The Desires of the Heart

I recently moved back to my home town about a month ago. Before moving home, I had worked in a community mental health agency for 8 months. It was my first job after graduate school and I learned so much from it.

Within about 3 months of working there I had this feeling that community mental health work just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t my passion. I could do my job well, but it was very draining work and took an emotional toll on me.

I learned so much from working in mental health, but I learned more because I was working in a setting that I didn’t feel called to:

1. You can do good work somewhere even if your heart isn’t in it.

I could do my job well, but it wasn’t nearly as fulfilling for me as it was for some of my coworkers. I remember one of my coworkers who said, “I love this work so much. I drive home everyday with a huge smile on my face.” And I said, “Are you being sarcastic right now because I can’t tell?” The point is that person put their heart into what they were doing because it was their passion and purpose in life. I did my job and drove home happy knowing that I had given a good day’s work for a decent day’s pay. Then I cranked up the Led Zeppelin and rolled my windows down dreaming of finding my passion.

2. Sometimes you have to “put in your time” to get a job you’re passionate about.

Coming out of graduate school, I had zero experience in social work besides internships. As a new graduate with mounds of debt and itching to use my degree I had to take a job to build my skill set and resume. I learned so much about assessing and diagnosing patients, but I could tell that my heart wasn’t in it. If I would have tried to “hold out” for a job that I really wanted I may have never gotten employed. And besides, at that point I didn’t know what I really wanted. Don’t give up on your dream job, but sometimes you have to take a detour.

3. Take chances and have faith.

My mom is actually the one who told me about the job here in my hometown. She encouraged commanded me to apply “now” so I did. The funny thing is that my mom also set me up to apply for another job which I worked throughout college.  Daniel and I had been wanting to move back to our hometown, but we weren’t getting any job leads. After waiting and praying for 6 months, he finally got a great opportunity so we moved back hoping and trusting God that I would find a job. And that job that my mom told me to apply for is the one I got. It’s a non profit job and it’s serving people who have ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease. The same disease that my Grandpa died with 2 months ago.

God works in mysterious ways. Mysterious mostly because we don’t know His plan. Works is the second most important word in that sentence. God is first. God works.

God uses the desires of our heart to accomplish His plan in our life. When I found out I got this job, there was more than happiness that I felt at the prospect of getting a paycheck. I felt peace. Peace that God has truly blessed and granted this desire of my heart.

“Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” -St. Augustine

Linking up with Blessed is She for this week’s theme: Heart.


Icing on the cake

As much as I’ve always loved reading blogs, I just recently started ‘attempting’ to post on my blog more regularly.  I was saying to Daniel the other day that I love reading blogs much more than I love writing on my own…Alas, I motivate myself to write because I want to have these memories of our mundane amazing journey together.  It’s just icing on the cake that even one person would be interested in what I’m writing.  Thank you, Noony, for the Liebster Award nomination. I’m humbled that anyone even reads this stuff! As part of the Liebster nomination I’ll be answering a few questions:

Why did you start your blog?

I started Stickyriceandketchup to keep up with ordinary memories from this journey called life since I recently got married.  I want this blog to be a public journal of Daniel’s and my life together chronicling the ordinary and fun events.

Favorite cuisine?

I love lots of “cuisines,” but I’d have to say my favorite is Italian. I love thin, brick-oven type pizza and greasy pizza, spaghetti, and wine so–Italian it is!

Drinks or desserts?

Definitely drinks! I’ll take a MaiTai or pretty much any concoction of fruit juices and rum over dessert most days.

If you could only watch one TV show for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Probably Big Bang Theory. I never get tired of the hilarious quirks of each character–especially Raj and Sheldon.

What is your favorite meal to cook?

One of my favorite meals to cook is a good-ol’ steak, red potatoes, and asparagus. Keep it simple 🙂

What is your favorite book?

I love some good non-fiction. For a more intellectual read, I like C.S. Lewis’ The Weight of Glory essays (also The Screwtape Letters). I recently read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.

Have you ever been out of the country?

I have been out of the country several times, but never left this continent. I’ve been to Mexico (Cancun, Playa Del Carmen) and Canada (Vancouver, Montreal).

What was your first post on your blog?

My first post was How Running is Benefitting my Prayer Life.… which reminds me that I should pray more!

Which of your childhood memories is the prettiest one?

This is a tough question. When I was younger we took many family vacations. I’ve always loved the beach so I’ll have to go with Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.  The beach is the bluest and the sand is the whitest…by far one of the most beautiful beaches!

Which incident has touched your life the most?

By sheer providence I interned at a Catholic Charities agency in the Midwest the summer before I graduated with my Bachelor’s. I had always been interested in refugee work, but had never been afforded the opportunity to experience refugee services firsthand. The summer of 2011 I interned with Refugee and Migrant Services and was able to be at the airport when a family was reunited after three years of being apart.  I was also able to go on several home visits with familes who had been resettled from Burma and the Congo.  Because of this experience, my whole life trajectory shifted and I am now exactly one month away from graduating with my Master’s in Social Work.

P.S. As if you couldn’t tell, I just learned read how to use links in-text so I’m practicing. Image