Awe-titude (Where Awe and Gratitude Merge!)
I'm going to seminary! The word "excited" doesn't even begin to explain what I think about this. All words seem inadequate. While journaling recently, the coined word "Awe-titude" popped into my mind. It's where AWE and GRATITUDE merge. That's how I feel.
Classes at Phoenix Seminary start next week. My life-long dream is coming true! Am I exaggerating about that "life-long dream" thing? Well, only a little bit. I didn't come out of the womb longing to go to seminary. Yet the dream has been hiding in my heart for many decades.
Here's how it happened--My Journey to Seminary in Bullet Points:
At the end of 2012, I sensed God by His Spirit whispering to me words that I found shocking. "Joan, ENOUGH! It is enough. You've done enough. I'm not asking for more." (For a continuing-to-recover perfectionist and workaholic, this was nearly unbelievable news! Actually, it still causes a tug of war within me.)
Then to assure me that I wasn't going to spend the rest of my days in a rocking chair knitting scarves, God encouraged me with this message: "Joan, the rest will be icing, so sweet. If you go to seminary, it will take a miracle."
And here I am at the beginning of 2014: living out the miracle. I'm going to seminary! My life-long dream. 54 years after that 12 year-old YES prayer to God. And Richard is part of my dream come true. He's delighted for me. See why I'm feeling such "awe-titude"?
Please join me in the celebration. When have you experienced a kind of "AWE-TITUDE" in your life? I'd love to hear. Leave me a comment and tell me what you're thinking.
Maybe you’re tired of your inner “shoulda-woulda-coulda” voice, but you’d never call yourself a perfectionist because you tend to procrastinate. Guess what? Perfectionism (trying too hard to make it just right) and procrastination (deciding to do something and then not doing it) are like first cousins who pretend they aren’t related.
As a procrastinating perfectionist, you may not finish a job application, take that vacation, or organize your closet. You may avoid creating new friendships, singing in the choir, or calling a counselor, because you’re afraid of making a mistake, being laughed at, failing others—or yourself. Delaying decisions becomes a habit. Although it may seem like a laid-back approach to life, it’s often painful and limiting.
You can change your procrastinating tendencies. Just starting is a step out of the procrastination trap.
1. Instead of expecting to be the best (employee, parent, musician, you fill in the blank ________) in comparison to everyone else, commit to become the best version of yourself.
2. Limit all-or-nothing thinking. Choose your favorite color (deep red, ocean blue, sunshine yellow?) and the next time you feel stuck and start to procrastinate, brainstorm your options in that color instead of mere black and white. You do have choices.
3. When you’re tempted to procrastinate and postpone another task because it seems too hard or time-consuming, set the timer for 20 minutes. When the alarm sounds you can walk away or re-set for another 20.
4. Find a caring accountability partner who’ll listen to your frustrations without judging or trying to fix you and your procrastinating ways and then who will celebrate with you when you succeed.
5. Stand up to the shoulda-woulda-coulda tyrant in your head. Tell him to sit down and hush because you can make progress without him!
Just as you develop physical muscle by consistently exercising your body, you can develop mental/emotional muscle by consistently practicing these and other anti-procrastination exercises. Freedom, here you come.
I’m tired. Maybe you are, also. Yet God isn’t tired.
He never feels too exhausted to paint His sky brilliant blue or toss white clouds in for contrast. Every day He creates a majestic creative masterpiece in the Colorado mountains whether I’m there or not. (And I’m not often, since I live in the entirely different beauty of the Arizonan desert). But last weekend I breathed, walked, prayed, discovered, and interacted in the crisp (29-32 degrees) clear mountain air. Remember when I mentioned that I was flying to a Life Coaching Summit in Breckenridge, CO?
Here’s what I saw at the trail head:
[Below] And while standing amazed at Hoosier Pass-The Continental Divide (11,600 miles high.) I had on 7 layers to keep warm!
[Below] And while walking in the marsh behind the cabin that housed all fifteen of us with room to spare. (Janai, that’s you in the window!) Notice the moon?
[Below] With my tribe of Life Coaches/Transformational Workers (Janai, Joan, Dawnita, Sarah)
How my heart has expanded to love these women who I never knew until 18 months ago!
[Below] Yes, it snowed! (And while 90 degrees back home!) I’ve always loved the combination of white-tipped mountains and pine trees drizzled like snow-cones. Tall evergreens make me feel appropriately small AND loved by the BIG God who makes them.
And then just because God knows how much I LOVE flowers, He sent one to greet me in Denver. Thanks, Dawnita, for holding it still in the fierce wind. It was almost colder in Denver than in Breckenridege!)
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.