Superfluous but loved

I had a conversation with a friend about a week or so ago about superfluous people. You know, those who spit a million honorifics before getting to their actual given names. Those who add every single degree they ever received  (undergraduate, graduate, and honorary) at the end of their e-mail signatures. Those who tout authority over a subject that’s doesn’t even belong to them. They seek to be seen in the right light, even if it means darkening other peoples’ reputations. 


For the past year and a half, I’ve worked under such a person.  While she is nice and friendly, she walks to her own drum beat and not in a good way. I’ve seen her “go rogue”, skip protocol, and send e-mails to the entire staff about subjects that don’t fall under her jurisdiction. She’s deftly transferred many of her duties to me and volunteered me to work on projects without my prior knowledge. And worse of all, I’ve actually witnessed her (and heard from others) make me the scapegoat for things going awry. 


Naturally, all of these things, topped off by possible damage to my name, irritated me to no end. I  began to resent her. Whenever she asked me to do something, a bitter taste would form in my mouth.  


But one day, I remember walking back to my desk.  I was heated up about some incident involving her, and I was ranting internally. But through all that mental ruckus, I heard God say:

“I love her just as much as I love you.”

That stopped me in tracks. Despite all of her (professional) flaws and her social faux pas, He loves her completely and eternally. Just as much as He loves old sinful, selfish, imperfect  me. After that moment, I tried harder to have more patience and grant her more grace. And though her treatment of me didn’t change much, my perception of her did. 


Unfortunately, as I write this, she may be losing her position due to her work performance. And though the dismissal is warranted, I sincerely pray that she lands well. 



“This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other”
-I John 4:10-11

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Good Day

Yesterday was a good day. It’s been a while since I’ve had a genuinely good day and because of that, I think God decided to paint my day with laughter. Deep stomach-pinching sweet laughs.


I woke up that morning to a text from a friend that made a smile burst onto my face. During church service, I spent time laughing with some more friends at intentional (and unintentional) funny moments. 

I spent the latter half of the day goofing around and giggling with some more friends. We were laughing at nothing in particular but the laughs were rich and meaty and left me feeling full. When I got home last night, my feet were a bit blistered, due to a poor choice of shoes. But the good outweighed the bad. Yesterday, a friend reminded me of something I forgot (which I often do): 

“Instead of looking at what I don’t have, I’m grateful for what I do.” 


Grateful for good days. 

Laura’s married :)

When I was growing up, the highlight of my week was catching ABC’s “TGIF” Friday night line-up. My favorite part was watching nerdy but loyal Steve Urkel pine after the love of his life, Laura Winslow on the sitcom, “Family Matters.”  Although Steve’s advances of romance were continually spurned by Laura, by the series’ end, the two wound up getting married. 


Last month, the actress who played Laura, Kellie Williams, found real life romance. The story brought a smile to my face and made me a little nostalgic for my childhood days in the 90’s. I may have to put some “Family Matters” DVDs in my Netflix queue. 

Crush

I was about 6 years old when I got my first crush. He was a wiry little boy by the name of Michael Bell. He had a hi-top fade with three bars shaved into the side of his head. Michael had a deep molasses complexion and was missing his two front teeth. You couldn’t help but zero in on the gap in the center of his smile. I was totally in love as were all the other first grade girls. I quickly became a part of the gaggle who swooned daily after him. He knew it, too. But at that time,  I was too young to let cockiness disenchant me. 


As I got older, I would try on crushes and relish them until, like lip gloss, the sparkle faded away. They only lasted a school year, give or take a holiday break or teacher conference days. Looking back, the objects of my affections were as different from each other as fire and ice. One year, it was a pudgy little boy who wore pride like cologne. Another year, it was a silver bespectacled gangly class clown. If I collected all my crushes together, I don’t know if I’d find a common theme among them. Maybe it was something in their auras, something in their personalities that reached out and grabbed me. They weren’t the perfect package but they had pieces of it. 


I eventually grew out my infatuations and graduated college, crush-free. (However, he’s the exception. I think I’ll be in love with him for as long as I live!)


With that said, I’m surprised to find myself, at the ripe old age of 25, dealing with a crush. It’s a delicious problem. 


Easy is the word that comes to mind when I think of him. He’s incredibly easy on the eyes. If my superficial teenage self were to build the perfect man, I do believe she would come up with him. 


His personality is easy.  He’s remarkably smooth and fluid. I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes a chill pill every morning with his orange juice.  


The only thing that’s not easy is how to control myself when around him.  I monitor my voice, my movements, my words, and my actions closely when in close quarters with him. Then I grade myself when he’s out of my presence. And I almost always fail. But, in spite of that, I’m always eager to try it again. 


So do crushes in your twenties linger, combust, or grow into something lasting? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll ask him about it…:)

I hear you

In case I forgot (which I did), God reminded me that He hears me. 


My morning commute yesterday started off simply enough. I easily got a seat on the train and was happily occupied with my headphones and newspaper. At the next stop, a man sat down beside me and a second or two later, so did his scent. It wasn’t disgusting but it was certainly foul. I don’t know if he didn’t brush his teeth or he ate something that wasn’t right but one thing for sure: The smell wasn’t right. Not willing to risk losing my seat on a fairly long train ride, I hugged the plastic partition that was the other side of me and tried not to breathe in the communal air space between us. 

Once at work, my energy level was quickly depleted. By 11:30, 11:30!, I was ready to call it a day. To top it off, I didn’t feel like myself. I felt heavy, emotionally and physically. By this time, clouds sagged in the sky and the dark environment began to influence my mood. 

I needed to finish my work. I needed the old me to come back. So I prayed. “Lord, put me on someone’s heart to pray for me ’cause I can’t do this.”

I shook my head, blinked my eyes, and forced myself to come to life. A couple of hours later, I walked to a co-worker’s office to help her with a project. When I got back to my desk, an e-mail pops up from her that read:

“As you left [my office], I asked God to return everything to you that you have sown in the lives of others.  Please don’t discount your value to the body of Christ or to people like me.”


He never seizes to amaze me. Thank You, Lord. 

I will call to You whenever I’m in trouble, and You will answer me.
Psalm 86:7 (NLT)

Sips

It was touch and go there for a second. For a huge chunk of last month, I was draped with heavy feelings. Actually, they were more than feelings. They were like blankets because I felt like I was bundled in them. I felt overwhelmed financially, worried about credit cards and student loans. I felt aimless, not knowing where God wants me to go or what He wants me to do. Should I stay in my current job? Should I leave to pursue something closer to my heart? If so, where and how?  Then the heaviest garment, loneliness, swaddled me from head to toe. I could actually feel it wrap around me at the oddest times: at work, at home watching CNN, even riding in the car with friends.


I remember one night praying and weeping to God. I truly had never felt such a thing. Tears were my daily diet and my nights were frequently restless. But while talking with the Lord, a thought occurred to me, “Take it in sips, not gulps.” Sips. When you sip something, it’s often because it’s hot. It’s too much to handle in bigger sections. If you were to gulp it down, you would either burn your tongue, scald your throat or worse, choke. But by sipping, the drink is easier to digest, you can enjoy the taste and best of all, it lasts longer. 


I think I was trying to down it all in one gulp. Discover my true passion, organize my life, and fall in love in one week! LOL. But Jesus reminded me that each day is a sip of my life that I should savor. He can handle the gulps. 


“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
-Matthew 6:34 (NLT)