Sunday, May 1, 2016

A time apart......

Solitude

"And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed." Mark 1:35

"Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself...." Matthew 14:13

"Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself." John 6:15

We are all busy with many demands on our time but we also allow ourselves to let other things distract us. Jesus, the Son of Man and God, was by far the one with the most on his plate. I mean he had the weight of sin past, present, and future on his shoulders and yet he knew the importance of taking time away, time to be with his Father.

The definition of Solitude according to Webster's is the quality or state of being alone or remote from society. Solitude is something our souls need to survive. We need to step back and step into silence. Our society is a 24/7 society where we are more accessible than we have ever been in the history of man and has produced much "noise". While this accessibility has many benefits, it has caused us a a people to become more drained and overspent. It is harder and harder for us to disconnect and focus on anything let alone our spiritual relationship with our Father. We don't like silence.

"We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature-trees, flowers, grass,- grow in silence; see the stars, the moon, and sun, how they move in silence. The more we can give in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life. We need silence to be able to touch souls." Mother Teresa

I read the quote above earlier this week and what struck me most was the part about how nature grows in silence. Nature, and all of creation thrives in silence and since it is said in Matthew 6, that we are of much more value than the lilies of the field?

I know for me, solitude is something I struggle with and I have asked several people in my life to keep me accountable to carving time out to re-calibrate and just be with the one who give me life. I hope that we all find these places of rest in our lives.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Episodes from the administrative file

"I want to know how to be like you."

This is a statement I heard about a week ago from a college student I work with. She was referring to how I became an admin. At first I was like, are you sure you want to do that? Have you seen how crazy I am on any given day? I did agree to sit down with her and talk about my journey of becoming an administrative wizard.

I currently serve as an Executive Assistant for an university vice president. It is a job that I have served in for six years and despite some challenges and my less than stellar days I LOVE my job. Being an admin means no one day is like the last and there is always a challenge. I often joke that I am a firefighter as most of my job is preventing small smoke piles from becoming raging forest fires. The way I think about administrative roles is we are the people who do our jobs so that others can do their's better. If by filing or handling documents allows my boss to be freed up to run our division than I have done my job.

I entered into the administration profession about a decade ago. I had returned to my Alma mater to work in Residence Life but needed a supplemental job and applied to be an assistant in our academics division. My educational background is Elementary Education but I have always been an organized person. I am the one who likes to file and if I have had a bad day you will find me cleaning or re-arranging things as it brings me calm. This scene from Grey's pretty much sums me up:

As I continued to work in administration I discovered that this was not only something I enjoyed doing but it was something I was really good at. I saw how I could use my natural gifting to help others and that was and still is very exciting to me. Sure, I have days when I want to scream but I would not trade what I do for the world. 

I have decided to use this blog as a way to help others who find themselves in admin roles or who want to. My plan is to share tips and my experiences and I hope you they will benefit those around me. Let me know if there is something you want to hear about or if there are any questions. 

Episodes from the Arts file

I am an artistic person........okay I don't have artistic or musical ability that I am aware of however since a young age I have been captivated by movies, art, photography, design, literature, and especially music. I ALWAYS have music playing around me and over the years I have developed a more keen eye when it comes to really looking at images and art.

I believe the arts are avenues are insights into our heavenly Father and how he intended things to be when he created our world. Seeing a beautiful image, or hearing a beautiful melody is to me a glimpse into what things should have been and how they will be in Heaven.

A perfect example of what I mention above can be seen in this message by David Greusel, an architect that recently spoke in Chapel at the university I woke at. His message centers on design and redemption and I highly recommend that you listen to the message:


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Episodes from the Travel File: Nashville

Friends, many of you know that I am a country music loving, Southern girl at heart (I am even listening to country as I write this). Sure, I am the administrative thug but my heart is at peace when I am south of the Mason-Dixon. So for Spring Break I headed to Music City, USA, Nashville, TN. My friend Alyssa recently moved there and so a trip was much needed. 

Alyssa and I (and thanks to my friend Kathleen's 3 page mini travel book) had a pretty comprehensive tour which included a mini-coffee shop tour and LOTS of food! Here are some highlights from my trip broken down by day. 

Quote used daily: 
Is your Chicago showing? Alyssa and I used this phrase often whether on the freeway or while we were crossing the street before the light told us to. It pretty much summed up our attitude when dealing with slow people. 

Monday:
Coffee shop of the day: Barista Parlor: Hansa but more pretentious. The coffee was okay but took forever to get your order. However, their granola is amazing! 
Dinner: Taco Mamacita: Salsa verde was amazing! The law of the third taco was established here. Sean and I each had only two tacos but Alyssa had a third and that pushed her from content to WAY too full. 
Quotes:
"I only wear European fit because it's super tight." (while at my gate)
"I lost 4 inches when I took my shoes off in security."

Tuesday:
Coffee shop: High Brow Brew: Industrial chic with rockers on the porch and mason jars hanging from the ceiling and wood paneling everywhere. A cozy place that I could spend a lot of time in especially since I have decided if I moved to Nashville I would like near Franklin. 

Dinner: 55 south-amazing smoked wings and fried pickles SO FREAKING GOOD!
Downtown Franklin was adorable and this is the area where a lot of the country music folks live.

Wednesday:
Coffee shop (my favorite and winner in my opinion): Crema. Avocado toast was amazing! I must re-create this toast. It has avocado, goat cheese, and a little lemon, I will crave this forever. My latte also combined two of my favorite flavors, Orange and cinnamon.
Dinner: The Pharmacy: best burgers and an old fashioned soda fountain. I loved how it felt like a pub inside but their outside seating is magical with tiny lights and big tables. Reminds me of the opening scenes for Parenthood.

Alyssa braved Broadway or Nashvegas with that night so I could experience country music at it's finest. I personally am not a bar person so we ended up at the Stage which is a pretty classy joint. We stayed for little bit listening to a country band and this is where I met my future husband according to Alyssa, the bouncer. 


Thursday:
Coffee shop: Steadfast. Their coffee was really tasty and the people were so nice (which is honestly most of the south). I also had an amazing carrot cake.

I headed home on Thursday night and the weather was beautiful all week up until I left for the airport where the skies opened up and I looked like a drowned cat when I got to Security. Highlight of the airport was when I found what I can only describe as Blake Shelton's younger brother. The man was very nice on the eyes and was on my plane heading home. 

All in all I cannot to go and visit again and experience more of the south. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Episodes from the movie file: The 88th Annual Academy Awards


Hello friends, last night was my Super Bowl...aka the Oscars!

I had the privilege of watching the show with my friend Amanda at her annual party that featured a dinner menu based on the best picture nominees:

Example:

Matt Damon grows potatoes to survive. 


Overall, the show did not wow me and was not my favorite. Here are some of my notes:

My ballot score: 11/24 (not my best year)
Number of Best Picture movies I saw: 2 (The Martian, Bridge of Spies)
Biggest upset: Spotlight over The Revenant


Best dressed: Brie Larson

She is adorable and I love the blue!

Runner ups:

Cate Blanchett


Jennifer Garner


Saoirse Ronan:


Worst dressed:

I know, I know, yes she can sing but what is going on here?



The biggest part of the night for me was LEONARDO FINALLY IS THE KING OF THE WORLD!!! He won the Oscar for Best Actor.



I love how they love each other! #bestfriends

 Here are some of my favorite memes and other reactions:




For those of you who did not stay awake to watch the entire show (why did it start at 7:30 p.m. again?) here is the full list of winners:  http://oscar.go.com/news/winners/oscar-winners-2016-see-the-complete-list

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Episodes from the movie file: Oscar Nominations!

Yes folks, the Oscar nominations are here!

Here is the complete list of the nominations: http://oscar.go.com/nominees?ref=cr

To stake your bets there is an online or paper ballot: http://challenge.oscar.com/

The ceremony airs on February 28th via ABC.

See you on the Red Carpet!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Episodes from the music and devotional files: Take My Life

For me, I feel the most connected to God when I listen to hymns and worship songs. This is one that always brings me such peace but also helps me to re-focus when life gets crazy. 

— Take My Life (Tomlin) — 
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated Lord to Thee 
Take my moments and my days 
Let them flow in ceaseless praise

Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee

Take my voice and let me sing 
Always only for my King 
Take my lips and let them be 
Filled with messages from Thee

Take my silver and my gold 
Not a mite would I withhold 
Take my intellect and use 
Ev'ry power as You choose

Here am I, all of me
Take my life, it's all for Thee

Take my will and make it Thine 
It shall be no longer mine 
Take my heart it is Thine own 
It shall be Thy royal throne 

Take my love my Lord I pour 
At Your feet its treasure store 
Take myself and I will be 
Ever only all for Thee

Here am I, all of me
Take my life, it's all for Thee