Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Goodbye Wortham

Today I said goodbye to the work family that I have been blessed to know the past 3 years. It was definitely a bittersweet departure. As with a lot of things, the people are what have made it such an incredible experience. While I am overly excited about my new position and being closer to home (which starts tomorrow!) I am definitely going to miss the relationships I have built in this place...

At Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC

The group in Victoria, BC

Dinner with clients in Dana Point, CA

The Group in Dana Point, CA

With sweet Kathy on our wedding day :)

It's crazy to think back over the last 3 years. I had lunch with my boss and his wife yesterday, and we were reminiscing over how much my life has changed in such a short time. We talked about how completely different my life looked when I first met them. And it's so true! But I wouldn't trade a single minute of it. The Lord has taught me SO much in the last few years. He has revealed Himself in ways I never would have imagined, and it has been a sweet journey. 

Today was hard to say goodbye to what I have known for the past few years. In a way, I was saying goodbye to an entire chapter of my life. But it was just one more step toward what the Lord has called us to in McKinney. And I am excited to see what all the Lord has for us next!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Counting Down...

...4 more 4:45am alarm clock buzzers.

...241 more commute miles.

...I think I can, I think I can...   :)

It's hard to believe my last day at work is next Wednesday. In an attempt to make the transition as smooth as possible, I am busy trying to wrap things up in the office. I am conducting interviews to find my replacement (which is weird), transferring files/information, attending "going away" lunches/parties, fulfilling exit interviews, and cleaning out my's all a little surreal.

In other more random news, Peabody (my beloved Mazda) hit 110,000 miles!

Please forgive the blurriness of the photo. And my apparently dusty dash.
And the fact that this photo was snapped "on the go"  [tattle-tale speedometer...]

Soon after I hit the milestone mileage, it cost me $1arm and $1leg to fill up my gas tank. It just reminded me that the blessings of my new job couldn't have come at a better time. My goal (realistic or not) is to keep Peabody around for another 110,000 miles, so drastically cutting my commute is just one step closer to reaching that goal. And the gas savings won't be too shabby either!

Happy Thursday!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Lord's Provision

Have you ever experienced the Lord's provision in such an unmistakable way that it leaves you half speechless, half giddy with joy as you look back over all that He has done? In recent weeks I have experienced the unfolding of His gracious and abundant provision in a way I have not experienced it before. Not because He hasn't provided in miraculous and wonderful ways before; because He most certainly has. But because of where I am today, I could actually recognize it for what it is.

I wish I felt this way {meaning "half speechless, half giddy with joy"} about everything the Lord provides. But sadly, I have to confess that my sinful heart is usually in a place where I blind myself to the Lord's blessings. Too often, I find that my selfish heart loses sight of and even grows dull to how incredible and generous His blessings truly are.I am constantly on my knees asking Him to forgive my wayward heart. And the graciousness of my God offers forgiveness. And He offers blessings like this, where He allows me to see just that much more of His good character and love for me.

So what is this amazing provision blessing?

When Mike and I got married and moved to McKinney, we made the decision for me to keep my job so that we could pursue the Lord's calling to plant a church. In many ways, we can see the Lord's provision in my current job. From how the Lord knew before we were even dating that we would need this job so we could make that transition, to the blessing of an incredible boss who allowed me to adjust my work schedule to accommodate the commute (see The Boss Man).

It became evident very quickly that the new work hours and the new commute were going to be tough. I would be lying if I said it didn't bother me or that I handled the transition like a pro. Confession: I literally cried to and from work every day for months. Pathetic, I know. But it was a really hard transition for me. To defend my girliness a little, it was definitely a combination of the new schedule and transitioning away from friends and our church family. Many days it felt as though work consumed my life, and it seemed as though there was no end in sight. I knew this was what I had signed up for and did my best to lean on Jesus as I tried to adjust. The past few months have certainly been a growing experience for my walk with Jesus. But admittedly, it was difficult to have half of my life still in Dallas, when I really wanted (and needed) to be in McKinney.

When I reached a seeming breaking point a couple months ago and told Mike how I was really feeling, we began praying for the Lord to provide a new job closer to home. Now you have to understand what that meant for me. While I was desperate to shorten my commute and wake up at a normal time again, the idea of searching for another job was terrifying for me. Given my past job searches, I was not as eager as you would think to begin the whole process of resumes, job searches, and interviews. I literally prayed that the Lord would drop a job in my lap. There was a part of me that figured I would have to eventually put forth the effort in the search process, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. So I focused on taking one day at a time, working on being content with where He had me. And I just prayed and waited...

As I look back over all that the Lord has done, I see {His fingerprints} everywhere.

When Mike first moved to McKinney {before we got married}, he received an email from a guy named Eric. Some family members of his (who live in East Texas) had visited Woodcreek on the same Sunday we announced that Mike would be leaving and that we would be moving to McKinney after our wedding to pursue church planting. Eric's relatives knew he lived in McKinney, so they brought back the bulletin and mentioned that we would be new in the area. So Eric emailed Mike to introduce himself, and a great {friendship} began :) Over the past few months, Mike and Eric have grown closer, and we have spent time getting to know the sweet Kuykendalls.

When Mike mentioned to Eric that we were praying for a new job closer to home, Eric offered to pass along my resume to {his connections} in McKinney. One of his connections through family and church relationships is the VP at a community bank that is headquartered in McKinney. This VP, Mr. B, had recently lost his executive assistant. She had been out on maternity leave, and due to {a change in circumstances}, she decided not to return to the position to stay home with her baby. This left Mr. B {in need of a new assistant}.

In the meantime, the Lord has granted Mike favor at {Starbucks} as he develops relationships with his co-workers and customers. A couple of the customers he sees on a regular basis are Mr. B, and more often {Mr. B's wife}. A few weeks ago, the conversation came up that we were praying for the Lord to provide a new job. Knowing we were in McKinney to plant a church, she went home and told her husband that he should hire "Mike from Starbucks' " wife. When he asked what Mike's last name was, he connected that I was the one whose {resume he had received from Eric}. Kind of fun, right?

Mr. B emailed me on Feb 9.
We spoke over the phone Feb 11.
I met him for a face-to-face interview Feb 20.
I interviewed with another executive at the bank Feb 27.
I received an offer Feb 29.

It has taken {20 days} to see this process from beginning to end. The Lord answered my prayer and {literally dropped this job in my lap}. I didn't have to search it out; He brought it to me. No [fill in the blank job search].com. No endless job searches or applications. No awkward networking functions. No rejections. Just the sovereignty and fingerprints of a holy and good God.

I {start in 2 weeks}. The Lord even worked out the timing and announcement of my transition with my boss and client. My boss couldn't be more supportive. As sad as it is to leave this place, he sees the bigger picture of how the Lord is working. I couldn't have asked for a better reaction from my client. While she is also sad to see me go, she has provided an amazing amount of support and encouragement as well.

And as though the way He brought the job about isn't enough, his blessings just continue to overflow with regard to the job itself....while I couldn't have imagined working for anyone other than the amazing Mr. D, the Lord has provided yet another God-fearing boss. {Mr. B loves Jesus}. He knows that we are in McKinney to plant a church and he is supportive of that calling. The company itself was named to the list of the 2011 "{Top 100 places to Work in Dallas-Fort Worth}." They have an amazing family work environment, all the while encouraging their employees to be involved in the community. Even though the position itself is not in insurance, many of my {job duties at my current job have prepared me} for the job. Even though I will take a pay cut to accept this position, the salary amount the Lord provided is way higher than is reasonably acceptable to expect, given the job and the fact that I am moving industries. The {amount we will save in gas and oil changes} alone is just another the way the Lord provides good things to His children. I get to switch my schedule to {normal working bank hours}! And did I mention that my office will be {1.1 miles from our house}?? No more 4:45 wake up time. No more commute. I can get back into my morning quiet time routine. I can actually have time (and be hungry) for breakfast. Blessings. Incredible abundant blessings.

And so today I am basking in the glow of God's incredible and generous provision. I want to remember this day and all of the details of how the Lord provided for us. I want to remember this incredible and good gift that came only by His hand. I want to remember how He confirmed (again) the calling He has given to me and Mike to be here in McKinney. He alone deserves all glory and honor and praise! :)