Wisdom Wednesday

Be All in…Until It’s All Over

The summer is halfway over, and I am moving on to different seasons in my life. I have been waiting to finish my TEFL certification class. My seasonal retail job is almost over. My English conversation class is having its last meeting this Wednesday. I’m going to be tutoring a woman for a few hours a week. Great things are happening!

Lately I’ve become more demotivated at my job because I know that I am leaving soon. You can only fold clothes so many times before you realize that you’re really not making a huge difference working there. Yesterday, as I was cleaning a clothes rack for the tenth time, I realized that, at the beginning of the summer, I was so joyful and excited. Because of my job, I’ve paid off a chunk of my school loans already, and I’ve still managed to see my friends for the most part. My job was a gift from God to financially support me and to spiritually grow me. In the beginning of the summer, I had prayed before work, skipped into the mall with a huge smile on my face, and helped customers like it was my favorite hobby. As a result, my co-workers would be encouraged, and they would comment on my positive attitude.

As my job became more and more of a chore, I began to lose sight of the fact that my job was a blessing. I would count down the hours until I could finally clock out and do what I wanted to do. However, as a result, I wasn’t as encouraging to my co-workers. I did not want to help customers. I became more irritable about this temporary season, that I knew would not last forever.

Moving from clothes rack to clothes rack, I meditated on the fact that I was not as motivated as I was when my manager first gave me the job. I realized that I had forgotten that God was the one who had truly blessed me with a job. I saw my job more as a trial and distraction than as a task that God had given me to accomplish. During the hot summer days, God had told me to work as hard as I could. I felt him leading me to push myself to help the store reach its full potential. I knew that I could not change the whole store or compromise my boundaries, but I also knew that my positive attitude and hard work was making a difference in at least one person’s life. Each day, a different person would come up to me and thank me for helping with something. Each day, God confirmed that I was at that store to do more than simply make money.

In these last few weeks that I have working there, I want to remember the joy and energy that I felt when they first gave me a badge and locker key. I want to go above and beyond what is comfortable for me and make a difference in someone else’s life. God has not released me from this job yet, so I will continue to do what he asks me to do until I clock out for the last time. I’m going to be all in, until it’s all over.

Wisdom Wednesday

first world problems

I’ll be honest with you: there’s a lot in my life that I can complain about. My job has made it almost impossible to see my friends. My homework has made it almost impossible to find time to breathe. My teaching practicum–which is required for my class–is located about 40 minutes away from my home…without traffic. I’m not in control,  and it makes me want to complain.

There’s a popular hash tag on twitter: #firstworldproblems. This usually implies that there is a problem someone has that normally would not be a problem, but because we have become so spoiled and dependent on stuff,  the situation is a serious crisis. A first world problem could be that my phone died while at my friend’s house, or that we ran out of chocolate pudding so now I have to eat jello for dessert. Hey, at least you HAVE a phone. Hey, at least you HAVE dessert. Even more,  at least you have food!

It seems that we have begun to take these gifts, these blessings, for grsnted. We expect our cell phones to work at all times. We expect dessert after every meal. We expect our jobs to perfectly fit into our schedules. We expect homework to take ten minutes. We expect control, and we expect instant results.

Unfortunately, that’s not the way the world works. There just aren’t enough resources to support everyone’s desire. That’s why we have to sacrifice. That’s why we can’t always get what we want. That is…we  can’t always get what we expect.

But you know something? God will always give us what we NEED. One thing God always offers us is joy. Even if we don’t see the positive side of a situation at all, God can provide the joy that we need to propel through it. Even those without food or money can feel the hope, joy, and love of the Lord. I have every reason to be happy.

I have a job; in the crazy economy, at least I have a way to pay off my loans. I’m preparing to teach overseas; the fact that my homework us challenging and time-consuming gives me hope that it will prepare me well for the future. I LOVE what I am doing for my teaching practicum. I have the ability to see God’s faithfulness as he provides a parking spot for me, and he practically clears the way so that there is no traffic when I drive during rush hour. Life is nothing like I expected, but it’s everything that I could ever want…and more.

So instead of focusing on what I don’t have, I’m going to be thankful for what I do have. If I’d focus on the negative, I’d miss the blessings of the positive.

Wisdom Wednesday

Introduction: Why to Avoid the Pity Party

After reading the devotional that I discussed in my previous post, I realized that the world has a lot of negativity and stress.  It seems almost overwhelming.  It’s like there’s a huge pity party, and everyone is invited.

There’s negativity in the news, in the work place, and even in the home.  It’s socially acceptable to complain about everything and anything that makes us mad.  But then again, why would you want to spread negativity?  Isn’t it better to be positive?  Yes, but it most definitely takes work.

For the next few days, I will be discussing the positive effects of, well, being positive.  I will use examples from my life to talk about why it is better to look on the bright side of things.  I will also talk about how being negative can hurt yourself as well as hurt others.

Thanks again for your support and encouragement on this blog.  As always, feedback is greatly appreciated.