Practicing Contentment

Part of settling into a new job is organizing your work space. 

When I first started working for Storage Depot, I spent 2 days organizing my office. The work space would simply not do!

Of course, you would never throw things away without asking a supervisor. My boss was very supportive of my reorganization, which was encouraging. 

I don’t have much organized in my new office because I just moved in today. My antsy, get-things-fixed-now nature wants things to speed up.

I’m trying something new though….

It’s called waiting.

Okay, okay waiting is not a new concept, but I’m not one to wait around for long. 

I’ve been so busy with various projects that getting my office situated is the last thing on my mind. Plus, my training involves 5 people, which means I have to work around their schedules.

All of these factors are forcing me to see what’s really important: Getting the work done. 

Moving from a temporary work space to a messy work space has not bothered me. Too much is happening to care!

How does this crazy glimpse into my mind help you?

This whole experience has me thinking that impatience causes us to miss out on good things.

When this room is cleaned…

When this job is finished…

When I get back from vacation…

…then I will be satisfied.  

The only problem with completing one “when” is that the next “when” is right around the corner.

How about being content now? 

Your current situation won’t stay unresolved for long.

Move on! Get happy! 

Maybe there would be greater job satisfaction if more people thought this way. I have no proof to support my theory, but it makes sense to me.




Halfway there

I just hit the 6 month mark of daily blogging. 

Hard to believe all that can take place in 6 months….

Thanks for going on this journey with me. 

I told you when I started that a blog is pretty much a journal if no one reads it. 

You guys have encouraged me so much and I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months holds. 

I move to Tulsa on Friday. It’s cool to think about documenting my time at Rhema. There’s a lot to take in and sharing it with you will make the experience much richer. 

Once again, thanks for your love and support. 

This goal that seemed impossible 6 months ago is now halfway over. 

I’m learning that most limitations are self-imposed. 

Heart language matters

I saw the importance of communication today.

For many years, Mr. and Mrs. Lee have rented a storage unit whenever they move.

Mrs. Lee is deaf.

I remember the first time I met them, which was the first month I started working at Storage Depot (before I started learning sign language). My boss had to write back and forth with Mrs. Lee about pricing and unit sizes.

heart languageFast forward to now, 11 months into my learning sign language. I was able to interpret for Mrs. Lee and she came to life! She talked and talked! It was so cool to see the power of communication in action.

Knowing someone’s heart language is important, especially when you’re on the mission field.

Each of us was born with an innate desire to be known and understood. Language barriers are the biggest deterrents to connection.

I’ve received a TON of help from the deaf community because week after week I show up and try. Even when I completely mess up, my friends kindly and gently encourage me and teach me the right way. Who could guess that my bumbling efforts would be so well received? I certainly didn’t expect it!

For many of my deaf friends, though, their own parents never made an effort to learn sign language. One of my friend’s mom started learning sign once my friend was grown. As my friend shared the story with me, there were tears in her eyes.

“This is what I’ve always wanted.”

Heart language matters. If you want to make an impact learn a culture’s heart language.

And this is true of any culture–not just deaf culture.

So, for all of my friends who feel drawn to a certain country or culture, take this advice from someone who has seen the difference: Language is key.

A life of action

I was taught from an early age that waiting around for God to do something you can do is wrong. 

God does mighty things on our behalf, but we have a role to play too. 

Praying is great. Faith is great. 

Knowing when to put feet on our prayers and actions behind our faith? 

Even better. 

I have a lot of friends who say God requires them to wait forever. He never seems to show them what to do. 

This has not been my experience. 

God has always led me to action. Very few times have I been told to wait. 

I certainly believe that there are times and seasons of waiting, of growth. 

But my problem is not waiting. My problem is hesitation. 

If left to my own devices, I will second guess myself in every decision. I willtake forever to make a choice. 

So, God always charges me with action. 

Audra, do something! Anything!

There’s nothing wrong with waiting on the Lord. Just don’t wait so long you decide to set up camp and are not ready when He calls. 

There’s also nothing wrong with making a decision, especially if you know it lines up with Scripture. The Bible talks about this specifically. 

I want to leave you with a list of practical ways to make decisions. 

  1. Pray. Talk to God and then listen. 
  2. Read your Bible. What passages speak to your situation? Make your decision accordingly. I highly recommend you don’t do something that goes against the Bible. 
  3. Seek wise counsel. You’re not alone. Talk to the wise people God has planted in your life. 

After you do these things, make a decision! Faith without action is dead. 

Learning how to know and follow God’s voice is the most important thing a Christian needs to learn. 

Indecision is not a spiritual gift or a fruit of the Spirit. 

Every hero in the Bible knew how or learned how to make decisions. 

Because of Christ we have nothing to fear and nothing to lose. 

Let’s live out of that confidence instead of quaking in our boots, afraid to move. 

Practicing graciousness 

Ever gone out to eat and have your order messed up? 

Tonight I went out to dinner with friends. My order was fine, but their orders were completely messed up…..

At the end of our dinner, even my friend’s ticket was messed up! 

Oftentimes it’s awkward to tell a waiter, “Hey! This is all wrong.” 

You don’t want to be an overcomplaining customer, but you’re also paying for the food. 

The goal is to handle the situation with as much grace as possible. (Both of my friends were super gracious by the way.)

Sometimes it’s easy to be gracious, sometimes it’s not. 

I’m not saying it will be easy, but I do know that a little graciousness will go a long way. 
And, if that doesn’t work, have a chat with the restaurant’s manager. 

Being gracious is not the same as being a doormat. 

Microwaves and lucky numbers

You are more likely to be struck by lightening while being attacked by a shark than winning the lottery.

It’s true.

And yet the number of lottery tickets bought each year is only getting bigger.

Why is that?

Here’s my theory:

Microwaves are the problem.You can now zap fry anything and it’s ruining America.

I can eat a frozen dinner while writing a paper while watching an episode of Seinfeld while buying a pair of shoes while checking my email while scrolling through my newsfeed while paying bills while on eHarmony while buying plane tickets while placing a bet on the next horse race.

And I never have to leave my house or change out of my PJS.

It’s the American dream, right?

Everything I want can be mine….right now!

No need for patience and long term planning. (Only people with flip phones still do that.)

lottoThis is the only reason why people buy lottery tickets: The hope of instantaneously falling into the good life.

Our microwaveable culture is even creeping into churches.

Why bother working and serving in ambiguity when you can take the stage and preach? You have the answers that will solve all the problems in modern Christianity. And you’re only 22!

(Please be sure to donate your brain to science one day, okay? We’d all like to know how you became as wise as Solomon so quickly.)

There’s no such thing as a microwaveable life.

The quicker we abandon this idea, the better.

Now did anyone eat Chinese today? I need the lucky numbers from your fortune cookie.  

I want to buy a lottery ticket before going on my deep sea fishing trip during the thunderstorm.

I’m feeling lucky!

Navigating Construction Zones

  Construction zones are everywhere. I drive through two to three each day. The world around me is exploding with new buildings and improved roads. When I think about redeveloping an impoverished area or new businesses starting up, I get excited. 

My favorite kind of progress , though, is when people change for the better. 

The terrain of pain, shame, and hopelessness transforming into a landscape of beauty and joy right before my eyes. 

And we are all progressing in one direction or the other. No one lives in a neutral state. 

We all have construction zones. 

Like I said earlier, construction isn’t bad, but it can be tricky to navigate at times. Traffic jams will happen when heavy machinery is in use. 

Keeping people at a distance until construction is over is not a good idea. 

Getting frustrated at the construction zone surrounding a friend’s life is pointless. 

What’s the answer then?

  • Keep your eyes on the everyday progress.
  •  See the improvements and additions as victories. 
  • View difficulty as the temporary setback that it really is. 

Our lives will always have some kind of construction zones in them. 

Demolition projects, remodeling, additions, or touch ups. The level of construction depends on the person. 

Learn to navigate the changes gracefully. This is one skill we all need to master–for the sake of others and for the sake of our own sanity.