My Career Path

Friday 11/21 – What did you want to be when you grew up?  How did that pan out?  Do you still have those dreams?

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I couldn’t resist this picture. When I first started staying at home I remember my brother in law asking if everyday felt like a weekend to me. Uh, sure, something like that. I assured him that it was the opposite. As a mom, everyday feels like a workday.

My career path didn’t end up like I envisioned, but so much better. I should forewarn you that I have tried a lot of different “career paths”, but as corny as it may sound, the one I am currently on was the one meant for me. Growing up I always knew I wanted to get married and have a family. That was always first in my mind. I honestly didn’t think a lot about careers and jobs. What I wanted to be when I grew up was a wife and mom. That was it. In high school, you are pressured to think more about careers as you decide on what college you want to attend and what your major there might be. I always felt a little lost in that area. I was a smart, driven, motivated young girl, but I just couldn’t decide on something so big. I hated making decisions then as much as I do now. It seemed so daunting to pick a career that you would do for your entire life. I did at least know that I wanted to go to the University of Kansas for college. That was at least something decided. When I enrolled for my freshman year at KU I chose a career path that would lead me to nursing school. I always assumed I would either be a nurse or a teacher. My love for science drew me to nursing first. Sometime I decided nursing wasn’t for me. I then enrolled in some education courses. That seemed like the next logical thing to do. When I didn’t quite find my niche there either, I was lost. I think I even declared nursing as my major for the second time. Eventually I found myself half way through my junior year having still no idea what I really wanted to do. My older brother gave me some wise advice. He told me that I needed to just get a degree and stop trying to find a lifelong career. It was obvious I wasn’t going to make up my mind anyway. So I met with my advisor and decided to get my History degree. I had enjoyed history classes so I had taken several of them so it was the degree I was closest to. At that point I was so discouraged that I wanted something that I could finish within the four years without having to go longer. So History it was. I graduated with Highest Distinction from KU. I don’t say that to brag. I say it because I should have been proud, but I wasn’t. I hated that I was 22 years old with a college degree that essentially meant nothing to me. I had no more direction than the day I graduated high school. However, Jason and I married 6 days after I graduated from college so that was that highlight. I knew that work and careers were important, but I also knew that family was more important and I was starting my life with the man I loved. Somehow I felt a peace that everything else would work out.

There is more to my story…it took a few more years and a few more times of feeling lost and like a failure before it all worked out. I worked as a manager at GAP for a few years, I taught 8th, 10th, and 12th grade history for a semester, and I even ended up going to a year of nursing school before realizing for the third and final time that it wasn’t for me. I spent so much time trying to find a lifelong career instead of just finding what makes me happy. I felt the societal pressure that I had to fit a certain mold and live up to high expectations instead of accepting myself for who God made me. I am not a stay in one career at one job kind of person. My parents, my husband, and many others are, but not me. The thought of it makes me break out in cold sweats! I just enjoy too many things to pick just one.

So I still haven’t found a “career” by this world’s standards, but I am definitely exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. I am a wife and a mom. There is no other place that I would rather be and no other job more fulfilling for me than raising my babies. I am also a business owner, entrepreneur and I love it. It is something different everyday and allows me to really be myself. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I know that God does. I am choosing to be open to His leading rather than trying to fit a mold that doesn’t fit. For now, being a wife, mom, homemaker, blogger, and business owner is more than I ever dreamed and I am happy. I believe that I have reached success even if the world may not see it that way.


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Prayer

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Do you pray every day, occasionally, …..ever?  We’ve talked in Sunday school quite a bit about the meaning of these verses:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Ephesians 6:18  Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.

I believe these verses mean that the first place your mind should go is prayer.  That prayer should be your first reaction to any circumstance.  That you should have a continuous conversation going with God all day.  He’s always there.  You might as well talk to Him.

Prayer is a gift to me.  It’s a gift that God gives me every day.  I get to pray for other people and watch as God works in their lives.  Sometimes it’s a small blessing.  Sometimes it’s an enormous miracle.  Yes.  Sometimes He doesn’t answer for a while or He simply doesn’t answer at all which usually means the answer is no.  That’s why I keep a journal.  Not only is it precious to me to look back to see what I have prayed for in the past, but it also allows me to see how those prayers that seemed like they weren’t being answered at the time, have been answered now.  And how God with His big picture knew so much better than what I did.

It’s hard for me to talk about prayer because I can’t get the full emotion that I feel behind it.  It is so important to me.  It’s without a doubt the most rewarding part of the relationship that I have with God.  It’s how I know what His will is for me.  It’s how I see Him work in other people’s lives.  It’s how He reminds me that those little things that happened that day aren’t worth getting upset over.  So much happens through prayer that I can’t imagine my life without it.

So if you’re in one of those down times and are struggling with your prayer time.  Or if you just are looking for something different to do.  Find a daily devotional.  They are great for getting your mind in the right spot for prayer.  Most of them even have a short prayer at the end.  Honestly, I’ve been in a slump lately.  I just ordered Jesus Calling because I have heard wonderful things about it, but there are so many choices out there.

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Forgiveness {November Blogathon}

Wednesday 11/19 – Write a letter of forgiveness to some one you’ve held a grudge against…leaving names out of course.


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I am going to be very real today. This is a hard thing for me to post about. Forgiveness. I know I have received the ultimate forgiveness in Christ. He died for my sins and washed me clean. Knowing and experiencing that level of forgiveness should make it something I am good at, but that is not always the case. The truth is that this world is fallen. We all make mistakes. We all hurt someone, hopefully unintentionally, but nonetheless it hurts. So why are some hurts so hard to let go of? For me, it was hurst that happened over a decade ago. Hurts that are really so trivial in the scheme of life that they shouldn’t even matter, but somehow, for a long time, they still did. I think it just happened at a critical developmental time in my life that it seemed to stick longer. That’s the only explanation I have for holding onto some of my pain for so long and letting it fester into unforgiveness and bitterness. It wasn’t until my husband really pointed it out to me that I even realized I was harboring such feelings. That was when I had to make a conscious effort to pray and work through it so that I could once and for all let go of the past.  So here is my “letter” for today…

 

Dear Friend,

We once were so close, nearly inseparable. It has been so long since those days that it is hard for me to even remember what went wrong. I don’t know where our paths changed and we went separate ways. What I do know is that we hurt each other along the way. You did things that hurt me badly and made me so unsure of myself during a time when I was already struggling with insecurity. I could go into specifics about the things you did, but that would do no good. I could tell you all the times I cried over the harsh words you spoke, but that wouldn’t change them. I could count the number of years I spent letting the pain affect me without even realizing that’s what it was, but that wouldn’t give me those years back. So, instead, today, I choose to let you know that I have forgiven you. And I pray that you have forgiven me too. And if not, I am asking for that now. I know that I was surely not completely innocent in the things that happened between us. I must have hurt or offended you at one time or another as well and for that I am truly sorry. We were so young and ignorant when all of this happened. Who knows what the real reasons were behind it all, but I am sure they were meaningless now that we have lived life and gained wisdom. I look back at those days now and laugh at myself and the things that I thought were a big deal. My hope is the same for you. I hope that you are doing well in life and that you are happy. I hope that forgiveness will set you free as it has me. Thank you for the good times we had and the fun memories. I choose to focus now on those and forget about the bad. I hope you can do the same for me.

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Currently…

Currently

I love reading these posts about other bloggers, so I was super pumped when I found out that I got to do this post.

Currently…

Remembering:

My sister sent me this picture from a “Sisters” book I had given her for her wedding.

Sisters

Yep.  That’s what my mom did to us when we were kids.  We are 18 months apart.  And we look A-LOT alike.  She would dress us in the same clothes and cut our hair the same way (Like boys.  When I showed my husband this picture he asked me who those boys were.  I was like, “Yes.  Boys wear skirts.”  Ugh!  I think this has something to do with my need to have long hair now.)  Growing up, I thought it was so weird when people would ask if we were twins.  I mean, look at the height difference there.  And now, if we go out together, especially if we both have our hair in pony tails, people will STILL ask us if we’re twins!

This picture reminds me of what good friends we were growing up.  And then we weren’t for a long time.  And now we are.  I’m so glad we have a close friendship.  I don’t know what I would do without my sister!

Giggling about:

I’d say that picture, but it’s not funny to me.  Okay, it’s a little funny.  But really, Alexa had the best prayer ever the other day.  It made me giggle, but she is spot on!

Alexa in the middle of her prayer:  Help me to be awesome today.

I think we should pray that every day.  I mean, that includes everything you need to get through the day.  Lord, Just make me awesome.  Amen.

Planning:

Thanksgiving dinner of course.  Our family gatherings always revolve around food.  If we plan to eat out, we talk in advance about where we should go.  We like to anticipate the yummy goodness for weeks beforehand, not just devour the food that day and be done.  So it’s no surprise that we have been talking about Thanksgiving dinner for a while now.  Everyone has their favorite thing that they want above all else.  Mine is Special K bars.  My sisters is bow tie pasta.  And Dad’s is turkey.

Anxiously awaiting:

The Lawrence Craft Collective.  It is this Sunday and we are busy, busy getting all the details finished.  Pricing signs, sanding signs, packaging earrings.  I can not wait!!!

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Interested to know:

How to parent a tween girl!!!!!  How in the world do you watch as your child makes a bad choice that you know will have some very painful consequences?  So many times I see them about to make a bad choice, so I stop them.  But then they’re mad at me for butting in?!  They take nothing away from the situation, so while I have stopped them from making that bad choice at that very moment, they did not learn the actual lesson.  I realize that I need to let them make their own mistakes and learn those lessons the hard way, but it is SO difficult!!!!  This is something I was not at all prepared for as a parent.

Baking:

No surprise that the answer here is nothing.  :)  If I had to pick something to answer it would be cranberry and white chocolate chip cookies.  Not from scratch of course, but Otis Spunkmeyer does an excellent job.  I can pop a few in the oven and eat them when they’re still warm.  It helps warm me up on these very cold days.

Keeping  a secret:

I don’t keep any secrets because I cannot lie.  It’s so obvious, I might as well have a nose that grows when I lie.  I did manage to keep a tiny secret lately(well, two but I can’t share one yet).  Jeremiah’s birthday is in December and I thought it would be fun to get him some Chiefs gear.  He got to go to the Chiefs game on Sunday, so I gave it to him early and he had no idea.  Normally as his birthday approaches, he pries out of me what his gift is, so it was slightly impressive for me to actually surprise him.

DIYing:

I bought yarn to do one of those arm crocheted scarves a long time ago.  I am bound and determined to get one done this week!  I’ll post about it later of course.

And I bought a bunch more mugs to write on, so I’m constantly running through ideas for those in my mind.  There are so many choices, I’m having a hard time narrowing it down.

And I’ve been preparing all the materials for our November craft night.  I can’t wait to see all the ladies and make our next craft.  Stay tuned for pics.

And now you know what I am currently up to.  Please comment with something you’re currently doing.

Tip:  The comment link is at the top of the post.  Just click “Leave a Comment” and it will take you to the comment page.

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My Hometown {November Blogathon}

Monday 11/17 – Tell about your city/hometown…what to do there, little gems, best restaurants, etc.

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I grew up in Winfield, KS, population of about 12,000-15,000. The nearest big city is Wichita, but it is an hour away. An hour isn’t far, but far enough that it allows Winfield to be fairly self sustaining. Growing up we went to Wichita for big shopping trips and if we wanted to go to a nice chain restaurant, but our little town always had plenty to offer too. There are still some cute local boutiques, antique stores, and locally owned restaurants there. I love antiques and primitives and Winfield has some of the best shops for that. One of the more famous restraints in Winfield is the Burger Station. It is a small, fairly run down looking building that serves up yummy greasy burgers and fries. It isn’t a sit down place, just a walk in, say your order and move down the line to pick it up. I haven’t had it in years, but the chili burger used to be my favorite. Eating there too much would surely lead to clogged arteries but once in awhile it is worth it! Winfield is also home to Neives Mexican restaurant. I worked there as a waitress when it first opened in the spring of my senior year of high school and through the summer until I left for college. It was such a fun place to work as several of my closest friends worked there with me. If you are looking for a fun atmosphere and the best white cheese dip around, Neives is the place.

My favorite thing about Winfield is the sense of community and autonomy. I never realized it growing up because it was all I knew, but now that I live in another small town I see just how special that is. Winfield is far enough away from a bigger city that many of the citizens actually work in the town and keep their business local. I admire that. They invest where they live. For being a small town, Winfield offers a lot of good reasons to visit. The well known Walnut Valley Festival takes place there each September. People travel from afar to snatch a campground and enjoy Bluegrass music. The festival is technically only one weekend, but people show up weeks in advance so it lasts much longer. The Isle of Lights is a beautiful light display around Island Park each Christmas season. There are thousands upon thousands of lights including: Noah’s Ark, Santa and elves, the Manger scene, ice skaters, reindeer, Wizard of Oz, and many many many more. It is stunning! Winfield also hosts numerous craft fairs (including Art in the Park every October), parades, Kanza Day activities, and more. There are such fun things for the community to do and be involved in. Winfield is also the home to Southwestern College. The college is a great addition to the economy of the town and contributes to its growth each fall as students move in. It also adds one more thing for Winfield to be known and recognized for.

As for what to do on a regular day in Winfield, there is a rec center, brand new awesome tennis complex, and two golf courses (Winfield Country Club and Quail Ridge public course). There is also a nature walk and great new playground at Island Park where you can stop and feed the ducks too. During the summer months, Winfield has a public swimming pool complete with multiple slides and a fun dragon slide in the kiddie pool. All in all it was a great small town to grow up in. I have many fond memories of the town itself and am proud of the way it has continued to thrive. My parents, brother, in laws, and brother in laws all still live there so that makes it extra special still and a place we visit very regularly.

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