Filling Body & Soul

Lately I’ve been thinking about the difference between things that fill the body and things that fill the soul.

For example, when I sit down, relax, watch some TV, and use my phone, my body gets filled. I get to relax, I get to zone out, and I get to do nothing productive.

When I play with my son or go on a family outing, my soul gets filled up. I get to fellowship, experience, and implore. My family gets to do the same.

Filling both the body and soul is important. They are different parts of our experience here on earth and I know God enjoys walking with us through it all.

I struggle with yes-no, this-that, black-white thinking. If one is good, the other must be the opposite. I often feel guilty about filling my body, but logically know I should not. It is just as important. Filling the soul, of course, is essential, too.

I want to feel comfortable here on Earth in this body. I’m a big fan of being comfortable. Somehow I want to fill my body and be comfortable, but also feel the aforementioned guilt about doing so. It’s a constant struggle to feel comfortable with feeling comfortable.

But today I’m happy and comfortable, feeling filled in body and soul. And I’m very thankful for days like today.

~Nate

Intellectual Honesty

I’ve been having a lot of conversations with folks lately via the comments sections on Facebook posts. Getting out of this habit should be a priority for me, because engaging in conversation that way—especially when it’s about an emotional or closely-held topic—doesn’t make me happy or better off.

The conversations I’ve been having are mainly around issues that used to not really be things that are debated or questioned. One recent topic has been on the issue of presumed innocence.

There’s a lot of “trial by media” going on these days, where the outrage mob sees a ten-second clip on CNN and immediately determines what the “good guy” and the “bad guy” are. Inevitably, these feelings wind up in some folks’ Facebook posts.

My goal is usually to balance out the extreme outrage and vilification of whoever today’s outrage target is by calmly explaining to people that we should always presume innocence until we know the full story. It doesn’t matter who the target is or what they’ve been accused of doing.

It’s true of the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, where the Obama Justice Department determined there was no wrongdoing on the part of the police officer involved.

It’s true of the Catholic, pro-life high schooler Nick Sandmann, who was vilified on every media platform, but turned out to be the victim in the situation.

In current events, presidential candidate and Former Vice President Joe Biden has been accused of sexual assault. He deserves to be presumed innocent until it is proven he is guilty, whether I like the man or not.

I’m beginning to wonder what the cause is behind some folks’ seeming inability to intellectually handle the result or output of their emotions. Even if one doesn’t like a person or doesn’t like what a person has done, getting to the point of finding that person guilty when one has no context on the story at hand is shallow, undeveloped, and beneath the operating capacity of human beings.

This makes me wonder if it all goes to a more spiritual level. Is it evil that brings people to the point of self-righteous judgement of others, despite any negative consequences the other will endure? Is it really the unhealthy view of oneself that needs to be built up in such shallow ways? Am I blindly doing the same thing, or am I more observant in some way?

Whatever it is, we need to always consciously fight for others to be treated the way we would want to be treated.

~Nate

Living In An Apartment

We’ve been staying in an apartment for most of the time that we’ve been here. It’s worked out well, but we definitely don’t want to be in the apartment forever. The idea is to purchase a house that we’ll be in for the next three years, at least. However, the market is probably going to take a big dive. But we really want a house!

Buy now? Lose value soon. Don’t buy now? No backyard for my son to play in this summer. It’s lose-lose to the worried side of me.

We need our space and we need room for our son to play. Being cramped in a small apartment is not a long-term possibility for us.

Actually, speaking of long-term possibility, I was downloading backgrounds on r/EarthPorn yesterday, and saw a gorgeous photo.

The photo that made me realize I am destined to live on the beach.

This photo made me realize that I am destined to live on the beach. My wife and I love going to the beach, being on the beach, staying at the beach, vacationing to the beach… BEACH!!! So that’s the long-term plan…

But for the time being, we like the city we’re in and will be here for a while. We’ll probably buy a house soon, because we really, really, REALLY want to be settled. I hope things go well and we get a good deal and don’t lose too much after the market dips.

~Nate

Social Isolation

It turns out I’m really good at isolating socially. I have my wife and son to be around at home, and that seems to be just right. Hanging out with friends occasionally is also very important, but it is something that can be put off for a little bit when the state unconstitutionally closes businesses and tells everybody to stay in their house, and China causes the world to crumble with SARS-CoV-2.

Working remotely has gone very well for the past seven years that I’ve done it. Fortunately my current role is a remote role. That’s worked quite well with the whole isolation thing. I’ve developed practices over the years for maintaining sanity and even thriving with such a life “workflow”.

In fact, isolating keeps me to a strict regimen of wake-work-play-sleep. Let’s just say I’ve been extremely productive at work and in my personal life over the past couple months. Even with living in a new place and not having local friends, I’m still able to interact with “remote” friends via Facebook, text message, and phone.

The productivity I’ve experienced in my personal life has primarily been centered around my son. I feel like I’ve never played with him enough, so lately I’ve been able to do that a lot more. Of course, the fact that he’s growing up means it is getting easier and easier to relate to him and what he wants to do. Run around the bedroom chasing him? Throw the bouncy ball with him? Build a fort with him? Those build him up, and they build me up, too. And often those playtimes are good breaks for my wife, who spends a lot of time hanging out with my son. Everybody needs a break.

All that to say… this social isolation thing hasn’t been very hard for me. But I know it’s hard for others. Here’s to hoping we don’t have to be “in lockdown” much longer…

~Nate

Covid-19 (aka “Coronavirus”)

Covid-19, also known (improperly) as “coronavirus”, is what they’ve been talking about on the news a lot lately. It’s caused by a new strain of coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. And apparently it’s going to make a lot of people sick.

First off, I’m very glad we’ve moved to the middle of the US. The first death in the US from Covid-19 was in Kirkland, Washington. It was at the hospital where my nephew was born, in fact. Frightening. Not being near where this is all starting in the US is helpful. Also, not being near the Cascadia Subduction Zone puts my mind more at ease than it used to be.

I had no idea how my tendencies to prepare would flare up now that this is happening and now that I have a family to protect. I’ve been reading, learning, researching… and worrying. Planning next steps and wanting to get supplies feels like the responsible thing to do, but I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do. We’re going to be moving into our new house in a few months and any extra things we purchase now are just going to have to be moved with us, too.

Fortunately, it seems that nobody under the age of fifteen has died from Covid-19, much less even gotten sick, so I’m guessing my son is good. That provides a modicum of comfort.

My tendencies to worry are currently getting the best of me. I feel like I should be able to trust Jesus more than I do, and then, of course, I feel guilty for not doing so. It’s frustrating when you feel like you can’t do anything “right”. All I want to do is make sure my family is okay.

Thus far, my mom, sister, brother-in-law, nephews, and niece are okay. It’d definitely be less nerve-wracking if they lived with us away from major population centers!

~Nate

Back To Church

It’s been a bit hard to get back in the habit of going to church. After I get done working all week, it’s nice to have some dedicated time to spend with my wife and son.

When I think about going places, I mentally compute a high burden on the “getting ready”, “getting there”, and “getting back” parts. This probably leads to me staying home and being more of a hermit than I should. But it is the way it is.

Anyways, the time and effort required to get ready to go to a place is already high, plus I want to spend that time on something else, and so we haven’t been attending church. Of course the whole “sell your house, move to another state, start a new life” thing is a good excuse to get out of the usual routines for a bit. But I hold myself to a high standard and know that excuses are just that… excuses.

As this city has so much native and Spanish influence, there tend to be a lot of traditional (ie Catholic) churches. Finding something with a more evangelical twist is naturally harder. Combine that with the fact that my wife and I are fairly particular about the churches we like, and it’s obviously been hard to get back in the habit of going to church.

But I said I hold myself to a high standard. It’s sometimes a burden. But I consider it a blessing, mostly. Something God has put in my heart that’s always been a constant call back to Him. Some people don’t have it. I thank God I have it. It’s probably the most important thing God has given me.

Combine the aforementioned with the fact that I consider myself the leader of my family, and it’s quickly obvious to me that I am ultimately accountable for getting my family back in the good habits we need to be in. It’s been hard, but I think we’re actually going to attend a potential home church this morning!

~Nate

Hello World!

Welcome to the launch of the journal of my journey!

I’ve had various web presences in the past… none of which were updated regularly or reflected what was currently going on. My goal is to actually update this with an entry every few days.

There’s so much to talk about, because there’s so much that goes on in my life. I’ve been more intentional about documenting what goes on in my life with a journal of daily accomplishments. My hope is that intentionality will carry over into this space as well!

~Nate