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Giving in Faith

The widow who gave her last “two very small copper coins”, perhaps the last she had, gave in faith that God could use it (Mark 12:42). That story has always stuck with me. In college and just after college, money was tight. I remember pulling the last few dollars out of my purse and hoping and praying that God would use it.

Although I’m not in that situation now, I compare it somewhat to how I feel about the situation we are in with the pandemic. I may work for a local government entity but I am not an “essential worker”. I may help with finances at church but I am not leading a small group or a whole church or on the ground providing “hands on” ministry. I am not leaping into the fire or running into the burning building. I am doing what I need to do to get by but most days it doesn’t feel like enough. I’ve prayed, what is God calling me to do? Be a mother? Be a supportive wife? Participate when called on? What can I give? Why during this emergency do I feel inadequate and somewhat unwilling to jump up?

Then it dawned on me – I can give! I have the ability to give financially in faith that God can use it! God can use whatever we can put forward. There are people who are physically fighting and reaching out to those in need who need our financial support. If you can’t physically go, or mentally go, then maybe you can give and help support those who are doing the work. Let’s keep them employed and doing the work we may not be called to do right now.

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Do Not Worry About Tomorrow

I don’t know about you but I am a worrier. Yep, you read that right – worry-er not warrior. I’m a planner who is way out of her league right now during this pandemic. Every day brings new challenges and new worries. But one thing that is constant and never changes is the love of God. God is always there and will always provide for me. I take refuge in that.

I read Matthew 6:34 tonight and it stuck with me as it reads,
“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:34

I think it was the last sentence that made me pause. Last night I felt anxious, like I couldn’t sit still. I was fidgety and my mind would not slow down (and it wasn’t caffeine overload!). I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep. It wasn’t anything specific but just the general anxiety of our situation right now. Turn on the news, Facebook, emails…it’s everywhere. But as I laid down to sleep, with the help of a backrub from my husband, I realized that once I fell asleep, the worries of the day would fade away. Tomorrow would be a new day (even if it were filled with more anxiety) with a fresh start. I am thankful for this verse that reminds us that we can start fresh every morning. Let go and give it up to God to fight the fight – that’s already been won! We (I) worry over nothing. Right now I can’t plan (really anything!) my day but it’s okay. God’s got this.

Sleep, Sweet Sleep

So tonight I will fall asleep, not worrying about tomorrow but praying that God will help me fire all those synapses and seize the day! Instead of worrying, I want to make the most of this situation and find the answers to our problems, no matter how small or large they may be. God, make me a warrior not a worrier. It’s time to put me in, Coach.

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Taking the High Road

Taking the high road is tough. Imagine the incline. The canyon walls jutting sharply into the cyan sky, contrasting in red, orange and rust. Stretching each muscle, reaching and securing your footing at each step. Gravel and rocks move under your feet but you find your stable footing, and you open your eyes to look around. You realize you’re soaring high above, the wind whips your hair and you breath in the fresh, crisp air. It is treacherous of course, a slow and steady climb. But as your eyes search the valley below, studying the winding stream, the quaking aspens, the chipmunk and squirrels scurrying about, you feel the wave of peace wash over you. The peace invites you to continue higher. As you ascend, you feel accomplished and a slow smile spreads across your face. You see the top of the trail ahead, reaching and pushing yourself to the summit. Up here there is no time to wallow, all attention must be focused on moving ahead. One slip and you’re back to where you started, or worse. You are determined to stay on course, to reach the top, to feel the success. You feel empowered, ready to conquer the next mountain!

But once at the top, the overwhelming sense of peace and awe hit and you stop to take in this moment. You, my friend, have survived! You believed in yourself. You did not let the situation, the circumstances, the elements get to you but rather stayed the course. You set your mind to the goal and did not let go or look back. You trusted yourself and the path. You are free!

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Don’t Hold Back

Today I felt a feeling of freedom as I drove away from one chapter of my life. Until I felt this freedom, I hadn’t know I was holding something back. It was a moment of clarity. With any change or major decision comes a moment of questioning – did I make the right choice? No matter the number of prayers or hours I have spent thinking through my choices, I tend to question my decisions; that is until I have a moment of clarity when I know that it is right.

I’m so glad that I have my faith and trust in someone greater than me who knows all. It’s freeing to know that there is already a plan for life, that the book or page of my life is written by an amazing author. God already knows what choices I will make, good or bad. I just have to have the confidence and trust to know that it everything I do, I make the best choice for me.

Today I know that my choice to change jobs is right. It’s right for me, my family and my values. Lately I have felt lost, without direction and drive in my work. Although I had an amazing job, working with an amazing team, I felt that there was something missing. I felt that I could not be my authentic self all the time; I could not do the best work that I know I am capable of doing. I was held/holding something back. Oppression is too strong of a word but perhaps more suppression. Although I know I always have a choice to speak up for myself, sometimes the situation and the actors conflict with my personality and I hold myself back. My only regret is that I do not fight or stay to fight but rather I choose to honor my gifts and share them with those who will also appreciate and honor me. Rather than waste my precious time proving myself and my worth, it’s time I share just exactly what I can do with those are more open and appreciative to what I have to offer. I will not hold back.

I hope that anyone else who is like me, those who feel that another or others have put them in a position that holds them back or that they feel they have to hold back will realize that they are worth it; you don’t have to prove it to anyone. Rather than stay and try to prove yourself to someone who may never see you or your worth, find someone who will appreciate you for you. Do what makes you happy. Find that thing that makes you light up when you talk. Today I saw this in someone else – when talking about something he loves to do, the passion lit in his eyes and I could feel that he was not holding back. In my head, I was thinking, “this is awesome! keep going!” but the time was up and the conversation ended. It was so powerful to see how passionate someone can be when talking about doing something they love – something that motivates them to do better for others and in turn, they better themselves. It’s that reward we all seek in our work. It was fascinating to watch and I felt so touched to see this person not holding back.

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Time to Write a Book

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a book for years, probably since I could read. I’ve actually written books (when I was a kid), blogs, articles and reviewed books as an editor. I’ve probably written enough words to fill many books. I just read a blog post that explained how to write a book in 10 easy steps – okay then! Let’s get busy. I’m working on the concept of Building a Career in Health Information Management and all that goes with it.

  1. What is Health Information Management
  2. Emerging Careers
  3. Education
  4. Experience
  5. Practicum/ Apprenticeship
  6. Networking
  7. Interviews and Resumes
  8. Learning About Yourself – Developing Your Career Development Plan
  9. Interviews and Things Every Graduate Wish They Had Know

This blog post is now at 122 words and counting. If I write 200 words a day, I could write a 75,000 word book in just over a year, but with weekends and time off, I could whip it out even sooner. My goal is to finish this by the end of my term as President of OrHIMA (Oregon Health Information Management Association), which is June 30, 2018. Here goes nothing! Oh and that is now 186 words. I’m so very close to 200!

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When God Intervenes

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Sometimes I just get myself going on something, good or bad and I can’t be stopped. It’s like I have a one-track mind or a record playing and skipping back to that same place, playing over and over. Sometimes this helps me cope and pull through with a bright idea when I’ve been stuck on something or I’m working on a project. But other times, there’s just nothing good going to come from it, mostly because I haven’t stopped to ask God or to listen for God. My thought pattern the past few days was one of those times. And today God stopped me in my tracks as I barreled forward on one of those tracks. I wouldn’t describe it as hitting a wall but it sure did make an impact. The events of today make me realize that I’m thankful for the wake up call and a reminder of how much I need to really open up and include God. I don’t know what would have happened if I had continued on my track today without intervention but I don’t think the result would have been as positive as what I am thinking now. I think to myself, if I had really taken the actions or said what I really wanted to say, what would the potential good outcome have been? And then there’s silence (even though yes it is silent as I am talking in my own mind!). I do remember thinking, “I should pray about this” but then never taking the time to really pray. I kept getting distracted or not being able to get the noise out of my head. I kept over-talking God!

So today God picked me up and put me on another track, His track and I am reminded of how powerful, awesome and might He is! We don’t have to wait to ask for the big things but need to have a constant, continual relationship and conversation with our God. Sit back and enjoy the quiet and listen for God. He is there.

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Communication Vortex

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Do you ever feel like you’re in this vortex world where no matter what you do that day, it just feels like you can’t do anything right and everyone is criticizing you? Yeah, well, I do. Today is one of those days. Maybe it’s because I’m communicating with others via email and messages instead of face to face or on the phone. I used to think I was a good communicator via email until recently. Sometimes I just can’t seem to get my point across or the story is so complicated that it’s really hard to relay via email. There are some topics that just need to be discussed in person. But sometimes those people who need to know are not available face to face or by phone. I’m trying to wrap my head around it and figure out a better way to communicate via email when I have to. I can try to save the topics for an in-person conversation but I know that the conversation will not happen for a long time or the issue needs to be addressed right away. I’ve never been a good phone person even though I know that picking up the phone to discuss a topic can be so much easier, and shorter. I always remember my dad making comments about not understanding why people don’t just pick up the phone or walk to the other person’s office. Maybe it’s my generation.

One tool we’ve started using in the workplace is the SBAR tool – situation, background, assessment, recommendation and when used properly it can help give the receiver the information needed to make a decision or weigh in on a particular topic. But if not used regularly, the SBAR tool can be clunky and cause more work than is necessary to use. I’ll have to explore other options that might be useful. I typically write in such a narrative manner that it can be hard to get the point across sometimes without feeling I’ve left all of the context and details out. But I can understand from the receivers point of view that when you’re busy and being asked for your input, you really just need the concise details. I also think that sometimes I’m not quite sure of the actual question I want to ask and am circling around it in email. I’ve been known to shoot off emails and then have further thoughts afterwards and send multiple followup emails. I know that this is annoying and can be viewed as a waste of time; it’s something I’m working on. I’m just so quick in my initial thoughts that I have an itchy trigger finger. I’ve started waiting to respond to emails and think through my response but it doesn’t come naturally to me.

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Turning 35

Today I turned 35. I remember when I turned 30 and had a mini meltdown at work, feeling lost and thinking I’d never have a family of my own. I remember last year, wishing that I could be pregnant and feeling so down about not being a mom yet. Last year, I wouldn’t have guessed that I’d have a beautiful daughter before I turned 35. I remember praying and hoping that I’d have a child before I turned 35, and it happened. Today, I cherish my gift. Each year I will remember my wish from the past and treasure my daughter. She is more than I could ever wish for. So perfect, beautiful, soft and sweet. Of course we have our moments but one smile wipes away all the stress and worry.

I already feel like I miss her or that I’m going to miss her. Going back to work in a few short weeks is going to be tough. I know it will take time. I am trying to enjoy our time together now and not worry about the future but I do already miss her. I shed a tear today thinking about how hard it’s going to be, to be away from her. But it will just make me cherish our time together more. I know that this is how it has to be. Last year, I’m not sure I could have guessed how hard it would be to face work. I do like to work and be busy but it’s all different now. I have different priorities. Now I will work to ensure that we can enjoy our time together worry-free, invest in our future and take fun trips together.

Now that I’m a mother, I have to compartmentalize my work at my job and my work as a mom. Never before have I had to separate home and work so much. But I feel that to be successful at work this will need to be the case. Of course I will be talking about her all the time with my co-workers but in order to get anything done there, I will need to focus on that part of me. It’s like I lead two lives: one as a career woman and another as a mom. This will be a new challenge for me.