Transition

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

I mentioned a bit ago when that this has been a major time of transition in my life. This transition was preceding by months of really intense internal struggle. A time when I learned to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, a then before unknown concept to me. After nearly ten years I left my job. It was a decision that was a true test of my faith in God, because I kept questioning myself and whether or not I had made the right decision.

Over those nine and a half years that job had become such a major part of my life and leaving it was like a amicable divorce to me in that it was such a major separation of two entities that had been joined for so long. This new job was such a God thing though: it fell out of the sky when I least expected it, and was exactly what I’d asked God for.  And yet, I was still full of doubts in God and in myself. Did He really intend this for me? Was I making the right decision? What if I made this change and it was the wrong one? What about the people that I was leaving behind at my job? I knew that they needed me. I wrestled with all of these things for weeks.

I slowly realized that after awhile this amount of doubt in God is a kind of sin. After all of the things that He’d brought me through, did I really think that He was going to forsake me now? It came down to a decision of whether or not I was going to live in fear, or if I was going to step out in faith and trust in God.

Throughout the transition God has been so good to me. The sendoff that I got was so special. It reenforced to me that I did make an impact, that I have a legacy, and that I will be missed. I don’t know why I didn’t have enough confidence in myself to believe that was possible.

So I’m through the major parts of the transition, but certainly still in it. Once I got through the leaving part, I then had to of course start a new job for the first time in nearly ten years, that had it’s own adjustments. Over the last few weeks though I’ve been able to see twinklings of what God’s plan for me could be in this new place, and I’m so looking forward to growing in this new challenge with Him.

Here are just a few memories!

 

Three Ways God Made Greenbuild Awesome

It’s been over a week now since I’ve been home from Greenbuild. It was an amazing experience, and what everyone is calling “the best Greenbuild yet!” I know that it was a very special experience for me because I was able to stop and enjoy myself. Something that I unfortunately don’t get a chance to do very often at the show. There are other ways that I felt God’s presence and that He helped make the conference so stellar. 

1. MY TEAM. I have basically the most amazing team on the planet, and I got a chance to see this extremely well oiled machine go to work during Greenbuild. We had four new team members this year, but you would have never have noticed that. We didn’t even have walkie talkies this year so you’d think that communication would be bad, but that certainly wasn’t the case.

We started a new tradition. At the end of the Greenbuild day, we’d all sit in a room together and celebrate our accomplishments for the day. Our favorite parts of the day – nothing negative (we deal with plenty of negative energy onsite), only positive. On one of the nights, we had to do it twice because Kate missed the first round and it was even better the second time. God crafted this amazing group of people, regardless of their faiths, for this amazing time of accomplishments. It was the main highlight that made this conference so enjoyable to me.

My Team.

2. MY HEALTH. My health at Greenbuild can be a bit dicey. I’m currently recovering from a very annoying cold (on vacation, no less), but I’d much rather be doing that then dealing with being sick at Greenbuild. I had no problems with my health this year. Such an amazing blessing. The first few days after I arrived, I somehow managed to get myself out of bed in time to go to the gym! I know that it made such a difference, and I’m thankful for God’s encouragement in this area.

3. MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS. As always, much of my strength comes from knowing that I have a group of amazing family and friends who have my back before and during the show. There are so many different ways they encourage me. My mom just saying “what can I do to help you remove some of your stress.” Coming home to delicious meals that Patrick has much with the nutrients that I need to work these crazy hours pre-show. Care packages from Kimmie and Kim with special treats that help me feel special when all I feel like I’m doing is constantly pouring out. Encouragement from my Aunt and Grandmother in Chicago who I know have my back. Knowing the girls in my Small Group are praying for me even while I keep missing gatherings. And being silly with my brother and sister in our hallway in the evenings when I can’t contribute much to the conversation because my brain is fried. God put all of these people, and many others in my life to help me to get through this.

I feel little bit like I’m writing an acceptance speech for an Oscar or something, but Greenbuild cuts out for itself a pretty significant part of my life. From September through the end of the conference my life is basically on hold as I strive with my team for perfection. Being onsite is an amazing experience. It reminds me a lot of when I used to be on stage – you’re in this special world with this special group people where the normal rules of life and sanity don’t apply. Every time I go through it, I’m glad that God has brought me to a place where I can experience such things.

I’m also extremely glad to return my normal eating and sleeping schedules.

I Return

Yes, I do realize how long it’s been since I’ve written. I’ve been having trouble with writing lately, even my own personal journaling. There’s been a lot that’s been going on, and I’ve just been working on keeping up! It’s amazing how easy it is to get distracted with the things of the world and move away from God. This happened to me this time last year and I vowed that it would never happen again, but here we are. I’m starting to realize that it happens as a part of being in this flesh if you don’t constantly renew your relationship with God. I’m back in a good spot now. I was excited a few days ago because I finished the Old Testament on my road to read the Bible as if it were an IB English class assignment (Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea, anyone? I still kind of despise that book if you’re out there Mrs. Alspaugh.)

Yesterday I took a break from the world and wandered around Philadelphia all day. I was in town for an event and decided to take an extra day before heading back on the train. It’s amazing how much I really missed being on the road. I don’t remember if I complained about it last year, but if I did, I shouldn’t have…Let’s talk again in July after I’ve been on the road for nearly three weeks….I’m a complicated woman, what can I say?

Anyway, I took a whole bunch of delightful pictures that I hope to be printing sometime soon. I really LOVE photography, though I don’t know how much actual skill I have in that area. I like being able to capture a city that I’ve been to. I didn’t realize what a love city Philly is. I had done the whole Independence Hall and it just reminded me of the Mall Downtown…..covered in tourists (ahhh!!!)  and so I didn’t really think that was so special. However, this time I went the other way down Ben Franklin Parkway. So PRETTY!The art museum and all of the fountains…close to the water. God truly blessed me, it was supposed to thunderstorm all day, but I had already decided that I was going to enjoy my invaluable day off and explore and just get wet. This is a big deal for me, I’m really unhappy when I’m being rained on. I realize it’s just water, but still. Hate it.  But, it didn’t rain until the very end of the day when I arrived at the train station. So blessed, I really needed the break. This week is going to be incredibly hectic with a lot of early mornings, but I’m confident that now that I’m depending on the strength of the Holy Spirit I can thrive through it all.

What a Beautiful Night

Although my travels aren’t exactly over, I’m finally able to relax. The two events that I had this week are over and done, and I can get back to my life. It is lovely here, though. I’m sitting in the Desert Botantical Gardens with the sounds of night, an acoustic guitar, and chattering voices surrounding me. Though it was nearly unbearable in the upper 90s this afternoon, the evening has softened to a delightful low 80s. Times like this are when I remember how much I love my job. I got sleepy enough to get cranky this morning and just want to go home in that childlike way. I snapped out of it soon enough. The desire for a good night’s sleep is still there quite strong, but it’s softened just a little bit. Perhaps it has something to do with this lovely evening. It’s also easy to forget how simple things can be in life when we’re running from space to space, job to job, thought to thought, but it’s important to remember the ease of things sometimes.

City Report: Minneapolis

I’ll be honest, when I was told that I was going to be going to Minneapolis for an event, let’s just say I didn’t jump for joy. I tend to avoid the Midwest. I think it’s because I was forced to spend so much time in Ohio as a child. In the words of my beloved mother “it’s not all that bad. I can agree with her, but I don’t know if it’s all that good either. Anyway, I wasn’t refreshed. But considering the fact that I’m writing this post on my way from Minneapolis to Phoenix, I can say that I misunderestimated the fine city of Minneapolis. I stayed in a lovely hotel called the Ivy. If you find yourself in one of the Twin Cities, I definitely recommend it. It’s a part of Starwood’s swanky Luxury Collection. In my room there was this cute little book which displayed all of the Luxury Collection Hotels in the world. I’ve decided to at least hit half of them in next five years. So far I’ve got two down. I’m up for suggestions on which one I should go for next. (www.luxurycollection.com. I would say that I’ll go see all of them, but there are some where there are multpiple in one city, plus there are some in cities that I have no desire to go.

But, I digress. Minneapolis. I feel like it should be called The City of Skybridges. Seriously, the entire city is made of sky bridges. At first I thought it was just the convention center, but no, when you go downtown they’re all over the place. I’m guessing it’s because it get so freaking cold there. It was in the low 40s when I was there. So I went from 70 in DC to 40 in Minneapolis, to 90 in Phoenix.  Heh.

Greeness? I don’t know how much I can comment on that overall. I did, however, enjoy the fact that most of the food is logically grown because we were around so many different farms, etc. The food tasted fresh and delicious. So would I go back? Perhaps if I were being paid to…

Plannerizer Report: San Diego

I’m in love. I know, I’ve finally said it. All of these reviews, and videos of the week, and other stuff. Where’s the romance talk? I’m sorry, you’re not going to get in this entry either. I meant with a city. San Diego. Unlike any other event that I’ve done at work so far, this one was only a few  hours at the end of the day. Do you know what I did in the afternoon? I worked on my laptop in a cabana by the pool. Oh, yes. I did. It was so wonderful.

The event was a little bit rocky because of the venue. I won’t go into this here, but let’s just say that it wasn’t pleasant.

I stayed in California an extra day so that I could explore considering it was my first time in the state. I think I did a little bit too much considering the amount of miles I walked. I took the bus over to Coronado because I was not going to leave the city without seeing the Pacific Ocean. It was so wonderful. I only sat on the beach for a few moments but I was able to decompress a little bit. It helped so much with everything that’s been going on in my personal life right now. Then I headed back to San Diego and walked to Balboa Park. What a neat place! I got see the zoo, watch street performers, and just take it all in. It’s my favorite place so far!

You know how I feel about palm trees

Plannerizer Report: Phoenix, Arizona

Can I explain how wonderful it is to travel to a warm place from a cold place? I don’t think I can put this into words. So, a couple of days of being on the West Coast, I fly back across country for another meeting. This is a meeting that I had a lot more ownership over since I’ve been handling the logsitics from the beginning. Everything went wonderfully. It probably helped because I landed and saw palm trees. That always lightens my disposition.

Greeness? Eh…yeah. They’re working on. It’s just interesting because I usually go to cities that are battling it out to be the greenest city in the country(Chicago, Boston, Seattle vs. Portland), and I don’t even know is Phoenix is aware that race is going on. Talk about urban spawl. Of course, the facilites we used had to upgrade on the green factor for us to even consider going to meet with them, just as our hotels do when we take our show to a city. That’s one of the things I really enjoy about what I do, is that I feel like you can see a difference in the way that a city words during the entire process of taking the show to their town.

Phoenix itself is a lovely place. I don’t know…I may be extremely bias because I got to walk around in flip flops. It’s possible ; )

Hmm…warm…

Plannerizer Report: Seattle, Washington

This trip was quite an adventure. Not only did I find out that I was going just a few days before I left, but it was also my first time on the West Coast. I was worried that I’d be sooo bored during the flight, but delightfully, I wasn’t. This was also adventure because I wasn’t quite sure about the event space that I was going to be using. Outside of running out of food or losing power, I feel like this is something that’s VERY scary for an event planner. Especially when you’re dealing with a high level meeting like I was.

The first day….we have no audio/visual. This means there’s no projector, the screen is broken, the telephone isn’t working. Basically, all that IS working is the power. Oh, did I also add that it was like 12 degrees in the meeting space as well? Oy. Luckily, everything went well with food so at least they were able to eat. Amazingly, I wasn’t in a panic mostly because of the fact that I had spent so much time before I left having minor freak outs ; )

Eventually, I moved the meeting down to another floor and the meeting run exceedingly smoothly. Seattle was a great city to work in reference to greenness. I don’t know what their overall “rating” is from the meeting’s industry, but I found it easy for the caterer and the meeting space to meet all of our greening needs. I stayed in a Kimpton, so of course my needs were met there.

I did also get a chance to spend some time walking around the city which is something I love doing. I definitely have the gene to explore in my. I always want to get out and see what’s going on. I have a lot of trips coming up in the next few months, so I hope to have a chance to explore those cities, too!

Wanna See Some Pics?

Workin’ 9 to 5

I look forward to a day when I don’t have to work as hard as I do now. I don’t mind putting the time in right now, because I’m young and you have to work for things that you want. In the words of the wisest woman I know, my Momma, things that you earn yourself can’t be taken away from you–unless you allow someone to take it away from you. But honestly, this is just working hard, not smart. I keep telling myself that right now I’m just working to get experiences until I get that “Big” J-O-B. Do I really want to work for someone though? Maybe for awhile, but I know that I’m going to be a demanding employee in exchange for all this time that I’m giving them.

And really, that’s all a job is–you’re selling your time in exchange for dollars. When you think about it on those terms, it doesn’t seem so terribly overwhelming. My little brother was stressing out about making it to work, he was going to have to my little sister’s graduation. I had to see where his priorities were. I asked him what he was being paid, how many times my sister was going to graduate from high school, why he needed the job (he has NO bills to pay), and eventually he understood and wasn’t so stressed. Please Kid, don’t start all the work stress at such a young age…

I don’t want you to think that I have a poor work ethic, or that I condone doing nothing with your life. If you knew me, you’d be laughing right now, but I’m not going to take for granted that you know me. I just look at Corporate America which I’m thinking that I want to one day be a part of that, that I am in a small way right now with my internship, and I can’t help but wonder sometimes if all this insanity is worth it. Is it worth it to give up your life when there’s no guarantee that your company is going to show you the same amount of loyalty? Why work 40 hours a week inside a (sometimes) small, colorless, soundless, artificially lit place when you could be outside with your family and friends. I believe that there has to be a more efficient way to live your life, be financially comfortable, satisfied with your career goals, and happy overall. And I’m determined to find it, I’ll let you know when I do.

Happppppy Friday! ; )