Juan man's journey through life, love, health and business.

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Cost Of Raising A Child

I heard this on an audio one day and it changed my perspective forever. It is absolutely true and deserves to be passed on.

Enjoy!

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140..00 for a middle income family. Talk about price shock! That doesn’t even touch college tuition.But $160,140.00 isn’t so bad if you break it down..

It translates into:* $8,896.66 a year,*
$741.38 a month, * $171.08 a week.*
A mere $24.24 a day!*
Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is; don’t have children if you want to be ‘rich.’ Actually, it is just the opposite.

What do you get for your $160,140.00?

* Naming rights: first, middle, and last!
* Glimpses of God every day.
* Giggles under the covers every night.
* More love than your heart can hold.
* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
* A hand to hold usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
* A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites.
* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140.00, you never have to grow up. You get to:
* finger-paint,
* carve pumpkins,
* play hide-and-seek,
* catch lightning bugs,
* never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to:
* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,
* watch Saturday morning cartoons,
* go to Disney movies, and
* wish on stars.

You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother’s Day, and cards with backward letters for Father’s Day.

For a mere $24.24 a day, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for:
* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof
* taking the training wheels off a bike
* removing a splinter
* filling a wading pool
* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs and
* coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat in history to witness the:
* First step
* First word
* First joke
* First date
* First time behind the wheel

You get to be immortal.

You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you’re lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that nocollege can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!!

Love & enjoy your children & grandchildren & great-grandchildren!!!!!!!

Unknown

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Open Letter To My Wife

IMG_1734   Wikipedia defines Wife as the following: A wife is a female partner in a continuing marital relationship. A wife may also be referred to as a spouse. The term continues to be applied to a woman who has separated from her husband and ceases to be applied to such a woman only when her marriage has come to an end following a legally recognised divorce or the death of her spouse. On the death of her husband, a wife is referred to as a widow, but not after she is divorced from her husband. Ridiculous! This could not be further away from what my wife has meant to me. It is a cold depressing description and has nothing to do with the love that has been given or the life that it touches. I have found the Bible adds a bit more clarity to the truth. “House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 19:14) Or maybe this one “A truly good wife is the most precious treasure a man can find!” (Proverbs 31:9) Aaaaahhhhh that feels better, now we can begin.

Kate,

365 days, 8,766 hrs, 525,600 minutes, 31,556,926 seconds have ticked by…. It’s been amazing!!! In that short time our life has grown so much. You have blessed me with a newborn son, Lincoln, became a new wife and have loved more fiercely that I could have hoped for. You are my better half, an clearly better than I deserve 🙂 two of my favorite phrases when edifying you. Your love has helped stiffen my spine,  give clarity to my roll as a husband, lover, Father and leader of our family. You Inspire me to keep chasing dreams during the day where they have a chance to come to light. You have made it possible to keep chasing the “After” and live our “Why”. Your encouragement is the fuel that feeds the flame of my soul, and what a blessing it has been. You are an amazing partner in every possible way and the word Wife now has a new definition… Her name is Kate.

 

p.s. “Today is the day I will love you the least.” ~Jackie Lewis

 

Love your Mr. Most Amazing,

 

Juan Michael Alcala


Living Someone Else’s Life

During a commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005 Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs said “Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. ” I was sitting on a couch filling time watching TED when I heard this quote. While not a complete waste of time I was just filling it at random. I had dozed off and woke up just 20 seconds or so before this profound statement slapped me back to planet earth. I had been struggling with the day-to-day grind of a new job and was taking it easy on myself. I had let that day, week, month, year, heck life be filled by my obligations, not my priorities. But Juan you have to work for a living! Do I? Who fills my calendar? Who decides what is important to me? You see I had created the life that I was living, no room to blame or point fingers. I had played victim for over thirty years and well I know how that turned out.

So who’s life have I been living? Ha! That’s easy to answer. My own, well sort of. Yep this guy right here. It was not as if I had didn’t know the facts, just wasn’t looking to hear the truth. So many times it was easy to take my foot of the gas pedal and coast. Problem with coasting is eventually you become comfortable, then out of shape so it becomes easier and easier not to pedal. Next thing you know you’re old, slow, dull and just plain lazy. So why do so many of us just take our foot of the pedal?

Hope! That’s right it’s hope. When was the last time you let your mind run? I mean really run to the point where you had a huge smile on your face and you could feel the hair on your skin stand up. So many times I meet with new people and ask them what drives them? You can see the glaze of a sobering life roll across their eyes, it’s as if they had never even heard the words before. ” You mean what do I do? ” No, the question is not one of obligation, it is one of purpose. I was visiting some friends recently for a fellowship group they had started, and there was a young boy in the room spinning in circles with his arms out pretending to fly (I always enjoy watching the freedom that children posses, they don’t set limits for what they can do). We had made introductions and had begun to chat when this young boy began to fly, his volume had begun to increase and before long his mother asked him to stop. There it was! There what was you ask? The beginning of the end. You see he was not asked to take it in for a landing or to set another coarse to the bedroom. He was not encouraged to set a higher altitude or perform a recon of the household. He was blasted out of the sky like some member of the Nazi Luftwaffe! A sobering reminder as to how I had let so many no’s beat the dreams from my soul. Do you think Steve Jobs went to new heights by going down in flames just because someone told him to quit or that it could not be done? Heck no he pushed through adversity and stopped being busy and started living.

So why do so many of us decided to let our dreams go? Have we given into our doubt or are we busy ” living someone else’s life? “


Goals Are the Answer

Do you have a clearly defined picture of what your future looks like? Odds are not in favor that you do. Most American’s spend more time planning out their next vacation than they do the next thirty years of their lives. That is why we end up driving that mini van with the dual sliding doors rather that the Porsche 911 Turbo we dreamt of as a child. It may have been a multitude of other fine automobiles or maybe not a car at all. The point is that somewhere along the line most of us lost site of our dreams and swallowed a lie. We began to listen to the doubt of our friends, family, and worst of all ourselves. I know I know, right now your thinking not me I am exactly where I want to be. Really? If you are great, this will mean nothing to you. But if you know that there is something you have been missing and have a burning desire to change, grow, and lead yourself to a brighter future, than set a goal for heavens sake.

There is an alleged study that was done by Yale in 1953 on goal stetting. It outlines how important it is to have clearly defined goals written down, planed for and then acted upon. Weather is was actually done or not I could care less, the point is it flat out works baby. Believe, don’t believe that’s for you to decide. One thing I know for sure, is that if you do not set a goal you are sure to hit it! It is all the data you need for the guy or gal that thinks they are doing pretty good (aka, I’m selfishly looking out for myself trying to be mediocre). I got this from Laurence Tabek: The story, as told by consultants, goes like this: In 1953, researchers surveyed Yale’s graduating seniors to determine how many of them had specific, written goals for their future. The answer: 3%. Twenty years later, researchers polled the surviving members of the Class of 1953 — and found that the 3% with goals had accumulated more personal financial wealth than the other 97% of the class combined!

Write it down everywhere! The dash board of your car, the mirror where you shave or paint your face on in the morning, heck write it on the shower wall with crayon. Get your dreams back out in front of you. Stop swallowing the lie you have been feeding your self for however long it has been there. Remember if all you ever talk about is what you used to do or have done, you are a has been! One of my favorite stories on dreaming is about Walt Disney. On Friday October 1st 1971 Disney World opened in Orlando Florida. Walt had passed in 1966 and when a reporter asked Mrs. Disney if Walt would have liked to have seen it, Mrs. Disney had one of the greatest responses I have ever heard. “He already has”. I love it! What a vision that man had cast, what a dreamer he was. He dreamed so much his wife could see it. That’s the power of a dream my friends. So set the goal and run baby! What ever it takes, how ever long it takes, just do it!

I will leave you with a quote from Walt himself from the grand opening of Disney Land on July 18th 1955.

“To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past …. and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America … with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” Amen Walt, Amen.

Learn, Love, Lead

Juan M Alcala


Thank You

I would like to say thank you to all of our service men & women. If not for the honor and commitment of these amazing individuals we would not be able to have such great celebrations. Freedom is the ultimate gift, but it is not free. There have been so many who have given their blood, sweat, tears, and lives in the pursuit of it. Freedom has a cost! It will take all men, woman, and children of our great nation to continue to defend it. Stand up and thank all who have given their lives. Honor them by continuing to support the men & women of our great nation. God Bless You!

Learn, Love, Lead

Juan M Alcala


Building Their Belief

We were on our way home from a heavy dose of 95%-erism (it’s a word to me) and had just left a local establishment. They were featuring a cast member from a very popular network reality show (from a music station we won’t mention). Who’s reality you ask? 95%! It grows stranger and stranger to me when I see such phenomenon. Is it due to the onslaught of age (father time has recently blessed me with my first grey hair) or has all of the reading, listening and studying really starting to take hold? As I watched many a young lady jockey for position to rub all over this quasi celebrity like cats in heat, it slapped me in the face (or maybe that was the bass from the loud speaker in my ear)!  I even watched as 1 of these groupies took the liberty of pushing another out of her way to get a photo with super stud. It was time. Time for what you ask? Time to leave!

We had made the trip in support of a dear friend who has been a blessing in my beautiful, amazing and tremendously supportive girlfriends life (and I still love beer). It was her graduation party and we would not miss it for the world. During the evening I had engaged in a fairly deep conversation with her husband about God and education (perfect for the bar) and had come to love listening to this well read young man’s outlook. It had been noted by several parties that we would fall of the face of the planet during social events to discuss the events of the day (Socrates I am not). It was my favorite part of any social gathering; listening to all the different thoughts that people have and will share freely. A few are great, they help me grow and develop new perspective, but the rest come at a cost. It’s not to say there bad, just different.

As we are driving home we were listening to an audio of 1 of my favorite author’s (Chris Brady). It’s a habit that I have learned to love over the last 9 months. I devour them! When they arrive in the mail every other week it’s like Christmas. This specific section of the talk was on building belief into others and it slapped me in the face again (no bass this time). “It’s not that they are better than they are, it’s actually that they are as good as they think they could be”. I swear the heavens opened up and dropped a huge one on me. I was listening to it a 2x speed so I was frantically trying to back it up a listen again, again, again, it was such sweet music. “They should finally be seeing themselves as good as you see them”. That is everything, it’s the answer.

Build belief in a man’s heart and he can en dour, overcome, rise, conquer and create anything his heart desires. If he has a big enough desire and is willing to put faith into action the price will not matter. It will come at a cost, and it will not be free, but it is our very nature to persevere. It was and I believe still is the very backbone of our country. I am here in the service of others, them, they, those people, whoever you are. It’s time for me to believe in my faith in action and help lift the men around me to “be as good as they think they can be”.


Peace And Reconciliation | Our Daily Bread

Peace And Reconciliation | Our Daily Bread.