Wednesday, February 28, 2018

#WriterWednesday I Entered A Contest and Lost but It was Cathartic Anyway

I recently entered a writing contest to try to win $500 for my #WorstDateStory.

I lost but found the overall story came out of me like leftover sweat following a good gym session.

Without further ado, you can read the story by clicking the picture below:

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

#WriterRevelations: Adopting a Servant's Mentality

My dear friends, I do hope this post finds you happy and healthy nearly three months into 2018....this new year has been treating me well thus far. Without further ado, it's time I share something new I've learned.

As you all know from the last time I wrote a post, I got a new job. It's such a blessing and I am very grateful to have it but when I first started it, I don't know if it was from the autonomy of my writing/freelance writing career but I was a bit arrogant and self-absorbed when I started my job.

It was something I realized because as soon as the holidays were over, I really took a step back and suddenly felt like the same girl who was insecure and inadequate in the fourth grade who's legs were literally shaking delivering my yearly Tropicana Speech (in Florida grade schools, they require you to give a speech in grades 3-6 in order for you to learn the art of public speaking and speech writing). I was overcome with this intense feeling of "I Can't Do This" and just an overall theme of wanting to quit.

Am I proud of it? Absolutely not. I mean as a writer, I've always felt like I could adapt quickly because I pretend I'm just taking on a role of a new character for a novel, and I'm living their story. Right now that role requires a job of working as a hostess in one of America's most popular breakfast based restaurants.

Once I was overcome with all these feelings, I sought God with my shaky hands and weak knees.

He reminded me that he gives out assignments not based on qualification but as part of the overall process of refining us for our great God-given purpose. It was then that I realized that this job was not about me at all. That I was playing a role and I was working out someone else's story.

God called me there to that particular restaurant at this particular time because he wanted me to light up the dark corners of it until it shown brightly with his glory, honor, and favor.

He would provide the grace and the strength but I would have to trust that he would be doing the job each shift.

So each shift, I pray the night before work: God, give me your favor, your grace, and your strength to not only get through this shift but let them see you in me.

I mean, it's nice to have a small paycheck but for the most part, I just remember as long as that name badge is displayed above my shirt pocket, my name is no longer Chelsea but Jesus. It is him in me I want to showcase. He lifts the high chairs, he helps the servers bus their tables, he speaks kindly with an irritated customer, he takes the to-go orders.

Yet, sometimes, I forget that I am Jesus for those 6 hours and I get in my own head. For example, this past Sunday. A server I work with came in and spoke unkindly about me to the manager and I heard what they said. I got in my head and got upset because I was thinking with my flesh instead of the spirit, and I thought, How dare they say that about me? Do they know who I am? Then, I mentally checked off a list of why what they said wasn't true. I even started saying something to another server but like the good-hearted person she is, she talked me down and said, "Don't worry about it. I'm sure that's not what they meant."

And just like that, I saw her face but I felt Jesus speaking to me with her words. And I remembered his famous last words hanging from the cross, his body nearly giving up life, and blood dripping from his thorn-crowned head, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.

And I remembered who I work for. Not my manager. Not the company. I am there as a servant of Jesus Christ. And it is him this world desperately needs. And I got myself together, and ended up having a very hell-bent shift but I grinned and bared it. Why? Because Jesus was there with me. 

And the best part was, I was going to clock out 30 minutes early and just as I was heading over to the computer to do so, a little old lady came in to place a to-go order so I had to take it. Yet, she was the sweetest. And she ended up giving me a tip so I felt as though God ended my shift on a positive note despite the persecution I faced early on.

And I take my days off to do the things that make me happy, with the knowledge that I showed up for the assignment the Lord Jesus gave me. As for the hard work of the shift, that's all him. I am owed no credit. Anytime the servers or my manager tells me I did a great job, I just smile and thank them, then look up and whisper, Thank you Jesus.

Lastly, this was my unconventional Valentine's Day post about how God's love can empower you to do anything even when you are dead set on thinking you cannot. And, an even better reminder of the truest nature of love is that it is unconditional, quick to forgive, and is always ready to lay down it's life for the sake of his or her friends.

Yet, one thing I'm embracing this Valentine's Day is how much I've learned to love myself by seeing myself through God's eyes and thanking him for all forms of love in my life even though romance still hasn't happened yet. (I still believe it will. With God, ALL THINGS are possible!)

And my own picture inspired the following micropoem I wrote. I call it Angel In Red.

God asked me to write this post with that in mind, to remind you that he loves you enough to give you the ability to overcome the obstacles, the challenges, the persecution, the hateful comments, the mundane parts of life, and allow his love to make the world around you to become vibrant with his beautiful lovingkindness and relentless mercy.

Until next time, remember:

With Christ-Like Love and Confidence,