ah, maze. ah, musing.

continuation of gratitude series..

dear __,

m, maybe, u’ll stumble upon this, ah, highly doubt you will, but you are the king of surprises, so if you do, congrats, and cheers; this entry’s dedicated to u, for my personal keepsake, because my middle name is Introspective, ok, back to u.

i know where to start, not how to start, so i’m in my car with the engine on, in my parking lot, but i could reverse or put it in drive. get it?

__, i’ve worked 38 jobs, and i know ive not had a more real, to-da-point, honest, boss. ive had really nice ones, but i think the kindest gesture could come from the tiniest splashes truth. youve told me to never trust you, so i didnt. youve told me to trust God, which ive been doing. even before i met you these two  rules applied.

__, im 28 but when i’m around you i feel like im 14, clueless and starry-eyed. both when the reproof kicks in and when youre uh, relieving stress in uh, hhhilarious ways. i hope, if ever i get a shadow, he’s as cool calm collected as i am. in two words, open-minded.

__, ___ ________ __ __ ____ _____ ____ ____ ____.  thank you, really, that’s grace collab’ing with mercy, then packing a punch to my gutt, like because i really need it.  the time i didnt edit 100percent, that time i dropped the rock by coming late to a somber gathering, the time i, the times i.

and to not toot my own horn, im glad you dont sit there and ? my work ethic, whew. ive matured a lot since 2012.75; not saying i deserve anyyyy opportunity, but im glad i bet on myself and followed through.  the toughest of times will be the easiest of times later because of your discipline, __.

theres a lot more to cover; save that for later.

Trust God! K.

Eh, I guess it’s time. 

Can’t believe I’m choosing right now and right here to type this out all out; can’t believe I’m not penning this in my journal; can’t believe a lot of things.

It’s okay to not be okay with what happened back in April.

My professor’s words are ringing the bells of my heart even eight hours after speaking with him about what occurred in my life late April.  I – honestly – didn’t have the light of day to process anything related to that event. For those who don’t know: I had to call off a wedding due to reasons I am able to identify, but I can’t fully blame.  Locking in a wedding date was unacceptable, and human of us in God’s view; actually, complaining about the results isn’t something I never had in my agenda. 

I should have been patient. Am I learning? I think so? Am I growing? I believe so? Am I stupid for doubting God’s timing for my life? Yes. 

So I failed because I lost faith.

I lost faith in a God who cares and loves and is good. Faith slipped on a banana peel and instead of picking up my prayer life I kneeled and sobbed about my unluckiness. The bounce back is crucial for any Christian’s life, we know the standard protocol: attend church service, reach out to the pastor, ask for guidance, read the Word, read the Word, pray to Jesus, and repent.

What I didn’t do (at all), is examine my own heart, not ask Christ to reveal what’s hiding beneath the dark clouds of my guilt and shame. 

So, back to the banana peel. What made me slip? What are my internal struggles? 

Remember Where You Started?

Don’t get too hooked on serving tables.

Aside from the social skills you’ll acquire, there’s not much more the restaurant industry can teach you. I’m not joking.

The quick cash, the networking, the free take-home meals: great?

Yea, no. The long hours, goodbye-weekend-nights, the late cuts, the baby’s aftertrash, the frustrating variance of tips, the unrewarding feeling of rolling silver, the two-table sections and a bar top, the neglectful host, the triple-sat-sorry-I-had-to combo, and the list goes on.

Since 2006 through 2015, I have served at 16 restaurants. You don’t believe me? Check my W2s.

Woo Lae Oak. Glory Days Bar and Grill. Silver Diner Tyson’s. Fireside Grill. Silver Diner Innsbrook. Bonchon. Cafe Chocolate. Willow Oaks Country Club. Seasons 52 Wine Bar and Grill. Korshi. Lemaire at the Jefferson Hotel. Sakura. Ichiban. Sushi King. Hayashi. The Boathouse.

Every restaurant, TBH, holds a warm place in my heart. I got fired from Fireside Grill because I told my manager I couldn’t work on Church Sundays. Bonchon had me painting their steroid-injected yet delicious wings in the back of the house for only a week and cut me off the rope … Not long after I obtained Johnny Vy’s (NFL Photographer) and Justin Hathaway’s (then NESN.com’s Digital Media) contact information through some of the chefs in the back of the house. The chefs were brothers of the mean owner-sister. Silver Diner Innsbrook was a tough steak but hey, I only got the job because Dhiraj and Nirmal (my former managers at the Silver Diner at Tyson’s), were running the show in RVA.

So yes, God provides every penny we need to survive. I’m going through some financial struggles right now, and perhaps you, reader, are too.  But hey, I write this with wishes to encourage you:  Jesus will steadfastly hook you, and me, up with exactly (down to the penny), we need. He knows our concerns and cares about us. Seriously. I think, what He needs from us is our hearts, as vulnerable as we are, to trust Him with allllllll of it.

For now, stay diligent with what He’s entrusted you with. It’s kind of like asking your boss for a raise. When He knows you’re ready to handle the more responsibilities, He will promote you and yep, that raise comes, too.

If you’re a student, grind hard and get out of college. I’ve learned to not fall in love with the result, but to fall in love with the process moving towards that result you want to achieve.

I assure you again and again: God got you.

For unto us a 2nd win is born, life of Yahoo’s unluckiest fantasy football owner Episode 9

No venting. Let’s talk fantasy football.

FF W9

1. Sigh. I benched Russell Wilson because, well, I didn’t expect the man to surgerize the pretty-respected Cardinals defense. Their defensive line forced two Wilson fumbles, but Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu constantly got beat by Sidney Rice and Golden Tate.

Nick Foles left the game with a head injury, and Dallas’ D pounded the not-so-revolutionary-anymore Chip Kelly offense into powder on Sunday afternoon.

2. Rueben Randle showed up to work today per usual. What I hate about Eli Manning and his offense is this: any one of his talented receivers may find themselves statistically having a field day, on pace for setting another career-high. When Hakeem Nicks isn’t open, Victor Cruz is. When Cruz isn’t, then Randle is behind the secondary.

3. Joseph Randle (Cowboys) put up 13 points yesterday against the Eagles, and I’m somewhat regretting my decision of placing him on the bench. . . Adrian Peterson is a must-start, touche with Eddie Lacy . . .

#CrossingFingersNothingsHappensToAdrianPeterson

#CrossingFingersNothingHappensToAdrianPeterson

#CrossingFingersNothingHappensToAdrianPeterson

WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN ON MNF:

A) Adrian Peterson runs for 3 touchdowns, 100 yards = 20 points
B) Blair Walsh = 5 extra points
C) Giants DBs shut down Greg Jennings = 2 points
D) Rueben Randle 5 catches, 80 yards, 1 TD = 12.5 points

Fantasy Football’s Comeback of the Century starts on Monday night.

Edited:

WHAT HAPPENED ON MNF:

A) Josh Freeman couldn’t engineer a drive because of obvious reasons and Adrian Peterson was shut down facing a defense who stacked eight in the box for most of the night.
B) Blair Walsh missed a field goal from afar, and the Vikings reached the endzone once – thanks to Marcus Sherels’ punt return
C) Greg Jennings was shut down
D) Rueben Randle = 3 – 40 – 1 : 9.25 points

You Don’t Like Football!?!?

I’ve built a few relationships with the staff at BP. One cashier is an aspiring rapper, currently working on his second mixtape. I stood outside the gas station with the twenty-three-year-old during the wee hours of Monday morning, shared a few concepts, spat a few bars. The man has talent.

Another cashier, I won’t mention any names, is the mother of “two daughters and a spoiled, thirteen-year-old son.”
I asked her if he plays any sports. He does. Baseball and football. Quarterback. That last tidbit about him stuck out like Brittney Griner standing in a room full of hobbits. I told her that if there was anything I could do to help, to let me know.
“Sure,” she said, grimacing, “but I hate football.”
“What? You don’t like football?” I responded in disbelief. I immediately realized how ignorant that sounded.
“Yeah, everybody loves football, right?” she questioned, then answering her own, “Not me, because it caused the death of his father.”
She thought that I had already known. I did not; I would have avoided bringing up something so deep, so tragic; her heartbreak.
In 2008, the man who fathered two of her children won a Super Bowl bet, however, the sore loser didn’t want to pay and what escalated afterwards between two grown-ups led to a cruel and unnecessary murder.
There I was, dumbfounded, trying to contain my tears. I’ve been fortunate to not lose a loved one and it was difficult to relate to that type of pain. I was too young at my grandfather’s funeral. I, sympathetic, apologized for having her recall the traumatic experience—she smirked saying “it’s okay, I’m not over it yet and I may never get over it.”

No she won’t. How could she forget? She sees “him” every single day.

She doesn’t go to watch any of her son’s games and whenever she asks him about how he feels, he remains quiet.
Five years has passed since the incident but here she stood, unshaken, sharing with me how God is always good, and that everything happens for a reason.

I admire this woman’s courage. I thanked her for sharing a piece of her testimony with me. Do you believe in divine appointments? I do. There’s a reason why God grouped football, her and I tonight, and it has definitely stretched the screen of how I view the sport. Perfect timing too, I needed a slap of reality before I graduate next week.

Readers, of the millions of requests that I have, I simply ask if you could lift up a prayer for her. She informed me that her testimony would take an entire day to write out, and says she’ll have her life story published someday. Pray for her three children as well; God’s purpose for her family is great. Also, readers, please pray for me. I ask for an increase of humility and that I would never shove a plate of football in someone’s face. Football teaches about life values and teamwork–but gambling on the game should never cause the loss of a loved one.

Thanks.

I have nine journals of handwritten stories. Before posting this one in particular, I had to decide whether or not blogging about it was appropriate.
I decided to do both, log it in my journal, and share it with the world. It’s a sensitive subject, which is why the latter was a challenging task. I appreciate all of your support and thank you for walking with me on my journey. Feel free to leave comments.