Work, Work, Work

Oh, my friends. Please forgive me. I have failed to keep in touch – again. How horrible of me.

Let me share with you some of what’s been on my mind. I’ve been thinking about jobs a lot. Have you ever decided that the 9 to 5 isn’t your speed? Have you ever wanted to be your own boss? Yeah, me too. Nothing I was looking into was panning out. I kept asking God for guidance and meanwhile keep looking into a variety of things. I have only been searching hardcore for about two months, but I’m already tired. There’s nothing that I’ve found that seems plausible. Finally, I asked my friend who writes whom she writes for/through. She sent me a link and I plan to look into all the details this week. Perhaps that can be something for me.

In the meantime, I have two positions at my previous place of employment. If I never told you before, I adore my job! The people, the work, the atmosphere, the encouragement to grow and learn, everything. I work in a library. These days I mostly help sort materials going to other libraries, help check things in, and pull materials off the shelves for holds. It’s almost pure bliss.

I hope you all are well!

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Weigh In If You Please

When once I realize how much I’ve missed writing, it all comes back to overwhelm me. I’ve missed encouraging others. I’ve missed journaling. I’ve missed telling stories. I will try, for your sakes, to not peter out this year. I really would like to keep in touch. And so it shall begin. Every Monday I will add a new post. May YHWH help me with this new dedication.

That is not the only thing I desire to be better about, but I don’t want to get into all that now.

Please weigh in, my dear readers. Tell me, what would you like to hear most about? My life? Inspirational stories? God’s word? All of the above? None of the above?

Contemplating 2016

How is it that a year passes and it feels like a day? Our Creator truly blows me away with the details of His creation. Time truly has rules and limitations like everything else, and yet it doesn’t feel like it does. How is that? WHY is that? I suppose I don’t need to know.

What I do need to know, is what I do with the time I’ve been given. This year, I feel I have been remiss in many ways, with a variety of things. My heart cries out that I’ve done NOTHING. My head says that I have. My spirit says I’ve been struggling, but progressing. Dive into this with me if you dare:

My prayer life lately has felt less deep. Do you know what I’m talking about? Where you know you’re reaching out to God, but it feels like you’re in a hurry and not truly giving Him your undivided attention. Yet, through everything around me, I know He was still strongly with me. I haven’t strayed from Him, but I was so overwhelmed that it was hard to feel His peace. In the end, His Spirit seemed to console me. It’s in the trials and hardships that I’ve continued to persevere and endure. I have grown – despite what my heart says.

My head acknowledges the truth. This year, I graduated college with a Technical Diploma as an Outdoor Power Equipment Technician, I moved to another state for 6 months and then moved home, I left one job I adored and one I didn’t mind walking away from, I accepted 3 new positions (if you count the one where I’ve decided to be self-employed), officially started dating my best friend, almost lost a friendship and almost alienated another acquaintance, made new friends and strengthened other bonds, started to learn a new language, continued to pick up the ukulele now and then, traveled less due to financial/social stress and obligations, reunited with extended family, and made many memories – many good and some not so swell.

My heart cries over the year. It bemoans all the things I should have (or shouldn’t have) done. It wails at all the heartaches, rejoices over the joyous moments, and begrudges some of those in between. I was not the roommate I had hoped to be. I’m not always the girlfriend I desire to be. I did not express joy in the midst of all my sorrows. I was raw and vulnerable for longer than I’m accustomed to. I seemed to be on the losing side for more time than I ever was – my whole life put together. I upset more people than I seemed to bring joy to. I was the source of stumbling, hurt, and tears. In all my life, I had never felt disliked before this year. Not like this. Shunned and left out, yes. Actively disliked because of who I am – or rather, what I’ve done, no. That was new.

You see, my friends, 2016 was hard for me. It started with me trying to learn to balance going to school full time, working half time, and becoming a girlfriend in addition to still being a daughter, sister, and friend. It progressed to me moving out for the first time, being 7 hours away from home, working alongside mean-spirited people for the first time, and a member of a new, strange household. My friend is 6 years younger than me and lives with her dad. They generously took me in, but weren’t used to my ways like my family was. It took its toll. After I moved back, it was hard to be away from my boyfriend again, but everything else is picturesque (except the temperature outside). I have a sub position for the old job I treasured and a position working at the same place that is temporary – for exactly the amount of time I expect to be in town. Yes, you guessed it. I plan to move back to be near my boyfriend and all the church brethren there. Before that happens, I’ll need God’s help to get a place to live and a job that will support me.

It’s time for me to stop ranting. My boyfriend is waiting for me to stop typing so we can read together before we call it a night.

Before I let you go, won’t you tell me: how was your year? What were some highlights/big changes that you encountered?

Runaway Life

Through all these weeks, life has been a blur. I have been exhausted, on the edge of sickness, and did I mention exhausted? Life has been wearing me down. I know this is normal before God’s Feast days, but every year seems worse to me.

Tonight, I write this while waiting for my boyfriend to be available to chat. My eyes are sore, my mind ready to shut down. I still have laundry in the washer, so I can’t go to bed yet.

Why am I telling you all this? To give you an image of someone you can relate to. When God brings me out on top of all this, you will have a success story to read about that reminds you of yourself and your life. Don’t give up hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Overwhelmed

Two weeks ago was a rough week. This past week was worse. I believe the migraine I got on Monday was accumulative stress induced. As I was trying to get my strength back up from that, more stressful events ensued. God may not give us more than we can handle with Him by our side, but I don’t know how I would have withstood it all without Him. I do not want to take this time to ramble to you about the soap opera that seemed to invade my life. However, I will tell you about the good God has brought from it.

Because I was struggling, I posted a question on Facebook: “What do you do when you are overwhelmed?” More of my friends responded to it than I thought, and many were people I didn’t anticipate would answer – okay, fine. I didn’t think more than 4 people would answer. I didn’t know which four, but I didn’t expect it to be a popular question. I got 19 responses. Answers ranged from prayer to curling up on the floor listening to their favorite band. Most everyone said they told themselves some variation of this truth: they’re okay.

What I took away from this: you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed. You are also not singular in how you deal with your stress. We’re all more similar than we realize sometimes.

Mostly Cake

Today is the day to make chocolate zucchini cake. I have had to establish a day for this activity because, well, life. I have a zucchini as long as my pillow and probably as thick as my calf. Normally, I would throw zucchini in a stir fry with yellow squash and bean sprouts, but this baby is humongous. Cake it is.
Due to the fact that I like my roommate and she’s been sad that I haven’t been around much, she’s been invited to the cake baking. I like my boyfriend too, so he’ll be there too. Two birds, one stone. We’ll all be happy (and I hope and pray we all like the cake!).

Sweeter than cake, to me, is time in God’s presence. This weekend, I started a new habit. I’ve spent time in the mornings, slowly waking up, reading a few chapters in His word. It brings me peace. Since I have read several translations from front to back, I’m continuing that “tradition”. My current translation is the English Standard Version (ESV). It’s been a couple years from the time I started, but I began reading Amos this morning. Now, to find a way to make time during the average work week to make this new habit possible.

Update

Far too much time has passed since I wrote. I have told myself that I wasn’t inspired enough or that I was too busy for this. The truth is, I have been overwhelmed. My life has changed drastically over the last year – especially in these past couple months. I went to school to become an Outdoor Power Equipment Technician (my experience level going in being ZERO – including when it came to running the equipment we worked on), I am now in a serious relationship, have moved to another state, and got a job in my new field. Two months have flown by in this new, somewhat strange, place. Home has seemed like a distant memory and a fantasy. The family and friends I left behind, seem to be blessed memories of days gone by. Despite the aches and pains of growing into a new role, a new place, I find peace and comfort in God. He consoles me and reminds me that He lead me here and He is faithful. He will provide for all my needs. Through His encouragements, my other half’s commendations, and enlightening conversations with friends, I find strength and inspiration to sit before you again.

My mind has been flooded since I got here. 1) Mom’s voice has been echoing in my head since the beginning: “do this in this social situation, don’t do that”, “clean this this way because ___________,” “when you do this, make sure you do that … ” It has been a comfort and a heartache. I miss hearing it for real, so I call home almost daily. 2) Yah lead me here. Therefore, there must be a greater plan than me working. I’m gone for work 10.5 hours a day working alongside people I don’t admire, people whose ideals/behaviors I do not wish to incorporate in my life. 3) I spend about half my evenings with my beloved’s family and half with my host family. Both have merits. Sadly, I seem to struggle to make everyone feel loved and included in my life. 4) My heart, yea, even my whole being strongly desires to be greater – to DO greater things than this. Surviving here was not in my plan. Thriving here was what I hoped and truly believed would happen. Yes, I still wholeheartedly believe I am meant to thrive here.

This past week, is the first week that I felt I had any time to do what I wanted to do. To start it off right, I’ve done yoga, read a few chapters of Jane Eyre, picked up my sister’s ukulele, and started Duolingo’s Spanish program. Here’s why: He tells us in 1 Corinthians 3 that we are His temple. We are to be holy and to beware what we put in our bodies. As I saw the influences around me change, I decided I needed a drastic change myself if I was to emulate Him and not others. He lead the desires of my heart to exercise, classic books and all their vocabulary words, music, and the brain teaser that is a new language. As I go through all this, I hope to keep writing about my experience and how it changes me, my perceptions on life, and those around me. Already, I see and feel a difference at the heart of who I am. I feel stronger. I feel properly challenged. I feel a weight lifted. Let’s do this!