Monday, February 11, 2008

Ceaseless Encouragement

Rolling with the punches. Give me a break. If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all.

All common cliches for moments when we feel as though we've been punched in the gut. One of my favorite people is Jackie Stanley. My Chief Encouragement Officer. You need to read her blog. Every day. An amazing woman, she inspires, motivates, and lifts you up with just a few words. She's gifted. Someday, if they haven't already, her children will call her blessed among women. And the reason I say that is not to patronize this woman, but to give honor where honor is due. Here's why:

I was hit this week with a huge disappointment. Someone I had great high hopes in ... fell short of the mark. Someone who asked me to trust, was not trustworthy. Someone who appeared to be really something special ... wasn't. I should've trusted my gut in the end. You know those feelings you get in the pit of your stomach when you try to get someone on the phone and they never all back? Or they do call back, only days later and act like it's no big deal? Or they show up late for a meeting? Really late. Or they send you emails that they're going to call you at a specified day and time, then don't? Or when they say they'll do something for you, and then you find out they can't? They can't because they really can't. They have plenty of wonderful reasons and excuses and their defense is rock solid. But they're lacking in integrity.

I should've known.

But I wanted to believe. I really wanted to believe. I was convinced I'd made the right decision. After all these years, you'd think I recognize the signs. Pay attention to my gut. I can moan and groan and allow all those negative feelings to wash over me, make me cry, and make everybody around me miserable ... or I can say, I never get a break, and withdraw from the world. And though, in some small way I feel justified in those feelings after all these years of struggling, I have to somehow find my faith. Once again.

Part of that is reading Miss Jackie's blog every day. Yesterday, it put me back on top. Maybe just in my mind, but I'm back doing what needs to be done ... I've got work to do. This is just a set-back. Another moment of paying my dues. Life goes on.

This morning, I'm back to work. And it feels good.

Thanks to my husband's ceaseless encouragement, the kind words and encouragement of my colleagues, and Jackie's ongoing words that lift me up.

To quote my friend from her blog: "I must confess that whenever my life seems like a series of unfortunate events, it is usually because I have lost sight of the profoundly simple fact that 'there is always something you can do to improve the situation.' And whenever I begin doing what needs to be done, my life takes a miraculous turn for the better."

Right back at 'cha, Jack.

Blessings to you and yours.

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