Family Ties

23 11 2008

Let me just say how awesome it is to have family that you are anxious to see and clear your plans to see.  This is not just on my side of the family either.  This is the in-laws as well.  My wife’s extended family is in town for Thanksgiving and it is awesome to see everyone.  We are going to be welcoming Beau back into town tomorrow and we are coordinating a big welcoming party.  It’s awesome to see how excited everyone gets about welcoming back family.

I feel completely blessed to have some wonderful in-laws.  I love the Holidays, but boy is it tiring switching back and forth from family to family, but I wouldn’t want to miss either of them.  Why is it that I hear so many families with hard times working things out between the families?  Why aren’t people just excited that their son/daughter/brother/sister are happy and have met someone that they fall in love with.  Obviously if people get married, they are in love.  Or so we’d like to think.  Regardless, they are married, and everyone should encourage the relationship and not try to destroy it. 

I know that everyone has had tiffs and quarels that aren’t as easy to get past.  I know when it comes to kids and stuff, things are alot different because you can’t always trust people with your kids.  That’s not always the case though.  Let things go and think about the future and what would help your relationship instead of who’s right. 

Anyways, do you feel as blessed as I do?  Or do you fall into the Monster In-law category?


Do you ever wonder…

19 11 2008

Do you ever wonder what people really think of you?  I wonder all the time.  I think that I am a pretty outstanding person.  Unfortuneately, that’s from the people that I talk to.  I don’t know what everyone says about me behind my back or when I’m not there.  I hear alot of people talking smack about people at work, and it always makes me wonder. 

I’ll hear someone saying stuff about someone and then all of the sudden that person walks up and it’s like they are best friends.  Now this truly doesn’t apply to anyone in particular or even remotely in particular.  It’s just something that I’ve noticed and really wish I could be a fly on the wall when I leave work.

in general though, I know that this shouldn’t even concern me.  I know where my value comes from and I know what’s in my heart.  I try to not say stuff about people that I wouldn’t say to their face and that I haven’t said to their face.  I try not to be too critical of people, and try not to bring people down.  It’s very hard though.  I know you’ve also had those times where you find yourself jumping into the conversation and just join in on the bashing of someone.  It’s not that you have something against the person, but you have stuff that iritates you and you feel the need to vent.  You can’t just vent either, you have to embelish and make it sound so much worse than it really is. 

P.S.  I never want to hear the words, “That’s not very Christian of you” in casual conversation.  I hate that phrase.  It’s also not very “Christian” of you to be judging someone in front of other people.  Pull them aside if it’s really an issue.  Sorry that was my heated rant.

So back on subject, if you are afraid or concerned about what people think of you, how do you find out?  I can’t just ask someone, because once again, they’ll have reservations about being honest no matter how bad it hurts.  Any suggestions?  I know that my wife’s class did a Jaharis window.  It was a piece of paper that they passed around and everyone got to write what they thought of the person.  Now some people took it as their chance to vent, and some actually made it constructive.  I would like to start this practice with the people that I am close to.  I would love to tell them what I think about them in a constructive way, and tell them their great traits.  It goes back to the “How are you doing?” thing.  When I ask, “what do you think about me?” I want to know honestly, in a constructive non-venting way. 

speaking_truth_in_love-resized200Now I don’t know what this book is, but I agree.

The Simple Life

16 11 2008

I’m inspired to write this due to my brother’s post on materialism and consumerism  I couldn’t agree more that we as a country and a world have fallen victim to “Bigger and better” mentality.  I feel that Danielle and I are living a pretty modest lifestyle.  This is due to circumstances and not our choice.  It has on the otherhand showed us that we don’t need a whole bunch of “stuff” to be happy. 

As of 2 years ago, Danielle and I were living the “Good Life”.  We had a home, a new Honda Ridgeline,a newer Pontiac Grand Am, 2 good jobs, Satellite TV with DVR, internet, 2 cell phones, a house phone, and spending cash.  Life was good.  We are currently still living in our home, with a Honda…Accord from 92, a Pontiac Grand Am, 1 job serving and bartending, no TV service, internet and 2 cell phones.  We’ve given up alot lately considering Danielle is going through school. 

I would love to say that when Danielle gets a job as an RN we would be living about the same lifesman-and-dogtyle, but I know that we’ll probably fall victim to the so called “American Dream”.  It’s unfortuneate that we will most likely return to that because we spend more quality time together now then we would with other distractions like TV and Video games. 

I actually spend time in the Word now and time with my wife.  Why is it so hard to let go of the distractions?  What’s really important to us?  If you actually made a chart of how much time in a given week you spend on things, we would all be amazed to see that we spend more time watching “The Office” and “Desperate Housewives” than with our spouses and children.  We spend more time with the dog than with God.  Where are our priorities?

Stuff only distracts you from the reality that you’re really not happy.  “Things” are distractions.  Focus on what you have and how blessed you are, and not what you could have “if only”.  The “if only” syndrome has broken up marriages, caused many suicides, and ruined lifes perspective.  Think about “if only” you didn’t get home safely, or get that mediocre job that is now providing money for your family.  There are plenty of things to be thankful for.

Happy Holidays!!

10 11 2008

You know, it’s almost that time of the year again.  The “Holidays” are upon us.  I realized last year how ridiculous it is when people are offended for saying, “Merry Christmas”.  I’m pretty sick of being so politically correct that everything is offensive.  Should I get mad if someone says, “Happy Ash Wednesday”?  I don’t think so.  That just let’s me know that they are Catholic, and they are celebrating “Ash Wednesday”.  I am not going to get mad at them because they celebrate that holiday, and “My religion” doesn’t.  I think that people in general are becoming overly sensitive. 

Now this is a sensitive subject, I know, but wouldn’t it be ironic if I didn’t write about it because someone might possibly be offended?  Now understand this also, I’m not trying to offend anyone.  I’m writing this because it’s that time of the year again when everyone starts getting all pissy if you say anything besides, “Happy Holidays!”.  What about the Jehovah’s Witnesses?  I will offend them if I say Happy Holidays because they don’t celebrate any holiday’s or birthdays.  So you can’t even say that if we are going to be PC.  Here is the overall theme of today’s post. 

IF SOMEONE SAY’S “MERRY CHRISTMAS” DON’T GET OFFENDED, JUST REALIZE THAT THEY ARE CHRISTIAN AND THEY CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS.  It’s not something to get worked up about.  If someone came up to me and said, “Happy Hannakuh” I’m not going to get upset because they didn’t know I was Christian, I’m going to say, “Happy Hannakuh”.  Unless we are all just supposed to greet everyone with a “Happy Christmahannakwanzaka”.  That’s Chris-ma-ha-nuh-kwan-za-kuh.  Next week, Onomatopoeia.

I don’t think that I’m being insensitive here, I’m just using common sense and not thinking that the world revolves around me.  Isn’t it pretty arrogant to think that people around me should tailor their greetings to my religious beliefs?  I think so.  So to think that I have to stop saying “Merry Christmas” because someone might be Jewish, or Jehovah’s witness, or some other religion, is ridiculous.  If you are Jewish, say “Happy Hannakuh” and the next time I see you, I’ll greet you with Happy Hannakuh.  That’s being accommodating, sensitive, polite, and not arrogant. 

Now this video is fun and it kind of has the point that I’m trying to make.  I also don’t think it’s right to shove it down someone’s throat that I believe in “CHRISTMAS!” and you should too.  Although I think people should, but I’m not going to be mad at them for not believing the same way I do. 


Elections and You!!

8 11 2008

Catchy and original title huh.  So this last election was a little bit exciting and problem causing.  I think the way our economy is right now, everyone is interested in who’s going to be getting us out of the mess that we’re in.  I don’t agree with the candidate choice, but Barack might be the better man for getting this country back on track.  Here’s my deal.

I vote for the person who I think lines up more with my views, than what I can benefit from.  I don’t necessarily think that is how everyone is voting, but I might have voted different if the latter was true.  I think John McCain’s views and beliefs are closer to mine than Barack Obama.  I think that Barack Obama might be more beneficial for ME, but it’s not about me, it’s about God and who’s views line up more with God’s.

Now here’s the other tricky thing about the elections.  People are very passionate about their views and opinions.  There is alot to be said for people who are very passionate about who they vote for, and yet are very open to be able to talk about it in a very tackful manner. Here’s the overall message of this post.  YOU HAVE TO HAVE TACT AND UNDERSTANDING WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT POLITICS.  You need to have both.  You can be the most tactful person and bring things up in a very neutral manner, but if you are not willing to understand the other person’s views, then you have made no ground and most likely have upset people and have turned them off to talking to you about that subject.  On the otherhand, you can want to understand why a person believes and feels the way they do, but if you don’t have tact, they are going to feel offended or attacked because you didn’t bring it up in a neutral non-offensive way.  For example, “I think that Barack has alot of positive things to offer, but for me, the war and abortion are the big deal breakers.” That is a very tactful way of talking about it.  Understand that every Candidate will have positives to them.  The more you learn why people are voting for someone, the more you can look into those issues and you can either open your mind to them or build arguments against it, but either way you are more educated and more approachable.

Agree to DisagreeThe Elections are a huge deal and are very important, but they are not worth fighting your family and friends over, just to prove your point.  If you and someone don’t agree, then you can, “Agree to Disagree”.  That’s not just a great line from Anchorman but a great way to go through life.  If you can’t agree on a conclusion, agree to disagree on things.  That way you are both on the same page and you are on good terms.  Elections are not worth friendships or family strife.  CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG!!!