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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Three Dog Night

Tonight, I joined my Bible Study gals at Greer Stadium for "Dollar Dog Night," a.k.a. cheap, sub-par hotdogs, meant for consumption while oogling tight baseball bottoms and oh-so-wrong TAR moments. While Sarah, Mandy, and I are waiting on the rest of the gals to join us outside the stadium, we discuss how hungry we are and how much we are looking forward to the hotdogs. Our fascination with the dogs escalates considering the attractive price point. As we discuss all of the hotdogs we are going to eat, I say, "it's going to be a two dog night." Sarah and I look at each other in amusement, and I exclaim, "too bad I'm not hungry enough to make it a three-dog night!"
top: Sarah, Lana, MA
bottom: Rhonda, Molly, Siebe, Mandy

Ironically, it did turn out to be a three dog night. I made a pact with Lana and Siebe that we wouldn't feel guilty about it...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sweet Justice

Several years ago, in the midst of my collegiate career, I decided to coin a phrase in hopes it would infiltrate its way into pop culture. My friends, namely the Menagerie, were unsupportive of my efforts. Not only did they ridicule and laugh at my expense, but they discouraged my originality.

My creation: "oven hot."

They said it would never happen. But they were wrong.

Please click and enlarge the image below. If you'll notice near the bottom center, the phrase "oven hot" is used to describe a heat-resistant makeup bag, sold by noneother than Sephora.

Justice is sweet. I am oven hot. Thankyouverymuch!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Can I have a refill, please?

Despite just walking in the door of my apartment--dropping my gigantic purse, stack of mail, and new job booty in the middle of the living room floor, neglecting to kick off my heels that are painfully grinding into the balls of my feet, and having to go to the bathroom really bad--I went straight to Kip to punch out this post.

I L-O-V-E my new job. And I haven't even officially started *working* yet. Today was my first of two days of HR orientation. They served-up the kool-aid, and I've been drinking myself silly all day long.

I can't wax ecstatic enough about my experience today, from the efficiency and organization, to the benefits package, to the people, to the resources, and on and on. And again, I've not even begun the fun part--the actual job. I am so excited and appreciative to have the opportunity to work for L-Way.

One of my spiritual gifts is faith. In the past, God has used this spiritual gift to present me with "no-brainer-style" opportunities. When I needed something, it came along. And the timing and circumstances were always perfect and worked out beautifully. My first job out of college was at Adtec, offered to me on the Monday-after-the-Friday I moved home for the summer. I had just quit my full time retail job at Linens-N-Things in Murfreesboro, and was facing unemployment and parental supervision. Adtec was the first place I'd ever sent my resume, and it was my first post-college job interview. In addition, the job responsibilities were the same as my major, Public Relations. God provided, and the timing was exceptional.

Most of you know that my most recent job search wasn't as smooth. In fact, for the balance of time that I've known many of my "Franklin Friends," I've been looking for a new job: Amanda, Emily, Rhonda, Lana, Sarah, Mandy, Natalie, Katie, Amy, Siebe, and many more of you. Sarah jokes that my job search is one of the first things she remembers when she thinks about when we met. For the past two years, my introductory conversations usually began with, "I'm Mary Anna Brown. It's nice to meet you. I do PR for a technology company in Nashville called Adtec--but I'm currently seeking alternative employment. *laugh-laugh-chuckle-chuckle*"

Much of my time and thoughts were spent in looking for a new job, networking, praying, crying, whining, complaining, attempts at optimism, and feelings of apathy. I always knew that God would provide in due time, but after awhile, I began to think of my job search as a facet of "who I am," rather than "what I do." Not only did I become numb to the whole process, but I began to think of it as a reflection of my skills and talents, and as a task I had failed to accomplish.

Throughout the journey, several doors were opened for me. I went on numerous interviews and was even offered a job that I ultimately turned down after a tulmultuous decision-making process. At the time, the job offer was a glimmer of light in my fruitless search, but sold me short in salary and responsibility. I knew I was capable of more, worth more, but would I dare to be picky when I had been searching (and whining to my friends and family) for so long?

Ultimately, I didn't take that job. I questioned why God would open a door that wasn't the door He wanted me to walk through, and I didn't really have my answer until today. As I said before, faith is one of my spiritual gifts--and God was building on top of His already established "faith foundation" in my soul. No doubt, I had faith that God would provide me with a job--but I didn't understand why it wasn't easy like before. My spiritual immaturity wanted God to drop a new job out of the sky, into my lap, easily eliminating any sort of inconvenience or obstacle.

Today, I realized that God wanted me to practice discernment with my faith. The job offer forced me to step out of my comfort zone and decline the easy way out. It wasn't enough to be safe in my faith. While I felt at peace about turning down the position, I didn't know if there would be something else out there for me. The unsettlement around this job offer was an impetus to completely surrender my comfortability to God, and He issued a challenge to my faith in order for it to grow. I'm learning that faith doesn't mean that my wants and desires are guaranteed--but it does mean that God will supply all of my needs in His perfect way. And it's a bonus when my met needs administer to my wants and desires. God's a pretty cool guy for gently aligning my heart with His plan.

Hebrews 11 of God's Word is widely known as the "faith chapter." Verse by verse, the different displays of faith by Godly men and women are recorded. If I were to add a verse to this chapter about myself, it might go something like this:

"By faith, Mary Anna, when her job search looked bleak, continued to trust with assurance and expectation of the Lord's uniquely designed and intricately timed plan for her life."

Make no mistake, my new job at L-way will be accompanied by good days and bad days, ups and downs. But I know now why God tempered my faith. He is refining my soul like silver, and I am completely humbled and honored by His love.

"This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.' "
Zechariah 13:9

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Office at the office

Today is my last day at the office. To celebrate, I am going to watch an episode of "The Office." I missed it last night, because Lana and I were consuming an innumerous amount of cheese at the wine tasting hosted by my apartment complex. She said that.

Let the show commence!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, The King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, For He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, Now to His temple draw near,
Join me in glad adoration!

Praise to the Lord, Who doth prosper Thy work and defend thee,
Surely His goodness and mercy Here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

It's been a long time coming (kinda like this post), but I'm pleased to say that I finally have a new job. I've been hired at Lifeway's corporate headquarters for a marketing and event planning position, working with their retail stores. I'm still pinching myself in disbelief. My first day is Wednesday of next week, and I could not be more excited.

In other news, I gained a future sister-in-law last Friday afternoon. Ben and Brittany are finally engaged. I'm so proud of them both, and seeing how God worked to bring them together gives me confidence that He will someday bring me a husband of my very own.

And there's more... The lady I mentor at the CWJC, Gladys, graduated from the program on Saturday afternoon. Not only does she have her GED in hand, but she began classes for a Medical Assistant training program yesterday. My year-and-a-half long friendship with her has been an incredible blessing in my life, and my participation in this ministry was the single most rewarding thing I've done in a long time. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for her next. And now that Gladys has completed the program, I'll be matched up with a new "merea" and start the process again.

"Lord you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance." Psalm 16:5-6

"For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance." Psalm 66:10-12

"May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us--yes, establish the work of our hands." Psalm 90:17

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