Purposeful, Intentional, Productive

Okay, wow.

I did it! I reached over 50,000 words in the month of November. For those of you wondering what I’m talking about, it’s NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo Winner 2012-180x180

The month was a crazy one:  Moving everything we own one weekend, working on a church project every night another week, and of course, the Thanksgiving holiday with family. On top of having a full-time job. I spent the last week getting up at 5:00 a.m. to catch up on my word count. And strangely enough, it turned me into a morning person. Which I now love!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to write about this last Thursday–I was sick for an entire week. Which brings me closer to the point of this post…

After training for and running a marathon (see Here We Go Again… and Good vs. Crappy Runs and My First Marathon:  The Wonderful in the Horrible), after trudging through NaNoWriMo (see NaNoWriMo!!!!!!!!!!!!), and after a week of being sick, I decided to take an evening “off” from everything by watching TV and surfing the net. Of course, I did a few productive things like eat supper, play with the dog, and put laundry away/organize my closet (it’s still a little crazy after moving). I expected to feel relaxed.

Nope.

I felt like the evening was a complete waste. And I was frustrated because I had no idea why. Well….. Having spent every spare minute in the last six months working productively and intentionally toward huge goals, I have reprogrammed myself. Just like a person can “become” a morning person (see Michael Hyatt‘s post, How to Become a Morning Person), a person can become other things. I am becoming purposeful, intentional, and productive.

So now I’m struggling with conflicting feelings about the “new me”. I’m excited because being purposeful, intentional, and productive will propel me toward my future goals, life dreams, and crossing things off my bucket list. But I’m also a little saddened because I wonder if I will never feel relaxed again. But my husband reminded me, relaxation could just be redefined.

All in all, even if I have lost the ability to feel relaxed doing “nothing”, I am beyond excited at the future accomplishments and realization of dreams before me!

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A few stepping stones in the direction of our dreams

Are things finally stabilizing?

These past seven and a half months have been a whirlwind of uncertainty for us. We had ideas of the dreams we wanted to pursue. We thought we were working toward those dreams…by my husband quitting his job to pursue art and composing, by my working at a business where I had opportunity to learn so much, by living in a low-cost community, by my beginning this blog…

But our dreams seemed on the verge of evaporating when I quit my job at the end of 2011. We felt like we were floating in empty space. Nothing to grab hold of. Fortunately we had family willing to help us back on our feet again, by providing places to live and emotional support.

Things are so different now… Both my husband and I have great jobs! My husband has a job he never in his life thought he would have, but he is loving it. The job has regular hours, enabling my husband to have evenings and weekends free to pursue his passions. Our jobs put us in a better position to attack debt. Living in an apartment frees up our time from most maintenance projects.

The awesome thing:  the situation we were in before, we tried forcing our dreams into reality. Now, even though we struggled with the thought of losing our dreams, we are in a better position than ever! It is amazing how God makes things fall into place so perfectly.

Now, let’s go attack those dreams!

Pursuing Dreams Together

Have you ever thought you were losing your dream, only to find things turned for the better?

It’s been a year!

I published my very first post on July 21, 2011, titled The Beginning of Our Impossible Dreams.

Let’s celebrate!

So much has changed in just a year! A year ago we debated moving halfway around the world. And my husband decided to quit his job to pursue his passion of the fine arts. Now, even though we decided not to move to Thailand, we do live in a very different city, and my husband has a very different job. It’s crazy all the things that can occur in a year. The craziest thing of all is that we both believe we’re exactly where God wants us.

In honor of my blog’s year anniversary, I thought I’d list my top five posts. This is based on the number of views each post received, not including being read from the home page view.

1.  WealthRock: Joseph Irons

2.  Financial Success: James Smith

3.  The Beginning of Our Impossible Dreams

4.  Can Stress and Communication Co-exist?

5.  Get Motivated! Business Seminar

Thanks for reading!

When Everything Falls Into Place

Don’t you just love that feeling?

That feeling of everything seeming to fit together just perfectly….

We left what we had with nothing ahead of us (Changes in the New Year). After a month of job hunting, I found a job…that I’m still so thankful for (Got Job?)! As far as a place to live….we kept looking, and looking, and looking….(He Will Lead Us Home.)… Until now!!

Now we are signed up to move into an apartment in August. I’m so excited! It’s perfect. It’s within our price range, but nicer than others we looked at. There are a number of walking/running/biking trails, which will be perfect for my marathon training (Here We Go Again…) And they will accept our pets. And….

Some even awesomer news… My husband got a job with a great company, and starts in July!

I’m shaking my head at myself right now. We used to live in a rental house and our landlady decided to sell. At the time I had been so worried…what are we going to do, where are we going to live, etc. Then, at just the right moment, God provided a home. (Financial Obstacles) I declared I would never worry again–ha!

I was less worried this time around, but the worry was still there. I am sure this will not be the last time God gives me an opportunity to strengthen my faith!

Psalm 119:105

Can Stress and Communication Co-exist?

I am stressed. Not as much now as I was earlier in the week.

In The Beginning of Our Impossible Dreams, I mention a few situations that were stressful. And in Got Job? I mentioned part of the stressful process I went through in looking for a job. After God showed up at just the right moment in each of those instances, I declared I would never be worried about anything again! How naive!

Faith is a good thing. And I should have it. But I was being naive about my humanness. I am prone to worry.

A Little Foggy Ahead?

And when I’m stressed, I need more communication to keep the stress level down. My husband and I learned that the hard way earlier this week. My stress level was increasing….where are we going to live? when are we going to make enough money to live on? (I wouldn’t be so stressed if this just affected us, but we’re depending on his mom’s good graces for our current housing.) My husband isn’t working a regular 9-5 job and I only had a partial idea of how he was using his time throughout the day. So the stress skewed my interpretation of his work.

We had a miscommunication. I had a melt-down. We came back together and came up with our best solution:  He would time-track his work in a little book. That way I could see what was going on–have a little security blanket. Much better than not communicating about it and better than me peppering him with twenty questions….or more.

It’s funny. When I’m stressed I withdrawal. But when I’m stressed I need more communication. What a contradiction!

Any tips from you about the best way to communicate during stressful times, or to deal with stress?

Got Job?

As most of you know, I’ve been looking for another job for several months. And resigned from my last job a month ago to pursue finding another full time.

I start my new job Monday, a job that appears to fit me perfectly!

How I got my new job seems, to me, like a pretty amazing story, so I wanted to share…

We temporarily moved in with my husband’s brother and sister-in-law, so I could be in town for interviews. My sister-in-law invited me to a Bible study she attends Wednesday mornings, Bible Study Fellowship International. I went to their introductory class the first week. They have you fill out a form if you are interested in participating. I figured, or rather hoped, I would not be available for much longer… You know, hoping to get a job. But I chose to sign up anyway. It sounded like something great to be a part of, even for a short while.

My sister-in-law told me she wouldn’t be able to make it the next week, and I almost considered not going. But chose to go, knowing it would be good for me, and she needed me to pick up the next lesson for her.

My last blog entry, Got Stress? Got Bible?, described the “feeling like crap” obstacles I faced the morning of that second Wednesday. And when I typed that entry, I realized why the devil might not want me at the Bible study, but didn’t want to post something I felt might happen.

That second Wednesday, I shared my search for a job as a prayer request. The women in my small group asked what kind of work I was looking for, etc. so they could keep their ears/eyes open for me (which meant a lot). That evening my small group leader called and asked if she could give my phone number to one of the members. They were possibly interested in me for a position at their company.

What ensued was a great phone call, application via e-mail, and a very enjoyable interview that included our spouses. Both my husband and I felt this was the position God had for me. It was my number one choice. At the same time, I interviewed a couple other places. Good practice and nice to have backups!

I knew one of the other places was going to offer me a job, and hoped they would do so after my number one choice hopefully did the same. It was not to be. When I got the call, I told the other position my husband and I had a couple determining factors to figure out and asked if I could let them know later today. Then my husband and I prayed, and I called my number one choice. I told them I had been offered another job. And the reason I was letting them know was because they were my number one choice. I knew it wasn’t fair to put that kind of pressure on them, but wanted to know if they had someone else in mind for the position, or if they were thinking of hiring me. They told me they had written up a job offer letter for me last night! And just hadn’t sent it via e-mail yet! Wow.

So… They sent me the letter. I accepted, of course!

Do you know your destination?

So. The “reason” the devil didn’t want me at that Bible study:  I would have never found out about the job God specifically wanted me to have!

Thank you, new bosses, for seeing what you needed in me. Thank you, my husband, for believing in me. Thank you, sister-in-law, for starting it all by inviting me to your Bible study.

And most importantly, THANK YOU, GOD!!

Now we just need to sell our house….

Changes In the New Year

People enter the New Year with resolutions to make changes….

How many times do people choose something that turns their lives upside down, and follow through?

My husband and I did just that. After several months of looking for another job, a lot of thought, discussion and prayer, I quit my job without another lined up.

Disclaimer:  Our decision is not recommended for most situations. It appears against logic. A friend mentioned, “Faith was never intended to be a substitute for intelligence.” And we completely agree! But this was a decision that was made very plain for us.

Jeremiah 29:11

So. We spent New Year’s Eve and the following days with my mother-in-law, considering all our options for the future….jobs, apartments, etc. Last Tuesday I had a job interview with a recruiter. The following day I started my current job. It is a temp job with the potential of growing into something more. At the very least, it puts us near where we had been financially.

We have family to stay with and a job secured (temporarily) But many more things to figure out:  apartment, selling/renting our house, another car, pets, another job….

It is a huge choice we’re taking one day/aspect at a time. We are plowing ahead, believing we can make it.

Of course, I will keep you all up to date on our progress, struggles, and victories!

Anyone else make any unusual resolutions for the year 2012?