Abundant Living

In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The work team

What impressed me most about a recent 2-day meeting with my work was the leadership team.

We'd come to Vegas to meet together at one of the facilities owned by the company for which I work.  The meeting was with all the administrators, directors of nursing (DON), and directors of rehabilitative therapy (DOR).  The company owns 8 buildings.  In addition to the 24 leaders there were the resources team consisting of 1 PT, 1 OT, 2 RNs, & 2 LVNs.  There was also my boss who is the clinical director of the company and is an RN.

The first day was a very jam packed teaching day.  By the end of the day my brain felt fried.  Day 2 started with more conversational learning and then progressed into awards.  It had been set up so that every facility was awarded for something outstanding about that facility and leadership team.  There was lots of sharing of stories and laughter.

Things have been over the top difficult at work recently.  We're entrenched in a lawsuit that has turned into a class action situation with 7 participants currently.  It breaks my heart.  There have been so many challenges and some days I'm so exhausted at the end of the day that I wonder how I'm gonna make the 40-minute drive home.

But sitting there, watching my boss and the resource team for those 2 days, stirred something on the inside of me.  Several of them, my boss included, have a genuine love for God and people.  That love permeates everything that they do. I relate to these people better than any group I've ever been a part of.  What my boss is trying to build here is something I want to be a part of.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Studying the Word

I've been really enjoying studying in the book of Ephesians.  Just God and me.  Taking my time and going as slowly as I want.  Examining the Bible, praying, and seeing what others think on various Scriptures, passages, and concepts.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Too much stuff

I'm learning about Sabbath right now.

Officially I'm doing this through a Bible study I'm helping to facilitate at church.  We're using Priscilla Shirer's book Breathe.  Unofficially it's me and God. Me learning how to listen and change.

This concept of margin has long been one that attracts me. 

I've always believed in having margin in my finances.  John and I are blessed to be together and have the same attitude that  nothing we want to own or buy is worth having debt.  We both always want to have some extra money set aside so that there is margin.  Then we have freedom.  The kind of work that I do is very difficult and people in my position often get let go.  Having that financial margin, savings + lack of debt, helps me not worry about if I do lose my job.  I know that God will take care of me but I also believe that He wants me to be wise.

I'm attracted to empty spaces and lack of clutter.  John has saved, inherited and made some wise investments over the years.  He's substantially helped 4 of his 5 living children buy  homes. Recently he purchased a small condo that is 4 miles away from the beach for us.  I adored it from the moment we walked in.  Part of my adoration of this condo was it's minimalism.  All the spaces are economical and small. When I first spent the night there we had barely any furniture.

But our house is a different matter.  I feel like it's too much.  We have too many things here.  This line by Shirer in her book caught my attention:

"Our tendency toward too-full lives often expresses itself most tangibly in our over-crowded closets, unmanageable table surfaces, and cluttered desks as we cram them full of far more than we need."

I want to stream line and de-clutter my life.  But I don't know where to start, or how to start.

Father, I know that You've been growing this desire in me for simplicity over the past few years.  Please teach me how to implement it in my life.  Show me exactly how to begin the process of simplifying my life.  Thank You.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Amidst the work craziness

This morning I was blessed by these words from Proverbs 27:9 (HCSB):

Oil and incense bring joy to the heart, and the sweetness of a friend is better than self-counsel.

Today has been a super challenging day at work.  At 6:30AM my cell phone rang with a phone call from work.  I've been running every since. Right now I decided to actually take a lunch break and use a moment to slow down and reflect.

Amidst all the challenges of the day I'm grateful that I am not alone.  God is always near me.  He's also given me some great people with whom I get to work.  I talked to my boss a few moments today about 2 pending lawsuits and horrible (and untrue)  newspaper articles about my facility. I'm grateful that she's my boss.  She's smart, she cares, and I feel like she understands me.  Our staff developer, director of rehab, dietary supervisor, medical records director and admissions director are awesome at their jobs. They are people with whom I can partner to fix things when it's needed.  The DON remains problematic, but she is smart and can be helpful sometimes.

Basically I'm just grateful to know that in the midst of all of this work craziness, I don't have to rely solely on my own counsel.  I've got God, His Word, my boss and these other people with whom I work.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I didn't get exactly what I asked for, but I'm still grateful

Photo from http://purpleinkllc.com/
Recently I wrote about how I felt good about myself because I asked for a raise.

Yesterday my boss was talking to me about something and let me know that my raise had been approved.  She asked me to complete the paperwork , scan it, email it to HR and cc the owner so that he wouldn't forget that he had agreed to it when it came time to sign off on it.  I received 79% of what I asked.

I am grateful that I received a raise.

This owner is very difficult to get to give people raises.  I've worked all year long very hard to pull out those few raises regarding which I was successful. I get the feeling that my boss really dragged it out of him.  I think he's foolish to come so close to giving me what I asked and not giving me it.  He does not realize, or perhaps not care, the message he sends.

I'm someone who runs his business.  I frequently have to use my own money because he is too new in business, growing too fast, and doesn't have the cash easily available.  When there's emergency repairs, it's my credit card that gets used.  Currently I'm out of pocket about $600 and it always takes around a month to get that money back (if I put through the paperwork right away and send a couple of reminders).

I'm sure grateful for the Word I read this morning:

"Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ." Colossians 3:23-24 (HCSB) 

May I work enthusiastically today.  I am not doing a good job here for the owner, I'm doing it for God.

Oh Heavenly Father, may I work as unto You today.  May I notice the people who work for me.  May I be a voice of encouragement and support.  May I work together with my staff to make a positive difference in the lives of these patients.  Thank You for Your goodness dear God.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Learning to ask for what I want

I don't have any problem asking for what I want at work when it's related to employees or running the business. I work hard at communicating clearly and concisely on these issues.

But when it comes to asking for myself, I'm uncomfortable.I don't feel good about myself when I do not stand up for myself.  I am not as effective if I don't take care of me.

August 15, 2015  marked my one year at this job.  August 14 was a Friday so I emailed my boss, and cc'd the owner, a self evaluation.  In my experience as an administrator for any company, my supervisors have never provided me with a job evaluation.  I don't know if it is because everyone is too busy, or that they may want to blame something on the administrator later if things go south and so they don't want anything good in writing.

For my self evaluation I listed what I believe have been my key contributions this year. Prior to that list, I pointed out that this list was accomplished by our team at this facility working together. Then I listed areas where we still need to improve.  I wrote a few short goals.  Lastly I wrote that I was petitioning for a 6% increase in pay and what, if this is granted, my new annual salary would be.

Even if I do not get the raise I'm asking for, or any other raise, I still feel good about myself.  I feel good about the work I've done and the things we've accomplished at this facility. I feel good that I clearly and succinctly asked for what I want. If the owner ignores me, or chooses not to give me a raise, I will continue to work hard as unto the Lord.   If I do not receive a raise, I will pray for God to bless me with another job where I will be respected and valued.  I would start keeping my eyes open and applying.

The day after that email my boss emailed me that she appreciates my work and is asking the owner to give me the raise.  I emailed her back how much that means to me.  I let her know that, whatever happens in terms of money, I want her to know that it means a lot to me to know that my work is valued. When I spoke with my boss this week about another matter, she brought up the raise and told me that she's hoping this next week to get the owner to give me the raise.

I really love my boss.  She's a sister in Christ, a wonderful person, and professionally brilliant. I feel that it's important however that the owner respect me.  He pays my DON more than anyone I've ever worked with closely and I know that he gave her a bonus for our incredible annual survey this year (even though I believe that I deserved as much credit for that survey as her). That bonus that he gave her is 5/6 of the amount I'm asking for as an increase.  I feel that if he does not give me the raise, it is an indication of his lack of respect for me as an administrator.

It's an interesting situation because it is not about comparing myself to the DON.  For me it is about asking for the respect that I know I deserve.  In order to be optimally successful in my position I need the respect and backing of my supervisor and the owner.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

You get what you ask for

Every since I started this job a year ago, I daily  pray for wisdom.

Recently I received some very specific wisdom as to a way to do my job better.

I'd been thinking about how I spend too much time in my office and not enough time out on the unit. Although I walk through the building a few times each day, I feel like I'm not integrated enough with what's really going on. I have a lot of paper/computer work that needs to be completed.

Yesterday morning as I was waking up the thought came to me that I need to take my lap top and sit out at the nursing station and complete paperwork. I can't easily get internet connectivity at the nursing stations, but I can work on documents on the computer. Yesterday I spent about an hour and a half at station 3 and today I spent about an hour at station 2.  It's a good idea. I'm just sitting there doing my work, but the line staff are seeing me.  I'm overhearing things that are going on.  I find myself questioning why I didn't think of this before, but it just never occurred to me.

I'm grateful for the idea.

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