Monday, December 2, 2019

Prevailing As A Corporate Christian 

How did the apostle do it? How did they keep going when the fight got rough? How did they manage to remain focused when the world seemed against them?

I was once advised by someone I highly respect to start my day with the word. I was then given similar advice from another person who I highly admire. And I true Tiffany fashion, I “did it.” But I didn’t take it in; I just kind of “did it.” Then one day, I needed it - bad. I needed to lean so hard and so deeply on God that I realized at that moment why the advice had been given to me. 

It is so hard to be a true and honest Christian in the corporate world. By true I am remaining truth in your faith, that it is foremost the most important thing I have. Honest meaning that I am honest with myself in my actions and words, reflecting the life of a grace-filled person. I hate to say it, but it is the honest truth, every day is a battle and balance act between the profitable growth of the company and doing things the right way. Because ultimate a company is not a living breathing entity (so often we personify companies we attribute human characteristics to a non-living entity) - but the people who make it up are. And the people who make up the company or just as flawed and imperfect as the next. Therefore, we see those flaws and imperfections in the 2080 hours a year we spend together and it is so much easier to see the flaws and imperfections of others and not ourselves (hints the next blog post on "Boasting About Weakness")

Starting my day in the word is a work in progress. It is something that requires conscious effort for me and focus. It is not yet quite a habit - but someday it will be. I start my day in the word because it allows me to stay and remain focused on purpose, but more importantly, that this - this world and all that is in it is temporary. It puts things into perspective - honest and true.  

"The Lord my Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like those of deer
and enables me to walk
on mountain heights!"
Habakkuk 3:19

Daily we all fight the preverbal “good fight.” Sometimes we do not all see eye to eye or have to the same perspective, but that’s the beauty of life. The goal is to maintain faith in an ever passing away world. To live a life of grace in the cutthroat theatrics of the corporate culture.  Show people kindness, when it seems that conducting business appears to be the sole priority, but that can only be achieved when anchored in faith. That’s why I start the day with the word.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Young & Free - You Don't Own Me...

I am just going to start with this because this post requires clarification. This is a very light-hearted post - and a more positive and happy glimpse into my mind! I am an enigma. Enjoy and humor me, with my discussion and thoughts around my first realization that I was a woman, and a modern-day "w-o-m-e-n."  (I tend to tread very lightly with the "f" - feminist - word… a whole other post is needed for that

Here we go! It’s so funny - but the song "You Don’t Own Me", by Lesley Gore has secretly been my female theme song since I was like 8. (I promise, I could not just make this up!) I remember watching The First Wives Club, on HBO, and watching Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, and Diane Keaton singing in the last scene of the movie in all white. Having grown together in their "incredibleness" and really done what no one thought they could - move forward. Several years later, when I was away at Augustana College I bought the DVD. (I even bought a white Marc Andrews single breasted pea coat that I LOVED because of this movie!)

My 21st Birthday in Downtown Davenport, Iowa.
(Circa 2007) and that infamous Marc Andrew white coat.

I always loved the feel of the movie, the hurt, the laughter, the growth, the humility, the beauty, and the empowerment. This is me and my fabulous 4 friends! Couple that with "You don’t own me…" in that sultry Bette Midler voice, and that’s the moment when the first seeds of thinking began - I will not become a woman defined solely by her relationship to her significant other. My spirit has always been young and free - always will be.

We all encounter people who will "try us." Try to change us. Try to make us feel less than. Try to tell us how to live. Try to explain that our feelings aren’t real. Try to deceive us. But in order for that to happen, we have to allow them to “own” us; not allowing room for us be ourselves. With that - you don’t own me, don’t try to change me in any way...haha! Life is such a beautiful and fun ride! 

P.S. I drafted this blog over a year ago, I believe it was November of 2018, I just couldn’t find the "right" mood to finish it…

Monday, November 18, 2019

This Decade And The Next...

About 40 Days of 3,652 Days in this Decade (and 2 leap years… 2012, 2016)

That's it...!

There are only about 40 days left in this decade.

Thinking about this decade it brought me to a place of reflection. Where was I January 1, 2010...

Here is the story, in brief.

On January 1, 2010 - at the stroke of midnight I was pregnant with my now oldest daughter, Emma. I was about to be a single mom. I hate to say this, but I loathed the mental space, professional space, and relationship space I was in. I was living at my very supportive parent's home, with very little prospect of a strong career that I have longed to have. See, I graduated from my undergraduate degree during the academic year of 2008-2009. The economy was tanked and my spirits were along with it. I will be honest, I felt like the ultimate failure. I graduated as an undergrad as a mediocre student, with a strong understanding of people and an ability to link unseen things together. But, I hadn't yet harness my abilities. Amazingly, my closest family and friends all dug in to support me, and in time, I started to grow.

Let's take a look at the life events that made up 2010-2019…

  • February 16, 2010: Emma is Born (I remember laying in bed one night 4 days after she was born thinking about how perfect she was and questioning how I was going to be able to do this for 18 years...)
  • March 17, 2011: First Date with Doug
  • January 2012: The Twins were born
  • May 23, 2012: I Start My Internship with Caterpillar (This is where I learned the truth about leadership and career development, and how to perform - NOT compete)
  • July 1, 2012: London - Here I Come
  • December 1, 2012: Masters of  Business Administration (with a 3.85 GPA… damn it Economics, my only "B")
  • December 12, 2012: Full-Time Job with Caterpillar as an HR Associate, Professional Development Program
  • March 23, 2013: Wedding Day
  • March 2014: Move to Waco, Texas
  • August 2014 Emma's First Trip to Disney World (Emma called this the "best day ever!!" and I cried in the Magic Kingdom - literally I had to hide it behind my sunglasses)
  • June 21, 2015: Find Out I Am Pregnant (And its was the best Fathers Day gift I could give to Doug and my dad)
  • February 17, 2016: Charley is Born
  • May 2016: Brother Graduated From Medical School (cried at his dinner and graduation because I do not know if he will understand how proud of him I am)
  • May 2010: Bought Our First Home
  • June 2016: Move Back to Peoria
  • September: My Sister Married Her Best Friend (Not me! Her amazing husband)
  • January 2018: Decided to Get Healthy (and lost 52 pounds)
  • August 2018: Faith Re-Envisioned 
  • July 2019: New Role at Caterpillar 
  • October 2019: Move to Arkansas

The summary of this decade brought and kept some of the most amazing people in my life. In hindsight, really the best of my memories are centered around experiences and the people I had them with. Thank you! Thank you with every sense of my being for all of you who were there with and for me.

I guess looking back at all of it, if I didn’t feel the growing pains in the beginning, I would not appreciate ALL of the amazing things that happened. They do not call them growing pains for no reason… Even looking back at this blog and how it started, as profession advice from a young professional over 7 years ago. To creating a digital diary of my most intimate thoughts for the world to read. Like Rachel Hollis says, I just put it out there for the world because someone can benefit, and maybe, just maybe, it will make this journey just a bit easier for the next person. 

Looking to 2020 and beyond, it won't be easy. It never is. But I want to make it intentional filled with faith, love, joy, and laughter. Honestly, this past decade had its fair share of lows, however, there were far better highs. Yet, most important, I truly grew - I am not the same person I once was (and that change feels so good - again it wasn’t easy, but it was good).

I guess so to say in short, the decade wasn’t perfection, but it was progress. And ultimately that’s all that matters. Let's stay the course and keep moving forward.