Thursday, August 25, 2011

Evaluation Time

Yesterday as I checked my mailbox at work, I saw a packet with a note on it. It was hard to believe a year has gone by since I came to work there permanently, and it is already time for my annual evaluation. I flipped through my blank "self eval" and read all of the questions as well as the scoring system. As with most evaluations I will fill out how I think I have done in these areas, then my manager will fill out how she thinks I have done, and where I need improvement, and so on and so forth. I have a great boss, and it's not this evaluation that bothers me at all. As a matter of fact I slipped off into a trance as my mind took me back to other evaluations in my past.

Have you ever thought you were doing an awesome job? Coming in early, staying late, offering to help with things, mentoring some, etc, etc.? I remember in so many situations during my days in the hospital in Texas-every time someone called in, I would go in and cover, I always finished my work on time, then would go help someone else who was not done with theirs, did not call in sick for over three years...I was doing my very best. Then when I sat down for my eval I was told of a time when I said something that offended someone. I was shown a charting sheet where I missed writing the date on something. Two or three other things out of an entire year of working so hard that were very insignificant and petty kept me from getting a good evaluation. I deserved better!

Another time when I was in management the same thing happened. I worked the job that now at least two people are doing with limited training. I worked so hard. It took away from my family, my life, my volunteering. I worked at home late into the night and on the weekends. I don't know if I have ever tried so hard in my life. Evaluation time. Epic fail. I was devastated. Hurt. Angry. Then when it was my turn to evaluate the staff that I managed, I, by nature, wanted to see all of the good in them. To encourage them. I realize everyone needs improvement and constructive criticism, however I looked at their overall performance. Not just a bad day here and there. When I sent them for approval, I would always get them back to re-do. "I made it too fluffy" Then, with all of the "mud" I was instructed to put on there, my staff would walk away from their evals feeling the same way I had felt.

Do you see a pattern here?

All of those years, trying to please man. I will never be good enough for man. Disappointed when I did not receive the approval and encouragement from those I sought to impress and have MY name recognized, and not the name of Jesus. I left those jobs for one reason or the other, but I got smart. I didn't stop caring if I did a great job...I will always put forth my best effort. I will always respect my leaders, even if I disagree with them. But what I do does NOT rely on their approval, and for that change in my attitude, I am being blessed.

"But as for You, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good." 2Thes 3:13 NKJV

I will never stop doing good. I am so far from perfect, however my priorities are ohhhh so different now. My great. My God is greater. I will continue to serve Him above man. Always. If this story is the same for you....then "Evaluate Yourself" and see exactly who you are trying to please. God will show you what He has in store for you.

"May He grant you according to your heart's desire, and fulfill all your purpose." Psalm 20:4

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Why NOT Me?

" God is after your heart...not your behavior." These words have been hounding me for over 48 hours. Have you ever faked anything? Have you ever wanted everyone else to believe you were okay, or good, or pure or anything else to the point that you thought you could convince yourself, the ones who know you the best, or even God of it?
I used to love to play dress-up. To pretend that I was something or someone that I wasn't. I loved watching my daughter pick out clothes at yard sales...old prom dresses and gaudy she could dress up like a princess. Our son spent ages 3 through 9 donning a cape every day of his life. We picked up used costumes so he could be a different superhero every day. I used to love to watch him put the large cape on Tim, as he hopped on the back of the wheelchair and they would go as fast as they could so the capes would fly in the wind. As the children have grown, they are realizing that the world is not a fairy tale. They see the world they are growing up in, and as much as I want to protect them and save them from everything that will bring them harm, I am learning to step back and let them learn lessons that are sometime hard to swallow. I know them too well. They cannot hide their pain from me. Anymore than you or I can hide our pain from our Father.
So why do we try? It's usually to make everyone else feel better. Or to pretend you are invincilble. Thinking at some point it will all go away. Personally I pour myself into serving and accomplishments, somehow thinking that by helping others my own pain will be disguised. And it works.
Most of the time.
We will always struggle. If we didn't struggle over one thing it would be another. If we didn't struggle then we would have no reason to seek God. Why do we have to have the answers to all of the questions? Why can't we just trust Him? It's like learning the consequences of not wearing sunscreen. I don't feel like it's hot....I'm in the water! Your children learn after the first sunburn that just because they don't see it taking place, the consequences that come that evening and the next day all point to the signs that they should have trusted you! It's no different for us....we have to trust God that He's got it.
We have to let Him be who He is. And trust that His word is truth. We have to.
God is moving in me to begin a discipleship ministry, to enable believers to be obedient by reaching out to others, mentoring them, and preparing them to do the same. Why me? Why not me? And why not you? I would love for you to pray about being a part of "Awaken." And I welcome the opportunity to come speak to your church or group about discipleship, or a number of other things. I am keeping the speaking events to one or two a month, so if you are interested, you are welcome to email me @
Give others the same grace that you have received. Whether they deserve it or not. Let God be God, and you be obedient. I promise. He will not let you down.