Heart work is the hardest work

WOW. It’s been awhile since my last post so obviously a lot has happened.

We’re a month into 2016 and I’ve moved back in with my sister and Olaf, resigned from my job, and just got a new one yesterday.

And I also ran myself into the ground. AGAIN.

I vowed to never let this happen after the first time nearly ten years ago…but I know better than to never say never.

So this week, I find myself experiencing the aftermath of pushing myself beyond my limits. I feel exhausted, vulnerable, anxious, and a bit defeated.

Oh I also celebrated my 38th birthday which always comes with a check-in of life.

Still singlecheck.

Still figuring out what to do with my lifecheck.

With each day, I’m getting closer to each of these, though, right??

Given the first check-in above, it’s been so long since I’ve been in a relationship, so I find myself in relationships with the circumstances of my life. There was the one with medical school where I tried so hard, only to be rejected…

And this most recent relationship, with a job that I knew from day one would be a challenge, ended up just not working out no matter how hard I tried. I was fully committed, all in…and probably should’ve broken up with it months ago…but its redeeming qualities seemed to outweigh the bad…I felt supported by and loved my manager, and the same goes for all my  colleagues…but the job itself was killing me.

So on my final day I walked out the doors of the building and to my car with tears streaming down my face…and by the time I got into my car, I was full on bawling and nearly got hit by a big white truck before I even got out of the parking lot due to my tears!!

I hesitated to make eye contact with the other driver certain that he would have some curse words for me…instead, upon making eye contact, it was clear he noticed my distress and I could read his lips asking, “are you okay?”

To which, I nodded with even more tears, and pulled out  in front of him as he signaled me to go ahead.

The stress of the job took such a toll on me that you’d think I would feel such relief, but instead I was heartbroken…and to the very end, I needed the assurance that it was okay to leave…and not only was it okay to leave but I was loved all the same.

Oh and one other moment to note, after telling my manager of my official plans to resign, I ended our meeting with, “can I have a hug?” To which she kindly obliged.

So here I am…at 38…resigning from jobs and hugging it out after I do…definitely not what I imagined!!!

But it’s so my life…

And while the emotional and mental toll was more than I could bear, HIS GRACE…it was sufficient. It’s always sufficient.

When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end. Romans 5:20-21 MSG

And without going into all the details, God gave me a new opportunity that I’m thrilled about and while it will have its challenges, I’m confident that based on our first couple of dates and what I learned from my previous relationship, we’re a good match.

My desire is for a long-term relationship…in more ways than one!!!

So the journey continues but also the journey of embracing the journey. This is my story…mine all mine, and it’s a really great one. Perfect, actually.

And when it comes to work, I’m becoming convinced that my greatest accomplishments are the work that is being done in my heart…and the source of my job satisfaction are the relationships I get to have.

And I’ve learned that when the going gets tough, the tough require lots of hugs and assurance to keep going…

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
 Philippians 3:14

Pressing on…xo

 

 

Whine and Cheese

I’m really good at whining. And it’s something I’ve decided I want to not be so good at. After all, nobody likes whiners…I mean, who on earth enjoys listening to complaining that comes in the tone of a whine?

And sometimes I find myself share my gripe, but end it on a positive note…not sure why but it’s what I do.

Case in point…

Friend: How’s work?

Me: So hard, so much information…I’m in a call center…tied to a headset…but, I’m super grateful for a job with great benefits!

It’s my very own version of whine and cheese! A whine ended with some cheesy, half-hearted sentiment.

But just in case you are wondering about my new job, work in a call center is very structured and efficient. I have two scheduled 15-minute breaks and a 30-minute lunch each day. I actually like structure and strive to be efficient, but the job in and of itself is pretty tough and the people I speak with aren’t always pleasant…not to mention, I believe I interact better in person than on the phone…

BUT, I get to rely on Jesus in a new way for wisdom and strength. And for the most part, those precious breaks and lunch are quality time with Him.

I’ve been reading the sweetest little devotional that often points to Jesus’ suffering and I know it sounds super dramatic to compare my current work struggles. But the fact of the matter is, He’s not apart from it.

And I have no doubt He’s led me into this role, but I guess I expected it to be pretty effortless and a little more fulfilling. Instead, I’ve found out how much more I need Him and am reminded all the more that nothing will ever fulfill me as He does.

Again, not to sound dramatic, but Paul rejoiced in prison…and let’s just say that being tied to a headset is a bit confining!! So I want to be like Paul and choose joy over whining.

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. Acts 16:25

While I’m struggling in this position, the good news is I’m not jumping ship, which is where my struggles would have taken me in the past. I’m sticking with this simply because I know He’s in it with me…and I’m certain it’s where He wants me. And believe you me, after the adventures I’ve had as of recently…a cubicle in corporate America complete with a headset is of an entirely new kind that I’m trying to embrace as much as the others.

headset

I know I’m still on the steep part of the learning curve and trust that things will level out. And while this position offers constant challenge and the opportunity to help people, I’m not sure that you’ll hear me raving about my passion on a headset.

That’s some hard, but good truth for me!

And my hope is that moving forward, there’s less of a whine in my tone and a passion that stems from being with the One I love wherever that may be.

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. Psalm 63:3

Life as I know it

I’ve been back in the States for four months and in Arizona living with my most gracious friends and being part of their family for the last two…but who’s counting?!

bowling

I don’t want life to be measured in that way. Instead of counting days, I want to be fully present breathing in every moment. I want to be focused on my journey today and not what it could or couldn’t be tomorrow…because let’s face it, I’ve mastered that.

Oh that my mind would fully rest…

But instead, it has the gift of going and going. And my wide open heart of feeling and feeling.

Taking me to this very moment and the need to put words to all this going and feeling. To write. To process. But most importantly, to stop and REMEMBER. Remember that nothing is apart from Him. Every moment is extraordinary because He is in it.

He’s called me back to the beautiful desert and I’m marveling at its beauty like never before.

desert beauty

I’ve been reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.

jules and t

I had the most precious reunion with my family.

family

And oodles of quality time with my nephew.

snuggley Conrad

I’ve done some babysitting, dogsitting, and lots of school pick-ups and homework.

kids pick up

This past week, I got back into the interviewing mode, which is definitely not one of my favorite things. Anytime I’m putting myself in a position to be rejected just isn’t ideal for sensitive little me. But it’s all good because my perception of rejection is changing…slowly, but surely!

And my interviewing preparation is also changing. Instead of focusing on my qualifications, I’m prepping by focusing on His.

interview

He’s good. He’s so good. And while my circumstances try to fool me, my heart gets me back on solid ground.

I’m back in the desert, but this is not a desert season. As I write this, I’m careful to define any of it. My mind would like to do that, but my heart knows so much better.

The last few weeks have had their share of whining and moaning, and that’s all bound to still happen in the coming, but at the end of the day, my heart overflows.

My life is beautiful beyond reason and He is more beautiful with each moment.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
 who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
 who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
 who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Psalm 103:1-5