Viva!

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London Calling

| Posted by Harlan

There’s a rumor about us going around. No, we’re not pregnant – but the other rumor is true.

We’re moving to England!

That’s right, Yvette and I will be moving temporarily to England in the Fall of 2015 to serve and support Wellspring Church in Watford, Greater London! This has been a journey a long time in the making, and we are thrilled to finally have it become a reality.

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Husband. Father. Amateur Entrepreneur at @paradigmdfw, @orsorealty, & @grymttrs. Collector of hobbies. Facebook | Twitter

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The Grey Matters – Honesty 2: The Hope

| Posted by Harlan

The Grey Matters was the landing spot for the creative and contemplative works that bounce around the confines of my head, as well as the inspirations that put them there. With the re-release of Viva, we decided to merge the blogs. Click here for more behind the meaning behind TGM.

I commute nearly two hours a day – one hour each way. I’ve had quite a few friends ask me how I do it. It must be so boring. On the contrary, I actually quite enjoy it. There’s something soothing about preparing for my day, a sort of gearing up, as I drive to work. At the end of the day, I’m able to decompress, and arrive with my head clear, fully present at home. Something about the music blaring in my car acts as an audible conduit for the release of the stress associated with a high-paced job to leave my head.

I mentioned in my previous post that writing is a cathartic – sometimes even therapeutic – process for me. Just like driving, it allows me to process thoughts in a way that I’m often unable to otherwise. As I began writing my previous post on honesty, and how, despite it’s value and importance to me, it had challenged me in various ways, I was able to work through some difficult emotions and thoughts that I had been harboring for a while.

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Husband. Father. Amateur Entrepreneur at @paradigmdfw, @orsorealty, & @grymttrs. Collector of hobbies. Facebook | Twitter

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The Grey Matters – Honesty 1: The Fear

| Posted by Harlan

The Grey Matters was the landing spot for the creative and contemplative works that bounce around the confines of my head, as well as the inspirations that put them there. With the re-release of Viva, we decided to merge the blogs. Click here for more behind the meaning behind TGM.

Writing is a very cathartic process for me, and this is nowhere more evident than in the post that follows. I usually start out with a random idea, and it develops from there. In this instance, the process was almost therapeutic, in that words began to flow from depths I had not previously dared to go. It’s honest, if a bit dark, and I hope that you will accept my vulnerability here. It was a difficult post to write, and after several weeks of fighting with the decision to free it, I’ve decided to do so now. Enjoy.

Honesty plays many different roles in the mind and heart of an individual. It’s a tremendously complex and important piece of a relationship, and in general, relationships cannot survive without it. Authenticity and genuineness are key components of my pursuit in being a whole person. While there are many facets to both authenticity and genuineness, there is none more important than the subject of honesty. For part one, I’m pulling back the layers, to expose one of the greatest inhibitors to honesty – fear. This post will admittedly be a dark one; the next will be brighter.

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Husband. Father. Amateur Entrepreneur at @paradigmdfw, @orsorealty, & @grymttrs. Collector of hobbies. Facebook | Twitter

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The Grey Matters – What Does it Mean to Leave a Legacy?

| Posted by Harlan

The Grey Matters was the landing spot for the creative and contemplative works that bounce around the confines of my head, as well as the inspirations that put them there. With the re-release of Viva, we decided to merge the blogs. Click here for more behind the meaning behind TGM.

I spend a considerable amount of time pondering the meaning of legacy, and what I’ll leave behind when I exit this life, whether that be music or writings, money for my kids, a great lesson or thought. It’s easy to think of legacy in terms of retirement plans and savings accounts, life insurance or possessions we can give our children and grandchildren to help their lives along. Conversely, I think of burdens, and the often intense desire to leave behind nothing that will cause more stress or fatigue on my already over-extended loved ones. To be honest, I think about this more often than I’d like to admit.

It’s taken me a long time to come to the realization that legacy is not at it’s heart that obvious something that you yourself leave behind, at least not directly. The truest legacy is much less visible.

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The Grey Matters – Progress

| Posted by Harlan

The Grey Matters was the landing spot for the creative and contemplative works that bounce around the confines of my head, as well as the inspirations that put them there. With the re-release of Viva, we decided to merge the blogs. Click here for more behind the meaning behind TGM.

It seems my posts get a jolt of momentum around the New Year. It’s fairly easy to figure out why, as this time of year offers up the challenge for everyone to assess what they’ve accomplished (or not) in the last 12 months, and to further dream to be reset, to relaunch the efforts to be the best person they possibly can be. There are plenty of studies and writings and conjecture on the merits of New Years resolutions, and I as well have my thoughts on them. I’m not particularly interested in joining that conversation at this moment. Instead I’d prefer to give an update to one of the most difficult posts I’ve ever written, and an encouragement to you (whoever you are) to continue battling and persevering through.

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Husband. Father. Amateur Entrepreneur at @paradigmdfw, @orsorealty, & @grymttrs. Collector of hobbies. Facebook | Twitter

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The Grey Matters

| Posted by Harlan

The Grey Matters was the landing spot for the creative and contemplative works that bounce around the confines of my head, as well as the inspirations that put them there. With the re-release of Viva, we decided to merge the blogs. Below is the meaning behind TGM.

I just want to be genuine. Authentic. Honest.

Anything more that I say about it wouldn’t quite do it justice.

Hi, my name is Harlan, and I live in Fort Worth, Texas with a beautiful and patient wife, Yvette, our son Baron, and our rescue dog Fenway. I work as a Creative Director and Web Developer in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. I am passionate about writing, music, tea, soccer – primarily the great Chelsea Football Club – and globe-trotting.

I often refer to myself as a tortured soul, even though I agree it sounds a bit pretentious. I’m an over thinker, I’m narcissistic, impulsive, stubborn, skeptical. But I’m also hopeful, persevering, compassionate, loving, thoughtful. I struggle with faith, and find myself unable to let it go. I am eternally tolerant of the miscreant and a brick wall to the proud and judgmental. I’m somewhere between who I was yesterday and who I’m supposed to be.

The Grey Matters started as a blurry concept in my head in early 2009.

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The Grey Matters – Rob Bell & The Art of Questioning

| Posted by Harlan

The Grey Matters was the landing spot for the creative and contemplative works that bounce around the confines of my head, as well as the inspirations that put them there. With the re-release of Viva, we decided to merge the blogs. Click here for more behind the meaning behind TGM.

I’ve been reading quite a bit of Rob Bell’s work lately. It’s right up my alley, really, as he doesn’t do a lot of preaching, instead choosing to focus the majority of his work on the asking of questions. For some, this is his fatal flaw, the reason they can’t get into him. They feel his questioning leaves you simply adrift, with no resolution to cling back to. Some even feel this is dangerous. A person adrift doesn’t have a lot of options.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

| Posted by Yvette

I love Christmas time.  All things about it.  The music, movies, making gifts, decorating, baking… I just love it all.  Harlan does his best to contain my love for this season to it’s appropriate time frame (even though he’s fully aware that I watch Christmas movies year-round).  I’m not allowed to set up our tree until Thanksgiving is officially over.  But you can bet, as soon as that leftover turkey is in the fridge, I’ve got White Christmas playing and decorations are on their way up.  One of my favorite parts of the decorating is our Advent calendar.

When Baron was first born, a friend told me something that really stuck with me.  When your kids are grown, they’re not going to remember gifts you bought for them.  What they remember is the things you do together.  It’s so true.  So we choose to spend time together making memories and coming up with our own traditions.

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