Seeking Gratitude – Learning to Be Still

Seeking Gratitude - Learning to Be Still

Why is it that gratitude escapes me?

The concept in itself sounds simple: be grateful for what you have. Show appreciation that you’re more fortunate than others; that you’re beyond where you once were; that certain struggles are a thing of the past.

Just be thankful.

I’m not completely oblivious to its meaning, but more so how to embody it in everyday life. Why is it that I can’t default right to it or that it just be a natural state of mind?

For whatever reason, choosing to behold a spirit of gratitude is something I struggle with as much as I have my other emotional enemies – depression, anxiety, frustration, or old addictions. I seem to lack control over whether to have or not have either .… Read More...

Beyond the Mundane – Progressing Towards Happiness

Beyond the Mundane - Progressing Towards Happiness

I cannot function without the pursuit of something bigger than myself out in front of me. I crave intentional and purposeful living the way I need air. It’s in times of hopelessness that I know this the most about myself.

Depression has been an unwanted friend of mine since as far back as I can remember. It’s in those seas of loneliness – that ebb and flow – are the times when I need more to cling to than only me. These are the times where hope is necessary. These are the times when I know I need to be in pursuit of something life-giving.

I could easily speak of my relationship with God – in how that alone could, should, and does fill the nooks and crannies of a voided heart.… Read More...

Clean Laundry – Keeping Your Marriage Offline

Clean Laundry - Keeping Your Marriage Offline

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told my wife and I that they wish they had a marriage like we have.

The same can be said for every time I’ve heard some guy say that they hoped to find a good girl like I found to make them happy. Or perhaps another woman suggested to my wife how complete their life would be with a guy like me – you know, all kinds of good-looking, charismatic, smart, purpose-driven, etc., etc., too much to even write here!

Okay, maybe the last statement was embellished a bit – but you get the point.

The irony in hearing those statements is that my wife and I laugh each time we catch a compliment similar to those.… Read More...

Intelligence vs. Effort – Why Trying Matters

Intelligence vs. Effort - Why Trying Matters

I entered Tidewater Community College at twenty-six. I signed up for a full-time semester in the dead heat of summer while also working full-time as a form carpenter pulling an average of fifty hours a week.

I’d been inspired by my future wife to get my act together; not because she said to, but because I knew I’d marry her one day. While I’d been barroom “ballin” for a single guy, I knew that a tradesman’s salary wasn’t gonna dish out much better than check-to-check living for an eventual family. With her, I finally had a reason to go the extra mile for someone besides myself.

It probably helped that I had a little more go-getter and vision in me than the average guy did. Whereas a lot of guys would complain about everyday issues at work .… Read More...

An Attitude of Personal Development

An Attitude of Personal Development

“All men are created equal.”

But then what?

Many things will separate us along the course of our lives. Nature and statistics do so automatically from day one – dividing us among origins, races, and locations. Some are brought into the world with their religion or economic standing already established. Some are raised in environments that are more fluid, while others have their whole course predetermined.

It’ll matter for a short while as we’re thrust into environments outside of our control – learning from the wisdom and traditions of our families and communities; developing our paradigm; shaping our perspective of the world.

Sometimes, this is good; sometimes, not so much.

My childhood was spent in Portsmouth, VA – once only known for its ports, military presence, and shipyard communities – but now more infamous for its consistency as one of the most crime-ridden cities in the state.… Read More...

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