Just Breathe

Work is getting crazy.  This is normally my busiest time of year, but it has gotten even busier than normal.  I just finished filing our Disclosure Document, (a very fascinating read, it is required by the FTC, and about as interesting as reading a Mutual Fund prospectus.)

Next up, two huge software enhancements that I am project managing, an in-town advisory council meeting agenda, our National Convention to plan, content to write, and our annual ISO audit  (that’s a big to-do in the manufacturing world, and a lot of work for me). I also have about 75 reports to pull and analysis for these events.  Oh yeah… then in my free-time, there is my normal day-to-day responsibilities.

Oh my!

It is times like these that I am so grateful for the peace of the Lord.  He is still ever teaching me.  I am now learning that to have peace at work I need to learn / perfect some skills.

#1 – Prioritize and Conquer.  For years I have tried to follow the “Eat that Frog” method, where you figure out what the biggest priorities of the day are, then do those first before anything else can crowd it out.  Making my list of where I will focus my time helps me to get twice as much done as I would otherwise.  I am also forcing myself to limit my schedule to advancing no more than three projects per day so that I actually finish something each day.

#2 – Email does not control me.  Oh my goodness, my email does not stop.  I literally could spend my whole day doing nothing but email.  I try and follow the inbox at zero emails method.  When I get emails in, I move them into folders.  One folder for items I can address in 5 minutes or less, I bunch them together and respond to them all a few times a day so they don’t consume my entire day.  For new projects, I add a task to my to-do-list, then put the email I need for reference in another folder.  I also have individual folders for those routine tasks that I perform weekly, that way I can deal with them all at once.  I try and handle each email 1-2 times, then delete.

#3 – Delegate then project manage.  I like to get things done.  I tend to do them myself.  But I cannot, I simply do not have the time.  So I have had to position myself into more of a project manager role, where I make sure the project is moving forward, without actually doing all the work myself.  This by far is the hardest thing for me to do, but it is the thing I most need to work on if I am to reach my goal of becoming VP.

I still am on a roller coaster of a ride for the next two months or so, but I feel like I am growing so much professionally that it makes it worth it.  In the meantime, I find myself praying for peace while the storm rages around me.

“Seek peace and pursue it” Psalm 34:14b

It’s sooooo darn cold… brr

I have a Facebook friend who is always urging people to stop complaining about the weather.  I will be honest, I normally roll my eyes.  I mean, it was -22 degrees the day he posted that.  NEGATIVE 22 degrees!  How could anyone not complain? Continue reading

Now I Know that God is Real!

My son is 8, and he asks me a lot of questions about God.  How do we know that God exists?  How did the Bible get written?  How can it be that God was never created?  What happens to the people that never heard about God?  How do you hear God’s voice?  Why doesn’t he talk in a voice that everyone can hear?

“Really kid? You’re eight.” So I bought him a book called “801 Questions Kids Ask About God.” His response?  “Finally!”, as he ripped the book out of my hands, and ran upstairs to start reading.

He is definitely a thinker, and he gives me a run for my money.  I have tried to answer all his questions as best I can.  But in reality, these are hard questions for believers of any age.  There is certainly an eliminate of faith involved in some of these answers.  And I was totally feeling my inadequacy, as I tried to recall what I had been taught in high school Bible class.

Fast forward three months…

My husband and youngest daughter went to Panama for a week to visit his Mom.  The first night they were gone was AWFUL.  My daughter literally wailed (note: she wailed, not cried) for over an hour (seriously) because she missed her Papi.  My son is not quite as expressive, he mainly just wanted her to be quiet because his solution was to think about something else instead, and her wailing made him keep thinking about it.  (I find that response fascinating, but will save it for another day.)

I ended up reading the kids a scripture that God had led me to that morning during my prayer time.  My son was amazed at the thought that God could send the exact message we needed to hear at the right moment.  The look of joy on his face warmed my heart.

The next day God led me to another scripture, I read it to the kids at breakfast.  They did not say much.

Friday morning, I thought I would help God along, and pick out a scripture to read on my own.  And God said, “no way”, and instead He led me to another scripture for them.  After I read it to the kids at breakfast, my son jumped up and said with great joy in his heart, “Now I know that God is Real!”

I asked him what he meant by that.  He basically told me that he had wanted to believe in God, but now because of these scriptures, he knew that God heard his prayers and cared about him.  He told me, “Mami, it makes me feel better inside when you read the Bible to me.”

For months I had seen him struggling.  I could see him trying to figure out in his little brain how to believe in a God that he can’t see, hear or touch.  And now he believed.

It didn’t happen because of any great argument I made, wonderful book he read, or from a stellar Sunday School lesson.  Rather it happened in a moment at the table, begun out of desperation, taking two minutes to read God’s Word.

It was then that he knew that God heard his prayers, that God saw Him, and cared.

I am sure that this little thinker of mine will still have more thinking to do on the subject.  But I pray that he will always remember this moment as being the time when he first knew that God really was real.

Amen.  So be it.  It would have been enough for me.

“Seek peace and pursue it” Psalm 34:14b

 

3030 Challenge

Lately I have felt far away from God.  Sometimes He seems so close that I can almost touch Him, other times the silence is deafening.   This time, a month, then two went by, and I hardly heard His voice, rarely felt His presence.

Not that He wasn’t there, He was.  He is.  But He just feels more like a whisper than a wind. Continue reading

Resolutions Failed and Kept

I love making New Year’s resolutions. (I may or may not have a strategic life plan.)  But this year, when I went to make my annual resolutions, I just wasn’t feeling it.  As I re-read 2014′s goals, I found myself focusing on what I hadn’t accomplished.  To be honest, I felt like one big failure. Continue reading

We Have Hope

I am going to be real here, I had a terrible Thanksgiving.    I am almost glad for the weekend to be over, because it has to get better.  I came home from work early on Wednesday because I felt terrible.  Great news, I had a fever! Continue reading

The Little Light of Mine

A kid-free, work-free weekend?  I had not had one of those in over 2 years – and I was excited.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my family.  But having time to reflect, pray, and catch up with friends?  I need that too. Continue reading

Bye Bye Worry Lane

I used to spend a lot of time on Worry Lane. If my husband was 5 minutes late, I had already planned his funeral, panicked about finances and figured out how we would go on after his death. If I encountered a difficult situation, I would continuously re-play the events in my head. Many times I made myself physically sick by worrying about the “what ifs”. Continue reading

I Never Really Forgave Them

“Please, tell us what happened?” Ryan was one of my 4th graders.  He and everyone else in that classroom knew something was up.  Over half the class had left for the day already, and there was still an hour left of school.  One by one, as the children’s parents would come, I would send  the children home, without asking a question or (gulp) making any mention of homework.  But he knew something was wrong, and insisted on being told.  So I told 12 ten year olds what happened that awful morning. Continue reading

"Seek peace and pursue it – Psalm 34:14b

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