Quiet and Thankful

I am having a hard time believing it is November 16. Where has the year gone? It seem like just a moment ago I was performing in a summer musical and now we have been talking about Christmas gifts and making sure all of our holiday plans are set.

While I am amazed at how fast the year has gone, I am very happy with the tie of year that is approaching. Yes, I am happy about Christmas, but I am thinking of Thanksgiving. A time for rest and to be with my family. A time to reflect on all the good things that God has given us. It is an overlooked holiday, but it is one of my favorites.

Do you remember when no stores were open on Thanksgiving day? It seems like forever ago, but it really was true. You would drive around town and it was quiet. There were folks at the convenience store trying to get last minute items, but no one at Walmart or any other of the big stores.

Then, early the next morning you would go get in line and Black Friday would commence. I used to love Black Friday. I would be up by four and out the door for the stores to open around 5. I was able to secure some really good deals for a while. Then, they went and messed it up. I saw people camping on Thanksgiving day last year in front of a Best Buy. Nothing says being thankful like trying to be the first one to buy a TV for 100 bucks off.

All of this to say, I now observe Thanksgiving week like the old days…in the quiet of our home. We fix an awesome meal and have a movie marathon. We laugh and enjoy and spend time as a family. I absolutely love that. I can shop any old time. This is the stuff that can’t be replaced.

Being Real

I was in the gym recently and overheard a conversation. Two guys were talking about life being hard and how times were tough. The first guy was extremely frustrated. He was dejected. He needed an ear. The second guy listened patiently and provided sage advice.

We were in the middle of the gym, but it was a great example of someone taking time to listen to the problems of another and encourage them where they were. They also threw around heavy weights and had a good time with general banter.

I really appreciate how the second guy took time right where he was. He didn’t put it off. He didn’t find it odd. He saw a friend that needed encouragement and he met him there. They talked. The lifted. They cussed. They were being real right there in the middle of the gym.

This is the person I try to be as well. I am convinced that there are tons of people frustrated and in pain all around us. They need us to listen. They need someone to see where they are coming from. They need a friend, but don’t know how to ask for one. I want to be that friend.

I smiled when I overheard the guys at the gym. It was real. It was real good too.

Thankful

We are entering the season. The most festive season of the year. Yes, I know that we haven’t hit Thanksgiving yet, but we gave in and the house is decorated for Christmas. I absolutely love it.

There is something so comforting about soft white lights on a green tree. It is quiet and peaceful. I am very thankful for that. The world is full of noise. I am happy to have a place I can come where the quiet happens.

That is one of my favorite things about this time of year. There is a peace and reflective mood that hits around Thanksgiving. I do my best to revel in it through Christmas.

Why you ask? I will tell you. There is so much to be thankful for. My wife and son. My family. My friends. My home. My work. Our church. The list really does go on and on. I am blown away by how blessed I am with the things that matter to me.

#thankful

9 Weeks Down

When I hear 9 weeks I think about school. There were two 9 week sessions in each semester. I remember it well. It felt like they took forever. These days 9 weeks goes by in a hurry.

What have I accomplished in 63 days? I am so glad you asked. Let me make a list:

1. I have lost 27 pounds.

2. I have read 4 books and have started 6 others. I will complete 2 of these this week.

3. I have drank 50 gallons of water. This is a huge accomplishment all in itself.

4. I have posted to the blog 63 days in a row.

There are other accomplishments I have made as well. I am very happy with the work I have put in over the last 9 weeks. But, I am not satisfied. There is much more to do.

I am plotting for my next accomplishments now. The last 9 weeks has been so fulfilling and has left me hungry for more.

#onwardandupward #keepmovingforward

Keep Moving Forward

What do you do when something you have been hoping for doesn’t go the way you want it to? You have looked forward to it. You were sure it was going to happen. Then, it didn’t.

I have had a couple of these experiences lately. I had my eye set on a certain prize. I worked for it. I wanted it. I didn’t get it.

I have a couple of answers to this question:

1. You keep going. Even though I didn’t get what I was after, I have other goals and aspirations that are still in front of me. I have things to do. The milk may have spilled, but there are no tears. We regroup and we keep going.

2. You refocus. I have found that when I get hyper focused on something, I miss a lot of the details surrounding the situation. In the case above, I had my eye set on something specific. When I didn’t get it I was deflated. However, when I stepped back from the situation I realized I wasn’t ready for what I was after. Sure, I could have been good at it, but the learning curve would have been much steeper. With my gaze set at a wider angle, I can prepare if the opportunity arises again.

I have faced numerous situations like this in my life. I refuse to be dragged down by them. I choose to keep my eye on the prize and keep working toward my goals. If there are setbacks, so be it. I will not be deterred.

#keepmovingforward #achievethegoal