Purpose

Life is crazy. Absolutely nuts. Bonkers. Fast. Dangerous.

Recently, a friend of mine started a blog and said that her blog is to have a theme, an overall concept. She asked if anyone had one. I told her I did, but that the only “theme” was to reflect on this crazy journey we call life. I expressed that I started off with main goals and then abandoned them all in favor not controlling life, but letting God guide it. When I abandoned the goals and decided to make this blog truly diary-like, it made more sense to me. After all, this blog is for me, not for anyone else. Do I care what comments are said? Maybe. Not really… this is just for musing. Most of the time, I just continue to write with the stream of consciousness of thought. No cares for grammar, structure, and the like. Just to free write. While I’m not sure if that’s the purpose of a blog, I really don’t care. That’s the purpose I’ve come to accept.

When pressed further, this idea of purpose goes deeper than just a blog, purpose/meaning at a job, etc. This idea of purpose is to find what God’s plans are through thoughtful prayer and focused time meditating to truly listen. Often, we are bombarded so much in our world with so many distractions and so many things to do and people to listen to that we often lose focus on the purpose God has for us here on this earth.

Let’s backtrack and flesh this out. Recently, I’ve taught some lessons on gossip/bullying and they have all had this overarching theme of acceptance. I taught that there are various roles to everyone in the Trinity and how that reflects on us as Christians. There are many verses and passages that talk about judgment and the role that judgment has in the lives of Christians. The bible condemns hypocritical judgment, but not righteous judgment, but what about when it comes to our fellow man? The basics as I understand them simply boil down to this:

The bible states “For God so loved the WORLD…” That is every single living being on this earth, God loves. As the creator, God has the right to judge, to discipline. We simply do not. God’s role is to love and to judge. The role of the holy spirit is to convict with the guidance of God’s love. The role of Jesus is to love. Simply love. If Christians are to be Christ-like, then our role is to love just as Christ loves the church and God loves all living beings. Every single person. Regardless of sexual orientation, addiction, background, nationality, upbringing, etc. every single person deserves love. The murderer deserves just as much love as the child downstairs that is hungry. EVERY SINGLE PERSON DESERVES LOVE. It is a human instinct to put different categories, levels, and priorities on love, but love is truly the answer. Yes, I have friends and family that are domestic partners (homosexual), but I do not love them any more or any less than any other person. Yes, I have friends and family that struggle greatly with addiction, but I do not love them any more or any less than any other person. While I don’t agree, and most of my friends know I do not agree, it is not my place to judge or condemn. It is my place to love them. Not disconnect, not refuse to engage, not betray, not shun/avoid. Just love.

So, what is my purpose in life? To love God, love man, and strive to be more and more Christ-like.  What is my purpose in this blog… simply to reflect on this life God has given me. To flesh out and try to think out the different musings and influences of the day and of the people in my life that throw curve balls to change the day. To reflect and enjoy the Christian roller coaster that comes with life. God never said it would be easy, but we know from James that we are to take joy in the journey through trials and tribulations.

LOVE. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS. EXPRESS YOUR GRATITUDE TO GOD AND MAN. LOVE SOME MORE. THAT IS THE PURPOSE.

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Posted in different journeys, Integration, Life changes, self-discovery, steps on the journey, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In the Midst of the Storm… my very, very, long story…

The last time I wrote in November 2013, I was really dealing with a lot (as you’ll see below), but I had no idea what God had in store for me. I wrote that I want to abandon the goals that I had and focus on God, focus on the Bible, and His teachings. God still has a lot to teach me and the rest of the world, but this last year or so has been incredible, and it’s not done yet–More importantly, He is not done yet.

On May 4, 2014 we had a guest pastor preach at our church about Mary being the first disciple and how Mary had to step down from her role as mother and into her role as the first disciple. In summary, in order to be a disciple, you must submit to a new authority and you must learn to follow and discern what He wants us to do. A true disciple should teach others to follow and discern. Most importantly a disciple points others to Him. Letting the Lord lead is not the easiest thing to do, but for some reason, the Lord led me, on that day, to spin off on a tangent and outline how He has led despite our intentions to control life. God is truly using life to bring us closer to him. This is my story and while it is pretty long as is-it could be even longer. It’s long enough to get the point across-regardless of how broken, choppy, and not like a story it is.

It starts in spring of 2013. My mother found out that her position would be eliminated and that she would have to take early retirement. At first, this was upsetting, but once we got used to the idea, steps were taken and plans put into place. In the process, we found out that my mother should have been contributing into a different state pension plan which would allow her to take social security; however, the plan she was contributing to was a Teacher’s Retirement plan which did not allow her to take social security. At first we were angry, but then we figured out that this was for the better as the teacher’s plan offers health insurance while the others do not. BLESSING IN DISGUISE as it was only a clerical error that did this.

My brother and his wife welcomed a handsome, adorable, little man that I get to call my nephew into this world on June 9, 2013. He’s amazing and I don’t get to see him that much, but I already know. He’s my nephew. He’s my blood. He is and will always be amazing because he is a gift from God. A total BLESSING.

In September 2013, God really begins to challenge us and forces us to realize that He is in control, not us and it is only up to us to trust Him. This whole process has been a whirlwind and the Lord has been there every step of the way, whether we saw it at the time or not. In September, my mother underwent Knee Replacement Surgery. It was very interesting to see her prepare for surgery and prepare for rehab afterwards. She had all these plans and big dreams about life with a new knee and how life would be in rehab.

Well, after surgery, there were breathing complications and immediately, her plans went down the drain. She needed more support and at that point, I was incredibly grateful that my company offers flexible scheduling so that I could not only be with my mother in the hospital when she needed me there, but that I could work from the hospital without disrupting too much. BLESSING.

October is where it goes downhill a bit more. I just finished lessons on Heaven and Hell in Sunday School (per the kids’ request at wanting to learn some of the basics), and we were looking at starting a series. My Sunday School helper informed me that she was possibly battling cancer and I immediately thought of focusing on trials and tribulations. I found some lessons on the book of James and modified the lessons to meet the kids’ needs. Never in a million years did I think that those kids would meet mine more…

October 2-mom moves from the hospital to rehab. Overnight, rehab overdoses her blood thinner. As my mother is trying to get assistance to the bathroom, the nurses don’t respond. Being my mother, she goes out in her wheelchair to look around and finds NO ONE except for one nurse in the dining room, with shoes off, sleeping at the table. Needless to say, on October 3, 2013 my mother was discharged from rehab to my house. Her house is not able to meet her rehabilitation needs and my house is so that’s where she ended up. Her great plan continued to go out the door.

October 4, 2013 I was off so that I could celebrate the wonderful bachelorette party for a friend of mine from church. My father and I had switched cars as mine was difficult for mom to get into and out of. I went to the grocery store to get groceries for my mother and was hit by another car. Mom’s car was totaled. I didn’t make it to the bachelorette party that night. I was in pain and stayed home.

The following weekend, my aunt came to take care of my mom so that my hubby and I could go to our college Homecoming. We had it planned for a few weeks and wanted to go. We left on October 11, 2013 and went down to “Ol’ MC” to celebrate with our friends. October 12, 2013, we went bowling and of course, I sprain my knee… on my birthday. Ugh. Looking back, I think this was God’s way of forcing me to slow down and to give Him more focus in life. We left on the 13th to head back to home.

Nothing was out of the ordinary with October 14th until we went to bed. At 10:30 that night, I received a phone call from the hospital. “Mrs. Babich. Please come to the Emergency Room at St. Alexius. There’s been an accident. Your dad is here.” I wake up mom and we rush to the hospital. It’s down the street so we got there in 8 minutes from the phone call time. As we get into his room, he’s complaining of headache, he doesn’t know where he is, and his clothes have been cut up. Dad doesn’t even know his name. His things were all over the room and he’s got leads and monitors everywhere. The accident happened at 6:17pm and we had no idea. The hospital stated that the police officer that was called to the scene brought his wallet to the hospital as they needed it to fill out his accident paperwork. They ran his license and found my number. Six months prior, I had registered my phone number as an emergency contact on both of my parents’ licenses. Without registering that, it could have been more hours until we were notified. BLESSING.

Life for the next few weeks is a whirlwind. Mom and dad are deaf. The hospital wants to do one hour neuro checks because dad sustained three different hemorrhages in his brain. Hospital didn’t want to provide a live interpreter, but realized that they had to when the iPad VRI interpreter would not work for him since he could not respond.

My mother and I went to the accident site in search of his glasses and his cell phone (data and text only plan for the deaf). Found his glasses. Lens still intact, but frame completely bent. We didn’t find his phone until we went back to the house. Very unusual… he never leaves the house without his phone. He did that day. My mother saw him earlier that day and he was fine, but she had to remind him to eat as he had not eaten all day.

We were working on fighting for his right to an interpreter and working with family to ensure his safety. He had hallucinations due to medication, he was ripping out his IV multiple times, he didn’t recognize us, he didn’t know his own name, and lost so much in that first week. It was just bizarre. I can’t even imagine how it was for my family. In my world of case management, I see this all the time. Work life has prepared me for the worst, but it’s different when it’s your dad. BLESSING that God provided me with the experience from work to cope through all of this and help my family.

In the middle of this, we told the kids that Caroline, my helper, has cancer. We told them of my dad and we taught on James 1:2-4 where it states: “2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” CONVICTION. Is this my joy? Is this what God has for us? My mind was racing. On the day that I taught the lesson, we asked those kids to hold us (Caroline and I) accountable, to be the example God has called us to be in accepting these trials. In not sheltering the kids from what was going on, we were able to demonstrate rather than just talk about it. Actions speak louder than words and those kids had a lot to say. They told us that they could not hold adults accountable and we informed them that in this situation, it’s okay. It’s not kids holding adults accountable, it is children of God holding other children of God accountable for God’s commands. Actions speak louder than words and these kids would hold me accountable more than anyone.

After time in the ICU, Dad went up to the neuro floor. He was a vegetable. His favorite thing to do is watch Chicago Bears football. The game was on and we changed the channel to the game. He had no idea what football was, who the Bears were, and also didn’t want to eat ANYTHING. His default answer to everything was “no,” but he would take food if we fed him. Mom was crushed. She cried so hard coming out of the hospital that day. I’ve never seen her cry so hard.

The next day, the doctor decided to declare that my dad was competent (Even though he didn’t know his own name) and stated that my dad decided to be a DNR. Mom and I were furious. We turned my parents’ house upside down looking for the power of attorney paperwork that proves otherwise and couldn’t find it. I e-mailed the lawyer and he sent it to me via scan the next morning. I forwarded the POA paperwork to the hospital by 9:15am. At 10:05 we received a phone call–“Your dad has a high fever and some sort of infection going on. Get the whole family here and get to the ICU. It’s an emergency.” My little brother, older brother, mom, uncle and I all met up at the hospital. Dad was not conscious. He was using his bipap machine as a ventilator as his POA paperwork says no vent. His blood pressure dropped to 36/20 while en route to the ICU. He was in septic shock. Hooked up to even more machines, IVs, etc. Mom had to sign off on a PICC line to be put in. It was probably one of the hardest things she’s ever had to do in her life. Uncle Paul cried, little brother Don cried, big brother John, cried, mom cried, I cried. He was laying there, barely alive, dying from septic shock. I’ve never seen Uncle Paul cry and I’ve never seen John cry. One of the hardest sights to see. Mom said that my little brother kept telling her to “let him go.” The doctor asked us all to go home and my mother and I had to go back to my house. She’s still recovering from knee replacement. She can’t even go back to her own bed. We were fully expecting a call from the hospital that he had passed overnight.

Mom and I didn’t get that call so we went to the hospital the next day. Dad was awake. He was talking. He was signing. He was a bit confused, but he was alert. The doctors couldn’t explain it. He should have been dead from the accident. He should have been dead from the septic shock. We can explain it-the power of prayer-plain and simple. MIRACLE.

Dad made some improvements in the next few weeks and was discharged to rehab. My husband and I told my mom to go home as she was able to walk and get around on her own much better now. She had a lot of work to do since no one had been at the house in almost a month. A lot of cleaning out, a lot of cleaning up, and some help from Carol “little mouse” Loth and we got a lot of the house clean.

Dad continued to show signs of non-compliance in the rehab, changes in social skills, reasoning, cognition, processing, etc. He made it to his discharge date, but ended up in the hospital due to chest pain. He made another birthday on the 20th, but spent it getting an angiogram… oh boy, happy birthday, Dad. He was able to come home the 21st and have time with family. Still refusing to go to outpatient rehab, but happy to have him nonetheless. It was the weirdest Thanksgiving we’ve ever had, but we made it. It makes us appreciate family and a balance in life even more. Hubby and I were able to go to multiple places to unwind for many date nights at comedy clubs, movies, and a gift certificate to a night in Chicago on his company. BALANCE. In the back of our minds, we were happy to just have Dad home and wondering what the future had in store. We were happy that life was starting to come back to normal. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS.

December 2013 comes around and I’ve been practicing lines for the upcoming church musical. It was a great relief to have something else to focus on all this time. Hubby’s birthday is the 14th, musical the 15th, mom’s birthday the 17th, and then comes Christmas and the New Year. The first week of December, I started noticing that I could smell things. I usually can’t smell again until April or so, and this was unusual. Well, the second week, it was getting worse. I figured out that I needed to be tested and found out on the 13th that there was a possibility that I was pregnant. On the 14th, hubby’s birthday, it was confirmed. I told him and then left the house to go to rehearsal for the musical. I think he appreciated the time to mull over the idea of being a father and I appreciated the break in thinking about anything but lines and stage blocking. I told a church friend, Carol, as well to help me process the good news. BLESSING. The musical was a success and we told the Christmas story in a different way. BLESSING. The kids were told that Caroline will be having surgery for cancer in January and that she needs prayer. The kids were asking how dad was because “You’re not sad, but you should be… what’s wrong with you?” It’s not that I’m not sad kids, I am. I just know that in the Lord, there is hope. God gives us contentment and hope in our lives to help us fulfill His Will.

We told his parents and mine on December 17th, by putting notes to various “grandparents” in children’s books. Our parents appeared to be thrilled, even Dad, who seemed to be excited through his anger about not being allowed to drive yet. That’s all he was focused on. Went to the doctor and got confirmation via ultrasound. Called and e-mailed family at the New Year.

January 3, 2014. Car accident on I-90. My car is totaled. I’m freaking out because I’m 7 ½ weeks pregnant when this happens. Life is just crazy at this point. BLESSING-We were saving up for a new car for me because my old one was falling apart. With our savings and an insurance payment, we were able to buy a used car for cash. No car payment for us. GOD PROVIDES.

Plans are made to have pregnancy announcement pictures taken. We’re going to be ready on February 22, 2014. Sorry, God had other plans-plans to bring my husband and me closer together and working even more as a team than we have in the past. BLESSING. He was walking the dog, fell on ice, and broke his ankle in two places, his Tibia in one. He damaged his ligament and needed surgery. No work for 16 weeks… How are we to afford everything? How are we to pay our bills? God provides. Overtime was provided at my job and my mom was able to come daily to help with dishes and laundry. SO BLESSED FOR MOM. SO BLESSED BY GOD’S PROVISION. The kids, they are just questioning. They’re exploring. They’re wondering. They’re amazed. In their questions, I found strength. I found comfort in knowing that God is there and it feels good to tell the kids that God has provided and will continue to provide.

Pictures happen in March of 2014. Deanna, another church friend, does an AMAZING job! BLESSINGS COME IN THE PEOPLE GOD PUTS IN OUR LIVES.

April-struggles. My income, even with overtime, is not enough to meet all of our bills with no income from my husband. The church I go to is wonderful and provides money for a mortgage payment so that we can survive. BLESSINGS COME THROUGH GOD AND HIS PEOPLE. Some of the kids are thriving, asking questions, taking notes. Another one struggles to find his path. He’s asking questions, but hoping he already has all the answers. He hasn’t hit rock bottom, but he’s crying out for the time to hit rock bottom and looking for guidance to get out. It’s going to be hard, but he needs to hit rock bottom.

May-Church mortgage payment goes through, we have enough money for our needs and second surgery comes around. Husband can put pressure on his right leg again. Walking with a lot of pain and a walker, but still walking nonetheless. End of the year. The kids have been asking a lot of questions and truly exploring. One child is finding himself, one child is finding her voice, and one seems to be getting more lost in trying to navigate God’s expectations, self-imposed expectations, and the expectations of the world around him. BLESSINGS THAT THESE WONDERFUL CHILDREN OF GOD ARE GROWING IN FAITH. Even the one that is struggling is growing in his faith as he looks to see how God can bring him out. He doubts God’s ability, but it will make it more meaningful when it all comes together and he sees God’s provision, God’s guidance, and God’s patience/love.

June- As we look back and reflect on the year, the kids held me more accountable and taught me more about being a Christian than any classroom could ever teach me. These kids had me thinking, had me reflecting on my actions, had me very aware of how I carried myself in the midst of this storm. Our actions, our demonstrations of love, our responses, mean more to these kids and in return, we learn so much from the innocent responses they provide. We’re in June now and as I look ahead, 8 weeks left until the due date, I see that in the midst of the storm, God has granted provision, blessings, and a new child. While we still have a long struggle ahead of us with Dad’s Traumatic Brain Injury, possible dementia, personality changes, refusal, denial and more, we look forward to the blessing that God grants us not only in our own child, but in the innocence of Children. Children can teach us so much more than we give them credit for, but it is up to us to work with God in helping the children to explore, question, and seek answers. God is not done with any of us yet, but if the next year is as “good” as the last in terms of blessings, I’m looking forward to life growing closer to Christ through children, and growing closer to Christ not only in this storm that keeps rolling, but DESPITE the storm.

“2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

“I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

God will always give us strength to face the battles of daily life. In Christ, we can conquer what the world has to offer and face it with pure joy. This whole life of mine now with my Dad is way more than I could have ever planned for, but it forced me to slow down, look at God, and more importantly, learn to trust God even more than I have before. God ALWAYS provides. Not just financially, but in the lessons he provides, the people he puts in our lives and the blessings he bestows on us-even when they don’t look like blessings at the time.

Posted in different journeys, Give it up, God moment, Life changes, New paths, self-discovery, times of trouble | Leave a comment

Long Time… Major Shift

It’s been a very long time since I’ve written. I don’t write often. In that time, I’ve done a lot of thinking/journaling and to be honest, I’ve learned a very important lesson. The lesson is this… Although it is okay to have goals and to work hard to achieve those goals, it needs to be stated that the goals should not come before the bible, but the bible come before the goals. I’ve had it backwards and nothing makes me more aware of that than teaching Sunday School.

As the team I work with strives to improve our ability to work with the youth ministry, I find myself looking more and more for spiritual guidance and truly exploring how my college education and background as well as the bible meet and interact. How do we navigate the world as Christians and more importantly how do we teach as well as EMPOWER younger generations to do this as well? The kids we teach are faced with more in their lives than we could ever have dreamed of facing and how do we help them? Equip them? Do we continue to teach the stories? Do we move up Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning and have them apply higher level thinking skills to the text? How do we teach them to apply it? The bottom line is that there’s more to it than just teaching stories and parables. There needs to be a way to make it applicable and let it stick. Our kids have been missing that in Sunday School. We have too many “taboo” subjects that have not been taught in church and since it has not been approached in church, our students learn it somewhere else… where it may not be biblically or morally sound.

In the past few months and in the many months coming, I do anticipate life to keep shifting and at this point, have abandoned my initial goals. I see God putting new, more meaningful events and thoughts in my life. Hopefully, these will lead to goals which help me develop in a way that God wants me to develop.

For now, I’m going to stop, take a deep breath, journal my devotions and thoughts, and put my reflections here… When I remember or when I have time. There’s too much going on in life to journal everything, but it will definitely be worth it to stop and reflect more often. Reflection is part of the learning process as well as the teaching process.

Lately, I’ve had my Sunday School students look specifically at counting their blessings. No matter how bad their days have been, write down something at the end of the night that you are grateful for. Some days, it will be something big. Other days may be considered a “horrible day”, but you are thankful for something very small (blooming of a flower, cool side of the pillow, a smile, etc.). Hopefully the kids get something out of this. I know I always have.

Posted in different journeys, Give it up, God moment, Life changes, New paths, self-discovery, steps on the journey | Leave a comment

Update

It has been months since I’ve updated this blog and quite frankly, I’ve been busy. You see, as I move forward in my journey, I am finding life so meaningful now. I’ve changed in the last few months and I believe that I am back to my old self just a bit older and wiser with more adult experience. I’ve realized that I despise managing people in terms of managing their employment. I’ve realized that I absolutely am falling in love with being green. I’ve realized that every person, regardless of status in life, has a need of some kind that God has the potential to meet through me, my friends, my family, or anyone else. I’ve realized that I need to prioritize my life a bit differently in order to fill my life with more meaning and purpose. God put me on this earth for a reason and it is up to me to respond to his call and figure out why I am here.

In terms of updates:

A journey to become debt-free and a great steward of money

2 Kings 4:7
Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”

Incredible. God is good and God provides. My husband lost his job in March and I was extremely fearful for the winter time as business slows down at his other job. The Lord has, thus far, provided to the point where we have not yet had to take money from our savings account to pay our expenses. Somehow, God finds a way and reveals it to use.

A journey to build up money in retirement and savings

1 Corinthians 16:2
On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come

Proverbs 30:24-25
Four things are small on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: The ants are not a strong people, but they prepare their food in the summer;

While we are not able to contribute as much as we would like to retirement at this time due to budgetary issues, the point is that we still contribute. At the end of the day, we are very frugal individuals and enjoy ensuring that we hold each other accountable for purchases and what is being said. HUGE IMPROVEMENT and also GREAT PROVISION from an ALMIGHTY GOD!

Journey to keep things clean in life

Deuteronomy 23: 14

“For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you. “

My answer to this one… yeah… It is the time of year where the files are being purged and we will have someone move in with us in the next few weeks. This is not a priority right now.

Journey for green living

Isaiah 24:4‑6

The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the exalted of the earth languish. The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.

Jeremiah 2:7

I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable.

Hosea 4:1‑3

Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites, because the LORD has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed Because of this the land mourns, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the fish of the sea are dying.”

Revelation 11: 18

The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great‑and for destroying those who destroy the earth.

These warnings are still prevalent. Recycle, Freecycle, and overall, reuse until you cannot use it any more.

Journey to deal with Dad’s illness and stresses of life

Psalm 34:4

I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Christ has given me the strength to ovecome and the strength to not only believe in my dad’s ability to hang on and figure out what he wants to do with his free time.I have overcome my dad’s illness and have decided to take his illness one day at a time.

Not much to update on but I am happier, healthier, and feel better equipped to face the challenges of my day with an appropriate attitude!

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Finished!

Well, the last time I wrote, I was reflecting on chapter 5 of the first book assigned to the team. Well, I finished the book as well as another book and now I am leaving the job I am doing. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and I love the people we serve, I just didn’t like the person I was becoming. I’ve decided after this short time that I do not want to manage people. I don’t enjoy it, and I don’t like the person I become. I snap on my family members, I get annoyed at every little thing, I become frustrated very easily, and I do not want to do anything but vent. I am usually a pretty happy person, so this is not my normal state. I’m finished. I’m done with dealing with managing people and it’s one of the qualities I’ve found about myself. It’s a reflection and a step in the journey that I was not expecting.

In terms of reflection on my original goals, here’s where I am at…

I am becoming a great steward of money in the idea that my husband lost his job and we are still doing okay. I am switching to a new job, but that is okay with me because I will be able to find work somewhere else for the weekends as my second and third job are no longer available to me (conflict of interest). I’m excited to see where this takes me.

I am building money in retirement through my job and my savings account hasn’t been dipped into yet.

The hubs and I have been able to keep our house clean for a long period of time and it is second nature to us.

We are getting better about green living, but we are not completely there yet. We will continue to strive for this.

My dad’s illness doesn’t phase me any more. You see, I’ve used it as a crutch and I don’t want to do that any more. I’ve actually been a horrible person and have used my dad’s illness as an excuse to get out of things that I don’t want to do or I don’t want to face. While it pains me to admit that, I know that it needs to be admitted. My dad is pretty stable at the moment, however, I still need to be available to my family. This new career path allows for that without having to manage other people, scheduling, or being on call. These stresses of life will soon be eradicated with my new job, however, I am sure that new stresses will come.

I do have a new goal/journey to work on and that is a health journey. You see, I went to multiple doctors today and I got some feedback from those doctors. I am starting to experience changes in my left eye related to the changes my mom experienced at the onset of her glaucoma. We are watching this so that I do not end up with as many difficulties as she has had. I also went to the OB/GYN today for my annual exam and this annual exam ended with me asking my doctor about having children. I am overweight… extremely overweight, and I need to lose about 100-120 pounds before I should consider having children. This will be hard, however, I believe that I will be able to do it. I’ll start next week!

Wish me luck in my new career path (Starts on the 18th) as well as my new health journey!

Thanks!

Posted in different journeys, Life changes, New paths, self-discovery, steps on the journey | Leave a comment

When It Rains, It Pours…

On Friday, I truly thought I was going to be fired from my new job. I have made mistakes because my mind is going everywhere and I can’t seem to focus enough to do my job properly. We still haven’t found the right people to fill these open positions, my priorities are all screwed up and I am not sure which direction to go in both professionally and personally. Please Lord, deliver me from myself!

Posted in disorientation, Integration, times of trouble | Leave a comment

New beginning?

As part of my new position, my organization has an executive director who truly believes in training his staff to be leaders. Being on the leadership team, we are looking at the team meetings as leadership training and as such are approaching the topics accordingly. Although I know that I pretty much write this blog for myself and I don’t publish to my facebook or give out the web address, I feel as if this is the only sounding board I really have to dig deep into my thoughts and in response to this book that I am asked to read. So far, I have read one chapter and man, does this book dig deep. It is called “Tales from the Top: Ten Crucial Questions form the World’s #1 Executive Coach” by Graham Alexander. It’s interesting to see where this book will take me and what book or articles we will read next as a team. For now- addressing chapter 1.

Well, the chapter starts with the question “What are you hiding?” When I first started reading this section, I stopped and wondered “I don’t know what am I hiding?” I usually wear my heart on my sleeve and will tell people what I am thinking and what I am feeling. I think that if you asked me recently, I would say that what I am hiding is the fact that I think I need to do everything myself in order to ensure it is done correctly. I’m not sure that’s true any more. I am learning though that it’s not true and that I need to go outside of myself. This was blasted into me when I left my job in September 2010 and I needed to find friends and family to pray with and for me. Although I am still working on this, I believe that I have made significant progress. When I turned the next page, I was reminded of some of the things that I am hiding…

The job takes up most of my time either in person or in thought, I have concerns with things outside of work including family relationships, my health, and the health of my family members. I wonder what others think of me, I want to make big changes in the program, I don’t know what the best use of my time is or where I add the most value as I am getting involved with every aspect of the program, I want to change the program from low performing to high performing and maintain the diverse culture we have. I worry about my relationship with my supervisor as I don’t get feedback and I’m not sure why. I wonder how I come across one on one and in groups, I wonder how I compare to others (other than the fact that I’m not sure if anyone else would have taken on this program with all of its problems and dreams). I am striving to understand a new management style and yet am confused as to who to respond to. My supervisor, the H.R. Coordinator, and the Executive Director all say different things and have different priorities. To be honest, everything is thrown at me saying “top priority,” but I can only handle so many “top priority” items at the same time before I become inefficient due to multitasking. The book states that these are all topics that need to be examined. My answer is: honey, I have a lot of work to do.

The book does continue to drive home the idea that pressure is building to be confident with a can-do attitude about everything along with the warning that if I think I’m doing everything right, I am in a dangerous place. What about if I feel like I’m doing everything wrong? I don’t get positive feedback from my staff, I don’t get positive feedback from my supervisor, I don’t get positive feedback from really anyone. All I get is addressing the problems and how to fix the problems.What if I don’t want to focus on the problems all the time, but would rather celebrate some successes too! Part of that may be on me though, I have never been one to accept compliments very well and I often become very awkward regarding compliments.

Soooo, back to the question, what am I hiding?-EVERYTHING!!! I have a lot going on in life and I don’t think I’ve ever fully let anyone in on everything that is going on. People know little tidbits here and there, but everything, not a single person on this Earth knows that. My life is between me and the holy trinity. Is that okay?

Next question: “So what is life all about?” I have no idea. Like I stated in my blog yesterday, I’m not sure what life is about or what God has planned for me, all I know is that he placed me where I am for a reason. I love being outdoors AND indoors. I like music, books, movies, technology and at the same time can appreciate it when it all stops and I can just sit still in complete silence and think… Or not think. At the end of the day, I just love life. I try to find the positive thing about every situation in every day and call it my “smile of the day.”

Next question: “What are you afraid of?” Me, I’m afraid of more than I let on. I’m afraid of what will happen next, I’m afraid of making waves that are too big and drowning everyone behind me. I’m afraid of everything and at the same time appear to be afraid of nothing. I think the biggest thing that I am afraid of is myself. I am my own worst enemy and I know this. It’s a matter of how I stop it.

Next question: “Are you willing to dare to be open?” I think I’m making that step as I go. In the beginning of my blog, I dared to be open by revealing a letter I wrote. I’m daring to be open by putting this much of myself on my blog. The next step would be to actually let someone read my blog-although that may not be a bad idea and will probably be required to share what I learned and explored in each chapter.

Next question: “What’s motivating you?” Right now, for me, that is easy. Knowledge. My goal is to be well-equipped to face my future and to have the right knowledge so that no matter what life throws at me I know where to go to get the answers. I know that prayer and interaction with God will lead me to answers, but not necessarily the ones I want to hear.

Next question: “What are you avoiding looking at?” I am avoiding looking at how bad the problem is both professionally and personally. Professionally, the problems just keep getting discovered and no matter how much I try to dig us out, there is another problem lurking around the corner and I’m tired of fixing the problems. Part of it is my fault though that I’m not asking for help on fixing some of them. Personally, there are way too many problems that are happening with no motivation to solve them. I just need to find the right motivation and move on from there, the problem is, how do I find that motivation?

Next question: “Would you rather have the results you want in life, or the reasons you haven’t got them?” To be honest, I’m not sure. I love to have results as the results spur me to continue. Don’t give me too much recognition because then I think my job is done and I just maintain. However, at the same time, I’m so used to chaos and it’s effects in my life that I would almost love just to have a balance between them. Idle hands are not good for me and I know this about myself. I just need to change the things that I’m doing with my idle hands so that I’m not working all the time, but doing the things I love… By the way, what do I love? I haven’t had time to just sit and relax that I’m not sure what I love any more and that’s not good either.

Action items- I don’t want to necessarily spell these out as it is not needed and also, I don’t want to give away all the secrets of the book! Get your own copy!

Action item 1:1    I address this with my blog.

Action item 1:2    I also address this with my blog.

Action item 1:3   I have discussed this extensively in my blog, however, it might be good to admit it again–I NEED HELP!! I cannot do it by myself!

Action item 1:4   I have started this process. I have not yet found someone internally that I can trust at 100%, however, I believe that I found people with specialized knowledge that can help me.

Action item 1:5   I don’t necessarily let people know what I am really thinking, however, I might need to start not only with this blog, but in real life too. SPEAK UP!!!

Action item 1:6   I am facing the facts as I go, I need a comprehensive list of my situational facts to address appropriately.

Action item 1:7    My health, in particular my fitness. I have a joint problem which either adds over 100 pounds of joint fluid on me–which renders it difficult to move and much more painful to do things or it is simply excruciating pain. How do I plow through it all and still be successful?

Action item 1:8    Bite-sized chunk number one. Walk everyday. I love being outdoors, use it as my motivation to just go out and walk around.

Chapter one–complete. If this is how chapter one feels, I fear the next nine. Not necessarily what is to come, but what I will find out about myself.

Posted in different journeys, disorientation, Life changes, steps on the journey | Leave a comment