Relationship Renewed : Renovating the Relationships That Matter Most

Love is…

In September 2021, we lost my father-in-law unexpectedly. It came with little warning and it left a gaping hole in our hearts.

He was a giant of a man and he had a big heart to match. I still recall my first time meeting him. I had driven from Toronto to Omaha to surprise (my now wife) Jennifer and he met me at the door. His first words were, “MOVE YOUR CAR!” I silently wondered if he meant back to Canada!!!

I remember asking him 10 months later for his blessing to marry his daughter. I was so nervous and I think he knew it.

He loved his family! I am honored that I got to be his son by marriage. He loved me like his own.

As we gathered for the funeral, my mother-in-law stood over the casket weeping as she told her beloved that she missed him. She missed the way he looked at her. She missed the way he held her. The wave of emotion swept over us all.

Loss can come quickly! The ancients wrote that “life is a mist.” It’s like a vapor.

Even as I write with tear-stained eyes I want to share a lesson in this.

Life is short! I believe that each of us is created with greatness in mind. We all have a purpose for being here.

Pursue your purpose!

It seems fitting to launch the Relationship Renewed website by spending considerable time reflecting on love. It’s not a how-to, instead, it is part memoir and part meditation.

I hope to motivate, encourage, and inspire you to love your people well!

I love you Dad and I miss you!

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Love is a Choice

Van Halen asked the question, “How do I know when it’s love?” and it’s a question that we all have asked at one point or another.

I remember a college roommate who had no time for relationships because he was too busy. Then he met HER and everything changed. I recall a conversation where he said that love “made trees greener and skies bluer.”

There is euphoria with new love. When I met Jennifer I would do anything to spend a few extra minutes with her. I’d even go to the craft store just to be around her. 19 years later – I’d rather eat a tree than go to the craft store.

What happens when those feelings of excitement fade?

In my early years, I would bail when the feelings faded. I would spend months in the pursuit, and as soon as things got real, I’d leave.

I equated love with that feeling of euphoric bliss. Once it disappeared I did also.

Love was a high … until it wasn’t.

and then there’s Jennifer! She came into my life and turned it upside down. She was full of fire and light. Life was amazing – we dated – we got engaged – we got married – and had kids, and then it got hard.

I was full of brokenness and despair and I wanted out.

and she patiently persisted and prayed. and even in the ugliness, love won!

There’s a lot more to that story – but here’s what I learned at that moment:

Love is not a feeling. Love is a choice that you make daily.

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