Thursday, January 28, 2010

thursday thoughts

thursdays are odd days. it's not the middle of the week and yet not the end either. i always get prematurely excited and think it's friday already.

i heard something to this effect the other day: perfection is what i can do in my own strength. (and it's really a skewed perfection. not really perfection at all.) perseverance is what i can do through His strength.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into
this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of
God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that
suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our
hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Romans 5:1-5


thursday means that small group is tonight. i'm enjoying getting to know the other ladies. each of us are journeying through this newly-married and/or new parents stage. it can be a rough & yet beautiful time of life.

there is a lovely thing about snow in our apartment complex: it makes the speed bumps less bumpy. and, speaking of snow, i think it's time for some more. an inch here, inch there is driving me nuts. i want 6 inches (or more) please! all at once! maybe we need to move further north.

i've been reading in Job....it's been awhile since i've read it and i am again amazed at his faith, honesty, and vulnerability. he remained true and did not curse God in the midst of suffering and tragedy. we do not understand God's ways & purposes and yet we do know of His faithfulness, grace, mercy, hope and joy. so many crazy things happening in my life right now and in the past few months. thank goodness for the solid ground that is Jesus. He is truly my solid Rock.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Remembering Our Reception

Our wedding reception was one big party. Not too long (2 hours). Not too many extra things to do (only cutting the cake, toasts, and dance with each other & parents). Just like we wanted it. I was completely exhausted by the end and ready to sit down . . . but it was an amazing time with friends and family. The perfect way to end our marriage celebration.
















































































































Monday, January 18, 2010

Strategies of an Assistant

I've been working as an assistant since my junior year of high school (almost 8 years ago). Here are a few strategies that I've picked up along the way . . .
  • Respond to e-mails within a few hours (or preferably within a few minutes), even if it's only with a "I got your e-mail and I'm working on it!" This way others are assured that their request is important to you and they know that you are top of your assistant-game.
  • Make lists, lists of lists, and a master list of lists. In other words: make lots of lists! Carry a pad of paper to meetings so you can jot down things you need to do. Lists are a life-saver when you have a million little tasks (and people!) calling your name.
  • Learn how to prioritize your time. You're probably only going to get 5-8 things done today, so pick out the most important tasks and tackle them instead of only getting halfway done on 15 tasks. (This helps when you have a list! see previous point)
  • Use the Task feature in Outlook. Set up reminders for everything: water the boss' plant, make dinner reservations, remind the boss of such-and-such on a certain day, Monday morning tasks, turn in time card, etc. It's great for daily, weekly or monthly tasks. The possibilities are endless.
  • Learn to lead up. If your boss gives you something to do, then consider it your responsibility. Most likely he will not remember it again. Take the initiative to make sure the task is completed on time and in a satisfactory manner. And if it involves reminding the boss about something and/or making sure he completes his end of the bargain, that's your job, too. (Thus the "leading up" - in essence, you are leading your boss.)
  • Organize all of your Outlook e-mails into folders by subject (Travel, Expenses, Scheduling) or by organization. Delete unnecessary e-mails and use the saved e-mails as a resource. Keep your Inbox e-mails to a minimum - only current or ongoing tasks allowed.
  • Learn to say "I can't do that right now." Sometimes it will not be humanly possible to complete everything asked of you, so you need to be ready to tell them so - very respectfully, of course. Be prepared to give details about what is on your plate, to tell how much time is available/needed, and to ask for help to prioritize. (A side note: when a task is given to you, be sure to ask about the time frame and deadline for completion.)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow Thoughts

It's finally snowing here in Indy . . . a real snow. I prepared myself accordingly this morning: wore my cropped pants & boots (#1 pet peeve: wet pants or socks or feet), put my hair in a ponytail (just throwing that in there), left a good half hour early (and was only 7 minutes late to work - even with only going 20 mph on the highway), and drove the "jeep" with 4wd (as I lovingly call the Pathfinder - just to bother Bryce). I hope we get at least 5 inches . . . or maybe 6. That would make me really happy. This is why I like winter.

And it brings back all sorts of winter & snow memories. Layering up as kids and playing in the snow for what seemed like hours. Sledding at 11 p.m. with the Schenkes and Nelson - and not sledding "normally" by any means. Skiing for the first time last January. Making snow angels and dancing in the snow with college roommates & friends. Fun snow times indeed. I like snow.

"Whiter than snow. Whiter than snow. Now wash me and I will be whiter than snow."

I spent some time confessing last night . . . my pride, vanity, self-centeredness. And then I woke up this morning to everything covered in white . . . and still being covered! It gave new meaning to the phrase: "Your mercies are new every morning." His mercy covers me like snow - completely, making me white & new again. Perhaps a snow-filled morning was what Isaiah had in mind when he penned that verse . . . probably not since he's from the Middle East but you never know.

Covered by His mercy,
Janalexis