Father’s Day

What’s up y’all? Let me start by saying Happy Father’s day to all the Father’s, Step Father’s, and Father figures out there.

Father’s day has always been a bit weird for me, I’ve never met my dad and to be quite honest, I’m okay with that. My mom did a spectacular job of raising my brother and me on her own. But, this post isn’t about all that, I want to talk about my step dad, Michael, and what I’ve learned about manhood in the few years that I’ve known him, and also what I’ve learned growing up without a father.

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There are many things I could list about what I’ve learned from Michael, but, for the sake of y’all’s short attention span, I’ve shortened it to three things. Action, Hard work, and Decision. 

Michael has shown me that actions are far more valuable than words. I think the best example of this is shown my senior year of high school. I was frustrated I wasn’t getting the playing time I felt that I deserved. One night I was complaining after a game and Michael asked me why I felt like that. Of course I spouted off all my abilities, my work ethic, and this and that, but, he asked me if I had shown the coaches that. Not told, but shown. I realized that I can say I’m talented and I deserve it, but, it doesn’t mean a damn thing unless you show it and earn it.

I think most everyone can relate to having a hard working dad, but, I have never seen the dedication of getting something done right quite like my stepdad. I’ll have to embarrass my best friend, Mykel, here for a second. There was one summer he was working and his truck crapped out on him (for the 50th time) and he had too much going on to get it fixed so my stepdad, Michael, (too many michaels) offered to help us fix it. Let me tell ya, there’s nothing quite like the frustration of being told to re-do something over and over because it wasn’t quite good enough or I was doing it wrong. I learned an important lesson that day though. Whenever you do something, do it right, and with everything you got. I learned not to take life with a half-ass approach. Whether it be fixing a truck, building a career, or even a relationship, you do it right and you give it your all. 

And finally, Michael has shown me to be a man of decision and living with my decisions. Both of my parents have been absolutely phenomenal in the sense, they let me make my own decisions. And more importantly they let me learn from the mistakes I’ve made. Michael is always there to give me advice, but, he never tells me what I can or cannot do, he has taught me that life is all about decisions, and we can either own up and take responsibility or keep making the same mistakes over and over. He doesn’t remind me to make my car payment, or tell me what time I need to be at work. Because he has set the expectation that manhood is making decisions, and taking care of your business.

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I also wanted to talk a little bit about what I’ve learned growing up without a dad. First thing is, IT IS OKAY TO DO THINGS BY YOURSELF. I get it, being alone and doing things on your own absolutely sucks. But, don’t let that stop you from doing something you want to do. It’s okay to go out to eat by yourself, or to the movies, even a road trip by yourself. Take in the surroundings, talk to people you don’t know, get lost in a good book or in your own thoughts.

Even though I’m from Arkansas, I’ve never been to Hot Springs. I’ve wanted to go for awhile now, but, never did because I didn’t want to be alone. Guess what ya boy did today? That’s right, he went to Hot Springs, by himself, and I had a great time. Don’t be afraid to do things on your own. 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The second thing is, sometimes you need to let go of your pride and ask for help. I’ll be honest with y’all, the first time I got a flat tire, I had NO idea how to fix it or change it. I didn’t want to ask for help changing it, I’m 22 years old, I’m suppose to know this by now, right? Well maybe so, but, I didn’t. We can’t know it all, and some things weren’t taught to us. It’s okay to ask for help. I learned that it’s not weak to admit you don’t know something, it’s weak to think you know it all.

I appreciate y’all taking the time to read this, let’s make things more interesting and please comment or send me a story of a lesson that y’all’s dads have taught ya.

and remember,

Live and Learn

Get better every day,

-Kaspar

Reflection

I have finished my first semester at Harding, and while my work isn’t done (I’ll be in classes all summer) I wanted to reflect on what I’ve learned this semester.

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First thing I would say is this, don’t get so wrapped up in tomorrow you forget about today. For me, it’s always been about the next step. It’s been about moving forward. This semester I’ve learned, while that’s not a bad thing, I shouldn’t overlook today’s opportunities. 

Here’s what I mean, I had planned on working another job next semester to help pay for school. But, late in this semester I received an opportunity to become President of Harding’s chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Management. Taking this opportunity most likely means not working a second job due to time constraints. Good things plans aren’t always set in stone. It’s turning out to be a great decision and I can’t wait to take over as President in the fall semester.

Plans can change, the future can be uncertain, I learned that looking ahead is great, you need to know where you’re going, but don’t let that stop you from taking advantage of the opportunities you have today.

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I have also learned to set my own expectations. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard how hard balancing work and school is. I mean, it’s true, it really is. But, I wanted to push the boundaries and see what I am capable of. Not to brag (okay maybe a little bit) I worked 20-30 hours a week this semester, worked out consistently, and finished this semester with 4 As and a C, give me a break it was biology.

I guess the big takeaway from that is, you’ll never know what you’re capable of until you try. While it was difficult and I can’t attest to much of a social life, I accomplished a great deal and I’m not letting others expectations stop me.

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The last thing is appreciating relationships. I moved 330 miles from home this semester, to a place where I knew nobody and knew almost nothing about. I’ve had a tough time connecting to people and I have felt very alone. But, I’ve learned your support systems never leave, and distance can make your relationships stronger. 

This semester I’ve watched my relationship with my mother grow from a parental bond to her being one of my best friends. My former boss still calls me to check up on how I’m doing and even lets me work when I come to visit. Close friendships have gotten closer. I’ve learned to appreciate those relationships even more because I don’t get the opportunity to experience them every week. I have learned that family is forever, and friends are just a phone call away. (my friends and me below)

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Wrapping it up, look forward, but don’t forget about today, you never know what you’re capable of until you try, and appreciate your friends and family, they’re the real ones.

Live and Learn

Get Better Every Day

-Kaspar

 

Comparison is a Punk

Comparison is a PUNK.

In the words of Teddy Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

It’s true, how many times do we find ourselves comparing ourselves to those in the world around us? How many times do we find ourselves saying, “I’m not good enough,” or, “If only I had her looks, or his talent.” What if I told you that comparison is whispering lies into your ear? What if I told you that you ARE good enough?

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I’m “supposed” to be graduating this May. What I mean by that is this, I didn’t go the traditional college route. I took less classes and worked more. While most of the people I graduated with are prepping for graduation, I am prepping for two more years of school.

Comparison has a habit of telling us what we’re “supposed” to be doing, or what we’re “supposed” to look like, but what comparison isn’t telling us is that we all have different journeys. I look at my friends and become disappointed I’m not where they’re at. But, my path is different than theirs. Because I didn’t go the traditional route, I’ve had amazing opportunities to build work experience, create meaningful relationships, and learn valuable life lessons. Just because your journey is a little different, or takes a little longer doesn’t mean it’s less valuable. 

Comparison tells me that I don’t belong. I am not the average Harding student. I was not raised in the church, I have never been on a mission, and I definitely was not born with the ability to sing. (actual pic of me singing below)

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Anyone else feel like they don’t fit in? Listen to this though, we were made to stand out. Comparison tells us that we should be like everyone else. It’s just another lie comparison tells us to make us feel alone. I can’t compare myself to the “average” Harding student, because we are all different. We all have different stories. Comparison will tell us that we don’t fit in, I say that’s what makes us beautiful.

Recently someone told me that if you look for the bad, you’ll find it. And that is so very true, it’s easy to pick out our flaws and focus on the negative around us. But, instead, what if we focused on the good and the positive things around us and about us?

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Matthew 5:14 tells us, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”

Each and every one of us is unique. We all have our own light, our own talents. Don’t waste your time comparing yourself to others, because you are not them, you are YOU. It’s natural to envy the people with the qualities we wish we had, or compare ourselves to the people around us. Please just remember that you are the light of the world. There is only one of you in the entire world, you provide something that no one else can.

I’ll leave you with this challenge. If you ever find yourself stuck in the trap of comparison, look in the mirror and tell yourself that you ARE enough.

We all have different journeys in life, don’t get caught up comparing yours to your neighbors. You were made to stand out, so focus on the good in your life. We are all unique, so shine your light without comparison because comparison is a PUNK.

Live and Learn

Get Better Every Day

-Kaspar

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!!!!! I’m sure most of you are gagging right about now. I feel ya, scrolling through endless sappy posts, seeing all the gifts, it doesn’t stop. What’s the point of it all? I can’t answer that for you, however, I can provide you with some encouragement.

Today’s a tough day for the single folks in the world. Especially those without any dates! It can be a lonely night, I’m right there on the forever alone bus with y’all. But, listen to this, don’t replace your loneliness with false companionship. Do I need to say it louder for the people in the back? Keep your standards high, my friends! And when I say high standards, I don’t mean only replying to Instagram Supermodels. I’m talking about how people treat you. Evaluate what you want in a companion, do you want someone who’s nice to look at and talks down to you? Or do you want that person who understands your humor and listens to your dreams?

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The “Law of Attraction” states that you attract what you bring and what you are. In simpler terms, you’re not going to attract your soulmate if you’re not working on yourself. I get that being single gets boring, humans naturally long for companionship. But, if you sit there and wallow in your self-pity you’re missing a golden opportunity to be improving yourself! I know you’re lonely right now, keep improving, keep getting better and when you finally meet, when you finally attract that soulmate, it’ll be worth the wait. While everyone else is having their candlelight dinners tonight, go hit the gym, read a good book, hangout with some buddies, post on that blog you’ve been putting off (@ me).

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Don’t let days like these discourage you. It’s easier said than done, I get it. It makes me happy seeing great relationships, all the gifts, and all the smiles. It warms my heart, but, at the same time, it leaves you wondering, when is it my turn? The only thing I can tell you is, love is worth the wait. Most of you have been waiting for awhile now, or doing all the right things for the wrong people, when the right person comes it’ll be worth the bad relationships, it’ll be worth the pain, it’ll be worth the frustration. 

Just a little side note here, guys AND girls, don’t be afraid to shoot ya shot. Life is far too short to let the fear of rejection to stop you from finding someone who will treat ya right. Remember, rejection is just one step closer to that yes. 😉

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I know it’s going to be hard to take relationship advice from a single guy, but just listen to me here. Don’t wait for Valentine’s day, or any other ‘special’ occasion for that matter, to appreciate your companion. Do the little things each day, to keep that relationship going strong. Love is a beautiful thing, don’t take it for granted. 

I’ll leave you with this quote, “Love cannot be measured in how long you wait, it’s about how well you understand why you’re waiting.” 

Don’t exchange loneliness for bad company. Be valuable and know your worth. Remember why you’re waiting for the right person. Stay encouraged. 

 

Live and Learn

Get Better Every Day

-Kaspar

 

Destroying Doubt

What’s going on, guys? I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last post. I know, I know, it’s no excuse but cut me some slack, I’m adjusting to this new college life. I’m still kicking though, so don’t worry.

I’m going to talk about something that was a very personal struggle of mine, Self-Doubt. I still struggle, I’m by no means an expert. I will encourage you, however, to take what I’m saying to heart, because I’ve been there before.

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I struggle with doubt each time I sit down to write a blog post. Is anyone going to read it? Does anybody really care? Is this the message I’m trying to convey? It’s difficult to fight off that doubt, but stay positive and take care of yourself. Remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing and that, if only one person is impacted, you made a difference. While it would be nice to have my writings be shared and loved by many, that’s not the end goal. The goal is to touch someone’s life and be encouragement for those who need it. At the end of a rough day, put on your favorite music, go to the gym, do something to destroy that seed of doubt. 

Life isn’t easy, that’s for certain. Sometimes a positive attitude gets beat down by the trials of life. Learn how to be vulnerable. You can’t do life alone, no matter how hard you try. Be open with others and don’t be afraid to ask for help. It takes a tremendous amount of strength to admit weakness. I think my relationship with my mother best illustrates this point. I’m a momma’s boy, it’s true, but, I would never talk to her about my problems. It was doubt, shocker, she’s a busy woman, I doubted that she would want to hear about my menial problems. I had to be vulnerable and open with her. And while it was tough at first, I can trust and tell my mother just about anything, now. 

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Purpose. As a college student, I can definitely say I have doubted my purpose. What am I worth? How the heck do I decide what I want to do with my life? I’m not exceptional at any one thing. The parents might hate me for this, but, I’m going for it, do NOT tie your purpose to a job or even a career. That leads to doubt when your job isn’t going well and you’re struggling to find a career. A purpose isn’t a job, it’s your reason for existing. I’ll slide you an example, my current boss, didn’t come crawling out of college waiting to become a State Farm Agent. That wasn’t his purpose, but you know what is? Showing his employees and customers the love of God, providing for his family and his employees, and giving young college kids like myself a great opportunity and a flexible schedule.  

Make a difference. As cliche as it is, Gandhi was spot on when he said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” One of the best ways to destroy doubt is to do things for others. It’s crazy how it works, but it’s true.

I was having a rough day at work, I had been cussed out for trying to explain something, I got cussed out again for reminding someone they had a bill every month (reminder: you have a bill every month), I was feeling pretty worthless, guys. I get a call, one of my favorite customers, she tells me that she just got out of surgery and they’re struggling to make ends meet, on top of that a close family member recently passed away. And I was complaining about being called mean things, talk about a new perspective. I asked them to come down to the office. I got them a gift card to their favorite restaurant and gave them both the best hugs when I saw them. We sat and talked about everything going on and I had the opportunity to pray for them. Every ounce of doubt was shredded in that moment, I was doing what God has placed me on this earth to do. It doesn’t have to be quite that dramatic, a simple smile to a stranger or paying for the person behind you in line can knock out those feelings of doubt. 

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I’ll wrap up with this, you are unique. 1 Peter 4:10 tells us, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Each and every one of us have strengths, we all have weaknesses. We do no one any favors by doubting ourselves, in fact, we deny others our best qualities when we choose to doubt ourselves. There are countless people in the world, waiting for your talents, your abilities, don’t let doubt stop you from inspiring others and making a difference. You WILL make a difference. Choose to destroy doubt, every day. 

Live and Learn

Get better every day

-Kaspar

Finding Joy

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Merry Christmas! I hope this holiday season has treated you and your family well.

While this time of year is often considered the best time of year, it can also be the most stressful. Between family travelling in and out, last minute Christmas shopping and the overall “busyness” of the holiday season, it’s difficult to find the joy in this time.

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Remember what this time is about. Among all the distractions, that’s a pretty tall order to fill. You have the endless lines anywhere you go, feeling obligated to get Aunt Susie, the one you see once a year, a nice present, and, for us Texans, sweating in our ugly Christmas sweaters. Sounds frustrating to me, and it is, but that’s not what it’s all about. This time is about family, spreading joy, and most importantly–enjoying and remembering the gift that Christ’s life brought to us. 

It’s much easier said than done, but it starts with simply reminding ourselves about the reason for the season. Whenever I find myself stressing about getting the right presents or if I’ll have the money, I have to remind myself, It’s not about the presents, it’s about who the presents are for. We all want to be great gift givers, but the best gift you can give those you love, is your time and appreciation. 

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Sometimes it’s not enough to simply remember why this time is joyful. You have to create joy. The best way to create joy is to spread it. Do things for others, be thoughtful, and smile! In a stressful time, those little things can make a huge difference in your life and in the lives of others.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always found this time of year very “commercialized”. I remember complaining about businesses being open today and the focus on spending money instead of time. I couldn’t find the joy. I was a Grinch. But, much like the Grinch, I learned that the best way to find Christmas joy is by spreading it. I cannot remember where I read it, but I remember reading an article about a guy who had the same struggle. He talked about how he couldn’t stand this time of year, but he never did anything to change it. Until one year, he finally did something about it. Instead of waiting out the holiday’s in his apartment, he went out and placed candy canes taped with “Merry Christmas” notes on people’s cars and doors, he paid someone’s insurance bill, and he volunteered at his local Salvation Army. By the end of the day, he said it was the best Christmas he’s ever experienced.

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Reading that really inspired me. Instead of secluding myself away from the general public (my usual holiday move), I decided to try out spreading the holiday joy. Lemme tell ya, “candy caning” a parking lot is an adrenaline rush you wouldn’t expect. Seeing people smile at the unexpected message is truly a joyful experience, even seeing the confused look on people’s faces as they look around at other cars.

I know we all have our own bills to pay, but, if you ever get the opportunity, I highly recommend blessing somebody by paying one of theirs. It is truly a humbling and joyful experience. Hearing someone break down in appreciation is something you’ll never forget and it will create an everlasting impression on that person, and yourself.

 

I’ll leave you with this passage from Proverbs 17:22, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Don’t be a pile of dry bones this Christmas! Remember the reason for our joy and when you struggle to find joy, create it. Continue reading “Finding Joy”

Eliminate Excuses

“Oh, I’ll go to the gym tomorrow, I don’t have time tonight.” You won’t, and don’t worry, you won’t the next day either. Dang, that’s harsh, man. Let’s be honest with ourselves, we’ve all said that before. But, get this, we only have time for what we make time for. You hear that? If it’s important to you, you WILL make time for it. Eliminate those excuses, it’s time to get real with ourselves!

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Let’s start with transparency. Be honest with yourself and others. One of the most harmful things we can do is lie to ourselves and to other people. We’ve all been there. We’ve all done it. We all have the self-awareness to stop it. There’s no secret to it–you just have to be real with yourself. Call yourself out when you know you’re making an excuse. Learn to say no, if you know you’re not going to do it, let that person know. That initial rejection hurts a heck of a lot less than being stood up.

If you know you struggle with it, find someone to hold you accountable. I have a couple friends that you can’t tell anything, because they WILL MAKE sure you follow through with it. They’re honest with me, they’re going to tell me when I’m selling myself short. You are who you surround yourself with, so surround yourself with winners. Winners don’t make excuses, they make progress. 

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If you say you’re going to do it, then do it. It’s really not as bad as you think it’ll be. When my mom asks me to do something or invites me somewhere, I usually do NOT want to do it. I just have to suck it up and get it done. And each time, it’s rarely as painful as I thought it’d be. Go ahead and hit the gym, put in the extra time at work, and start the essay. It’s not as painful as you think. 

How many times have we passed someone having car trouble on the side of the road? Can we honestly count how many times we’ve passed those lost dogs on the side of road? What’s our excuse for not stopping? No time, we’re in a rush? Or my personal favorite, oh they’ll be okay someone else will get them. Silence those excuses, because most likely, everyone else is thinking the same thing.

I had a great opportunity to put these words into action this week. A young woman’s car needed a jump-start in the parking lot of the restaurant I was eating at. Immediately, the excuses came into my head, Oh she’ll be fine, I don’t know how to help anyways. I eliminated those excuses, got up and learned how to use those jumper cables collecting dust in my trunk.

“I worked hard yesterday, I deserve a day off.” “I don’t need to bother them, they’re probably busy.” Quit justifying your excuses. Stop listening to the little voice in your head. I’m the world’s worst. I constantly talk myself out of things I want to do. I have to remind myself to be a doer and not a ‘sayer’. Listen to the big voice in your head. Block out those negative thoughts with some positive self talk. Listen to your favorite song or do some push-ups, build yourself up and be unstoppable

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Things get tough, nothing worth doing will be easy. We can’t justify giving up because things got difficult. I am extremely excited to say that I will be attending Harding University to complete my undergrad in the Spring. But, let me tell ya, it was an absolute pain to get to this point. I had a wavy three year ride at TJC; taking classes I didn’t see a point in, balancing work and school, those absolutely unbearable advising holds, it’s safe to say I justified dropping out nearly every day! But what I wanted, the degree and next step in my life, is worth destroying the excuses. Life will get tough, you might lose a job, you might miss rent, you’ll have holds on your account. Don’t justify the excuses–overcome them.

Ultimately, it comes down to how bad you want it. Our biggest obstacle is our own mind. Our excuses justify giving up or letting ourselves off the hook. Eliminate excuses and you begin to see results, honesty, and accountability. Live every day knowing you’re competing against yourself. You have to be better than yesterday, so no more excuses.

Live and Learn

Get Better Every Day,

– Kaspar