Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Anchor

I used to consider myself a calm person. I must have been 11 or 12 because I was pretty naive and unaware of myself. At the time, I knew I had a temper, but I also did my best to keep it at bay. Looking back, I lied to myself quite frequently about my personality. I had my long stretches of calm from time to time, but in a most irregular pattern, my emotions come back up. I try to be calm in the storm; I try to be faithful and trusting that God is in control.
I can go on for days, weeks, and even months when everything just seems to be smooth sailing. I get just enough wind to fill my sails and press forward. When the wind dies, I go down to the oars and get to work. During a storm, I guess I'm no longer as sure about my best course of action. There are times that I wish I could bring in the sails and hunker down below deck. It seems that as an adult, I feel more and more the need to put on my best rain gear and stay on deck through it all. I hope while I'm at the helm steering my life through the storm that Christ, my captain and chief, will guide me.
There are days that I just love my job. I feel like I've helped somebody move forward with their life or their business. I feel like I've brightened somebody's day. These days are awesome days. They're the days that make all the work worthwhile.
Then there are days that started with the weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday right at the end of my shift a call came in and I had less than ten minutes left on the phones. Both nights it was a call that extended further out than I wanted it to. I just wanted to go home to my waiting wife. Frustrating, but livable situations. I'll deal with that just fine. I get off and it's over.
Those two final, extra long calls are followed by last night:
"I'm so sorry you couldn't do what I thought you would be able to do"
"I don't know why I wasted my time or anyone else's time with this"
"You sound just like every other jerk that works at [business's name]"
The last one was my last call last night. I've never been so frustrated, mad, or upset at this job. When the gentleman launched into that rant, I just hung up on him. My job is to smooth out transactions and, when necessary, make decisions on cases. I'm not the complaint department nor am I paid to sit and listen while you complain about this and that.
There were a couple of calls last night that pushed me to the brink of screaming back at these people, "WHY DON'T YOU GROW UP AND READ THE USER AGREEMENT?!?!" "I KNOW LIFE ISN'T FAIR, YOU HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT!!"

I was at wits' end last night. My job requires professionalism and efficiency. When I reached my breaking point I saw that I wouldn't be able to complete my job the way it needs to be done. I shouldn't pass forward any upset emotion or anger from the previous caller, but I was to the point that I knew I would. So I logged out, clocked out, and walked to my car. My emotions were getting the best of me, but I wouldn't let them get the best of me while talking to somebody else.
Last night, I was reminded just how passionate I can be, how full of emotion I can be. These emotions make me human and remind me that I'm alive. At the same time, these emotions can get me to run my ship aground. Or bury my head in a sack of flour in the hold. Or run around like a chicken that is missing it's head. The situation is going to require more and more than I maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel, even in the face of a monstrous wave.

My anchor is Christ. He made it through when other, lesser men would have given in. Christ being my anchor, and a firm and true anchor He is, I don't want a small rope to attach Him to me. In fact, I want a chain. I want a heavy, tempered stainless steel chain. Nothing wimpy or sissy about it. And I like to think of the links in the chain as being people and spiritual experiences in my life.
As I fought through the storm of emotion that followed me last night, my wife was my first link. Closest to me and strong. She is the love of my life. I love her more every day. She's my biggest fan and my best friend.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Musings on Marriage

My wife has written a few words regarding married life and of late she has encouraged me to do the same. Many thoughts encircle my mind regarding marriage. I'll but, share a few of them now.
Primarily, I have noticed an immensely increased amount of love and happiness in my life. Once upon a time I thought that I'd be happy as a married man. That thought has matured into so much more than I imagined. I knew I loved my wife before we were actually married. I loved her dearly. A day away from her was often brutal on my emotions; that's saying nothing about being away for several days. Now, while we spend much of our days apart, I happily come home to see her lovely face. I love this woman enough that I do things I hadn't considered before.
Perhaps the biggest sign of more love in my life is around our little home. My days off are in the middle of the week while she is at school. We have the option of cable TV in our home, but haven't used it beyond general conference a month ago which indicates that I have not reverted back to watching TV all day. Instead, I pop in a movie and clean house. Depending on our dinner plans, sometimes I'll even have that ready so that when she comes home we can have a good meal together.
I'm more open with my wife than any other person on earth. We subjects that I didn't often discuss with other people. There are times that I'll tap into her knowledge of medicine (she's a CNA and now studying to be a COTA).
Today, I wrote her a letter and taped it to the light switches so that she'll find it when she comes home. I thought I knew what love was like. Most of what I knew was infatuation or puppy-love. Sometimes it might have been twitterpation. This is so much more.
We made a collage and taped it under our living room table (it has a glass surface). If you were to see it, you'd see pictures of our adventures over the last year. We're BFFs, for real and really forever

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Update and another six month review...

I have slacked for quite a while now. Between planning and preparing for a wedding, working in the singles ward, going to school, moving to an apartment, and spending time with my sweetheart, writing here became a much lower priority. I do believe that I'm overdue for a six month review, but first, I'm going to start with an update.
I don't believe it was too long after my last post that Kayley and I found the perfect apartment. We wandered around Utah County looking at four-plexes, duplexes, single family apartments, and even a mother-in-law apartment or two. Now, the first mother-in-law "suite", (if it can be called that), was situated above a garage. The garage was full of junk and garbage. To get to the apartment, one had to open a door that was hanging by a single hinge, the other two having long since given out. That's not to mention that the house was located in a very isolated neighborhood near some farm fields. I would've taken a four-plex apartment over that place. The feeling was just awful.
We wouldn't let this get us down, however. There were still two more apartments for rent that we had pulled from KSL. The next one took a little work to find the address. The address was at a beautiful home in an older, quite, developed neighborhood. Just knocking on the door, we felt so much better spiritually. The difference was certainly a night to day one. We walked into the apartment, this one also a mother-in-law set-up, and just knew that we wanted to live there. We put in our applications, said a prayer, and crossed our fingers. A week or so later, the landlord called me to give me the green light, with one condition. At least one of us had to move in sometime in February. My aunt, Cristy, was moving right around the first part of the month, so I volunteered to move on the 1st of February.
Later after being called about the apartment, I received another piece of good news. eBay was calling me to say they wanted me to come to work for them. I would be in a training class for 6 weeks, but they didn't have enough people to fill the class yet. The recruiter wanted to let me know that I would have a job at eBay and that she would call me back as soon as they had a start date for the class.
The rest of January was filled with stuff. Kayley surprised me with a cake and a thousand pieces of paper wishing me a happy birthday. We posed and posed for our engagement/invite/announcement pictures. I was still attending school. I filled out job applications like a madman just looking for something to do while I waited for eBay to pull through on a date.
In February I executed a move of my own, helped Cristy with her move, sent out a bundle of wedding announcements, spent a weekend in Smithfield, took Kayley to the Orem Institute Valentines' Dance, worked on my car some more, and spent time with Kayley.
Now March was eventful. eBay finally called with a start date that worked for me. I stopped in Bountiful to see my American Greeny, Chris Yates. I was married in the temple to the love of my life. We missed a flight to New York, so we spent a week in California instead.
Thus far, I'm loving married life :D
So, the last six months really shook things up. From proposing to getting married. Moving into my own place. Fixing my car numerous times. Getting a new job, which I am loving. Yup, life is good around here.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

To my young friends who are thinking about a mission

All I will say is GO! Get ready, don't look back, and go. The Lord will care for your family, girlfriend, car, stereo, CD's, iPod, etc...but you need to go. There is no greater blessing that awaits you. It will change your life IF you'll go with faith and serve completely. Give it your everything. The Lord will bless you and turn you into a tool for righteousness.
Be aware that if you go, Satan will do all he can to stop you. He'll lie to you, make you worry about school, some girl, your car WHATEVER HE CAN TO DISTRACT YOU. He does NOT want you to reach your full potential as a servant of God. Be faithful. Leave the girls alone, they're trouble until you're ready to get married. That deserves a repeat: LEAVE THE GIRLS ALONE!! THEY'RE ONLY GOING TO CAUSE TROUBLE UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO GET MARRIED!!!!!!!!
To the sweet, young sisters that want to serve, you are loved by God. To Him, you become even more precious and beautiful for serving. If it's your desire, go on a mission. Especially if you feel that the Lord wants you to.
Remember you are loved, all of you. Remember that you are able to do so much good if you'll put away the video games, MP3 players, computers, and TV and go do something outside. There's nothing for you in those things. Let them go. Do something good for someone else today.