Tag Archives: blessings

Unexpected Paths and New Beginnings

In almost 50 years of life I have learned that the paths I think I’ll be taking and the paths I find myself on are rarely the same. Rarely, as in, never.  I have also found a correlation between these diametrically opposite paths…they always lead to growth and new beginnings.

Case in point. In November of 2016 I found myself being laid off at my job. Having your boss walk in and instinctively knowing what is going to happen is the worst. An ugly cry was needed and mine did not disappoint. Gathering my few personal belongings and leaving felt like an end. In fact, I drove to Memorial park and walked the three mile loop crying because I knew I couldn’t drive all the way home. Little did I know this was just a new beginning.

After the shock wore off (a few weeks later) one question changed my path. The question was, “So now that you are looking for a job, what do you WANT to do?” I hadn’t really considered that I could actually change careers this late in life. The thought of that was too overwhelming and I continued my search for marketing positions. After several interviews I knew that path was no longer what I wanted.

I had several friends and family suggest real estate and the thought of that made me feel alive. That feeling had been lost in the responsibility of taking care of my children and the fear of trying something new. Kicking me out of a “safe” job was the only way for me to leave. I truly believe God did just that.

Never in a million years would I have risked going out on my own. Knowing myself as well as I do, I would have stayed where I was regardless of whether or not I enjoyed it. When you have three children depending on you things change. It no longer becomes what I want, but what needs to be done. My parents definitely taught me the importance of responsibility, a lesson that has served me well in life.

Anyway, after completing real estate classes I took and passed the exam in March. I studied like a crazy person, sometimes ten hours a day. It had been YEARS since I had studied something new and I was afraid my brain wouldn’t cooperate. But when I walked out of the testing center knowing I had passed I was thankful. Thankful not only for passing, but for the opportunity.

I know without a doubt God gave me this opportunity and in hindsight being laid off was a blessing. He obviously knew I wouldn’t have tried anything new unless I was forced to. What a good, good Father!

Five Minute Friday: CHOOSE

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Welcome to FIVE MINUTE FRIDAYS with Lisa Jo Baker!

About 5 Minute Fridays:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat. No editing. No backtracking. No over thinking. (OK, maybe just a little.)
2. Link back to Lisa Jo’s site: LisaJoBaker.com
3. Visit the person before you and leave a comment to encourage them.

Today’s prompt: CHOOSE

Today I choose.

Choose to reflect on the blessings in my life.

Choose to let go (again).

Choose to see that where I am is where I am supposed to be.

Choose to live in freedom.

Choose to accept the fact that I could not be the person I am today without all the things that happened before today.

Choose to see myself as God sees me, not how others see me.

Choose to make decisions that are healthy for me.

So many times I look at the choices I’ve made, or others have made, in relation to where I am today.

I read so many great quotes about living in the moment, cherishing the time I have now, etc. and they sound so great. And they make me feel good…for the moment I read them, or maybe a few more. But then life happens and stress attempts to swallow me and I’m back to looking at my choices. My day runs through my head at the end of the day about the choices made – good or bad. It’s like a movie that won’t stop. Especially when, in my opinion, there was a “bad” choice made that day. Often, I’m replaying the SAME conversation/decision over and over in my brain. It’s exhausting. Melatonin is a welcomed friend at that point.

But today I choose to accept the choices I’ve made thus far in my journey on earth. I choose to move forward in anticipation of what comes next while enjoying the blessings I have today.

Today I choose joy. Not happiness, but true joy.

When Monday Lasts All Week

MondayThe week started as any other – on a Monday. For some reason it never left that beginning.

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, most of this will not be new. The events unfolded one after another almost as if someone were throwing darts right at me. It has been painful, to say the least. In fact, last night one of my best friends texted me to say, “At this point, I actually catch my breath when I see a text from you because I’m scared! THAT is a crappy week, no doubt!” Yep, truth. Funny and sad.

Last night a neighbor stopped by and when I opened the door, the tears begin to fall. Mine, not hers. I felt so bad for her. There she was just popping by, only to get an emotional mess greeting her at the front door. I’d just burnt my finger after a very unsuccessful dinner with my kids. She hugged me and prayed for me right there. It was just what I needed. A God-send for sure. And as God would have it, her husband is a plumber and they were coming to check on my “situation”. The situation of my hot water heater leaking and the complete take-over of my attic by small woodland creatures.

Then there are the bright spots among all the YUCK this week that reminds me that I’m not alone (even though I know I’m not… being reminded is very helpful). Family and friends who were there to help and blessed me along the way. And a reminder that God is not surprised by anything that has happened this week. In fact, he already had things in place to help me through… even if one of those is my tax return. Not through it all yet, but praying it ends soon. Please.

On the way to school this morning I apologized to my children for my attitude last night. Because it wasn’t good. I told them that I am choosing to see the mice as a blessing. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have gone into the attic to see the water leaking out of the hot water heater. I explained that sometimes things happen that seem bad but that God ALWAYS looks out after us and can work ANYTHING out for our good. I’m pretty sure my son thought I’d lost it by the look on his face. I probably have. I blame it on my noisy refrigerator, the leaking water heater, and the mice. Lots and lots of mice. Um, yeah.

But seriously, I also recognize that some of what is going on is God’s grace. Grace so big that I don’t really understand it all. Without going into personal details, there are things and people that God is slowly taking away from me. It’s been awfully painful. And yesterday I found out about another person in my life that will be moving to another country. (That makes THREE. Yes, three friends who have been with me in the THICK of my emotions and ALL THREE will be in different countries. Another country? Really?) That fact pushed me over my emotional edge. Sometimes it just seems too much. But I know in my heart God takes away for a reason. To be honest, I know the reason but it doesn’t make it easier.

This morning as I waited for the last minute to get out of my warm covers (still can’t believe it was that cold in April), I emailed my friend a reply in response to an email I sent last night about grieving. In it I wrote – Even in my crying I hold onto knowing that although I cannot understand it, I must trust His heart. He’s been nothing but good to me.”  And the truth is… I fiercely trust his heart. Even in the midst of a week of Mondays.

Sometimes life is not fun or adventurous or exciting. It’s hard and sad and basically just sucks. Choosing how I look at the hard part is what will get me through even the crappiest of days… and weeks… and even years. So today I’m choosing to hang onto the God who not only parts seas but cares enough to save my house from a flood and an army of mice. And the one that chooses to bless me when I don’t deserve it in the midst of it all.

*My memory verse for the past two weeks has been extremely helpful this week – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9