Saturday, November 15, 2008

decision made

My last day at the bank should be December 19th. Not an easy decision to make or an easy decision to tell my boss about, but the one that needed to be made, I believe. Haven't told my co-workers yet. I'll do that Monday morning before they send out the email saying that "Laura Beall has decided to pursue other opportunities outside of the Bank of Fayetteville." Other opportunities being holidays with my family. And hopefully a job that is not quite as frustrating. So if you've got any ideas about a job, I'd appreciate those now. :) Thanks for your thoughts and support!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

dilemma (noun): a situation requiring a choice between equally undesirable alternatives

Hope you all are doing well so far this week. I've got a prayer request I'd like to send your way...

As you all know, I'm not a huge fan of my job at the bank. It's an all right job, just not really the best for me. And I'd kind of thought about finding something else to do anyway, just because I get bored and frustrated with my job. But I do work with good people and don't necessarily just want to up and leave them. That being said...

I was told Friday that I could have either the day after Thanksgiving or the day after Christmas off, but not both and not any more time around the holidays. Understandable, coming from bank management. Should have expected it. But Joshua and Sarah are going to be here from the Czech Republic for the holidays. And my family will be celebrating in Memphis and southwest Kansas, 6 and 9 1/2 hours away from Fayetteville. And I want to be with them, not here on my own. I'd saved up plenty of vacation time to be able to spend it with them, and now it looks like I won't be able to use it.

This is important to me. And if I actually liked my job and really wanted to keep it, I'd find some way to deal with it. But given the fact that I'm not a huge fan of it anyway, I'm now contemplating quitting my job to spend the holidays with family and finding a new job at the first of the year. Don't know if that's a wise decision or not, but it's what I'm thinking about. So I'd appreciate your prayers that I do make a good decision for myself and my family, that if I do decide to quit that things will work out okay with the bank and also with finding a new job for the first half of next year before starting grad school. (I'd thought about going straight into school in January, and while that's tempting in many ways, I'm not sure I'm quite ready for it yet. Not quite ready to leave Fayetteville, my family and friends, and my wonderful roommate Libby and her dog Emmer.)

So there's the dilemma. Prayer and advice appreciated. :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

a tip...

I know this isn't the kind of post you all have been oh-so-eagerly awaiting, but too bad. I'll get there eventually. This one might make a bigger difference than any other possible post to some of you, though. Those of you who have been around me in the past couple months might (I hope!) have noticed that I've lost some weight. Twenty pounds, actually. Now, I've still got high hopes of losing another twenty or so, but I will say that I am just a little impressed with myself. :)

How have I accomplished this feat, you ask? SparkPeople. Anyone ever heard of SparkPeople? I hadn't until last April. And no, it's not a miracle program or diet. It's just the basics of good common-sense nutrition and exercise. But there's encouragement. And resources. And accountability - accountability to yourself, most importantly. So if you or anyone you know is looking to lose some weight and get in better shape, check out Absolutely free, completely safe, tons of help, and a great way to accomplish your goals! I'm creatively named laura.beall, and you can add me as a buddy if you like. Like I said, no magic tricks here, just a healthy, dare I say almost fun, way to shed some of those extra pounds. Good luck, and God bless!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

back from the dead?

Two whole posts in the past year. Not quite the "excessive musings" I thought I might have when I started this blog. Now, don't get me wrong. There has been plenty of musing going on in my life in the past year. Far too much of it at times, actually, and those two blog posts cannot come anywhere close to expressing anything but a minute portion of it. So it's not that there was nothing to say, it's just that most of my reflections were not fit for public consumption. A few who are close to me might have been interested in reading them, but I'm honestly not sure that I could have formulated much of it into words or that it would have been appropriate to post it even if I could have. I might take a bit of time over the next few weeks to share a tiny bit of that with you ("you" being my two readers), and then I really would like to get into the habit of posting semi-regularly, for my own benefit if no one else's. We'll see...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

a man after God's own heart

It's been a while... Four months. Four months have flown by. I haven't had a lot to say. God's been good, though I must admit that at times I doubted if that was really the case. He always proves me wrong. :) I'm not going to go there right now. Maybe later. I do want to share some of my thoughts with you, though, on another subject... What does a woman mean when she says she's looking for a guy who is a spiritual leader? The question was posed to me recently by a guy friend who was looking for some insight from a female perspective, and while I am far from claiming that my answer is the answer every girl would give, it's the answer I would give. Here's what I wrote back to him:

A man who is a spiritual leader is, first of all, a man who is seeking and serving God with all of his heart and to the best of his ability long before the woman ever comes into the picture. He's not just doing it to get someone else's attention or because of someone else's influence on his life; he's doing it because it is fundamentally who he is. He's someone who loves God above all else and is pursuing God relentlessly, which will be obvious in his choice of activities, the way he treats people, how he takes care of himself (physically, emotionally, spiritually), and (in my opinion) how he dreams big dreams and allows God to lead him into them and fulfill them.

He will spend time developing his own relationship with God, and I'm not talking a pray-at-dinner-and-before-bedtime kind of relationship or a relationship where he only plays around at being a Christian when it's comfortable or useful for him. I'm talking a real relationship, in which he constantly seeks God for his company, searches to understand God's character more fully, embraces both the comfort and conflict that come with a deepening relationship, and makes a commitment for the long haul, no matter what. He will be honest, real, and genuine, whatever the situation may be, but he will always attempt to allow God to remain the director of his ways, even when it seems like there may be no reason to trust God. He will readily put himself and his own reputation on the line to fulfill the calling God has given him, not shrinking back from challenges and trials he meets but rising to the occasion because of the strength and ability God has given him. He will, in all things, remain humble and recognize that it is always God who is the one giving that strength and ability, as well as God doing the redeeming from sin and from a hopeless way of life and death.

He will love others with a friendly, kind, giving, and compassionate love, helping draw them into relationship with himself and his God. He will lead by acts of service, whether organized and public or more everyday and intimate. He will challenge other Christians to live their lives devoted to Christ and pursuing passionately the God who created them, loved them, lived for them, died for them, and called them into relationship with Himself.

He will challenge and encourage his wife (or girlfriend) to be this same kind of person and spiritual leader, loving her for her multi-faceted beauty as the created image of the Creator, loving her despite her imperfections and sin, loving her through her struggles (and by that I do mean loving her so intensely and genuinely that you bring her through her struggles, helping her conquer them, especially the struggles with her own self-image, which seems to be nearly universal among women), loving her for the person she has been, loving her for the person she is, loving her for the person she can be and helping encourage her as God forms her into that person.

He will join with his wife and his family of believers in the adventure God has set before him to change the world for the better by bringing news of Light and Life to those who do not have it. He will openly embrace whatever it is God sends his way, knowing that God's plans are meant to prosper him and not harm him, to give him hope and a future (Jer. 29:11), and he will delve into those plans wholeheartedly and with abandon, giving everything he has to the One who gave all for him.

I want to be this person too. And I want him to want me to be and push me to be this person. And while we'll both fall short, together we will be stronger than we could have been apart. Together we will see and know more of God than we could have alone. Together we will love and serve the One who has done nothing but love and serve us.