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Posts Tagged ‘Life’

I feel like I write these type of posts a lot, so if you still read them, either I am not alone in the world of figuring oneself out or you are really bored.

All of you who have been around awhile or read previous posts know that I am the type to constantly push myself. I always have a goal I am reaching for and always trying to arrange my life around those goals, working towards it. I think I’ve talked a few times before about discouragement and trying to figure out precisely what I want and all that. Well, one thing I don’t think I’ve really mentioned is my constant struggle for joy. Not to say I have been unhappy – I am quite happy- but you know that settled feeling in your soul that just says you are at peace, even if you are striving toward something? I haven’t had that except once in a great while in a very long time, and I’ve been trying to figure out why.

I have, relatively speaking, a perfect life. It hasn’t always been this way, as anyone who knows my past can attest to – and some people see my life now and tell me that I deserve it after all I’ve been through – I know better than that. I deserve nothing and am therefore grateful that for some reason God has seen fit to give me such a good life right now. I am also under no misconceptions that it will last forever. Why, then, do I have such difficulty settling and enjoying this current life instead of constantly looking and striving forward as though I’m waiting for something more before I can really enjoy the life I’ve been given?

I worked between 10 and 14 hours every day Sunday – Tuesday this week on an exercise down in Florida. Consequently, I was able to take most of Wednesday to relax on the beach before working another 12 hour day on Thursday. I found myself looking out over the ocean in a contemplative mood on the very subject I mentioned above. So, I decided to go for a walk and talk it out with God. This time, however, I decided not to just concentrate on the writing aspect or the job aspect or whatever other aspect – I decided it was time to go through my life in detail with God to ferret out the reason for my inability to be joyful instead of impatient in my current status of life.

As tempting as it is, I won’t bore you with all the ins and outs of the conversation – it was very minutia oriented, which, after all, turned out to be what I needed. God and I discussed what I thought I wanted out of life vs. what God wants out of my life, and then we talked through my writing life and whether I had the right point of view on it, my current job, why I wanted to go into Counterintelligence, and if I actually wanted to go into it, or if I just wanted the glory of saying I was a CI analyst, and where I was right now in life vs. where I thought I wanted to be.

Below are what I feel the conclusions of the conversation were:

  1. God may have a different plan for my life than I think He does and my being stuck on a certain career path could inhibit what He wants to do in my life. Though it is good to have goals in life, the issue comes in when you insist on those goals remaining the same.
  2. My thinking I cannot have a writing career unless I concentrate on it full-time is a product of fear and procrastination and assumes God cannot give me the capacity for more than one task at a time.
  3. It is possible – not for sure, but possible – that God gave me the desire to go into CI precisely to get me where I am today. I love my job, my company, my coworkers, and my job location – why am I so eager to move on? What happens if I concentrate on doing the best I can with where God currently has me instead of not giving it my all because I think it won’t get me where I think I want to go? God can use me in this current capacity and if I assume this isn’t where I need to be, I may miss what else He has planned for me.

Ultimately, and it can be difficult to put into words, but ultimately: Instead of striving forward constantly, I am making a goal to be happy where I am. I still have goals, but realize that God may have different goals for me. I am going to enjoy my current life and not feel guilty every time I am spending time with my husband instead of writing or feeling guilty for not working on writing an article because I don’t feel like it or not working on something CI related because I don’t want to. I am going to strive to be the best in my current capacity (which is, after all, a Senior Analyst, which is a huge part of what I wanted out of my career) and assume that, as He always does, God will clearly open a door when it is time for me to move on to something else He has planned for me. I am going to continue writing on a regular basis, but not feel guilty when I don’t have time for it because I am taking joy in the life God has currently granted me. I am going to assume that God will allow me to be published in His perfect timing, not mine.

Implementing the pattern of thought that it is not a sin for me to not constantly be doing something educational or working toward one of my goals has already done an incredible part in putting my heart at peace. Despite being sick, I enjoyed a very relaxing weekend at home with my husband, and read two books, without any guilty thoughts on needing to write or needing to practice Russian. I healed significantly faster than usual from my cold and did not wake up today with the thought that I didn’t want to go to work.

I want to be clear that I still think it is good and healthy to have goals you strive toward. The secret I am learning, with God’s help, is being at peace and joyful where you are while you work toward them, and being flexible enough to realize that God may direct those goals elsewhere and, for God, there is no time limit. He’ll bring you there when He knows you are ready.

We so often concentrate on the trials aspect of Philippians 4 and being content. For some of us, it is in times of plenty that we get lost.

Philippians 4:6-7, 12-13

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. . .  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

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This quote makes me smile. And the picture. Well, really, the quote and the picture together make me smile with happiness.

take-time-to-do-what-makes-you-happy-life-quotes-sayings-pictures

And it makes me feel much less guilty for spending a majority of my time last night on my counted cross-stitching project, while watching Star Wars and Indiana Jones and completely ignoring the wreck of a house and dinner dishes around me. Sometimes I have to remember, and my husband does a good job reminding me, that life is more than work and keeping the house clean. It includes taking time to do things like cross-stitching – and writing – and staring randomly out the window while daydreaming. Also, I look at the picture that girl is painting and think – that is what I want to do! Except, I want to paint that picture using words.

And that is my random thought for today.

“Look at that sea, girls–all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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I know, you have all been waiting breathlessly for my next update, which  –  just hasn’t come. I do apologize. I hate to disappoint people who are probably checking every day, just in case. 😛

So, I haven’t updated for two reasons. 1. I haven’t been writing, so I am too ashamed to write. And 2, which is also the reason for 1, it has just been busy! Final week at work  (my husband says my mood hasn’t been so good since our honeymoon), and prepping for Thanksgiving, and a variety of other activities. Saturday, I held my annual Operation Christmas Child Party, where we packed 90 shoeboxes! Slowly going toward my eventual goal of 100 a year. 🙂

And, honestly, I have been tired. I get home and take a nap and still go to bed at a semi-decent hour (which, fyi, is midnight).

BUT – I will get back on the horse – I will! I stopped at 12,000 words about 5 days ago – who knows if I can catch up? But I certainly will try. And I have all day Thursday and Friday to write. Literally, because tomorrow is my last day!!!

motivational inspirational love life quotes sayings poems poetry pic picture photo image friendship famous quotations proverbs

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Counting Blessings

It is a cold, dreary day outside, and I woke with the depressed feeling of knowing it was time to trudge off to work once more, where I can expect at least four emails telling me what I did wrong this time. In case you didn’t notice, I don’t take criticism very well. I know, I know – it is a part of the job, and a part of making a deliverable client-worthy – but, I still feel like an utter failure if I see so much as one red mark on a comma I forgot. Something I am working through with God. Sometimes I can handle it better than other days. And some days – I just feel like if I am given one more correction, I will just melt into the floor and never return. So, as I sit in my little cubicle, and try to get up the courage and energy to get my day started, when all I really want is to curl up in bed with hot chocolate and book and watch the rain drip down the sill, I began, as I usually do in these moods, ruminating on where I am in life, and why I haven’t found a job I actually like going to yet. I do believe there is a job out there for everyone – something you are made to do, that you actually don’t mind going to – but some days, I wonder how you are ever supposed to find that job?

As I often do, when I am feeling down, I was browsing random quotes in hopes of hitting one that would so exactly fit what I was feeling that I would feel better. Well, I hit this one:

motivational inspirational love life quotes sayings poems poetry pic picture photo image friendship famous quotations proverbs

Aaand – felt convicted. I know it is natural to feel down in the dumps sometimes, or to get emotional or restless, or whatever it is I am getting, but, I also know I have so many blessings in my life that I tend to just skip over when I am down. I know that my first reaction should be to go to God in prayer and ask Him to help me through hard days, but I find myself shying away from that – partially, I think, because a tiny part of me likes being angsty. It does make such better posts, doesn’t it? But, that aside, it HAS been a long time since I have looked at all the blessings I have in my life. So, this is me, trying to be joyful even when I am down, and learning to count my blessings even when I am stuck in a little cubicle doing a job I hate.

Five blessings:

1. That I even HAVE a job.

2. That I have a husband who never loses patience with me even when I am moody, and will hold me without making me talk or buy me flowers and chocolates just to make me feel better.

3. That I have an adorable little apartment to go back to every night.

4. That I have money to visit family for the holidays.

5. That I can see the beautiful world around me, including the rain pouring over the countryside, unlike the poor blind man on the metro today, who still seemed kind and cheerful despite that.

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Rain and Cars

So, Daniel (my husband) and I discovered something quite disturbing tonight. We were out of rum! You know what that meant? After a frustrating day at work, I COULDN’T HAVE A RUM & COKE? This had to be remedied. Accordingly, after a dinner of salad and pasta with sauce and homemade rolls, we danced our way down to the car to hit ABC before it closed.

After a harrowing drive to the liquor store – it is quite rainy and NO ONE in the Virginia area knows how to drive in the rain – one bottle of rum, bottle of vodka, and bottle of Seagram’s 7 honey whisky later (purchased, not drank), we triumphantly returned to the car, jumped in, and – nothing. Nada. Well – not quite nada. There was a loud clicking noise as we turned the key. But not even an engine turn-over. We looked at each other. Are you freaking kidding me? We just paid to get both the battery and alternator replaced 8 months ago! After a kindly man stopped despite the rain and jumped the car for us, we went straight for the car repair place that had replaced the battery and alternator for us 8 months ago. Well, not quite straight – despite the rather weak sound of the engine and the fear it was going to die at any moment, we made an essential stop for McDonald’s ice-cream. But THEN we made straight for the car shop.

Thankfully they were still open and had availability for us – the connection was apparently loose, and the battery pretty much dead, so they couldn’t even test it. They told us to take it for a half hour drive and bring it back so they could test it. We did so. Good thing we love driving together! Something about the open (more or less) road, and occasional near death experiences of cars randomly slamming on their brakes in front of us because a raindrop hit their passenger side window, always has an exhilarating effect on us. So, despite our plans for the evening being ruined (okay, fine – we didn’t even have plans for the evening, other than making a Shutterfly album with our wedding photos), we were actually pretty cheerful and enjoying the little adventure life had thrown our way.

So anyway, they tested the car, discovered it needed a new battery AND a new alternator because apparently both the ones they installed 8 months ago were bad. They replaced the battery tonight, and we are bringing it back tomorrow to get the alternator put in. Thankfully, everything is under warranty and we shouldn’t have to pay for much. It was a fun deviation from our normal routine – and I am just thankful it happened tonight instead of when we were actually headed someplace with a deadline.

Here we are, two hours later, finally enjoying that rum & coke at home. And, yes, putting together the shutterfly album. Life is good.

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