Friday, January 29, 2010

Reflections on Work

This morning I received a call from the Director of Sales at the hotel. As I had only been awake for 15 minutes I let the call to go to voicemail. I listened to the voicemail almost immediately after it was left and heard the following (more or less): "Suzanne, thank you for applying for the Group Sales Position. I'm really glad you applied and you were a great candidate, but we've gone with 'so-and-so' who is currently an account manager at our Kent property and has a sales background."

I wasn't upset because I wanted the job desperately, but more because my pride was hurt. Both of my managers I interviewed with had very positive things to say about me, but it felt like one more opportunity I just wasn't quite good enough for. Today was kind of weird being at the hotel and seeing the DOS and my General Manager. I didn't bring it up or discuss it with them but just acted like nothing happened. What else was I supposed to do? In addition to that I also got written up for dropping $100 short from my till at work on Sunday. So, in conclusion, the day at work wasn't great.

I'm fine with being at the front desk until I find my next job. I'm good at my job, I like my job, and I enjoy each and every person I work with. I just feel ready for the next thing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My other blog

I started a new blog called the 15 Week Challenge. It's a way for me to focus on my health for the next 15 weeks (it's 15 weeks until my birthday) and see if in 15 weeks I can change my life for good by putting some healthy habits into place. I also wanted to keep it separate from this blog since this is a blog about my life, and all the ups and downs. While getting healthy is a part of my life, I didn't want to make it the center of it.

If you're interested in that part of me, and the challenges that come with it, dash on over to suzannetownsend15weeks.blogspot.com and check it out.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This is when living by faith gets difficult

I applied for a job as a youth director. A huge leap of faith for me b/c it means not just helping with a youth ministry, but being the one in charge.

I am also applying for a job as an account manager at the hotel I currently work at.

Getting the youth director job would mean a chance to be in a position where I get to work with a church, youth, parents, teach, and try to put into practice my philosophies of ministry. Oh yeah, and it's what I feel I have been gifted and equipped to do.

Getting the account manager job would mean that my nights and weekends would be free which would allow me to begin volunteering with Street Youth Ministries, begin teaching a couple different classes at my church, and in general have a life. It would also provide me with financial stability and give me resources that allow me to be financially generous towards others.

Now here's the rub: applications for the account manager position are due Friday, and a decision will most likely be made by next Friday. I contacted the selection committee about the church job and they won't be contacting candidates until next week. So...if I get the account manager job I would potentially need to make a decision about accepting the job without knowing if I am being considered for the church ministry job.

I don't feel that God intentionally tests us very often, but I do feel like this is a test of faithfulness. I believe there's a reason that these two opportunities are coming up simultaneously. Both opportunities will be rich with blessings and benefits, but which is best? My friend asked me how I would feel if I accepted the account manager job and then found out the next week I was being considered for the youth job. The truth is I would be heartbroken. And yes, I am terrified that I will say no to an opportunity and then be turned down for the other, leaving me in the exact same place that I am today. Except, maybe I wouldn't be in the same place. I'll be in the same job, yes, but I'll be someone who acted out of a motivation to be faithful.

Maybe I am getting anxious for nothing. Maybe I'll be turned down for the account manager job and my decision will be an easy one. Maybe I'll find out about the youth director position earlier than I had anticipated. Regardless of what happens, my prayer is the same. Give me the strength, Jesus, to live by faith and not by sight.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Twenty-Four

Last night me, Maggie, Jaelithe went to go see Switchfoot at the Showbox theatre. Whenever I go see Switchfoot I get stuck on their music for a while. I went running to Switchfoot today, and timed almost perfectly to the end of my run was the song "Twenty-Four". I almost started crying as I listened to the entire song while walking in the rain and cooling down. It was like I was hearing parts of the song for the first time ever, and it almost became a prayer:

I want to see miracles, see the world change
Wrestled the angel, for more than a name
For more than a feeling
For more than a cause
I'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with You
And You're raising the dead in me

This part of the song is referring to Jacob wrestling the angel of the Lord. When Jacob is done wrestling the angel touches his hip and leaves Jacob with a limp. Maybe most importantly, God gives Jacob a new name. He goes from being named Jacob meaning "supplanter", to Israel meaning "God persists or contends." His wrestling with God transforms him from one who deceives and manipulates for his own purposes to one who strives with God and helps birth God's nation. He wrestled with the angel of the Lord, and then received a blessing. BUT!!! Jacob did not wrestle the angel in order to receive a blessing.

So often I feel like I am striving with God under the expectation (demand?) that out of that striving I receive a blessing. What if the striving is the point and not the blessing that comes from it? What if the striving ceases and no blessing comes? What if the striving is the blessing?

I feel like I am in a period of time where I am wrestling with God, and my thought has been "once this is over, I'll be blessed." My radical question is this: is the fact that I am striving, and that I have breath to be wrestling with God, a sign that I have already been blessed?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Contentment

What's that sound? Oh, it's me jumping on the bandwagon and writing a list about my goals for the new year.

1. Run a marathon: My friend Heather is getting married in July, so we're going to train for a marathon as a way to whip my butt into shape and keep her butt in shape for the wedding. Speaking of, I should be leaving my house for a run right about now...
2. Read one non-fiction book a month: This was going to be "read one book" but if I get sucked into a fiction book then I can get through one every 2-3 days while my list of non-fiction books I'd like to read grows, and grows, and grows.
3. Get serious about getting healthy: This isn't a "if I lose weight I'll be prettier" thing. My self image is strong, praise the Lord. This is a "if I lose weight I'll be healthier" thing.
4. Continue working on getting out of debt: My American Express card should be paid off within the next 6 months and then I'll start chipping away at my other credit card debt. All of my credit card bills were a result of school debt (books, extra tuition, etc.) and I look forward to casting it aside.
5. More frequent correspondence with my out of state friends: This is going to be even more important as one of my closest friends moves out of state next month.
6. Find a job that I love: Please Lord Jesus, please.
7. Live with joy: I want to wake up each morning ready to face the day with my arms lifted in praise.
8. Love with reckless abandon: My friends, my family, my youth group, my co-workers. I pray that God will help develop me into a person that loves fiercely, with little concern about what it may cost me, and loves boldly with little concern about what the world thinks of that act. This isn't me wanting to be a doormat for the abusers in my life or a raging liberal that finds all things to be permissible. This is me praying, pleading, that my life is so filled by the love of Christ that my love for others overflows abundantly.
9. Prayer: Enough said.
10. Travel: This year I want to go one place I've never been before. Maybe Nashville to visit Liz. Maybe Ohio to visit Erin. Maybe Vancouver, B.C. just because it's close.

So, I gave into peer pressure, or maybe it was blog pressure as all of my friends with blogs had already posted something about the new year. But, these things are written down, and it's up to me to have them happen. Without further ado, I'll be leaving now for a 3 mile run...something that'll get me closer to goal #1.