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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Time for Change

Time for Change

One year ago I wrote this post and never hit the "publish" button, not sure why, but maybe I was afraid of what might happen if I put this out there and then didn't change, didn't move forward. Well, looking back, I realize this post was a spring board for change:

On February 14, 2014 I wrote:

Many things have changed over the past year. 

My life is currently in a state of major change, and it's stressful and uncertain.  

The change is a necessary change, but not a popular change among those involved. 

This change is humbling, and wrought with a sense of failure and regret, along with a sense of freshness and excitement of better times ahead. 

There is sadness and relief. 
There is nervousness and anxiety.
There is peace and calm.
There is exhaustion and renewal.

There are feelings of isolation and feelings of being trapped.
There is an overwhelming feeling of hope that the right decision has been made, and that the other person gets it, understands what's happening, is not living in denial.

The movement of going forward is what propels me to go on, on to the new life that this change is bringing. 

Change creates a fire beneath us. 

When one person changes, it makes others around you change. 

It's dynamic, there is movement. 

You must move. 

You choose the direction.

And walk in it.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Leading

I don't want to just share the thoughts that are in my head.... I want to be a catalyst for change in peoples lives.

That is it.
My Life's Goal.

  • In my family
  • In my job
  • In my circle of friends

Leaders have to be careful, people are watching our every move. Someone who is effective, is active in the process of leading. It's not about telling others what to do or pontificating.

Leading is an action, a verb. It's pushing people to be the best that they can be, to recognize their strengths, and to stop comparing themselves to others.

I'm sure you've heard "It's not about you"... and it really isn't, but it's also not about everyone else you are pointing your finger at and trying to tear down. Turn the finger back around and improve on yourself.

If you can swing the Titanic in the direction of self reflection, you will have a great team. If you can't, then maybe you need to put some people on a life boat and send them on their way, because if you don't, you are going down! Get the right people on the team, help them see their potential, put them in a place where their gifts can best be used and that Titanic will steer far away from the ominous iceberg that is hiding in the darkness.

The down side.... the Titanic is a big massive hunk of steel, that is heavy and hard to steer. So, no one ever said (at least in my experience) that this was going to be easy. Life is a journey, not a destination. Self actualization will NOT be achieved until we meet our maker. Leading is a process of continuous improvement.

As I lead my team, and strive for my Life's goal, I vow to:

1) Continuously look for ways to improve myself.
2) Set clear goals for myself and my team.
3) Help others reach their potential in a non-threatening way.
4) Reflect on what we as a team have accomplished and what we still need to do.
5) Share my experiences and my teams experiences with others.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Life in Ombre'

Ombre'

Not to be confused with Ombre (pronounced Omber) which is an old three-handed card game popular in Europe especially in the 17th and 18th centuries (per Webster and his dictionary).

What I am talking about is having color tones that shade into each other. I've seen it in clothing this season, hair, art, home d├ęcor, even the jello at work last weekend was Ombre'.




Ombre' cookies!

Ombre' Walls!

 



Ombre' Hair!






                                    Ombre' Cake.... these are so cute!!!!
 
Everything around me is turning Ombre'!
I often wonder how or who starts these trends. Someone in Hollywood, no doubt, had a hair color disaster and tried to make the best of it. Remember in the 90's when you dyed your hair and your roots grew out and you didn't go back in to have them dyed again, it was considered trashy and cheap? Now it's called OMBRE' !
 
So what is Ombre'? Is it some wishy washy shade of color?
"I don't know whether I want to be light or dark so I'll be both and every shade in between." said the color Blue.
 
I think many of us are Ombre' and we don't even know it. Perhaps that's part of the issue with society today and the generations we are raising. We can't make a decision about who we are, what we believe, or what we want to do. So we do it all and every shade in between.
 
That sure sounds like my life. While I've never been accused of being monochromatic, ombre' might be fitting with it's orderly progression of color. I want my life to be orderly.
Although, I don't know that I can thrive in anything but chaos.
I'm a future thinker, I love thinking of all the possibilities that lie ahead of me.
 I love change and find it exciting to take new paths in life.
I love to fly by the seat of my pants.
"Wing and a prayer"
Is that the way God wants me to live?
So I swing to the other side by taking on super duper responsibilities.
Working two jobs, being Super Nurse!
Putting a side my family time, and my artistic time, and my God time.
Is there a happy medium? A way to find balance?
Am I just totally missing the point that God is trying to club me over the head with? 
 
Maybe Ombre' is not so bad after all.
 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Unglued

New read for me: Unglued.

I come unglued on a daily basis. I think sometimes that I actually live unglued, or in some state of unglued, as if unglued is on a continuum. SO when I was invited to be part of a women's bible study that was studying the book called "Unglued", I said "sure, why not."

This weeks lesson focused on labels we give ourselves that keep us stuck. I can't help but think of the way I have kept myself stuck for the last 7 years. I have actually asked God why he has kept me here. I know it is something I have to learn or grow or be refined by. I have been on the look out for what God is doing, missed opportunities to be free of this prison of trappedness. But the harder I try, the harder it gets.

So what is it that I am trapped by....I have labeled myself a bad mom.

Bad mommy label includes:
1) divorce times 2
2) working fulltime
3) tired ALL of the time.
4) self-inflicted guilt because I'm a bad mom
5) not giving my children enough attention
6) not going to church or taking them because I ALWAYS work weekends! But I'm trapped there because of the money.

My solution:
1) work more hours to pay off bills so eventually I don't have to work so hard.
2) ignore my husband because he is not helping the problem to begin with.
3) be hateful to everyone because I'm working my a** off and everyone needs to just leave me alone while I get through this!

Gods solution:(according to "Unglued")
1) Stop listening to the lies that are meant to tear me down.
2) View the circumstance as a CALL TO ACTION! Not a call to beat myself up.
3) Use the momentum of tackling one label to tackle more.

All of this adds up to Grace.

Sin didn't, and doesn't have a chance with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it's sin versus grace, grace wins hands down!!!!
Romans 5:20 The Message

Monday, December 3, 2012

Spit and Polish Veneer

Ok, so I just completed 7 days of work in a row, with one lucky day off. And I am coming into the homestretch of my Transcultural Nursing Class, I never knew I could know so much about other cultures, and find nearly 30,000 words to write about it!

With that said, I still get a bee in my bonnet about this time of year. I am once again consumed by consumerism! I'm sickened by the way we spend and forget about the reason we have this wonderful holiday to begin with. I am just as guilty as the next person, believe me, that giant plank in my eye is still festering. I'm just determined to do something about it.

The problem is, I don't know what. 
But I do know it begins with me.

I have harped in the past about having too much stuff, buying things I don't need, selling things, giving to the poor, but the reality is that my life is so busy with other things (work, kids, school, cleaning, shopping :) etc.) that I don't ever get around to my good intentions. I do the same thing with God. I read the bible almost daily, and I am convicted by what I read, but aren't I just like those people in the bible that knew so much about the law and called themselves religious, but didn't live their lives that way? You know who I'm talking about, those Pharisees. 

I would venture to say that more of us live like that then those who actually practice what they read from the bible. Think about it...
At what point do we actually stop just reading the bible and start doing what it says??

I'm frightened by the church today.
I'm frightened by the heart of so many well meaning Christians.
I'm frightened by my own heart, and what I am teaching my children.
I'm frightened by how Jesus described the Pharisees to his disciples:

“The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer."  
(Matthew 23:1-3 The Message)

Spit-and-polish veneer, 
that's what we are, 
I know that's what I am.

I want to be the real deal. Help me please, because I want to change, I want to evoke change in my family and in others. Let's do this together, I want to know your thoughts and ideas. 
How do we start the process of going back to the basics? Back to living the way Jesus said to live. Not just talking a good talk, but really living like Jesus did.
 


 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Aren't we all hoarders?

 Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. 
Matthew 6:19-21

Today:

I am thankful for my family, my home, and never needing anything. I find it so hard sometimes to let go of the earthly things that I hoard and collect. I really think many of us buy things and save things because it satisfies some void in our lives. I get soooo caught up in the process of needing (wanting) stuff, that I can't see the forest for the trees. No, I am not a hoarder, my house is not packed with newspapers and books and rotting food from 1986, so much that I have to crawl through the door ways with only a 6 inch opening (true story from hoarders). Hoarders have some sort of psychological issue that they really can't get rid of things and they keep collecting things, but I wonder if most of us have some mild form of this too.

So my question to you is this:

Where are you storing your treasures? 

And what are you going to do with all of the extra stuff you have collected here on earth?


Friday, November 16, 2012

Good-bye my Beloved Enrique

Today is the anniversary of the death of my beloved Suburban #2, loving named Enrique (don't ask, the kids named it). 
    
As you may recall from a post several years ago, Suburban #1 burned up in a raging ball of fire. Actually, as I was driving home from work, I noticed that my butt was getting warm, and well it was August after all, so I ignored it. But my butt got hotter, so I thought that I must have accidentally hit the seat heater button. After going into the house and remembering that I left my bag in the car, I returned to find the entire car engulfed in smoke! So I did what any sane women would do, I ran inside and yelled for my husband to come help me! Need I say more.... 

Long story short, Suburban #1, Lady Kesha, was totaled.

Enrique met his death last year when we were on our way to church. A new driver, bless her heart, pulled out in front of us when she mistakened (I'm not sure that's a word) the gas pedal for the brake. We were all shook up, but no one was hurt badly.

There is irony here. We were on our way to a Dave Ramsey study. Financial Peace....



Dave doesn't like car debt, we had car debt. I was trying very hard to align my financial life in a way that honored God, with Dave's help. I had plans to quietly pay that car off and promise God I would never do it again. I wasn't thinking that God would just wipe that car right out of my life. But then again, who am I kidding, God almost always has to basically hit me over the head with things to get my attention. I was often labeled "testa duro"(hard head) by my Italian famiglia. So, he took the Suburban in one foul swoop! Gone! Totaled! So I started in a panic to look for another car to replace Enrique. And to no avail, I could not find one. I cried. I would have to give back the rental and drive the forbidden and disgusting Minivan, so aptly named The Grey Turd.

A year later, The Grey Turd and I are friends. It has gotten me everywhere I need to go, and it is paid off. That minivan is a reminder everyday of the fact that God is in control and is literally at the wheel of my life. I love the fact that it has a dent in every side and often tease my up and coming drivers that they will soon have the pleasure of driving it. You know how they love that :)

Thank you Jesus for my life, for my family, and for breaking me down every day so that you can build me back up to be more like you... Amen.