Thursday, October 31, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 3

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA 
2.  Pray more, worry less.

3. Take time to enjoy the little things.

I get so wrapped up in work, homework, committees, projects, etc. that sometimes I forget to set aside time to do the things that just make my soul happy.  Whether it's a DIY project, a long run, writing, spending time with friends and family, etc., it is important to set aside time to do those things.

I want to really make an effort this year to make sure and incorporate those activities I love into my daily life more and not focus so much on the more stressful parts of life.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 2

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25
1. Finish my MBA - I am on track to be finished in December so this one is kind of easy.  However, between the three exams and two projects I have left, survival is still up in the air.
2.  Pray more, worry less.

I am a self-admitted Type A, wants to control my life and always has a list person.  However, I am also a worrier.  I think I get this from my grandmother.  She was always worried about us.  Driving to school, on vacation, traveling abroad, during storms, etc.  I get called Maw Jr. by a lot of my family but I'm okay with that.  I realize that life is in God's hands and not mine and that worrying won't change anything...I hear it all the time.  Although I inherited my worrying mind from Maw, she also had an unbelievable faith and always encouraged us that the only person who could solve our problems is God so we might as well tell Him and let Him worry about the outcome for us.

I am not saying my worrying nature is going away.  It's just not going to happen.  However, a goal of mine for this next year is to remember that although I want to control my day-to-day life and know exactly what the future holds, that it's not my job and I don't know what tomorrow will bring.  I am learning to step back from thinking about what I want to do with my life and letting God show me what he wants me to do and turning my stress and worries to Him.  This is very difficult for me but I am going to try really hard to worry less and put my trust in Him that he will take care of my worries and show me the way.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

25 Days to 25: Day 1

Anytime I say "I can't believe I'm almost 25!!!" anyone who is older than me looks at me like a zoo animal.  Yes, I realize that 25 is very young but to me it feels too old.  I can't believe I am almost 25 years old.  I am no longer a recent graduate, first-year employee, and my auto insurance was reduced due to AGE!  Whoa.  That was a hard one to swallow.  

In the spirit of getting myself in a good mood about being a quarter of a century old, I have decided to compile a list of 25 things I want to accomplish in my year of being 25.  I'm choosing one a day to post as a way to commit to my goals and I can always reevaluate at......26 :(......

25 Things to Accomplish During My Year of Being 25

1. Finish my MBA - I am on track to be finished in December so this one is kind of easy. However, between the three exams and two projects I have left survival is still up in the air.  

This is how I feel:

This is how I expect to feel as soon as I finish my last final:

Doesn't the after look like a much more fun person?  I'll be glad when I get my full social life and free time back.  I'm so happy to have the opportunity to have my MBA but I will be glad when it's officially done.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Eyes Wide Open

I am in the Emerge Owensboro class this year and we meet once a month to learn about different aspects of our community.  This past week we had our Human Needs and Services Day.  We spent the day learning about the public service organizations in Owensboro and the needs of the lower income part of our community.  

I can honestly say it was one of the most eye-opening days of my life.  I am a very blessed person. Of course there are things that I wish I had like everyone does but I have a family, home, job and a vehicle.  All of those are things that I have always had and never had to worry about. This day was a strong reminder to be thankful for all of the blessings that I do have and to recognize that not everyone has these blessings.  

We spent the day without vehicles and kept phone use to a minimum.  I have never used public transportation in Owensboro before but I was fairly confident that it couldn't be hard, right?  I mean, you jump on a bus...ride to your destination...problem solved.  Well, it wasn't that easy.  We started our day at the Elizabeth Munday Senior Center where we learned about the services provided to our seniors and heard from the local United Way group.    Upon leaving the senior center, we traveled downtown via the bus to buy an all-day bus pass.  God bless the City of Owensboro Transit workers and their patience.  Using the bus system was a lot more complicated than I expected.  The routes had just recently changed and our updated maps weren't really "updated," there were 5 different color lines to learn, and I was expected to do this without my iPhone?  I consider myself to be very self-sufficient but transportation that day tested the small amount of patience I do possess.  The highlight of this bus experience was without a doubt the people that I encountered.  Everyone I met on the bus was extremely friendly, always spoke and went out of their way to help us understand the bus system.  It really shocked me how helpful everyone was to a perfect stranger who was obviously a fish out of water. 

Our case assignment included finding hospice care and grief counseling which took us to Hospice of Western KY.  I have luckily not had much experience with this service but I was so impressed with the services and quality of care that they offer our community. It was obvious how much they care about their clients and are focused on what really matters at such a difficult time in someone's life.  

We were each assigned a homeless shelter in town for lunch and a tour during the lunch hour.  Our group assignment was to the Boulware Mission.  What an amazing place!  I can't say enough good things about what this organization is doing.  

Our afternoon was spent touring Oasis and Girls, Inc. followed by a Homelessness in Owensboro panel made up of a representatives from four shelters in Owensboro (Daniel Pitino Shelter, Boulware Mission, St. Benedicts, St. Joseph Peace Mission).  It was difficult and enlightening to hear about the daily struggles these organizations see in people just looking to fill their basic needs of food, water and shelter.  I think many of us were surprised at how much of a problem this is in our town.  The shelters turn people away every day who have to seek a safe place to sleep elsewhere.  We were asked if we went to the shelters and they were full where we would go to sleep that night.  I'm an emotional person anyway but that question brought out tears (not for the first time that day).  I cannot even imagine not having a home to go to, much less having to find a public place to sleep where it's safe, especially for people with children.

It is easy to ignore problems in our community.  We have a lot of exciting changes and developments taking place that are a lot more fun and exciting to talk about than homelessness, poverty, and the needs of the elderly, poor, and abused.  However, if we want to succeed as a community we have to acknowlege our shortcomings, work to improve quality of life for everyone and always remember that any of us could be in a position to need these services a lot quicker than we like to talk about.

I could not be more thankful for having the experience of seeing my community from a completely different point of view.  It's easy to get wrapped up in my own life and my day-to-day problems but it is important to be reminded that there are people who struggle for the basics every day and that we should all be more thankful for what we do have.  I am grateful for this grounding experience that will hopefully help me to be a better leader and help out where I can.  Here's to counting blessings instead of frustrations and appreciating all that we have!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Finding Stillness

"Be still and know that I am God." ~Psalm 46:10

I have been reminding myself of this bible verse daily over the past couple weeks.  Sometimes my type-A, control every outcome and nothing bad will happen, always on top of it personality needs to be reminded that I am not the one in charge.  I struggle with letting go and letting God but that is a continuous learning experience for me.  I tend to become so wrapped up in the day to day and focusing on what my plan is and need to remind myself that there is a greater plan for my life than I could ever sit down and create by myself.

I have found that in quiet moments when I just sit back & listen, without my cell phone buzzing, tv on or work in my lap, I can clear my thoughts and really look for the path I'm supposed to be following.  I'm still in the midst of figuring out life and it's an exciting, fun, but scary place to be.  I would love to have a crystal ball to see exactly what the future holds but that would take all the adventure and fun out of the experience.  So for now I'm happy to focus on faith, family & friends while I listen for God's plan and continue to develop into the woman he created me to be.