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With you every step

Today was a rough day for me. It was a roller coaster ride, to say the least. I woke up a little late, but took the time to give thanks to our Lord through my morning prayer. Each day I begin by getting on my knees and praying to Him for strength, guidance, and courage. After, I pick up my Bible and I read for instruction. Today was no different.

Last weekend my many years of sin, lack of morals, and refusal to back away from temptation lead me to the place nobody wants to be; rock bottom. I had a sudden awakening. I opened my eyes and realized how the actions I have succumbed to have truly hurt the ones around me that I love. Suddenly, I was lost. I needed salvation. I needed peace. I needed my Lord and Savior. And I found Him.

From that day forward, I gave up my wicked ways and I promised to follow Him wherever He leads. I made a decision to try my best every single day to stay strong and to live my life according to His will. By doing so, I pledged to give up anything that would distract me from my daily walk. This includes drinking, partying, running around with women, and doing anything I always knew to be wrong. Sometimes I fail.

This weekend, I went against my better judgment and allowed the closeness I shared with Shelley to open up my desire to want to be with her in a permanent arrangement. Our marriage is over…there is no question about it. As much as I want it to work, now, it’s too late. I accept the fact that there are issues we can’t get past, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we would be putting our friendship in dire jeopardy if we were to try. But I also feel a love for her that I never recognized as her husband. The right thing for me to do is to let her go and not interfere with the new relationship she is in with a man whom she truly cares for. This is the instruction I was given from God.

Unfortunately, I can be hard-headed and I did not listen. I found myself back in love with her and yearning for a life that I know is not right for me. Because of this, I got hurt. She called me last night to talk to me about a conversation she had with her new man and for a brief moment, I thought she was going to give me what I desired…A new chance. That didn’t happen. Instead, she gave me a speech about how we needed distance so she could nurture her relationship and I could fully get over her. I’m not going to lie…That hurt.

I was in pain, but I had peace, so I was able to deal with it. I came home and went to bed and prepared myself for the new week ahead.

The first thought that came to my mind as I awoke this morning was that of fear and doubt. I have always had a relationship with God, but never a serious one. I have my days when I am close to Him, but it doesn’t last and then I find myself living the same life I have become accustomed to. In the end, I find myself getting nowhere. It seems I fail at every turn. My recent failure to sustain a marriage seems to have given me the true desire to be a better man, but I’m not sure it’s enough motivation for me to truly change who I am. What if I don’t have it in me to be the man God needs me to be? And so I randomly opened my Bible this morning and got my instruction from 2 Chronicles, 15:7 – “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

“Be strong and do not give up.” These words I repeated to myself all morning. I want to be rewarded. I need to be a strong Christian man. “What would you have me do, Lord?” I asked. I am new to this level of faith, so I wasn’t sure if I got my answer, but I suddenly felt I needed to go to church tonight. The church offers a program called Monday Night Live, and it is encouraged for all members to attend. The program is designed to be a 12 week course on how to communicate the message of Jesus to non believers. I don’t think I could actually hit the streets and talk to random strangers about coming to Jesus, but, again, I felt like I needed to do this. After all, I promised Him I would follow wherever He leads.

The message I received must have been the reason for my sudden jump in my mood. I was energized and feeling really good about myself. I started thinking about the singles Sunday school class and how great it would be to get involved with them. If there was any better way to get over Shelley, this was it.

Shelley. I think I’ll reach out to her and share with her this good news. That’s when my day took a turn for the worse.

Again…against my better judgment, I reached out to her and surprisingly, she was very receptive to my texts. We seemed to be getting along really well and suddenly, I wanted to see her. I tell her I really want to talk with her more about the conversation we had last night because I felt I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to logically discuss this idea that we needed space. I wanted to explain that I’m OK with the idea, but I still wanted to be friends on a limited basis. She tells me we can meet up for coffee at some point this week, but she’s pretty busy every night except tonight or Friday night. These were my choices. Now I am supposed to go to the church tonight, so Friday would be the logical choice, but we are talking about me. I’ve never been the most patient guy in the world.

This is when I actually had the audacity to argue with my Lord.

“I can’t go to church tonight, Lord, I need to see Shelley. There’s plenty of time for me to attend this class. Besides…I’m not ready for that yet”.

So I tell Shelley, “OK let’s do this. Where do you want to meet?” After a long discussion over such a simple matter, the words actually came out of my mouth…”Let’s just meet for a drink. I’ll be OK to have one”.

Did I really say that??? Did I really just go against everything I believed in a desperate attempt to see the woman whom I know is going to break my heart, yet again?? She tells me “OK”, and the next thing I know I’m sitting in a bar waiting for her to show up.

I think you already know how this is going to turn out.

All I wanted to do was ensure her that I was not in a bad place and I am totally cool with how things were going to turn out for us. I wanted to explain how I’m going to be OK without her and that “it wouldn’t take me long to get over her”. BAD CHOICE OF WORDS!

The more I tried to explain my feelings, the deeper of a hole I buried myself into. To make matters worse, she then explains how her new man is so good with communicating and he actually makes an effort to make her understand what he is saying (which is something I apparently can’t do). And just to add salt to a bleeding wound, she mentions how she now questions how sincere I really am about my new found faith since I’m sitting in a bar with a drink in my hand only one week after I said I would never do that again.

So now I pissed! I’m angry with myself for the situation I’m in. I’m angry with her because she can’t hear what I’m trying to say. And I’m angry with this whole idea that I just want to love her, but instead, we are back in the same spot we were in when the marriage failed. The jukebox is playing a hard hitting, hate song called “Bad Religion” by a band called “Godsmack” and Shelley is suddenly so frustrated, she ups and walks out without saying a word. How could things get any worse? All I can do is run out to my truck, shut the door, and start wailing in the loneliness that my life has become. I’m so irate I start pounding my fist into the roof of my truck and I’m crying out to God “WHERE ARE YOU?!?! WHY DID YOU MAKE ME THIS WAY?!?!? WHY CAN’T I BE STRONG AND SMOOTH TALKING LIKE I NEED TO BE?!?!?”

I get myself so worked up that I actually start puking out the side of my truck and then I find myself staring into the night wondering “Why???”

Like a crazy man, I suddenly start talking to myself out loud in the parking lot. Actually, I was talking to the devil. I admitted to him that he was good. He set this trap so perfectly that I blindly walked right into it. I’m so weak that I can’t resist him and I see now that I can’t put any blame on God for this one. This is my entire fault.

In one final desperate attempt to reach out to my Savior, I say to Him “OK…What now?”

I turn to my left and I look up to a billboard next to me and in the corner it says these words…

 

Image 

 

With you every step.

There are no words. All I can do is cry.

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The Doctor Says I Have Diabeetus

Shortly after I started my current job, I attended a company sponsored health fair in the cafeteria on a Tuesday morning not expecting to experience anything out of the ordinary. Really, all I wanted was all the useless swag that was given away, and of course I got the usual…Half a dozen cheap pens, a red, heart shaped stress ball, a plastic case with some Band-Aids, and a cool miniature foam chair that was apparently designed to hold your cell phone that you’re not really suppose to have out on your desk but you do anyways. Making my way through the booths, I grab a lint free eye glass cloth from the optometrist table, bypass the YMCA guys, and decide to stop by the sugar testing station right there by the vending machines. I thought “what the hell” let’s see what they tell me. This is the first time I’ve done this and I’m a little nervous about this tiny mechanism that shoots a needle into your skin to draw just enough blood so this little machine can give you crap about the package of white donuts you bought from Wag A Bag on the way home from work yesterday. I brave the test and wait to see what the overenthusiastic nurse has to say. It kind of scared me when the smiling nurse’s face suddenly turned sour.

“Are you fasting this morning?” she asks.

“Um, yea. Why?” I say with more than a hint of curiosity in my voice.

“You really need to see a doctor as soon as possible. You’re sugar is way too high”.

Now I’m a little freaked out. It’s never usually a good sign when someone in the medical field uses the phrase “You need to see your doctor ASAP!” Nine times out of ten we’re talking about bad news. OK so I really can’t think of a one case scenario where this would actually be good news, but give me a minute…I’ll think of one.

This is the last time I ever go to one of these heath fairs!

Over the few years since then, I’ve gone back and forth in regards to my overall health. There are short spurts where I’m actually conscious of what I’m eating and do think twice about that side of fries to go with my mashed potatoes. I actually drink more water and I take the dog on regular walks. Hard to believe, I know, but it happens. Other times (like the present), I don’t care and I just live in the moment. It’s all about what tastes good and indulging in fatty rib-eyes, chocolate milk shakes, and especially golden, crisp fried chicken. Wash it down with a mouthwatering Pepsi and I’m a happy boy. Unfortunately, that lifestyle makes for a really bad doctor’s visit.

Two weeks ago I finally broke down and went to see a new physician since my last one retired and left me to run wild like the dog through the neighborhood when he gets away without a leash. Cousin Pete recommended his guy, so I went for my initial visit to endure the standard physical exam and then head down to the lab to get some blood work done. Three days later, the nurse called and says “Your lab results are back. You need to see the doctor ASAP!” Yea…what else is new?

The truth is I always knew I was going to get diabetes. It was inevitable. It runs in both sides of my family. I am fully aware of the symptoms of the disease and all the possible repercussions that arise from it, but I also know that it is treatable. It’s not something I can cure overnight, but I will get past it. Shelley suggested I make small daily changes in my diet as opposed to throwing away all the bad stuff and filling up the fridge with vegetables I know I hate. I’m going to get burned out too quick, she says, and it’ll be too easy to fall back into old habits. This actually makes really good sense. She suggested taking baby steps and changing one small habit at a time. For instance, this morning, instead of drinking one of those miniature HEB orange sodas before work, I had a glass of orange juice. That’s progress, right? Last week for dinner, I had steamed vegetables instead of fries with my chicken fried steak. I probably should have had water, but hey…One thing at a time.

I’m not gonna to say I’m going on a diet or that I’m trying to lose weight, but I do need to be more aware of my diet and the way I treat my body while I’m still fairly young. I’m going to be really grumpy in my old age if I have to depend on someone to help me run my normal, everyday errands. That’s a really scary thought! Luckily, I’m not one who looks to the future with fear. When the day comes that I find myself sitting next to Raul in the nursing home commenting about the hotties playing bridge across the way, I’ll still find the good in everything around me. No doubt about it!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, my friends, and I hope you all have a great day! I would love to tell you I’m going to drink water all day and stick to my safe diabetic diet, but let’s not be ridiculous. Come on…It’s Thanksgiving!

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It’s a Wonderful Life

Hello, my friends. Today I begin a new chapter in the life of Rob. Over the last 3 months, I went through a change that will affect me for the rest of my life. No longer tolerant to stand by and let things happen to me, I have started taking steps to gain more control of my life. Sort of. I mean I’m getting there.

My first change came about when I decided to move out of the house I have shared with my lovely wife for the past 3 years. And by “I decided” I really mean Shelley decided. After having a wonderful conversation about how successful I’ve been in flying the marriage straight into the ground, it was clear that something needed to change.

Life Lesson #4; discussing your marital issues in an attempt to find happiness only works if you discuss it with your wife…not your mistress.

My next change is to work on my strong desire to be alone. Right now I’m sitting in my bed without a care in the world. The dog is by my side, and Blind Melon is in my ear buds. I’m drinking a cold Pepsi and writing a blog post for you, and I couldn’t be happier. There’s something wrong with that, I think. I should want to be more active in the world around me. Most people fear the thought of being alone, but not me, my friends. This is where I’m safe and I’m most at peace.

Actually, I’m not alone. Cousin Pete is in the other room watching Nascar. I should be in there with him, but watching 43 cars make left turns over and over and over is not exactly something that gets my blood pumping. That’s not to say I won’t suddenly gain an appreciation for the sport during my time here, but as of today I just don’t share the same passion as everyone around me.

You might be wondering what I’m talking about and how I went from life with Shelley to life with Cousin Pete. As I said, “the decision” was made that Shelley and I needed a break so we can focus on ourselves before we attempted to focus on each other. Right or wrong, this is absolutely necessary before we can even attempt to rebuild our lives together. Not knowing where I was going or how I was going to survive financially, Cousin Pete was generous enough to offer me a room in his 3 bedroom house in Hutto that he occupies by himself. Now were a couple of wild and crazy bachelors living together in this awesome party house. It’s just like college all over again. Except instead of beer in the fridge, we have Pepsi and Diet Dr. Pepper. And instead of discussing privacy issues when we’re with a female friend, we’re discussing the laundry schedule. So maybe it’s nothing like college at all.

During my time here, I have a lot to learn about myself and what I really want out of life. In the process, I need to focus on prioritizing my life so that I can really appreciate the good in my life instead of chasing after things that make my life a living hell. I hope to really get to know Cousin Pete as I did when we were kids. He’s an awesome dude and I can learn a lot from him. I just need to make the effort instead of sitting in my room writing to you. Don’t worry, my loyal readers, I won’t neglect you.

Welcome to the Life of Rob. This is me. This is my new life. Journey with me through the changes I am about to experience and read all about the wild adventures I will find myself involved in (with or without Cousin Pete). Stick around…You might even laugh.

 

*Because I already know how concerned you are, Cousin Pete’s laundry time is Sunday afternoon because he’s not as wild as yours truly who washes my clothes on a Saturday night.

**I don’t mean to brag, but I did watch “Unforgiven” on my laptop last night AND I ordered Papa Johns while doing laundry at the same time. Yea, you heard me right. You’re going to learn that I’m pretty crazy sometimes. I even went ahead and paid the extra charge to have the pizza delivered, too. What!

***Fine…I didn’t finish “Unforgiven” because I fell asleep. Don’t judge me; I only slept 4 hours the night before.

 

I’m pretty sure this is how Shelley feels…

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Welcome (back) to the Life of Rob

A small number of you know that I started this blog a couple of months ago as a way to let go of some thoughts that had been running through my mind for a long period of time. I had some great response and many (4) people complimented me as a great entertainer and encouraged me to keep writing. I could not make it public that Life of Rob existed because I said some things that may or may not have been appropriate for all ears. I’m not proud of that, but it was either that or take a firsthand look at the inside of Austin’s favorite mental facility, Shoal Creek. This was the first step in the life that I now find myself living in.

I have temporarily turned all of my previous posts private while I edit everything I ever wrote. I feel there is some good stuff that I would like to share with you, my new readers, but not just yet. You’ll have to wait. If you really insist, I MIGHT email you something, but only if you ask nicely.

So here we go…Life of Rob 2.0

Update: I decided to leave up my very first post because it’s an important introduction. Your welcome.

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