Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012, The year of the 30

The year of the 30. That’s this year for me. Filled with as many memories and milestones as the anxiety of doom (turning 30)was supposed to be. This year has been a wake up call for me on so many levels, so I decided to share the lessons I have learned. Enjoy:

-My motto: I’m too old to not know better and too young to become hard headed over it.

-Affection is hard for me and causes weirdness when I try, but in the end has been worth it.

-I have finally let go of the false sense I had of high school. Reality set in about how it really was and my eyes finally dropped the rose colored lenses and started to see my “friends” and “enemies” for who they really were and in some cases are.

-Slowly working through the truth of who I am, who I was, and who (by the grace of God) I am going to be.

-Singleness only sucks when your friends can’t be content with you.

-There is absolutely a difference in life lived between a 30 year old and a 23-28 year old

-Making same aged friends and older, might just grow me up this year.

-Not making apologies for speaking truth about the maturity and age of my friends.

-Finances are killing me and I can admit that without shame….mostly because the rest of the world is pretty screwed with money too.

-Food stopped replacing my old vices when stressed, and instead my body decided to get sick. Bring on the tums!

-I care about my health more then I did when I was 25.

-I have liked talk radio for far too long and think that’s the reason I have been labeled and old soul.

-I have cared to long about being thought of and liked by people who haven’t given a crap in almost 10 years…time to stop beating myself up on that one.

-Seven years of healing looked nothing like I thought it would, and I wish I could implant the knowledge of the things I have learned in some of my old friend’s brains.

-I am finally becoming thankful for the friends I have and not in a desperate want to try and make more because I think I am missing out.

-I am more excited for the prospect of marriage, but still scared to death of the process before. (See first lesson learned)

-I am to old for video games and to young to completely give them up in social settings.

-My desire for advancement in my career is increasing.

-Going back to school is inevitable and I am over the fear of it and look forward to learning.

-My car was a bad decision to buy, but the lessons that have gone with it and its issues are priceless.

-When my brother tells me I am to old to drop it like it’s hot….I am then, most certainly, to old to drop it like it’s hot!

-I still have a bad fantasy to reality ratio. When that’s off there are way to many problems coming your way.

-I secretly sometimes still feel the invincibility of youth.

-I think I am doomed to be a permanent night owl.

-I want to love Jesus more than anyone else I love.

-I am not afraid to talk about Jesus anymore and more afraid I won’t know when to stop.

-I actually have thought a girl is sexy based on her faith and walk with Christ. Which is more than what I thought 7 or 8 years ago.

-I am picky and do not plan on stopping because friends or family think I will never get married. I am picky about all the right things.

-I am still scared of first dates, but love the idea of seconds, thirds, fourths and so on.

-I sometimes have a desire for my friends to get married before me, because I think they deserve it more.

-I am patient and will probably grow less patient the older I get.

-I have come to terms that my music choice is on a fine line of gay and trendy.

-My race has become more important the more I see what the world sees and why.

-I am over black jokes made by others, but still love to crack a couple to keep people uncomfortable and on their toes.

-I have accepted being slower than most to get things and have sped up my understanding of why I do that.

-I have accepted that I wear my emotions on my sleeve and decided to get longer sleeves and talk about it more.

-I need more than just one mentor and like the idea of a bullpen of wise men from all walks of life that I trust.

-My desire to physically fight more has been replaced with a desire to have more “one punch and done” conversations.

-You are more gay if you see something wrong with two grown men hugging in public…unless it’s for a long period of time and there is a lot of rubbing…and no one is injured.

-Christ died for our sins, and although I don’t beat you over the head with it, you should know that it affects every decision I make concerning you and our friendship.

-I am offended when I try not to offend someone and they tear down the gospel and Christ. It is disrespect, not your opinion, if respect doesn’t go both ways.

-Looking cool for young kids is about as stupid as when an 80 year old attempts it. 30 is the threshold of that I think.

-Thank you for letting me know that 31 is the real age it gets bad, now kindly shut up about it and let me go out with false hopes.

-I am ok with scaring people when I first meet them. The surprise when we become friends is far more entertaining in story telling later.

-I still believe the motto of: “Don’t under estimate teddy bears, because even teddy bears have claws when they need them.”

-Sometimes I watch you tube videos just so I can remember why I don’t try stupid things.

-I am over being intoxicated on any level. Nothing good happens after midnight and/or 4 beers.

-I am getting better at learning when to step in and tell friends things and when to step back and let them fall. I also am learning how to help them up after.

-The gym is not as scary anymore.

-I am over listening to friends complain about me having a summer off, when they can’t stand missing work for more than three days without feeling bored.

-Part time jobs have become the spice of life. I don’t like a lot of spice because I get heartburn…so I will be working on not having anymore spice as soon as possible.

-I am funnier to myself than I ever will be to you…so just go with it and know that I am amused.

-Sarcasm has never been my love language…if there was a hat language it would probably more on that side of things.

-I am not less witty because I am not sarcastic….I am more wise because I am not sarcastic.

-Love is difficult, hate is easy. Hate consumes, Love frees.

-You have no idea how to love if you have never been loved or received loved well.

-Weddings are great to be apart of and go to until you reach wedding #150…then it’s a little harder to stay positive…especially if you are single still.

-I have enough garters to start selling them to soon to be brides.

-Just because you can listen in on a conversation, doesn’t mean you should. It also doesn’t make you a part of the inner circle.

-Knowing everything is only impressive to you and you only. Most others around you are annoyed because you keep talking about it.

-Money and status are not so great if you try and think about what happens to it after you die. It is true that death is the great equalizer.

-Never assume anything about someone or their character unless you are willing to learn the truth for yourself. Be prepared to be wrong sometimes too.

-Everyone needs more counseling and less sounding boards. You need someone to talk back to you and tell you you’re stupid and/or wrong, and not someone who is going to agree with everything because they like you.

I think those are all the lessons I have got for now. I have learned much more and in all seriousness am blessed to have had such great friends and lived such an abundant life. I am thankful for my family, friends, and enemies for showing me what it means to grow up. God bless and Amen.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


There was a long, comfortable silence before words were spoken again. He spoke and you could feel the weight of his words press on everyone. As he spoke he unloaded his burdens and past on all of us. We shared in the joy, and in the pain he felt. We became teary eyed when it was hard for him to go on or laughed when he talked about the awkward moments in middle school or high school. The group hadn't been together long, but I knew then that there was something amazing happening. Before all the drama that took place later. Before the guys leaving, and the group splitting. Before marriages and significant others. It was the time I loved biblical community the most.

My favorite parts of home group were not just during but after, when a heavy testimony or prayer night happened, when we would leave and go eat or hang out. Those nights were when the jokes were funniest, when time with the band of brothers that had formed meant more than anything we had to do in the morning.

Tonight was one of those nights; one of the many nights that I want to burn into my memory as being whole and holy. Untouched by anything else going on in the world or in our lives. We knew of all the calamity and oppression and silliness of the world, but for one night we helped a brother lift a burden off of himself. We helped him to trust in God because we cared enough to listen to the things he spilled out to us. Without judgment, without shame...just love and understanding. It is an amazing feeling that can't be duplicated or copied by any product. It can not be bottled up and sold or repeated the exact same way. These meetings....this community, shines more of the light that I want the entire world to see... to feel. As a group we walked farther in our faith because we trusted in something more than our selves, because we followed more than the standards of society. We brought joy to the creator by being transparent and open. By confessing that we need more than man can offer us. More than self help books, or psychiatrist's theories. More than drugs and logic. To me it is like looking out on the ocean in awe. Tonight I realized that God does more than the large miracles. He works and weaves in our lives, and even in us, a thread of His joy and grace.

Tonight brings strength, and faith in me. I am thankful for this band of brothers. These men who are learning to love and live, in return for how they have been loved.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Shut Up Just Shut Up Shut Up

So I sat and felt my heart sink as I just watched her. I felt anger and an overwhelming burden to make it better by beating some people down. But in reality there was nothing I could do. She cried and just spoke. She let her heart out and her frustrations. Here she was a great friend I have grown to trust and admire upset over the foolishness of people.
I thought back and remembered so many times when (even as a male) I sat and wanted to do the same thing, because of hurtful things people said. And to be honest I did sit and cry in the comfort of my own car, simply baffled by how people who said they were my friends, or acquaintances, or coworkers could do me so wrong. it brought me right back to feeling myself get hot and extremely angry over someone smiling to my face and trying to discredit everything I worked hard for. The hardest memory of all though was the fact that I had been the guy who caused pain before. I thought it was better because I could say it to their face too, but normally it doesn't work well either way. No matter whether I did it before or after it was still hurtful words. I had to inflict on people what was inflicted on me right?? Wrong and nothing hurts worse than to see a friend break down, but it is incredibly more shaming and condemning when you are the reason.
I wasn't the cause of this, but I did get to witness first hand what drama in a workplace can do, and how hard workers can be brought to rubble my a misguided gossiping tongue. I hurt for those people, not the ones hurt but the insecure ones doing the hurting. It takes time and energy to take the time to speak all of that negativity, time and energy that to be honest I don't have. I have far better things to do with my life than that.
So what do you do? My questions to the small following of people out there reading. How do you handle drama and gossip in the workplace?? How do you shut it down and build up instead of tearing down? Are you the type that sticks up for friends or the type that shuts your mouth and let them get blasted even when you know better? Are you one that uses your speech for good or evil? And are you happy with the results??

Sunday, August 9, 2009

And I Thank You

One of the most amazing gifts I got one year for my birthday was simple. A book. Yes I know to someone who loves to read that’s a great gift and to those who don’t it’s lame, but there was something much better about it than either of those. The book represented something more than just what I love to do. It was from the heart of someone who was walking with more wisdom than I could muster at the time.

I compare it like getting a quilt on a cold winter night. The quilt is great, but the quilt is much better and brings more comfort when your grandmother made it especially for you.

The sad thing about this story is the fact that it was a gift I didn’t appreciate until much later down the road. It became a cherished gift when my maturity advanced a little more. I realized the gift that this wonderful, amazing woman gave me was insight that I could only dream of in my life. The more that I read the book the more I realized what it is she was actually giving me.

I, through the past three years, have tried to pick the book up and read it but just wasn’t ready to face it or hear it. I read the inscription she wrote in the front many times and in all honesty it didn’t hit me till recently the joy that the inscription and the knowledge inside brought me.

As you know this made me think of the many things and gifts we take for granted. A photo of an old friend that is gone, a recipe from a grandmother, a ring from a friend. All of these bear much more value because they came from people we care about, and whether you know it or not these gifts at different times in your life may become much more than sentimental value. Through tough times that ring a friend gave you may remind you of something that makes you think first and act second, or that recipe may actually help to bring a smile and a bit of joy to your family later down the line. It just reminds me that some gifts have longer lasting values to our hearts and souls than we realize. Those keep sakes that we pass on to kids and friends when we leave this world can last lifetimes. So o that beautiful wonderful woman I say thank you, thank-you for what I did not realize at the time was such an amazing gift to me. It moved me and helped me to live out Christ much more and much better than I could fathom. You helped stir something that killed the contentment in me and for that I’m grateful and honored to be the recipient of such a great gift and thanks for unknowingly not letting me fall by the wayside three years later and living a wasted life.

For you I ask this: what gifts have you overlooked and found joy in later? What gifts stir your hearts in memories and joy that you may not have had before? Helped you through a tough time or brought you closer to someone?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Butterfly in the sky...I can fly twice as high...

I can remember walking in and being utterly amazed. Taking in the smells and the sites of one of my most treasured places. When I was younger it was an escape, a break away from the everyday norm. This place didn’t reject me, make fun of me, tell me I was stupid, or anything else I was used to. It was always welcoming and inviting, and the same could be said for the people who worked there as well. I would browse the aisles for hours, just taking it all in. My favorite place to go was the store in first colony mall outside of Missouri city. It was small but it served its purpose. My mom would go shopping and I would just sit and take it all in. Even in college when it was much more normal to be in a place like this I was at ease and always had a sense of peace when there.

What am I talking about?? A bookstore. Yes I know for those who know me my inner nerd came out, and for those who don’t I just dropped a couple of cool points, but I’m ok with that. I loved books when I was younger. I loved and consumed all that I could get my hands on. I remember knowing how to read before other kids and I also remember reading novels while most of my friends were still reading Bernstein bears. Bookstores and libraries have always been a huge sanctuary for me. It was more than a place to find information, more than a place to meet friends for projects and research papers, more than a place to use the internet. I realized early on that libraries and bookstores were filled with any and everything you want to know. How to fix things, how to win friends, fantasies, and biographies. I just felt like growing up that in a library I could absolutely be anyone I wanted to be. Only in a library through a book could someone go from geek to valiant prince, or from that smelly girl to the singing sensation. It was a place that held a lot of memories, both good and bad for me. Believe it or not the ONE AND ONLY TIME I ever stole something (that I will forever regret) it was a book.

SO how did all of this come up you may ask?? I was sitting talking with an old good friend at star bucks and he started talking about books and without even thinking it I started singing…Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high, just take a look, it’s in a book, a reading rainbow….I HAVE NO IDEA WHY THAT CAME UP, but I do remember it being one of my favorite shows for obvious reasons. And so through the nostalgia of Reading Rainbow, I remember my fortress of solitude and how it helped and hurt my social life at different point in my short-lived life. I remember being the kid who went to the library during lunch to play magic (dear God NOOOO!!!!) or the fact that I started reading The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Which coincidentally I finished the entire series two years ago. Although I am not proud of all of my library book time, I do realize that it was a significant part of my childhood and college life. Although life has progressed I still seem to be fascinated by bookstores and all the knowledge they hold. I am a huge fan of half price books in Dallas, and I don’t mind a library every once in a while just to escape from the rigors of everyday life. Am I weird for that?? Hell yes!!! But do I care?? Hell no!!!

SO go to your local library, sit down, get over yourself, and let go. Enjoy yourself and read a book. You’d be surprised what you learn, or who you can be.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Secrets Don't Make Friends

From what I can remember it was a normal workday like no other. I was new and learning the many ropes that went along with my new job. I remember it being relatively quiet that evening.

He came in and right from the start I could tell he was jovial and happy to be alive (or on vacation). He stepped up to my counter and we went through the normal dance routine of my job and his vacation. He told me his name…I checked the system for it….it was there…he gave me his credit card…I took it to verify…and that’s when things went wrong.

Ok Mr. Doe (anonymity…that and I don’t actually remember his last name), we have you down for two nights and you booked us through Priceline, correct?

No that’s actually wrong, I should be here for three nights not two. And yes I booked this hotel through Priceline.

That is as much of the conversation before it got heated that I could give you or remember. Why did I not remember more, you may ask??? Because this was a constant problem that always began the same every. Single. Time. Why, you may also ask?? Because hotels don’t want you to know that they don’t like you hotel.com, priceline.com buyers very much.

To be honest I never had a problem with any of you guys, but the hotels did. It became a nuisance to deal with reservations that got screwed up, because we couldn’t actually fix them. Why you may ask again??(By this point I don’t honestly like all the whys but you are who you are) Because through some complicated intricate system it was a pain to deal with the guests who actually booked through the hotel and the guests who wanted to find a cheap savvy deal and booked through any of the other sites. It took more work to change reservations for these sites than it did to fix the copy machine…and we hated the copy machine.

So as a public safety I figure I would break rules that I am no longer under and tell you a few secrets and facts of hotel life that hotels don’t want you to know….or at least the ones that we as service agents sometimes follow that you don’t have a clue about. From the former front desk to your eyes ladies and gentlemen:

1.) Priceline, hotel.com, expedia, and all the sites like it do not hold as much respect as booking through the hotel, at least for the four star and above anyway. It’s like getting money from a rich man directly versus getting money through his lawyers after taxes.

2.) I don’t agree with pornography on any level (more posts on that later I’m sure) but if you feel the need to watch it on the T.V. at the hotel, just know that they do know and saying you didn’t to not pay for it is stupid. We made it a habit to make people feel better and say we don’t know what they watched or where the charges came from on the room, but that is a lie and I’m sorry for telling it. I honestly should have used it for a better evangelizing opportunity but didn’t. Anyway, we not only knew but also could look up the title, time, and room number of said activity. I must admit this part grossed me out the most. You have no idea how disturbing it is to see some of the vices that grip people.

3.) If you are mean or a jerk in anyway it did not get you out of smoking rooms. I know this isn’t a problem anymore since a lot of hotels got out of having smoking rooms. But you have to understand that being nice and patient goes a whole lot longer than being a pushy jerk that thinks that bullying gets him into a decent room. I will not lie I used my hotel powers to hook up nice people; from bottles of champagne sent up to newlyweds who were nice to cooking specialty foods that were not on our menu for people who treated us with respect. I am also sad to say in my error (and delight at times) I gave no leeway to anyone who was rude. Basically if you came in and were honest and respectful about it…I had a non smoking room in my pocket I could give you…if you were a jerk I sent the maids up to get rid of the smoking smell “as best I could” and said you can stay there or not at all. I know it’s more work to be mean and hold my ground but it was worth it. Now mind you it wasn’t all the time and it isn’t all hotels but if you’re the one who thinks that being demanding is the way to get things then you might want to rethink your stance, unless you want mystery sauce on your food or a “smoking” non smoking room.

4.) Clean out your cars before valeting. We as a staff talked about people with dirty cars because we were the ones who had to get in them. And yes you got talked about if we found fries and hamburgers all over the backseat. Also in the same vain…for those who think that valets at hotels don’t deserve tips…you are sorely mistaken. They work very hard to drive your dirty cars to safe spots on the premises. Tip them like you would a waiter. Five dollars is pretty good for most valets.

5.) You are not at home or alone in a hotel. So when you bring “people” back to your room there are a few things to remember.

· We are not your parents, so if you decide to have a party in your room we don’t want to clean it up at all. It is your responsibility, and if you don’t clean p you may just get charged extra at some hotels.

· If you are the type of person to “hire” friends don’t tell them to come up to the desk and expect us to rate them for you and then said up the ones you like or don’t. (Yes it’s true some people do this). It is not my job to be your pimp and just know you WILL get talked about by employees there and judged.

· Not every male that works in a hotel knows where strip clubs are, so don’t go up to any male with a uniform on and ask where he likes to go. Some of us don’t do that type of thing and that’s the reason we have a concierge. It’s his job to know where all the questionable things to do at night are.

All right so that’s as much as I could remember to give tips and hints on. It may not make sense or you may not like it but we have lives and hearts too. So the real main point is not to treat us like we are slaves, because we hold much more power over your conditions than you give us credit for.

Monday, July 20, 2009

God VS. Uptown

Cook outs, barbeques, fajitas, mimosas, mojitos….trendy bars, trendy cars, three story condos, walls that are windows….these are the things, although good in the right context and setting, have made me sick to the core lately. This lifestyle of happy hour frivolity has hit a low point with me. I’m not sure when I made the transition, but at some point, for me, it became decided that these things are above Christ. At what point did I trade my pursuit of the heavenly father for brunches and happy hour?

I have had conversations on soccer games, on basketball, on TV shows, on neighbors, on Michael Jackson, on anything and everything that meets middle ground in Christian society. I ‘ve been catty, pissy, belligerent and down right cynical, because its funny and VERY ok in this world of $2 pints. At what point did I decide Entourage should take over my thought process when hanging out with other believers. As much as I would love to say that when I am sitting in the west villages, within my community, that I do a great job of spreading the gospel to baristas and waiters and valets, the truth is I have not uttered a word. I have sat in my patio chair sipping my mimosa and had inane innocuous conversations about nothing spiritual in particular. I’m witty, polite and funny. I’m honest, to the point, and matter of fact….but a Christian…I am not. I don’t even attempt to be one of those Christians that leaves a track that resembles half a twenty-dollar bill. Not that I want to be, but at least they make war against it.

Well I want my salvation back. I want Christ back into the things I do…and I want the happy hours to be there when they need to be. I want to see my heavenly father in everything I do. I don’t want to be subject to sitting at a table waiting on people for a happy hour that I don’t even need to be at. I want the things I read to be more than just something to discuss over a beer at trinity hall. I love these places and the people I have gotten to meet, but I don’t want to trade it for my spirituality. I want to be bold, loving, caring, disciplined, and Christlike in the things I do and say in a community that desperately needs someone to be more than just another customer to serve a non fat chi latte too. God expects better and he deserves better, and so do the people who are hurting in a world where you can easily get a margarita, but Christ and true community are rare. So it is time to be the light instead of sitting and waiting at one to meet friends at another Christless event. Who’s with me?