The Sweet Spot
As I sat in the pews listening to my pastor a few weeks ago, I had one of those proverbial "light bulb" moments.
"You've got to find your Sweet Spot!" He said.
After hearing him explain this concept, I felt an intense sense of relief and joy. I knew that God was providing me with the reassurance and confirmation that I needed.
When I chose to rid myself of Corporate America and pursue my dream of writing, I took a GIANT leap of faith. I often wonder: What will I write about on my blog next week? Are people even reading my blog? Will people enjoy the book? Will my testimony really touch people? Anyone who has decided to take the road less traveled can sympathize with these thoughts. My brother-in-law recently stated that working for yourself is great because you are in complete control of your time. However, you don't always know when you are going to get paid. He was absolutely right and it's the not knowing that can make things quite scary. This is why I was so comforted by the message my pastor taught a few weeks ago; it was exactly what I needed to hear. "The Sweet Spot" is that wonderful place where your gifts, talents and passions directly align with your ministry or what God has called you to do. It is God's will for us to discover our Sweet Spot and fully operate in it! When we discover this spot-there is NO end to the possibilities of what we can accomplish. Furthermore, we invite God to get behind our efforts when we are operating in what he called us to do. When we we are fulfilling God's plan for us, he will provide us with every thing we need...and then some!
I have been trying to constantly remind myself about the concept of The Sweet Spot and it is my hope that YOU will do the same! Don't be afraid to pursue your dreams. Don't be afraid to completely change your career path if you are not happy in your current one! Find your own Sweet Spot by asking yourself what you love to do. What's something that you would do for free? The answer to that question is your Sweet Spot...now go OPERATE IN IT!
For more information about Pastor Joel Scrivner or Covenant Church, please visit covenantmckinney.org
One Heart, Two Homes
There's an old saying that home is where the heart is. Before September 2012 Omaha, NE was my home. I'd often heard fellow Omahans express how much they wanted to move elsewhere because the city was too small, too boring, or because there was too much violence etc. What I find quite ironic is the fact that I was never one of those people. "Don't you want to get out of Omaha?" People would ask me. My answer was always the same: NO. I was quite content in my small "boring" hometown. In fact, I did not find it boring at all. I spent my adult life living in Downtown Omaha and there was always something fun to do. I could sit on my rooftop deck, watch the sunset, and view the beautiful city skyline. I could traipse around the Old Market and have sushi at my favorite restaurant. I could also head just a few blocks over to Midtown Crossing and enjoy dinner and a movie at the CineDine; I could even shop afterwards at the surrounding boutiques. One of the main reasons that I did not have a desire to leave Omaha was because my mother lived there and I couldn't imagine her and I not living in the same city-that is until James came along.
When James and I decided to get married, I had a big decision to make. I chose to follow my heart and leave the only place that I ever called home. I chose to embark on a new adventure in a new city, Plano (a suburb of Dallas). I had been to visit Plano several times before but I never imagined that I would one day call it home. Plano is beautiful and an ideal place to raise a family. There are restaurants, boutiques and spas on virtually every corner and I love the warmer weather. I have always thought that snow was quite beautiful to look at but I do not miss driving in it. I have come to love many things about my new place of residence but being here is still bittersweet. I often miss the familiarity of home and more than anything, I miss mom. It will take time for me to fully adjust to my new surroundings and I have come to accept that. I know that in time I will have memories and sentiments about Plano just as I do about Omaha. Home truly is where the heart is, so I have ONE heart but TWO homes.
Things I Would Tell My 18 Year Old Self
1) You are NOT fat. (In fact, when you're 25, you will kill yourself in the gym just to get back to the size you are now!)
2) You WILL get married...twice...before you're 30. (Maybe I'd leave out the fact that I would be married twice-that may scare a teenage me!)
3) Yes, you already know him, both hims (in reference to #2)
4) Your college years will fly by so quickly, it will leave your head spinning--so study!
5) Mom is right. About everything. All the time.
6) Although you feel all 'churched' out sometimes, one day you will appreciate each message you heard.
7) Being grown is not as fun as it seems-don't be in such a hurry to get there.
8) Use lots of sunscreen.
9) Surround yourself with like minded people--remove yourself from toxic people.
10) Everything will be just fine; you will be successful and you will make mom proud. Some things you will experience in the next few years will make you cry ALOT, but you will survive & once you get through it all--you'll be stronger and wiser. Hang in there.
Reflection is an important part of getting older. I love looking through old photos and journals because I enjoy remembering how I thought & viewed things when I was younger. More than anything I enjoy analyzing my growth & development. I love seeing how I've gracefully transitioned into womanhood and how I've handled some very adult things at a young age. Reflection is God's way of allowing us to review ourselves. Do it often. You cannot know where you're headed if you don't know where you've been. What would you tell your 18 year old self?
A Mother's Love
Mother: a female parent; a woman in authority; specifically the superior of a religious community of women, an old or elderly woman; a source or origin; maternal tenderness or affection; something that is an extreme or ultimate example of its kind i.e., "it was the mother of all construction projects."
Although Mother's Day is this Sunday, I do my best to celebrate my mother every day. We talk each day, usually several times per day and I try to end each conversation with "thanks for everything, I love you." Anyone who knows me well knows the bond that I share with my mother. I have always been very close to her but as I get older, I come to appreciate her more and more. I also find myself understanding various things that she did for me when I was a child. I understand why she would always say, "if you don't want to listen to me, life will teach you." I see now that she was so right, and of course when life did in fact teach me, I wished that I had listened to her. I understand why she would always ask me what I had for lunch at school. I realize now that she was casually starting a dialogue about my day; because she asked me this every day, I eventually became accustomed to telling her about my day before she even asked me about it. I understand why she would make up seemingly silly games to play with me. One game in particular was called "The Communication Game." In this game, she would make up a long sentence full of big words and tell me to repeat after her. These sentences never made sense but the point of the game was to expand my vocabulary. I understand why she forced me to go private school against my will and in spite of the fact that all of my friends were going to public school. Of course this upset me initially, but now, years later...I understand. I understand and I appreciate.
Mom, I know that I tell you all the time--but that's still never enough--I love you. I truly appreciate everything that you have done for me. I admire the strength, courage and determination that you've shown me. I love our bond and how you always know what to say and when I need to hear it. I love the fact that we can have fun and laugh like friends. I thank God for each lesson that you taught me, either by talking or by example. I've said it once and I will say it many times more--I hope and pray that my future children and I have the same unbreakable bond that you and I have. Please believe me when I say that you are ABSOLUTELY the mother of ALL mothers.
Inspiration is defined as the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions. There is something to be said about this seemingly magical concept called inspiration. Inspiration can strike at any time or place. It can be triggered by a song, a picture, a sound or even a scent. Sometimes it can come from a certain place. As a writer, when I think of inspiration, one memory in particular comes to mind. Last summer while vacationing in Chicago, I was inspired to write while on the train. Eager to capture the fruits of the inspiration that came from this simple train ride, I quickly opened a new memo in my phone and typed all that I was thinking and feeling:
As a small town girl, I have an amplified appreciation for a diverse and exotic culture such as the one here in Chicago. Perhaps my favorite thing about said culture is the hustle & bustle of the people on the train. Some are on their way to work, or school, some may be on vacation like me. Everyone on this train has a different background, a different set of life experiences, a different destination & thus a different reason for being on the train. All of us were bought together by the common denominator of needing to be somewhere. If you think about it, it's quite symbolic of life. Although we all have different purposes, dreams, goals and backgrounds BUT we are all here occupying space on this Earth. We are here In this very moment, in this place & time. While on this ride called life, we should make the best of it. We should enjoy each moment that we are fortunate enough to have, for we never know when our train ride will come to an end.