Category Archives: Hope

Now What?

Well, today was the day. At 6:43 a.m. my first Fitbit band bit the dust! It’s amusing, and I have to share in hopes that it will make you laugh too. I hold on to everything. No, I’m not a hoarder, I don’t think there is always a need to be buying. Eleven months ago I purchased a Fitbit because it’s just not enough to track my runs through my Nike+ running ap, I also need to keep track of the number of steps each beyond those from my morning run. Yep, pure craziness! The one thing I refused to purchase was an additional band.

About two months ago I noticed that one of the straps was loose, and as long as I re-positioned it, my Fitbit was still secure. I knew the inevitable would happen; I would be forced to purchase at least one new band. Ugh! Now I have to spend money. (I am laughing. As much as I hate spending money on frivolous things I genuinely enjoy Internet shopping or at least Internet browsing.)

So I was prepared for the fateful Fitbit band biting the dust day. I spent time perusing the Internet for a selection of fashionable bands, and oh my, I hit the Jackpot! Of course, the seller that was my demise was on Amazon as they have everything and at bargain prices, plus FREE SHIPPING!!!

As I neared the end of my run this morning, I could feel the band loosen, and this time there was no way to save it. The original black band has been sturdy and reliable after spending 11 months and nearly 900 miles on my wrist as we ran many streets and trails. I bid thee farewell as I don one of my new fashionable bands. Thank you old friend for seeing me through runs in the snow, wind and rain, and a few close calls with wildlife as well as sitting in blistering heat and dealing with being covered by dirt and agri-lime as we enjoyed every minute of travel ball this summer. What a GREAT run we had!

Psalm 16:11: You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

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Off-track?

Have you ever gotten off-track, without realizing? How often have you found yourself starting, stopping, starting, stopping – and then without realizing you’ve gone nowhere and accomplished nothing. With the distractions of social media, email, video chat, and life, we find ourselves spinning with no end in sight.

Many times I think of how I need to continue my writing. My daily inspirational insight has gone unattended for months. I even moved my unfinished book to an online site so that I can take a moment here and there to continue with that work too, even when I’m sitting at one of my children’s activities.

For whatever reason, everything still sits. Maybe I overthink my writing. That has crossed my mind. Instead of relaxing and letting the story flow, I find myself choosing the perfect words so that each sentence is just so. My downfall at times is I’m a perfectionist. It’s difficult for me to settle for less.

At times I wonder if the unknown of catching a break and being picked up by a publisher holds me back. Change is scary, something I shouldn’t shy away from considering I’ve done well with throughout my professional career in public relations and marketing.

How to get back on track, to stay focused and not falter.

Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

The Search

What should be a typical summer, it’s not. When you’re forced to be on an unpaid vacation; one you couldn’t prepare for, one you didn’t ask for. But how to keep things sane? There is nothing ordinary about this. Seriously, who yanks the carpet out from under another person knowing a family is in peril, that children’s lives have turned upside down?

It’s difficult to not dwell on the actions of others that have sent your world spinning out of control; to focus on the task ahead is difficult, almost daunting. Now what? Where to start? Sure there are lots and lots of online postings from employers hiring. You’re diverse, quite the background, achievements and work experience; however, you know this will be a strike against you as someone with your skill level doesn’t find a job by accident, you have to know someone.

You put out feelers, make contact after contact with colleagues. When you’re the one who typically helps others, asking for help is difficult. A few respond with keeping their ears open, while others actively send you job postings they’ve come across. It’s overwhelming, almost scary to think that you’ve shared with others your pain.

Philippians 4:6-7:  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.

The Pain

The pain of having your job ripped from you is devastating; it leaves a hole in your heart. At first, you’re in shock, not sure if this is happening or if you’re dreaming. And then it hits, like lightning ripping through your being. Stunned, you ask why followed by what did I do wrong?

You know the answer, and it makes you scream! Someone you’ve never met, who holds a seat in the ivory tower has decided you’re not needed. Without caring about the hours you’ve put into your position, the personal sacrifices you’ve made, you aren’t necessary. You find yourself stumbling to safety, your eyes filled with tears, your mind racing with the unknown.

What now? What am I going to do? How will I pay my bills or support my family? Insult to injury – there isn’t a severance package, just a paycheck for forty hours that week. And, being told you’ll be paid for a full day even though they’re dismissing you at 4 p.m. The only words that come to mind are gee, thanks, I’ve been here since 6:15 a.m. and haven’t had lunch yet.

At first, you wonder how you didn’t see this coming. Your supervisor along with the regional team has known for months that your position would be eliminated, and yet they said nothing; not even out of courtesy for your family. The pain grows thinking of how you trusted them, how you were never anything but honest with them, but yet they were not with you.

How is my family going to survive?

Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Why are they so difficult?

We all know that person, the one we find “difficult” in one way or another. Have you ever wondered why you’re the one that deals with that person? Whether they’re selfish, argumentative, condescending or just simply rude, somehow they know how to create chaos, and drama surrounds them. They drain a person, and their actions become tiring.

Why are we the one that deals with that person?  Is He asking us to handle something, is this an exercise to learn something, but what? It’s easy to respond, and not in a kind manner.

1 Peter 3:9: Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

The Threat…

Every day I hear it, it’s real, not just words thrown around. I’m never really sure if I should respond or listen. How does it happen that one person dares to subtly hint to others of the peril they face, and not because of their actions, but due to those by others?

It’s baffling and frustrating to hold on so tight as everything begins to fall apart. No safety net, no one will know about the threat – the person doing wrong will continue their ways.

Psalms 28:7: The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.

THE STRUGGLES of MANY

All too often we’re caught up in our own lives, never really thinking of those around us. We’re quick to be too busy to talk, and we’re ready to judge. We tend to praise our accomplishments and judge when others don’t complement our hard work.

We’re all busy, correct? We’re all handling something in our life that causes extra stress or brings joy to our day; however, more often than not we put ourselves first.

For the last two months I’ve been busy, so busy with work, family, trying to stay ahead of housework, paying bills, holidays, rolling into a new year with school and work, coordinating everyone’s schedules, upcoming trips for school events, basketball, softball, baseball – oh my, have I forgotten anything???

In all of that chaos, I hadn’t noticed what was happening around me. My life is always fast-paced, and I’m very organized, so usually, I’m very aware of not only my life but those that I care about, whether their professional connections or my friends; however, I had fallen short.

It began mid-December, I was so inundated with work after several coworkers decided to take time off to be with their families during the holidays. For three weeks I was in early and out late, rarely taking time for lunch and thankful when my spouse or one of my coworkers would surprise me with something to eat. I found myself in the office on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to make sure that everyone that was working knew they were appreciated.

It was weeks before the dust began to settle – everyone had finally returned to work. I finally had time to reach out to people in my life that I hadn’t connected with for weeks. How my heart sank as I learned that an amazing person in my life had begun their fight against cancer, that two others were dealing with workplace bullying from their supervisors. I realized how disconnected I had been.

Not too long ago I read an interesting take on Wearing Hope. I wish I had a copy of this piece. It made me think. From what I can remember, it talked about Faith, Hope and Love being Spiritual Gifts, powerful but abstract. So how do we wear them?

I’m not going to do this piece justice, and the day I read this I thought to myself that I would never forget what I had read. I’ll try my best. We wear our faith and don it every day to live for Christ. Our hearts are wrapped in faith and knows God’s love. We’re safe from sin and blows inflicted by life, our trust is tested every day, betrayed by those we call friend, and at times even loved ones; however, we face these trials clothed in love and forgiveness, and we’re protected by hope as we focus on God’s salvation.

1 Corinthians 13:13: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.