Today is Thanksgiving. A wonderful time to reflect on the things we are all thankful for. Seems like a good time to update you guys on where we are as a couple and a family.
(Note: I will be embedding links throughout this, for those who don’t know the story.)
In two days, I turn 46. Probably not as old as some of you thought, but ancient compared to most of the other bloggers I know.
In two weeks we will celebrate, and I do mean celebrate, 27 years of marriage. For those who know our story, that is an incredibly big deal. Considering that 7 years ago I was handed divorce papers, it borders on miraculous.
Over those 27 years, my wife transitioned from a wonderful young lady, into a vibrant mother, to an angry wife, then gradually back into her amazing self. She has also made an unbelievable and inspirational transformation into that grandmother we all dreamed of having.
Each year with her has been better than the last. Except for that angry season, which was my fault. Catch up with those links in case you missed that part.
For me, it has been a wild ride. Starting out as a dumb kid who found this wonderful lady and gradually losing my focus, I became the typical bad husband. Misplaced priorities, complete loss of focus, becoming self absorbed and misguided, for a season of my life I was just lost.
Chasing rainbows and always in search of the next big thing, I pushed hard to make a name for myself and almost lost my family in the process.
Finding Joel and Kathy Davisson was a major turning point that helped me understand what it actually meant to be a good husband and refocus my ideas of a strong marriage.
As the luckiest man in the world, I can say that marriages can be saved and people can change. But only if that’s what you really want. It doesn’t come easy, or quick, but it can be done.
At the seven year mark, we finally took off for a new adventure, and long overdue honeymoon. We traveled through Belize and Mexico for about ten days. It was an incredible experience that was only made better by having her all to myself for those days. It gave me a stronger motivation to prepare for that inevitable empty nest season, which we are rapidly approaching.
Our oldest Nicole, actually my stepdaughter, married a great guy named Scott Low, and they have a baby due in April. They are still in north Georgia and he is a full time musician. She has started her own business called Little Bee Body Care and makes cool natural stuff like soaps, lotions and balms. Really amazed at how she has grown and who she has become.
Our daughter Paizley has also made a strong transition this year. Now as a mother, she has given us our first grandson. Little Asher Blaze is one of the greatest joys in our life. He turned nine months old yesterday and is growing so fast. For the time being, they are living with us and it has been awesome to be a part of this. Both of them just light up the room for me.
Our daughter Naomi has blossomed into an incredible artist and already begun to sell her work, even though she just turned 18. As a musician, artist, singer and now as an actor, she is using all of her natural talents to find her place. She will be leaving for college this summer and we are very excited to see where the next season takes her.
Our son Garrison has become a pretty amazing young man. Over the last two years, he has become an exceptional musician, aggressive hockey player, and a very innovated designer and inventor. Our garage is gradually turning into Frankenstein’s lab, full of his creations. This kid is going to make great things.
From here, we are making new plans. Some of them may interest you. Heck, if you’ve read this far, you must be interested. Right?
We are making plans to purchase a tour bus and get back on the road. We figure the bus will give us the opportunity to see things we have always want to, and meet more people. Both add up to more stories for this site.
We are also looking at turning this into a formal nonprofit organization. With four books in print now, one in the works, and around 500 published articles, I guess we can now claim to offer this as a service to the community. All those hard lessons about becoming a better man and saving a damaged family will eventually become a formal outreach.
Although I don’t actually see it as a ministry, or myself as qualified to be a minister, it will become an educational endeavor to teach families to be stronger and men to reclaim their purpose.
Plans are still in the works for a retreat/bed and breakfast. A place like that will offer us the opportunity to bring couples together and intervene in the divorce process. Expect to see Joel and Kathy involved in that.
I will continue to work with ProSoundWeb and Live Sound International. It’s just a good job with great people. They offered me the first real opportunity to make my living from writing. I don’t see that relationship running out anytime soon.
So. Having said all that, I want to let you guys know how you can be involved.
We are searching for that perfect bus, any suggestions or leads on something that can comfortable carry and house our family for weeks at a time is appreciated. We are also beginning to look at speaking engagements. You can message me through the contact page if you want to have a recovering knucklehead speak to your group or church.
The ideal location for the retreat may not be in our lovely Palm Coast. Still not sure about it. There are reasons to build here, and reasons to look elsewhere. We are searching for a fairly isolated piece of property where we can setup a main house with space for group meetings.
Ideally, it would also give us space for several smaller cabanas to house guests for a few days at a time. Closer to a beach is obviously better for Geri. The bus will also give us the ability to scout those locations.
In addition to all that, we need distribution help for our books. The website is overdue for revision and I am actively searching for help with the transition to a formal nonprofit. Again, feel free to contact me with any suggestions for any of that.
Our audience has grown substantially over these last four years. We have made new friends, and seen lots of marriages reach out for help. Almost every month, another couple ends up at one of Joel and Kathy’s marriage intensives a as a result of this site and our books. That’s something else I want to see continue and grow.
All of this came about from my wife. Had she not refused to continue on the path we were on, handed me divorce papers and stood up for herself, I would have continued to get worse. It was also by her suggestion that I began writing and sharing these stories. She is the one who pushed me out here to encourage you. In the process, she directed me to the perfect career.
It keeps getting better. Hopefully, I will update this story next year with more reports of our progress. Thank you all for your support and encouragement.
M. Erik Matlock is a self-professed recovering knucklehead with more than 500 articles and four books in print. He shares his hard-earned wisdom at ErikMatlock.com, ProSoundWeb.com and through his books, which are available at Amazon.