Thursday, January 29, 2009

and all, whatever ye may do in word or in work, [do] all things in the name of the Lord Jesus -- giving thanks to the God and Father, through him. Col.3:17

So, this was a verse that was often quoted in our house growing up, but more often it was demonstrated. Honestly, I never really applied it to my life until last year. This is not to say that I didn’t do a good and honest job before then, but it wasn’t until a year ago that I had to really decide to do my job as if I was doing it for the Lord.

You see last January I was still working in a temp job for an Oil & Gas consulting firm here in Houston. I had been certain that God had called me to get my teaching certification and begin teaching 4th graders. So, I got the certification ($1000 later) and took a temp job to make ends meet until God opened a door in the school system. The problem is – he never did. I didn’t get any calls on a teaching job. At my temp job I was being led to believe that they were creating an IT job for me. Daily I was asked to just be patient and they would have a job for me. Meanwhile, I did basic office tasks which included filing, data entry and stocking the snacks in the break room (sure, I ate a few along the way.)

This was all fine and dandy until the day came that I had to get coffee for 2 clients that had come in. I held back tears for the rest of the day and when I got in my car, the tears flowed. How Lord, how could you put me in a position that I am fetching coffee for others? All those people who did me wrong and treated me like I was nothing more than the office blond at previous jobs would be laughing now. This job was not below me, but it was way below my education level. In fact, my education level was above half of those I was filing for! I cried all the way home. But, this verse never left the forefront of my mind. So, I told the Lord that if this was where he wanted me, then I would do my job as if I was doing it for him.

It was about 3 weeks later that I got an email from a local headhunter that had seen my resume. He wanted to touch base with me to see if I would be interested in programming position here in Houston. I hesitated to call him – God had called me to teach. But, I felt a constant nagging, so I called 3 days later. It seems that the 99 Cent Only Stores needed a Sr. Software Developer in their Katy office. Now here is the thing – Houston is the 4th biggest city in the nation and the this job was literally down the road from my house. PICK is not a common language – and there is a PICK job right down the road from my house. This seemed to good to be true. Then I saw the word that struck fear to my core – SENIOR! I could not be a Senior developer… no way. I have never been given the chance to do that. I almost told the guy no because I was scared. But, I agreed to interview – what was the worst that could happen?

To tell you truth, there was a lot that could happen. I prayed and prayed about this interview. If I messed it up and came off as an idiot then I would feel that I WAS an idiot – it was how I had been treated my entire professional career. I just could not understand how God could send me this opportunity knowing what a disaster it would be and how I would feel. Plus – I was 7 months pregnant. There was no way they were going to hire me. The interview went well – I met with the manager, director and VP. I disclosed my pregnancy and answered the questions well enough. The job was a Senior position and I didn’t feel qualified. Two weeks later – I GOT THE JOB – and 1 week later I started as a Sr Developer (although that title is written nowhere – LOL).

What a blessing! It was a blessing and if the story ended there I would be eternally grateful for all the Lord had done, but it didn’t end there. Turns out I got paid maternity leave, I have Christian bosses and coworkers– real Christians, and get to wear jeans everyday if I so choose. I am the lead developer on the biggest project that is going right now, and I am doing a great job. I know this because both my manager and my director have called me in to let me know. I don’t say this boastfully, I say it in awe. God…Jesus… loves me so much that gave me this job – like a cupcake on a gold pletter. He wants me to know that he KNOWS I am a capable, smart and professional woman. Everyday I give this job back to the Lord. Everyday I do my job as if I am doing it for him.

I don’t know for sure, but I think God was waiting for me to be willing to fetch coffee for Him, before he would reveal his plans for me. I have no clue why I have a teaching certification; maybe I will use it one day, maybe not. Today, I really don’t care, I just want to do this job until the Lord leads me to the next. What are you doing today? Are you an engineer, an office admin or a stay at home mom? Whatever you are doing today, do it for the Lord – even if you aren’t doing what you planned. The blessings are many.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
Psalms 119:105

I, like most people, have had many bibles over the years. The one I carry now is inscribed with my married name – Libby Juarez. Aunt Maedeb got it for me as a wedding gift and I carry it with me to church every Sunday. I like that bible a lot, but it is not my bible (Sorry Aunt Maedeb). That bible is my Sunday bible and is in the same category as my Sunday clothes are – prim, proper and meant for Sunday. Then there is my bible. My bible is much like your fat pants – a comfy friend that you love to see.

I remember when I got that bible, I wanted it so bad. The church always gave the graduating seniors a new bible the Sunday before graduation. King James Version – Scofield Study Bible, burgundy. That’s been almost 12 years ago now. I have lots of notes in there, underlined passages and a few candy wrappers that haven’t been discarded. This is my ‘go to’ bible. I can navigate that thing like as good as Billy Graham! Ok, that may be a little bit of a stretch, but you get my point.

When I was in the worst of my panic attacks, I experienced such violent and graphic dreams that I could not sleep, going days without much sleep at all. I would grab my bible and sleep with it as close to me as I could get it. As crazy as it sounds, that worked. The peace of God literally flowed from those leather bound pages and gave me rest.

A few nights ago, I laid down early and reached for my bible before cutting off the light. Both bibles were sitting there, but I grabbed my bible. I instantly felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me and reminding me of all the difficulties that bible has seen me through. I really don’t know what I would do or where I would be without God’s word. I am the first to admit that I am much to cavalier when it comes to my ‘daily bible readings’ but, my new years resolution is to change that. My prayer is that the Lord will create an increasing desire for his word and for time with him. I have learned that God delivers on these types of request.

Since finding out I was pregnant with Andrew, my aim in life has been to raise Andrew in such a way that he seeks and realizes God plan for his life. I know that he was created for a purpose and God has great things for him. I truly believe that it is our – George & I – responsibility to guide him and point him in that direction. God has brought it to my attention, however, that I have neglected someone in that quest – ME!

God does have a plan and purpose for Andrew’s life, but he also has one for mine. Just because I got married and had a baby doesn't mean that he is done with me and is on to Andrew now. So, what is God’s purpose for my life now? I have no idea, but I want to find out and he wants to reveal it – in his time. Now, before you roll your eyes and think that I am a little too stuck on myself, you are in the same place! God has a plan for each and every one of us. He hasn't called us home yet which means he isn't done yet - I read that in my bible. That should be exciting to us.

I have learned the most from my parents by watching them. Maybe, just maybe the best way to raise Andrew to realize God’s plan for his life is to allow him to watch as I realize God’s plan for my life.