It’s the little things…

I have been looking for a job on and off for two years now. I have sent out countless resumes and have had a bunch of interviews, but nothing has panned out.

I have had my eye on a couple of companies that I would have loved to work for and have sent my resume in response to several job openings but again nothing has ever panned out. That was until this January.

At the beginning of the year I applied to the International Missions Board for a dream position. And this time they wanted to interview me. I was so stoked!! Here it is! This is why God hasn’t opened any doors. He had this dream job all set up for me but I just had to be patient.

So for a little over 2 months I was back and forth with interviews and emails and phone calls. I told everyone I saw and asked them to pray that things would go smoothly. It was taking forever, but good things come to those who wait, right?

Well in this case, turns out good things don’t. After the final interview round I received a generic email stating that they would not be considering me for the position. It was the exact same email I would get from them when my resume didn’t include enough key words to proceed forward. You know that one you get within 12 hours of submitting your resume when you know no human being has even looked at it.

I was crushed. And to make things even better I now had to tell everyone I didn’t get it. I’m still telling people I didn’t get it. And it still hurts. It’s been 3 weeks.

So during this process I am having real talks with God. I mean who else can you be as real with? So I am letting God know that I am not happy. I don’t understand why He has me where He does. And I literally say “I know You are covering my bills, but I would love to be able to treat myself. I know I don’t need new things but sometimes when I’m in the U.S. it’s just nice to be able to get something new.”

I’m not going to lie, it’s harder when I’m in the States to be poor than when I’m overseas.

While I’m dealing with all of this I’m still living my life. I can be upset and move forward at the same time. But I’m still looking at the things I want. It’s been weeks that I’ve been looking at this Yeti 20 oz. tumbler in olive that they no longer sell so I’m settling for the white. I keep checking to see if there was a reasonably priced one on Ebay. I’m on Made by Mary consistently looking at their jewelry, drooling over their new flower disc bracelets. I mean they have 3 of my favorite flowers and my birth flower with beautiful meanings to be reminded of. (Side note: I LOVE flowers)

While I’m looking at all these things I just keep wondering why God has not provided for me? Why do all these jobs not work out? Why am I at this point in my life? I’m just frustrated.

 

I tell you all of these things so you will really know what this stone will mean for me.

 

This weekend my sister volunteered me for a woman’s conference at my church. I was in no way planning to help. There was a special speaker coming and I had read her book. I was excited to come and just enjoy myself. She actually volunteered me a while ago. It was for sure when I was in the interview process with the IMB.

So the weekend came and of course I wasn’t going to say no. I love helping out. I went to the training and learned everything I needed. And then the conference started and I showed up day 1 on time and ready to help.

I walked into the area for volunteers to set my stuff down and noticed that there were these little gift bags lined up on the back wall. Me being me, of course I went to check them out. While I was doing just that I was told that these bags were for all the volunteers. My immediate response was, “No way.” I mean I looked in the bags and they were filled with some awesome swag.

Well turns out they were in fact for the volunteers.

And I wish I could have you guess what was in the bag. But since I can’t I’ll just let you know one of the items in the bag was a white 20 oz. tumbler!! It looked just like the Yeti. (Of course there are differences but they were ones that didn’t matter) I could have fallen over!

This was something I’ve been looking at for forever. The whole bag of gifts was everything I love. There was a note with flowers, a black ink pen (I only write in black ink, no other color. It’s an OCD thing), a coupon for my favorite things from Chick-fil-A, my favorite gum, and even Chapstick!! (Real Chapstick, not that fake stuff)

And God didn’t end there.

I was looking at the merch table thinking how if I had money like I did when I had a job I would buy the sweatshirt they had. It was the perfect gray color. It had a message of “Unexpected strength” which I needed to be reminded of. It had little flowers. It really had all the things. But again, I would never pay that much for a sweatshirt when I don’t have steady income. But I still told everyone how much I loved the sweatshirt.

At the end of the first session on the second day I got pulled aside and handed the sweatshirt. I cannot tell you how thankful I was. It really made me feel so loved.

And while I was thankful for these items I wasn’t thinking about sharing any of this. I mean, a cup doesn’t mean anything to you, but it meant all the world to me. And then when I was reading my notes a line stood out to me “We sometimes forget about all the provision around because we are focused on what we don’t have.”

I really get caught up in the fact that I don’t have a job. It’s a huge reason why I have missed a few weeks posting to this blog. I mean how can life be good when I’m still sitting over here unemployed and nothing is changing?

But you know what? God is still providing. He is still paying for all my bills. It’s been how long and I’m not missing payments? And here God is showing up and showing me that He will even give me the little extras that I really want but can’t pay for.

So this week’s stone is a white 20 oz. tumbler, a tumbler that reminds me while God has me waiting He will still provide in the little unneeded ways.

Red Bull Gives You Wings

So, this one has a little back story.

3 years ago I left my normal corporate America job, sold almost everything I owned, and traveled the world for a year helping others along the way. I met a ton of people and some really cool organizations. When I got home I decided that I needed to find a job. So I started applying.

No matter how many places I applied nothing was working out. But at the same time I was also getting calls from people asking if I’d be willing to go back over seas and help out in one area or the other. Since I wasn’t getting any jobs I figured I’d just go ahead and go. So that’s what I did and have been doing for the past 3 years.

Well, now it seems that this time is coming to an end. Or so I thought.

I have never really stopped applying for jobs. I mean I need to actually get paid for at least some of the work I do. And in January I found the perfect job. I was way over qualified. And I would only need to learn the culture of the company. I was so excited. Writing a cover letter had never been easier. The company reached out to me and we started the whole interview process.

I started to tell everyone that I was in the interview process. I was asking people to pray because this job seemed too good to be true. And each round of interviews I got more and more excited.

I went in for my fourth and final interview and it went so well. The atmosphere was so relaxed. I had amazing on point answers to all the questions. I knew it was going to work out.

Then the day came I was supposed to hear about my job and no word. The next day came and passed again with no word.  Then four days later I received a generic rejection email that wasn’t even from the HR rep I had been speaking with. It didn’t even acknowledge the fact that I had been speaking with the company for two months about this role. It just said no.

I was devastated. I had been so sure that I would get the job. I just knew God was going to provide. But here I was sitting at my desk reading the words that I wasn’t wanted. And now not only did I have to deal with the fact that I didn’t get the job, now I had to tell everyone else.

So I started with the girl I knew who worked for the company. I sent her a quick text to let her know. She responded back with the normal polite things that you say to someone who just told you bad news and then let me know that she would talk to me that evening. I would be seeing her at youth since we were both leaders.

I told a few more people and went about the rest of my day trying not to think about it. This rejection hurt worse than any of the others. I had a couple meetings so I decided to treat myself while I was out. I stopped at the store and got myself an energy drink. You see, I’m addicted to them. They make me so happy. But they are so bad for you so I try my best to stay away from them. Well today I needed a treat.

I went to my first meeting and made it through. Then I headed over to youth where I knew I had other people I had to tell about my rejection. I was not looking forward to it.

I walked in and there was sweet Sarah with an energy drink in hand for me. She knew I loved them and thought she’d try and cheer me up with the surprise. Y’all, no one does things like that for me. NO ONE! It was the sweetest thing ever. I hugged her so big. That was exactly what I needed.

So this week’s stone is a sugar free Red Bull

Stop and Smell the Roses

As a single girl on Valentine’s Day I know I’m not going to get a gift. And I’m okay with that. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get a little jealous of all the ladies out there that get flowers. I don’t care about the candy or other things, just the flowers.

Why just the flowers? You see, I love flowers. When I had a full time job and my own place there were always fresh flowers in my apartment. I am literally that person who stops to smell the roses. So any holiday where flowers are shared is a good holiday to me.

Coming into this Valentine’s Day I knew I would get no flowers, but God had something up His sleeve.

I was asked to work a few days before Valentine’s. I basically work every single chance I get so of course I said yes. Everything was normal, nothing special. I showed up, served food, cleaned up and got ready to go.

As I was packing things up the event planner came in and asked if I would like a few bouquets of flowers. She had some left over and didn’t want them to go to waste. My immediate response “It’s like an early Valentine’s present from the sweet baby Jesus!!!” Not even going to lie. Those were the exact words that came out of my mouth.

My seventh stone is flowers.

 

Everything’s Bigger in Texas

So for a little while now I’ve had a friend asking if I would be able to make it down to Texas for a girl’s weekend in April. I’ve checked the flights often and it was just so expensive. So every time she asked I’d have to say “I’d love to, but…”

But she didn’t give up. We started trying to figure out ways to make getting there affordable. We even looked into different credit cards trying to find the best way to get miles. The more we looked the more it looked like this just wasn’t going to happen.

Then this week things changed.

I got a message letting me know that my friend had miles that she could use to buy my ticket for me. Turns out her miles company was running a special in February from my airport to the one I needed to fly into. So it wasn’t going to take a lot and I’d be able to go.

I was so excited!! What a blessing!! Now I get to spend my birthday with some of the best ladies down in Texas playing at the beach.

Week six’s stone is frequent flyer miles.

They see me rollin’

This week I came outside, looked at my car and noticed something, my back tire didn’t look right. I got my dad and asked if he thought my tire looked low or if it was just me. He agreed that it looked low and didn’t seem too concerned. So I wasn’t too concerned. I made a quick run to the store and back home and added “check my tire pressure” to my to do list for the next morning.

Next day I dug through my dad’s garage looking for a tire pressure gage. I found 4 broken ones that I still don’t know why he has. Then I figured I’d use the air pump pressure gage. I backed my car up to it and flipped the switch to turn it on. I tried 3 different times to get the gage to work but clearly there was some sort of technical error because I knew I did everything I was supposed to.

So I did what all girls do when they need mechanical help, I called my dad.

He came home, jacked my car up, and flipped a second switch on the air pump that I completely missed and confirmed that we would need to take the tire off. The pressure was so low we needed to take a look with it not connected to the car.

Thank God for a mechanic on the side dad who knew how to take care of everything. He had my tire off and was checking it as I was clearing out my trunk. Turns out I had run over a screw that was in the side of my tire. With the screw being in the side there wasn’t going to be an easy repair. It meant I was going to have to buy a new one.

To make things even better I have a full size spare that needs replacing. So one day I’m good to go and the next I have to get 2 new tires and ASAP as my state inspection was up February 1st.

Only issue, I am still unemployed. The side work I have has little to nothing going on. And tires are not cheap.

Normally I would be freaking out. Money is such a big stresser in my life. But I had so much peace that even I didn’t quit understand. I was just sure God would take care of it. I blindly went into the process of ordering new tires with no funds to back it up when they came in.

God knew this was coming and He had already set me up to be able to take care of this bill. Several months ago I had had a friend reach out and ask if I would watch her home and dogs while she was out of town. I said yes, months ago. And the same day I ordered my tires was the same day I got paid for house sitting. And guess what. What I was paid and the cost of my tires were almost exactly the same!

Week five’s stone is new tires

Staying in touch fills my soul

Sometimes living in different states from your friends can be hard. It can take more work. And then sometimes, thanks to technology it’s like they live in the next town over. You can hit a few buttons and it’s like they are right there with you.

This week technology was able to help me join in a Bible study with some friends in different states. I know that doesn’t seem like much but boy did it do so much for me. I would never be able to engage with them on this level if it wasn’t for video chats.

But technology doesn’t need to just be for out of state friends. My sister sent me a text letting me know that my nephew got into a new program at school. She lives 10 minutes away from me. But I wasn’t there to congratulate him when he got home. So it became as simple as a few clicks and there he was on the screen making silly faces with me and talking about all the new things he is going to get to do.

Week four’s stone is technology.

Free breakfast? Yes, please

Week 3’s stone is free breakfast.

I’m like every other person in the world and I love food, especially Chick-fil-A. And this week I got free breakfast from them.

It seems like everything and everyone has an app now days. And I am not one for apps. I resist downloading them so much. But there are some that I cave on and Chick-fil-A is one of those apps.

At first I didn’t have a choice because I wanted my coupons from the calendar. (R.I.P. Chick-fil-A calendar, I miss you dearly and it’s only been 21 days) But then I found that I earned free food on top of my coupons. So score!! I’m keeping this app and scanning it every chance I get.

Well on Monday I opened the app just to check it and there it was my free breakfast sandwich just for living where I do. And I could even choose which sandwich I wanted. Thank you Lord.

Little signs of God’s goodness are found everywhere, even the Chick-fil-A app 🙂