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

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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.

Hospitals & Me Don’t Mix

I’m reminded, as I lay here on this uncomfortable bench seat/bed, how much I hate hospitals. Not just because the bedding for overnight guests are usually the worst, but because I have some bad memories here. I lost my grandfather when I was seven years old. He was my best friend at that time of my life. Always stood up for me, and anytime I was in trouble I would run to him and he would bail me out so to speak. Before he left us, he had a series of stays at the hospital. Bad heart. Towards the last of his stays he was in a wing where they didn’t allow young children there. I remember being snuck in just so we could see one another. We weren’t gonna let a crazy hospital rule like yah keep us from one another. He passed not too long after that. My best friend, gone, and one of the last images I have of him is him in a hospital bed with tubes hanging in and out of him. I still miss him today, almost 26 years later.

My next bad experience at a hospital came my freshman year. Woke up with stomach pains and after hours and hours at the clinic they finally told me I had appendicitis. My parents took me to the hospital and I couldn’t even stand up straight by that time. I remember vomiting outside the hospital when I got there. I also remember my brother almost fainting when they were drawing my blood and a little but squirted out on the floor. The thing I remember most is being wheeled into the O.R. I thought to myself, “What if something goes wrong. What if I just don’t wake up.” Not sure if that’s normal or not for people going into surgery but it hit me hard. I spend one night there. The doctor wanted me to stay a week and recover. I refused. I would rather clean my own wound and bandage myself at home than stay another sleepless night there. And that’s exactly what happened.

A little over two years ago I lost my grandmother. She was over ninety years old. That’s a long time without my grandpa. I knew she was past ready to go. She had already seen some of her own kids pass on. Can’t imagine that’s an easy thing to experience. And even though I knew that, it still was hard for me to see her with tubes stuck to her as well. They said when she passed she smiled. I can only imagine what she saw. They say Jesus is the first person you meet in heaven. Gotta be pretty awesome to see Him.

My next memory in a hospital shortly after that was actually a great one. My son was born months later. The best thing to happen to our marriage without a doubt. Can’t really complain about that memory. I can’t really speak for my wife and she had to feel the pain before, during and after with slight complications.

And now, tonight, I sit here laying in my mom’s room as she tries to rest, I think of all those times I’ve spent in hospitals and the memories that I will probably keep forever. I hope she gets out of here soon, and recovers fast from her surgery. I hate staying the night here, and I know I probably won’t get much sleep if any before having to go to work tomorrow morning, but this is my mom. The woman who sacrificed so much for us when we were kids. There’s absolutely nothing that I will not do for her. Nothing.

Facebook Detox

Yesterday was the first time I can actually say I’ve missed Facebook. Not the drama. Not the silly posts that have absolutely NOTHING to do with people’s lives. Not the constant streams of memes that I could easily hop on Pinterest and see. But I miss the actual personal interactions with people on there. I know what you’re thinking, “That’s not personal interaction if you’re not in person.” I know, I get that. What I mean is that I miss the really meaningful interactions, conversations or discussions that I have with people. From talking about old times, or parenting issues and talking about God. I feel like sometimes God leads me to post scripture or life experiences so that I can share that with others. Am I missing out? Is someone else missing out on God’s word? I worry about that. I worry that I’m missing people right now, even as I type this. What if someone on there is looking for an answer, or even just someone to talk to, or some guidance. Right before I left Facebook I had three instances of that. All of which had some positive outcome and/or feedback about what was being discussed. It’s on my heart now. And I don’t know if that’s God telling me to get back, or me just going to withdrawals from it all.

I also don’t want to get back on so quickly after deactivating it. I feel like I haven’t really given the break a fair chance. I mean the point of the break was not only to get away from the nonsense but to also see if it’s worth keeping in my life. Can’t really do that if it’s not even been a week and I’m already back on. Doesn’t help that I have had several friends asking me why and am I gonna get back on soon. It’s like leaving Facebook Highschool. Or leaving a city named Facebook, TX. I know that’s an odd way to look at it but it’s almost like leaving all your friends behind. Digitally speaking of course.

Can’t honestly say how much longer I’ll go without it, or if I’ll find that I don’t need it and am better off without it. I really just wish I could ask God and just say, “Is this something you want or need me to do? Can I really make a big impact for you?” I’m sure when He’s ready…. He’ll answer.

Attack of The Killer Hair

Attack of The Killer Hair. That’s what I’m gonna name my first big movie. It’s gonna be a documentary too. Not gonna be hard for me to shoot any of it, cause I got plenty of hair around the house to serve as props. Whose hair? Everyone’s hair! We have hair from different species all around us! Cat hair, dog hair, people hair…. I think I might have found tiny spider leg hair.

I find hair on my clothes everywhere. I find hair in my mouth. I find hair in my food. I find hair on my computers and game consoles. I find hair in my hair. I find hair that’s not mine while I’m showering, wrapped around body parts that should NOT have hair wrapped around them!

There is hair that is white, hair that is brown, orange, black, grey, red. It comes as a solid, comes as liquid when my cat decides to spit out and I’m sure if I tried, I’d probably find some in gas and gel form.

Not trying to lay the blame on anyone, or any creature because I know I find my tiny hair here and there as well. It just really seems like lately, it’s an everyday thing. I fear that I’m gonna wake up one morning and I will be drowning in hair. If one day I come up missing, you know where’ to find me. I’ll be the one trapped under 2 tons of hair. Bring the clippers and scissors.

Why Did I Abandoned My Reno?!?

Daycare. Nothing wrong with it right? Tons of people use it every day for their children. Even though there have been a few horrid stories of bad daycare facilities, we know most of them are good. We know they screen all their employees and hire the best possible people for the proper positions. They all follow state codes and laws. And some facilities are quite beautiful and equipped with great technology. So why on earth does it feel like I abandoned my child when we dropped him off on his first day there? Why did it feel like I was taking a long loved pet back to the pound because we didn’t want him anymore and it’s breaking my heart every second that I’m there. The whole time my wife is finishing up paper work I’m walking around pretending to read stuff on the wall, when it’s really a cover up of me trying not to cry. Here I am tearing up to the activity schedule on the wall and the brochure about the webcams.

And speaking of the webcams, I’m not sure if they’re a blessing or a curse. I mean, I love that I can watch him the entire day in his class, but sometimes I can get so distracted with it. I mean, who can concentrate on work when they can sit there and just watch their little baby on the screen the whole time? The first few days watching it was just torture. I know he’s new to them, so they don’t know his likes or habits. I found myself getting angry at my monitor because they were trying to get him comfortable. I knew all they had to do was just put the little guy in the swing and he would calm down. I swear I was two seconds away from calling the place and telling them over the phone. But I didn’t want them to think I was crazy or anything. At least not more than they probably already think I am.

I must admit the last couple of days of the week, it got a little easier. Still not totally over it, but it did get easier. Now just because it was getting a little easier dropping him off, doesn’t mean that I’m not in a hurry to come and pick up my little guy. The last few hours at work seem to drag and I’m always so eager to get in my truck and head over to snatch him up. Times like these that I wish I drove a Formula One car. I think I could at least cut my time in half with one of those. Is there room for a car seat in one of those?