Like/Love

Today’s homily was interesting in that the priest defined Love in a way I’ve never thought of it. Today’s Gospel reading was Matthew 22: 34-40, which includes these words: Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your should, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22: 37-39 The priest started off by asking if we’ve ever said that we “love” chocolate, our car, our pets … and then said that what we really should say in those instances is that we “like” these things.  Because like is will and love is a commandment.  Like is fleeting, it will come and go as our opinions or situations change, whereas love doesn’t. He used St. Thomas Aquinas’ definition of love, which is “to will the good of another”. When we love someone, we want what is best for that person and we act on it to make what is best for them a...

My Strengths

For almost the past two years at work we have been doing a devotional Monday mornings to start our week off right. The past few months we have been going through the book The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. This week we started a new one called StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, which was really interesting. There really isn’t a whole lot to the book itself, but where it gets you is with the online assessment that you take to find out what your top five strengths are. After taking the assessment and reading through the description in the book and the insights in the PDF, I thought that four out of the five were dead on. I’m not so sure about the fifth … 1. Empathy Empathy was listed as my top strength. I thought it was interesting to get this one after the really nice message one of my co-workers sent me on my birthday where she mentioned my being empathetic. Points that stand out from the insight: Want others to see the good qualities in one another and in situations Natural aptitude for overcoming difficulties Called upon to locate trouble, make needed repairs or implement solutions Ignore distractions Sense when a person can benefit from support, kind words or deeds Sympathetic to the idea that money cannot buy you contentment, peace or well-being Awareness and insights into the moods of individuals Rarely distance self from those who you sense need to be there for them What stands out the most to me in that list is the “awareness and insights into the moods...
House of Heroes Never Fails

House of Heroes Never Fails

I say that a lot, but House of Heroes really never fails. They played at Cross Church in Springdale with Rapture Ruckus and Cory Lamb last night, and I ventured up there with a friend of mine. The first exciting thing was that I passed them in their van heading up I-540. They were stuck behind a semi, and I’m sure didn’t want to pass it with their trailer. I wonder if they were just rolling in or if they had gone down to Fayetteville for dinner. My friend and I stayed near the back for Cory Lamb’s set, and then when all of the teenagers cleared the room during the set change, we moved on up to the front. I watched HOH with much interest while they set up and did a quick sound check. I gave a slight wave and mouthed “hi” to Tim Skipper, the lead singer, while he was messing with the microphone and he said “hi” back. Their set lasted about 25 minutes and they crammed it with six songs, including: Remember the Empire,  God Save the Foolish Kings, Serial Sleepers, Code Name: Raven, Dance and Touch This Light.  I was enthralled as I usually am when they are playing live.  I’m not sure what it is about their stage show and their music, but it’s just awesome. It wasn’t hard to notice that I was the only person in the crowd who was singing along to each of their songs.  Tim kept glancing over at me, and looked pleased that there was at least one person who was into their stuff.  I felt...
My Ears are Still Ringing

My Ears are Still Ringing

Last night I ventured down to Little Rock, where I got to see two of my favorite bands, Relient K and House of Heroes, for the first time in at least two and a half years. It’s been a dry-spell for me when it comes to concerts the past couple of years and last night was just what I needed to get back into it. The show started about 9:45 p.m., which is rather late for me, and I wasn’t even in the door yet, which was unfortunate because House of Heroes was the first up, so I missed their first couple of songs. As soon as I got inside, I parked myself right at the front-left next to two speakers and had my ears blasted out for the first two and a half bands. House of Heroes never fails to disappoint during their sets.  The songs I caught included: “God Save the Foolish Kings”, “Serial Sleepers”, “Dance”, “Code Name: Raven”, and “Touch This Light”, which I continued to have in my head throughout the rest of the night.  Naturally their set was not long enough, but even when I’ve seen them headline an hour and a half is not enough. The second act was William Beckett, who I had never heard of.  During his set, Tim Skipper (HOH’s lead singer), Ethan Luck (RK’s drummer) and Matt Thiessen (RK lead singer) came out and did a song with him.  It was rather entertaining when Tim stumbled through the lyrics and looked frustrated for doing so.  I did enjoy his stuff and will probably venture to iTunes and see what...

Coffee Cake

Here’s another essay I wrote in college. This one’s called “Coffee Cake” … and it makes me tear up. It’s about returning home after being away for a while. ~ I park the white Chevy Tahoe under the basketball hoop in the three-car driveway, and push the button on the garage door opener.  I cannot hear the noise it makes because the radio is still loud from my six hour drive home.  I wait for the door to go up before getting out since it’s getting dark out and the alley has no lights.  The garage has not changed since I was last home. The right side is still crammed full of saws, lawn tools, bikes, and wood. A lot of those objects have not seen the light of day in a long time.  I maneuver my way between that mess and my Mom’s dark-red Saturn before opening the door to the laundry room.  The little room is hot and sticky, it smells like bleach, and the machines are on.  The door into the kitchen is light and as I close it, it shakes my bedroom door, which is right above. I call out and the first creature to great me is my yellow-lab, Ross. He is getting older, yet this does not stop him from bouncing around, wagging his tail in circles, and barking.  The loud noise from his mouth bothers his ears because after every two barks or so he shakes his head.  My chocolate-lab, Bucky, comes in looking sleepy but he manages to greet me through the noise that Ross makes. I am very happy to...

Light as Air

For the last week, I have felt a lot lighter and the eternal knot in my stomach has disappeared. I guess I didn’t realize how much the boy had been stressing me out and putting pressure on me to give up my life in NWA for him. It is an awesome feeling to be done with it. I thought I was content with my life, and I was until the pressure got stronger and stronger, and than I was no longer content. I feel content again.  Like I had at the end of 2011.  Once again I am making my own way; I don’t have anyone to answer to except for God, and he’s the only person I should ever have to answer to. Now don’t get me wrong, I do miss him, but I’m not upset about it like I thought I might be.  As I mentioned previously, he was my first relationship and my first love so he will always hold a special place in my heart, but I’ve learned a lot more about what I want in the man I marry one day and how I want that relationship to be. If I’m being honest, I want someone who is (a lot) more like my Dad.  (Don’t tell him that, because he’ll just eat that up.)  I want a relationship like my parents have, where they tease and pick at each other, but at the end of the day they love each other and are always there for one another. I have a lot of good things going for me in Northwest Arkansas; a home I...