On Top of the World

It’s the little things in life.  These are the things to which you give no second thought…until…

Until you lose them.  And then they occupy all of your attention.

But this story is about the finding of them (hopefully).  The last couple days have been glorious.  Why?  Well…I seem to have found myself a car and a job!  Running the risk of counting my embryonic  birds pre-shell-cracking, I’m getting VERY excited.

The car is an OLD (and I mean like 23-year-0ld) Honda, manual, vibrant yellow little thing.  If I’m lucky it’ll last me a year with no real problems.  And this car will do everything I want it to!  It will get me out of this house arrest, and, even better, it will do it with exquisitely low gas milage!  Oh yeah!

The job (I have an interview tomorrow) is for a serving position at a family restaurant down the road from my house!  Not exactly what I planned to do with a Psych degree, but hey, I have people skills…we’ll see!

Money and transportation: All I could ever ask for.

But this brings me to the most exciting news of the week: A renewed dream for graduate school.

I’ve been researching seminary for some time and, although well enthused by the general idea, I had yet to find a school that echoed my heart…until yesterday.  And the winner is…

Talbot, Biola, SoCal…YES.  (http://www.talbot.edu/).

As I researched their school, reading articles and exploring their website, I amazedly observed my own heart in every line.  Here I could study Christian apologetics with passionate intellects who’s goals are to converse clearly in meaningful conversations with the world.

Re-motivated and reenergized, I reenter my week with renewed hope for my future.  This song has become my mantra:

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No other reason…

No other reason.  

When I get up in the morning, I need a reason.  A bright morning is one that promises much accomplishment, much hope, much achievement.  But lately, my mornings have been nothing like this.

Being unemployed and without transportation seems to sap a person of their potential.  What great goals can I master while so… imprisoned?

My life has been one big preparation for greatness.  I was driven to excel in grade-school to earn scholarships for college.  I dedicated my life to scholastic achievement in college to keep those scholarships and graduate with honers.  This, I was assured, would provide for me later in life.  My future career would be earth-shaking.  I was raised to make a difference.

And then I was released.  Released into this unending and unyielding world.  And when I wake up in the morning, I no longer have a goal, pushing my tired, overworked body out of bed.  I have no personal motivation.

I complained about this to a friend.

And he answered with this startling response:

“What an opportunity to strip away all your selfcenteredness and really live for God’s glory.”

 

I have been that girl who hid in the mega church crowd because she liked it.  I know my deep-seeded love of attention and how it has made me a slave.  I hide to escape.  When I stand in a crowd and no one knows my face, I can worship and my worship feels real. This is why my friend’s response rooted in my heart.  I have long desired a chance to shed pretense and worship in truth.

Every day that I wake up to be greeted with a morning of job hunting and house pacing, I will work for the glory of God above all else.  This is my reason-my opportunity to really live for God’s glory.

Be Still, My Soul. The Lord is on Your Side.

Sleep is a big deal.  It can be the difference between the best and worst day, sanity and insanity, effectiveness and pointlessness.  I haven’t been sleeping.  I’m unemployed, so I don’t have to get up for anything, and to make up for my fitful sleep, I have been laying in bed several hours after sunrise.  But last night I decided I needed to get up before the sun today.

There is something about watching the sun come up.  I love it.  Maybe it’s just because I associate early rising with productivity and usefulness (two things I have come to deeply miss), but I think it is more than that.  When it is dark, I have yet to feel the pressure of the day.

It’s the difference between starting my day with Jesus, or starting it with me.

This morning, during my date with God, I re-found this song on an album I wore out last year.  What wonderful words: The Lord is on your side.

Peace.  Peace is the necessary response to my situation.  Be still, my soul.  The Lord is on your side.  Enjoy!

I’m the Best. No, I won’t prove it.

I have a sister named Hannah…and Hannah is almost always right.

Hannah is smart, insightful, analytical.  She is also beautiful and hysterical.  She makes me laugh all day.

She’s engaged. (I know…sorry).

This week Hannah told me I was competitive.  This is significant, because I adamantly announce (on a semi-frequent basis) that I am NOT competitive.  I HATE competition.  It makes me nervous and edgy and generally unhappy and eventually exhausted.  But, Hannah thinks I don’t like competition because I am fiercely competitive and I don’t want to risk losing.  Hmmm.

So I have been thinking about my own determination to be the best.  I do love thinking I am the best at something.  It gives me a reason to be!  What can I offer if someone else is able to offer more?  I have to have a niche.  But how realistic is this?  And how paralyzing is the fear of failure?  And how pride-based is this?

I found this song…it’s fun to sing and it could be my mantra except I’m terrified of it.  I’m not at a place where I can just give up the fight to be the best.  If I’m giving competition the boot, I need a strong motivator to replace it.  I’m not sure I have one…and I can’t loose my drive.  I CAN’T.

*Note-this song has mild profanity 🙂

Feathered Friends, I’m Not Alone!

Image

Wingmen are great.  I didn’t even know what a wingman was till I had some good-natured guy friends who took the liberty of enlightening me.  Apparently, this is a well known and well practiced guy-thing.

According to the ever-reliable wikipedia, a wingman is, “someone who is on the ‘inside’ and is used to help someone with relationships. There seem to be sex differences such that females’ friends help them avoid undesirable potential partners, while males’ friends help them attract desirable potential mates.”  Wow.  And now I know the terminology.

Having a wingman ups success, plus it makes us feel so much more confident because we are now part of a team!  Hmm.

Not having a team feels like loneliness.  Being lonely is one of the saddest states I know.  It’s sad in an empty, unfulfilled way.  It downright sucks.

I recently moved.  Most people move a couple times in their lives.  Sometimes moves bring instant excitement and new socialization, but more often, there is a hefty adjustment period where we have to find our ground and root.

I started attending a new church since I moved home and have made satisfactory progress in the new-friend area, but Sunday night made the books.  I was given the opportunity to talk to a few new friends and through a semi-vulnerable opening up on my part, my embarrassing state of living surfaced.  No car, no job, living with my mom.  Yes I do have a four-year-degree.  Oh well.  Life isn’t always what we were told right?

My kind, new comrades stood for a good half hour, encouraging me, reminding me to learn the lesson of dependency on God, to be wary of pushing so hard on my own, for my pride’s-sake.  I left challenged to think about my life with renewed positivity and reevaluated responsibility.  But I also left with a re-realization of the importance of a support system.

Much like scoping for potential partners, or working toward any life-goal, achieving my dream career and purpose necessitates a team approach.  This is a critical and pivotal blessing of communal life.  We are to bear each other’s burdens and I need to allow someone else to help me.

The picture above is bookended by my friends Lauren and Kara.  Kara is one of my beautiful sisters, and Lauren has been a bestie for almost a decade and a half.  Jill (with the beautiful curls) and Annie (who looks like she might die laughing) have brought a lot of joy and laughter to my life.  I love this picture-our faces are bright!  Friendship is golden.

Keeping Sane in the Less than Ideal

Tip 3: Gather the troops.  Who’s got your back?

Clear my foggy head.

Clear my foggy head.

When I feel totally overwhelmed, I run. I love running. It makes me feel in control. I feel powerful, like I can do anything. I need that these days. I need to feel that my actions can change something.

PS-I lost 2 pounds last week. Yeah…

Keeping Sane in the Less than Ideal

Tip 2: Get outside and get going.

You said I could. I will.

It’s quiet in the room…because I am by myself.  I’m not sad.  Not right now.  I’m just alone, in my house.

It’s not quiet in my head.  In my head I am frantically trying to fight my way out of the lack of direction, the unemployment, the planlessness.  I do have a goal, but it feels lofty, and my friends are graduating from college and working fast-food, cleaning, and doing the things we did before we were in debt…when we were kids.

But apparently I’m not a kid anymore, and I still see sunshine out my window.  This is a day-by-day walk through the struggle of achievement.  I am dedicating it to my peers-as we push forward to achieve what we have been told is ours.