Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Learning to put first things first

A few months ago I got a text message from Teresa, a former coworker. She shared about a girls shelter on her side of town and a woman she’d met who works there. In the summer of 2013, I hosted a tea party for a local women’s shelter. Teresa, along with many other coworkers and even some of you, contributed to that event. Since then, I’ve bent her ear on multiple occasions about my desire to do something like it again. As I read her message that day, I kinda felt like she’d just sent a little nudge my way.

I’ve had quite a few nudges in the two years since the Welcome to Summer Ladies Tea. Some supporters ask each time they see me, “When’s your next event?” My “I don’t know” response has become a bit embarrassing.

So, perched in the middle of the bed, I checked out the website and daydreamed a bit about how this could be it. This could be my next opportunity to spread Love, joy and encouragement through something as simple and girly as a tea party. Then with one distraction, I moved on to something else.

Probably back to the job search.

As of  today, I’ve been unemployed for exactly 136 days, just a bit over four months. Time flies. For the most part, I’ve stayed amazingly busy with appointments, workshops and networking events. Each handshake marks another step beyond the security of my comfort zone. It tickles me to admit, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. All things considered, I’m in a better place in life than I’ve been in a long time.  Still, my emotions don’t always act accordingly.

As a matter of fact, I’m absolutely certain I’ve experienced every possible emotion that can accompany unemployment. Sheer relief was up first. Then panic moved in. I shooed him away, though. Still, worry and uncertainty make appearances every now and then.

The worry and uncertainty usually revolve around the question, “What’s next.” What should I do next? What can I do next? What company should I try to do “next” (whatever it is) with?

Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:31-33

One day, in the middle of my “what’s next” stupor, I was reminded of these verses of scripture. Although “what’s next” isn’t explicitly stated, I surely think it’s implied.

“You know how this rolls, Monica. You’ve been here before. And you know what to do.”

Yep. I knew exactly what to do. I called the girls shelter Teresa told me about and arranged a meeting with the woman she’d met. It turns out she’s the volunteer coordinator – just the person I needed to talk to. In a couple of weeks, I’ll host a one hour session on journaling with what I know will be an amazing group of teen girls.

The young ladies in the shelter have been displaced from their homes for one reason or another. That’s something many of us couldn’t imagine. The shelter provides a comfortable place for them to stay. In the meantime, each girl’s case worker works to sort out her situation and hopefully reunite her with her family.

Well, it seems the presence of a little worry and uncertainty was required to move me in the right direction. Now I get to go share some Love, joy and encouragement with these young ladies, and I couldn’t be more excited.

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A few girly journals for the girls

See, I’ve already purchased the journals. Each one is different, just like the young ladies I’ll get to meet.

So will you pray for the girls in the shelter? I don’t know them. We haven’t met yet, but I feel like they’re all twirling around in my heart right now. And then will you pray for me? I hope they have a good time with me. Maybe some of them will even come to adore a beautiful journal as much as I do. Beyond this, pray I’ll remember to put first things first, to focus on those things that are special to the heart of God and trust that He’ll take care of everything else.