Clean-up Stage One
Okay, so I've been stressed lately. Not so much stessed as brain overload and meltdown, but I've made a decision. I'm doing a complete re-vamp of life. I've come to the conclusion that I am way to over-committed. I can't keep living life trying to please the entire world. I mean, all the things I'm doing are good, worth-while things, but I can't keep trying to give so much of myself to so many people. It's physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining in so many ways. I am the kind of guy who needs to lay on his bedroom floor and stare at the ceiling not thinking one single thought, but just zoning (which I am quite good at doing). The problem is, I haven't been able to do that in forever (besides relaxing in Florida for one day). I hope you get my point.
The biggest problem is that if I continue devoting to myself to a million different little things, I won't be able to do a few of those awesome BIG things that I love to do. I've decided that it's time for a change. I'm going to "tie up" a few ends of some of my present projects, then after that, NO MORE. Also, I'm going to be resigning from a few things (or more harshly put, "quitting", but I hate that word, so we'll stick with resigning). I think all in all you get my drift. I've started the operation cleanup with beginning my 5 overloaded baskets of laundry lying all over my bedroom floor. Also, I've made lists of everything needed to be done. I'm really excited for this refreshment of my life. I need air to breathe. I need space to fly. I need time for God. I need "me time" to continue functioning. Just letting you all know.Now for a quick update on life. As most of you known, my Grandma Sheila died two weeks ago tomorrow early morning. My mom is still down in Florida (she'll have been down there two weeks this Sunday). So basically, I've seen my mom four (and that's rounding) days out of fourteen. Basically, it is official that my Grandaddy can not be left alone, so until we get the longterm solution figured out, one of my parents is constantly going to need to be with him. Basically, the schedule for this short-term solution is absolutely insane.Schedule at a glance:Grandma Sheila dies Saturday. (3/17) Mom goes to Florida Sunday. (3/18)Jeff, Dave, Dad, and Ryan go to FL that Wednesday. (3/21)Jeff, Dave, and Ryan come home Saturday. (Mom and Dad still down there) (3/24)Dad comes home Tuesday. (Mom still there) (3/27)Jeff, Dave, Dad, and Ryan fly down this coming Thursday. (4/5)Jeff, Dave, Ryan, and Mom coming home Monday (after Easter). (Dad still there) (4/8)Mom flies back down to FL. (Kids at home alone) (a week later apx.)A few days later, Dad comes back, but Mom is still in FL.Awhile later, Mom and Grandaddy come to NY for a few days.and that's how far we are so far. Insane.I hope we all last. Obviousely, we all just need to pull together in this situation.Prayer would be appreciated. :)RANDOM STATEMENTS:I'm excited. This Sunday, I'm doing special music at a church in Elmira with my friend Kaitlin Walker. The song sounds absolutely amazing, so I'm sure it'll go really well.I have praise team practice tomorrow, and I think I'm going to head to FLM's Sherathon for a little while in the lunch/afternoon timeframe.Greg came over tonight, and we went to play tennis, but the nets aren't up yet. So we just chilled over near Erwin Valley. You know, just doing the basics, throwing giant sticks like javalins (spelling?). Pretending to kills orcs, all that good stuff. :-p We kicked the soccer ball around too, and we just got to hang out which was nice.I vacuumed my car out today. :)Ryan and I played basketball (PIG to be precise) after school today, and it was fun. I beat him 5 games to 1. haha. Who knew?
Well, I'm going to do some laundry. haha. Hope everybody's doin' well. Cheers.
I love Florida. As much as I am a New Yorker, I think I'm partially a Floridian. It must run in the blood, but seriousely... I function so much better in the sunshine. Today was our "chill day," and I spent all day on the beach/by the pool.
We (Laura, Dar, Ryan, and myself) went down to the pool at around 11 somethin... First we jumped in the pool, then we went to the hot tub, then we went to the beach and built sand castles, threw a frisbee around, and had some handstand/one-armed cartwheel competitions, then we went up to the condo to eat lunch. After lunch, we went back down to the pool, and I fell asleep in the sun for about 45 minutes listening to music, then we jumped in the pool, then we went in the hot tub, then we dried off and went back upstairs in time to get ready for din-din at the club. I had filet mignon :). It was soooo good. Then we came back to the condo and have just been hanging out. Talk about a day of paradise. Beautiful sunshine, puffy clouds, white sands, and dolphins.
We're heading home tomorrow (Dave, Ryan, and me). That'll be fun living alone for a few days. I'm taking Ryan and our friend Tristan to a Disciple concert Sunday night.
I don't know if I'm quite ready to go back. I love being down here, away from problems, away from drama, away from annoying....ness. Haha.... but I'll be glad to be home too. I really need to work on my Belize stuff (presentation, thank-you's, etc)
Hope everyone is doing well.
Hey everybody... I'm in FL right now. Today was the funeral. Calling/Viewing hours started at 10am. The service started at 12. Everyone liked my song, which made me feel amazing. I just wish that Grandma Sheila could have heard it, but who knows... maybe she did. :)
After the service, we went to the cemetary, and I helped carry the casket (spelling?) to the "hole." It is a weird feeling seeing the casket opened during the viewing hours then carrying the casket out of the hurse car thing. I loved my Grandma Sheila a lot. At the end, we all got to place roses on the casket before we left. Then we all went to the Hideaway Beach Club for a buffet luncheon thing. My Grandaddy did well throughout the day. He's a strong guy, and I know today was really hard for him, as it was for all of us. I love him.
The funeral was beautiful in all aspects. Their were like 23402837087234 flower arrangements from different people, the pastor spoke so elegantly, the daughters are all my Grandaddy's support. The Church was beautiful. The club was gorgeous.
Two cool things happened too. During the sermon, it was sunny outside. Beautiful blue skies. Then, when we left the church to go to the cemetary, it started raining. I thought that was cool, sort of signifying "refreshment" or "new life." Secondly, once all the formal day was done, everyone went down to the pool/beach in the evening. On the beach, we looked towards the condo complex place where my Grandaddy lives, and there was a double rainbow perfectly over the entire building. It was beautiful.
Again, I love her.
Thank you to everybody who has been praying for my family, both immediate and extended.
Hope all is well in NY.
Alrighty, well I'm pretty much packed and ready to go. We're leaving tomorrow morning to fly to Marco. I am looking forward to playing piano at the funeral. My Grandma would have loved that.
I am playing a 15 minute prelude of Praise/Worship music first. Then, during the service, I am going to play one of my grandparent's favorite songs from the musical Evita,
and it is called Don't Cry for Me Argentina
, a classic. My Grandma Sheila loved that song, and she used to play it on their grand piano, and my Grandaddy would come along side of her and they'd sing it together. Finally, I'm going to be playing a song called Fly
. I wrote it for Grandma Sheila to say Goodbye. Here are the lyrics:
Not all fallen petals have fallen beauty.
Some, they last for all time.
A color too pure to be erased...
A love too sure to be replaced...
...One of a kind.
Farewell. Goodbye, but this will not be the last time.
Know that our love will be flying with you
In the morning trees, in the moonlight meadows,
In the afternoon breeze, in the dew-soaked petals.
You'll be there by our sides when we just wanna cry.
You'll be there by our sides in a star's twinkle. Now fly.
Not all heroes will be remembered
Sometimes lives, they become old
But you will remain sewn in our hearts
Your smile will last, never to depart
And now we cry...
Sometimes life seems it will never end,
Each trial ending with a pain-filled dead end,
And though we fight so hard, and we lose a friend,
We all know that we will see you again.
Spread your wings and
Spread your wings and
Come on now and
Come on now let's
So anyways.... that's that. I hope everyone likes it, considering no one besides me has heard the final product. Most importantly, I hope my Grandma Sheila likes it as she's listening in Heaven.
I hope everybody has a good week. Prayers would be appreciated for my family/extended family/my Grandaddy especially. I will keep you guys in prayer as well, and I hope you all live every day to the fullest. You never know when your life could be over. Live.
Perspective: "But he did. Then she said."
Sometimes, people get mad at me because I'm "always happy." Maybe not mad AT me, but mad that I think positively all the time. People say I'm "goody-goody" or "perfect" or whatever. That used to bug me, because I'm not perfect. I sin daily. I have bad days. I cry. I hate. I get annoyed.
But I'm not mad any more that people think that. I think the differerence with me is that I don't focus on the bad things that happen in life. I mean, yeah, life throws some hard punches and even some soft ones too, but if we live every day focusing on the little things that are going on, we're going to miss the big picture. Yeah, I might get mad or have a "bad day," but I'm not going to stay mad, because it's not worth it. Sometimes, life sucks and that's how it is. Guess what though? God is real.
If we live every day thinking about who did what to us and who we're mad at and who said what to who about whatever and who lied and who failed and who let us down and who whatever, we're missing the big picture. Do those things matter tomorrow? Do they matter in a week? Do they matter in a year? Do they matter in ETERNITY? Of course not, so why focus on them? God created us and the lives we live, and if we spend every day on this earth gossiping, hating, focusing on the bad things, etc... we end our days empty and depressed.
This past weekend, my Grandma Sheila died. It was unexpected and instant. That night when my grandparents were eating dinner together, they weren't thinking that that would be one of their last conversations on earth. They weren't thinking about the fact that my Grandaddy would be sleeping in a bed alone from now on. They didn't know that would be their last "I love you." They didn't know that was one of the last times they would gaze into eachothers' eyes. We don't know if we are going to live for seventy more years or seventy more seconds. God does though, and he is watching how we spend our time on earth.
And it's not even for spiritual reasons that we shouldn't focus on the bad things in life. It's for our own personal good. Why live every day like that? We only end our day lying in our beds staring at the ceiling feeling empty, dissatisfied, hopeless, and sad. And all that leads to is waking up the next day and living life the same way. Then the next day. And the next day. And the next day. It is NOT WORTH IT.
So now the world knows why I am Jeff Carl. You know why I have a smile on my face. You know why I think the way I do. I enjoy life. Yes, I have my struggles, but they aren't going to beat me. It is interesting....sometimes, we'll be 100% fine in God's eyes, and then someone will do something TO us. Then what do we do? We complain about it. We tell the world how we feel. We tell the world how horrible that person is. We tell the world that they were wrong, and that if they were true Christians, they would have done blah blah blah....
Have you ever wondered if maybe just maybe......perhaps that is worse than what the person did to us in the first place? Don't let the world beat you. Don't let others affect who you are. Don't settle for less. What is God seeing in you? If this is your last day, how are you going to spend it? It's all perspective.
-Jeffrey Laurence Carl
In an Instant, a World can be Shattered
My Grandma Sheila died.
My mom flew down to Florida this morning to be with my Grandaddy.
We're (the rest of the family) flying down Wednesday for the service.
I'm going to miss her...
But God is still God, and he is in control. He knows why this happened,
and she's in Heaven right now, completely free and happy with God.
Who are we to want it any other way?
Curse Daylight Savings
Ok, so yeah it's nice in the fall, but I hate it now for the spring. Today was fun. The band came to Corning, and we went to the music store in Horseheads and spent all of our $500 dollar gift certificate (from the Victory Highway comp.), and we got lots of new cool stuff. We got home and practiced for a few hours, had dinner, then saw West High School Masterworks' Grease,
which was pleasantly amazing, actually. Much better than the fall show to be honest. It was fun sitting with Hannah too, as we all got to make comments to each other throughout the show. Congrats to all the people involved.
We got home and watched a movie, had soda, and ate ice-cream, but now (thanks to daylight savings time), i'm going to bed at 2:19 AM, and I have to get up at 6:30AM. Yes, isn't that just sweet?
Oh well. It was worth it, 'cause I got to hang out with friends. :)
What a fun night.
Well, another amazing weekend is about to occur. Tonight, I have youth praise team practice, and Ryan is having some friends over to spend the night. Tomorrow morning sometime, Sabrina, Gabe, and Josh are coming to my house to spend the rest of the weekend. We're going to practice some music, go out to Soundworks in Horseheads to spend $500 dollars, and we're going to see the WHS musical, Greace in the evening. On Sunday, we're all goin' to church, hanging out, and then they're leaving. I'm just really looking forward to it, because I love those people, and we always have an awesome time together.
Lately, I've been working on the Belize presentation, and it is coming along so amazingly. I love how it's turning out. Here's just one picture that describes 1/1,000,000,000,000 of the amazingness of the trip:
A minute here and there.
Well, as much as I'd love to spend some time filling in the world about the last month of my life, I don't have time right now.... but I wanted to give a little journal entry update thing, so here goes....
(I'll post about the trips later)
During the course of one week, I lost:
-My Motorola RZR was left on the flight going from Belize City to Atlanya, Georgia.
-Canon Powershot SD630 (with 512mg card inside containing all of my FL pics) fell off the roof of our van while driving away on our departure of Marco Island.
-Cd player containing my RunKidRun cd
-My sunglasses broke in half (the big black ones) at a rest stop by the automatic power side door.
-My wallet was left in Charlotte, NC with my sister.
-My Motorola RZR was found by a flight attendant from New Hampshire. I called her, and I am picking it up from the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport tomorrow afternoon.
-My cd player was actually burried in the deep abyiss of my cluttered vacation back pack.
-My wallet is now in my back pocket after just arriving today.
My camera and sunglasses are still screwed however.... I'm in good spirits though. The chances of getting my $350 dollar camera back are one in a million, and even if I do get it back, that's hoping it will be in one piece after falling off the back of a moving vehicle somewhere in Florida.
Anyways... like I said, I will update more later, but just so you know.... I didn't know ANY of the good stuff until ALL of the bad stuff had happened, so you can imagine how I was feeling before I heard any of the good news. haha. Oh well, God works in weird ways and has a sense of humor.
I am really excitied for tomorrow. After school, I'm going to the airport to get my celly, then I'm driving all the way to Wayland. I'll be spending Friday and Saturday there, and I'm heading back to Corning Sunday morning bright and early for church. I'm so excited. I haven't seen PT in around a month now, so I'm stoked, even though we have some pretty heavy things to discuss this time.
The good news is, we're a family, so everything'll be alright... I know it.
So much to say, so litt----actually NO time. I hope all of you are well. May God reveal himself to you in an awesome way today. Goodnight.