Friday, April 30, 2010

Musings for the Week - Reorg, Road Trip and Reward

This month has flown by and I must squeeze in one more blogpost so as not to have a month with only one post...egad, that would be so wrong!

1. My company just went through its first reorg. I've been through many in my life, so it's nothing new to me. At a previous company, a reorg was quickly followed by a move about the office, but since we all just moved to a new office, hopefully that won't be the case. This change did affect me and a restructuring of my reporting hierarchy. I now report directly to the President...which, since I'm not a VP, makes me what I like to call myself..."special staff." I dotted line report to another VP that oversees the other part of my multi-tasking (read: sometimes schizophrenic) job. And, the bonus of this reorg is I will be somewhat reporting (somewhat because the person is a contractor and I can't truly report to a contractor) to a former boss of mine. No one I report to is located at my office, which is also a blast from my past..been there, done that too. When reorgs happen, they can be painful, and although the transition will be challenging to be sure, the end result should be fantastic. Amy, my former boss, (not the Thelma to my Louise, Amy) was great to work for and work with. She knows her stuff and I learned a lot from her. Working for a small company has lots of perks, but it also creates a vacuum that makes it hard to be innovative at times. After an almost two-hour call yesterday, I feel like I just got into the kayak with someone who is rowing in time with me. She may read this blog and think I'm sucking up...who me? I'll never forget when we parted ways at the last company. She was my boss and had to do my exit interview during a downsizing where she was remaining. Due to her California location, she had to do it over the phone...and got choked up. The tears from almost 10 years ago are long gone and just like the circle of life, we are back in the saddle working together again. My life is a riot.

2. I just returned from visiting friends to see a sweet girl play the lead in her high school's performance of Grease. Hayley is certainly destined to make it to Broadway with the powerful voice she has...and her theatrical skills. Sadly, she didn't get to blow the roof off with "Hopelessly Devoted" since the rights to buy the use of that song were too expensive. But, her pipes rang true on every other tune and she definitely worked it during "You're the One that I Want."...although a 17 year old "working it" seems so wrong to say. Bonus that I was able to attend the cast dinner at her request and meet all her cast family...and the boy that just asked her out. During intermission, he got down on one knee and asked her to go out with him. He's cute...and young...and better treat her right. But he has the googly eyes for her (as does she). Ahh, young love.

3. Once I return from one trip, I'm ready for another. I'm planning to visit my friends, Paige and Steve, in Alabama over Memorial Day Weekend. Due to the high prices of holiday airfare, I am jumping into Bluebelle and hitting the open road. There is something liberating about a drive down the highway jamming to my favorite tunes or listening to my favorite audiobook. I hope the weather is beautiful because that will make the drive even better. They serve at Ft. Benning Army Post with Steve as the youth pastor. A few years ago, I was able to be there over the July 4th holiday weekend and it was a blast. I have to say there are very few places I'd rather be during patriotic holidays than in the midst of those who serve our country sacrificially to give me the right to live in freedom.

4. A few weeks ago I was asked to speak at an annual women's event at a church in Knoxville. It was a blessing to get an email from a friend of mine asking me to pray about this opportunity. Her husband is pastor and she grew up at my church, where they met while he was in seminary. They are a sweet couple I haven't seen in a long time and was humbled and honored to be asked. As much as I wanted to jump and say yes without a blink of a prayer, I did give it a week to pray just to make sure it was where God was leading. After a week with no feelings of saying no, I said yes. So in September, I get the privilege of speaking to a group of women once again. The longing I had to do more speaking has manifested itself twice this year already and, if God allows, there may be more I don't even know about yet. It's the unspoken prayers like that, when answered, give me hope for all those longings yet to be fulfilled. God is always at work and His Timing is oh so perfect.

5. I've gotten two coupons in the mail recently for free Starbucks. Goodness, how blessed I am! It doesn't get much better than that unless I get coupons in the mail for free Qdoba! I'm about a week away from my next book club and, again, still haven't finished my book. Sounds like I need to use those coupons and get reading!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Three Times

After just experiencing the Easter season, I've been reflecting on the number three. We know from Scripture that Christ rose from the dead on the third day after His crucifixion. The Trinity is made up of three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And we know the story of Peter, the disciple who denied Christ three Jesus predicted.

I have a soft place in my heart for Peter. He was always the outspoken disciple. The one who would question things, be bold and possibly say things other disciples might be thinking but afraid to utter. Surely a man with this personality wouldn't deny the One who called him to follow? But, he did. And not just once, but three times. Jesus predicted Peter would deny him and he vehemently disagreed. Peter, in his strong and bold way, said he would never disown Jesus...even more emphatically he'd die before that would ever happen. Oh how his words would come back to haunt him as he did deny Christ three times. My words do too at times when I claim Jesus as my Lord but rarely place Him in the driver's seat of my life. I can hear Him say to me, "Rose, I want you to trust Me, but I know tomorrow you won't." And I reply, "But Lord, You KNOW I trust You. You have parted the Red Seas of my life, and done miraculous things. I would never distrust You." Then I wake up the next morning and before the birds chirp out my window, I've already had moments where I fret and worry over the day forgetting to trust in the One Who is the Ultimate Holder of all of my days. Yes, Peter, I know how you feel.

After Jesus' resurrection, He appeared at times before He ascended to Heaven. Many theologians would say those appearances showed His Love to assure His Followers the ultimate plan for His Coming. One such appearance came at the Sea of Galilee. Some of the disciples were there fishing, and one of them just happened to be Peter. They had a night that most fishermen dread...a night with nothing caught, zilch, zippo. That morning when Jesus appeared to them, they didn't realize it was Him as He said "Have you caught any fish?" Sadly, no. And Jesus instructed them to cast their nets out and they could barely pull the nets in from all the fish they caught. Immediately, John knew it was the Lord. This was the prelude to Peter's restoration. Jesus was setting the stage. Just the way He does in our lives. He blesses us in a big way to show us His Presence, then loves us though we be so unlovable.

Jesus asked them to come, sit and have breakfast. I love that line. He has just said the word "Drop your nets" and had these disciples haul in the largest lug of fish they'd seen and He calls them to come be with Him. He's not a Savior that pours out the blessings and says "Enjoy! Catch ya later!" (pun intended) He is a Savior that wants to walk with us through those blessings. And breakfast was going to be where Jesus assured Peter He loved him..because He knew Peter needed the reassurance. Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me?" And Peter replied, "Yes, Lord, I love You." And Jesus called him to serve Him by saying "Feed my sheep." I just noticed recently when reading this that Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him three times. The same number of times Peter denied Jesus. It's as if Jesus was restoring Peter for every denial made. With every question "Do you love Me?" came Jesus' assuring to Peter that He loved him too. With every reply "Yes, Lord, I love You" softened the heart of a man who failed His Lord but wanted to be His servant. Every day I hear the Lord ask me "Do you love Me?" and I answer, "Yes, Lord." And even in those times when I don't trust Him, don't follow Him, waver in my faith in Him, He still says "I love You, do you love Me?" That is a love that never fails, never ends, never gives up. For Peter, Jesus asked three times. For us, He's asking us that every day of our lives.

Peter did serve faithfully. I love the passage in I Peter that describes a godly woman as one with a gentle and quiet spirit. I've always believed that Peter modeled that very trait after his own wife. A woman, who I have to believe, balanced his bold, outspoken ways with her gentle words, quiet spirit and loving soul. A model of what Christ was to him when he was so unlovable.

Historians note that Peter died a martyr....crucified upside down on a cross...for Christ. He followed Christ even unto death....and there is no denying that fact.