Tag Archives: perspective

You Tell Me

Yesterday I attended a class for work. When I first walked in I felt awkward. It was all directors, managers, coordinators, analysts with their work laptops, typing so fast the keyboards were practically smoking. Immediately I felt intimidated and even questioned my ability to successfully participate. Here I am an administrative assistant with my little green padfolio that was a free giveaway several years ago. How am I supposed to effectively participate and accomplish big things on my project?

What’s the first thing almost anyone does in an awkward situation? Eat! (I’m not saying it’s the healthiest way to go.) Fortunately breakfast and caffeine was provided, and I was actively fiending for coffee. I grabbed my food and made my way past the typing zombies. I was practically twiddling my thumbs when the instructor passed out “fuzzy sticks” or as I call them, pipe cleaners. Hmmm? This looks interesting. This looks like something that doesn’t require a laptop. I looked up, now eager for class to start.

“First things first, put away your laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices. I want your full attention, and if you get bored keep your hands busy with some fuzzy sticks. I don’t care what you make as long as you are participating in the class.”

Okay, I’m definitely relieved.

“Now choose a partner.”

Immediately the anxiety returns. What if nobody picks me like in high school P.E. when I was the last picked for every sport? Fortunately the nice lady in front of me spun around and asked me to be her partner.

“Now what you are going to do is interview each other, but you are not yourself, the other person is you, and you are the key stakeholder for your project.”

It’s hard to put yourself out there. It feels awkward, nerve-racking, stressful, and sometimes it conjures up that feeling of crawling under your desk and hiding. As if it is not hard enough to open yourself up to criticism and input from a stranger at work, it’s even harder to do so with a friend.

After being paired up and discussing my project I found many places I had fallen short that I wouldn’t have seen looking in on my project alone. There were things my partner was doing way better than me and vice versa. There were even areas where we were both failing, and we got to discuss how we could both improve. Our teacher even suggested that we follow-up with each other in a few weeks to see how our projects were progressing.

We can do the same in our personal lives. We can lay out the facts, what we’ve done, where we know we’ve fallen short, even where we feel we’ve improved or succeeded, but we don’t see the full picture until we’ve invited others to give their perspective. You might learn something about yourself, and you are sure to learn something about the other person. Hopefully this leads to you being on the same page, and if it doesn’t, you know you tried your best.

Finding Ways to Celebrate

We all know that life is like a box of chocolates. Not every chocolate can be as delicious as the next. Sometimes you bite into something that looks sweet, and instead it is bitter. Does it mean we stop figuratively biting into life? Or do we just spit out what’s bitter and keep on looking for the sweet stuff?

This last month has been a whirlwind of ups and downs, and I can tell by the forecast of life that it will likely continue. That’s what happens when you are moving. You are bound to get hit with something unexpected. What I have found to be helpful, is to celebrate the little stuff. Recently I counted how many churches I have photographed, and it’s very close to 50. To celebrate I had some of the photos printed on nice paper with my website on the back. They turned out very nice, but then I couldn’t decide what to do with them. Who would want a bunch of pictures of random churches? Probably the people that don’t find them random, like the people that actually pastor these churches. So this week I have written a letter to encourage each pastor, I inserted their photos into the addressed envelopes, and I have decided to pray over each one.

Now suddenly, my personal celebration of my photos has turned into a way I can give back, and when I give back, I feel like I can do anything. Think about it this way. Have you ever seen anyone looking all doom and gloom, but when you say hi they perk up a bit, maybe even say hello back? Do you know that feeling like you have just conquered the world? You made someone smile and it made your day and perhaps theirs as well. When we give, even out of our complete spiritual, emotional, physical, or even financial bankruptcy, we feel energized, encouraged, empowered. It changes your perspective, and can hold the power to change the world.

We will always have times in life when we feel totally at the end of our rope no matter how much faith we claim to have. I have felt that way at times lately even though I have so much to be thankful for. I have a wonderful family, an enjoyable job, great coworkers, supportive friends, a warm place to live, and a car to drive. That’s more than much of the world can say, but somehow I let Satan suck the gratitude out of life. Fortunately I believe in a God that is more powerful than that thinking, and he always pulls me out of the miry clay and sets my feet on rock (Psalm 40:2).

What can you do for others today to also help you remember your blessings? You may not have much, but I guarantee you have enough to help someone else.