Henry’s 2012 gratitude list

*Special thanks to my friend and regular guest contributor to this blog, Henry Petty, for sharing his 2012 gratitude list with all of us.*

In 2012, I am grateful for getting to know a lot of friends whom I really didn’t know.  For example, I might see her, if I’m lucky, once a year in passing or at a sushi restaurant, but thanks to the miracle of social media, I am still able to carry on my friendship with Bethany.  It’s wonderful to see how far she’s come in life, and how she continues to be a beacon of light hundreds of miles away. 

ImageI am grateful to still have a good paying job.

I am grateful to be able to use my skills of dancing and making a complete fool of myself for the benefit of raising money for AETN, the benefit of entertaining others Gangnam Style at our employee holiday meeting, and to bring precipitation to North Little Rock in the dead heat of summer.  A sweet little lady volunteering at AETN told me that God has given me the gift of dancing.  Keep in mind, I’m not a small guy.  I have tree trunks for legs, and my footwork is questionable at best.  But I still dance.  I’ve always loved dancing from the very first time I gave it a shot at summer camp in high school.  It’s always stayed with me.  I don’t think I’m that good at it, but others find entertainment at what I can do – and that’s alright with me.

I am grateful for receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, where my soul is sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.  I have grown spiritually more in 2012 than any of the other 32 years I’ve been on this rock.  It’s powerful.  It’s amazing if you really the work and love into it and just “let go”.

And I am thankful for pressing on.  There have been events in my life where I have “cheated death”.  I have seen others much much younger than I pass away.  I’m here for a reason, God still wants me here, and I’m going to work every day to find out what that exactly is.  Maybe it’s the dancing.

Be sure to check out Henry’s blog!

I did it!

Thank you, Henry Petty, for serving as today’s guest contributor! Check out Henry’s blog for more of his reflections.

This past Saturday night, I was finally confirmed into the Catholic Church.  It had only taken 33 years to finish, but the point is, I did it.

Last night, my girlfriend Shannon and I, attended a nice reception with my fellow RCIA classmates whom I journeyed with to break bread, fellowship, and reflect on the past 8 months of classes and in our spiritual growth.  Fr. Tom gave us a chance to speak in front of our peers about our experiences during the process and what led us into the Catholic Faith.

One gentlemen spoke about how he was reluctant to become Catholic but after attending a few classes with his wife, he was touched, and it drew him in.

A young lady shared her story about the hurt she felt after serving in the military overseas and how she longed for faith and Jesus.

The most moving story was a couple who entered RCIA after being inspired by someone’s tragedy.  They were inspired because their close friend’s son had passed away in a car accident, and were moved that their family wanted to attend Mass the next day and how inspiring that was to them.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after they spoke.

Guess who was next?

I spoke of my promise to Grandma before she passed away that I would complete the process since she started it by having me baptized Catholic and how other churches left me lost, empty, full of guilty, yet I felt “at home” when I embraced the Catholic faith.  To lighten the mood after the people I followed, I cracked some jokes about the process and stumbling along the way in my path.  I slipped up and mispronounced “Pentecostal” as “Pentecost-O” but recovered by saying that’s what Pentecostals are called in Mexico.  Probably not PC, but people were laughing so hard I thought they were going to fall out of their chairs!

Shannon was moved after our gathering and she said she was “so glad to have attended a church fellowship function (celebrating the completion of RCIA) with Henry tonight. It really reset my heart and mind. I think sometimes we all get so wrapped up in ourselves and our situations that we forget what is important. Hearing others’ stories of what led them to the Church and seeing how fulfilled they are spiritually as a result of the RCIA process really touched my heart. It was wonderful.”

The good news is this is only the beginning of our journey as Catholics and not the end.  I have made a lot of new brothers and sisters in faith and look forward to journeying in Christ moving forward.  I am humbled and deeply grateful.