Loud Smith Media and Publishing


Day 142 – Friday is just Friday

Day 142 – Friday is just Friday

After waking, listening to my Bible, surviving the treadmill and writing a quick love note to leave at Melissa’s door (actually pushed it under her door), I began my workday with a stop by at my corporate housing office.  They are good clients of mine.  Anyway, they asked me to expand my keyword work for them to include the phrase short term furnished apartment (which I was actually already using on occasion) and I agreed.  I didn’t fuss that I was already doing what they were asking me.  No need to ruffle feathers – just do it as Nike tells me to do. 

From working at my home base, I headed out to make an on-site visit to my first Christian School client (“Pre-K Lubbock” – 12th grade).  I always enjoy meeting with the leadership there because they are so genuine and kind.  I’m happy that I could report significant gains to them because I really work hard to advance their enrollment via optimization.  There was a moment when I thought they were going to take the reported success as reason to let me go – sometimes that happens – clients see marked progress and “fire” me because they are satisfied.  But this wasn’t the case today.  They lauded my efforts and even encouraged me personally.  They asked me about my marital preps and gave me some good Christian advice about it all.  They are funny and sweet people.  All of my clients are but this private school takes the gold medal for being the perfect mix of caring and concern.  I think I make more on-site visits to them than anyone.  They always make me feel better going out than coming in.  I so respect their consistency in their practicing what the Bible says.  I am challenged by it for sure.

Speaking of being challenged, my meditation in Job was certainly that…I am struck with the fact that this book features the most direct communication between God and one of His creatures.  I know God spoke a lot to Moses and I’m sure I am a bit off in my previous claim, but God gives Job a good tongue-lashing.  He has heard that Job wants to hear from Him in a sort of court of law – Job has asked God to defend His actions and that is just what He does.  Job is quickly moved to throw his hand over his mouth as he realizes that God can do what He wants and allow what He wants at anytime to anyone – no matter how righteous they are.  I think about how I communicate with God and I think of all the times I come to Him with petty frustrations – asking Him to fix all my broken pieces – asking Him why He made this or that happen to me.  What right do I have coming to my God and possessing such presumptive words?  Who the heck am I to challenge this God of Job?  It startles me that I have such nerve.

 Anyway, things with me and Melissa are going great as usual and that’s all I have for today.  Thanks for putting up with my daily word jumps.  I feel a bit random but that’s how life feels much of the time.  Comment if you would like.  Be well.

Day 135 – Friday free for all

Day 135 – Friday free for all

Today, I was awakened early by a nightmare.  I usually sleep peacefully in this comfortable bed within my corporate housing suite and I don’t typically write about my dreams because they are silly.  But this was different and I think it was my subconscious grabbing all of my recent happenings and thoughts and jamming them together into a scary or at least unsettling situation that my brain believed was true.  The dream began with a meeting between my client (the Lubbock landscaping guys) and me.  As they were talking to me, Melissa ran into the meeting room and a guy with a weed eater was chasing her.  It reminded me of a haunted house I once went through where a guy with a chainsaw ran after me.  But this time it was a weed eater being carried by a man with a chewed up face – he was trying to kill my girl.  The worst part of it was that I was unable to move to help her.  No matter how hard I tried to get up and stop this crazy guy, it was like I had been super glued to the chair.  I could not even move my arms or legs.  As if this was not enough, the guys in the dream meeting acted like this intrusion and attack were perfectly normal events.  They even laughed at Melissa as she was getting whacked in the face over and over.  I tried to scream out for help, but when my mouth opened I actually said, “Kill her!  Kill her!”  I was shocked at myself.  Why would I ever say such things?  Why was I stuck?  Why was this nutcase being allowed to do what he was doing?  And then when I looked at this man who was attacking Melissa, I saw that his face had changed to look just like mine.  Melissa was begging this other me for mercy, but he wasn’t about to stop doing yard work on her.  At this point, I woke up with my heart racing and in a cold sweat.  It was hard to go back to sleep after that.  Even though I wasn’t trying to decipher this dream’s deeper meaning (Freud-style), I just could not shake the physical manifestations that it brought on.

Not a great day to start a workday.  That being said, even though I was disturbed and extremely tired as I went about reporting to my clients, the day brought success.  Even though I had the face of my crazy doppelganger stuck in my head, I guess I was able to do a good job – all of the clients I met with all seemed to be happy about what I had been doing and none of them wanted to take a weed eater to my or Melissa’s face.

When I told Melissa about this dream she just laughed and said she was happy that we were never going to buy a weed eater, just in case.

 Anyway, that’s enough for today – I’m tired and need a long nap.

Day 132 – Tuesday prayers

Day 132 – Tuesday prayers

 I forgot to mention yesterday that I bought an audio Bible that is dramatically read by famous actors who I guess are Christians.  The cool thing about this Bible is that it covers the whole of the text, but it doesn’t start at Genesis and run straight through Revelation.  When there are chapters, which point to other chapters either historically or topically, the readers jump around to make these matches.  It also takes the long lists of names in several places of the Bible and just gives scriptural references to encourage the listener to read those parts on their own rather than boring the heck out of others – in other words, they don’t read those parts and for that I am thankful.  If I am in the mood for lists of names at some point I can go read them.  Now this does not mean they skip all lists – they cover the genealogical lines that lead to Jesus and the mighty men of David.  But they don’t cover much else as far as lists are concerned.  How did I find out about this audio Bible?  Well my clients at the Christian school (Pre-K Lubbock – 12th grade) found out about my desire for one (because I mentioned it once) and they gave me a gift certificate to buy one – my clients are just so cool.  They not only care about their own students’ growth but about their SEO and marketing guy’s growth.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because I have decided to listen to these CDs during my battle sessions with my corporate housing treadmill.  I figure if I cannot beat this mini-Goliath down on my own, I can possibly have a change of heart and mind while trudging away to God’s word.  Today the readings were a mix of Genesis, Isaiah, the Psalms and Matthew.  And I have to admit that these readings that do allow for times of purposeful silence in between key verses (I guess so we can think and process rather than just plow through the Word) are giving me depth and needed distraction from hating my fast walking.  The amazing runner was not there today and so I didn’t have to carry the load of insecurity too.  It was actually the first day I have not hated this part of my day.

What else? 

Work:  I’m still handling the church architects who are about to finish their pitch to my church and start with the next phases of the additions.  I’m also working with a car dealership (new client), the realty company, the Lubbock landscaping company, the Christian school and another Texas college – oh yeah and of course my corporate housing group.  There are others but these are representative of the whole – or at least I don’t want to keep listing them.  Still, I am happy with all of them and they seem to be happy with me.

Melissa:  She got a cool nose piercing that I didn’t expect.  She usually doesn’t do such surprising things, or at least I’ve never seen her do such unexpected things.  I told her that I really liked it, but I asked her if she didn’t want to tell me beforehand because she thought I might not approve.  She admitted that she felt like a bit of a rebel by doing it without telling me first but she assured me that she wasn’t going to withhold any future things from me (like a full face tattoo).  I told her that I am not her father and thus I don’t have to be asked permission.  She can change whatever she wants – hair color, etc – without asking me.  I kind of liked the fact that she went for this minor rebellion because it also allows me to do similar things without begging for her approval.  I think good relationships leave room for the individuals within it to do individual things without worrying about what the other thinks.  I don’t want her to ever feel trapped in my trap and I don’t want to be controlled either.

 So, the nose ring looks good as does our relationship. 

Day 129 – Saturday Night Fever

Day 129 – Saturday Night Fever

I don’t have the swagger of John Travolta or the falsetto of the Bee Gees, but I woke up this morning in my corporate housing suite feeling emboldened to strut – Do you ever have those days when you feel great for no reason?  Have you ever awakened to those sorts of feelings?  I loved it – it didn’t even bother me that I had to walk the treadmill – I worked that thing today instead of it working me.  I even pointed at it as fiercely as Beyonce might and told it that I was boss.  I’m glad no one else was in the workout room.  They might have been embarrassed for me.  But I wouldn’t have cared today.  I even did some work this early afternoon to help another  friend who does Lubbock lawn care.  He is not my official client but I figured that since he is just getting started I might as well use my good mood to aid someone who is working so hard to get it going.  I might as well do some good while having this sort of positive energy.

Melissa was working last night but she slept all morning and early afternoon and still got up to go to church with me and even church was better than usual.  Not to say that it’s not always good, but today while standing there hand in hand with my beautiful and cool fiancée as the worship team sang out some contemporary versions of a few of my favorite hymns, it was just extra good.  As well, the pastor has been on a roll while talking about Joseph.  Man oh man, Joseph had a hard life but it was a life that needed to be lived so that amazing salvation and prosperity could be had by multitudes.  I don’t know how I would have handled the desperation and the difficulty.  During the struggle, I would not have been able to be patient and trusting that God’s good was coming at some point.  I know a guy who loves God so much and who even used to be a pastor for 15 years.  He was a light to many and yet for six years now he has been afflicted by clinical depression and anxiety to the point that not only could he not do pastoral work anymore, but he can barely leave his house without having panic attacks.  What does God have in store for my friend?  Will there be a time that God comes through and restores my buddy?  Will there be a Joseph-like ending that brings restoration and even prosperity?  Will there be a healing?  I have to be honest – I don’t want to have anything difficult to happen to me – at least not as difficult as happened to Joseph.  What does that say about me?  Am I not willing to let the will of God be played out in and through me?  Am I limiting God’s movement by resisting a long-play difficulty?

Tough questions for me – I talked with Melissa about the message and she kept it simple.  She just said that no matter what we go through we have to dig into and press into hope.  She said that despair is our enemy and it must be avoided at all costs.  I asked her if she thought she could maintain hope in a situation like Joseph’s situation and she said that she would have to take it one day at a time – maybe even one hour at a time.  Hope.  I hope I can hope..

Well, so it was an energized day and a deep thinking day.  I like these sorts of days.  I want more of them.

Day 128 – Friday is always good

Day 128 – Friday is always good

My battle with the treadmill in the corporate housing workout room continued today.  I decided to humble myself and stick with the fast walking speed of 4.0.  I knew I was not ready for anything more than twenty minutes at that number.  My shins get all sore feeling if I push harder and I feel like a failure if I chase my pride.  This will be a slow fight to overcome the ever-moving machine but I am in for the long haul.  I may not beat this machine into submission, but I am going to make it make me stronger and faster – do a Daft Punk on my body. 

My work was easy today because I had already reported good news to all of my clients yesterday.  With all of my extra time, I wrote good, keyword-rich content for several of them – I hadn’t done much content for my Lubbock catering or my Midland corporate housing clients, so I took myself to a Starbucks, threw on my headphones and considered what sort of content these businesses needed to get them climbing ever higher.  I think that this daily blog makes it easier to write inbound content for the businesses I represent.  I’ve found that if I let myself stop writing for any lengthy period of time, I get incredibly rusty – so much so that I can hardly pump out a few sentences.  Good inbound content requires at least 400 – 500 words to get counted by Google (that’s the prevailing theory).  So, I’m glad that I keep my brain and typing hands moving on a daily basis to stay well-oiled as an effective writer.

Melissa and I are doing very well.  We talked about the whole kids issue and determined that we would give ourselves a solid three to five years of being by ourselves – building our own relationship apart from having children who would shift our focus completely.  We also talked about the reality that we might not even be able to have kids of our own.  Not every couple can and if we can’t then we have settled on going through an adoption or two so we can love on kids who are already on the earth needing people to take them in.  We even decided that we might adopt even if we were able to have kids.  Melissa has a big heart for orphans and she is making me into someone who cares a lot as well.  It’s nice to embrace a new viewpoint especially when we make the decisions together.  Neither of us has yet to demand or insist on decision-making duties.  I don’t know how this could change as time goes on, but I think we have figured out ways to keep from fighting over decisions that affect the both of us equally. 

Meditation:  God through the prophet Jeremiah is quite a partnership.  I took time to read about the peoples’ refusal to stop chasing idols and allies today and I was shown how easy it is to lose trust in God – to fall into love with other false gods because they are easily seen.  Jeremiah warns them and warns them and tells them to settle down as the Babylonians took over – but the people just kept fighting him.  They even tried to kill him by throwing him into a cistern filled with mud.  It was unsuccessful because a certain guy made sure to retrieve him.  I think of Jeremiah’s firm responses to these enemies of his and I wonder if I could keep up the fight in front of all of the opposition.  I tend to shrink under people’s harsh opinions, but I hope that if God called me to do or say different things, I would be empowered to stand firm.

Anyway, it was a good Friday – I look forward to the weekend.

Day 126 – Wednesday Waste

Day 126 – Wednesday Waste

I think the pool at my short-term furnished housing spot has finally gotten too cold for me to use it – the temperatures climb into the 70’s still but the water seems to hold the coolness of the night and I’m not as bold as I was before.  I think I’ll let the management know that I am going to begrudgingly move my body into the workout room.  As I have said before I’m not keen on elliptical machines and treadmills, but if I am to keep myself in some sort of shape (especially as a wedding approaches in the next year) I have to do what I despise to remain the svelte human that I am.  What is too cold for you when it comes to swimming pools?  Am I being a wimp?  You probably think I am weird for hating indoor machines, but I cannot seem to make myself enjoy them.  Even with television sets hanging right in front of me to distract me from the movements I make I get frustrated.  As well, I will have the ability to put my phone to use to push my favorite music into my ears, but that will more than likely be but a small help.  Maybe I should start going to a gym that has an indoor pool that will allow me to continue my swimming habit but I am an animal of convenience who values being able to go right down to the pool in the morning without having to drive somewhere.  I guess I will have to weigh convenience against boring machines.  What a dilemma – I say that with sarcasm because I know it’s silly to spend time considering what I am going to do about my workouts.  I think there are about ten million other more important issues I should be worried about.  Sometimes I amaze myself when I realize the sad shallows of my inner world.

To offset that first paragraph, I will move to the deepest of matters – my daily biblical meditation.  I have been reading Galatians and finding myself moved by Chapter 5, which details the difference between the ways of the world and the ways of the Holy Spirit.  When I look over the list of fruits that come from the Spirit, I find myself checking to see if these things are being manifested in and through me.  I have to be honest and say that I must not be allowing the Spirit to have enough room inside of me.  My lack of kindness and self-control are the absent fruits I am especially convicted with – What kind of person has all of these fruits moving correctly?  What do I need to do to clear room for the Spirit to do His thing in fullness?  Comments and advice from you saintly persons are most welcome – I am unsure how to get out of God’s way.

This whole Holy Spirit thing makes me think of a bulletin board I always see when I go visit my Christian school clients (Lubbock Pre-K – 12th grade).  On the board, they have stapled a tree with all of these fruits hanging from it.  And it’s funny that the low hanging fruits are the ones I don’t have trouble grasping (or so I think).  But self-control and kindness happen to be at the top of the tree.  I need a ladder of some kind to get there…

Melissa is good – She is tired from her hospital work but her injury from the wreck is pretty much completely healed.  Even when she is tired she treats me so well – she listens like she really cares.  She is quick to listen.  I need to get better at that too.


Day 122 – Saturday Shanks

Day 122 – Saturday Shanks

This was a strange day because I woke up early in my short-term furnished apartment just dying to go play some golf.  I don’t know if it was due to listening to the company execs who do Lubbock lawn care talk about trying to do work for a local golf course yesterday or what.  But I think I even dreamed about being on a golf course last night.  I don’t do what my dreams tell me to do very often (that would be dangerous).  But, in this case I felt like golf might be the perfect start to a beautiful fall weekend day.  So, after my swim, I called and got a tee time for 10 a.m.  Since I was a single player, I was added to a group of three strangers who would have to deal with my severe shanks and wicked hooks.  I felt sorry for the three guys who had to watch me hit every tree and land in whatever bit of water that exists on the course.  I have old clubs and I kept trying to make them my excuse, but we all knew that I would break 150 on the front nine even if I had top-of-the-line sticks.  Good thing that some Lubbock landscapers are interested in improving the look of the course because I just destroyed a lot of it.  I made one 40 foot putt though and that made me happy enough to not throw my clubs away on the way to the car.  I’m glad I didn’t take Melissa along – I probably would have fired a ball right into her leg or something. 

Anyway, I worked up a decent sweat and had to go take my second shower of the day – when I got out I found a love note slipped under my door.  Melissa is always so romantic.  She knows how to make me feel like a winner even after being such a loser on the course.  In the note she just reminded me that she adored me and that she looked forward to spending time with me in the evening after we hit late afternoon church.  I’m so blessed to have her in my life.  Now that she is an integral piece of my existence I don’t know how I ever did without her.  Such a combination of beauty and kindness…

Church service was great – the pastor started a series on the life of Joseph and it was fantastic.  He compared Joseph’s unanswered cries for help to the miraculous answer God gave to Elijah when he cried out.  He showed that Joseph’s terrible predicament was necessary for the salvation of a lot of people later.  If God had answered his cries at that earlier time, there would not have been any salvation for the people of Israel.  I used this as my meditation for the day.  It helped me realize that some of my most painful times are going to be worked out for good – for me and for those around me.  I don’t know God’s plans or His ways.  So I just need to trust more and trust always.

Other than this, my time with Melissa during and after church was great as always.  I can feel that we are getting more and more emotionally and spiritually intimate as each day passes.

 That’s all for today.