Monday, September 24, 2012

Humbled and Grateful

Every year my company awards employees in various categories of recognition. There is "Best of..." in each of the vertical businesses...."Best Display of Corporate Values" among others.  The entire list of employees eligible goes out to the company for nominations.  No one in upper management can participate...only peers.  Once the nominees are tallied, each category presents four folks up for the vote.  The winning candidate is chosen by their peers.  

This year, I was surprised to win the "Best of B2B" award.  For those of you who are wondering, "B2B" stands for "Business to Business."  The winners each receive an Apple gift certificate for an iPad, which is quite exciting for me, the technology geek who is too cheap to buy an iPad or Android tablet, though I've pondered buying one for quite some time.  I'm now planning my budget to accessorize my prize and, of course, a name for said iPad.

Winning this award not only surprised me, but humbled me...and caused me to be very grateful from a heart that grumbles more than speaks gratitude.  It was just about a year ago that my company was acquired.  I said good-bye to co-workers I'd worked with for years and built companies with and started on a journey that seemed quite unknown.  I rarely make it over the "acquisition line" and knew that nothing in this life is certain when it comes to jobs.  I began to ponder what my options would be and how I should navigate these new waters in a new world order.  I never would have believed that a year later I would be here.  But, God is good, and I am grateful.

Not only did I grow in my knowledge and lessons learned in my career, I've grown and learned so much in my personal life as well.  As I reflect back over the year, I see how God has been working in my life all along and yet, I never knew exactly what was happening.

A year ago my focus and thoughts were elsewhere.  I was preparing to face an impending change of employment.  I worked out all the scenarios in my head on how I'd proceed once I lost my job.  Well, I still have my job, and though nothing is guaranteed, I've weathered our acquisition, another large acquisition, loss of many co-workers (voluntarily and not so voluntarily) and a difficult layoff a month ago that caused a loss of both of my bosses and my counterpart.  I press on knowing that for this season, I'm where God wants me.  

What did I learn over this past year?  One of the lessons I learned (among so many) was that although I'd love God to come into my kitchen and write on my nice blank wall each morning every step I need to take, I really only need to trust Him.  You see, trust is a challenge for me.  Trusting people is hard because I've had many in my life not be so trustworthy.  Many times I transpose that characteristic unfairly to God.  He knows that, so He does things to stretch my faith to trust Him oh so much more.  Over the past year, I've prayed and begged God for "what's the next step here?" in many areas of my, service in His church, relationships, etc....and I've heard more often than not one phrase...."Trust Me."  Really, God?  It's that simple?  What He showed me was that if I devote my life to Him, pray, get in His Word daily, I don't need all the answers or all the steps that my little OCD planner heart longs for.  I just need to take one step at a time and my immersion in Him will guide my way.  Oh, my sinful heart may take steps in the wrong direction, but He will work it all out for His Good.  

As crazy and chaotic as my life has been over the past year, I feel very confident that I'm right where I need to be.  I wouldn't have put myself here in this place a year ago, but looking back at the journey, I have many confirmations I'm where God wants me for now.  So I'll enjoy the soon-to-come iPad prize and remember each time I use it that God is good and He can be trusted, even when my doubtful heart doesn't want to believe.  Humbled, Grateful and Blessed.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Five Minutes: Focus

Each week Gypsy Mama chooses a word to write about for five minutes. No editing, stream of consciousness. Today's word is: Focus.
Ready. Set. Write.

The more technology in my life, the less I focus.  You would think with the advanced tools we have we'd accomplish more in much less time.  Although sometimes that is true, it has just made me more ADD and quite distracted.  Let's take work for example.  I have two instant messaging platforms I'm logged into at all times....wait, three, if you count the one connected to in our CRM.  My email notifier pops up on my screen in the bottom right hand corner when mail arrives, which is about every 5 minutes (or less.)  My phone rings and the caller ID pops up on my computer screen.  I keep my cell phone tucked away at work and only look at it periodically in my day or I'd have those bells and whistles dragging me away.

This week has been a busy one, but at the end of the day on Friday, I'm thankful that I accomplished most all I needed to this week.  When I left yesterday I was exhausted and literally fell asleep with my phone in my hand playing a round of Hanging with Friends.  This morning I was able to spend some quality time in the Word and in prayer and it was so refreshing.  One of the lessons learned was keeping Jesus on the throne of my heart...not any other thing...not a possible husband (that I long for)....not a job...not anything, but Him.  Ahh, the focus that comes from a wise and simple lesson such as that.  May I keep my focus on what is eternal, not temporal...and may I keep my focus always on Him.