Monthly Archives: October 2011
In September I turned 40. For my birthday it was easy to acknowledge that I don’t need or want for anything materially. Yet, I’ll be honest, I do like gifts. I enjoy it when someone chooses a personal gift for me. It is not about the size or cost of the gift but really the thought. A collectible item found at a yard sale, a picture, book, recipe, a new piece of sports equipment, etc., I love them all. Yet again there was nothing I needed or wanted so I thought why not ask friends and family to give to an organization that is on the front lines of working to solve the water crisis in the world. Having travelled to places in the world where clean water is an issue this seemed right. It’s always bothered me on trips that I drink clean water because I can afford it while others go without. So I raised funds toward clean water through Charity Water.
What happened was that each time my email alerted me to a new donation there was incredible joy. What I found that friends and family far and wide joined in celebrating my birthday in a different way, in a way that was deeply personal to me. Each donation was as precious as a collectible item, a picture, book, personal recipe or piece of sports equipment. Each made me smile when I thought of both the good that the donation would make to help bring clean water, but also the relationship I had with that person. What especially touched me was that a few of the young woman I have had the pleasure of knowing in their high school years through church joined in helping me celebrating my 40th. As young leaders they understand this water crisis and want to do something about it. Thank You Charity Water for your birthday present to me!
I’m not really a runner. I’m a sometimes jogger. However there have been few moments where everything “clicked” and my jogging turned to running mentally and it felt wonderful. Good music has helped me move from jogging to running. I’m always looking for just the right mix. Here is the most recent “Running Energy” as labeled on my itouch.
The Mary Tyler Moore Theme Song (I turned 40 this year, this song is a great start to my run that’s under 2 minutes).
When I Grow Up by The Pussycat Dolls (fun and energizing)
Mean by Taylor Swift (which makes me want to be strong for all those young women out there I know)
Waka Waka by Shakira (fun but reminds me that the world is so very big and that I really do love soccer)
On the Floor by Jennifer Lopez (makes me think of running as dancing)
The Great Awakening by Leeland (thinking about how our actions can be contagious)
On My Own by Ashes Remain (focuses on unleashing the stress of the day)
We Could Change the World by Matt Redman (pushes me to dream about what can be)
We are the Free by Matt Redman (such a great beat with worship at its core)
Like a Lion by the David Crowder Band on the Passion Awakening Album (I love the imagery of this song)
Chase that (Ambition) by Lecrae (this makes me smile every time as I heard Lecrae at the Catalyst Conference and immediately downloaded rap)
God is Enough by Lecrae (If I’m listening to this I’ve made it pretty far in my jog/run and always can pick up the pace with this song).
Search My Heart by Hillsong United (this helps me refocus as I’m winding down if the ipod is still on)
I’d welcome any feedback and suggestions for future additions.
One of the biggest goals of this year of turning 40 was to change jobs. I was able to check it off the 40 for 40 list. However the process of seeking out a new job, finishing out my previous position well, and now learning new responsibilities and developing new relationships has been exhausting. Each morning though I get up and arrive to work earlier than I ever imagined I could make it and am energized to face a new day. The exhaustion has meant a few of the other 40 for 40 goals have taken a back seat.
My previous position was working with the Department of Mental Health with adolescent and young adults. Though I loved many aspects of my time there, it was time to make a change. In May 2010 I went to the Catalyst Conference in Dallas. Andy Stanley spoke about the Courage to Go, the Courage to Stay, and the Courage to Ask for Help. The talk resonated with me as staying would have been safe and I would have continued to “do good.” However leaving would be uncomfortable so that I could serve and grow in other ways God has placed on my heart. Leaving young people I have grown to respect and care about was emotionally exhausting. Facing the possibility I would not love my new job has been a thought I have needed to keep in check.
I am now working in a middle and high school program for students with special needs. I have gone from knowing my job well and feeling quite confident of my abilities and relationships to a time where I am constantly thinking about my abilities but also my deficits. What do I need to learn? What skills can I transfer? Where can I step up and lead? How can I get better? Can I really connect with students? When will it be easier?
I keep reminding myself that I am only 6 weeks in. Relationships of years can’t even begin to be compared with 6 weeks of school.
What am I learning – that change is both energizing and exhausting – and it can be seemingly both at the same moment. I had forgotten some of this lesson. Though in the past I may have been exhausted but energized during a retreat or conference the job change is a more enduring process. Months of change in relationships, commute, faces, policies, routines, role, etc.
I received a card from a friend on my softball team the other day – a quick note. She had no idea, or quite honestly she most likely had every idea, that change is challenging. It was quick note of thought and encouragement regarding change. It allowed me to give myself time and also reminded me to give grace and encouragement to others in the change process.