Friday, September 30, 2011

Waiting on Myself

First of all, I realize I need to change the sub heading of this here blog. I'm not middle-aged anymore. If I were (was?) that would mean I'd live to 100 years old. I suppose it's possible. It's just not likely since I spent a lot of time in the sun.

So I need to change that. I've been directionless over the past year, too, and I'd like to change that.

I started up the "success group" with some other agents again. We had our first meeting Tuesday. I'm waiting around right now on their conference call. We are going to conference in, say, "Ready, Set, Go" and then make phone calls to anyone we know who is alive and breathing. Just a little chat to ask for a referral.. Then an hour later, we'll conference in to see if anyone got an appointment. Since our last group met, one gal changed brokers. She invited a new gal from an entirely different broker. Plus, we got a new gal from my broker. So the group is different now with agents joining. The big change, of course: my close friend isn't there anymore because she passed away in March.

I had tried the success group in May after my friend passed away, but I couldn't get into it. I was grieving. My grief-driven thoughts back in May went like this:

My friend who passed away had a goal with our group. She wanted to sell own home which had been on the market for awhile. Though gorgeous it overlooked a noisy freeway. My friend wanted to sell that big house and buy a beautiful, brand new luxury condo. She attributed to me her success in reaching her goal. She took my advice and put a huge photo of the new condo on her car key chain. Eevery time she started her car she looked at a photo of the luxury condo. This caused her to "focus" on that goal. She successfully sold the house (which was like a miracle) and moved into her new condo. I remember her hugging herself, saying, "Oh, I love it! I love my new condo!"

Then, a month after she moved in she got sick, had surgery, and passed away.

Because of these series of events, I had a hard time setting any goals. My grief over losing someone I really liked and enjoyed professionally and spiritually clouded my thoughts about success and goals. I just could not move into success thinking. I kept pondering how vain it is to have goals. Life is vain. Why try? I kept thinking how she only got to enjoy her beautiful success for only one month. You need to know that my friend was not greedy or materialistic. She loved Jesus with all her heart and was incredibly generous and loving toward others.

I know a lot of my aversion to goal setting and getting into success mode was influenced by the grief. Intellectually I knew this, so I tried to participate in the success group for mutual motivation and support back in May. Yet, I couldn't push through. I did reach out to my sphere of influence and the result was in deed new business, but not at the volume I need in order to make a living. I kept sabotaging myself and spinning my wheels. Being busy without accomplishing anything. Trapped in deals that led no where, and burdened by business expenses. Ads I purchased, mailings, fees for internet sites, all for nada. zip. zero.

I started to speak the Word of God out loud, "forgetting the past I press onward toward the mark." Or, "I can do all things through Christ" Or, "I am a victorious over comer by the word of my testimony." Or, "I'm blessed beyond the curse" and "goodness and mercy follows me" This practice is somewhat amazing. It is much different than silent prayer, and listening prayer. Standing tall, speaking out loud the truth of my situation even though I don't "feel" it shook some life back into me. The truth is I'm a winner. The truth is I'm the head and not the tail. The truth is I have dominion on this earth. Even though I do not feel it, that is the spiritual truth. My whole outlook began to change from self-pity to forward movement. There is something in saying it out loud.

Next came a big boost. I found out if I sold another house by a particular builder, I will get a bonus from the builder. He'll give me a paid trip for 2 to Palm Springs, CA and a good amount of spending money. I printed off an 8x10 photo of the resort in Palm Springs, and the dessert. They have horseback riding, too!! I wrote on the photo, "Sell 1 by September 30th" and placed it on my steering wheel. I really wanted the trip. I prayed about this every day. I'm happy to say I am in deed now in contract on a little condo with the builder. So, as long as the loan is approved by the bank, I'm headed to Palm Springs! I've never been west of Wyoming! I'm excited.

There really is nothing like a little success to foster an attitude of success. The group reminded me Tuesday that our friend got to enjoy her luxurious home and was thrilled with achieving her goal. She wasn't sitting around waiting for her illness to take her. She was living her life and experiencing joy. Even more good news, that condo didn't sit on the market forever when her daughters had to sell it after her death. It sold in two days. God was there blessing the whole thing. Yet, in grief, it doesn't feel like God is on my side. Feelings and reality are two different things.

As I sit here waiting for the conference call I like to imagine my friend in heaven. She is probably checking out the progress on all our mansions as they are being prepared. She is probably thrilled with the real estate in heaven. I imagine her meeting her loved ones with clipboard in hand, and saying, "wait until I show you the selection of mansions we have here in heaven! You're going to love this neighborhood."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cookies

Today I had a surprise at my office. A package of cookies, chocolate pretzels, and brownies. This was from the "sweetest" client, the new owner of darling little house.
I love my job.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

No Darkness At All

This is the message we heard from Jesus and we're telling it to you now:
God is LIGHT, and in HIM there is no darkness... at all! 1 John 1:5


so any dark thoughts, dark attitudes, don't even exist in God at all. So any twinge of bitterness, resentments, aren't existing in God. My heavenly father has only thoughts of LIGHT toward me. Is he ignoring me? Is he withholding from me? These things don't exist in Him ... at all.

This is what I'm meditating on today.

I pray my business today and the work that I do to serve others will be for the glory of God and for His name.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Vacation & Juvenile Court




I've been busy or else staring off into space. I went on a quick trip to Princeton, New Jersey to see Rachael. We stayed in her married-student-housing apartment with her & the son-in-law. Now most people who go on trips want to see special places and do special things. In this instance, I told Rachael that I'd be happy just sticking around the apartment, eating dinner together and watching movies together. Just time together.

So no trip to the bustling city was made, and no scurrying here there and everywhere. Rachael cooked us up some good grub, like enchiladas and lasagna and homemade chicken salad. We went to a farm and picked raspberries! That was fun. We looked at the pony and the goats and the chickens. We sampled some awesome nectarine salsa and bought some to take home.
After our little farm visit, we made a raspberry tart for our desert that evening. It was very yummy. We also went canoeing on an old abandoned canal, which took us under old train tracks and bridges. I also got to see the famous garden that Rachael started in the Spring in the married-student-housing-community-garden. That's her up there with a giant-sized Basil plant. She'll probably make me take this photo down cuz she's in muck boots & no makeup. She is so vain. Seriously.

We ate lunch at a brewery in downtown Princeton, too. And, of course, we walked past Princeton Theological Seminary where Rachael is studying and past Princeton University. Both are wonderfully old, gothic beauties with stained glass windows everywhere. We also drove past Einstein's house and I took a photo of it. (it's a private residence today) We drove past two of Woodrow Wilson's homes and Olin took photos of them. And, we walked around an old, old grave yard and saw some dead people's graves. I was impressed with the grave of the great revivalist John Edwards, who preached in the 1700's a famous sermon called, "Sinners in the Hands of Angry God."
I really enjoyed seeing the church where Rachael will be interning with the youth. It's a really, really old congregation dating back to 1772! I enjoyed their contemporary service, and the sermon was something you'd hear in a Vineyard. Meaning I liked it: it was on the Love of God. You honestly cannot hear enough about the Love of God. God is not mean. He's real. A good sermon brings you back to center. So I was a happy mommy getting to see where Rachael and Kevin will be worshiping and ministering over the next several months.

I had many favorite moments on our trip. One of which was my son, Sam, and Rachael singing a few songs together while Rachael played piano. Music makes life worth living doesn't it?
And Clancy. He makes smile so much.

This morning Sam and Olin and I went down to Juvenile Court as Sam got a ticket going 92 mph in 65 mph. This was a very interesting experience. I wish I could have sat in on all the sessions to see if we got special treatment because we are white, and Sam wore a dress shirt and tie, and we were clean looking. That would be very interesting to see how everyone else was treated as everyone else waiting for their turn with the judge had on jeans, or football jerseys, or girl's wearing clothing too small for their bodies and showing parts that I would not let my child show, especially to appear in court. The judge's decision is somewhat subjective. There isn't a menu of offenses and a corresponding punishment. So, basically he could have had a suspension, (I mean 92 mph people!) along with $150 in court costs, plus 4 whole points on his license. Think of the insurance costs on that! Instead court costs were waived, he was ordered to take traffic school, and thus the 4 points get knocked down to 2 points! No suspension. All I can say is, I think Jesus might have had something to do with the mercy received today. Or was it just, well, .... prejudice?

Justice is supposed to be blind. I hope it is.