I often get caught in a mindset that if I don’t have excess money then I can’t afford to do anything fun. But there are plenty of enjoyable things that are free, it just takes finding out what they are, and sometimes a bit of creativity and pre-planning.
A number of years ago a friend loaned me her copy of Henri Nouwen’s the Return of the Prodigal Son. It, along with a few other great books I read around the same time, opened my eyes to the depth of relationship that is possible with God. It also addressed how my deepest insecurities often distract me from that deep relationship I simultaneously long for yet am afraid of. In The Return of the Prodigal Son, Nouwen shares insights from years of study and thoughtful reflection (his own, his friends’, and fellow scholars’) on the familiar parable through the lens of Rembrandt’s famous painting.
Back when I was desperately searching for work, I was neither very efficient nor effective at first. My generic resume didn’t really sell me very well for each particular job I applied to, so I rewrote it for every single one. That, on top of writing unique cover letters for each job application, was taking too long, discouraging me, and not getting me any results. There had to be a middle ground between 1 overly-generic resume and 25 overly-specific ones.
There was! At first, it was to make two differently-themed resumes: one for office work (what I really wanted), and one for general labor (my back-up option). The office resume highlighted my work with filing systems and computer programs; the labor resume highlighted my ability to work long hours, to keep things clean and organized. Of course there was overlap, but I took the skills off that were irrelevant to the theme of the job I’d be applying to with each type of resume.
From there my office-themed resume expanded to a few different sub categories: one that emphasized working at a university, one that emphasized my background in fundraising, one that emphasized my experience putting on events and programs. I could see myself in any of these kinds of office jobs.
Once I had 5 or 6 themed resumes, I found it much easier to apply for various jobs. Instead of fussing over an entirely new resume every time, I could just focus on creating good letters of introduction (i.e. cover letters) to sell myself, and just attach an already-completed but relevant-to-the-job-at-hand resume. Way less time-consuming, less stressful, more effective.
Feel free to use this tip to get yourself organized in your own job search! And good luck!
In the early stages of our relationship, my husband and I knew the chances of it resulting in marriage were a long shot. We were very different, lived on two separate continents, and didn’t have enough money to bridge the gap very often. The limited amount of time we had in person was rushed and jam-packed with experiences, without the ability to see each other in normal, everyday kind of life.
But there was something about this man that, despite the challenges, kept me riveted to my computer screen on Skype. So much so that I married him the 3rd time we got to be together on the same continent (for a more spiritual version of the story, click here).
I knew—absolutely knew—that this was the man for me. But lots of people get some version of cold feet before heading down the aisle, and I was not an exception. Annoying little contradictions crept periodically into my mind, things like “we don’t have enough in common” and “what if I’m making the biggest mistake of my life?” My confusion and frustration about all the mixed messages I was hearing regarding my future often led me to tears.
I love trees. They speak to me metaphorically, providing significant analogies and life lessons about growth and beauty and provision and purpose. I can sit for an hour pondering my life (a form of meditation) in the vicinity of trees, and I’ll almost always walk away with new insights.
I’m also drawn to Bible verses that refer to trees and plants as a symbol for a person’s healthiness and vitality, or lack thereof. Psalm 1:3 is a prime example of this. Referring to those who meditate on God’s word, it says, “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not whither. Whatever they do prospers” (New International Version, 2011).
I’m trying to remove the word “should” from my vocabulary. Or at least, to drastically reduce its usage. Should is a shaming word. It says, “You don’t have to, and you don’t want to (because if you did you would have done it already), but somebody else (to or for whom you are not responsible) thinks you ought to.”
When I began my blog a year ago, I decided to put in place some guiding principles to keep me in line with its vision and purpose (steps toward a thriving, flourishing life), as well as to keep me honest with myself and my readers. Internet etiquette is different for everyone since we all have different expectations of what’s appropriate and beneficial to “put out there,” and it’s so easy to get swayed by other people’s convictions of what your blog should be. Instead of taking on what someone else found appropriate, I put together my own set of rules for my writing. Here is what they were:
This book was given to me by a friend at my bachelorette party. She called it a “classic” although it had only been published in 2003 and I’d never heard of it before. But the more I read, the more I could see how The Gift of Sex could easily become one of those “classic” books that get gifted at bachelorette parties, much like What to Expect When You’re Expecting being a staple at baby showers.
Rarely does the wrong usage of the words “there”, “their”, and “they’re” pass my eye unnoticed. I learned the proper spellings of these homophones (among others) in middle school, and I prided myself on being able to use them correctly. I was genuinely confused that others couldn’t get them straight, and I found camaraderie with other Grammar Nazis who shared my passion for the proper spelling of such commonly used and confused words.
I hate credit card debt. Nothing good comes from it, and I have tons of regret whenever I dig myself into a hole. For every dollar of debt I’ve added to my credit card, and for every dollar of interest laid on top of that, I am throwing money down the drain, and I can think of many other things I’d rather put those dollars toward than the decisions I regret making in the past. Imagine what I could buy now (or save toward) if the $500 I have budgeted for my credit card payments could be used for something else! Like being able to visit my long-distance family and friends for the holidays, or to save toward a down payment on a house.