The Interview

Kansas City was a season of God withholding what my heart desired and granting what my heart needed. It was a season of intense struggle for me but was a season of intense glory to Him when He led me out of the valley. This is the story of climbing up to the next rise to see a glimpse of His promised land.

My job had been deteriorating for a year, or maybe even two. I was traveling almost continuously to Baton Rouge Louisiana or Freeport/Houston Texas and the people I was working with and for were becoming less and less appropriate. The gore-y details don’t add enough to this story so I’m not going to share them here but by the time I left, 4 hours didn’t pass at work without someone cussing me out or telling me I wasn’t good enough (as a person, as a female, as someone who is under 30 years old, as an engineer) to be in the position I was in or getting blamed for something I didn’t do.

God provided me a new job. He orchestrated long ago, for my Dad to be in the same industry as me, and for him to have mentors and friends. Those mentors and friends caught wind of my situation and offered an interview.

The night before my interview, I was driving around Baton Rouge trying to figure out a part of town that I could see myself living in if I liked the job the next day. I was balling – tears streaming down my face – as I cried out to God that I didn’t have any friends in Baton Rouge and I have wonderful community (finally!) in Kansas City so why would I want to leave? And why don’t I quit construction all together because I didn’t believe that men in construction could be inclusive of a woman like me.

Fast forward to a breakfast meeting that lasted almost 6 hours where I struggled to comprehend that men in power in the construction industry were patiently listening to my opinion on the current state of affairs in our business. They wanted to know what I thought about how to run a project, how to leverage technology to produce faster results, how I could teach others my leadership skills, if I would be alright moving across the country for a job in a different culture, if they would be able to afford my salary to even hire me in the first place.

Lunchtime meant introducing me to another female engineer – the lead process engineer on the largest company project, also under 30 years old, and from Texas with a family full of Aggies (she’s a LSU grad but I won’t hold that against her). She and I were able to talk like we’d been friends for years. God was showing me to trust Him and He will provide me with new community.

I wanted to work for a company affiliated with CII (construction industry institute) because I hold a couple of leadership positions within this volunteer organization to help further the construction industry and didn’t want to walk away quite yet. I also felt obligated to finish the project I was currently working on at my old job regardless of how I was being treated, I was speaking at a national convention on behalf of my previous company, and one of my best friends was getting married in Jamaica in August so I needed a little time to finish everything up from Kansas City. In His generosity, God provided a slow down in the project at the new company so my timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I was able to “finish” everything prior to turning in my two weeks notice.

Months later – I look back at my time in Kansas City and I still miss my community and church family. I wish it was colder here in Baton Rouge. but my job has already afforded me tremendous opportunity both for my career and for space in my personal life. I am still excited to see what God is doing with me here.

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Trade Offs

I owe you some updates but I’m going to push those off for a few more days…right now I want to talk about trade offs.

Sometimes I find myself wondering what my life would be like if I had made one (or two) decisions differently in my past. About the time I start second guessing, God provides me a really clear understanding that my life is His plan and has His timing. Sometimes these trade offs are obvious and instant and sometimes they are not.

I don’t often get homesick – I don’t really have a home, per say – but sometimes I am pretty bummed about having to miss things going on wherever I’m living because of work.

This week God has blessed me to show me both with one simple meeting.

I’m leaving on Wednesday for San Diego to see my best friend (she’s from SD, came to KC for grad school, graduated in May, and moved back to start working). On Sunday I fly from San Diego to Indianapolis for a week long conference for work. Last Thursday, during my last minute trip to Houston for the day, we set up time to have another meeting in Houston on Tuesday. This means flying to Houston tomorrow morning, staying with another good friend of mine, and then flying directly to San Diego a few hours earlier on Wednesday. Not a bad plan. Lots of packing but lots of fun as well.

Came into work this morning and found that my meeting had been pushed to Thursday instead of Tuesday. This means another refund to my credit card and more canceled plans with friends in Houston.

In reflecting on this change of events, I started listed off reasons I’m thankful to be staying in KC:

  • 1 more nights rest in my own bed
  • 2 more crossfit workouts at my home box
  • not having to haul steel toed boots and hardhat for 2 weeks
  • 30 hours less clothing to pack
  • not having to file another expense report this month
  • picking up my own farmers market box
  • finishing my golf class I’m taking with a friend
  • listening to the presentation at lunch at work I’m interested in
  • enjoying 70 degree weather in KC in July
  • picking up all my home-finishing fedex packages
  • getting my eyebrows waxed before I leave
  • not having to cancel my massage appointment
  • not having to rush through neighborhood night tonight

I’m still bummed about not getting to go to dinner with a friend and stay with another (and I have to call into a meeting while on vacation in California) but I am happy to be hanging around KC for another day which is something I didn’t think my heart would ever want.

I guess this place is growing on me…

2 years

Today is my two year anniversary at my current job. There were no celebrations, no congratulations, no real acknowledgement which, if you know me, I’m thankful for. I struggle with how to respond appropriately when people focus all the attention on me. Don’t get me wrong, I love working for that power and acceptance. I love sinning and manipulating and desiring that all the attention and focusing the world on me but I don’t know what to do with it when it happens.

Two years ago today I was a vastly different person. I think this is true of anyone who has ambition or seeks to live their life. No one wants to be stagnant for two years. Two years ago I thought I was solving all of my problems by switching companies. I was stuck in a job with people that I didn’t respect, who didn’t respect me, staring at the wall without work to be doing and without friends. I had been living in Kansas City for six months and didn’t know anyone. I went to bars and got drunk with some co-workers but we didn’t have conversations, we made fun of people in the room with us. Leading a double life meant I had built up walls that didn’t allow people to get to know me. My life was pretty empty.

I thought that changing the company on my paycheck would solve these issues. I thought the grass was greener on the other side. I thought working for a smaller company in the same line of work (and less pay) would give me more responsibility, authority, and respect. I thought another job would solve my emptiness problem. I thought another job would give me friends.

In God’s graciousness, it did, but not in the way that I was thinking. I do have a little more responsibility at the office. I am working in the field my college degree is in. I make enough money to live on and get to participate in some “extras” in life. I do have friends. My new job introduced me to people God strategically placed in my path at a time when I was so vulnerable. He knew (and continues to know) what I need most. He knew that I needed to start understanding His Grace and Love. and He knew that I wasn’t going to listen if things were going well in my life.

Two years ago tomorrow, I walked into a fall protection training class on my second day of work. I tried to sweet talk my way out of taking the class since I was pretty convinced I should be the one teaching it – I had been working at elevation in a harness for the last 10 months after all (can you say prideful?). We went around the room making introductions and the girl next to me got all excited when I said I went to Texas A&M. So had she. Little did I know then that she would become my friend, confidant, roommate, and introducer back to faith and the church.

For several months she asked me to join her at church. I refused. I had started showing up late and leaving early at various Presbyterian churches in KC but didn’t want to make the commitment. I finally agreed to go one Sunday with her so she would stop asking me. I’ve been at Redeemer Fellowship every Sunday I’ve been in KC since!

Two years ago today I was chasing idols with my career. I was dying, literally, for the job. I was a slave to it. Jesus died on the cross to drain the cup of wrath of all my idol chasing and other sins. God placed people and situations in my life for my good. He chased me from my old company to my new one to provide me with opportunities to get to know Him better. There are still plenty of times (each day) where work still has idol powers for me. I still get frustrated, respond out of hate, boast, gossip, slack off, and don’t focus on God but He is redeeming me to learn how to work like He works, to love how He loves.

My goal two years ago was to create a well known and respected reputation while making lots of money. My goals for the next two years are to show people the love of Christ while working in the oil and gas business. I would like to make a decent living that allows me to love people in Haiti and my local community well and provides opportunities to seek the Kingdom of God. I am blown away by the power and plan God has for me (and everyone). I am so thankful He guided me into making a company switch two years ago. I am looking forward to the next two years!

Double Life

How do you live in two places at once?

Trick question for most but for me, I’ve been doing it (fairly) successfully for the last few weeks. My mailing address is in Kansas City (Missouri, not Kansas) but I’ve spent more nights in 2014 in Houston Texas. And by more, I mean I’ve spent double.

I manage subcontracts for a living and have a couple vendors in the Houston area. The products they are working on for my company will eventually end up installed on our project in Mont Belvieu Texas (east of Houston). One of these contracts needs my physical presence to help us be successful. I have friends in Houston so I don’t mind.

O I used to mind. If I had a penny for every time I’ve told someone in the last three years that I was never going back to Houston or that if my employer told me I was moving to Houston it was going to be my two-weeks notice, then I could afford to pay a mover to pack my boxes in KC and haul them back to Texas. So what’s been different in 2014? Why the sudden change of heart?

God.

Period.

That’s the only way I have this kind of change of heart. I said “never” and God smiled and said “we’ll see.” In my rebellion, He is true and soverign.

Now this is not a moving announcement (yet). But I’m open to those conversations. I do not yet know what God has in His plans for me. But I do know that I cannot put my foot down and say “no.” I love God and desire to follow His directions so that He can use me for His glory. One of the prayers in church on Sunday was asking God not to pass over us in choosing who to send. Lord, please send me. I won’t say “never” again.

I’ve re-connected with people God put in my life in college. People who are and have served a distinct and divine purpose in shaping my life today. I pray that they will continue to influence me. I am thankful to God for sending them and ask for His protection over them.

Several of them have told me in the last few weeks that this is the happiest they have ever known me. It’s such an odd statement. Initially, I shrugged it off but it’s hung with me. These people knew me when I was in the darkest part of my existence. When I completely ignored God. When I acted like He didn’t exist except for the part where His Son was going to save me from hell. These people have accepted me. Be-friended me. Want to spend time with me now. They wanted to back then too but I was too busy with all the wrong things to see what amazing community and friendship was open to me.

In the few days I’ve been in KC in 2014 I’ve had some incredible conversations with people, with friends. There has been lots of opinions about my possibilities in Houston. I am immensely grateful for the food for thought although some of it has sat with me better than others. I’ve never had community that told me they would miss me if I left. I’ve never been that vested in relationships before. It’s super uncomfortable. It’s super messy. It’s amazing.

There are lots of details to work out with my job over the next few months. It’s difficult to maintain relationships in two different states but it’s what my life is right now. I get to experience both cities, pros and cons, and figure out where God is leading my heart. Please pray for peace and direction for me. I would much rather life this double life than the one I was living a few years ago, but it can’t go on forever.

Re-entry into society

I’m struggling today (10/22) with re-entering into the American society that I was raised in and only left a week ago.

It’s interesting what will set you off. For me, it was the new toilet paper holders in the bathroom at work.

They are all shiny and chrome and exactly the same as the grey plastic ones they replace (except for the material of construction). It’s probably the shiny-ness that made me realize they are different.

The world is not shiny in Haiti. It is colorful. It is beautiful. It is painted. but mostly it’s grey and well loved. How can my company justify replacing the toilet paper holder when the others are perfectally useable when there are people, children, that are not receiving an opportunity to have an education or worse, are starving to death? How do I sit in my desk at my office, cold from the air conditioning, when there are people in Haiti that need help? When my heart is pulling me back to the monetarially poorest country in the world?

God puts people exactly where He wants them. He has placed me in Kansas City. He has blessed me with a comfy chair and a cubical all to myself. Lord, I am thankful. I am thankful for my job. I am thankful for the heartarche. I am thankful for Haiti.

It helps that the people I went on the trip with have started posting in social media. I get the notifications on my phone. My thoughts turn to when they will be done posting and my life with be completely consumed by my to-do list and work obligations. When they have drifted back into their American-paced existence.

I pray that Haiti would be on my mind everyday for the rest of my life. I pray that I cannot do anything with my life that doesn’t consider God and Haiti. I know that I do not have the ability to remember them as much as I want to. I need God’s help. I am a sinner. because of that fact, yes fact, I will fall short of my desire to focus on the Lord and His will. Lord please help me.

Update 10/25:

I’ve blogged a tremendous amount since I’ve been in Haiti and will hopefully share some more of those posts in the coming days with you. I am back into the office pace now. I am thankful that it is Friday. and I am thankful for having a hard time adjusting. That sounds silly but as I apologize for being tired, itchy, or slightly-out-of-it to my co-workers, bosses, and vendors, I get to talk about Haiti.

Last time I went, my grandmother passed away while I was in Haiti so homecoming brough black dresses, funeral arrangements, and a 5-day marathon weekend in Georgia that culminated in surgery for my brother. My life swept Haiti under the rug. God has brought it out and hung it above the mantel this time. I don’t have anywhere to hide. and I like it.

 

“I was wrecked. Since returning home, my whole center of gravity is off – God is recreating who I am. It is clear there’s no going back on this deal. God just keeps pulling you forward and pulling you in.” – “Ruined for the Average” a book by the Global Orphan Project

Unreal.

My life is so unreal. It’s so hard for me to believe that “average” 26 year olds have life as good as I do. Yes, I’ve been through heartbreak. Yes, I’ve been through death and burial. Yes, I have medical problems. Yes, I work. And. Yes, I am single.

But.

I have so much. and I’m a brat. Let me give you a life lesson from my week this week.

I went to Haiti (again) to hug babies (please read my last blog post on hugging babies here). Our team got home at 1am Tuesday morning, I put in a 13 hour workday followed by dinner with my gospel community Tuesday night, 9 hours of working Wednesday, and 10 hours of sleep last night before flying to Houston for the day for a 1:30pm meeting with my vendor. (That makes me tired just typing it all out but it’s all the truth).

I’m currently at 40,000ft (actually the pilot said top cruising altitude will be 32,000 but I like the expression so we’re sticking with it). It’s 4:42pm and I’m supposed to still be in Houston Texas. I’m supposed to be in Houston Texas until 6:30pm but my life is unreal.

My meeting (singular, I don’t understand how I became important enough to have to fly somewhere for a single meeting but I’m here) was over at 3:15pm. I drove to the airport while checking to see if there was an earlier flight I could be on. There were three choices but only one would get me to KC earlier than my direct flight at 6:30.

Security line was 300+ people long but I have the fly-by lane with Southwest so that was a 7 minute process.

3:51pm. At the gate for the flight that leaves at 4:10pm, stops in Dallas, no plane change, land in KC at 7:05pm. Standby line is 30 people long according to the gate agent. I ask her to go ahead and put me on the line. She says she will but that she only have 6 opens seat, the odds are not good, but standby the desk to see.

About thirty five seconds later she calls my name, hands me a boarding pass, and tells me to have a nice flight. I thank her for making my day. She thanked me for flying Southwest over a 100 flight segments this year.

Now, I’m squished about five rows from the back of the plane, at a window seat (yay!!), on my way to Dallas with wifi. I’m happy. and then I start thanking God. It’s His world. Having crazy flight status with Southwest Airlines should not define me. It should not define my relationships. or my world view. (well maybe it does define my view of the world but not my world view (if that makes sense)).

I have an amazing life.

You have an amazing life.

I promise you that you do. But it’s not me that makes that promise. It’s God. He is in control.

I’m in a position that has (some) power and a lot of responsibility. I have flight status. I have freedom. This all comes from an education, a family, positive upbringing, and ultimately all of those things come from God. How crazy is it that He has chosen to bless me (and you!).

He does all things for His Glory and I pray that He would also bless me with the ability and perspective to see His Glory myself. I should not boast of my flight status. It shouldn’t matter. I should boast of The Lord God Almighty who has sent His Son to save me from my sins and sends The Holy Spirit to direct my life and fill it with blessings.

So thank you God. Thank you for being in the mundane moments of my life. Thank you for a good meeting. Thank you for patience. Thank you for my job. Thank you for the view out my window. and Thank you for this amazing, ridiculous, incredible life you give me everyday.

Commuter

Today was supposed to be a quick jont over to St. Louis for a meeting. A single meeting.

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Hazelnut Latte (and Jesus) helped me thru the day!!

It turned into 5.5 hours in airports, 4 hours on airplanes, 3 hours in meetings, and 1 hour at the most delicious California-burger-making restaurant in Illinois! I seriously wish I could have taken a picture of the burger but I was at work with two of my vendors and my project manager so no dice.

This vendor is my problem child. Not the problem child that is so smart you have to out think him, the problem child that you can’t get to stop starting off into space long enough for them to remember their own name. I travel across the country to see them almost weekly. I’ve been at this since February and quite frankly I’m sick of it.

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Steel that has taken 9 months to fabricate…

I get frustrated talking to them on the phone recently. I think they are part of my unwillingness to go into the office unless I absolutely have too (event tho I’m still answering my phone and emails from my couch). About three days ago I decided I would finally invite God into the situation (it sounds so dumb, but that’s not my initial reaction with work situations. It is when I want something or if nature is being beautiful but not when I’m working construction. I’m building something. I’m creating. And therefore taking the spot from The Creator).

I’ve been praying for God to hold my tongue and tone. I’ve been praying for this one day meeting to go well for days. Literally days. God is so good. The meeting was fairly typical as far as missed deliverables, schedule that is bogus, change orders I don’t want to pay, and rude comments about women and youth but the difference was my attitude. I was laughing. And that brought more confusion and progress than anything else I’ve done in 8 months.

The Fall brought labor pains and work that involves toil. This is toil. And it is designed to bring me closer to God. He alone can redeem. He is slowly redeeming my relationship with this vendor. It’s probably not going to be great but I can be great at being a Christian sister to them (with God’s help).

My project manager and reporting supervisor were in St.Louis with me which meant our 2 hour delay inside the airport came with chips and spinach dip…

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…and whiskey-sprite 🙂

This massive storms in Kansas City this afternoon mean that I got to meet some interesting people on my southwest flights. On my last flight Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sat across the aisle and a row back.

It was interesting to be stuck on a plane with her for 5 hours. She spoke to almost no one, wasn’t friendly, and was generally put-out by having to be on the plane. It must be hard when you’re used to White House accomodations and spending my tax-dollars.

People’s reactions to delayed flights fascinate me. Some people have hope. Some people are angry. Some people give up. Some people sleep. Last night, I prayed. I prayed that God would bless me with a good attitude. All 137 passengers and 8 crew members were tired and didn’t want to be sitting on the runway for 3 hours but I wanted to be nice to everyone I was coming into contact with. No one asked me if I was a Christian or not. No one really asked me too much. But a more positive attitude made sitting on the tarmac a much less miserable experience.

I have to say, my good attitude quit on me when I walked into the door close to midnight to a hot house with no power and no desire to cook food by flashlight. Thankfully I could find my bed in the dark…

One of those days…

Yesterday was one of those days where I was behind by about 5 minutes all day long. I was 5 minutes early to crossfit and that was enough to distract my natural body movements from on-time mode to late mode.

Now if you know me, you know that I despise being late (this is a produce of my upbringing, thanks Dad!). Which means I also despise continually being late throughout an entire day. Thankfully I was able to turn it around at bedtime. The truth? I actually went to bed at 8:50pm because I was done with the day.

This morning I woke up early and was able to get to work early. I was thankful for this until I was ambushed at my desk by a procurement manager prior to my first meeting at 8:30am. I lost it. I didn’t even know I was that frusterated about the contract I have that’s floundering (ok, honestly, I knew I was frusterated and the contract is more than floundering but I thought I had better control of my mouth and tone). I wasn’t in the mood to roll over and take another person trying to tell me how to fix something that I inherited from another engineer.

Then I got on the phone for my conference call and had no patience with my vendor being late and not wanting to get down to business. The A&M football conversation didn’t even distract me. Then my phone started ringing off the hook with one question after stupid question. Then I had to go a training I was giving. By this point, I know I have a bad attitude but I haven’t taken a breath that didn’t have words coming out of it so I’m just trying to be diliberate and focused on what I’m saying. By the time I’m out of the 1.5 hour training, I’ve got 6 more voicemails and 47 more emails and a plane ticket to fly to St. Louis next Thursday to try to fix some things face-to-face with flounder.

Redeemer Fellowship has preached on Job in the past month and I’ve gone to a class that talked about Job a few weeks ago. Job was blameless and God still allowed Satan to test him. Job responded without changing his faith. I had three bad conversations this morning and had lost my faith. Lord please forgive me.

It’s lunch time now (thankful to be halfway thru the day) so I’m eating and surfing facebook. I’m blown away sitting at my desk by the obvious truths God is placing in my line of vision because I’ve been ignoring Him all day long.

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How true is this picture? I was drowning this morning because I was refusing to take the hand of the man walking on the water towards me. I am such a sinner. I thought I could handle everything myself. I was in control and it wasn’t working. Lord please forgive me for not remembering that You are my Savior and my Strength.

Then there’s this one:

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O yea. I skipped my devotional this morning because I didn’t want to be late. (Was my boss even in the office when I got here? Nope. Did he show up on time? Nope. Glad I rushed this morning to make it in before 8am). Lord please help my heart to turn towards you when I struggle. Help my heart to turn towards you for everything. Thank you for your Son because without Him, I wouldn’t be able to get up in the morning. I am not worthy.

And for good measure, since it takes about three times before something really sinks in for me, my friend posted the following:

I was reading 2 Corinthians 3 this morning and wow, just wow.  3:16-18 was just what I needed this morning.  Maybe it’s what you need too.

“But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
-2 Corinthians 3:16-18, ESV-

This is just too amazing.  There is freedom that comes with salvation in Christ and with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Those who live in Christ Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit are truly free!  Free from condemnation, guilt, sin, death, the old covenant and blindness to the gospel.  Christians also have free access to the loving presence of God!  As a result of seeing the Lord through the ministry of the Spirit, the believer is being transformed, over time, into the same image of God!  The same image!  No matter how many times I read this it still strikes me as amazing!  God is so good.  Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.  I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.  Praise Jesus!  May we all walk in a manner worthy of His calling.  Have a blessed day.

Yep. I’m listening Lord. You win. and He wins in a magnificant way. A saving way. He asks that I lean on Him. that I love Him and only Him. He asks for quiet to be able to speak to me. Here’s my daily devotion for today (which I’ve now read and prayed over):

“Demonstrate your trust in Me by sitting quietly in My Presence.  Put aside all that is waiting to be done, and refuse to worry about anything.  This sacred time together strengthens you and prepares you to face whatever the day will bring.  By waiting with Me before you begin the day’s activities, you proclaim the reality of My living Presence.  This act of faith – waiting before working – is noted in teh spirit world, where your demonstration of trust weakens principalities and powers of darkness. The most effective way to resist evil is to draw near Me.  When you need to take action, I will guide you clearly through My Spirit and My Word.  The world is so complex and overstimulating that you can easily lose your sense of direction.  Doing countless unnecessary activities will dissipate your energy.  When you spend time with Me, I restore your sense of direction.  As you look to Me for guidance, I enable you to do less but accomplish more.” “J…esus Calling” by Sarah Young
Proverbs 16:3
The Voice (VOICE)

“Whatever you do, do it as service to Him,
and He will guarantee your success.”

My afternoon will be better. Not because I am doing anything more right but because God is at the center of my focus (where He should be) once again.

Houston. Icky.

I went to Houston for business last week. I hate Houston. If you don’t know me, I don’t hate very many things. Cole slaw. Coconut flavor. Cancer. and Houston. Houston’s only saving grace is that it’s in the great state of Texas.

I’ve compiled a list of observations from my last trip. 10 items for your enjoyment (note – several items are actually positive but those tend to be transferrable to other cities in Texas as well):

  1. Everyone snorts their snot back into their head which somehow miraculously makes my snot start moving against gravity, although I do not dignify this uncontrollable response with a sound rivaling a pig
  2. I would lose my religion if I had to drive in Houston everyday. When I lived in Houston I didn’t have religion so it wasn’t as big of a deal but this trip I ended up praying for God to lower my blood pressure and keep my mouth closed.
  3. The best people watching is at a local Mexican restaurant in Houston on a Thursday night. I’ve never been around so many cougars in all my life.
  4. There’s a sense of hurry up that I don’t like. Nothing can get done fast enough. No one can get to their destination fast enough (see #2). No one can get married fast enough (see #3). Life is quick and short. No need to encourage it.
  5. There’s a vastness and order of magnitude in being able to drive 65 miles and be in the same city. The projects I’m working on there are huge too. The port of Houston is ginormous. The fractionation facilities are the largest in the world and we’re still building. And God is so much bigger than this!
  6. I love working in Starbucks and watching every single person who walks in the door for three hours is wearing cowboy boots.
  7. There are more Texas flags flying than American ones. I’m Texan so this is acceptable to me. The pride people have for being from there is un paralleled elsewhere in the world. I like being a member of the USA but if anyone was going break away and start a country from scratch it would be Texas
  8. The sunsets, sunrises, clouds, and general sky is incredible. Every time I looked up I was immediately reminded of God’s creativity and appreciation for all things beautiful.
  9. Breakfast tacos are the greatest food invention. Period. I should open a food truck in KC and sell them. Life is good when your morning starts with breakfast and when that breakfast is a breakfast taco.
  10. The second greatest invention is flank steak and Houston has hundreds of places to get amazing flank steak. Seriously KC, you need to start taking lessons.

Review

I’ve been packing a lot into my weeks recently and have been remiss in updating/tracking my life. (I’m such an engineer since I want to track my life but o well – embrace what God gave you!). So here’s the highlights from this past week:

Monday: Bored at work which is rare, very rare in fact. Gospel Community (small group at church) was at different location this week. An all single male group offered to cook for us (all single female group) and it tasted amazing! We had grilled hamburgers, chicken and asparagus with all the fixin’s and the girls brought gluten-free dessert since we (all the girls) eat gluten-free. The boys were sweet to research GF cooking and celiac disease. It was a nice time to talk and meet some new people.

Tuesday: Still bored at work. My friend text me late in the day about having a rough day at his new job (he’s still in orientation which can be painful) so I volunteered to cook spaghetti if he was willing to help out with soccer sports camp at church. We were late but that’s ok – we made it and had a great time! It’s a real testament to God to see 25+ at risk youth from the neighborhood playing with each other and following directions. It also hurts my heart that no one from the Redeemer body sends their kids to camp. It’s more or less free. I pray that we truly reach out as a congregation and embrace our city, not just in words but in actions.

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Wednesday: Work is still boring which means next week is going to be a tough one. Soccer camp again after work. It’s neat to have the parent’s and kids start to remember you and want to know your name. The kids I played uno with last week were also there and recognized me. 🙂

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Thursday: flew to Houston and back for a couple of meetings. It’s crazy to me that I am in a position with my company less than three years and that I would need to make a physical appearance for a singular day. Most of the time I try to be more efficient and combine meetings but wasn’t able to on this trip. I’ve also hit a point in my life where I want to be at my house. I pay good money to rent here and love to sleep in my own bed so I was willing to leave early and come home late to do so. The meetings were ok – I struggle managing this particular vendor (which is why I had to go in person and not via the telephone) but it was a productive meeting with them.

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I was also able to buy antelope hunting clothing. If you’re not sure what that entails, it is all khaki zip-off pants and a fishing shirt. I didn’t find the trail running shoes yet but I’m going back to Texas this week so there’s still time. I love to shop at Academy sports and outdoors. It’s like a cheap Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shop but for more mainstream sports. I’ll have to explain how I was gifted with this trip at a later date.

Friday: worked a half day and then took one of my friends out to lunch since she’s moving to Texas. Unfortunately, I introduced her to Spin Pizza on her last full week in town and she loved it. O well, I’ll have to introduce her to some of the amazing places to eat in Houston. It is going to be fun to have someone to go to dinner with in Houston since I’m down there so much. I had my eye examined, took a nap, and got my hair cut Friday afternoon. I wasn’t really planning on the haircut but was sick of my current hair style, which was really a lack of hair style, so I called my hairdresser and she gave me this bob that I’m in love with 🙂

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Top the day off with popcorn for dinner and falling asleep to a movie in my bed and it’s a great week!

Saturday: got up early to run 4 miles with a great friend of mine that ended in gluten-free chocolate chip cookies and iced coffee for breakfast. We sat outside at Mud Pie vegan bakery and coffeehouse chatting for a good while before walking the 1.5 miles back home.

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I love being able to run to restaurants and coffeehouses (I also love great conversation which Lee is a guarantee for). I then had coffee with my gospel community leader and had my eyebrows waxed.

At 2pm I met two of my coworkers and friends at Cellar Rat for a case taste wine tasting. For $5 you can try 12 wines which you can purchase (mix and match) a case for $100 which ends up being a significant savings. We ate sushi for a super late lunch/early dinner and then went back to buy our case of wine.

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I followed drunken, sushi bliss with dress shopping on the plaza for something to wear to the conference I’m going to next week in Florida. Thankfully I had quick success finding a dress on sale and at the first store. My friend met me to grab coffee and help him pick out dress shoes before going to see Despicable Me 2 with a couple other guys. It’s always fun to go see an animated movie but especially with four grown men 🙂

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Sunday (today): full of errands and laying around. I made going away bags for the people traveling to Haiti this week and then went to a pool to hang out. Church at 7pm which is always a blessing. I’ll try to post my response on here this week. It was a sermon that hit home with me (which is fairly typical actually) which is always welcome. Now it’s time for bed in anticipation for the week ahead and crossfit at 6am.

Goodnight and God bless.