Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Appletree Sunshine

My mom has a whole lot of Christmas decorations. Boxes and boxes of ornaments in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Figurines of all sorts, depicting different sentiments of Christmas, from the spiritual to the frivolous. Many of these decorations never see the light of day, no matter what time of year it is. One decoration that did make its way out of the box this year is a five pointed star, fashioned out of sticks glued together, with white lights laced throughout it. The wood has been stained to a rich, dark color, making the lights that much more vibrant (if only they worked...we must use our imaginations here). My sweet little niece has dubbed this particular decoration "appletree sunshine".

Through the eyes of a child, everything is full of beauty and wonder. Even a simple decoration, with lights that don't even work, can earn a name as blissful and innocent as "appletree sunshine", when looked upon through the as-yet-unjaded eyes of a child.

In other news...

Today was my last day at the job I've been trying to leave for about three months now. It was bittersweet, in that the transition period is less than ideal. My new employer...which I believe to be offering a much better opportunity for me in the long run...was unwilling to hold my position for two weeks so I could give notice to my current employer. I had to either agree to accept the position immediately, or I would have to wait until there were more openings. While I was very reluctant to do it, I finally did turn in my resignation, accepting the new position. I will be starting there next week.

I am looking forward to starting something new in my life. The job I have been doing for the last six months has been far from fulfilling, and I am happy to leave it behind. While I am grateful that I have had work all this time, the fact is that it has not even paid me enough to live on, and being that the company is so new, opportunities for advancement are limited to an "as needed" basis. I am confident that the company will someday be a great company, well established, and able to offer employees opportunities for training, advancement, etc. Right now, though, it is not something that even comes close to fitting my needs. So I am not entirely sure why I feel so guilty for doing what is right for me, and letting the company worry about itself.

This is something I've realized about myself...I am not good at doing what is good for me, if I know it's going to negatively impact someone else. This has lead me to make a series of horrible decisions regarding jobs, relationships, living situations, etc...all because I have this ridiculous tendency to think, "What I want isn't nearly as important as how getting what I want is going to effect everyone else." Yikes.

Everyone I talked to today congratulated me on getting the new job, and on getting out of a position that I have been unhappy with for a long time. So I'm thinking that maybe it's fairly normal for people to do what is best for themselves, and not worry so much about how it effects other people. I'm thinking that maybe that is the more healthy attitude.

A friend of mine told me that this might be a lesson in learning to accept good things from God, even if there are elements of it that are not comfortable. I have been praying for a new job for months, and this is the first real opportunity I've had come along. It's not a perfect transition, but I suppose a lot of the transitions God asks us to make from the wilderness into the promised land are not entirely comfortable. They require sacrifice, humility, and the willingness to do what we know is for the best, even if it upsets the Egyptians.

It is sort of like appletree sunshine. It's not perfect, but it is beautiful.

Wow - you've struck a cord in me regarding the "them vs. me" philosophy. It's tricky to set healthy boundaries and yet consider the welfare of others as Jesus has modeled for us. I still don't have a handle on it - maybe never will, but I hope as I grow older and hopefully wiser that I find the Christlike balance between self and others.

I'm thrilled about your new job - good luck!

It was wonderful having coffee with you on Saturday. :)
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