Challenges and Faith

I’ll preface this post by saying my issues this week only involve career issues/personal financial stability and a couple of non-life threatening health issues.

It’s been a rough week for me. It started with high hopes of good news and success and has quickly dissolved into disappointment, broken dreams, minor health issues and uncertain future. One of my toughest weeks in quite some time.

It has not gone unrecognized by me that this was also quite the rough week for Jesus as well. I hope I relay my thoughts on this justly and respectfully. Now I’m not an expert on biblical history but I do know the story of this week and that it is considered Holy Week. Jesus’ faced the greatest challenges to his faith and led to the greatest suffering he, or anyone, has ever experienced. Yea, he had a rough week to say the least.

I really believed everything was going to come together for me this week and the culmination of all may hard work in getting my MBA was going to pay off. It didn’t happen that way and my faith has been challenged. I was confused, frustrated and felt despair. I sort of feel like this is on purpose to see how I’d react, and I’ve not been perfect, not even close, but I’ve continued my prayers and read scripture and not given up on my faith. It has not been easy. I think about what Jesus went through this week, I consider the ultimate suffering he experienced, and most importantly, I rejoice in how his week ended…with the greatest event in history for him and us!

So as I experience the challenges of this week, and others most certainly to come, I will do my very best to keep my faith strong and remember God has a plan for me and to trust in him and his plan. I know it will not always be easy. I am not perfect. But I will not give up my faith and trust in God and Jesus and remember there is the greatest gift waiting at the end.

Happy Easter to all!

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Traditions

So I can blame some of my lack of entries due to issues with my wordpress account. But those are fixed now. I had some great, or what I believe to be, great blog takes ready to go last week but have lost the inspiration on them. I’m sure other bloggers, journalists, etc. go through the same mental process of getting hit with topic ideas in inconvenient places such as driving, standing in line at the store, in the shower, etc. Then get distracted with life issues such as a phone call or emails or someone texts you and then you lose your thought process and inspiration. Or maybe that’s just me. In any case, let’s talk traditions.

Got a nice ski trip in last month. I’ve been hitting the slopes regularly since I was 13 and the last several years, I’ve made a point to go every year, visiting Ruidoso, New Mexico the past 4 years. This year, scheduling was tough and I didn’t think I was going to be able to fit in some ski runs. When dealing with this, a strange feeling hit me that, if I didn’t go this year, I would never ski again. Not because of some impending doom, just because I’m getting older and logistics have been tough the last couple of years. As I’ve developed into my mid-adult years, I’ve established some traditions for myself which I’ve stuck to for the past several years, skiing being one of them. So, when I got this feeling of the potential end of a tradition, it freaked me out a bit. I thought of my other traditions that include family time, friends time, personal time. I think traditions are important. They keep you connected. You identify with them. They make you a part of who you are. They also shouldn’t be stressful, so just like blogging and eating (see New Year’s post), if you miss one, don’t give up, just pick it up the next chance you get. They never go away..
nknkj

                           Ski Apache – Ruidoso, New Mexico, Ski Trip 2018

Happy New Year 2018

As resolutions can be broken, they can be restarted. The pastor at my church described the process of trying to change, improve or create a new (positive) habit in your life: If you miss a day, don’t stress out or give up, just start again. He related it to eating. If you get busy and forget to eat dinner, do you just stop eating forever? No, as soon as you get a chance, you eat again. So why this story? It’s January 10th and I had made a resolution to write more frequently in this blog. Hmm….well, just like eating, I won’t just give up on writing. Besides, my view on “New Years resolutions” is, if there’s something you want to change about yourself, you don’t have to wait until new year, just go for it. And I regularly have goals, plans, areas of improvement I want for myself so if I waited for new year, I wouldn’t know where to start.

It was a great holiday season. Christmastime is my favorite time of year. I take it all in and have a cool little set of traditions I keep as much as possible; like going to the state capital and seeing the Senate and House trees and the main outside tree.

                                                              

I hope everyone’s 2018 starts out and finishes fantastically with a good portion of awesome in the middle! Remember, if you forget to eat, just start eating again.

 

#HoustonStrong

I’ll begin by saying all my family and friends are safe and suffered no major damage from the hurricane. Some were close, some evacuated, but all were fortunate. Being a native Houstonian living in Austin, it was very difficult to watch the news and see the images of our wonderful city in turmoil. I struggled at not being there to provide physical assistance to those in need. Of course, I made my donations and will continue to look for ways to help in the coming months, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of helplessness I experienced.

This week I drove down to visit with friends in some of the impacted areas. I was encouraged to see the city operating at full force. I did pass many houses and businesses with piles of debris and rubble on the curb. Neighbors were helping neighbors, strangers were helping strangers, there’s been plenty of stories and pictures. The contributions and donations have been amazing and too many to list. I must mention one in particular, J.J. Watt. This guy, a star player for the Houston Texans, began a fundraising campaign with a goal of $750,000. As of writing this, he has raised over $17 MILLION. And he hasn’t just spearheaded a monetary fundraising event, he has been physically working with volutneers to sort, stack and distribute. And the guy has a NFL season starting this week! Shout out to his teammates who are helping as well.

We went to the Astros game and there was excitement and energy and pride, an abundance of pride!  As a native Houstonian, I felt it. My heart swelled with hope and pride. Volunteers and responders were recognized, the mayor threw out the first pitch, the players wore patches, and the Astros swept the weekend series.

There are many areas outside of Houston that are dealing with enormous repercussions of the hurricane. Places like Rockport, which still has no electricity, water, or operating infrastructure. These people and places need to be remembered and assisted also.

I still feel I can personally do more to help the city that raised me (technically I was raised in Spring, NW Houston, which suffered major damage as well). As the weeks go by and the urgency and awareness begins to diminish, as happens with all major world disasters, I will pray and search for ways I can contribute. Until then…#HoustonStrong!

I visit the Ozarks…

So I’ve been meaning to write about my most recent trip for a week but, as I said prior, with the new job and a more intense MBA class, I’m still finding my groove in managing my time. I wanted to write about my cool little trip into the northwest area of Arkansas a couple of weeks ago. I’ve never been to Arkansas. The landscape was beautiful and what you’d expect. Rolling hills of green forests. The reason why I was out there was to attend the wedding of my cousin’s daughter. I haven’t figured out what that makes me in the family tree – is it a combo of niece/cousin? Any case, it was a great time. The wedding itself was different than any wedding I’ve been before and, quite frankly, was actually nice to see a couple take the tradition of marriage/wedding more seriously. I’ve been to so many weddings where it was show up, say a few things, pronounce the couple, and hit the reception. These folks took this seriously and it was refreshing. They spoke on how they met, acknowledge family and history, and spoke of their future as a couple. I really enjoyed it. I also really appreciated spending time with extended family that I don’t see very often. Visiting family is so nice because it’s really when you can truly just be yourself with no judgement or anxiety of how you look or act. Everyone just appreciates you for you and there’s that family bond, no matter how long it’s been, of we all understand each other’s history and roots. We also visited the University of Arkansas, which is a great little compact campus including a cool outdoor Greek theater unlike anything I’ve seen on any other college campus. Of course it reinforced my desire to work in higher education. The locals in this quaint area of Arkansas were polite, respectful, and friendly. I enjoyed this trip much more than I originally anticipated. So now I’m back to grind of work and school and it’s going well. I just need to keep my attitude positive and my faith strong. Happy summer!

 

Man I got busy…

Last I wrote I was starting a new job after 5 months of me time. I forgot how busy you get when you work a full time job, and full time is relative to me because, one of the few aspects I enjoy about being an outside salesperson, is being able to regulate your time to a less than 40 hours a week of actual work. That being said, It’s been an adjustment. The worst is soooo much driving. I’ve been all over small town central Texas from Waco to New Braunfels and every old Texas community town in-between. Some of it has been pretty cool though. Lockhart has been my favorite spot so far. Cool old original buildings & an fantastic county office right in the center of town. When I travel from town to town, I always find the public library. Somewhat surprisingly, every town stills has a public library and some of them have this great classic charm. The Lockhart library also easily my favorite as it’s inside this original 1800’s building complete with crickety old wood floors and giant stained glass windows. Georgetown also has a cool library with a great cafe in the middle.

With working, I’ve had to make sure and pay close attention to my MBA schedule and block out set time to study and complete assignments. My current class is Managerial Accounting and it’s as difficult as is sounds. I’ve always been good with math but challenged with accounting and finance subjects. It’s gonna be a battle for an “A” and I’m not there right now. But I’m going to keep fighting and stay committed to keep driving for my goal of a career in higher education.

Now to watch some Stanley Cup action….can’t wait until the first game in Nashville. The home playoff games in Nashville have been in the top 5 home crowds I’ve seen in playoff sports. From the anthem to the chants to the local support, game 4 and 5 are going to be incredible!

 

It’s been a fun break!

I start a new job tomorrow. I relate starting a new job like the first day of school. Meet new co-workers, get your materials together, set up your work space, supplies, folders, instructions, paperwork and anxiety with a mix of excitement. And just like the first day of school, I have my gear and clothes all picked out for the week. I haven’t had a full-time job in five months. Which seems like a long time but went by fast. I did have quite a bit of fun. Went to Vegas twice, caught some live sporting events, took my annual ski trip, and hung around doing hood-rat stuff.  And I worked as event staff during SXSW. That was awesome. Met some fantastic people and really enjoyed being a somewhat important person facilitating crowd control and helping music attendees have fun. So it was a chillin’ few months but it’s time to change things up. I’m tired of being bored and broke. I’m going to attack this job with positivity, persistance, and prayer. Oh and the hockey playoffs start this week and that’s always rockin’!

Last night of classes

So tonight is our last night of Leadership Self Seminar and Marketing Management class. My team (the one I spoke so highly of a couple of posts back) are presenting. I try not to be nervous, I’m really comfortable before I speak but when I start talking I do get nervous and have a tendency to present really fast and leave things out. I’m going to try and instill a little humor in this one so hopefully that will go over well. I’ve really enjoyed these classes and somewhat sad they are ending so quickly. The whole MBA program seems to be going by so fast. Well, if anyone is reading this….wish me luck.

Strange things are afoot…

So I was awoken very early this morning by my former boss at my most recent job. I really like this boss and when she was reassigned, I was very disappointed and it basically kicked off my downfall. I haven’t been working since I got let go in November. However, the company was just bought by someone I know in the business world who works with my former boss and they are interested in bringing me back on. I’m not 100% sure how I feel about this. I had mentally moved on. And, of course, I just throughout all my old files, folders and supplies from that job…maybe that’s a sign. But there is also some great potential for this to be a big opportunity for me.  I haven’t officially spoken to them about the opportunity, just that I am interested. So we’ll see where it goes.

This needs to be short, I have a Marketing plan to finish and a Leadership manifesto to right for the last day of class.

Keep chasing those dreams…and stay away from the nightmares.

I Lucked Out…

So I spent most of today working on a Marketing plan which is due Thursday for my Marketing class. I’m working with two other students as a team. This is the 3rd or 4th project we’ve worked on together. I am so fortunate to have met these two wonderful individuals on the first day of class. Timing is a crazy life aspect. I just happen to walk in the first day and sit down next to these two and we immediately hit it off. We had a light-hearted, but very sincere and warm, text exchange last night about how fortunate we all are to have met each other. We are a team on this project, we are a team on this journey to our MBA, and I hope (and truly believe) we will continue to be friends after graduation. We have supported each other since day one and I cannot image what this MBA adventure would be without these two. They are awesome and I hope they have the most fantastically blessed lives possible!