Category Archives: journey

What’s In A Name?

My name is Michael Joe Harvell and I can’t think of a better name for myself.

One of my favorite country music singers is Johnny Cash and one of my favorite songs he sings is “A Boy Named Sue!” It’s a song all about a fatherless young man, whose father had named him Sue just before the father decided to disappear out of his life and into nowhere. The boy grew up hard, was made fun of, because of his name and had to get tough to survive. One day, he was sitting in a bar and met his Dad, the man who named him Sue. A fight ensued and son got the best of his Dad. The Dad said: “Before you kill me, let me tell you why I named you Sue!” “It was because I knew life was hard and tough and you were going to have to be to, if you were going to survive.”

Some times I wonder is the name making me or am I making the name and most days, I figure, it is probaby a little bit of both???

So let me share with you the story of how I got the name Michael Joe Harvell: I was born May 9, 1968. My parents could not agree on a name for me. My biological Dad wanted to name me: Ralph Maxwell Hiott III after himself and his Dad. My Mom wanted to name me Harry James Hiott; Harry after her favorite uncle and James after her Father. Neither would agree with the other on the name, so one day my biological Dad came to her with the idea of naming me “Michael Joe Hiott”, Michael after him, everyone called him Mike (I have no idea why?) And Joe after her, because her name was Martha Jo. So that became my name and a few years later, after a divorce, My Mom would remarry and the man she married would choose to adopt me, become my Dad and my last name would change to Harvell.

I have always felt I fit my name and my name fits me. I sometimes think that had I been named Ralph Maxwell Hiott III, I probably would have been a book worm, bratty and entitled. Had I been named Harry James Hiott, then I probably would have become a drugged up musician, looking for my next gig. Instead I was named Michael Joe and I really do feel like it’s who I am…

Michael in the Hebrew language means “One Who Is Like The Lord” and Joe in the American Dictionary means “An Average American”. I’ve always said this combination of names is my testimony in a nutshell: I am an average american, who is trying to be like the Lord…

So, I have enjoyed growing into being Michael Joe Harvell and have been blessed with a pretty amazing life, which I’m still living, learning and loving everyday…

20 Random Facts About Me!

1. People think I’m an extrovert, but I am most likely a mixture of extrovert and introvert. I can be the life of the party or sit in the corner watching everyone else. Sometimes I can actually be very shy!

2. I am adopted by my Dad – he married my Mom, because I was part of the package! I always think it’s funny when people tell me I look like my Dad, because I do not have his dna, although I have always had all of his love and acceptance.

3. I love collecting and have in my life time had many different collections – comic books, star wars figures, knieves and antiques just to name a few…

4. I love the outdoors – almost anything outdoors is a treat to me…

5. My very first job was at a bank before I was a teenager. (I watered their grass!)

6. In High School I was voted “Most School Spirit” along with the Cheerleading Captain Kelly Burgess!

7. My current comfort binge show on Netflix is Supernatural.

8. Two of the most meaningful relationships in my life have been with my “PA” on my Dad’s side and my “Granny” on my Mom’s side.

9. I was across the street neighbors with Cher, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore in NYC for one week back in the early 90’s.

10. I currently have 3 tattoos – an eagle on my wrist, the word “blessed’ on the side of my hand and the “lion and lamb” on my upper arm.

11. I love just about any kind of food, but my regular goto food is BBQ, Mexican, Japanese, pretty much any meat and three w/ corn bread and I will flat out hurt myself on cube steak with rice and gravy!

12. I would really like to travel one day and I love going pretty much anywhere, because I have found that there are very interesting things all around us, even in our back yards…

13. I like pretty much all genres of music and usually listen to whatever I’m in the mood for, but grew up on classic country… (Hank, Waylon, Willie, Haggard and Jones = you get the picture???

14. My favorite word is probably “GRATITUDE”, because so much of our lives can be set right if we will begin to practice an attitude of gratitude.

15. I don’t really have any superstitions, but I still lick my finger and draw an x on the corner of the windshield anytime a black cat runs across the road in front of me.

16. I used to have bad migranes and terrible stomach aches, but outgrew them thankfully. I will still get a headache if a bad weather front is coming through, but other wise I stay pretty healthy.

17. My favorite animal was my horse Ceasar. My time with my horse and riding my 08 Harley Davidson Heritage Motorcycle got me through some hard times in life.

18. A favorite movie I could watch over and over is Tombstone!

19. My favorite color is blue, with purple coming in a close second.

20. My favorite candy bar goes back and forth between Snickers and Milky Way, but I also love Butterfinger, Resses Cup, Babe Ruth, Moon Pies – well pretty much anything sweet!

What To Do When Life Gets You Down!

I love alone time, just sitting by myself, having time to think through the things I am facing. Slowing down and being by myself takes time and is sometimes very hard work. It’s good work, because it grows me so that I may grow through whatever life happens to throw my way.

I’ve noticed that every now and then, life throws me a curve and no matter how many positive practices I’ve put into place, sometimes it all just tends to get to me. Those negative emotions begin to flow in and start taking up space in my head, heart and life.

The negative emotions of sadness, shame, guilt anger, fear, regret and hate come flooding in and battle for control. When the negativity begns to overwhelm me and I find that my mind by itself is not strong enough to overcome and give me my freedom, then I have to resort to other discipliines.

I can analize my depression all day long and if I am not careful, I will just dig the hole even deeper. Sometimes I need more than positive affirmations, encouraging words and “attaboys” to pick myself up off the floor and get back to this thing called life.

Sometimes I need God to pick me up, dust me off, hold me close and wisper in my ear that everything is going to be okay. I need God to brush my hair out of my eyes, wipe away my tears and breathe His courage and strength into me.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10

While I do my best to avoid these times of negativity, there are days that they cannot be avoided. They just have to be lived through faced, learned from and dealt with. I have discovered a few disciplines that assist me in getting my life into alignment with God’s Spirit and help me recover, learn and grow at a greater pace.

1. Take And Make Time To Write! When I write, I think through things, I look at things from different perspectives and I work my way through to the best place. Writing is release! Sometimes I write, draw, paint, craft or plant. All of these are forms of self expression which help me to get in touch with who and what I am. Release is a powerful and beautiful thing, but it does not happen my accident.

2. Serve Others! When I do something for someone else, it helps me to take my eyes off of myself, which actually helps me to see things from a much clearer perspective, which helps me to get real with myself and others. It may be writing a hand written note of encouragement, giving something special to someone to let them know I am thinking about them or just lending a helping hand…

3. Practice Gratitude! This one tends to end up on every list, because it really is a great big difference maker. Take time to make a list of all the things that you have to be grateful for. If you do this right, then you will have a very big list, because even when life is though, we are still a very blessed people. Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of how blessed we are…

You have a greater power than you realize and when life gets tough, you just have to take the steps to remind yourself of just how powerful you are. You’ve got this, because He’s got you…