Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What It Takes to Build a Resume


I’m standing in the lobby of a Mexican restaurant, on the phone with my brother-in-law. My sister has invited me to meet them for dinner and I'm the first to arrive.

“See if you can get one of the round booths in the corner of the bar so we can watch the games on TV,” he instructs. “If they’re already taken, you’ll have to hover nearby and wait for them to finish. As soon as they get up, grab the table.”

I hang up, hoping I can successfully execute the assignment I've just received for Project Ultimate Dinner Table. My brother-in-law works in sales and being bold and assertive are second nature for him. He thrives on it.  

I hate making a spectacle of myself. I already feel my face turning crimson because I know I'm not the right girl for this job.

I consult the hostess, but she confirms what my brother-in-law just told me. “Oh, those are the most popular tables so you just have to be really aggressive,” she says. 

She points to a nearby empty table. “Sit here and shark it out if you’d like.”


Shark it out? That must be restaurant-biz lingo. I’m thinking that this is a lot of work for chips and salsa. 

I settle myself in a chair and a voice behind me says, “Feel free to sit here but this is my table.” A man sets down his basket of chips and sits across from me.

I’m mortified and apologize profusely, silently blaming my brother-in-law for making me look ridiculous.

The man says he’s waiting for his girlfriend who hasn't arrived yet, and he can’t wait to see her reaction when she sees him sitting with me. 

I laugh a little nervously {hoping she’s not the violent type} as we chat for a few minutes, then turn to our phones.


If I had wanted to work on feeling less self-conscious and awkward, then this was the perfect {painful} exercise to build my social resume. 

If I’m honest, this might be what I need but I don’t really want to learn it this way.

I think building a resume, for the mind or the heart, might be a similar training experience.

Either way, isn't it easier to keep the fine-tuning and construction work under wraps and out of sight until it looks a little less messy and a lot more accomplished? 

When the work of the heart and soul is done in the dark, I can welcome it, but when it's put on display with a "please excuse the dust" sign adorning it, I cringe.


It wasn’t all that long ago that God took a look at my life’s resume and offered me a new position on my journey with him. One that was closer, deeper, nearer. 

To him.

In this new place he offered me greater access to him {and really, he offers that all along but I just didn't recognize it} and he asked me to spend more time with him, learning this new role.

I’d always known I was a child of God, a daughter of the king, but did I know him as my bridegroom, my warrior, my healer, my restorer, my friend? 

Did I know how much he loved me, fought for me, cared for me and wanted my company?


As I logged months and now years in this training-ground, I slowly discovered that as I wanted more of God, he wanted more of me. 

I had some faith skills to hone, some strengths to sharpen, some character traits to polish.

Maybe it’s easier to live with less hope to sidestep disappointment, but a cool heart is numb. 

It might save time to run through a prayer list like a check list, but the answers are overlooked and unrecognized.

It could take less effort to give up when God moves slowly, but faith without perseverance is weak. 

Could it be that in these places of training that are sometimes a desert, sometimes a wilderness, and sometimes a ruined wasteland, there emerges a doorway of hope in the clearing, where God waits to promote us to the next place of goodness he has for us?
Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me, find life and receive favor from the Lord.  Proverbs 8:34-35


Finally, after what seemed like a never-ending wait, my sister, brother-in-law and the kids arrive at the restaurant, and I make the introductions as we all join the man at whose table I'm seated. 

Turns out my new friend is from my hometown of Pittsburgh and we all of a sudden had plenty to talk about.  

Our corner booth suddenly vacated and my brother-in-law cheerfully paid for my dinner for all my hard work of capturing the table. 

A few weeks later my sister told me they were at the Mexican restaurant again and my brother-in-law asked why she didn’t invite me.

My sister knows I’d rather leave that table-hunting job to somebody with a far more experienced resume than I have.



I'm joining my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart. Join me there for more posts from my blogger friends!


21 comments:

  1. oh my gosh, too funny! And I totally agree- I would much rather fly under the radar than "shark it out" (though I do love watching that Shark Tank show...) I'm still sometimes struggling with my "resume" (in my everyday life and my spiritual life...!) I wonder if I look good on paper, but ruin my chances when I stumble through the dreaded interview question of, "what's your biggest weakness??" Either way, I know God is our best reference. And there is always a meaning for the mess so to speak... if we're willing to LOOK for it! So blessed that I get to listen, watch and wait along with you my friend. ♥ (and now I'm really craving Mexican food for dinner...!)

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    1. Heather,
      That question of the greatest weakness always trips me up too! You would think they'd eliminate it with all the creative ways we can answer it that tells them much of nothing at all! ha! But I LOVE this -- God is our best reference -- yes! And maybe we'll have to head out for Mexican when you make your way down south! :)

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  2. You are brave, Valerie. :) I wouldn't like that job of "sharking it out" either. I'd just as soon be a mouse in the corner than draw attention to myself. :) This especially moved me - "Could it be that in these places of training that are sometimes a desert, sometimes a wilderness, and sometimes a ruined wasteland, there emerges a doorway of hope in the clearing, where God waits to promote us to the next place of goodness he has for us?" I love that Proverbs verse. May we watch for and wait at His doorways of hope! Thank you for this encouragement today. Hugs!

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    1. Trudy,
      I actually considered leaving the restaurant but then I'd have to face my brother-in-law as a table-sharking failure! ha! You know, I'd never noticed those verses in Proverbs before I stumbled across them for this week's post and they're just stunning, aren't they? And I love how you said we'll be watching and waiting at His doorways of hope for us! I'm going to tuck that away and think about it all weekend -- lovely! xo xo

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  3. Never heard the term, "Shark-it-out!" Perfect description though for your table project. Love visiting your beautiful blog again. I can so relate to feeling awkward! I do it nearly every day:)

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    1. Ginger,
      Phew-- I thought I wasn't hip with today's terminology -- thank goodness you've never heard of sharking a table either! And I heartily join in feeling awkward on a daily basis -- I think we are kindreds! But somehow I'm quite sure someone as lovely as you are can't be awkward!

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  4. I'm not an aggressive person either, but I could be for some chips and queso! ;)

    I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to give up when God moves slowly. Too many. I've taken his slow response as a no response and well. did what Sara did, took matters into my own hands. I'm so glad I've learned some hard lessons. I'm more apt to wait now.

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    1. Alecia,
      What won't we do for chips?? And it's so true isn't it, that at times God moves so excruciatingly slowly, yet we know there's a purpose? Perseverance is something I'm learning and I'm thinking it's a skill you never stop needing! Always love having you here!

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  5. Valerie- this is very beautiful and speaks to my heart.- esp. this part-"I’d always known I was a child of God, a daughter of the king, but did I know him as my bridegroom, my warrior, my healer, my restorer, my friend?

    Did I know how much he loved me, fought for me, cared for me and wanted my company?"

    so so good to think about tonight! Thank you so much for reminding me of how much he loves me -nxox

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    1. Hi Susie,
      Experiencing new facets of God is what he introduced me to and what I'm eager to experience in every nuance of my life. It's amazing to consider that the God of the universe wants to be with us -- but I know it's true! {I missed a post from you this week!}

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    2. Yes it amazing!! Its good that the more we are with him the more we want of him! I was sad not to be able to post this week-so much going on hard to quiet my heart enough to write :( Thanks for missing one ! hope you have a beautiful weekend! :)

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  6. I love this! I've often described the last few years of my journey as a time God's been at work rewriting my resume. He's been showing me skills He wants to reuse in a different way and skills I won't need as much anymore. He's also been helping me develop new skills and experiences. Love hearing someone else describe a similar process. Always love your photos, too!!

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    1. Kathryn,
      We are on a similar journey! I find it hard at times to articulate {maybe because it's still a bit of a mystery to me too} but so glad to hear we are kindreds in our God-experiences!

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  7. 'shark it out,' huh? I'm with you, Valerie ... those are assignment I just hate. It goes against every introverted bone in my body.

    I would much rather sidle up to one of those outdoor cafes and claim an available seat with no fanfare. And it would be way fun to do lunch with you there. I'll let you order for us both, since you've got such a great palate.

    And I'd be more than pleased to pick up the tab after we savor a luscious meal and some deep conversation together ...

    ;-}

    Hugs.

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    1. Linda,
      Yes -- live life with little fanfare would actually be my motto {if I had one!} but I can only hope that maybe someday we will have the delight of lunching together -- or at least grabbing a basket of chips and salsa! :)

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  8. Instead of mariachis you were hearing the Jaws theme song! Glad you got your chips and salsa though!

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    1. Yes, I'll do just about anything for chips and salsa! :)

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  9. Shark it out. I'm dying here! I hate those situations too! Did the guy's date ever show up? :)

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    1. Sarah,
      Yes, she did! But long after we were seated . . . .

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  10. Valerie,

    I loved your post and I resonated with what you wrote...This: "When the work of the heart and soul is done in the dark, I can welcome it, but when it's put on display with a "please excuse the dust" sign adorning it, I cringe." and This: "Could it be that in these places of training that are sometimes a desert, sometimes a wilderness, and sometimes a ruined wasteland, there emerges a doorway of hope in the clearing, where God waits to promote us to the next place of goodness he has for us?" Yes...often the wilderness before the next place but I am grateful God is always with us in the wilderness...blessings to you and Thanks :-) for sharing your words.

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    1. Dolly,
      Thank you so much for your sweet words! I so appreciate your encouragement here!

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