Tuesday, July 1, 2014

30 Day Challenge: Day 15

Day 15: My Wish List

Right now my wish list is kind of out of my hands, at the very top of the list is a home for my family and if any of you read my wife's blog you know that is a very touchy subject right now. Essentially, we have been deceived by our lending agent as to where we stood in the loan process for six weeks now and when closing came up she had not yet come through with the loan so we have now signed three extensions and are at the end of our ropes right now in terms of options to keep the contract alive but it is still a work in progress and we will see how it goes.

Second on my list is a new (new used) car, I drive a 1999 Chevy cavalier that is actually rebuilt on a salvage title. It gets me from point A to point B and I really do like it, it was after all my first car. However, I now commute over a half an hour and that '99 just doesn't have the gas mileage that I need to have a functional budget. So I have been looking and falling in love with the car below a 2013 Ford Focus, it is cool, has four doors (for the family), and great gas mileage, one day I hope to make it mine.
That basically sums it up for me, I have many more things on my bucket list, that you can check out too. We are also in the midst of preparing for a vacation home to Ohio so I will keep this one short and sweet.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

30 Day Challenge: Day 14

Day 14: Four Fears

I may not only have four fears but I thought this fit perfectly for the topic


1. One of my big fears is not being able to provide for my family

I know that the idea of the man being the provider of the household is kind of old fashioned. In this day and age equality is the big thing and I am all for equality, my wife and I are very much equal in our relationship. 
However, I am really a firm believer that even if a man isn't the sole provider for his family, he should be responsible for making sure that is family has everything they need to live a satisfied life.I don't know why but I have always put a big emphasis on monetary belongings, I have always seen status as having money, that is now changing. 

I am coming to know, however, that true happiness is not in the physical, but the emotional, between a healthy relationship with God and a healthy emotional relationship with spouse, family, and friends happiness is so much more than physical possessions. I know this now.

However, I still also understand that society has put so much emphasis on our capitalist structure that unfortunately working and earning money is not only not an option but a necessity. To be able to provide even the basics a family must earn a decent amount of money

To be able to own instead of rent or lease on big purchases such as a home or car a family must make even more money just to survive. I want to be able to do this for my family.


2. Another fear of mine is seeing harm come to my family 

I think this pretty much goes without saying, but I love my family with my whole heart and seeing any kind of harm, accidental or intentional, would absolutely destroy me physically, mentally, my whole being. 

3. On a national scale I fear that if things don't change the United States could fall into anarchy or worse. 

In the sense that one person can have a great impact I hope that in some way (I don't know how) I can contribute to changing this. 

The way that I see it, Republicans hate democrats simply because they are democrats, Democrats do exactly the same. The country is becoming so polarized in it's views on every single topic of government, that very soon we will reach a dead stand still. 

This has already become evident in the government shut downs as well as the many other polarizing debates going on across the country. Now we all may come to see where we are headed and come to our senses.

I fear, though, if we continue to polarize on these topics we could be looking at either anarchy or another civil war type situation, which could be very dangerous.


4. Further more, on a global scale I fear that if the human race doesn't change its actions quickly, we may doom ourselves to a dying world that we cannot save. 

Disclaimer: No I did not use any direct sources, but I have over two years worth of higher education in the environmental sciences, so I am not an uneducated rambler.This is my fear it does not have to be everyone's.


Irregardless of what you think about human caused climate change, etc. it is obvious that the human race if not harming, is doing no good for the natural state of our planet.

We are constantly changing the natural landscape, whether or not you think fossil fuels are a dangerous thing, they are disappearing at an alarming rate and will not last forever, and finally the world population is constantly growing, again no matter if you view this as an issue there is only so much space on this planet and we again we will run out of it faster than you think.

This is just the beginning, I haven't even touched on the effects that we have on other species the world over, including those we don't even know exist yet. 

The point is though, that if we don't become proactive in how we care for our one and only home, we will become reactive and by then who knows what we can salvage, if anything.

Friday, June 20, 2014

30 Day Challenge: Day 13

Day 13: Something I'm Proud of

Photo Courtesy of Ray Davis Photography
Without a doubt the first thing that came to my mind for this post was my Degree. In May 2009 I graduated high school embarked on a unknown scary journey that a majority of high school graduates pursue, college. In May 2013 exactly four years later I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Berea College.

That isn't all I came away with though, I also met my wonderful wife and Jace was born all before I graduated. It may have been unconventional, but I would never do it any different if I had the chance.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

30 Day Challenge: Day 12

30 Day Challenge: Day 12, What If...?

What if...Respect became a focus in our society, instead of popularity, status, or appearance?

Respect has always meant a great deal to me, when I am disrespected I tend to take it very personally and it often affects me for days or longer. I think this comes from the lack of respect in my adolescence. Between my parents divorce, lack of friends in school, and other circumstances, I never garnered much respect especially from my peers.

I was always taught by my parents that respect was earned and a person had to give it to earn it, therefore I always tried my hardest to respect everyone I knew. Granted I was a teenager, going though medical issues, with a fairly dysfunctional family (not a bad family just dysfunctional) so respect wasn't always on my mind but I definitely tried, specifically in situations where my demeanor, attitude, and qualifications were under scrutiny (i.e. tryouts, interviews, club meetings, work, etc.), That is just how I grew up.

So what does respect mean? To me respect is first treating oneself with dignity. Then treating others with that same dignity. By definition respect is a form of admiration, the ability for someone to see the good in others and to truly take it to heart, then in turn show them through attitude and actions. So a person must first admire themselves before they can share that admiration with others.  

It astounds me, especially working in customer service and hospitality how much people only care about themselves. Not only are they selfish but they also clearly do not respect themselves either, there is a big difference. For example, if a person has a selfish state of  mind and body when they walk into a four star hotel they tend to have a tendency to start complaining about any little thing that goes wrong, from the length of time it takes to check in, to complaining and changing rooms multiple times because they absolutely have to have a specific room set-up. They clearly do not respect themselves when during all of this their body odor is palpable throughout the entire open air atrium and others that are not servicing their needs have to step away before they lose their lunch. When a person cares so little for who they are and how they are viewed in a public situation, how can they then expect to be treated with any modicum of respect in return (we have to serve you and provide your request, but that doesn't mean we have respect you) and how can they live with being in such a slovenly state.

Now I personally find this very hard to deal with, but like I said I was taught, and am now teaching to my son, that in order to earn respect you must first give it. I start by first trying to treat everyone the same no matter their situation. I greet everyone in the same fashion, with a smile and kind words, I try to give everyone the same information while also making their experience personal. Most importantly though I try to adhere to our brand standard and think two steps ahead, this can make all the difference.

I have come to realize that even my coworkers have trouble treating everyone with the same respect. There are definitely customers that come in regularly and have their quirks that present certain challenges, but we are a four star hotel that is why people come to us, they expect that their quirks will be taken care of.

So far I have been able to handle some of these "trouble customers" without issue, to some of my co-workers surprise I might add. I think that being in customer service has really taught me about how to treat people the right way, it has allowed me to watch, learn, and ultimately grow from my interactions with people on a daily basis. 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

30 Day Challenge; Day 11

Day 11: Something you Feel Strongly About

William Gladstone is the original author of this quote. Not Hendrix, Gandhi, or King.
One thing that I have always thought was essential to living a fulfilled life is the ability to love one another, both because of and in spite of our differences. I have always had a difficult time reconciling in my mind the fact that people can be so difficult to reason with, or that just because people have differing view points that they think they can no longer be friends.

I first had an experience similar to the latter in high school, with my then best friend. If I'm being honest I have never really been great at making friends, it has always been a surface kind of friendship so that plays a big role in this. But, moving on, at the time we were best friends, we grew up together basically since preschool where we first met. We hung out a lot, played on the same sports teams, and overall had a good thing going, but never really connected on a deeper level than that. That surface connection started to change in middle school, but took a serious dive in high school. You see I always knew his family held different views than mine, his father was a Marine, and then later a Police officer. My mother on the other hand, divorced my father because of his conservative views, among other reasons, and became a grass roots organizer for Barack Obama's presidential campaign.  

Sophomore year we had government class together, so while he was basically preparing to follow in his fathers foot steps and enlist in the marines, I was happy go lucky in theatre and preparing for college. You can see the differences. Government class really exacerbated these and forced us apart significantly we no longer hung out except on occasion, we sat at different tables, etc. I now realize that it really didn't matter what we held as political views or what we planned on doing after graduation, a true friendship endures through those things.

This really came to me strongly today, a group of men at church is doing Saturday morning Bible study and currently we are in 1Thessalonians. While we were reviewing the designated reading (1 Thess. 2:1-12) today we fell into a focus on how we evangelize the word to others. The parts we focused on were about the love that Paul, Silas, and Timothy had for the people of Thessalonica. Verse 7  out of the NIV reads "but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children." and verses 11&12 read "11For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God who calls you into his kingdom and glory." 

We discussed how love is an essential part of being, it was put roughly like this by our study leader, if God created the universe then innately he had to create it with his personal views in mind. Since God is a loving being it stands to reason that, within the figurative fabric of existence, is the default need to love and be loved.

We went on to discuss how this is prevalent all around us, especially in the animal realm. Dogs, for example are well known to love and give affection endlessly and ask for nothing but love in return. Even we discussed that giving love, inevitably leads to receiving love back, to the extremes of people or animals that have relationships that are outside of the normal thought processes, the figurative lion sleeping with the lamb. 

I truly do believe that if the world just loved a little bit more, stopped getting wrapped up in technicalities and minor differences in someones world view and just loved them the way they are despite their differences, we can then move on to the greater things such as living together in peace, learning together, and from one another, and ultimately coexisting in a God loving world. 

I know this is a very utopian idea, and by no means am I one to really be preaching this, as I am still learning it myself but I do feel that with work and time I can become better in this and I hope that even just my small efforts can make the world that much better for it.