There are lessons everywhere

Church today hit the nail on the head in some feelings I’ve been having lately.

I’ve written about this before. I’m a woman of action. I hate sitting around waiting when I can be out doing. And more to that, (typically) when I set my mind to something, very little keeps me from reaching that goal. I’m determined, courageous, focused.

That person, though? Is a bull in a china shop when it comes to the dating world. I hate the waiting and the seeking. I hate going on dates only to realize this guy isn’t what he says he is in one way or another. That he lied about himself or his intentions. Or is just plain boring. So I go back to the drawing board and I seek more, harder, better, faster, stronger. *cue techno dance break*

I know what I want. WHY CAN’T I FIND IT?!?!?!

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Today’s lesson was the first of 6 Lenten lessons. It was about Abram and his life. In Genesis 12-18, The Lord comes to Abram to tell him to pack up his stuff and move his family to an unknown place. He’s going to make him famous, and give him more descendants than there are stars. Mind you, Abram is 75 and his wife is barren. But he says, “Alright. That sounds awesome. Let’s do this.” Abram makes a sacrifice to the Lord, creating a covenant between them to honor these promises to each other. 11 years later, there’s still no kid, so Abram takes matters into his own hands. He defies The Lord’s promise. The Lord says, “I will still honor you.” His wife even questions the ability for this to happen, given how old they are. The Lord says, “Why did you laugh at me? Just believe.”

Finally, 24 years later, Sara finally bears Abraham a son.

God came to both of them on many occasions throughout that time period. Reminding them of His promise, of the covenant between them, that He would provide. Sometimes the more impossible the promise, the more frequently The Lord reaches out to remind you he will deliver. All we have to do is believe. Abram asks The Lord how he can know for sure this will happen. God’s response is something to the likes of “The time is not ready yet, but my promises will be fulfilled.”

His promises will be fulfilled.

This lesson today was like a bucket of cold water over my shoulders. I believe in Him, in His goals in my life…but I get restless and try to achieve them faster on my own. I put in effort. I join dating site, after dating site, after dating site. Searching. Trying. Seeking.

And all God asks is that I look to Him. That I keep my promise to Him, as He will to me. That I step back. From rushing. From the computer. And trust Him.

The inverse of this being The Lord’s promise to us and our rebellion in seeking answers of our own means. We broke our promise to Him. We do it daily. When someone breaks a promise with us, we have a tendency to overpower, dominate – to do to them what they did to us. To take matters into our own hands, as Abram did. And God? He still honored His promise. HE STILL HONORS HIS PROMISE. When we walk a life with God, when we truly trust in Him, it doesn’t matter (as much) what others do to us. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. Yes, someone may hurt us, and we may realize that they aren’t to be trusted, or kept close. But we release them. We forgive. We move forward. Yes, it’s frustrating to wait – like an excitable kid in line for his first roller coaster ride. But with God, the plan is so much more wonderful than anything we could have imagined. Why rush for the vanilla, when you can hold out for the mint chocolate chip?

A major part of the Lenten season is about what you’re “giving up”. It becomes fodder at lunches, around the water cooler, in talks with friends. Who is so strong that they can go 40 days without something? But if we step back, really we’re saying: that thing…is essential to my life. And it’s hard for me to live without it. It…this THING…fills me up.

What does that compare with the splendors God has for you? What does that compare with the empty tomb of resurrection and salvation? He should be what fills us up. Lent has become what we give up. Why don’t we make ourselves empty so He can fill us up?

For me, this “thing” is dating. I bum-rushed it like a rookie cornerback looking for his first sack. I want that joy, that happiness, of having someone by my side who gets me. Who wants to experience life with me. Who will love me through and through and shout it from the mountains. I’ve been searching and fighting and clawing the last 2.5 months, looking for him. When really I should have been looking to Him. So for Lent, I’m stepping back. I will answer responses as they come to me, but I won’t be seeking anything out. I’m refocusing my gaze on where it should have always been. On Him. Because in Him lies my ultimate promise and my ultimate mate. He knows and has already picked out the man who is my equal whole. He knows the man who will take my hand and my heart and treat it with compassion (and passion)…because He created him. And who am I to argue with that?

I honor my covenant with Him, He honors it with me. That’s how it works, folks.

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Goal Update

So part of the hiatus of storm-facing actually involved ticking off some of my 2014 goals.

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1. I found a job. It’s one that will require a lot of hard work for little pay, but it’s still pay. The benefits are good, even if you can’t afford to actually GO on vacation on your vacation days. It is a means to an end while I continue taking my tests and looking for architecture work. I know I will learn a lot about the code and inspection side of building design and construction and look forward to having that as another Ace in my hand. Some of the stuff I’ve seen already is crazy, and I’m sure there will be a rant…or five…associated with it in the future. But it’s work. And income.

Having said that, if you hear of any architecture work, please let me know!

2. I started dating. I’ve officially been on two dates and…well…I’ll leave it at that and let my tirade on Disney say the rest.

So…that’s it. Two goals in the first month. 2014 is off to a pretty good start, I’d say.

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And so I return…

I apologize for the hiatus.

That’s all there really is to say about that.

I took a hiatus, mostly because I didn’t feel like writing, or that I had much to write about, or was simply too overwhelmed with other stressors to focus on writing. Writer’s block is a real thing, and it comes in the form of life events, stress, and sleep. That last one may be a reaction to the first two, but still…no writing gets done (and I like things in threes).

I think I was stressing about the job situation, the lack of income situation, the “fresh meat to the market” situation (that had my phone blowing up with notifications, which was slightly confidence-boosting)….The perfect storm of chaos was reigning down on me. And so, at a time when I probably had good material, I didn’t write. I was focused on the storm.

Sometimes you need that, though. You need to shut down the outside world and focus on the storm. You need to focus and just get. sh!t. done. Sometimes it’s not necessarily soul food, but it’s finding the next thing that will actually put food on the table. Either way, the little things slide. They probably shouldn’t, but they do.

It’s important to take the storms of life seriously, but as I’ve learned over the past couple years, it’s also important to do the little things that feed your soul. That keep you full, happy, alive with a fire, eager to begin the next day…and not just begin, but charge forward in hot pursuit of your dreams. The things that feed yourself and your soul and your mind. Those little things are different for each person, but they’re equally important.

My things are my friends, my family, this blog, and a good book. I’m eager to get back to them, now that I’ve resurfaced from the storm and can resume a more balanced life.

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I actually bought myself a piece of jewelry recently that is called the “balance necklace”. It was hand-designed, with the description that read:

“A happy life is one of balance, not perfection.”

Sometimes you get caught up in the storm and start to lose air, start to lose the things that bring you joy, that feed your soul…and it only sucks you into the storm more. I am a focused and determined person and I know I struggle with this, but I think, if I were to create an overarching goal for this year, it would be one of balance. There are many things that I would like to achieve, many things that are important to me, but if I only focus on one of them, all of the others fall away. This is not to say that there are moments and things that require one’s full attention because the outcome of them makes everything else easier to achieve…but balance overall is the goal.

And so I move forward, ship steadied, ready for adventure…

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Three cheers to a New Year

As most of you know, my 2013 hasn’t been the greatest. A divorce and no solid job have made life a bit stressful. Being back near friends drops the stress level a bit and as much of a pain as Madeleine can be sometimes, she’s definitely a positive.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to 2014.

As most people do, I’ve been thinking about things I’d like to accomplish in 2014. So here goes:

1. Find a job.

2. Start dating.

3. Finish testing for my license.

4. Read an average of 1 book per month for pleasure.

5. Travel somewhere new.

6. Brush up on my Spanish and/or learn a new language.

7. Look into and hopefully find a home for myself.

8. Find a new church family to attend with regularly.

9. Visit Katie in California.

10. Continue to grow L2 Design.

11. Create, begin, and maintain a solid workout regimen.

12. Return to better eating habits.

13. Participate in a half marathon.

14. Attend the Kentucky Derby.

So there we have it. 14 goals for 2014.

I look forward to this year as one of self, professional, and social growth. There are sure to be awesome happenings in the lives of my friends as well: a wedding or two, some babies, and lots of fun.

Bring it, 2014. I got my shades. Nothing’s getting in my way. And if the pessimists and joy snatchers try, they better watch out. They’re liable to get hurt.

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