Thursday, November 24, 2011

Finance Friday

Happy Friday.
Black Friday.
Finance Friday.

While you're reading this I am doing one of 2 things....lounging on my couch or sleeping on it. That's because I worked 1 a.m. - 9 a.m. on Black Friday.
For finances.
For my family.
So my own bottom line will be in the Black this month.

Can I just be honest with you for a moment?

It's been brutal.
Beyond the swollen ankles, missing my kids in the evening and the overwhelming feeling that I've bitten off way more than I can chew there's my pride.

Just when I thought I can't feel any more humble

Not because I work retail. No! No! Don't get me wrong it's not the job.
It's hard earned money, respectable work.
No, it's people. And their perceptions of my new job.
Allow me to explain.

I live in a small town. Been here for fourteen or more years. I've had a very public job with the school district all that time. I've met a lot of people. I'm not saying everybody in town knows me ...  it's just that the combination of my community work, my husband's former public job and the size of our town means that a lot of people here know my name.
And my business.
So to see me in the "uniform" of our one and only retail store in town is of course, to some .... surprising. It's like when you see your dentist at the video store. You can't explain it but it looks and feels a little like the universe has shifted. You know, famliar faces in strange places.

I get that.

But it's more than that for me.

Each time I saw someone who knows me either from school or ministry life I got this

Or at least my insecure nature believes I did.

And then I was asked, "What are you doing working here"
in a "I can't believe my eyes" tone of voice.
I'm not kidding.

I've been asked that question 50 times in the last two weeks and all but 2 individuals have managed to ask me in a condecending manner. (Those 2 will forever be my new best friends)

And that's not all.

Others pitied me and my new job. They offered me condolences not because of the extra work I took on but because of where it was, and what it would require and because I took it right before the busiest time of the year. I think they think, "Things must really be tight if Stephanie's working retail. At Christmas. tsk. tsk. tsk."

But guess what? There are some days you do what you want to do. And then there's most days when you do what you have to do. Not everything in life feels good. And we shouldn't avoid the things that require hard work. Or the things that suck sometimes. And require extra effort.

Let me tell you something. There's nothing wrong with working hard. There's no shame in doing what you have to do. And there's no reason to allow the perceptions of others to worm their way into your thought life. You want to know what I think is required? I think we should work to make sure our hearts are pure. And to vigorously love our loved ones.
And be kind.
And work hard.
And make time to rest.
And live a life of gratitude to the Maker of Heavens and Earth who grants you another day to
and do it all again.

If you're retail, blue collar, a student, a mom, a professional ... if you're over skilled or under skilled for your job it doesn't matter. What you do does not make up who you are. Who you are is found in the substance of your soul. And that's the truth.

Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people. Colossians 3:23 ISV

In a world where there are more blogs than time to read them
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  1. The substance of your soul is exemplary.

    Although this time for you presents many challenges, your writing has reaped the reward.

    Very honest. Bravo.

  2. Thanks Stacia.
    While Finance Friday blogs are the easiest to write ... they are the hardest to publish. Your encouragement means a lot.

    And to all the folks who have Facebook 'liked' it ... I thank you too.

  3. Hi Stacia, My first time to visit your blog. I feel for you! And I'm sure there are many in the US right now with the same experience. But everytime we are in pain, we are able to help others, comfort others in a real way. I am sure this is just a phase and will pass! Just keep doing your best in your job! I am sure it will lead to better things! God bless you!

  4. My first time here and I just want to say,"Good for you, Girl!" There are seasons in our lives and you are making the best of a tough one.

  5. The root of the word courage is cor - the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage had a very different definition than it does today. Courage originally meant "To speak one's mind by telling all one's heart."

    In a world where we have lost touch with the idea that speaking honestly and openly about who we are, about what we're feeling, and about our experiences (good and bad), it is good to see writers like you that write with courage. In today's world you are extraordinary.

    Extra grace and compassion to you in what sounds like a tougher season...


    BTW found you through Joy's blog hop.

  6. I just want to thank you all for taking the time to comment! As I type this I've just gotten off my shift at the store, my feet are elevated, my ankles swollen and my heart .... a bit heavy. That is until I had the time to read these lovely comments! Thank you every so much! You're encouragement is water to my thirst soul today!

  7. Stephanie--I'm visiting from Life Unmasked. I couldn't agree with you more about how pure our hearts are & how we work to please the Lord. Our work is our worship. You keep meditating on the truth of worship, so whenever their that pity in someone's voice, you know your Father approves of you.

    thank you for sharing so candidly. Kamille


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