Thursday, March 31, 2005

My Picks for The Apprentice

I’m tired today. Not physically, just mentally and emotionally. Yesterday was a brutal day for me. Long conversations with no answers on two different fronts, an over 12-hour work day, and a hour and a half conference call that took alot of mental energy. I’m feeling weary today. Of course the grey skies don’t help matters very much, either.

In the midst of it all, though, I’m feeling a great deal of joy. I’ve been feeling well for several weeks now, and have seen God answering some prayers and working a few things out in my life. I feel there’s some hope for a few areas that haven’t had much hope in a long time. God is gracious…

I have a great deal going on the next few days. In fact, the next week or so is packed with stuff. Tomorrow I have to print and assemble all the Bible studies for April as well as this week’s Sunday School lesson. On Saturday is the Panel Discussion at the Chapel about the “For Women Only” book and I might be babysitting my nephew. Sunday is church and I have to work from 4-12. Tuesday I’m going to Barista’s in Hanover for coffee with friends. Wednesday is the first Bible study that I’m teaching. Friday is the MDDC Luncheon in Annapolis. (Yes, I won design awards this year! Yippee!!) Saturday I’m going to New York City. So that is a packed schedule. Most of it will be fun though. The working on Sunday is a bummer, but I had to so that I could go to the MDDC thing and not have to work in the evening.

I am having Rainforest Crunch coffee today. It’s good, but I’m getting tired of it. They have it here way too much. Where’s the cocoa caramel??

I am enjoying this season of the Apprentice. My pick for the winner at this time is Kendra. I think she’s the first woman we’ve had who has a shot at it. I also like Tana and Alex, but am not sure they will win. Craig will never make it through the interview process. He seems like a great guy, but doesn’t clearly articulate his thoughts well enough to get through those brutal interviews. Crazy Chris is doomed regardless of how long he hangs out. The tobaccy thing will never fly and I am sure Trump also notices his tendancy to get crazy mad at the drop of a hat. The first time he spoke in the boardroom at the beginning of the season, I about spit my drink out. He was hilarious. I’d never even noticed him yet and here he was angry and yelling at people. He’s way too defensive and “road rage” for the type of position he’s aiming for. Trump doesn’t like Angie and he really wanted to fire her last week. In fact, if Erin hadn’t opened her mouth at the end, I think he might have. So Kendra is my pic with either Alex or Tana also possible choices.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Here's What's New

God’s timing is impeccable. He always knows when to bring about the next step. My problem is that I don’t like waiting. I’m more of a type-A “I’ll just do it myself” person. That natural instinct gets me in some trouble when it comes to following God’s leading. I tend to try making things happen myself instead of letting God lead the way in HIS time. I’ve been thinking about this a great deal lately. I have several things going on in my life I’d change in a heartbeat if it were up to me. But more and more I learn to let God be the driver. You’d think it would get easier with each new circumstance, but I often feel like I’m learning this lesson over and over. I must not be too bright…

Big stuff is coming for Flourish. God answered a big prayer in a big way this week. I bought something that is going to take us to the next level and I am so excited about it I can hardly sleep! How cool is that?? It will take some planning, it will take some work and it will take some time before we can roll it out but the more I work on it, the more I think about it, the more giddy I get. Whoo-hoo!! Bet you’re wondering what it is, huh???

I had a “series of unfortunate events” yesterday. Nothing bad, really, just stupid things. I managed to keep my sense of humor through it all because it was quite a day of humorous mishaps. First of all, I left my coat in my brother’s closet yesterday when I went home after Easter Dinner. This wasn’t a big deal, I have several coats, but the big deal was that my keys were in it. Luckily, Evan’s nanny was there this morning when I realized it and I could go back and get the keys BUT it was raining torrentially and my umbrella was locked in my car. So I walked back to my Brother’s in the rain and mud to get the keys.

Then later, I get to WaWa’s for some coffee and a tank of gas and I can’t use my Debit card at the pump. It tells me it is unavailable. So I am on empty but I only have about ten dollars on me and I needed a cup of coffee as well. So I get just a few dollars of gas and go inside for my coffee and to pay my bill. I get to the register and she tells me the debit cards are working inside, just not at the pump. So I could have filled up my tank in the first place. Now I have to go back in a few days because ten dollars of gas won’t get you far any more.

I could go on as about three more unfortunate things happened, but I won’t bother. None of these things were especially annoying, just more of a laugh that they all happened on the same day. But work went well and I got out on time which was nice. And tomorrow I don’t have to go in early for a change. I won’t know what to do with myself. I hope to get some work done in my office at as well as finish up my Bible Studies for April. I am down to the wire with those.

What I'm Reading

“…when God delays, He is not inactive…and if we have gained the qualities that make us ready for a throne, nothing will keep us from it once His timing is right.” from Streams in the Desert, March 22

Friday, March 25, 2005

Question of the Day

How do you know when you’re spending too much on books?

Okay, so I know I’m a book addict. I’ve tried self-help programs and joined support groups. I’ve admitted I’m totally powerless over the lure of crisp ink on freshly printed pages. And you don’t have to know me for long to realize this. Yet I think I understood it today in a way I never have before.

I’m at one of my favorite bookstores, paying for my purchases this afternoon and what do I hear the lady say as she completes the transaction?? “You have new checks. I like these.” Can you believe this? I’ve made enough purchases there for the owner to recognize when I’ve bought new checks. I really do have a problem…

Friday, March 18, 2005

Leadership Rant

I’ve been thinking about leadership quite a bit lately. I’m in the middle of a few situations that remind me of the need for good leadership. I’m also watching a few situations play out that also show this and more importantly am learning what happens when poor leaders are running the show.

The way I see it is this: if you are in charge of something and you give someone a job to do, your number one priority is to make sure they have everything they need to succeed. You also need to back them up when they make decisions, help them when problems arise, and motivate them to do the best they can but ultimately your number one concern should be making sure you do everything in your power to see them succeed. Why? Because if they don’t succeed at the tasks they are given, your vision will never succeed. It’s that simple. Unless the people you lead are able to do their tasks you won’t get anywhere.

What I see time and time again though, is instead of helping them succeed, leaders are handicapping them from the start. I liken it to giving someone a job to do - sitting on a chair. Just sit there and don’t move. And then about five minutes into the job, the leader takes a baseball bat and whacks off one chair leg. Now sitting still becomes more difficult. After the next leg or two is gone, sitting still is impossible. What usually happens is the leader thinks to himself, “now I gave him one job to do and he can’t even do that!” But who’s fault is it that the person failed?? The leaders! Of course the leader has built it up in his mind that the one doing the task was at fault and he will then do one of several things: 1 - get angry at them for failing, 2 - tell everyone how bad a job the person did, leaving out the part about the broken chair legs, or 3 - give them another task to do, expecting them to fail a second time.

This, my friend, is poor leadership and I see it in many, many situations. I realize that the above chair situation is a silly one, but it gets my point across and fits exactly my mom’s quote I write about yesterday. We want leadership. Even the strongest leader wants someone over them who can lead them. We all want a vision to follow and to live for something that’s worthwhile and that gives us value. Yet many of us are tired of people in charge who put ego ahead of the task at hand, who choose money over people, and who want the power but shirk all of the responsibility. And if you can’t lead effectively and make it your job to see your followers succeed, then get out of the way becuase you are only holding them back, causing them to fail and setting them up for discouragement and disillusion.

I know of someone who is a wonderful leader and she actually takes the blame for things her people did to make them look good. She boasts about them to others, she gives them a lot of chances and she tells them constantly how important they are. She does makes mistakes but is quick to admit to them and she gives her people everything they need to succeed. She considers the success of her people to be the ultimate goal. She doesn’t give them impossible tasks and wait for them to fail and she doesn’t ask of them something she’s not willing to hunker down and do herself. In short, she’s a great leader, and although her role is a small one in a big pond, she is succeeding in ways that others have not. I think of her every time I am in a situation I am called to lead in and I hope that I can do half the job she does on a daily basis.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

And Now, Our Quote for the Day

“Either lead me, or get out of my way!” - Sharon Robinson 3/16/05

My mom said this to me on the phone last night as we were discussing a situation that was frustrating me. I’ve decided to pay tribute to that great line, because it made me laugh and she hit the nail on the head. That was exactly my frustration boiled down to one sentence. She’s so very wise…

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

What Makes Me Happy

I’ve had several very productive days and I’m starting to get worried. Usually when I get things caught up and start to feel a bit of relief from the stress of being behind something happens to put me even more behind. It’s like waiting for the thunder after you see the lightening - I know it’s coming, I’m just not sure when.

I’m currently drinking Irish Cream coffee from a polka dot coffee mug. Laura, the woman who waited on me at the Pour House today, thought it suited me. This is a very happy cup, so I’m taking that as a compliment. I’m feeling very well today for a change so that’s making me happy too. A happy cup of coffee for a happy day.

Last month I was supposed to be journaling about emotions, but I never had the chance to do very much. Since the word for today seems to be “happy,” I thought I’d blog a list of the things that make me happy. So here they are - in no particular order.

a clean desk with lots of white space
the smell of stacks of books when you first walk into a book store
the very thought of a cup of coffee
caramel macchiato’s from Starbucks
walking out the library or bookstore with a bag of new books
visiting an office supply store
new pens
spending time with my nephew
a new episode of “Lost”
whenever Jack Bristow walks into a scene in Alias (Spy Daddy is so cool!)
getting email
only cards and letters and no bills in my mailbox
new craft supplies
finding money in a coat pocket
having a day out on the town with my mom
getting my nails done
good hair days (they are so rare)
watching a movie that speaks to me
discovering a new favorite author
having a day off of work
singing in my car (at the top of my lungs)
a day with nothing scheduled (I can barely remember days like that but I know I loved them!)
sitting on the deck with a cold iced tea and a great book (hurry Spring!)
the smell of lemons
not having to cook
writing something profound (it does happen, occasionally)
answers to prayer
hugs from friends
the right song just when I need it
reading the Psalms
the smell of lilacs (they give me asthma attacks though, so I”m not happy for long, but I do love the smell)
going on vacation
the thought of vacation
the hope that one day I will have a vacation

I guess that’s all for now. I could keep going but I’m getting bored with it. On to new things…

I have a very busy weekend coming up. I won’t get much rest this time. I have been getting eight full hours of sleep ever night now for almost two weeks. I’m finding it easier to make it through my shift at work without feeling drained. I think that also might be why I am getting so much done this week. Even though I have two hours less time each day, I am so full of energy I’m still getting everything done. I guess there’s a lesson to be learned in here somewhere.

Ummmm, wow. They are grinding fresh coffee beans and boy, howdy, does it smell good in here. Even with a stuffy nose I can smell it.

So I’m starting to work on my Sunday School class for the summer. I have things planned out for the rest of the year, I think. I am going to be doing the April Bible study on Success, then the May-August Sunday school class based on the book “The Worn Out Woman” by Alice Gray and Dr. Steve Stephens. (Who named that man?) Then in the summer we are doing a Bible study on being a woman of influence. The September-December study is one I am very excited about. It is going to be a blend of several books and will focus on how your personality and your gifts influence your relationship with God. It will be based on the personality book by Florence Littauer, a book on your spiritual personality by Marita Littauer, and a book or two on spiritual gifts. I think it will be very fun and quite a learning experience. That one will be quite a bit of work behind the scenes for me, but one that I think many women can benefit from.

In struggling all my life to be consistent in prayer and Bible study I’ve learned that the “accepted” methods don’t work for everyone. We all bring our own personality and individual habits and patterns into everything we do. Yet it seems we forget that when we have our devotions. We try to conform to standards preached for fifty years. Those rigid patterns may have worked then, but life has become much different now. We need to approach spending time with God in a different manner than we might read in the how to books. We need to bring along the person God created with all of her likes and dislikes, habits, personality and gifts. When we do this, our relationship with God is uniquely personal, very much all our own. And that’s how it should be. The book my Marita Littauer does an excellent job of breaking down how the different personality types respond to God and how they approach life on a spiritual level. I think it will open many eyes to see ways to deepen their relationship with God.

And now it’s time for a commercial interruption. This blog has been sponsored by… Mozilla. Not seriously, but I do want to brag about them for a minute. I’ve never been a big fan the Explorer web browser. Besides the often serious security issues it just isn’t very flashy or creative. I love Safari on my Mac at work and when I was told that Mozilla had a web browser that was similar to Safari I thought I’d check it out. I downloaded Firefox and gave it a try. I only had to use it for a few minutes and I was hooked. Tabbed browsing is “da bomb” and I love the optional themes to make it look different every day if I want to.

Having loved Firefox, I decided to give their other products a try. I’m now using Thunderbird exclusively for all my email on my laptop as well as Sunbird to keep myself organized. So far, there are no problems that I can see and I’ve been using them for a bit now. So if you are looking for a great email program, try Thunderbird. If you need a very cool (colorful and full of features) calendar give Sunbird a try. And if you aren’t using Firefox you don’t know what you’re missing! And did I mention - they are all free! Yep, free. And they work better and look cooler than all the ones I’ve paid for!

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

I just finished reading the first Harry Potter book. I had listened to all of them on Audio book, but I wanted to read them all in book form before the new one comes out in July. I had planned to be finished book three by the end of March, but that isn’t going to happen. I will start book two this weekend. I’m hoping to blog in the next day or two about my thoughts on the first one. I have a few favorite quotes and some things I thought of while I was reading that I want to write about. Hopefully I can get to that tomorrow or Friday.

And speaking of quotes I found a new one the other day that I adore. I’m putting it in my email signature. It’s by Mark Twain and it says, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” That’s the theme of my life. I have learned to enjoy having a reputation for not walking the “expected” path. I thrive on taking the road less traveled, as Robert Frost said. So there’s our thought for the day and with that, I close.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Finally, An Update!

WOW! God is awesome. He worked something out in my life this week that was causing me no end of stress and pain. In the grand scheme of life I was probably making a mountain out of a molehill, but He understood and interevened in the affairs of men to work His will. How amazing He is! I have seen the words of Psalm 91 leap off the page and come alive this week and I am so grateful and awed to see God work in my circumstances. He’s so great and I’m so small.

There’s been quite a few people writing articles about ABC’s “Lost” and how they are tired of waiting for answers to the shows biggest mysteries. Even Stephen King is getting in on the act, saying in an article on USA Today Online that he was tired of the ongoing stories with no resolution and has about given up on the show. What a whiner! I’m not sure why people want all these answers because then the show would be over. We have only seen about what, fifteen episodes? You can’t hang in there that long? I guess in the world of fast food, instant coffee (please don’t ever drink that stuff, it’s got to be toxic), and microwave popcorn we’ve lost the ability to appreciate the fine art of anticipation. Take a chill, people, and give the writers a chance to tell their story. What else are you watching that’s any better? Cops? (Nothing Close to) Realty TV?

And speaking of quality television programming… I’m sitting in bed typing this entry at 4:00am and guess what show is on TV at this time of the morning? T. J. Hooker. Do you remember this show? I used to love it when I was young, but to be honest, I don’t think I had very good taste in entertainment. I didn’t realize it was running in repeats, which begs the question “WHY?” I guess 4:00am is probably the best hour for it if they have to run it.

It’s snowing. I don’t think we got near the snow they predicted we would. It looks very pretty outside tonight, though. I had quite the slippery drive home from work tonight. I guess the good part was that by the time I leave work there aren’t too many people on the road. We have very little snow out there for as long as it has been snowing. I was hoping we’d get snowed in for a day or two this winter, but so far, most every storm has been a dud. Of course if you watch the news you’d think the two inches of snow on the road was 42 inches the way some of these newscasters carry on about a light dusting. They must have all been born in Miami and are experiencing snow for the first time or something.

Biography is doing a series that’s making me hungry. They are featuring Dave Thomas and Colonial Sanders. I think there’s some other food type people as well, but those are the ones I just happened to see the promo for. That’s the problem with staying up at night and working on stuff after I get home from work. I eat dinner at 8:30 and by 4:00am, I am starved!! I’m off to raid the fridge…
Free Web Site Counter
Free Counter