Saturday, February 15, 2020

ABC: Always be Consistent

Monday, February 10, 2020

When Moving Hurts

There's an adrenaline rush that fills your body after you move.

Boxes need to be dismantled;
Kids need to be enrolled in school;
Kids need a lot of extra things and they do come first.

Soon, that adrenaline rush gives way to quiet.

Somehow, quiet hurts. It reminds you of what was. Quiet reminds you of the emptiness you feel. You start to miss familiar sights, faces and spaces.

Every time we move, I remember the advice one of my mentors gave me. She told me it takes around 3 months to get settled. I already started to countdown to the end of this transition period.

It is my belief that we go through 3 phases: transition (3 months), adaptation (1-2 years) and discovery.

Today, I find solace and comfort in the assurance that this phase won't last aways. I am also encouraged by the things I can do. It is easy to focus on what I can't do.

I can call a friend - hearing their voices and speaking the truth of what I feel has been really helpful.

I can see a friend - in person. I found a group of runners I see a couple times a week. We are connected with a small group at church. I also connect with people for coffee or lunch. Seeing people face-to-face has really helped me manage this transition.

While I wish I could run and eat all day, I can't. I also can't read the Bible and pray all day (I do it first thing in the morning though). I am aware that at some point, these feelings will fade.

It's been 4 months and now I have a job.

I have a new routine. The kids are enrolled and loving school. They still come first.
The adrenaline rush gave way to quiet.
Quiet still hurts.

I try to think of the few people who care enough not to give up on our friendship.
I try to think of the many people who like me, are new in town and need a friend.
I try to think that regardless of how I feel, God knows what He is doing.

Boxes are now a memory. Okay, I still have a few.
I still have strong memories of what was. It is as if I don't want to let go.

I remember missing North Caroline in the Fall. I think of my friends and my time there. I treasure those memories and I pray I can travel there and see everyone. Forgetting such lovely time is a disservice to all the good life we lived there.

I feel the same thing about our Houston years. Why try to forget about a place that I loved so deeply? It doesn't make sense at all.

I know all of these feelings will eventually even out. Houston will be a sweet memory, kinda like the North Carolina years are a sweet sweet memory.

Moving from place to place is not easy. Knowing that God has a purpose and a plan makes everything better. 

There's no place like Work

"Commit your work to the Lord, 
and your plans will be established.
Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)

After almost three months of search, I've been blessed with a new job. I am thankful to God for this new opportunity. The jobs I didn't land taught me a few lessons. You can read the first set here.

I also learned that God is in control. He called my family to relocate and He has an assignment for us in this wonderful place.

I have done so many job interviews that I've learned to read interviewers and a room really well. I believe that no matter what, I should do my best during an interview while trusting God's provision for me.

Sometimes, you have to knock on a door to make sure it is really closed. The second job I applied for was not my opportunity. I was okay with that answer. I knew I had prayed that God closed the doors that were clearly meant to be closed.

I was taking care of the family when I realized I was between a closed door and my next opportunity. 15 minutes passed by and I got invited to a new job interview. I promptly accepted.

The interview was that same day and it went well. Everyone was engaged, attentive and interested in what I had to say. These things are a gift when you are discerning where you should work.

A week later I was blessed with my new job which I started last month. I am very thankful to God for this amazing opportunity.

I've learned to have compassion for those looking for jobs. My family has been there, more than once. We know it is difficult and we pray fervently for those looking for their next opportunity.

I have learned to trust God to put me where He needs me. This also means that I am responsible for updating my resume and sending it out. I'm also responsible for opening my mouth and asking about jobs.

I am learning how to use my time wisely. Great opportunities come with great responsibility. I have been praying for wisdom, persistence and favor among other things.

I'm not sure if you've been where I've been. What I do know is that God is great in wisdom concerning your life. He knows your next step because He planned it. Take care of family, love your friends and rest assured that God will open doors for you too. He is faithful.

Simple Year Simple Goals

I decided to simplify my goals this year. I often write at least 12 items I want to accomplish plus, some miscellaneous things. Because I am working full-time and we are making our new home truly ours, I decided to simplify my objectives for the year.

Many good things happened last year. I reached a lot of my goals such as the goal to read more. I want to keep reading this year. Because I consider that an established habit, I didn't include that in this year's goal.

Going from 12 plus to 3 goals wasn't easy until I forced myself to answer the question: what do I really want? I want to know God. I want to care for my family. I want to be as healthy as I can be.

I am making room in my daily life for these three things to happen. I understand I can use all of them against each other as excuses. For example, I can pretend I'm too busy to read and study my Bible because of the ages of my children. I can pretend I'm too busy to exercise because of all church and family responsibilities. I decide to make room for God, family, and health instead. I make these three goals complementary instead of competitive. For example, it is easier to serve God and family when I am healthier so yes, I'll make time to run. It is easier to serve my family with a grateful heart when I have God's word hidden in my heart so yes, I will read the Bible in One Year.

Goals should be complimentary of each other, not competitive.

I decided to simplify my goals this year. I'm choosing God, family, and health.

What are your goals for this year? How can you make them complimentary?

How to find a Mentor

One of the most challenging parts of moving to another community is rebuilding my entire friendship circle. Finding friends can be a challenge but I've learned how to intentionally connect with people. I also wrote an eBook called "Finding your Tribe" if you are interested in my ideas of how to do make and maintain friends.

Moving hometowns also taught me that meeting new neighbors can be a challenge. Because of that, we created the habit of meeting them and maintaining a friendly relationship.

The greatest challenge for me comes when I am trying to find a mentor. I start this journey knowing God is faithful. He always connects me with people, in flesh and blood who can encourage me in my life's journey.

Mentoring is different than friendships. Friendship is very much a two-way street. Mentoring, as I understand it, is a relationship where someone guides you to a place you haven't been yet. They can be friendly while doing it. The purpose is to guide, encourage and lead to a higher purpose.

How in the world one finds someone who is willing to do something like that? My encouragement is not to start with the Internet. I believe that we need mentors who are real people. I need to see someone and sit with them. I want them to do the same thing for me. I want to observe their lives. I want them to know that my open-door policy applies to them. They can call me out of my less than into God's best.

The Bible encourages older women to mentor younger ones. I believe that this type of mentorship is possible, otherwise, God wouldn't tell us to practice it. The benefits are endless, the issue is, how?

I believe every successful mentorship starts with prayer. God, who answers prayers, can match you with the perfect mentor. He can also lead me to ministries that match women who want to be in a mentor/mentee environment. I was part of a mentoring ministry in the past as a mentee. It was life-giving and refreshing. It meant a lot to have someone to pray for me and with me when I needed the most. All of this started with prayer.

The next step is to actually go to places where your mentor would go. Let's say you knit and you are eager to find a mentor in that area. I bet your mentor is part of a knitting community as well as a knitting club. Mentors are often actively doing what they do best. You need to join the club in order to meet your mentor. I know not everyone is into knitting. You can substitute that with any other activity you desire to excell.

The last step is to watch God answer your prayers. Once you prayed, surrounded yourself by people who are following the same pursuits, God will answer your prayers. He will pair you with a mentor.

How exactly that happens? You two may end up working together. I've learned a lot from people with whom I worked "elbow to elbow." In other instances, you may ask the person to mentor you. I've done that several times. I'm here to say that every time I asked for help, someone helped me for a season.

Each mentor I've had is different. I had one who would mentor me during monthly lunches. I was also blessed to assist her as she taught a class. Each interaction was a blessing and an honor. I still carry those lessons with me.

I've worked alongside incredible women who allowed me to ask so many questions about life with God, family, and ministry. I still practice what they taught me. I still keep in touch with them.

These experiences encourage me to wait on the Lord. He knows I don't enjoy living life alone. He knows I appreciate learning from women who have been where I am. I too hope to be a good influence on others.

If you have a mentor, serve them well. Ask questions. Listen attentively and encourage them.

If you are looking for a mentor, remember to pray because God hears you. Frequent places where wise mentors would be and watch God answer your prayers in incredible ways.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Marathon recap and lessons

"flat Cintia"

Show notes:
• Marathon series
• The way to the Savior Book
• Chicago Marathon 2014

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Making Home Chores easy when you Work

Thursday, January 30, 2020

How to Crush a Busy Week