Posted by: Anne | August 19, 2017

“Thy will…” – Part 1

“I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.
~ Elisabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control

Posted by: Anne | August 12, 2017

not so much “Plan B” as it is “Plan 50 20”

Recapping key happenings that led up to my new job:

– In late 2016, with our contract expiration in sight, my employer began urging us to explore other options. This — along with a strong desire to part ways with my manager — propelled me from casually glancing at the “help wanteds” to actually updating my résumé and applying.

– I haven’t counted, but I guess-timate that I applied to an average of one opportunity every week, over a span of five months.

– With the bulk of my company’s work set to be completed by summer 2017, in late April I was cut to part-time status, to be in the office only three days per week.

– The week after I was made part-time was the first of four in which I had interviews. Those companies all suggested that we meet on my days off… although they didn’t know I was free on those days. And since I was interviewing on my days off, I didn’t have to use any vacation time, or burden my current employer with last-minute call outs.

– The first company I talked to — I’ll call them “ABC” — seemed like the ideal fit: I had good rapport with my two interviewers (who would also be my supervisors), and the work they described was almost identical to what I’d been doing for the past five years.

– I was applying for positions that I deemed “a good fit,” and from the multiple responses I received, I guess I chose well. After the interviews, I was convinced that any of those jobs would’ve been fine, even though none struck me as a clear, “This is IT!” Plus, there were a few disconnects in which the person setting up the interview and I evidently got off on the wrong foot. For example, one human resources agent asked me to call and let her know when I had emailed my application, but when I did a few hours later, her tone was distant, as if I was being pushy. (For doing what she asked! GRR!!)

– Throughout my search, I seriously considered changing career paths. I was drawn to a recurring ad for help at the library, but it was a minimum wage position in addition to being a long drive from where I live. Plus, I preferred to build on the experience I had, instead of starting back completely at “square zero.”

– Meanwhile at my current job, the good supervisor announced that he would be leaving in mid-May. I fretted, wondering what other positive, reasonable, well-spoken manager would be available to give me a reference.

– I took the other rejections in stride because I was counting on a job offer from ABC; when they sent word that they’d chosen someone else, I could see my last hope fading away. I pity-partied that apparently I require an opportunity with absolutely no competition.

– At the beginning of my job search, I started writing a list of my (many!) duties with instructions for my coworkers on doing them in my absence. I worked on it sporadically due to interruptions, not to mention frustrations about the ever-growing list, and how best to present it. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was something I needed to do, to “do right” by the company and leave them with that information. In the fifth week of my part-time status, I put forth a concentrated effort and completed a serious first draft.

– The next day, ABC called again about a job opening I hadn’t seen: maintaining an archive (a.k.a. “library”) of technical documents. One of my previous interviewers thought of me and wanted to discuss it. What job seeker could resist such an invitation? Of course, I agreed to meet.

– The day of the interview, I began my traditional preparation, in which I describe how my experience meets their requirements. But as I looked at the job description they sent me, I could see why no one was applying; despite the job title, the duties they outlined were so technical that I didn’t even know where to start. In fact, I almost called and cancelled, convinced that I wasn’t the one for them. But I didn’t. I mean, we had already spoken, so surely they didn’t think I secretly had computer engineering skills, or something…? (And, heck, as I tweeted, “A long shot is better than no shot!”)

– Also, the day of the interview, I was late! Which is *so* not me. I’m generally very early for everything — except when it’s got life-changing implications. :slapsforehead: When I arrived, my previous interviewer came out to glare at me. I feebly apologized, and he graciously offered that he thought traffic was bad. I briefly agreed, we moved on, and no more was said about it.

– On the bright side, there was almost nowhere for the interview to go but up. And up it went — way up! The second interviewer was super-nice, and he shared that my previous interviewer “was impressed” with me. (I thought, “Um, so impressed that you didn’t hire me before?” But I immediately countered that with, “No worries — this job is better!”) My meager preparation added a key point or two to my answers. The interviewers even proposed that they could train me on what I didn’t know: I had wanted to suggest that, but I didn’t know if *they* would buy it!

– The next day — May 26 — ABC called and offered me the job. I accepted and we agreed I would start in two weeks.

A series of fortunate events? Sure, some people would say it’s all just coincidence. (Some people would say the same if a warehouse full of airplane parts exploded and produced a perfectly functioning airplane. 😉 I can attest that some of those “events” felt decidedly less than fortunate while I was in them, and I admit I slipped into despair, more than once. But I’m thankful that, looking back, I’m able to see the pieces come together, and I’m posting about it here to be a much-needed reminder for me to look for the big picture… or should I say, the big plan.

Posted by: Anne | August 5, 2017

getting past the ashes

“Of one thing I am perfectly sure: God’s story never ends with ‘ashes.'”
– Elisabeth Elliot, These Strange Ashes

Posted by: Anne | July 29, 2017

the divine filter of usability

“God will not permit any troubles to come upon us, unless He has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty.” – Peter Marshall

More quotes are here:
www.jonbeaty.com/21-of-the-most-inspirational-quotes-about-trusting-god/

Posted by: Anne | July 22, 2017

the great Director

“A person’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.” — Proverbs 16:9 (CSB)

Young Clive is shipped off, to get rid of him, in the East India Company, and he becomes the founder of England’s empire in India. The Duke of Wellington seeks of Lord Camden in early life a place at the Treasury Board, and becomes the military hero of Europe. There are many to-day occupying positions very different to those which they set before themselves in early life. Some are preaching the gospel who were destined to practise at the English bar. Some are lawyers who started to be physicians. Some are business men who started to be artists or musicians. David Livingstone starts as a hand in a Glasgow factory, and he becomes the pioneer of missionary work in Africa. William Carey makes shoes and he becomes the most successful missionary in India. Looking back on life, we say it was this or that event which impelled us on another course. We are apt to forget that the event was no chance accident, but a distinct factor in God’s government of our lives.

Read the full article at the source:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/16-9.html

Posted by: Anne | July 15, 2017

What “all things”? What “good”?

“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.” —Romans 9:28

Do all things work together for good?

All things are not good. It would be mockery to say that they are. The death of a child is not good. Cancer is not good, drug addiction is not good, war is not good, blasphemy is not good.

But the Bible says, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” In the chemistry of the cross God takes things that, in and of themselves, are bad, and He puts them together, much as a chemist might take chemicals that, in and of themselves, may be deleterious and mixes them to make a medicine that brings healing.

[For example,] many of us have some salt with our meals. Table salt is made up of both sodium and chloride. By itself, sodium is a deadly poison, and so is chloride. Put them together, and you have table salt. Salt flavors food, and a certain amount of salt is necessary for health and life. We cannot live without some salt in our systems.

God can take things that are bad and put them in the crucible of His wisdom and love. He works all things together for good, and He gives us the glorious, wonderful promise that He will do so.

Read the full article at the source:
https://billygraham.org/story/do-all-things-work-together-for-good/

Posted by: Anne | July 8, 2017

the wait is not wasted

“The work that God does in us when we wait is usually more important than the thing for which we wait!” ― Erwin W. Lutzer, When You’ve Been Wronged: Moving From Bitterness to Forgiveness

Posted by: Anne | July 1, 2017

free indeed

“The Bible teaches that God is completely in control of what happens in history and yet he exercises that control in such a way that human beings are responsible for their freely chosen actions and the results of those actions. Human freedom and God’s direction of historical events are therefore completely compatible. To put it most practically and vividly — if a man robs a bank, that moral evil is fully his responsibility, though it also is part of God’s plan.

…God’s plan works through our choices, not around or despite them.”

~ Timothy Keller, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering

Read more:
https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-topic/quotes-about-freedom/

“We have freedom now, because Christ made us free. So stand strong in that freedom. Don’t go back into slavery again.” ~ Galatians 5:1 (ERV)

Posted by: Anne | June 24, 2017

A Little Closer

“A Little Closer”
by Group 1 Crew

If you opened my heart
You’d see I don’t have it all together
If you took me apart
You’d see the worst of me wants to get better
But you’re changing me, piece by piece
Into who you’re really callin me to be

[Chorus:]
There’s a beauty and beast inside of me
Who I am fighting who I wanna be
But through the rise and falls
The roller coaster
I, I, I get a little closer
Like a child walking in their father’s shoes
I just wanna look a little more like you
Everyday’s another step forward
I, I get a little closer

I, I get a little closer [x2]

Lord, I know that it’s true
You’re gonna finish this work you started
Even when I don’t know and it’s moving so slow
Even when I feel nothing but broken hearted
But you’re changing me, piece by piece
Into who I know that I am gonna to be

[Chorus]

I, I get a little closer [x4]

All my days
Every breath I take
Won’t you make me, shape me, into who you are

[Chorus]

I, I get a little closer [x8]


Hear the song and see the lyrics at YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Y8zBiK4o30

Lyrics were found here:
www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/group1crew/alittlecloser.html

Group 1 Crew’s website:
www.group1crew.com

Posted by: Anne | June 17, 2017

lessons learned from dad

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” – Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum

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