November 21, 2017

My Dad – If given a superhero identity, his name would be “Captain Invincible!”

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I have been subject to witness several lame father figures in my lifetime, not my Dad. No, not my Dad! Simply said, and bragging about it, my Dad is my hero and the absolute best Dad in the world. In fact, some have often mentioned how they envied that I had a Dad, who continually played a part in my life, whereas their father took off on a permanent vacation where no one has any recollection of his presence, long to be forgotten.

Please know I also feel similar sentiments towards my Grandfather Cartee. He is a man of honor who often made his presence known at important life events and sometimes just showing up to spend time with me, for no specific reason at all, other than to see me.

Here are some reasons why I proclaim such a dignified title in honor of the man who has changed my life for the better in so many ways. He simply is, meaning my Dad shows up to the simple events. He attended my graduations from high school and the colleges I attended and sporting events when I was younger. In addition to my mother, he is the first to buy one of my books when I publish “yet one more.”

I do not consider fatherhood to be easy; however I do not think it is rocket science either. My father takes care of those he loves. When you love someone, one might argue it comes instinctively natural and easy to just do what a Dad does. With a family and wife in mind, you want to be a better person. You want to strive for greater, because you have someone depending on you as if your life depended on it, and more often than not, those lives do depend on your efforts for income.

Sometimes our greatest strengths are in our greatest efforts to fight for those we love. We try because we love. Dad loves me and my sister. He tries, He shows up. He is present. Sometimes that approach to simply be is the best way to be a great Dad and person of strength. I must admit that my father has done so in extraordinary ways, in ways that many other lacking fathers could learn from.

Sometimes all you have to do is watch the person you aspire to be like and follow their example. At least, as I am about to marry Lisa in October, that is what I am doing, while the thought of children is not in the so distant future.

My philosophy is simple here: I want to be an awesome father! I watch my Dad and do what he does. And if perplexed, I just ask him a thousand questions and follow his lead on what to do. In regards to his track record, he has rarely led me astray.

As we say in a southern manner of respect, if I had my Bud Light in hand, I would say, “Dad, this Bud’s for you! I love you, man, and thank you for everything you have done for our family, especially for me!”

If I could give my father a superhero title, it would be “Captain Invincible!” He is one of the most resilient men I have ever known. He rarely lets me down. And when needed, he is almost always there to support me, especially in regards to my mental illness. While no one is perfect, my father, as a Christian leader and servant, is about as close as any man I know can get!

REACHING HIGHER HEIGHTS – What do you want to be? How will others define you? Most importantly, how will you define yourself in 2014?

In my personal life, I stay connected by keeping in touch with many friends and family, especially since I moved to Corpus Christi, Texas. Relationships, both new and old, become all the more paramount in my life as I lean into new challenges and environments unfamiliar to me. Moving across the country for a new job takes its toll on just about anyone, unless accustomed to these types of locational changes, like an “army brat” would (a popular idiom used to describe someone who grew up moving all the time due to a parents’ occupation in the military).

For those who know me well, they know that I juggle many interests and talents with a strong-willed personality to grow up to “higher heights,” as I mention in many of my previous blog entries. We attain “higher heights” by reaching for goals that we ourselves, sometimes think, looking in the mirror, we cannot achieve alone….hence a need for the dependence on a Savior through Christ.

I do not want to be average. I want to be incredible on many levels. And I would hope that any believer of Jesus desires the same.

For 2014, some of my major responsibilities include but certainly are not limited to: maintaining a strong relationship with God that begins and ends each day with Him as a first thought, building a new faith-based community, meeting performance standards with my new development job, teaching online classes as an adjunct faculty, managing a small business, pursuing part time a second Master’s degree, and Lord blessed and willing, dating a significant other I actually have things in common with.

I encountered a telephone conversation with someone who questioned my ability to balance priorities with so “many irons in the fire” (another idiom that means that one might be too busy to maintain a healthy lifestyle consumed with so many commitments). Maybe I will first struggle to find my balancing act in my ambitions to reach for higher heights; however I will find satisfaction in knowing that I no longer settled for anything mediocre. I pushed myself to levels I never thought possible. I challenged myself in new ways, where all I could do was lean into God’s strength to achieve more than I ever imagined.

Just because others cannot reach for higher heights in their own self doubts does not mean that you are not capable. It is not what others think that determines your own abilities and success. It only matters what you think of yourself, and in addition to your own self-image, it most ultimately only matters what God thinks. Let the naysayers and discouragers drop by your side in their own disbelief of God’s gifts instilled in you. And reach for the greatness God planned for your journey all along. I am not sure about you. But 2014 is not just another year’s resolution for me. It is a year to build myself up and truly discover my innermost calling.

I challenge you to dig deep and discover yours as well.