Sunday, February 2, 2014

Getting Terminated

The day seemed to start out as usual. I got to work with a list of tasks to get accomplished. The nightly closers hadn't got to vacuuming or taking the garbages out, and since we had corporate management coming after their phone call it all needed to get done before we opened. As my co-worker showed up to work, she met a woman outside the door and let her in. At first I was confused because we hadn't even opened yet and she was letting in a customer already. I soon realized she was one of the people we were expecting a visit from. I introduced myself, asked her name. and got back to my chores. Just as we were about to open, my manager pulled me into the back office.

We had a long discussion about policies from that point on. Hoping that corporate had finally taken notice of my plea for the need for a whistle blowing policy, I sat in anxious anticipation till they got to the point. I soon realized I was under fire for something I'd done, but still beating around the bush the point was being evaded. Finally at long last, the conclusion. "So you've given one of your friends and family discounts to a co-worker who gave it to someone you've never met." "Yes, that is correct. I was asked by my co-worker for one so she could give it to someone in her family I'd never met,and I didn't know how to tell her no" I responded. The HR representative went on, "We've got record that you made some changes to an account with your discount attached to it in August. Even though you've never met him, and even though you didn't know he was on your account, you still broke policy by accessing his account and making some changes. Because you did a training that taught you that this was against policy, this action will result in your termination."

Emptiness. Silence. Stillness. I stood up to leave in the middle of the next sentence. I collected my things and headed for the door. I got a ride home, because my wife and I have been sharing one vehicle. Shock was an understatement. My wife gets a stipend from her volleyball scholarship, but doesn't have a job. What are we going to do? How am I going to tell her? How will I explain this to world without looking like an incompetent, unethical fool?

It's been four days since. Today is Fast Sunday. No, it's not going any faster than other Sundays. It's the perfect day to sacrifice food for 24 hours so I can submit the needs and wants of my body to commandments given me by Jesus Christ. This submission empowers and strengthens my spirit by breaking my heart and humbling my attitude. My level of gratitude exceeds all my other fears. Keeping the commandments with the knowledge that God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance truly motivates me to choose my love. I mean to say that if I love God I'll give up the shows I shouldn't be watching. I'll give up the language that offends him. I'll give up the selfish, impure, unkind, devilish thoughts that fleet across my mind that once in awhile get entertained for the fun or the laugh of it. I'll work harder to proclaim the gospel, redeem the dead, perfect the saints and take care of the poor and the needy.

With the freedom from not having a nine to five I've had the chance to reevaluate my priorities, reconvene with my wife and grow closer to her, and reassess my relationship to my Father in Heaven to what I need to do draw nearer to him. I've spent more time on my knees than I have since my younger brother took his own life. My Savior has once again proven his love and endless compassion for me. He's filled my heart with so much love that it feels like an orange being squeezed till the juice bursts from their pockets and streams out in the form of my tears running down my face. I love my Savior, and all will be well because I have turned things over to him, and I'm willing to do everything he asks of me.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Sacrament

As an opening paragraph to my next blog I need to explain that writing, for me, is my best teacher. The spirit finally gets a chance to penetrate my consciousness and my understanding of what the inspiration is actually about finally comes as I write down the feelings and thoughts that cross my mind and heart in that moment. This specific post actually happened a few weeks ago during a sacrament meeting as I considered the offenses that I've incurred against the laws of God and against the very loving nature that I feel from him. I typed this post into my phone and then copied it to this blog, so I hope it reveals itself as coherent and worthwhile to read.
Here it is....
The question I've been asking myself all week as I observed my weaknesses and tendencies and even addictions to sin, "Am I willing to give this up?" The thought crossed my mind as I felt pessimistic and negative turbulence eminating from the epicenter of my soul's core, like the rippling waves that roll outward from a source of interruption. Again the thought bull dozes its way across my minds center stage and once it's got all my attention it boldly asks, " you're about to take the sacrament as a symbol of your repentance, if you take it unworthily you'll lose more of your soul and make it that much harder to truly repent down the road, are you sure you want to take that piece of bread?" 
What does The Lord think as I sit here moments before the emblem if his Son's flesh and blood are about to be offered me, still unprepared to make the decision of full repentance.  How does he feel knowing the pain he suffered as his only begotten son was beaten, bruised, torn, spit upon, rejected after thousands of miracles were granted and administered to the ungrateful, revolting creatures that were now killing his only child? Not to mention that countless drops of blood that God himself must've caused his son to bleed as he placed the punishment of yours and my sins upon his only perfect offspring strong enough to survive the torture of paying the price. Whatever could cause a supreme being with infinite amounts of love to allow,or even cause, such torture to happen to his only son? The answer I've been taught my whole life in response to this question is "Eternal Life. "

What is the value of Eternal Life? Why is Eternal Life so inconceivable? My perspective of what Eternal Life is derived from what I see that God has done so all his children can obtain it. His pain, his anger, his sorrow, his disappointment.. In all of us.. In empathy for his son's pain..

The value of Eternal Life must be able to be seen or experienced in other ways. Maybe in the giggling of children, or the returning home of a loved one who's been gone for awhile, or maybe we can sense the peace and tranquility of Heaven as we climb mountains and escape from chaotic living. Maybe those small moments that happen every once in a great while when our heart is full of love for our family, our friends, and strangers even as we recognize that they're family too, maybe those moments are God's gift to us to show us what his greatest gift will one day be to all who qualify themselves through the atonement of the savior. 

So, as the sacramental bread is disbursed and I consider my state and my attitude, my ingratitude and my ignorance to the suffering of anyone else besides myself, completely blind to the greatest gift God hopes to give me and at what cost to himself and his son, I soon realize just how mortal I really am. 
I choose to partake. Not to show The Lord that I'm willing to retake my covenants upon myself, but to show myself, to make again the same commitment and officially change the direction of my internal compass to more carefully align with God's. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Half-Year Anniversary

Before we went to bed last night, Shanae asked me, "What day is it?" I responded that it was the third day of November. It didn't even click till after I was already being tackled by a giggling, gorgeous wife. "Happy anniversary," was all I could get out in between the kisses.

A little sappy I know, but the feelings are genuine and the surprise is real. I honestly can't believe it's been six months already. A year ago we were sitting in her old apartment with her roommates coming and going, volleyball games and practices causing us to spend our time together late at night and all throughout the weekends, doing homework. It's all we ever had time for. Our dating experience consisted of making dinner well past 10:00pm and making sure our homework got done. And when I say our homework I mean hers, because honestly I never got around to mine. I was just too excited to be dating such an incredible girl, to ever calm down enough to get anything productive accomplished.

So here we are, six months after being married and things are almost the same. I'm sitting here on the same love-sac that we were both sitting on a year ago, and I'm wasting time blogging while Shanae attempts to read 150 more pages before the night is through. I always had a  knack for keeping up with traditions.

Since this is the first post to my new blog I figured I'd be as must of a historian as I could and recap the past six months to get everything caught up.

Shanae and I, six months ago yesterday, got married and sealed in the Logan Temple. There we made an official covenant with God and each other, to follow God's methods and plans for couples to live and exist together, progressing toward Eternal life, forevermore. Our honeymoon was amazing. Our first night was spend in Salt Lake at a Marriott Hotel. It was hilarious. From there we drove 5  hours South and East and spent a couple days in a little known city called Escalante. Living out of a small bed and breakfast a friend of my mom's owned, we got to venture on horseback, see Native American artifacts that are still engraved in rock faces, and above all else, we got to know each other. The last half of the week we spent in California. Beach hopping, aquarium visiting, and restaurant exploring. Needless to say, our honeymoon was amazing.

Since then, we've moved twice already. Apparently I need to do a little more research into what types of activities my neighboring apartment renters are involved in before I start signing papers. Lessons are learned by mistakes.

There are so many good things to write about that it's difficult to do any justice to the past six months of having a new roommate, a new companion, a new wife. If I may, I'll do my best to summarize how living with Shanae has affected my life.

One huge change that I've experienced is having an apartment that matches. My walls match my furniture and my bed comforter matches everything else. I've got more pillows that I'm supposed to put on the bed then I know what to do with. It's one of the first things I neglect to do when Shanae is off playing volleyball, I just don't see the point without a female in the house to appreciate it. Another thing I neglect to do is put the lid on the garbage can that's sitting at the end of our counter. I know it doesn't look too appealing having the thing sticking out right there, but that to me is less of a sacrifice then having to take the lid off every time I need to use the garbage can.

Another change that I've made to my life is my eating habits. I used to eat to get by. Until I met Shanae I just never invested any of my time to making good food. But since it became one of our favorite things to do by force, I now find myself trying to create and come up with new idea all the time. Not only to save money but also El Bee's!

Shanae and I have read our scriptures everyday since the day we've been married. It's our goal. It's our dream. It was mine that I introduced to her, and she jumped on board immediately. Two reasons for this goal. One: I was once promised Eternal Life if I read the scriptures everyday for the rest of my life. Two: My mission president, President Greer from Gilbert, Arizona has been doing it with his wife since the day they got married, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps as soon as he told me that habit of his and his wife's. They're truly incredible people and I know that the studies they've done in their scriptures has been a huge source of their strength.

Who am I six months after being married? I'm the same ugly rock I was before, only a little less jagged. I'm a little less pre-occupied when I'm out in public. I no longer have any reason to be on the look-out for the next beauty to catch my eye. My eye has already been given to Shanae, and my heart is finally at peace because of it.