How To Give Your Blog a Facelift

June:  Go on WordPress while bored at work.  Think about how your blog could use a facelift.  Decide to look around at the themes.  Try one out and do some customizing.  Abandon it.  Pick another and play with customizing.  Abandon it.  Think that you really need to pick a new theme but they all seem to require you to actually take a picture and upload it.  Go on Goodreads and look at your recommendations.

July:  Get notification that it’s your third Blogiversary!  Think that you should really get serious about updating your theme.  It’s been two years since you picked the old one.  Look at the themes again and write down three that you like.  Make a mental note to do it on the weekend when you’re bored.

August:  Go on WordPress while bored at work.  Decide to look at the themes again.  Search one that is good for text and doesn’t focus on photos.  Find a good one and start customizing.  Decide you don’t like the suggested header images.  Search for a header image.  Abandon search when you can’t find one in the right dimensions.  Look at Facebook.

September:  Go back to the theme you played with last month.  Change the color scheme.  Decide there is one suggested header image that really is kinda cool.  Change your title font.  Update your tagline because even though you’re not 30 yet it took you this long to get a new theme, so.  Click Activate.

Et voila!  Hope you like it!

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When the Going Gets Tough…

The tough get going, right? But what does that actually mean? Does “get going” mean you suck it up and start handling the problem or does it mean you move on from the thing that has suddenly gotten tough?

I’m at a major crossroads, y’all. I mentioned in my last post that my job has some serious problems. And I explained how God put me in this job for His purpose and how He used me to help with one of the issues. The problem is there are so many more issues. And they’re not getting solved anytime soon. We still have to do more work with no tax season help, management is still making head-scratching decisions, and the two people who tried to get me fired for two years are still after me. (Don’t even get me started on that.)

So I’m trapped between “If your job makes you miserable, you should find another job” and “All jobs suck and if you leave this one, you could end up somewhere worse.” Am I being weak to want to move on or am I legitimately at the point where I need to move on for the sake of my sanity?

And really this goes beyond the job situation. I just turned 28, I’m single, childless, and living with my parents. I want to move to another city, where my church is. But I can’t commute all the way to my current job from there. And the even bigger issue is that this job is taking over my life. Not just during tax season anymore. I feel like it leaves no time for serving God and that’s a problem.

Here’s what God has had to say over the last 12 months:

1. Don’t buy a house. Don’t be tied down to any one place. (Check)
2. Get out of debt. (Check)
3. Learn as much as possible about relationship with God. (Check)
4. He will use me.
5. I won’t be on this job that much longer. (?)

It’s that last one that has me stumped. Is my work for Him at this job done? Am I free to pursue something else? Like I mentioned before, God doesn’t give you the whole picture. That’s why they call it faith. If I’m really serious about abandoning my life to Him, I guess this is a pretty good time to start. So I’ve started looking around for other jobs and I’m trusting Him with the outcome. He didn’t let me down before, why would He now?

Why Not?

As I sit in my office breathing in the scent of Sweet Pea from my Wallflower, exhausted from 7 weeks of workplace hell, I can’t help thinking about how all this happened.

It started in the spring. Our firm bought out a couple of smaller ones and we took on some major new additions. It’s put a strain on everyone. We’re small ourselves and we’re not equipped to handle this amount. Then we were told we’d have to change our entire way of doing things by converting to a new, harder-to-use, very un-user-friendly program. Add in some serious problems at the top level and you’ve got a recipe for rebellion.

One night, as I was stressing about the situation and thinking about how useless the whole thing was, a train of thought started running through my head. There could actually be a solution to this. I’ve always been a leader and I often get put in leadership positions. I’m also pretty good at mediation. Emotions were running high with everyone and there was so much whispering at the office. The things I was thinking about would open communication and help to reconcile the situation. It would also put me at the center of the fray. After I had hashed it all out in my mind, I thought, “I can’t do that.”

Then God said, “Why not?”

And I didn’t have an answer. At least not a good one. He gave me these leadership and people skills. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that He would want me to use them? Hadn’t He already given me many situations like this to practice on? Hadn’t He already revealed that He was using me at this job for His purpose?

So I stepped into the fray and no, it wasn’t easy. I got pummeled from all sides and it left me drained and wondering if I had done the right thing. But then others started to step up and we had the opportunity to make our concerns heard. They decided to the delay the conversion until we could all consider the consequences. That’s a huge relief going into the autumn. Did it fix everything? No. But it fixed the most immediate problem and brought the other issues to light.

Part of being all in for God is hearing His voice and being brave enough to act when you know it’s Him. He doesn’t give us the entire answer up front. He expects us to recognize the opportunity and step out in faith, trusting He will take care of the outcome.

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Romans 8:31 (NIV)

Why not, indeed.

Why I’m an Accountant

Not because it’s fun. I’ll just put that right out there. I’ve already ranted at length about how the job can suck. So, why, you might ask, do I continue?

Because God told me to. Yep, I said it. That’s the real, truthful answer. I’m an accountant because God wanted me to be. Now, I had no idea about this until just a few months ago. For the last 27 years, God has been preparing me to do this job at this firm. And I had no freaking clue.

Let’s start with college. I worked hard and got the scholarships and got into the good school. I was a smart kid and I thought I had my pick of majors. The trick was finding out what I wanted to do because I could do anything. I was that awesome. That lasted about six weeks. C is for Chemistry in more ways than one, y’all. I didn’t know what to do next so I just kept going with the gen ed. When it came time to declare a major I decided on accounting because it just didn’t suck as much as everything else and I didn’t seem to suck at it.

So I took the courses and got the degree. I also did an internship for two summers. It was really temp work, but I was getting paid so I wasn’t about to complain. Then there was grad school. It was sooooo important that I go to grad school and get the CPA. I’ve explained this part of the story but I’ll reiterate that I was being told CPA or die. So I went. For two months. I came home and immediately got a job as an accountant (not a temp) at the exact firm I had “interned” with. If that’s not divine planning, I don’t know what is.

I realized pretty quickly that flunking out of grad school was not a failure. Far from it actually. It was a huge learning experience. And while I may have had an inkling that it wasn’t the right path for me, I believe God took me there to show me my path. I was having second thoughts just before I left but it was way too late to turn back. I had to go and see and fail. It wasn’t being disobedient to God. I needed that experience. And God’s timing is always perfect. If I had decided in August not to go and asked for a job at my firm, there wouldn’t have been one. They had just fired someone not long before I called to tell them I was leaving grad school and could I please have my temp job back while I look for a real job. That’s how I know I wasn’t disobeying. I was exactly where He wanted me. Sometimes God wants you to make the mistake.

I’ve been on this job for four years and it hasn’t been easy. There have been a lot of low points but God has kept me here because I’m doing something for Him. And if I might be so bold, I think God trusts me to do His work here. God has been leading me to this place for a lot longer than I knew.

When asked formally why I became an accountant, I’d give some BS answer about wanting to provide an important service to people. Little did I know I was actually doing service for something so much greater.