share the Gospel.  We cannot change the minds of people who are lost.  But we can share the words of Christ, who is the only way to salvation.  Our stories may be starting points, but His words are what change lives.


For Further Reading: Please Don’t Kill the Child

“A Grey Faith” by Andrew Heard


I had the privilege of editing a biography a few months back about by a man named Andrew Heard. He is 30 years old, married, with a little girl, and dying of cancer.

As I write this he is in the hospital fighting the tumors that cover his liver (too many to count, according to his wife). The day his book came to the Heards by mail, he took to pneumonia. It seems every victory is followed by a defeat. But his and his wife’s Facebook messages continue to bear light and are pregnant with hope that there very well could still be a miracle from God – and if there’s not, Andrew’s family will find contentment and rest in time.

Andrew’s book, A Grey Faith chronicles his life with stage IV lung cancer, and the thing about it is – it’s not pretty. He doesn’t paint rosy pictures around his tragedy, he doesn’t pretend he’s “okay” with his condition – he’s honest. He’s honest about his anger that he likely can’t live to walk his little girl down the aisle, or retire with his wife to the beach, or even just have the strength today to push his daughter on the swing.

A lot of us feel like we’ve got it pretty bad living our lives the same way day in and day out. I am sure Andrew and his wife wish they were in our shoes, carrying out the mundane tasks of work and school and just plain living.

I would recommend Andrew’s book to anyone who needs a kick-start on their faith. Anyone who’s been angry at God recently for whatever reason. Anyone who wants a glimpse into the life of the suffering. Anyone who has suffered or is suffering and just needs to know that they’re not alone.

Pray for the Heards during this dark and difficult time. I have pasted links to their blogs below. Leave them messages of encouragement and just let them know that they’re being prayed for.

Here is the link to order your copy of A Grey Faith: Click here to order

I would also recommend going to the home page and reading some of his posts:

His wife also has a blog which you can see here:

Also, here is an article about Andrew’s cancer on Cancerwise.

Pass this story around to all the believers and prayer-warriors.

5 Tips for Making New Year’s Resolutions

calvin-and-hobbesI mentioned in yesterday’s post that if you feel like you ought to make a resolution this year, then that probably means you need to make a resolution.

But the word resolution is overused and not as heavy as a word I am going to propose in its stead for this post. This year, I plan on making a few New Year’s commitments. But how do you decide if it’s worth it?

You know what I mean… you resolve to lose three pounds a month and it’s December before you even realize you gave up on that back in March. But this year, let’s make deeper commitments than just meager weight loss and less video game time. Let’s examine a structure for how we can set commitments for 2013 and actually keep them.

1. Start Now

If there’s something you know you ought to change, we’ve less than a week before New Years; start today. Get a head start and prove to yourself that you can indeed make this change in your life. Don’t wait till New Years Eve. If you plan on drinking less, start now and persevere through December 31st. That way, when you’re tempted on January 3rd, you can look back and say, “If I can make it then, I can make it now.”

2. Replace, don’t omit

As creatures of worship and busy schedules, it’s not really possible to omit something from your life. We’re all completed puzzles, but if you take a piece out, we’re going to search frantically for something to fill in that missing piece. If you decide you want to play less video games, have something positive to fill in that block of time you usually play games. And make it fun! If you can afford it, go out for coffee during that time. If you’re trying to cut back on your cursing, learn to replace curses with blessings or positive words.

3. Commit to add 

When we think of New Year’s resolutions, we often think of depleting something from our lives, like sugar or bad habits or attitudes, or time spent online or in front of the TV. If you’re like me, you read too much, oft times at the expense of my loved one. So, instead of merely reading less, I am going to try to involve her in my reading more, and propose we read more together. If you watch too much TV, try watching things your kids would rather watch and join them in their interests. Add your loved ones to activities that have become solely about you.

4. Commit to fail

I’m an all-or-nothing kind of guy. If I fail once, I throw in the sack. But if I make room for imperfection, then I have a better chance at success in the long run. When I started this blog back in March I never made a commitment to post every single day. I just sort of generalized it by saying I’ll post 2-6 times a week. That’s a pretty big margin for failure if I’m committed to to posting every day. But 2-6 times a week – that’s doable, and it’s worked!  Leave room for imperfection.

5. Commit to achieve 

In exactly one year from this very moment, what do you want to look back on and say you’ve achieved? Want to have that book finally written or published? Want to have that degree in your hand? Want to have a stronger relationship with your spouse? Keep this future moment in mind. Every day. All year. And remember how fast a year goes by. It’s but a breath, so you really have very little time to achieve these goals.

Get a head start and begin today, before the 31st. Replace something bad with something good. Add things to enrich your life. Know your potential and leave room for imperfection. And always have the end in mind and imagine how wonderful it will be to reach it with a job well done.

Please help us achieve our goal to foster-to-adopt in 2013 by purchasing my book here.

[Image Credit]


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