Am I Successful?

Tomorrow, I turn 34 and yesterday my wife asked me if I considered myself successful, as part of a bigger conversation we were having. I pondered for a few seconds and responded with, “It depends on what you define as successful.

Successful to me years ago doesn’t have the same meaning as it does now. When I was younger, success was measured by my bank account, social status or my possessions, you know society’s standard of success. I wanted to be rich, and travel and have the kind of job that others would envy and get paid big figures for it. Having not so good luck with relationships, I figured I’d probably never be married and just be happy that way. Heck, more money and time for me, right?

Success. A word that can have a different meaning coming from different people. A word truly in the eye of the beholder.

I don’t have all that money. I see people younger than me with money coming out of their ears and bank accounts. People with so much money, they don’t even know what to do with it, except buy useless things. And while I have traveled, it’s nothing the sort of what I had envisioned in my dreams for my future. I don’t have that dream job/career and I certainly don’t get paid loads of money for it. That successful story, never happened. It never came true.

That story, never came true, but God. God had a different success story for me.

I don’t have the money. Not like that. But I have enough and then a little left over. Sometimes I stop and just look around and see how AMAZINGLY blessed I am, because there are far too many people in the world that don’t have a tenth of what I have. And I surely can’t forget where I came from as well. I just cannot complain about my life and my wealth.

I don’t get to travel around the world. I’ve seen a few places around this region and that has been awesome for me. I still dream of going places, but it’s been great to see the little that I have. I still remember when we were too poor to go anywhere but to Mexico to see family or to the state park to enjoy a swim. So to me, yeah, I’ve come a long way in that area.

I don’t have, what most would call, a dream job. I work at a church, and sometimes it gets pretty busy and stressful just like other jobs do. I certainly don’t get pad big money working at a church, even though it’s a big church. But I have a steady job, that I enjoy doing. A place that I get to serve God while I work and I have an awesome team around me. I’m not out dealing, stealing and who knows what else, which was a path that was not only easy for me to take, but one that was offered to me a lot growing up.

I never thought I’d get married or be a homeowner, much less be a dad. And yet, here I am with an AMAZING and beautiful wife, and the most awesome three year old anyone could ever ask for.

I don’t want society’s success. I’m so happy with my success. And I just can’t help and smile because I know God’s not done with me yet.


Drive Smart, People!!!

Driving and dealing with traffic and dealing with “not so smart” people (trying to be nice), is probably my biggest annoyance. I wish I could telepathically go into every driver’s mind and say:

– Be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of other drivers… AT ALL TIMES.

– Don’t drive like a psycho and don’t drive too afraid/cautious. You’re doing the same damage either way.

– Be courteous. Be civilized. Be respectful. (I could go on about these, but I’m keeping it short. We are mostly adults here, this is a no-brainer.)

– Stop trying to multitask and drive!!! Put your phone down, put your makeup down, put your dog down, put your food down, stop TEXTING and just drive. Focus on driving.

– Don’t brake just because you see flashing lights, a patrol car or an accident. If you haven’t seen an accident by now, I don’t think you should be driving. Focus on the road, instead of causing MORE traffic. You could become the next show that people are staring at if you’re not paying attention!!

I would love to see how much traffic we could cut back if people would just drive smart.

3 Things I Came Away With From Super Bowl 49 (Non-Sports Related)

1. Roman Numerals Are Confusing
The Romans did a LOT of things good, but numbers seem to have taking the backseat for them. What in the world is XLIX. Seriously. I’m having to do math just to tell what number Super Bowl we’re in. Just think when we’ve reached the 100th Super Bowl, it will be Super Bowl C. Like what? Well even next year will be Super Bowl L. Maybe it’s time to switch to regular numbers? Maybe they’ll wait till Super Bowl 4999 or should I say, Super Bowl MMMMCMXCIX as the Romans would call it. Anyway, here’s a tool to help you all out in the years to come.

2. WTH Happened To The Commercials?
I remember a time when the commercials were just as fun and sometimes BETTER than the game itself. We’d see commercials that we’d be talking about for days after the game finished. Funny ones, inspiring ones, super creative ones. Now, we’re depressed out of our minds when we’re not confused at what the heck we just watched. Nationwide, I don’t want to think about my child dying and what he wasn’t able to accomplish because he died when I’m watching the Super Bowl. I am aware at the millions of ways he CAN die. Yeesh. Had to hug my boy right after that thing. And stop with the teaser commercials. Don’t show me something that I don’t understand and follow with a website. We’re not in the 90’s anymore. At least put a QR code up or something. Oh wait, that never really panned out either, did it?

Here’s one of my old and all time favorites just to help cheer you up a little bit:

3. Halftime Shows
It seems like it’s turned into a competition now. I’m going to out do the person before me like never before! Oh, and I’m going to need the help of other artists to do that as well. Let me just tell all of you halftime performers and future performers, you’ll never beat Michael Jackson’s performance. Ever. Give it up. (For those of you who never got a chance to experience the awesomeness, here’s MJ in his SB Halftime Performance.) MJ set the bar and changed the way we look at SB Halftime in my opinion.

Also, how the heck does Katy Perry get dressed so fast? I mean, I know some of it was slight of hand, like “Hey look at these dancing and singing sharks! And here’s Katy again with a summer outfit that has beach balls covering the goods.” But still, that was quite quick. I’m assuming she does the whole “Peel-Away” thing. Whatever it is, I’m going to need her to teach this to all the other women in the world who say they’ll be ready in a few minutes. 😀

To All The Soon-To-Be Husbands

Not too long ago a family member of our got married. It was a great day, and by the smile on his face that whole day, I could tell that he was marrying the woman he most loved. No doubt about it. But on the morning of his wedding, I thought I would send him a little “advice” of what I’ve learned in marriage. Now, I’ve only been married for 9 years, but you can learn a lot in just a few years while married. I’m sure the learning never stops, but I figured a little advice wouldn’t hurt. And even though it was targeted toward him, I wish I could tell this to all the grooms and/or future grooms out there. Here’s what I shared with him in a message:

I know I don’t have a lot of years in the marriage game, but I just wanted to give you a few tips that you can chose to take or not.

1. Keep God first. In all that you do, no matter how big or small, HE is number one in your relationship.

2. She’s your #1 gal. She’s your best friend. She’s your partner in crime, so to speak. Don’t forget that. Love her like its the first day you fell for her, forever and always.

3. Don’t be to prideful to say I’m sorry. We all make mistakes and in marriage you will be learning to adapt to living your life as two. There will be disagreements, and maybe some arguments. But don’t be too proud to say I’m sorry, even if you’re apologizing just for the argument. I know it can be hard, cause this is a struggle with me.

4. Tell her you love her. Every day. Every moment you can. Tell her. Don’t let a day pass without telling her how much you love her.

5. Have fun. I often hear people say, “marriage is a lot of work.” I hate to say it, but maybe they’re doing it wrong. Marriage is not hard work. Marriage is fun. Now that doesn’t mean you won’t have to work at some things, but it shouldn’t be constant work. Laugh. Smile. Take goofy pictures. Don fun things with one another. Enjoy one another.

6. Talk to her. She’s your best friend. No one should know more about you than her.

7. Take lots of pictures. There will be several things you will forget but pictures and videos help. Trust me, in years to come you’ll be glad you did.

I wish you all nothing but the very best. We love you and if you ever need anything, even if it’s just to talk, you know where to find me. God Bless you guys.

So with that in mind, I pray and wish you future or new husbands, the very best in your marriages and new lives.

My 2015 New Year’s Resolutions

Every year we all do it. We think of the things in our lives and the things about us that we seek to improve. And for some reason, we fill the need to wait till a new year to try and start them. Maybe it’s the idea of a new year, clean slate? Not sure, but I do it as well. I have made lots of resolutions over the past few years, and some have been forgotten and some I’ve actually managed to hit. This year is no different in making resolutions, but I think what will be different will be my way of handling them.

God is my life. Period. Without God, I would not be here typing this post, and only he knows where I would be right this moment. Everything that I am now, is because of him. So why should I try to change my life and habits, without putting him at the forefront? I shouldn’t, and this year, I won’t. So with this list I say this, He will be at the forefront of all of it, no matter how big or small the task may seem.

1. Read
I used to LOVE to read as a kid. Stepping into a library was like stepping into a Best Buy or Fry’s Electronics now days. It was fun for me, and having so many books to be able to read was just awesome. And then High School Happened. Forced to read “the classics”, which I’m sure is great for a lot of people, but it repulsed me. Hated it. I turned my attention more towards video games, and that’s all she wrote. But now, I want to start reading again. I know most people are like, “Pffft! Big deal, so read more”, but I know if my wife is reading this, she knows it’s a pretty big deal for me. So I will try and make some time during my days to pick up a book and read. It’s already started happening a little but I want to really push on this for 2015 and hopefully beyond.

2. Study
No, I’m not going back to school. This past year, I felt God calling me. I feel like He’s calling me to be better educated in Him and His Word. I’ve had friends approaching and asking me questions about my faith and although I’ve been able to answer their questions,  I feel like this is the tip of the iceberg for this. The way this world is moving into darker days, I need to be studied up and ready to lead people towards the light.

3. Pray
2014 really taught me to pray. Now I’ve always prayed. Pray in the mornings, in the evenings, when I’m alone. I pray for myself, my friends, my family my co-workers, our homes, our pets, etc. But this year taught me to really pray. To get down on my knees, to pour out my heart, and pray into tears. To not only pray alone, but to gather my “prayer warriors” and pray together over situations. God has NEVER let me down. Not once. This is something I need to not only do, but submerse myself in. Prayer. It’s powerful, and I personally seen it happen.

4. Say No
I consider myself to be a pretty hard worker. I love to help people out, even if it’s not on my “ticket”. I feel like being a servant to others, especially when in need is something I’ve always been called to do. But at some point, you realize that some people will take advantage of this. In the past, I keep my mouth closed and happily oblige. But when it starts to take time away from my family and friends and the things that matter most to me, I reach a point where I have to start just saying “no”. I can no longer go out of my way every time certain people are unprepared countless amount of times, and I have to clean it up. My God, my family will ALWAYS come before my work. Always. And I plan on enforcing that in 2015. I can always find another job, but my family and my friends are irreplaceable.

5. Traffic Will Not Win
Most of my friends know I’m a pretty nice guy, regardless of my appearance. It takes a lot to get me angry or in a bad mood. But traffic, traffic is my weakness. It’s like I’m a different person. I have a low tolerance for stupidity and for selfish drivers who care not only about themselves while driving. Not only is it annoying but it’s dangerous. But I’m going to TRY my best to remain calm and not let it ruin my day or mornings. Sometimes it changes my mood, I find myself getting really angry at times, and I know it just needs to stop. I’ll never be able to change people and their selfishness. But I can change how I react to them.

6. Write
I used to love to write all the time. Short stories. Some of my friends have been lucky enough to be featured in some of those stories. Then I stopped. Not sure why. But I jus stopped writing. And it’s something I want to pick back up. Even if it’s just for fun, cause it is something I do enjoy doing.

7. Get Fit
This is the reoccurring one. Every year, I tell myself I’m going to do this. Some years I start, and start well and get close to my goals, and then I give up. But this year, not only will I put God first, but I have a group of friends that I will be going through with. I think this will be the year that it actually happens. No. I KNOW this will be the year that actually happens. No more excuses. No more giving up. 2015 will be my fittest year yet. And I hope by this time next year, I’m not eating these words. O_o

What Happened To Customer Service?

This will probably turn more into a rant than anything. These past couple of weeks I’ve been exposed to some bad customer service. I hate to say it, but it’s starting to become the norm now. I’m just curious when did this happen? At what point did companies decide it was okay to be rude, or lie to try and make a sell, to not care? I’m not asking for the royalty treatment, but it just seems that lately you don’t get the “Hello…” or “Thank You”. Forget customer service, that’s just plain common courtesy. It’s like we’ve lost that. Used to be that the bad customer service with me the ones to stand out amongst the good ones. Now, when we get good customer service I pretty much want to hug the employee. Don’t want have the “creeper” sticker on me though. I know some people say, “speak to a manager, or go above their heads to someone bigger” but it frustrates me that I even have to do that to begin with.

So because of this I would like to say a big THANK YOU to some of the great customer service that I’ve had in the last few days: BJ’s Brewhouse (Katy), Best Buy (Fry & I-10), Compass Bank. You all rock in my book.

And I’ll leave these in another list that I won’t title just to keep things PG: Mac Haik Ford, Finnegan Jeep/Dodge, Allen Samuels Jeep/Dodge. I’m sticking my tongue out to you right now, just so you know.

Okay, I’m done. The End.

3 Things I Learned About Facebook, Without It

1. I’m NOT An Addict.
One of my worries and reasons why I decided to step away from Facebook was the fact that I felt that I was always on it. Always checking the feed. Always trying to see if anything interesting happened. I got my news from it. Not just news from my friends, but news around the globe. Seriously, I was always checking it. It seemed a bit more than normal, whatever “normal” is on Facebook. Being away from it all and not having the shakes and/or sweats let me know that I was okay completely walking away from it in total.

2. I Missed My REAL Facebook Connections
There are those few connections on Facebook that I actually missed. The REAL conversations and interactions. There were some great ones before I stepped away, and it really hurt to leave those without following up on them and just leaving them open. I miss those few interactions with people.

3. There Is A Lot NONSENSE On Facebook
I got on Facebook to connect with people and their lives. Not to see a stream of game invites, a flood of memes and pictures that have absolutely NOTHING to do with people’s lives. That’s not what  I want to see. I mean I can surf the web for that on my own if I want to see that. Needless to say I will be doing some filtering and housecleaning when I get back on soon. Hopefully that will help out the experience and value of it all.

So yes I am returning to Facebook. Why? Cause I’m weak and need it? No. Because I feel that God is leading me in a direction in my life right now, to help His lost sheep find their way home. (Luke 15:3-7) And Facebook happens to be a pretty big avenue for that in my life.