Just thought I'd take a photo of these bouquets from......
Susan, Marcus, and my life coaching ladies! Thanks guys ~ you light my world. After the flowers are gone, I will have this photo to to remind me of how you reached out to me in love. xoxo
Just thought I'd take a photo of these bouquets from......
Susan, Marcus, and my life coaching ladies! Thanks guys ~ you light my world. After the flowers are gone, I will have this photo to to remind me of how you reached out to me in love. xoxo
By the way if you are someone who reads my blog on facebook, these photos may not come up. If you are not seeing photos please go to my original blog site at http://www.deannashrodes.com/ if there is nothing posted here or if five photos don't come up! (Sometimes everything doesn't come through when my original blog feeds onto facebook.) By the way, my stylist is Ada Alfonso at Continental Hair. I always give her credit...she's an amazing hairdresser, and friend.
So, if you're out of a job, one of the first things that is a good idea to do is give yourself a project or volunteer job that will give you valuable experience to put on your resume. This is particularly important if you want to change careers but don't have the experience to do what you're dreaming of. Immediately start to do something volunteer in that area, and gather experience to work your way backwards into a job. The way you get there isn't the issue -- it's that you eventually do get there. This is a blog post in itself for another day.
Giving yourself a volunteer job when unemployed is good for two reasons, one of which is not as necessary in this current era, but might be again. In times past, gaps on your resume were a problem. Being laid off wasn't as common, and it was expected that one would have to explain why they were out of a job. Nobody's really asking job candidates why today, as the U.S. unemployment rate is headed for 10%. With millions of Americans out of a job, there's no longer any stigma about it or any great pressure to explain why you are unemployed. But it hasn't always been that way, and this will probably change again. Right now, in most cases nobody will even ask you "what happened" at your previous job, they just assume you were laid off with the rest of the bazillions of Americans who were unfortunate enough to be let go. Now, this is very good news for those who might have had a hard time explaining departures or gaps if you were fired or left under less than stellar circumstances. This is the best of times for those of you in that category to be getting a job. However, it might not always stay that way. And that's why you need to keep the following in mind...
Giving yourself a volunteer job in the interim is a great idea. A resume is about experience, not salary. In other words, you can add things to your resume even if you are never paid to do them. In one of the most notable positions of my career so far, I was never paid a dime, yet it is a focal point of my resume and something that has opened up countless doors for me. Upon looking at my resume nobody has ever asked me what remuneration I received to do that job. And, I don't volunteer the information.
If you are out of work, assign yourself a position whether it be working in your church food bank, with the youth group, or serving in a missions organization overseas. First of all, you can make a gap in your resume go away that way by citing your involvement with whatever you are doing at the time, in your interview. Remember, it's not about what you're paid, it's about your experience and where you are spending your time. You might think, "how in the heck is that going to pay my bills?" The answer is, it won't at first however, what else do you have to do? You're out of work. The key is staying busy while you are out of work and putting yourself in position to be back to work sooner with a better job.
A perfect example of this is my sister Shari. She was laid of from her job in banking. She began to look at this as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. Rather than wait and sit at home until a job opened up she immediately began volunteering with Samaritan's Purse, Operation Christmas Child, a ministry she had always held in high esteem. Being single and having the latitude to do so she even made a radical move from Chesapeake, VA to Charlotte, NC to do so!! Yes, she moved there initially to volunteer. In a few months, she would have opportunity to not just volunteer but work for them on salaried staff. Her heart has always been missions anyway and her layoff just moved her into the field quicker. If SP wouldn't have offered her a job, she would have been in better position to be hired by another missions organization by gaining experience with SP. She worked herself into a job backwards.
My husband and I have experienced this as well. We came out of one difficult pastoral position that was basically a forced resignation. Instead of just waiting we immediately started attending a church in transition, went to the senior pastor and asked if we could serve, for free, on their staff in the interim. They were so excited, they almost did Holy Ghost backflips. They were so happy to have us volunteer, and we immediately added this position to our resume. No one ever asked us if it was paid or volunteer. Having this position on our resume brought continuity, closing the gap that would have been there by our resignation without another position. When we applied for our next position we did not even have to talk about our forced resignation situation because we weren't coming directly from there, we were coming from the job we "gave ourselves." In the interview, we could talk about the work we were currently doing. But if you aren't doing any current work you have nothing to talk about which presents a problem at least in a normal economy.
If you do this, when you are interviewing and are asked why you left, you can be truthful in saying, "I left my previous job and began to do ______________..." Just because you aren't paid for something doesn't mean it's not going to be an extremely valuable step in your career. If they do ask what you were paid for doing it, what's the worst that can happen? You now look like a saint who volunteers even under difficult life circumstances! :) Sounds like a no brainer to me.
**Another great piece of career advice would be, don't color your hair pink and expect to get a decent job. However, being that I already have two great jobs and am not afraid of losing them at this point in my life, I did it.
This week, I was talking with her about challenges I have in client conversations at times when it comes to making decisions. There are times that I end up making decisions I'm not happy with myself for in the end. For instance, if a client is late or a no show, I'm supposed to dock them time for it. It costs them 30 minutes of time every time they don't give me 24 hours notice. However, I can split the time, or even completely waive it at my discretion. If somebody had a death in the family I'm very merciful of course, and don't count the time against them. However, if they just slept through their alarm, it's not the same. But sometimes I give them mercy anyway. And then I am mad at myself later, because my time is valuable and I just wasted it, and got nothing for it. (I don't get paid when I waive it.)
After giving Kathryn a few more examples of other work decisions I've regretted, I asked her if she found this particularly odd or had ever struggled with it. She said, "Are you kidding? Absolutely. That's very common." And then she proceeded to tell me this... when you are preparing for a conversation with someone, you need to ask yourself three questions:1) What do I want the outcome of this conversation to be?
Then she said, "Most of us ask ourselves the first two questions but we never ask the third. And therein lies a problem...we don't think about how we want to feel about ourselves when it's over. And we end up getting mad at ourselves because we haven't considered ourselves enough in the equation. Number three absolutely HAS to be on the list.
I told Kathryn I was proud of myself now because for many years, number three didn't make the list AT ALL, and I would have been shocked to even hear someone say it needed to be there, but now I see the importance of that question making it on the list.
This doesn't just apply to career coaching, of course. I'm sharing it here because it applies to anything from pastoring to teaching, to working as an engineer.
If we keep feeling bad about ourselves or are angry about decisions we've made and wish we'd made them differently, it's time to put this list in front of ourselves before going into our daily meetings. Outcomes will be different when we do that.
I understand all this as I've had similar things to all the above happen to me on occasion. Perhaps this occurs because through a social networking site people hear from us every day who used to not really hear from us any other time than an occasional card, phone call, wedding, funeral, holiday, occasional e-mail, or family reunion. Now those same people hear something from us everyday, so there is a greater chance we will say something they take issue with. One little status blurb that you think the recent health care bill is scarier than any book Stephen King has ever written can unleash a plethora of nasty comments and send your third cousin or your old friend you met years ago at summer camp packing. Delete, delete, delete they go.
I have to confess, I don't mind. I figure first of all, if they are that shallow to get upset over the fact that I posted in my status that I took my daughter to see Twilight or that I shared a swimsuit photo, let them go. Second, if they find out more about me and that leads them to not want to be in relationship, hasn't it served to more help me figure out who is important in my life and who my real friends should be?
Some consider it hurtful...I consider it a helpful, time saving service.
"What would your grandmother think if she heard you say that?"
"You are causing more pain in the family by sharing your testimony."
"You just need to move on and stop talking about it."
"You've got to think of someone besides yourself..."
Some things are better left unsaid..."
"Some things are meant to be kept within the family..."
"Cant you just tell people God healed you without sharing any details of what happened to you? Why are the details so important? Do people have to know it was your grandfather for your testimony to be effective?"
My question: Does hearing any of these questions nauseate you like it does me? Why do we so often hear of people watching out for the perpetrator than caring about the victim's feelings?
Another friend of mine is experiencing new found freedom now that their parents have died. In contrast to my other friend, they have never been abused. However, they were raised in an extremely conservative family who would not approve of the transparent way they now express themself in their writing and speaking. They were raised by a parents in a generation that simply kept feelings more to themselves and didn't share on such "personal matters" openly. People in the old days didn't write open blogs about things that hurt, scared, or puzzled them. Blog posts like this, or this, or this, wouldn't have existed in our parents generation. They just kept their feelings inside or maybe discussed them with a close friend but a lifestyle of openness wasn't exactly in vogue. Please don't misunderstand that my friend is glad their parents are dead. They miss their parents very much. But they have remarked to me that with their parents death a part of them has come alive. The beautifully transparent part of themself could never emerge publicly before because every time they tried a little bit their parents expressed such disappointment, they retreated back into their shell.
It's a pity that living an honest life disappoints some people. Blogging your true life experiences or feelings is offensive to some. In fact, I've gotten a fair amount of mail about this myself, from people who know me and people who don't. And if it's negative, I choose to disregard it. Because I'm not going to wait until everybody else in the generation before me dies, or gets quiet, before I'm my authentic self.
Suppressing someone else's honest expression, in my opinion, is one of the worst things anyone could ever do. The more my abused friend shares, the more I think she's a hero. The more my other friend speaks out and charts new territory the more I admire them. More and more I like who I see them becoming. They are finally set free to be what they were always created to be now that they don't have a bunch of people they are trying not to disappoint by sharing their feelings or life experiences.
Our truth is our truth...why shouldn't we share it? Why should someone else's fear of our living an honest life become our problem? Iff they have no respect for our freedom to share our personal truth, do they really love or value us anyway? Are they even worth of our relationship? And why, why, why do we feel ANY responsibility to protect abusers??!!! Let's stop this insanity already.
Shakespeare once said, "To thine own self be true." I have utmost respect for people in previous generations however, trasparency wasn't their strong suit. Hopefully our generation has learned the importance of doing better when it comes to this.
I almost never request friends on facebook. It's not that I'm snobby. I figure if I know you and you are a part of my life and you actually have a facebook page, we are already friends or family. If I am not currently your friend on facebook either you don’t have one, (at least that I am aware of) or we are really not all that close in relationship. In contrast to me, Mike requests friends all the time even though he already has a lot of good friends and a full life.
Our conversation turned to the issue of people who we might be on awkward terms with who have requested us as friends on facebook. We both noticed this happening with ourselves and others we know. As an example, one person we both know circulated a petition against me years ago and recently requested me as a friend on facebook. Mike found it as odd as I did that they requested to be my friend. I would be a little uncomfortable to run into this person in “real life” although I don't harbor any bad feelings for them. We’d both probably just be anxious trying to figure out what in the world to say to each other if we both found ourselves standing in line together at a Starbucks, but on a social networking site they found it perfectly natural to ask me to be their friend. It leads me to believe that perhaps Rosie O’Donnell may even request Donald Trump or Elizabeth Hasselbeck as her friend on facebook. Why not? By some indications it appears that according to facebook protocol, the devil may even friend request Jesus sometime soon. I’ve learned that people who probably would never invite you into their home or choose to call you on the phone will ask to be your facebook friend. I’ve asked a lot of friends about this and every one of them have told me they have at least a few people who have friend requested them that they thought hated them.
Now by this observation I'm not advocating unforgiveness or bitterness. I fully believe we need to be careful not to be resentful. However, I also believe the fact that we might feel awkward around someone is different than harboring ill will. At this point in my life I hold no malice toward anyone in my life however if a certain people suddenly walked up to me, I think we’d both be racking our brains thinking what in the world to say.
My friend Mike believes folks like this are “reaching out for healing”. He believes they are using facebook as a tool of reconciliation. Perhaps. That has given me food for thought. And if they are, well then I think that’s great. Facebook might be a great uniting factor for some.
Other thoughts I’ve had about it:
Social networking sites help us to become closer to people we are already close to. It’s a very user friendly way to stay connected in just a few words a day or week, and the perfect place to share photos with those who are in our circle of friends and family. I love this aspect of it!
Second, it's a great tool for pastors and church leaders to stay in touch. I’ve heard countless others say the same thing. Facebook is a great way to update your congregation, and stay connected one on one or as a group. It's fun to leave encouraging message for friends, and remind people of events. I love it for that too.
But...what’s different about facebook that connects people that would never walk up to each other in a mall or go out to dinner with?
I’m not sure. Maybe Mike is right. Maybe some people are reaching out for healing. If so it’s admirable. Mike also says they might not be reaching out for healing at all, they may just be incredibly nosy and unless they become your friend on facebook they can’t read your page and talk about you even more all these years later. They have to get access to your page to have new fodder for their gossip especially if you have no other connection to them currently. And to that I say, man oh day, where do people find the time? Does anybody besides conservatives still work jobs? (lol)
It was an incredibly busy weekend and I did not have a whole day off this week as Friday was the Christmas in July event and every day was full this week with something going on. Tonight was the leadership meeting and that always means a late night even if we end on time, (which we normally do), but at least a people always stay to hang out with us afterwards. I like that -- so it's not a complaint, just an explanation for why I feel totally spent tonight.
I am looking forward to a slower paced week. I need it. It has been a week since Larry and I have been home from vaca and still we have not had time to ourselves nor a date. We have worked non-stop and not so much as had one private adult conversation beyond work and even that has been difficult. Our schedules have been so packed on individual projects it's been mostly 5 or 10 minute conversations here and there, strictly on business subjects. I am really, really, really looking forward to having a date this week, needless to say!! My birthday is this week besides that and I'm sure he'll have something in mind...he always does.
We do have a houseguest coming for the week. Pastor Sam Diaz who is a good friend who was on staff with us years ago is coming to Tampa for some trainings and he is going to stay with us while he's here. We love him to pieces so he is definitely a welcome houseguest and we look forward to spending some time with him. He arrives tomorrow night after work.
Next week is also AG general council week and we will have our friends the Visconti's here on Sunday. So excited!
This week I'm going to blog on some deeper issues...I know I said before that I was going to do that but it's just been a week where I was so pressed for time. This coming week I'm going to write on some things I've been tossing around in this head of mine. Look out!
Trina Grimm, a friend at our previous church, found this recipe and shared it with us at the party we had with our previous church folks from Maryland on vacation, and it was a huge hit. Since then I've served it at some things for church and people have gone wild over it. It's so simple but I tell you, it's so good it would make a tadpole slap a whale! :) You can also make a lite version of this simply by using low fat or no sugar ingredients.
Graham Cracker Dip
2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese
1 small can of crushed pineapple (drain in colander first)
1 small package of vanilla pudding (dry mix - you don't add milk)
Take all that and put in a food processor. Blend it completely. Take graham crackers and break into four pieces each. Serve on tray with the bowl of dip. You can either spread the dip on the crackers or just let people take a spoonful of it and dip it from their plate. DEE-LICIOUS!!!! And it's only four ingredients, can you believe it?
We can find no shortage of things to bellyache about in life. I'm not immune to this and the penchant to whine is ever a factor. I really don't want to be that way so I've spent a lot of years resisting it hard and refusing to let what makes me unhappy swallow me up. I remain convinced that the list of things that makes most of us happy is much longer than that which makes us unhappy, but our focus is most often broken. The lack of focus leads to perpetual doldrums simply because we are fixated on something negative instead of concentrating on what delights us. I have realized that all of us have problems, myself included -- that if focused on would destroy us. We have to make a choice not to do that. Life is good, but it's hard. And we must keep ourselves centered and be good stewards of our mind.
So, at one point when I seemed to be surrounded by some things that really threatened to swallow me up (and they were some tough circumstances, not just something that was all in my head or hormones), I began to list my blessings everyday. It made a huge difference. At times when I would get absolutely beside myself with grief over something I was facing I'd take the book out and instead of writing in it that night, I'd just start reading it. It would remind me of everything in life that is beautiful, that which has the power to lift me emotionally from where I am to where I want to be.
I thought I'd start a running list here at http://www.deannashrodes.com/ of things I love and add to it whenever the mood strikes. Usually it's when I'm melancholy. I don't find myself like that tonight however I've been thinking a lot about my old journal and thought that since I'm not hand writing anymore and do everything on my blog or my private journal on line, it's time to take the things I love to the web and keep them there. So here we go with a list tonight, in no particular order or category.
Used book stores
My down comforter & duvet
Riding my bike
Bath and Body Works Moonlight Path
Earth, Wind and Fire
Waking up next to my husband
Any thrift store
Anything with Wonder Woman on it
Pret a Manger
Reading a letter from someone I love
Meeting friends for coffee
Hosting people in my home
Soft, sensuous kisses
Reading while it's raining
Crisp, clean sheets
More to come...
Oh, she didn't really mean it was hell. Not literally of course. Nobody was hurt or maimed. There was no weeping, wailing or nashing of teeth. Things just evidently weren't the same. I was surprised as I didn't think it would be a blip on the screen that I was gone, especially since I had organized my work well and dotted every "i" and crossed every "t" on all my stuff before I left. What was there to do? What was there to miss? I took care of it all before I left.
I was away for two weeks on my family vacation ~ away from both the church, and my career coaching job. Tuesday evenings is my weekly one on one call with Kathryn, who lives in San Francisco. So I got on the phone for our first weekly call after getting back from vaca and these were the first words out of her mouth: "The last two weeks have been hell without you! I am so glad to have my Deanna back'! I kept saying, where oh where is my Deanna and when is she coming back? I could hardly wait!" At first I thought she was kidding or at least being overly melodramatic and said, "no really," and she said, "I'm serious!"
Nothing was wrong. The company is not falling apart. On the contrary it's growing by leaps and bounds, a place with amazing people. There were no crisis the last two weeks. Kathryn was simply saying it wasn't the same without me and she hated the fact that I was absent.
I know it might seem vain, but it was just nice to hear in her own way of saying it that I am valued. It feels good to be needed although I'm glad nobody was seriously going through hell.
Kathryn is an amazing leader who has taught me so much. Working under her has impacted me a lot already in how I lead in the church. Although she is not a believer (yet!) she has taught me some things to help me be a better church leader that I might never have learned otherwise.
In career coaching we share the statistic that 75% of all hires are ultimately made because of chemistry. It's interesting how that works. The most qualified candidate may not always get the job. Most times it's the person who clicks best relationally with the interviewer. It's not so odd -- people's happiness at work is very much tied to being happy with the people they work with or for. All that to say...the chemistry with Kathryn is great and I'm thankful for that. I think if she had the choice she'd hire me again. :)
I Am Your Dog
I am your dog, and I have a little something I'd like to whisper in your ear. I know that you humans lead busy lives. Some have to work, some have children to raise. It always seems like you are running here and there, often much too fast, often never noticing the truly grand things in life.
Look down at me now, while you sit there at your computer. See the way my dark brown eyes look at yours? They are slightly cloudy now. That comes with age. The gray hairs are beginning to ring my soft muzzle. You smile at me; I see love in your eyes. What do you see in mine? Do you see a spirit? Someone who loves you as no other could in the world? A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a simple moment of your time? That is all I ask. To slow down, if even for a few minutes to be with me.
So many times you have been saddened by the words you read on that screen, of other of my kind, passing. Sometimes we die young and oh so quickly, sometimes so suddenly it wrenches your heart out of your throat. Sometimes, we age so slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract clouded eyes. Still the love is always there, even when we must take that long sleep, to run free in a distant land. I may not be here tomorrow; I may not be here next week. Someday you will shed the water from your eyes, that humans have when deep grief fills their souls, and you will be angry at yourself that you did not have just 'One more day' with me. Because I love you so, your sorrow touches my spirit and grieves me.
We have NOW, together. So come, sit down here next to me on the floor, and look deep into my eyes. What do you see? If you look hard and deep enough we will talk, you and I, heart to heart. Come to me not as 'alpha' or as 'trainer' or even 'Mom or Dad,' come to me as a living being and stroke my fur and let us look deep into one another's eyes, and talk. I may tell you something about the fun of chasing a tennis ball, or I may tell you something profound about myself, or even life in general. You decided to have me in your life because you wanted someone to share such things with, someone very different from you. And, here I am. I am a dog, but I am alive. I feel emotion, I feel physical senses, and I can revel in our differences. I do not think of you as a 'Dog on two feet' -- I know what you are. You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still. Now, come sit with me, on the floor. Enter my world, and let time slow down if only for 15 minutes. Look deep into my eyes, and whisper to my ears. Speak with your heart, with your joy and I will know your true self. We may not have tomorrow, and life is oh so very short.
“Did you seriously just cut in front of me in this Wal-mart line I’ve been standing in for 20 minutes?”
"Lack of preparation on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on my part...“
“Somebody get me a Paris tea! I’m ready to ring someone’s neck…”
At times when I get my flakes frosted about something, I quickly rattle off a twitter something like the above. In 140 characters or less, I get to spout off to any of my friends listening at their computer or on their mobile about whatever is irritating me. I don’t use twitter for this all the time of course. Most of the time it’s to share fun tidbits of info about my day or what I’m thinking. But occasionally I just want to quickly spout off. Usually it brings a funny or comforting comment from a friend or two.
When I’m angry my husband will sometimes see me texting furiously and he’ll say, “Are you seriously twittering about that?!!”My standard response is, “Yes Larry…I’ve told you, it just makes me feel better even for but a moment…” Do you sometimes tweet when you’re ticked?
Today was pretty insane with catching up with things, or should I say endeavoring to catch up. I got a tremendous amount of things done however it's going to be another busy day tomorrow and hopefully by days end I will have made enough of a dent to not have a totally insane remainder of my week.
I taught a career workshop tonight at church and although I was exhausted it was a blessing to connect with those who attended. When she came in tonight Gayle said, "I know you have to be exhausted!" I said, "I know Gayle, what was I thinking to schedule this workshop the Monday I get back from vaca?" It was worth it, though.
I am going to be blogging on a few topics the rest of this week that I've really been thinking about. Get ready for more this week than just my "everyday life" updates. I'm going to share some deeper thoughts.
Last night I enjoyed being back in my big tub, in our bed (THE most comfortable in the world), in my shower this morning (seriously, it's amazing -- a water pic with a bunch of different massage settings) and then being back with our precious people this morning at church.
There were lots of surprises in store. While we were gone they did a major amount of remodeling, decorating and cleaning. They had a major workday in our absence and in addition to the nursery almost being done, two bathrooms were completely re-done with a third close to being done, painting done outside, pressure washing, new flower arrangements and more. Wow, what a blessing. Candy and Janice called this project "operation face lift" and said there are three more on the way. Can't even imagine what's next! We are all excited about what God is doing in and through His church.
Had a great choir lunch and practice this afternoon (I missed them so much!) and then I went home totally exhausted. I wanted to just sleep but we were totally out of groceries. I went to the store and picked up enough for the week and started out by making chicken fettucine alfredo tonight. We have missed home cooked food so much. We had it at Mike and Donna's and when we were with Kim, and also at my in laws. However aside from those three times, we had to eat out every time on vacation. It did get old. I didn't miss the cooking/cleaning up aspect but I did miss the food itself and particularly craved Larry's spaghetti. He was too tired to make it today but thankfully we had Italian food for lunch at church and it was all home cooked by our people. I had some amazing spaghetti and lasagna. Then about six or seven hours later I came home and made a big dinner. I am so excited about homemade food I already have tomorrow night's dinner cooking in the crock pot. :)
The week is taking off like a rocket. I have so many initiatives I already feel overwhelmed and haven't even really started yet. With a women's event on Friday I really don't have a day off this week so thankfully I've already just had a vacation!