Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Lord has been mindful of me...

...He blesses and blesses again. Just thought I would offer up some praise. I have spent plenty of my blog time complaining and it's time to flip the coin. I received 2 inspections at my store in the last week, my corporate inspection and my health inspection. Both caught me completely by surprise. The corporate inspection is to tell how good we are at being a Zaxby's. They score us on our food, ticket times, how clean we are, and how safe we are. We were short on employees that day and were even training a brand new one. The inspector still told me that he had to dig to find things so he wouldn't have to give us a 100! Our score ended up being a 98, which is the highest score the owner can even remember! Then we got our health inspection (again, completely by surprise), and scored a 97! The only things we were counted off for had absolutely nothing to do with food. I have been so happy and proud that I could burst. And then it struck me. I have worked very hard to make our resaurant safe, clean, and enjoyable. To some extent, I have succeeded, but it is not due to my own efforts. The Lord has looked down upon His servant with kindness in His heart. He has blessed the work of my hands, that I may prosper. I can work as hard as I want or am able, but if God is not willing that it should prosper or that I should succeed, I am striving against the wind. It is very humbling to see the ways that God has provided for me and my family. I just wanted to share with everyone where my joy comes from!

Saturday, March 4, 2006


Me being the completely random individual that I am, I find this quite funny. The fact that I am completely sore. I am getting old fast. Matt, Greg, and I went to hit some golf balls yesterday. Not "play golf," because I could quite possibly shoot 300. Greg's pretty good, so I wanted some pointers. Boy, that is a game that is impossible to do well in and look cool. You've got to stick your butt out way to far to look cool. I don't know how Tiger Woods does it. Anyway, I had a blast before I went to work and had literally the worst shift I have had in 6 months at least. It was rough, folks. But I'm sorta all right with that. I know why it was rough, and I knew it would end eventually, so we just kept plugging away. And it wasn't the worst I've ever had, so that was good. But today I'm sore as anything. My whole left side is killing me. And I wonder what happened. When I took Tae Kwon Do, I was doing it 4-6 times a week. I was in great shape. How can I be skinny AND out of shape? I thought that wasn't allowed! I've got to start doing something, but I don't know what. I hate running up and down roads. It just bores me. I don't mind doing crunches and push-ups, but I don't like only being able to do a few to start off with. And when I do those exercises that remind me of martial arts, I want to start doing martial arts again. I have no outlet for that desire. If you didn't know, I am a passionate martial artist. It's probably one of the few things in my life I have ever been actually very good at. I was once the national champion red belt for my age group in both forms and sparring. By the way, I'm not naturally athletic, so it took a LOT of work to become good. I'm not trying to brag (I really hope I'm not), I just enjoy that so much. I felt like I could express myself really well that way. So anyway, I don't have an outlet for that desire now. I don't really have the time to join a class, because of my crazy work schedule. My friends that I like to work out with have different schedules than me. And I don't want to go do it in my backyard because I don't like to practice in front of people who will either think I'm showing off or think that I'm stupid (and probably both). I live in a quadraplex, so we share our backyard with other people, and we live on the top floor so I can't jump around and stuff. I really think that once I start doing some physical activity that I will start sleeping better, as well. The verse that keeps popping up in my head is "Bodily exercise profits little." But all I can think of is that maybe it would help me clear my head some and help me start building new, better habits, like regular Bible study and prayer. I've got to start somewhere, so I guess I'm reaching out for anything. I'd like to join this gym right down the street from work, but I don't have the money right now. Besides, I'd like to give Kellie the chance to first, if she'd like to. Do you see what I meant in my last blog? I can't write when I'm okay; it screws me up. All of this just came out in a random jumble; maybe emotion helps me focus.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

I thought I'd lost myself - or maybe I did just now

Ahhh, there I am. Back where I belong - just slightly depressed. For a while, I thought I was going to be able to be happier and actually be a little more chipper. But that was just a dream. What was I thinking? I should have known better. It's funny, I really want to be a happy person, and yet when I'm a little depressed, I feel more like myself. Maybe it's because when I'm happy, there's so many things I don't care about. I don't care what people think about me, I don't care whether my jokes are funny, I don't think about whether I have real friends or just people I know who tolerate me. When I'm down, I feel like I see the world a little more realistically. My rose-colored glasses come off. The ironic thing is, I probably just trade them in for crap-colored ones. I posted in a blog that I can be my worst critic - attacking myself over things that make no difference whatsoever. But it's also funny how I can take the smallest glance, the slightest change in tone, the tiniest gesture as a sign that the people I'm around really wished I wasn't even there. A couple of thoughts that are careening through my head:

1. Aren't I in charge? Then why doesn't it feel like it sometimes?

2. Why don't I feel like I matter to people? Why does that matter?

3. Why can't I seem to get my walk going?


Question 1: I'm not talking about "in charge" as in in control of my life, I try to leave that up to God. I'm talking about why do I feel like things I should be in control of keep getting wrenched out of my hands? I feel like I keep getting made a fool out of. I try to be nice, I'm not being nice enough. God forbid that I be fair; it might as well be cruel and unusual punishment.

Queston 2: Why is it such a big deal to me that I be important to other people? Not in the "famous" way, just in the "someone I care about" way. It really feels wierd when it's at church. A question was asked not to long ago: what are your gifts and do you feel they are being used by the church? My answer to the second part was "no." I feel like some of my gifts are being used, but I used to feel like I was needed in my church; now I just feel like someone they've forgotten about. Maybe it's because at one time I had a very definite (if sorta vague) role - now I don't.

Question 3: For someone who grew up reading the Bible everyday, it sure has been a while since I've cracked it open. What is my problem? It's like working out; I simply can't seem to get started and stay started. It used to be a routine, how did it change? The funny thing is, I can still quote a lot of Scripture and carry on a pretty good discussion; I remembered what I would consider a minute detail from a chapter in the Bible and looked it up real quick and was able to add to the discussion in class tonight. A couple of times lately I've had discussions with friends about what the Bible says about certain things. I feel certain that I am right and that I used God's Word correctly then, but boy, did I feel fake doing it. "Physician, heal yourself!" keeps coming up in my mind. I've got all sorts of advice for people from the Bible. I can't seem to dig myself out of a rut.

Question 4: I think I am too scared to take a risk. Maybe because I'm scared it won't be a leap of faith, it'll be a leap of stupidity. Like God will say, "Boy, that was dumb. Maybe he won't make this mistake again." and let me fall. I can't do that, I've got a wife and child to support. When does trying to make sure they have food, clothing, and shelter become stifling to what God may have in store for us? Am I trying to do too much? There are so many things I wish I could do with my life; did I miss my chance? If opportunity knocks once, why am I looking for him 10 years later? Sometimes I feel like the pull on my heart to follow my dreams is God trying to tell me something. Sometimes I feel like it's just a dream that couldn't come true if I tried; why quit a job that pays the bills and live on a prayer? Am I going to be one of those people who always says, "I could have been..."? Have I wasted whatever potential I once possessed? Or that possessed me? It's funny; every opportunity seems just barely out of my reach. Is that the true sign of a failure?

Another funny thought that you won't laugh at: I think enthusiasm is my greatest strength and liability at the same time. No one can be more enthusiastic about some things, which means no one can turn people off about those things quicker than I. You do know that you can't make people be enthusiastic, you can only hope they catch the fever. Goodness, I can whine for a long time.