August Prayer Challenge: Update #5

This past Sunday I was visiting a new church with my friend N.  Seems like whenever you haven’t been to church in a while (that would be me) the sermon always seems to be applicable to what happens to be going on your life. The sermon was centered around the concept of karma and getting what you deserve. The pastor started out with by putting up various internet memes about karma and then he went into his sermon with 3 main points.

  • You need to realize that you will reap what you sow. The basis of the saying that everyone loves to quote is Galatians 6:7 – Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth shall he also reap.
  • You need to realize that you will reap what you sow, including the consequences of your sowing. The background for this statement came from 2 Corinthians 9: 6- The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
  • You need to keep on sowing good things if you want to eventually reap blessings from God. The background from this statement comes from Galatians 6: 9-10 – And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all mean, especially unto them who are the household of faith.

I want to talk a little bit about how point #3 really hit home for me. I think the folks who have been reading me for a while know the valley I have been in concerning my career. I’ve been working contract for almost 2 years and I have a specific career path that I am trying to leverage myself into. I’ve had several interviews that would grant me entry into this particular path but I haven’t been able to get over the hump. Also in that time I have seen both real life and online friends obtain jobs with relative ease, while in my mind I seem to keep struggling. I am a person, who for the most part has had things happen fairly easily for them in life, so this has been a frustrating time for me. And though this might seem minor to some, to me it is a big deal.  Jealousy and envy are powerful emotions and can consume you if you let them. So this was a reminder to me that I need to keep doing the right thing, by encouraging others in their job search, being excited for others who have found employment and not focusing so much on what I don’t have and focus on what I DO have.  Waiting is a part of life and a delay doesn’t necessarily mean a denial.

The pastor left us with the following Scripture to reference for those times when things might get a little rough, Isaiah 40:28-31:

29 He gives power to the faint,
    and strengthens the powerless.
30 Even youths will faint and be weary,
    and the young will fall exhausted;
31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
    they shall walk and not faint.

 

And now on to today’s prayer petitions:

  • My husband who took the test for a promotion yesterday
  • My friend’s sister M, who turns 40 soon and is struggling with a lack of confidence due to an extended period of unemployment.
  • Anyone who is in a valley or is frustrated with their current circumstance.

Set It Off Like Vivica

I mentioned that I was going to be praying for my friend N in my last post because she is on a big project at work that is due to go live next month. She’s been working a lot of hours and is under a lot of stress.

She was telling me about how last week how she reached her breaking point with several of the consultants on the project who were constantly emailing and instant messaging her, and scheduling meetings even over the time she’d blocked out on her calendar to eat lunch and complete her personal work. The final straw came for her when a dude stalked her from one building to another then interrupted while she was in a discussion with another coworker. She snapped on him, gathered her belongings and left for the day. LMAOOO!!!

She told her manager the next day what happened and she was somewhat embarrassed but she said had reached her breaking point.

And while most folks are professional in the workplace, there comes that time where you either have to put someone in their place or just go slap off!

Has there been a time where you had to set it off at work? What happened? What was the end result?

 

August Prayer Challenge

Over at Serenity23’s blog, she has issued a challenge to her readers for the month of August.

I want to challenge YOU.  Tomorrow starts off a new month, August 1st.  I know that every single one of you has needs, desires, people you are interceding for, things that concern you.  And if you are not a believer, this isn’t for you. But if you are a believer, I’m challenging you to begin tomorrow and devote 15 mins everyday to writing our your prayers in one central place so that you can keep track of what you are praying for.  Whenever you receive answers to any of those prayers, record the answers also.  Can you do this for 30 days?

She’s posting daily updates at her spot so go and check her out.

I’m a few days late in getting started but what I have decided to do is focus on a specific Bible verse for this month and then keep a running list of things I’ve praying for that are both short and long term goals.

The Bible verse that was suggested to me is Philippians 4:19.

King James Version (KJV)

19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

What I will be praying for and hope that God will take action on:

  1. For my husband to get accepted and participate in the Leadership Program that he applied for at his employer.
  2. That my brother will have a very successful first year as an art teacher.
  3. That my brother’s girlfriend will have a safe and successful delivery of my newest nephew Camden.
  4. That my niece and nephew will have a productive school year in when school starts.
  5. That my parents will remain in good mental and physical health.
  6. That I can be blessed with a full time opportunity that will enable me to stop working as a contractor.

There are some other material needs that I am also praying for as well but I won’t list them here.

My plan is to update my list based on my needs or the prayer needs of other folks in my life. Email me or leave a comment if you’d like me to pray for you as well!

 

 

Currently….

Currently: Discussing why I owe out my ass to the IRS on Twitter and getting some guidance.

Watching: This Excel spreadsheet on my computer screen that I’m supposed to be working on. I have been on this particular project for some months now and I am OVER. IT.

Listening To: “Feels Good” from the album The Revival – Tony! Toni! Tone!

Planning: How to revitalize my job search. I need to take a new approach to targeting companies I want to work for so I’ve been doing some reading and some research.

Thinking About: How I need to make doctor’s appointments for a mammogram and with a dentist.

Looking forward to: My bestie’s happy hour  for her birthday TONIGHT at this place.

Reading: Payback In Panama by Noel Hyde. I’ve read all the books in this series. The first 3 are the Russian Trilogy. Last 3 are the Cuban Trilogy.

Making Me Happy: emailing with my husband and his silly jokes that make smile. Helps to get through the work day.

The View From Here – 2013

I think I stopped blogging in August. I turned 40 this year and though I was not depressed or despondent about doing so..I think I ran out of words. I felt like I didn’t have anything to talk about and the blogging mojo was gone. So I took a break…for about 5 months..LOL!

But the thing about writing is that it’s just like riding a bike, you never forget how, you just get back on and start pedaling.

2013, in retrospect, was better than 2012 (which totally sucked ass BTW). But it was just average, no razzle dazzle or pizazz, just kind of lackluster. I felt somewhat meh about this year, like I was just in a holding pattern so to speak. I don’t feel like I made the progress towards some of the goals I wanted to accomplish, so I plan to do a reset and attack them again in the new year.

I entered my third year of marriage in 2013 with my husband being in the hospital which was a scary reminder of our mortality. He’s a LOT better now thank God. Lifestyle changes are in process, slowly but surely. And my husband is still truly a blessing in my life. I am lucky to have married such a great guy.

I ended 2013 still working on a contract basis at my current gig but immensely grateful to have gainful steady employment and work at a company that treats me decently and doesn’t work me too hard. I’m still looking for the right opportunity on a full time basis, but I have a measure of comfort knowing that I have somewhere to go each weekday morning to earn a living.

My family is healthy, my niece and nephew are growing like weeds, and my brother found some gainful employment that suits him. They are happy which makes me happy. Many of my friends had personal triumphs this year such as new jobs, new homes, new marriages and new babies, which is always a good thing.

So more than anything, I’m grateful for being able to have a 2013. Some folks will not see this upcoming new year. And I look forward to 2014, where I have another chance to get it right. Another chance to go get my blessings and what God has for me.

With that being said, let’s do this. Allow me to re-introduce myself…

Thirty Nine

Today is the last day of my fourth decade on this planet. I turn 40 tomorrow. I’m still unpacking that in my head. I. AM. TURNING. FORTY. YEARS. OLD.

I feel some kind of way about it ..I think.

It seems like yesterday that I was graduating from college, then hustling to find a job, then moving to Dallas for said job, then hating Dallas and running back home after 6 months, leaving my college boyfriend in the process. Then I dated a good friend that I’d known since college, then broke up with him, started and finished grad school, bought a house, ran the streets with my sorors and other girlfriends, traveled out of the country for the first time, had good dates and horrible ones and suddenly I was 30. It’s like my twenties were a blur.

At 39, the memories of my fourth decade are more crystalline, more frozen in time, more focused. I guess as you get older, you want to trap more of those memories in your subconscious.

In my thirties I:

• Sold my house
• Moved to Minnesota for my then boyfriend
• Proved to myself I could live somewhere else and have a good life
• Left a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere and moved back home
• Dated an ex (for the second time) that I shouldn’t have
• Got therapy when I needed it
• Went to the Bahamas and swam with dolphins
• Saw Prince in concert
• Bought another house
• Got laid off/fired a couple of times
• Lost my final remaining grandparent
• Met the coolest dude on the planet
• Planned and pulled off a wedding for 150 people
• Married that really cool dude
• Got a lesson about who is a true friend and who wasn’t
• Saw the Grand Canyon
• Became an aunt to my brother’s 2 adorable children
• Put my feet in the Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico
• Supported my spouse in the loss of his dear mother
• And really for the most part came into my own

I’m sure my life event list could be longer but those are some of the ones that really stick out to me. And that’s what is so wild, that’s just ten years’ worth of stuff. Now that I read that, I guess I don’t feel so uneasy about turning the big four oh after all. It might be just another day, but it’s another day I get to learn, growth, evolve and LIVE.

Now that’s worth celebrating, don’t you think?

The (Almost) 40 Year Old Toddler

So yeah I had a tantrum today. Straight up clowned.

I had to go meet a recruiter today on my lunch break. I suggested meeting at a Starbucks instead of fighting Galleria mall lunchtime traffic (normally hellish). She countered with meeting at her “satellite” office (some shared office suite) that was even further NORTH of where I am currently working. *sigh*

I got turned around trying to get on the Beltway from here because my job is where two major highways intersect so it’s not all that intuitive where to get on the road. We are supposed to meet at 11:30. At 11:30, I’m just now figuring how to get on the highway. Google Navigation is just totally effing me over right now.

I’m hot, frustrated, and mad that I have to meet this recruiter so picture a short black woman in glasses in her car just going off. Straight meltdown. I know folks thought I was INSANE. I was cussing, trying to listen to the GPS tell me the wrong azz way to go and trying to avoid all of the folks driving slow in the left hand lane. Then I start fussing with God. I told him this is for the birds and it’s getting old and these recruiters are getting on my nerves and a whole litany of grievances I had. I almost said this was some bullsh*t, but I’m too scared to cuss God and get struck down. LOL!!

But yeah, me, myself and I methophorically laid on the carpet and kicked and screamed. Felt good too. You can call me childish all you like. I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care!!

There is a happy ending: I made it to the meeting, calmed down and met with the recruiter. I apologized to Jesus on the way back to the office though.

I may be unruly, but I’m not crazy! 🙂

Ya’ll still having tantrums every now and then or are you too grown??

Hunker Down

I think that when humans are going through a period of stress, instinct kicks in. Our natural reaction is fight or flight. And thus, you will face your stress head on and fight through  it or you will do like I did, turn and run away and withdraw.

I probably talk about my work life a bit too much on this here blog. It’s been a stressful point in the almost 20 years (!!!) I’ve been in the corporate arena. I’ve made some choices early on that are starting to affect me now and because I am married now and have another person whose welfare I must consider, I’m a bit angry with myself. But that’s neither here nor there, at this point. God has blessed me yet again. My contract at my current plantation ends today and I start another one on Monday at a new plantation. But getting from point A to point B has been difficult this time. It has been stressful. I have been worried and my faith has taken a tremendous hit. My normally cheery personality has not been so cheery. It has affected me, it has affected my husband. He doesn’t like to see me upset, but at the same time he cannot carry my burdens for me. He can encourage me, but I also have to encourage myself.

And so I haven’t been writing, mainly because I haven’t had all that much to say. I’ve been hunkered down in my little hole in my mind, stressed out. When you are in your feelings, whatever it may be, it’s hard to see that it will pass. But it always does.

I blog because I like to get things out of my head and into a written format and to share a bit of my life with the people who read my small corner of the internet, because in a sense you are my online family. And while I like to put up pretty pictures, recipes and funny stories, it’s important to share, to some extent, that I am human and have my own personal struggles.  My struggle may not be your struggle, but no one person’s  issue is bigger or smaller than another else’s.

I would submit to you to not hunker down in the depths of your mind and wallow in your stuff. Talk to someone, get it on paper, cry it out, do what ever you need to do to make yourself whole again.

My coworker sent me this video one day when I was particularly in my feelings and sometimes I just have to put this bad boy on repeat:

Mary Mary – “Go Get It”

Don’t run away from whatever it is that you may be dealing with. Fight through it. You are going to come out the other side just fine. I promise. 🙂

(Shout out to Tazzee and Jeanine for checking on me.)

Ambition

When I first graduated from college, like most naive kids I thought I was going to be much like Pinky and the Brain, and take over the world. By the time I was 40, I thought I would be a big time bank branch manager with a staff, making long money. I never aspired to be CEO, but I’d be damn close to it! 🙂

Of course, life never turns out quite like you expected. I’ve got quite a bit of good experience in my years in Corporate America and I am definitely a senior level professional, but I’m not in management. Part of of that is circumstance, I’ve worked at several different companies and my tenures haven’t been particularly long but part of it is by design, I’ve seen what my friends who manage people have to deal with and I’d rather herd cats. Managing people and getting them to execute is more than a notion. I wouldn’t mind being a manager, as long as managing people doesn’t come along with it. I do have friends who have those titles. But as long as I can continue to get paid well, I’m good with being on the professional track. I guess I adjusted my level of ambition over the years. *shrugs*

What about you? Are you where you want to be career wise? Are you a manager? Or are you pretty good with what you are doing and where you are at??

Muddling Through

This post has been in my head for a few days but I’ve been struggling to get it out and on the screen. As I’ve alluded to and if you follow me on Twitter, I’ve made mention of being back on the interview grind. I’m not ready happy about it either. I am working and I am certainly grateful for full time employment and weekly paychecks but this role is just a means to an end. It’s contract which means when I don’t work, I don’t get paid. When I sick, I don’t get paid. If I have a dentist appointment, I don’t get paid. Notice a pattern there?? When I took this role, I decided that I wouldn’t get comfortable again, and I haven’t. But I still don’t like the grind of interviewing.

 I was talking to my mom the other day, and she knows I’ve been interviewing and we started to talk about my old job and I realized something. I am still very angry about being fired. I really thought I had processed and unpacked my feelings about that entire situation but after I got off the phone with her after venting about a job that I haven’t been to in almost 4 months, but apparently I haven’t.

 So I’m mad. I’m mad because I have a lot of movement on my resume in my 20s and early 30s and I think it’s hindering me somewhat as I stare age 40 dead in the face. I’m mad because I had a job that I really liked and people that I liked working with that at a decent company, with decent benefits and a really decent boss (well before I ended with the demon that fired me). I’m mad because I got fired and even the HR rep knew it was some bullshit and said as much. I’m mad because this company was supposed to be my last stop, at least for a while, where I could build some tenure and perhaps move around to a few different roles and now I’m back out here in a still somewhat down economy, grinding.

 I’ve actually had several interviews and phone screens in the last month or so, but I’m mad that employers are assholes and don’t even have the decency to tell you if you have gotten the job, especially if you took time off to interview (recall that don’t work, don’t get paid thing, right).

 I’m mad at myself because the folly of my youth is catching up with me and biting me in the ass. I’m mad because I’m ashamed to be complaining when there are folks who still need jobs. I’m mad because I shouldn’t be comparing myself to some of my friends who have been at their companies for 10 years and I’ve had multiple jobs in that time, but I do. I’m mad because I thought I knew what to do next and I don’t.

 So yeah, I’m kind of muddling through right now. And I’m kinda mad right now. Sorry.

 But not really.