Day 75 – Tuesday and the Werewolf
Okay today had no werewolf in it, but sometimes I want to intrigue you with a title that will at least get you to read my first few sentences. Today did have some supernatural sights in it – When you meditate and consider God, there are bound to be such moments. I had my supernatural moment when I was diving into my short term furnished apartment pool as usual. Nine feet deep I went and touched the bottom of the deep end and I felt that I should contemplate Psalm 18 – like I really felt it – like God was prompting me to step outside of my normal devotional order and consider these verses. Sometimes I just follow my devotional book and let it guide me, but I had this strong sense (could it even have been a voice) that the words of this Psalm had something specific for me. When I finished my laps and dried off, I grabbed my Bible and went to the middle of my Bible. After I finished reading about a man who felt as if his life was in grave danger and felt that he was truly drowning, I began to worry. Was this going to be me? Was I going to become so desperate soon that I would feel like I was going down for the count? Or was this all about how God uses all of His actions to rescue His children no matter how bad it gets. I meditated on it a lot and felt that it was an encouragement today – as if God was reminding me that not only had He rescued me before, but that He cares about me so much that He will be there for me no matter how life sinks in the future.
This gave me a big lift as I began the day. I bet the kids and teachers at my Lubbock Pre-K Christian school clients are lifted up each day by their Bible studies.
I still had some time after that meditation to work on a few things before going to official work and so I pulled out the magazines about all of the Lubbock homes for sale (I picked it up when I was at their offices the other day). I did this out of curiosity to see how each house was being described and I noticed that whomever wrote these descriptions used a lot of the same words to describe some homes in Lubbock that were quite different. Realty has it’s own lingo and when you get into it you find that pretty much every realty company talks about curb appeal and school districts. Funny to me. I also grabbed the Dummies book I had picked up from the Barnes and Noble about how 3D animation works and also how to do it. I skimmed a few of those pages and then headed out to my real workday. I don’t know why architectural renderings and the like fascinated me so much. I think I just hate working on business rankings when I know very little about the subject I am working to grow.
Real work day: I went to pick up new clients today but I wasn’t able to convince anyone to go with us. It felt like such a failure, but I decided not to take it personally. I went to them with fresh breath and deodorant so I know it wasn’t that. And I also decided not to give up on these companies that were still using the Yellow Pages over driving website traffic. In my opinion, the Yellow pages and the like are not at all useful except to grab the attention of the elderly. Once one or two more generations pass, I expect that these books will be extinct. And I hated that these potential clients were wasting significant cash on such advertisements. Anyway, that’s all for me today.
Some Melissa probably tomorrow.
Day 74 – Monday Slumps?
The weekend was so good that it created a huge contrast for me – from huge excitement to the normalcy that comes with a normal day. I hate contrast that moves in this direction. I think I’d rather have a bad two days followed by two normal days so I would be thankful for the normal. Who knows? I always fight to make all situations stay pretty close to the emotional middle of things. I don’t want to be so wildly emotional that it messes me up in my work or in my fun. Does any of this make sense to you? Do you ever feel super up and then be crushed by the every day? How do you deal with it? Speaking of that, how does France mostly have four day work weeks while we go for five and six day work weeks? Why don’t they export that little thing to us? I guess if they did, we would love it for a while and then take it for granted – probably calling for a three-day work week…
After meeting with Coldwell Banker in the morning, I got an update on my house. It is basically ready to move into except for a few minor changes (like lawn care maintenance and landscaping). I think I will go ahead and hire a management company to rent it out to grad school students or doctors who might want to wait for a totally new house to be built. I figure if I rent it out for a year, I will make some money and then I guess I will relocate to Lubbock with Melissa if she is amenable to that choice. She can just take a permanent place at the hospital and I can get my company to put me here as the regional master of disaster to bring in more and more clients.
Speaking of clients, I checked on the Lubbock Pre-K school and made sure they had what they needed as far as analytics. They were satisfied with the growth and how it was affecting their bottom line. Enrollment is up and that was the goal. We set new goals and I promised to hit them. I also called my church architects to see if they had what they needed so that I could be one of their change agents. They said that they were good. I also met with a new client – a local coffee shop owner who was trying to keep up with the likes of Starbucks. I told him I would do my best to market things so they could grab those customers who were dedicated and committed to going and staying local in their dealings.
Finally, my meditation (which I had to do as night because I was not mindful of God as early as I had meant to) was all about the gifts that are distributed to the followers of Jesus. I know that I have been given a gift of wisdom with the Bible and I also know I can communicate powerful messages from the Bible to small and large groups. I haven’t been doing it much in Lubbock, but I did it when I was in Dallas and in Houston before that. I need to get back on the ball and use what I have been given in the meantime. Just because I am here doesn’t mean I can’t serve in a small group capacity. (By the way, I’m not trying to be cocky by saying I am wise and fantastic communicator – These are just gifts from God’s Spirit and I have been told again and again by those around me that I have these obvious gifts.)
Okay – I am out. This Monday could have been a slump, but it wasn’t. Happiness…
Day 73 – Sunday Rests
After all of the relationship coolness that happened in the last few days, I was swimming in more than the pool this morning. As I swam in the corporate housing pool, I caught myself just giving thanks to God for changing my life so positively and so quickly. The verse I meditated on while giving thanks was the one that says: “God, who am I that you are mindful of me.” Billions of people are on the earth and billions have gone before me and yet God thinks of ways to give me perfect gifts. And I think, “Why?” Why would the Almighty, who is doing everything to run the entire creation, send out blessing to someone imperfect like me? I am humbled by this fact and it sends me straight to a higher level of thanksgiving. I know that life throws troubles and I know Jesus promises troubles and persecutions to His followers, but it’s not happening right now – It’s all good right now – God is mindful of me –
Does that blow your mind too that God would pay attention to us? Deists just think that God made things and set everything in motion and then stays out of it. He is no longer mindful of His creation. This verse says otherwise. Not only is God paying attention, He pays attention to the smallest details of our lives. But, these verses do more than blow my gratitude up several levels – They challenge me to be mindful of God at all times. If God is mindful of me, then I should definitely be mindful of Him, don’t you think? Let me know in your comments how God has been mindful to you if you like.
Beyond that stuff, today was spent planning out the week – I will start with Coldwell Banker of Lubbock (www.coldwellbankerlubbock.com) to see how I can help them out in what is already a powerful realty community. They know all of the most current Lubbock homes for sale and can guide people right to the house of their dreams (that is even within their price range). I like working alongside them to make sure their online presence is as solid as their every day, personal service. They were the ones who helped me land my new space out of all of the homes for sale in Lubbock. And I would definitely work with them again if I was buying another house (that might take a while.) I won’t bore you here with any more work plans other than saying I am trying some new things with regards to my lawn care clients.
Nothing on Melissa today because she worked all day and into the late night. I did make sure she got into her new suite with no problems. It was my excuse to kiss on her a little. So, it was a nice restful Sunday. Tomorrow we go at it again.
Day 72 – Saturday Aftershocks
After a day like yesterday that had earthquake type movements on my world, I could only expect there to be some aftershocks. When we got back to Lubbock from our B&B, I made Melissa accompany me to a really fancy jewelry store on Milwaukee Avenue so we could try on her engagement ear-rings. We had fun at it. I had already decided to get whatever she asked – but I would add a size to show her that she means more to me than what she thinks. I am not a big diamond guy or fancy jewelry guy, but I did want to have these symbols of love hanging off both sides of her head. We bought some beautiful earrings and I kept them so I could give them to her in a more romantic way – if only I can figure a more romantic way…Maybe I can sneak into one of her patient’s rooms at the hospital and have them hanging from their Foley Catheter. I’m sure the patients would not like it too much but it would be funny – I definitely would not put them into a bedpan. That would be gross. Anyway, I’ll do what she asks as far as the wedding band – she wants a tattoo of a wedding band put on her ring finger – that way she won’t have to bother with it at work and won’t ever have to take it off.
After this, we went to church a bit early to see if it would be a good venue for our future wedding. We had obviously seen it before but we had never looked at it as a place to solidify our relationship. When I was there I asked the church architects if they had any timelines as to when the new chapel would be finished. I also asked to see 3D animations for that chapel and asked how many people it would hold. We were told that it would be a year until it would be totally completed. But after we saw how cool the architectural renderings for that space looked, we set a date for whenever it was going to be finished. We were stoked. After this we went to speak with the person in charge of weddings and we were sent to a woman named Beverly. We told her of our plans and we asked to be the first couple that could be married in the new chapel. She wrote our names down and promised that we would be at the top of the list.
Then we went to church, which was really good all the way around. I love to see Melissa worship. She just does whatever she wants – as if the Holy Spirit is moving through a person with a childlike faith. Sort of like how the kids at my Lubbock pre-K worship. It’s powerful because they don’t (and she doesn’t) care what anyone thinks. It’s fresh love for God and it isn’t performance. That’s what God loves and what He asks for as far as wholehearted devotion.
Overall, it was a great day and I slept well in my corporate housing space.
Day 71 – Friday Supershocks
The day started with an informal meeting with Sarah at the poolside who told me about how she and Tom were doing in their budding relationship. She has become his shed-mate and they have been traveling around to various towns in the area to find all sorts of new “treasures” to add to his haul. She told me that they had found an antique Chinese artifact in one of them that he was able to sell for $14,000. She said it was found in a mix of mannequins and old cereal boxes. She seems to have adopted his fuel for the find and I love that I had a part in putting them in contact. Most introductions like this go nowhere, but this one is looking like it might be heading the same direction as mine and Melissa’s. Two marriages coming out of the same corporate housing space near the same time would be some sort of odd occurrence I think. Maybe the owners of these spaces could add this to their marketing – “We being people together.”
So hearing about Sarah and Tom’s adventures and romance was a minor shock, but the next shock came when the church I had been attending called me out of the blue (I didn’t really know they knew I existed outside of my $5,000 gift). It was the head pastor on the phone and he asked if he could have a meeting with me about taking on their marketing during their growth phase. He wanted me to handle their online and their print marketing. He had gotten my information from my 3D animation humans. Those church architects have been nothing but good to me and now I have the chance to serve the actual church. I told the pastor I would be happy to sit down with him and talk out the details so we planned on it some time next week. Some surprising good news for sure.
But the major supershock came when I met up with Melissa who had taken two paid time off days to plan a getaway for us to go to that Bed and Breakfast outside of Snyder (where the Texas college and one of my lawn care businesses is located). She told me to pack my bag and so I did it rapidly. I didn’t want to lose any time on the road when I could be enjoying Melissa in the car. When we did climb aboard my car she took out a book called The Love Dare and told me that we were going to read it together because it had had such an impact on her. I agreed. Those things were great but they were not as shocking as when she told me to stop the car so she could check on something. When I did stop pulling out of the parking lot, Melissa went to the trunk of the car and grabbed something. Then she came to my side of the car and asked me to open the door. I did and she knelt down on one knee holding out a simple gold band. She said, “Kevin, I love you. Will you marry me?”
I almost choked on my words but finally got the words out that I loved her too and that I would be happy to be her husband. We kissed and then we began our journey – me reading the book out loud to her as we drove – and both of us discussing what the book was saying to us about us.
I’m getting married. I’M GETTING MARRIED!!!
Day 70 – Wednesday Goodbyes
Melissa and I got up early in the morning at our corporate housing rooms and converged on the two nurses that were leaving. There were more tears as we helped them to carry their boxes and crates filled with their possessions to their cars. They will be missed. After they drove off and we waved like madmen at their car, we returned to Melissa’s room to grab her stuff and place it in her new space down the hall. I had thought about popping the question to her today, but realized I needed a better emotional cover – I didn’t want to mix up her crying for her nurse friends with a presentation of a lifetime commitment. I also need to buy the diamond earrings and come up with some cool romantic plan. Or maybe I won’t do the romantic blowout, which come with some engagements. I kind of find them annoying and I also think Melissa would prefer a simple ask. After all, she’s already claimed me as a fiancée – might as well make it official soon.
After we got her moved, she got ready for work and so did I. We both had busy days planned.
Before I went to work I put my mind back on God and considered Elijah after he killed all of the Baal prophets – so much faith and so little fear. But then when Jezebel threatened to kill him, it was like he forgot what he knew – the fear took over and swallowed the faith he had. As a result, he ran away as fast as he could to separate himself from the threat. I saw myself in him there. One day strong and the next weak and afraid. I recognize that I need to dig my heels into Jesus and not be so quick to take off in fear, regardless of the threats to my life, relationships, career, etc.
I got a call from my lawn care folks and they asked me how things were going with the Search Engine Optimization. I was able to prep a report of their analytics in a couple of hours and they were impressed with the increase of people checking out their website. I was glad they were happy and they should be. It’s one thing to have a cool looking website and a great business to back it up. You need to be able to draw people to look at that website and to discover your work by way of portfolio. They had only been getting about 50 people taking a look at their site per month, but it’s already quadrupled. 200 new people took a look at them online and they will typically increase the likelihood of someone buying what they are selling.
That’s all I want to report on today. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster and I’m ready to ride back to bed.
Day 69 – Tuesday Rocks
I know I haven’t said much lately about the other two nurses in the group, but since they are actually moving out tomorrow and taking up their new short-term hospital posts in Dallas, I better talk fast. I told them to pick out their favorite restaurant in town (which turned out to be The Funky Door) and I would pay for their last meal in Lubbock. I also gave them $250 gift cards to each to spend on whatever they would need when landing in their new corporate housing space. We all had a good time eating, talking and reminiscing about the Lubbock experience, but after it all, things turned sad between Melissa and her friends. There was so much crying I almost dropped a tear or two. It’s hard watching people separate and move in different directions. I knew I would miss them.
On the note of them leaving, Melissa would be changing her suite for a smaller one down the same hall. We both agreed that we didn’t need to share a place simply because we knew we wouldn’t be able to stay “pure.” I mean, I am a hottie and she is a hottie – put two hotties in the same apartment and you’re gonna start a big fat fire. I told her I would help her move in tomorrow in the early morning so she wouldn’t have to wait for me to work all day. It’s nice to get settled as soon as possible.
Anyway, before all of the restaurant goodbyes happened it was a normal work day – one that I felt proud about. I saw major ranking jumps for my company that does lawn care and I saw medium ranking jumps for the corporate housing folks – which is to be expected because I haven’t been working for them as long. I was disappointed by the small drops in ranking for the private Christian schools I serve – as well when I spoke with their leadership they said that enrollment was not growing like they thought it might. I told them I would re-double my efforts to get them to a place where conversions would take place.
My meditation this morning was about how Elijah slaughtered the Baal prophets and proved God’s power with a call for a fire fall. Elijah was so bold and even sarcastic with these prophets. He had a faith that I wish I had. Sometimes I don’t even bother with asking God to show His movements because I fear that I’m not good enough to get results from God by asking. This shows my lack of spiritual faith. I know I believe in Jesus’ blood making me righteous and that I will go to Heaven after death. But, I have a hard time with the mustard seed faith that can move mountains. I need to ask for more faith and believe that it has been given to me. Then I need to use it to bring God glory.
Well, that was the day – It was a full one.
Day 68 – Monday Work-outs
Alive and well in my corporate housing space.
After reading over my notes the past two weeks I recognized a pattern of justified laziness in my work and decided I better pick up my energy. I am not being hard on myself and I am not trying to be impressive – I just think my relationship with Melissa has caught up with me somewhat. My mind and my heart are on her (and of course, God – but God always gets a pass because He will be sending me to my eternal spot) and it has slowed down my work. So today I worked. I even told Melissa I couldn’t meet her until much later so I could add some hours and passion to my employment.
What did I work on?
I visited four of my clients to see if they were feeling good about my efforts. They appreciated me stopping by and checking in on them. All of them were happy – especially the guys doing 3D animations for commercial companies. We got off on the right foot and they liked that I knew the lingo I had picked up from my church architects. I also made a quick afternoon drive out to Snyder to assure the Texas colleges that our plan was working out. They were shocked to see me walk in since I temporarily lived in Lubbock, but it was a good surprise. It’s important to let a client know that just because you are two hours away, you are willing to become local just for them. Finally on the way home from that meeting, I turned down the radio and began to meditate on a great scripture for the day – “Oh that God would rend the heavens open and come down…”
The writer of that passage was crying out for God to rip open the skies and the universe and everything that could stand in His way of bringing a new way to a rebellious nation – probably numerous nations. The phrase that stuck out to me was the plea for God to “come down.” The man who wrote it so longed for God to be present because things were going so bad with rebellious human leaders. It points to Jesus’ coming down to be the light from Heaven but it also points to the end of days when God will bring His Kingdom down to earth to replace the mess we currently have. God’s arm is not too short to save – that’s for sure.
Sometimes I feel the exact same way – I know I should be more patient, but there is so much of me that longs for a place where there are no more tears and no more pain. Plus I will have a glorious body given to me – which I will never earn here on earth with my low testosterone levels…
Anyone feel me on that one?
Time for my comfortable corporate housing bed –
Day 67 – Sunday rest
More tales from my corporate housing suite: Part of me woke up this morning feeling happy about what Melissa said, but part of me awoke with disappointed in myself. I am usually moderate with most things – especially alcohol. But last night I got so caught up in the party atmosphere and also in the glories of my relationship that I had an extra martini. I want to be a self-controlled person. The Bible says that a person without self-control is like a house with no doors or windows. I think about how messed up that house would be as beasts and trash and dirt would ruin its inside. I don’t want to be that sort of “house” and so I need to watch that I don’t slip up in other areas. I can also do this with work – I can keep my work going at all times. Work-aholism can be a trap for me and I don’t have enough self-control to not go extreme with it sometimes. So, I meditated on this as I lay in bed this morning with my minor party headache and asked God to help me be more careful to avoid extremes.
Should I feel this bad about this tendency? Am I beating myself up too hard for a couple of mistakes? I think that at times I come down harder on me than God would. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts…
One person who had a good last night was my Realtor friend who got several people interested in homes for sale in Lubbock. She thanked me for the introductions. It was no big deal – she was just invited and she did all the work. I’m happy for her. It’s always nice to find new populations to make money from. She will do good jobs for these new clients. I even told a few of the interested parties to check out the amazing lawn care and maintenance that comes with the purchase of these houses.
I’m trying to rest up but I actually got asked to go have dinner with a few of my church architects. I guess I hung out with them enough that I earned some friendship points. We talked a bit about one of their new projects and I learned about how these things start out. They told me how they planned for 3D animations long before they promoted them to churches. They showed me how they use their creative and technical skills to initiate a relationship between themselves and the church leaderships they work for. I do the same sort of planning for my new clients but it is nowhere near as complicated as theirs. We only spent a little time on that subject and then we moved on to talking about the Presidential candidates for the upcoming cycle. We all had strong opinions about how this election seemed to be filled with terrible choices on both sides. We also talked about how the upcoming football season would be a good distraction from all of the political nonsense.
It was a better day than I thought it would be. I didn’t see Melissa but for a minute. She had to work and I wanted her to rest. I did ask her about the whole “fiancée” intro from the night before. She just smiled and said that she just felt it was right to go ahead and let others know we are seriously serious about moving forward. Good enough for me!!!
Day 66 – Saturday Church and Party times
It seemed weird to go to church and then head off to a party at my corporate housing site but that is what happened. Church was good. I saw one of my Lubbock lawn care guys there for the first time. Melissa came with me and she seemed totally invested in the time. The main pastor spoke on how God does not judge or choose because of external appearances but instead He judges by the inside of a man – the heart and internal longings. It’s how He judged and chose David to be a future king even though he was not as tall or strong as his older brothers. It made me think of how Jesus would tell the religious leaders that the sinners were being chosen to inherit the Kingdom of God even though they looked so bad in comparison to those Pharisees. As well it is like when Paul says that we are chosen by God even though we were not the smart or the strongest or the most impressive. Besides what the verses said, it also made me consider how God has chosen me to do things for Him on this earth. I may not be the smartest or coolest person, but the King of the universe picked me out anyway. It’s certainly very different than how people choose people – People use resumes and outside impressions and reputations to make decisions about someone else. I’m glad Jesus is unlike other humans. Melissa and I talked about this and brought it to bear on our relationship – how there are plenty of better fish in the sea than me but she chose me for a different reason – not that I’m some catfish scavenger, but I am not a great white.
As for the party, it went well. I did have one too many drinks – maybe I was giving myself license after hearing the sermon. I didn’t put a lampshade on my head or dance on tables, but I could feel the buzz a lot stronger than I had before. I had invited my realtor who had sold me my favorite one of the thousands homes for sale in Lubbock. I thought she might be able to network with my neighbors and land some new clients. After all, I knew that there were several of my neighbors who had come to Lubbock searching for homes to buy. They had been having a hard time getting into nice places to call home and I figured that my realtor might be successful for their sakes.
One thing that was cool at the party was when one of the neighbors who was relatively new to the Lubbock corporate housing scene came up to Melissa and me. He introduced himself and then Melissa introduced herself and then introduced me as her fiancée. I was taken aback in a positive way. I hadn’t formally asked but I was happy to hear that she was already considering me as her final relational destination.
I’ve been chosen. It feels good. I hope all of you are experiencing being chosen too. Being rejected is not a fun feeling.