Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Right Stuff

I'm in the process of looking for a job here in our new city. On the one hand, I'm extremely thankful. It's been a very long time since I've felt able to work at all. The fearful, skeptical side of me keeps watching and waiting... for this motivation and desire to get out there and make a difference that has persisted for months now to fade away, but by the grace of God it's still here (hallelujah!).

On the other hand, it's a little stressful. The numbers don't lie, people. I really need to be working at least part-time - and soon - if our family is to thrive here long-term, which is the hope. And so the (self-inflicted) pressure's on to find that fantastic, elusive something... Something that will at the same time be fulfilling, valuable and lucrative. (And something I can actually do.)

And on the other hand (wait, that's three hands - oops), it's a little like torture for this recovering people-pleaser. Every time I submit a resume, an opportunity for rejection is created. Eek! (The only thing as bad as rejection is confrontation - which is the inevitable result of a positive response to said resume...) The fear of rejection is stirring up all kinds of muck from my past - that little voice that whispers coldly and cruelly, "Why in the world would anyone want to hire you?"

I'm applying for all kinds of jobs; from a cookie factory to a bookstore, from photography to farm produce sales, and more! As I read the many and varied job descriptions, I am continually self-evaluating: could I do that, be that, perform to that level, meet that employer's expectations? In light of all this soul-searching appraisal and my own checkered history of see-sawing self-esteem, it's a testament to God's gracious work in my life that I've had the courage and confidence to answer any of these ads!

So on the other hand (okay, this is really getting out of hand 😉), it's a really great opportunity to revisit the foundations of my true identity. My value lies not in what I do or do not do. Who I am is not defined by my work - or lack thereof. My job title does not determine my worth. Because, in short - I'm a daughter of the King of the Universe!

Today, that truth confirms two things for me: 1) My Dad - the King - has a great plan for me and my family, as well as the power and authority to carry it out and 2) He has given me/will give me the right stuff to get the job done - whatever it turns out to be.

And that takes me from fear and self-doubt to peace. I like it here, I think I'll stay awhile. ❤❤

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The First Day

It's so quiet. All I hear is the click of the keys as I type, the whir of my computer's fan, the hum of the refrigerator and the tick-tock of the clock.

I think it's safe to say it's never been this quiet here. Never in this case means in the last several weeks - we moved into our new place here in Ontario exactly one month ago. And in that month, my not-so-little ones have been with me more or less constantly.

But not today. It's the first day of school. The most wonderful time of the year, right? All four of us went to school this morning, to be a part of the new school's first flag pole assembly.

It was a zoo - several hundred hyped-up, lost-looking kids and corresponding parents searching the crowd for elusive sign-holding teachers; joyful reunions of friends, buses arriving late, little ones crying, in the cool, foggy, fall-ish morning air.

May I take this opportunity to brag on my kids for a minute? Their courage to walk into the unknown and willingness to embrace the unfamiliar continually astonish me. I'm not saying they weren't scared - there were some tears shed by the eight-year-old last night as we contemplated the uncharted territory before us, and both expressed some apprehension about the days to come. But by the end of our chat, they were rejoicing in their ability to make new friends and bubbling over with excitement about future possibilities.

And they just walked into that maze of students, found their places, said good-bye to us (well, the nearly-thirteen-year-old just gave us a nod) and that was that. My husband and I made our way out of the insanity to watch from the sidelines as speeches were made and songs were sung and classes entered the building.

And now I'm at home. Alone.

Normally, I'd be celebrating! Solitude has been my fortress and my strength for so long now. But things have changed for me in the past six months (yes, it's been six months since I last posted here!). Maybe I'll tell the whole story sometime, but suffice it to say that I'm feeling more ready than I ever have to get out into the great big world and do... something. Do some good, make a difference, get involved, find my place...

I'm kind of feeling like it's the first day for me, too. The first day of what? I'm not sure yet. But I'm determined not to panic and rush ahead. Nor do I want to lag behind. I firmly believe that God has a plan for me - a really good plan. I want to keep in step with it, with Him.

So stay tuned, dear Friends - the best is yet to come! I'm delighted to be sharing this journey with you again! Many blessings as you seek to keep in step with the plans laid out for you!

Monday, March 6, 2017

A Very Good Place to Start

Has anyone seen my motivation? I can't for the life of me figure out where I put it...

The urge - no, urge is too strong a word - the invitation to sit and stare out the window for hours is an enticing one today. No, not out the window - the blowing snow and minus a bajillion degree weather is too much dreariness when combined with my present emotional state. 

Days like today are joyless. Bleak. Blank. Dark. Dismal. (Thank you, thesaurus.com) They've come upon me often this winter. The weather, this mental disorder, and the fact that I haven't had a moment to myself in days have ganged up on me today, pushing me down into some dank abyss that I don't know how to find the desire to crawl up out of. 

I guess blank describes it best. I'm not sad, per se, but void of much emotion of any kind. Like Alexander Hamilton, I thought I'd try and write my way out of it. 

But it doesn't seem to be doing me much good today. Minutes tick by as I stare at the blinking cursor on the page.
~~~~~~~~~~ 

I guess I might as well get this revelation out of the way: I lost my "job" recently. (I put job in quotation marks because it was hardly a job - just one hour a day, every school day.) I ended up missing too many days - partly due to physical illness, partly due to mental illness. While they were very compassionate and understanding, we all agreed that they needed someone who could be more consistent. 

I'm disappointed in myself. Embarrassed. Discouraged. Wondering where to go from here; not wanting to go anywhere. A little bit relieved, too. It is what it is. (insert eyeroll emoji)

My life these days is a constant tug-of-war between accepting myself as I am and pushing myself to my limits; between the highs and the lows and trying to keep myself anchored to what I know to be true, even when I can't see it. 

"Faith is hope with a track record, " writes Anne Lamott. I'm thankful for having journalled and blogged and kept gratitude lists over the years - physical evidence that God is indeed at work in my circumstances, that I can return to again and again when I've forgotten or temporarily lost the ability to believe. 

So that's where I'll start. I will NOT let this entire day slip away; I will start with truth, with God - a very good place to start.