Ode to My Favorite Artists

(This is supposed to be a Song. Imagine it performed by Relient K and/or Owl City)

 

I woke up with a migraine.

I got told off by my brain.

I wonder what I’m gonna do today.

 

Got home feeling lazy.

My wife tells me I’m crazy.

I wonder why I always feel this way. 

 

It’s another non-compliant day

Where I’m reliant on Relient K

To get me through feeling ok

And I’ll say: Thank You, for this. 

 

The sun was out almost all week 

But the rain here has me feeling weak

And my outlooks always turning bleak.

 

‘Cus my mood changes with the weather and I don’t ever know whether, 

I’ll ever be feeling fine.

 

But I’ll stand up from self pity

Listen to some Owl City 

Wish my poems were that witty

And I’ll say: Thank You, for this. 

 

 

(I produced a really bad demo of the first half of this song..

took me an hour. Don’t judge.)

[ https://soundcloud.com/travis-jantzer/demo-ode-to-my-favorite ]

One Year Ago

Its been 80 degrees this week, I’ve played sand volleyball with the crew 3 times already and it’s only Wednesday. It took me back to last spring and summer and reminded me of how much I missed it.

It really got me thinking.

One year ago…

I was living in a travel trailer behind my dads automotive shop. I was still working a landscaping job where the hours were inconsistent and the work was unpredictable. While I had an amazing girlfriend I was still unsure of where the relationship would end up. We’re married now.

A year ago I broke my toe, right as the weather was getting good, and for 6 weeks I could do nothing active outside of work. I later sprained my thumb. I had no money saved.

A year ago life was good.

Today life is even better.

I don’t want to take any step for granted and I think it’s important to look back sometimes to thank God for all he’s gotten us through, even if there’s a long way to go.

New Book!

My Wife and I finished our first children’s book together! We would absolutely love to see people read it or buy it for someone as a gift. If you do, hit me up on twitter or in the comments here. Ge get yourself a copy on amazon and support the small self publishing authors (and artists).

Link below picture, Thanks 🙂

Butterflies Final Cover

https://www.amazon.com/August-Day-Away-Travis-Jantzer/dp/1387621718/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1523583596&sr=8-4&keywords=An+august+day+away

Jay-Jay

I met a homeless man yesterday.

Felt a little depressed at the rock gym alone. A little something tugged at my heart and asked: “why are you ignoring me?”

I was offended and immediately retaliated: “I’m not ignoring you!”

And thats when it hit me. I’m not schizophrenic. But I do believe in God.

“What would you have me do?”

I sat there staring into space for a good 5 minutes, completely disconnected from reality until Christ got me to go for a walk. I threw my gym bag in the car and just started walking. I was rambling to myself about depression and purpose, just asking God Why? Life has been so good lately. What am I missing? What do you want? 

I reached the bike path with God still ignoring. Picture him behind a desk just nodding while I sit there fumbling over words and he just waits for me to shut up. So I do.

There’s a homeless man standing on the bike path eating a sandwich and the Holy Spirit says: “Him.”

And I Say: “No.”

And he says: “Yes.”

And I say: “I was trying to talk to you! why now? Why here?”

And he doesn’t respond. He just looks at me and nods in that random guys general direction.

I literally drop to my knees. I had begun walking away from the guy and God was like No you dont, so I dropped to my knees and just stopped for a minute.

(keep in mind this entire argument about that guy only took about 15 seconds. The holy spirit can be incredibly persuasive.)

This weird peace fell over me as I agreed to God’s plan. Naturally I was like: you better do all the talking because I am not in the mood. 

But that’s what the Holy Spirit does anyway. As I said he is incredibly persuasive.

I honestly just walked up to this guy and said: “Hey, whats up dude?”

He was not at all put off by my presence. He was pretty nice actually. We talked about all kinds of stuff. Weather, Gym Memberships. Travel. Birth Places. Hobbies. Food.

For 30 minutes I hung out with this guy. Just chatting it up like a couple of bros.

Eventually I got the clearance to leave. I told him briefly and casually about this cool new church I’ve started going to in that hip town a few miles away. He was genuinely intrigued.

Before I left I offered to pray for him.

Always the most nerve racking part for me.

The most often Hit or Miss part. The Make or Break part.

He could either accept my invitation to pray for him.

Or turn that cold shoulder and immediately shut me out.

But, Holy, Spirit.

I ask to pray for this guy and he says: “Awe, Hell yea.” And gives me the most unexpected hug.

He then stood there like a toddler pretending to be knighted by a king.

I set my hand on his shoulder and prayed for him.

At this point I began to understand the importance of my 30 minute conversation with this man. I knew what he needed. I knew what he was missing. I knew what Christ could do for him. Simple things really. Warmth and nights with no rain. Food. Shelter. Relief. Purpose. And I casually slipped in that I hope he feels welcome at my church. I’m hoping that he ends up there (or any other church for that matter) and people welcome him in and treat him like Christ would, so I threw that in my prayer.

He was incredibly receptive of the whole thing. Like, agreeing with what I said in the prayer.

I went on my way feeling so much better about everything. I sorta laughed to myself and the whole situation.

God is so good.

Sometimes you just have to listen and ask questions. Not all homeless people are scary. Sometimes people just need someone to talk to and a little bit of prayer.

10/10 would pray with him again.

Don’t pout. Walk it out.

Feeling unheard? Ask the Word.

Just a few dumb little catch phrases I just came up with that apply to this story because I can’t think of real conclusion.

But truly God is Good. Don’t ignore him today.

Here’s to the Last 4 Years

In late April of 2014 after two weeks of being unemployed, having been laid off from my temp job, I responded to a craigslist ad that simply read:

“Need help with Landscaping Business.”

That was it. No name. No other description. Just that sentence, and an email.

I was hired the next day. Started work two days after that.

When I first sent an email saying I was interested I thought, Well sure, I can mow lawns for two weeks and pull weeds while I find something new. I really wasn’t planning on sticking around longer. Needless to say it wasn’t the job I expected. One simple distinction to be made. It was not Landscape Maintenance that they needed help with. It was Installs. While maintenance was part of the job on occasion when I needed to fill in, the majority of what I did for this company was construction; in a way.

It wasn’t mowing lawns and blowing leaves, pulling weeds.

It was: rip this out, cut this up, throw that away…

…Design this water feature. Lay this pathway. Build this fence. Construct this pergola. Glue this sprinkler system. Plant this grass…

I got to drive all the equipment, sign for a lot of deliveries, and direct the crew. Virtually anything you can imagine someone might want outside their house. Poolside waterfalls? Two of those. An outdoor kitchen? Yeah.

Ponds. Retaining walls. Pavers. Rock walls. Plants. Grass. A big ol’ play ground structure for someone’s kids. Even set the stone veneers on a 5 bedroom house up in the hills on the wealthy side of town. I dug probably 4 miles of trenches by hand and set in that same amount of irrigation pipe and drains. Worked in the snow, in the rain, in 110 degree sunshine, and in 6 weeks of forest fire smoke, twice.

My boss taught me everything he could and trusted me with even more.

As a dead-beat 20 year old kid who had dropped out of college and had nothing on a resume except having been fired for drag racing a 5mph tug-cart on the airport tarmac…

I could not have asked for a better job. My boss was patient, understanding, and respectful. I got raises when I earned them and time off for holidays.

And I could go on but as life moves along, its come time for me to move on as well.

So no more digging holes for me. No more 25 degree mornings in the mud. No more 100 degree days in the smoke. No more running out of fuel in the work truck on the freeway at 7:00 pm after a 12 hour day as the sun goes down and I’m out of food, and my phone is dying.

I once left a job site out in the boonies where the bad cell service had killed my phone. I had worked a 10 hour day by myself in the pouring rain and it was getting dark. My phone died before I could text my boss about what I had got done. I drove the truck and trailer back to town, stopped at the first electronics store I could find and went in covered from head to toe in mud with my deceased phone in hand. It was like a country western movie when the ‘outsider’ walks into the bar and the piano stops playing and everyone stares. There were people signing up for cellphones in their nice city clothes and I just grab the first car charger I can find and drop it on the counter like: “I need this.”.. It was dead silent and half a dozen people just watched. I checked out without a word and left in a hurry. Plugged my phone in, to charge it in the truck, and texted my boss what had happened.. and just “ok.” he says .

I loved my time with that job but I’m moving on.

Tomorrow I start a job at a Machine Shop. I was offered a position by a man I know from church. They need help in the shipping and receiving department but he says they’ll teach me a bit of everything. They’re matching my current pay with a possible raise after 90 days. I can have dental, medical, holiday pay, and profit sharing. I get consistent hours, 5 days of the week, in all seasons. I get to work with a roof over my head while still driving big machinery. I’m really looking forward to it.

So hears to the last (almost) 4 years at Scofield Landscape..

And a new beginning at Sweed Machinery.

 

God alone can open and close doors in due time.