Mobile Minutes: 100 Pounds


I awoke with 100 pounds on my chest. I felt miserable. This overwhelming burden just felt as if it was crushing me as I started off the day.

I took a shower, and several deep breaths. There was just this sensation of guilt, rejection, and failure just looming over my head. I hadn’t had any nightmares, and I couldn’t think of any triggers that had put me in that position. I felt…cursed.

This was most definitely not a moment of moping, complaining, or feeling bad for myself. This was just full on, heartfelt pain. The realization that I was slipping; falling away. There’s been so much going on in my life that realistically spiritually I’m there, but not where I should be. Does that make sense?

I’m not as dependent on God as I should be; most literally with my problems. No matter the size I try to conquer them myself, or run away from them [I'm an expert at that]. Rarely do I confront and confess before God what’s really on my mind, what’s really bothering me. Sure, He knows what’s going on inside, but personally I find the true challenge lies on whether or not I’ll talk about it out loud in the apartment [yes, making me sound like a lunatic most mornings]. Today, I swallowed my pride and just poured it out, for what felt likes hours of everything that’s been just eating at me [very little actually having to do with soccer]. Personally, it’s just been attitudes, temptations, and this daunting task of staying on the straight and narrow; and realizing that I cannot’ do it on my own.

I’m not saying I left for MoVal in high spirits; in fact even with coffee in hand I still wasn’t feel well by the time church started. It was during the sermon that the pieces started coming together; the preacher was talking about the notion of being a heretic. Claiming one thing, but doing another. Telling people that God controls your life, but still reserving certain parts of your life for just you…not God. Guess what? I fall into that category. There are several things that I’ve foolishly, repeatedly have tried to conquer on my own and reserved it just for me.

Absolute stupidity.

The rains falling tonight as I send this message out; a relaxing ending to a perplexing day in my mind. I’m trying, but even with me trying to do the right thing continually; I cannot get it down without Him.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Startled


I’m not sure if I’m eating something weird, or running too late, or what the case may be, but in recent nights I’ve been rocking some horrible nightmares.

From kidnappings to armed conflict, it feels like I’ve dreamed it all. I try not to get lured into the trap of looking into dreams, but the lack of sleep from these startling moments at night is getting old.

-D-

RECOVERY: rEBUILD


re·build

   [ree-bild]  Show IPA verb, re·built or (Archaic ) re·build·ed; re·build·ing.

verb (used with object)

1. to repair, especially to dismantle and reassemble with new

parts: to rebuild an old car.

2. to replace, restrengthen, or reinforce: to rebuild an army.

3. to revise, reshape, or reorganize: to rebuild a shattered

career.

It was nearly six years ago when I found myself standing among weeds and death throughout the 9th Ward of New Orleans. ‘X’s’ covered the houses, making sure that all life, or lost, were found and documented. The Walmart was gone, the gas stations vacant, and the homeless were running the French Quarter.

There was nothing ‘easy’ about the Big Easy.

For a week in 2006 and again in 2009, I was able to spend time assisting in the recovery of New Orleans after the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It was painful, including a very nasty eye injury that almost left me blind, and the crawdad’s were fresh…as always, but it was hard to believe the progress that had taken place each time I visited the city. In one trip, nothing but death littered the roadway, in another trip the buildings had paint, the weeds removed, and traffic was…well…traffic. New Orleans was rebuilding itself, slowly, but surely.

In 2012, the population and economy of New Orleans isn’t what it was in pre-Katrina days, but the steady process of the devoted few have paid off; with Superbowl Titles, city unification, and an overall idea of pride in what they went through in order to become who they are today.

As I’ve watched the clock throughout the day, getting closer to midnight this evening, packing up items for my departure to Guatemala tomorrow; I can think of no better way to sum up the challenges of the past year, aside from comparing it to our beloved down south.

Each day I woke up, it was a struggle from the git-go. Some days I wouldn’t get out of bed, even when I relocated up north, it was guaranteed that if I had a nightmare of the past; I wasn’t going to work that day. However through friends, family, and connecting to the rest of the world; I found reason to move on, on a daily basis. Whether it was an activity of MoVal, or working with a bunch of U-8 kids on the soccer field; I had a reason to live, I had a reason to succeed, I had a reason to rebuild.

It’s when we overcome the reality of the pain that we must go through, that we can finally begin to do amazing things with our lives. No matter the pain and frustration; death, divorce, taxes…whatever the case, when we choose to move forward; anything is possible.

Similar to ‘E’, and encouraging those around you with your unique story, rebuilding is the same. How can a person justify a man being homeless, broke, and divorced; in one year would be content, compelled, and the owner of a professional sports team?

Exactly.

As I continue to move ‘dirt’ and build up what God desires my life to be, I accept the idea that the rebuilding process of my life, it never ends; it keeps moving. If I’m desiring growth, then like my beloved cities in Simcity; the game never ends, the goal is never reached, and my life will never be enough.

And honestly; I’m OK with that.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Old Habits Die Hard


Less you think my life was perfect since last year.
Today is May 1, 2012. I was to start work early this morning, three stores, no big deal. Get up early, head south, be done and home by 2:00 PM.
Then last night I had nightmares of my marriage. The fighting, lying, and just overall anger.
I didn’t get up this morning.
I didn’t go to work (not that I’ll get in trouble since I make the hours).
I just laid here, sleeping, trying to dream it all away.
Embarrassing, and painful. Like an injured athlete trying to run again.
You’ve got to walk first.
Guess healing is no different.
-D-

X: 5:00 AM


There is something unique about 5:00 AM. In times of my life I have cursed this time [waking up to open up the store], and other days it brought bitter joy [waking up, be dragged through the sandy shoreline to go trout fishing]. However, as of late it has become a unique focal point of my life.

I always wake up at 5:00 AM, it is impossible to sleep through it. Now, sometimes I do go back to sleep, and days like today; I just get up. There is no rhythm, no pattern, it’s just  5:00 AM and the light gets turned on, I open my eyes, and the world is still.

What an awesome time to thank God.

Through time [and several text messages], it has been discovered that myself being half-asleep has led to some pretty brutal accusations, claims, and professing of love to sleeping people nationwide. However, I’ve also come to understand that with this honest comes a broken heart and a pleading soul. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woke up and said, “Thank you”, or, “Now what?”; just being able to vocally direct my concerns to only other individual in the room.

He’s yet to disappoint.

There was a time this morning, somewhere between the security gates at one of the most frightening military bases in the world and the open interstate; I seriously contemplated deleting the ‘X‘ from last night. It legitimately crossed my mind. However, I’m not one to cover wounds. They need to be exposed, and I’m OK with showing areas that I’m very vulnerable at. Of course, I do cringe reading it because it did come off as a high school pity-party, but it’s OK. I’m OK.

I woke up at 5:00 AM this morning and thought, “OK, time to wake up, go to work, and then do…”
I had nothing else to do today. So, I just laid there, awake, for about thirty minutes just processing thoughts and making sure that in the stillness of that moment, it was just God and myself. I complained, whined, thanked, and praised. I nearly cried and almost laughed.

It was a glorious moment. That’s when I had also realized that I didn’t remember a single dream or nightmare from last night. Nothing. I’ll throw some praise up for that.

Let me tell you a bit about this military base I have to travel to once a month. I screw up the car search every, single time. I’ve been at the wrong gate. The wrong line. Last time I forgot to open all four doors of my car for the crew. Afterwards I’ve got a 1/2 mile path from where I park [of which I was informed I could towed from, but my company will hopefully bail me out of that], to where this store is. The store in the lower level of a educational building on base. I’m surrounded by rather high ranking officials, no sunglasses, cell phones, and most importantly…no smiling.

I nearly get an ulcer thinking of having to go to this store. Plus, I have to do this one early in the morning because the base gets rather super busy throughout the day [including my poor, little store].  This means it is my first *yawn* stop in the morning. I had put off this place for two days this week. Tuesday the President was in town…uh…you thought security was high all the other days. Wednesday, as many people may recall, was the 70th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. What does that mean? That base had a running race on base and everyone and their sister went directly to my little, understaffed store afterwards for lunch. They were nearly destroyed. Today was the day, with the poorly brewed tea in my cup [it was dead awful, steel Starbucks mugs are made for either coffee or tea...NEVER both], I pulled up to the correct gate, drove up the correct lane, and was pleased to see that the security staff was freezing [there is a point to this]. They were so cold that they took my license, asked where I was going, got some other important information, and that was it…NO SEARCH TODAY! Afterwards, by nearly jogging with a lieutenant [they walk so fast], I got to the store; did my dues and was out of that place.

No worries.

Flew through my second store. Noted a calculation error in my monthly planning for stores. I had an extra day that I hadn’t programmed in. That meant I didn’t have to bust it all the way through the day and pick up four stores. I just relaxed. Got to store #3 and it was one violation away from being perfect [trust me when I say that it was a very minor violation], which is a miracle in itself compared to a few months ago.

I was home by 3:00 PM, mind still intact, and having a joyful day.

I get paid tomorrow, so I started going through my bills to pay. Frankly, there are a lot of bills to pay this time through [love college]. I caught myself though, I started to gripe about, “I’m not going to have much money left, etc…”

I stopped, took a deep breath and muttered, “At least I can pay my bills now.” All my Christmas shopping is done. I have nothing else I ‘need’.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

-2 Corinthians 12:9-

-D-

X: Nomadic Anger


Is it OK just to admit that I’m just struggling today? Yesterday? This whole week?

I mean, please understand I’m not falling asleep with a bottle of Jack next to my headboard, but I’m just having a rougher week.

Can we say that Satan is working overtime on me?

I’ll go ahead and just throw out that fact.

It’s not that I’m sick [well, that's debatable], it’s not saying that there has been something tragic along my life.

It’s the fact that I’m not sleeping. It’s the fact that I’m having awful nightmares, and I don’t understand why.

I mean; we’ve discussed this before. Nightmares that pertain to the thoughts of disasters, accidents, war, FLOODS, are all OK in my book. I’m game for those; that’s nothing new.

However.

I hate having nightmares involving my ex-wife. The past two nights I’ve had very similar patterns, meeting the individual, getting to know her again. Now, the catch is this; she can’t stand to see me, it repulses her. However, I’m grateful that she’s there [I should point out that in no way what so ever do I even remotely want something like this to happen]. Then I spend the rest of this nightmare being around her, dreading seeing her family again, and thinking how I’m so happy that I’d been just having nightmares of being divorced.

That’s about the time I wake up. This is how I’m starting my days off for the past two days. It’s seriously starting to wear on me. I’m just on edge as of late, constantly tired, not motivated; fearful of gaining weight from not running. I feel like I’m losing. There is absolutely no logic or rational thought process to any of this; I’m just scared. I’m still, in the end, just a scared kid that’s gone through a rather rough patch of my life, and honestly very fearful of screwing anything else up. I mean, you’ve got to give me a little credit; I’m terrified of anyone ‘taking a chance’ on me, because all those legal documents sitting in my file cabinet indicates that I’m not someone to take a chance on. I mess up. Screw up. Really this is why I’m always, seemingly on the run.

I bounce between friends, churches, towns, jobs, everything because I’m so fearful that people tend to be drawn to me, enjoy my company for a certain period of time, but like my parents, my ex-wife, anyone who has spent extended time with me…I’m exhausting, overbearing, and just straight up overwhelming.

Once again, there is no sound logic to any of these comments, but the lack of sleep and fear of forever being in this nomadic state causes the mind to stumble quite frequently.

It’s rather easy to be able to spout off that God takes care of me, and He loves me. I acknowledge this, understand this, and dare not argue this. However, personally; I’m so darn stained, tarnished, and weak that it’s hard to accept it. So many people around me have demonstrated a distaste towards me, important people; and while human’s are not God, and vice-versa, it still creates a stubborn falsehood in the human [mine] mind that we try to equate God to being equal to men [which all of us should slap ourselves for thinking that]. That is the exact complex I’m currently in. I’m trying to bring God to my level and basically say, “Well, Your creation left me, they gave up on me. Therefore You gave up on me.” Which is everything but the truth [I smack myself]. However, eventually you stop running and all the garbage that you left behind, it will catch up.

Perhaps this is merely a moment of humility of God demonstrating, “You need Me, I don’t need you…”, because currently I’m getting a taste…a taste of mental misery, and it’s horrible. I won’t even try to twist this into a, “Similar to what Jesus went through…”, He didn’t! He was pure, perfect, and was able to resist the temptations. I’ve dodged a few, but right now I’m heading straight into pride, envy, and just overall bitterness.

I’m trying not to.

But it’s impossible not too; unless He’s the one pulling you out.

Yes, some writing is good therapy and personally, I’m praying for a good nights rest.

Less any of you think that this piece was nothing but a ‘rant’ or ‘pity party'; allow me to remind you that this site is a journey. Uncharted. Brutally honest. If I wanted to write a best seller, I’d tell you all the great news, and mention nothing of struggles and therefore attempt to remove myself from the human populous. That’s not fair to you, and it isn’t fair to God. At the moment you see a broken, weeping, hurting, frustrated young man.

Through these moments God can mold us [even me] the most.

-D-

X: Ultimate Sacrifice


First off all, this nightmare is completely eating at me in ways I can’t describe. I have nightmares, like any other person in the world they’re not special, unique, or self-fulfilling, but they do cause me to lose sleep, and unlke what MC says, I can’t control them. They. Just. Happen.

A few days ago I started on about a dream that I had that involved outrunning a massive windstorm that was coming to sweep me away and destroy everything around me. Not really that uncommon, almost expected on most nights [though flooding was not involved]. Last night though, almost child-like, this one woke me up in a cold sweat and shaking hands.

Out in the deserted wasteland that was once central Kansas, I found myself traveling along in a rusted out, old car with a group of people. We were on our way to visit this strange, hurting town that had been abandoned for some time. As we streaked down this empty, two lane road; the car passed a green city limits sign. What was unique about this sign was that it not only had the name of the town in English [as is expected], but it also had a Russian name below it [no I have not been watching Red Dawn again...]. The traveling troupe and myself found this quite unique, and continued into the location.

When we had arrived, we stepped out to dirt, debris, and empty, boarded up homes. A few people came out to see what the noise was about. A few men shook our hands; they bones could be easily felt through their almost transparent skin. The group took us through town and explained that a chemical had contaminated the area [they pronounced it several times, but for the life of me I can't remember it...tri-adoline-phosphate-etc...], and because of that the water was contaminated and the area was unlivable. 

Into the evening, while standing in this strange land, we met the local pastor of the church and his wife. A lovely couple, devoted in assisting this dying [literal] community to the best of their abilities. As a person [through narrator glasses inside this dream] it was so moving to see people so dedicated towards assisting those whose daily lives are such a struggle. 

That night it began to rain. The river began to rise, the town started to flood [what's a nightmare of mine without a flood?]. The problem was that this chemical, when mixed with water, became very acidic [nasty pH level]. The people were on the tops of their homes, just trying to survive, when a young child slipped off into the racing, corrosive water. The wife of the pastor instantly, without even thinking twice, dived right into the water to grab the child. As the person experiencing this nightmare it became extremely difficult, the screaming of unbearable pain from the child and the woman saving the child was just…bone chilling. Thankfully, the little girl got out of the water and was rushed in to be treated. The woman also was pulled in, but her injuries were severe.

This is where the nightmare took an amazing turn. The pastor, obviously troubled and heartbroken by the health of his wife, spent all his time with this little girl. Why? Because his wife instructed him to. She told him, dying, that she was going to be safe regardless and that this child needed to be attended to. I’m not one to cry in dreams, but it was rather hard not to at this site. Here is this pastor and wife, not that old, being torn apart along this foreign, destroyed, hopeless land, and they both have to selflessly acknowledge that His kingdom must go on.

Thankfully, I woke up in my comfortable bed, in my heated room, in my safe little town this morning. I spent a good hour reflecting on that nightmare. I mean, come on, it severe enough that I really didn’t want to go back to sleep. The screaming, the pain, the sorrow, the grief. All of it was so overwhelming.

With that said though, as comes with everything I do in life, I’ve got find something about it that ties into my present life, current life, or just being able to apply it to what I know as ‘life’.

I suppose the biggest thing I witnessed in that nightmare is the willingness to just sacrifice, to give it up, let it go, recognize that your life is only part of the bigger picture. Which brings us to tomorrow…

Tomorrow, instead of chilling at MoVal, I’m hitting the road. I’m traveling to the church I grew up with as a child and a teenager. Many things are going on within this church body, a lot of rearranging and it has created some hostility. I want a taste, I want to see; I believe with my heart that God can do anything through anyone, but we must be willing to sacrifice.

How can we sacrifice if we can’t even agree on trash receptacles and housing repairs?

He’s going to continue to do great things. We may give up, but His power never ceases.

-D-