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The fork in the road

Hello there!!!! It has been a minute, hasn’t it? In fact, it’s been so long that WordPress has had some updates and I am still figuring it out. Fortunately, it appears pretty straightforward so if you are reading this….you’ll know I was successful in my efforts!

Where to start? You’d think with the international health issues of the past two years, I’d have plenty of time to write with all the “quarantining”. Except….I changed jobs in 2019 to a Director of Operations position. This was, my “dream job” (which I had aspired to for years) with a company that I loved, working with people that I KNEW and liked, an industry that I was confident in—what a rush! But how did I get there?!?!

After 20+ years of clinical work, I finished my bachelor’s degree—while working full time and raising 4 young kids. All I can say about that is, “kids, finish while you’re young! Going back later isn’t for the faint of heart!” I decided my life and clinical expertise would be conducive in a leadership role, so I put my head down and got to work. This took roughly 5 years, a step “down” for the opportunity to go “up” and M.A.N.Y. “learning opportunities“ to reach my goal, but I did it and grabbed that golden ring. I stepped so far out of my comfort zone throughout the different roles I took and it turns out…….. I didn’t really enjoy my “dream job”. Don’t get me wrong, there were certainly aspects of it that I did enjoy and thrived on learning so much, but life is too short to be available 24/7.

The time commitment was one of many aspects that I struggled with—finding the ever elusive “work/life balance”. My main struggle was internal—-I really felt that God led me into this space and for the first time in my professional life, I didn’t shine. Don’t get me wrong, the first 18-21 months I did well, but the last 3 months—-crash and burn. There’s a lot more to it, but it boiled down to communication on many sides and the accumulation of responsibilities coupled with the feeling I had to do it all and refused to delegate. It was at that point that I realized (and maybe THIS is what God was showing me) that life is too short and we need to recognize when to move on and take our lessons with us, trusting His plan will find a home for it all in due time.

I was able to transition into a newly created position which was wildly productive and lucrative for our company and I learned a ton—-if you could imagine drinking through a fire hose—that would be a fairly accurate description of my learning curve. Despite my success, sitting in an office crunching spreadsheets began to feel like a filler job, not MY job (but someone else’s). During this time, our family took a vacation to our favorite spot, New Hampshire. Lots of fresh air, great hikes, stars showing off at midnight and a strong sense of peace. THIS is where I (we) are supposed to be. Discussing this on a hike with the Hubs, the confidence of THIS was deep in my soul. Details such as how, when, what were irrelevant; I knew God would reveal them in due time.

And so the prayers began.

to be continued…..

June 4.

Today we see the Pharisees try to catch Jesus off guard in his teaching, to stump him, to make him look less appealing to the people, to discredit him. Instead, Jesus puts the question back to the Pharisees in a manner that they cannot refute essentially silencing them. The people, however, are thrilled and enjoy his teachings.

Do the people grasp the fact that while Jesus is the ancestor of David, Jesus is also David’s Lord? Jesus IS the Messiah. Jesus IS seated at God’s right hand. Jesus is here to save them. And us. David “knew” and we “know” and yet, don’t we still question, “why”?

There is a difference in questioning out of ignorance, from a place longing for knowledge, to grow closer to Christ and questioning for the sake of challenging, hoping for a misstep and to be “right”.

So when we have questions ,are we asking from a place of faith or a place of arrogance? One leads to peace, strength and comfort, the other to jealousy, anger and weakness.

March 7

Today’s reading shows us a zealous Lord. We do not see this side of Jesus anywhere else in the Scriptures. He presents himself (in my mind) throughout Scripture as calm, cool and collected. Today, Jesus is furious — expressing his anger publicly to get His point across.

The people have become focused on sacrifice as an obligation. They have lost the point of making the trek to the temple; they have lost their focus on God. In the same way we sometimes get distracted in life and put aside our faith journey we also experience noise, chaos and distractions which keep us from growing closer to Jesus.

Jesus sometimes has to shake things up in a big way to get our attention, to remind us where our hearts need to be focused. It is often uncomfortable , loud, and usually requires a lot of cleanup but in the aftermath we can see the grace, love and beauty in Christ alone without all the distractions. There we are free to experience the gifts of grace, mercy and peace that accompany His love for us all.

FEB 22

Haven’t we all had a teacher who made a subject come alive for us? Their excitement and passion about geometry/chemistry/English literature brought forth a tangible understanding of that subject so that we shared that excitement, engaging and hungering to learn more. Those subjects then became a foundation, rock solid, for additional growth throughout life.

Sometimes, however, even with a phenomenal teacher, extra tutoring is needed. A deep dive into a problem helps us to grasp understanding with both hands so that we own that knowledge.

I think Jesus was that phenomenal teacher to his disciples and still had to make those deep dive discussions so that their comprehension and ownership of the faith was all-encompassing.

The disciples didn’t fully understand all that Jesus taught them. Until they could grasp the faith that Christ taught, and allow it to permeate their heart to it’s core, how could they effectively share that faith? Jesus had to remind the disciples of the gifts they were given, and that they were fully prepared for the journey He was sending them on. Once the disciples fully embraced the truth, then they were ready to share the faith with others—passionately, tangibly, fully alive.

Someone to love

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During His last hours on the cross, in pain, struggling to breathe and trusting in God to release Him from His misery, Jesus was still able to provide for those He loved–  His disciple John and His mother, giving them to one another to love and care for each other.

When I think of my husband, children, my sister, mother, family, dear friends, it is easy to see how Jesus was still concerned enough to take care of them despite his physical suffering.  So many times in my motherhood I have gone above and beyond what I would have done for myself and done for my children– provide for them, care for them, love them–even at their most unlovable and even then I would give them whatever I could to assure their happiness, peace, and safety.  It is how I love; I nurture.   Jesus did that for us.  Even in his last hours, minutes, seconds, He did it for us so that we could find happiness, peace, safety; He loved us, nurtured us and provided for us even at our most unlovable.

How do we respond to Jesus’ gift of eternal provision?  Do we ask?  Do we seek?  Do we try to love like Jesus?

Jesus, help me to love and nurture those around me today, even at their most unlovable.