Category Archives: Gratitude

Happy Mother’s day!

Mother’s Day 2014

I sure have had some very special moms in my life!
From my own incredible mom, to my caring and beautiful wife.

My mother in law and my aunts also have a big influence on me.
Debbie, Aunt Phyl, Aunt Joyce, Aunt Diane, and Tia Tillie.

They are all remarkable and support me in whatever I do.
The person I am today, is because of all of you!

I watched and learned as I grew up around you all.
I saw how much you cared when one of us would fall.

I learned about the incredible patience you have at your side.
I know how much you love me, and how we all fill you with pride.

Thank you for all the lessons you taught me without even knowing you did.
I am so grateful that you all treated me as your very own kid!

Happy Mother’s Day!

You may kiss the bride

Son, getting married may not seem like a big priority in your life right now; but I promise you that will change someday. Hopefully (many years from now) you will find that one person who will make you forget about everything else. You won’t think about yourself anymore. You will be consumed by the need to get them to smile. You will work yourself up trying to figure out a way to propose (and afford the ring) and you will pray the love of your life says yes. You will find love, and your life will never be the same. It is an amazing thing when two people find that special connection.

Your Aunt Ronnie and her fiancée Don came by last night. It was great to see them, and they even brought us pizza! We enjoyed our food and sat around talking. It was then that your mom was asked (sort of) to be the matron of honor in their wedding. I think your mom had to clarify a few times, it was pretty funny! I could tell your mom was excited and was very happy to be a part of it.

Then, Aunt Ronnie and soon to be “Uncle” Don started telling us about how they had been thinking about it, and they would actually like me to perform the wedding. Your mom started crying, and I just thought………What? I had no idea how I could do something like that. I ‘m not a minister. I was in shock, but so humbled and honored that they would even ask me. Your mom and Aunt started telling me that it is easy to get ordained and I can do it in a few minutes online. It still hadn’t sunk in. How can this be?

I woke up this morning and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I am actually going to be a part of a magical moment that two people in love will never forget! Better still, they are my family! I am so honored, and can’t imagine anyone ever considering me for such a great and important event. I will do my best to make sure their wedding is extra special.

Guess what else hit me this morning? I started thinking about the sign this might be. You know the journey I’ve been on the last 10 months or so. There is no way anyone would have asked me to perform their wedding before I started my quest. I also keep thinking about the fact that I am going to be ordained. I know getting ordained in 5 minutes online isn’t the same as doing it through the church, but I can’t help but wonder if this is the first step towards something else. The mere fact that I am getting ordained and was asked to perform this wedding gives me the chills every time I think about it. It is amazing how the Lord is working in my life! Every day is a new adventure, and yesterday was another confirmation that I am on the right track.

Keep your eyes open son!

Dad

An investment in me

Son, I have outgrown my “free” website. I have almost 100 posts on there and I need to upgrade in order to organize and categorize everything the way I want. There are way too many posts on one page, and I want more flexibility to highlight some of my favorite lessons.

I don’t really have the $100 it costs to be able to customize and better position all my writing. I was going to wait until my first bonus check in October to upgrade. I was driving home from work today and I kept feeling like I should stop by my parents. I should ask them if they wanted to invest in my writing. As I sat there in the family room talking to my mom and dad, I started to get flashbacks.

Many, many times I had come to my parents asking for money. Usually I asked them for money because I spent all mine on beer or food. Sometimes I came to them because I couldn’t make my rent payment. The worst one was when I got my car repossessed for not making a payment.

This time was different. This time it wasn’t about money to help me live some dream or crazy idea I had. This time there was a good reason! It felt great! Even though I could tell your grandma was a little nervous at first, once she figured out what I was selling, she went and got a check.

What your grandparents gave me tonight was much more than the $100. They gave me confidence because they believe in me!

I believe in you son!

Dad

A shining light to follow

Son, I keep telling you how great this new place I work is. Every day I find more and more signs that this is the place God wants me to be. I even had another “first” today, something I have never experienced in all my years and all my jobs. Today, I cried at work. Not once, but actually a few times.

I didn’t cry because I was stressed out or feeling like a failure. It wasn’t because I was depressed that I was nowhere near where I wanted to be at this point in my life. I cried because of the joy and happiness I got from being there, and from marveling at how great God is! We watched a short video today about how just ONE person can make a difference. Yes, I will be helping people with insurance and I can make a big difference in what I do, but that is not why it hit home for me. It moved me because I realized how God puts people in your life for a reason. I was reminded how easy it can be for us to make a difference in people’s lives.

I have the ultimate role model teaching our class, and God may have put me in this new company just to meet him. I was given the one thing we all need most: HOPE. I have so much more hope that I can be a great, positive, passionate, loving person like him someday. He has been through so much, and yet he still shines so bright! He has more reasons to be down and out than most of us have, but he remains so full of joy! I want to be just like him! I have another role model, and believe me they are not easy to come by nowadays.

Every day we get an uplifting email from this amazing trainer that includes some sort of great saying or message. Today’s email was:

People will forget what you “said”, and people will forget what you “did”, but people will never forget how you “made them feel”.

I will never forget how he made me “feel!” I know I will have a new friend for life. I will also have a living example of how it is possible to live a life like Jesus did by genuinely caring for others. I have renewed hope that someday I can have the kind heart and uplifting spirit he does. I have a much better chance of getting there now that I have had the honor of meeting and spending time with this incredible man.

If everything falls apart tomorrow and I have no job to go to, I will be forever grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to meet my new brother!

Pay attention my boy! If you aren’t looking, or if your heart is not open, you will miss some of the incredible things God does for you.

I love you son!

Dad
1 Peter 5:3 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. (What a great example of this verse you are Don!)

Helping with hope

Son, thanks for giving your time and money to help those in need! I am so proud of you! When we prayed in the car before we left we thanked God for all he has given us, and we asked him to help point us the right direction to those in need.

We found 3 different people we were able to help today. The first was a young lady, not much older than your cousin Haley. She was in bad shape, but was so happy we stopped to help. We didn’t have much to give her, but what we had was enough. I told her we would pray for her tonight. We can’t forget.

The 2nd lady was just down on her luck. According to her sign, she was robbed, and she was in a new town with nothing to her name. Did you hear how appreciative she was? I wish we had more time to talk and get her name, but the light turned green and I was afraid we were going to cause an accident. We will pray for her tonight as well, God knows who she is.

The last person we helped needed it very badly. Did you see how excited and grateful he was? The snacks and extra money we gave him will definitely help! We were a few cars back, and no other car in front of us even rolled down their windows. However, that changed once he walked past the cars and we gave him the bag of food with some money in it. As he walked back to the corner, the car in front of us rolled down their window and gave him some money too. You witnessed firsthand how being generous can lead others to follow. It was an awesome thing, and I am so happy you got to see it! We will pray for Ray as well.

We went to give out some much needed money, but what you ended up giving was much more. You also gave hope!

I love you son,

Dad

I humbly accept

Son, I have a very important lesson for you today about humility and gratitude.   As you know, I recently started a new job.   I want you to understand that had the position been offered to me before I started to change; I would never have accepted it.  Let me explain why.

First, when I initially applied to work there, it was for a managerial job.  I was called in for an interview, and I thought it was going very well.   Towards the end of the interview, the person interviewing me asked what I thought about starting on the phones (a non-manager job) so I could learn the systems and their issues.  He said I could always apply for a management job down the road, as they are growing very quickly.

Without hesitation I said “absolutely I would do that!”   At that time, I had no idea what kind of pay was involved. (I figured it wouldn’t be much)   I didn’t know if there was any type of bonus opportunity, or what kind of benefits they offered.  It didn’t even faze me that I would have to spend over two hours of drive time getting to and from work.  I was grateful for the opportunity, and I let God guide me.

In the past I would have probably answered that interviewer’s question the same way, but I would not have meant it.  I would have driven home frustrated and angry that they didn’t see the value I could bring.  I would have said:  “F#@* them,”, and “it’s their loss.”  I would have been waiting for a phone call or email telling me I didn’t get the manager job, which could have been weeks later.

Instead, by the time I got home from that trek to Phoenix, I received a call from them.  They wanted to offer me the non-manager phone rep position.  I had no other job lined up, and my position with the last company just ended 2 days prior.  I had to find work.  I didn’t get cocky like I would have before, mumbling words under my breath like:  “I am above that”, or “I’m not driving that far for a low paying phone job”, or even, “you are losing out, because I am the best at what I do.”   This time I was humble and grateful for any opportunity to provide for our family. I thanked God for the phone call and the offer to work and provide for you.

Here is what happened after I accepted the position:

I found out the position is a work from home position.  Wow, that would make it much better!

I also found out there is a bonus program, and that there is an opportunity to make much more than I would have ever thought.

I found out the benefits are incredibly rich and better than most places I have worked.

I found out my shift would allow me plenty of time to write in the morning, and I would be available to get you ready and see you off to school every morning.

As you know, I have to go into that North Phoenix office for the next month of training.  I started to have a little regret after sitting in that darn traffic, but I made it there.  I quickly realized there was a lady who I worked with many years ago in class with me. She and her husband are really good people, and he was actually one of my favorite reps back in the day.  It turns out that this ex co-worker just happens to live fairly close to us, and she asked me if I wanted to carpool.  I can’t tell you how much better and quicker my ride is now that we get to use the carpool lane!   I can leave later to go to work, and I get home to you and your mom much faster after my day ends.

I was also introduced to our trainer that first day.  He is an incredibly positive and caring man.   He spent a good part of the first day explaining how lucky we should feel that we are there.   We even watched a short clip of a great motivation speaker named Zig Zigler.   He talked about how to love your job.   It was just what I needed, as signs of the “old Bill” crept in and I questioned my decision to work there.  Between the instructor and Mr. Zigler, I left day one feeling incredibly blessed.  I knew little about the job before I started, but now I know more than enough to see that God has blessed me incredibly!  I also found out today that our trainer, (the positive upbeat man from Ohio) is an associate pastor as well.

Blind faith is what it took.  Look what being humble and grateful can do for you.  Also, look what having faith in God’s plan can do.   I was rewarded for changing my behaviors and attitude.  I found opportunities I never would have discovered being my old self-centered cocky self.

God is taking care of us.   This is where he wants me to be, and he even sent a man of God to teach my training class.  It is amazing how many things he said in the last week that hit home for me on a personal level.

The signs are everywhere, I am so thankful I have my eyes open!

Love you son,

Dad

1 Thessalonians 5:18:  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.