I realize it’s been a while, but here’s a thought that’s really weighed heavy on me lately….
It was pointed out to me yesterday by someone who has known me professionally for roughly 5 years that I shut down when I’m in certain situations. I had dinner with this particular customer Tuesday evening and it was such a pleasure to get to know this gentleman on a personal level; we laughed and chatted about things completely unrelated to work. This is the part of my job that I love; getting to know people and building that relationship. Professionally and personally, I love this part of my life. I’ve gotten to know some pretty amazing people over my lifetime and I love having that social aspect with other people.
After coming to the facility yesterday morning and having an deeper conversation about how we hope to grow both of our businesses together, he called me to thank me for inviting him to our facility and then made a statement about me that kind of shook me up. “I find it very interesting that I seem to have met 2 completely different people in the same 24 hours. You were loud and bubbly Tuesday evening at dinner, but then during the actual meeting you were very quiet and reserved. You seem to shut down in that particular situation.” I found it very interesting that he noticed that about me and the more I thought about it the more I realized he was correct. I do shut down and I don’t quite understand why yet. But I intend to figure it out.
Tonight as I was driving home from what was a GREAT vacation with my husband and his parents, the Lord reminded me of a truth He’s told me many times before.
Rest in me
Just rest. Don’t play on Facebook or Instagram. Don’t read your work emails or your personal emails. Simply rest. How often do we truly do that? Put down the phone, stop thinking we’re going to miss something; and just enjoy the moment. Today The Lord blessed me with a beautiful sunrise and sunset that I actually got to see and recognize was His creation. He blesses us all with both everyday. We just have to take the time to look at it and find His perfect rest in those moments.
While I realize that this is a pretty obvious title for a blog post, to me it is a reminder and at the current a pretty harsh reminder. I work in a male dominated field in a male dominated office. It has been laid out before me more than once that because of that situation I have to work twice as hard to get where I want to go in this field and yell twice as loud to get my opinion heard, regardless of whether or not I’ve installed product faster than a man he’s been installing something else for more years than I had been alive at that point (also I was in a skirt and 4 inch heels!). While the majority of the time, I find this to be a little annoying in the last few months I’ve noticed more and more that even within my own office, my opinion doesn’t matter and if I stand up for myself clearly I’m just pitching a hissy fit or just being a royal b-word. However, this all changed for me yesterday when my company was completely embarrassed because I didn’t pitch a fit about the quality of the material that was installed for half of the state of South Carolina to see at a field day. Therefore, from here on out, it’s a new woman who walks in my office doors every morning. I will become the office b-word because I know that is what will have to get done in order for me and the company to get where we need to be.
The last couple of months I’ve been reading “Lean In” by Sheryl-Sandberg. She points out that women don’t go after certain opportunities because they aren’t confident in their own abilities and almost always attribute their success to luck or other people’s help. I have found the book to be very enlightening about how I react in certain situations and how I feel about myself. I have always been taught to be gracious and graceful and I do think there is a balance between graceful and b-word. I hope to find it and quickly. Because I know the Lord created women to be a certain way and have certain instincts, but I’ve been pushed around too much not to finally stick up for myself.
One year ago today, one of my favorite places on this planet was hit by an F5 tornado. Tuscaloosa was literally rocked to the core as the tornado followed a major road through the center of the town. In my 3 years, I drove down 15th Street more times that I can count. I lived not far from this road in one apartment or another. I ate in the Taco Casa that was disassembled as if it was a house of cards. I picked up a glass of sweet tea from the Milo’s near by that stood in a pile of rubble that day.
I have yet to go back to Tuscaloosa since that day, and my heart still hurts knowing where the storm went and how many lives were lost that day. I watched in horror the videos that people were brave/crazy enough to film. I saw the demolition that this tornado caused. I wept in a hotel room in Miami that evening. But God…
I love that. I love the but God… It reminds me that not only was He in the middle of the tornado that struck Tuscaloosa, but also in the storms of my life. I may not really see Him and I may have to remind myself that He is there, but He IS there.
My prayers still go out to Tuscaloosa for I know they will rebuild. I know the Lord will rebuild after any storm placed in my life.
This past Saturday, B and I went hiking up at Lake Norman State Park. It was a beautiful day and the trail followed the water’s edge for a long while, so the scenery is beautiful. Enjoying God’s creation is one of my favorites.
What kept me laughing for the almost hour and a half we hiked was how far ahead of me he could get. I’m 5’4″ and he’s 6’4″. He’s got 6 inches on me in leg alone and the boy wears a size 13 shoe!!! There were several moments when he would hang back and walk with me. It reminded me of my walk with the Lord. Sometimes I feel like he’s left me alone in the woods to figure it out for myself, but then I feel His hand in mine and He reminds me, He’s always there. Sometimes he just walks a littler faster than me to check out the path.
I’ve been told in the past that I’m delusional for giving my love so freely. My heart has never been one to bottle up feelings of love, affection, or adoration. It will however bottle up feelings of resentment, disappointment, and anger, but that’s a whole different post and something I’m trying not to do in 2011. This statement of delusion made me think about a few things. Love, as quoted by Kelly Bozard, is a knowledge of both the good and the bad and choosing to love the other person anyway. Another quote I’ve found is:
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
― Kahlil Gibran
But what I’ve found to be so interesting this last few weeks as I’ve thought through this delusional statement is that love is something I can really only give by the grace of the Lord. I finished reading Radical by David Platt. Absolutely incredible book and I highly recommend it to anyone. He makes a statement that was pretty profound to me that true love (friendship, family, and relational love) only comes from an outpouring of God’s grace in my life. So if His grace is unending, why isn’t my love for others?
Sidewalk Prophet’s song, “You can have me” keeps playing over and over in my head especially the lines:
When did love become unmoving?
When did love become unconsuming?
Love is really a sacrifice of the self, so why not give it freely?
As I drove to work this morning, I saw a squirrel running on a telephone or a power wire over a fairly busy street in town. One wrong move and it was going to end in tragedy. What I found so interesting about this was during my morning quiet time, I was reading about Sarah and Abraham and the long wait after the Lord made a covenant with Abraham that his offspring would become as numerous as the stars but how Sarah eventually took things into her own hands and gave Hagar to Abraham. Why are we so quick to take things into our own hands when we know the Lord is going to do what He promises? Why does faith have to be such a tightwire where one wrong move, may not end up in tragedy but isn’t where the Lord wanted us? Why can’t I be more like that squirrel? I should be clutching to God’s promises (the wire) not looking at what’s beyond that. He may have me clutching to a section for a long time, but I know down the line there’s a new set of promises for me to hold on to.