What I miss from before Maria…

Tap Water.

Electricity during the day.

Cellphone reception.

Air conditioning.

Preparing food when I want to.

Not having to worry about rationing things.

There is probably something else. I am not sure what it is right now.

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Maria.

Maria: my sister’s name, the mother of Jesus, Lazarus’ sister, …, the hurricane. Today might be the last day I’ll post here until internet access is restored because PR is in the path of Maria.

Here I have been blessed with getting both electric (including internet) and water 3 days after hurricane Irma struck. Others still have nothing.

As part of the preparation for the hurricane I had to make a choice between staying with my parents or staying with my brother and his family. Both had their pros and cons, but at the end I realized that staying with my father was more important to me than the potential cons that I knew came with staying with my parents. At least I have some form of family at a time like this.

Lessons learned during my time on probation.

From October 2011 to January 2013 I was in a type of probation from God. God wanted to see if I could be counted on to react in the way that He saw fit with an 11-12 year old that was wanting a safe space to test her strength. God wanted to see if I could apply the lessons that I learned during the time in my life where I looked for the same thing to provide this 11-12 year old that safe space.

I passed the probation period, and as a result God promoted me to spiritual adulthood. Because I am an INTJ, it tends to take a while to learn everything that God wants me to learn from any time frame and experience. This is what I learned.

  1. I learned some tools to understand the time that I am in.
  2. Sometimes God makes the biggest progress in us when we feel the least spiritual. During that time of probation, I didn’t feel that spiritual because in other areas I felt that I was falling away.
  3. How we might feel at that time doesn’t stop God from keeping His plans active in us.
  4. It’s okay to share the crappiness of the probation period, but don’t stop going through it. I knew that I was going to be her punching bag during her growth period and I didn’t want to be that. I knew, though, that God didn’t want me to run away because He had made that known to me.
  5. During a probation period, God wants to prove that what He thinks of whoever is in probation is true. God wants people to succeed.
  6. Being put on probation is a natural part of the Christian walk. I should enjoy every moment that God has for me, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes me feel.
  7. I learned to discern and follow God’s voice more.
  8. I learned that God will take us out of our comfort zone from time to time.
  9. I learned that being a part of the body of Christ means that sometimes we have to make sacrifices for other people’s gain.
  10. I learned the importance of hearing from God that you passed probation and became an adult in Christ. It’s like a boy that hears from his father that he has become a man in the father’s eyes.

Turning 27.

Today I celebrate 27 years of life.  Usually, one month before my birthday I analyze how my life has been and determine where I want to go for the next year. This year has been different. I haven’t really set time to do this.

I do think about where I am and where I want to go consistently, so it’s not a big whoops that I didn’t do my usual birthday time analysis. Yet, I should take time to think about my life… and drink my free birthday Starbucks frap.

This was my first year of employment. I already did a blog post about what I learned. It was a new phase in my life. It really changed what my priorities are in life because I gained a more realistic perspective.

With the employment came the surfacing of the fact that I am very frugal with money. I realized that I think about things in terms of cost and cost effectiveness. It’s not that I didn’t have that mentality before my first job. This mentality just became more explicit with the incoming salary.

As a Christian, I feel that I’m getting older and that I still haven’t stepped into the fullness of my calling. Looking back, I wonder if I have not reached my full potential as a young person. I am in a church structure that restricts member growth past baptism, which doesn’t help. The ministries that I have I had to take because no one vouched for me to get where I am at. I know that my calling is more than music and yet I am still stuck in music inside the church structure.

The biggest thing that I found out was that even though I had been a Christian for more than half of my life (I gave my life to Jesus at the age of 13 years and 2 months) I am still broken and need to be transformed by the Holy Spirit.

My family life is still as dysfunctional as ever. I have always ended up with the mentality that the best thing for me is to find a new family that is more suited to what I need. It’s all about perspective and acceptance of what the reality is. No one will be the ideal as family, because no one except Jesus can know the thoughts of your mind.

Personally, I am okay. I am better than I was a year and a half ago. My mental state has improved with every passing year because of what God did. There is still work to do, but I can look back and see all that God has done and how better my life is because of Him.

Where I want to go: I want to better determine what further studies will be better for what God wants me to do. I want to be able to balance work, studies, and church responsibilities. I know that God will help with that. I want to get a better job than what I have had.  I want to be able to live comfortably economically speaking. I want to find a job that will be an outlet for all of my abilities, passions, and strengths… and allow me to work on my weaknesses. I want to keep walking the Christian walk. I want to live a full Christian life.

Lessons learned from my first employment.

Who the supervisor/boss is makes a huge difference on what the experience as an employee will be.

To not be that afraid to try something different just because I have no expertise in it.

The best way to find out if I’m good at something or not is to try it out.

On that same note, I learned that trying things out in my profession is the way I found out what I really liked to do.

That there is a social aspect to any job. Don’t screw it up.

That when particular aspects of a job is deterring your career growth and there is a better opportunity out there, I should have the courage to seek that out regardless of the momentary anxiety associated with change.

To find the positive in everything that happens.

To take everything as a learning experience.

My priorities for what I want out of my career and out of life.

To thank God every day for the opportunity that you have to serve through my employment.

Code of conduct for other people when interacting with an INTJ.

  1. Do not put your hands on an INTJ… unless we consent
  2. No hugs … unless we consent.
  3. Do not have emotional conversations with us.
  4. Don’t visit us at our place… ever.
  5. If you want to be in our inner circle… good luck getting there… and staying there.
  6. Don’t run away when being on probation.
  7. Be careful what you sow… cause you might not like what you reap.
  8. Accept being scrutinized by the INTJ.
  9. Let us have our me time. We need it like you need oxygen.
  10. We are slow at accepting the reality of a forming human relationship. Be patient.

What INTJs don’t like in the workplace.

  1. Micromanagement of the tasks that an INTJ does.
  2. When people try to screw with a system that works for the INTJ.
  3. When people question something that an INTJ does when there is a perfectly good reason for it.
  4. When people assigned a task to an INTJ but doesn’t set up a structure for an INTJ to work with.
  5. Touchy feely co-workers.
  6. Noise.
  7. Lack of privacy.
  8. The inability to feel like an integral part of the project and just made to be a minion in the project.
  9. Supervisors who don’t allow us to be as ourselves.
  10. Being around supervisors who makes us afraid of making mistakes instead of promoting an environment that’s safe enough for us to take risks.

Lessons learned during hurricane Irma

I live in Puerto Rico (PR)… the metro area to be exact. We were told that the category 5 hurricane would hit the area and that we should prepare for the worse. I did… the best that I could. I bought water and food… and stayed at my parents’ house… which is a miracle because of how crappy things have been with my mother.

We were told that the worse would come at 8 pm. I felt almost nothing wind wise. I was expecting more, but I’m not complaining. Where I live, all we lost was electricity before the hurricane got close , then we were without water for a few days (depending on where we live), cell phones stopped working at 3 pm, and a lot of trees fell and blocked several roads in the metro area of PR.

There are several things that I learned from the passing of this hurricane:

  1. I shouldn’t say that something is impossible. I can be proven wrong. Staying at my parents’ house was something that I thought that wouldn’t happen because of the implication that I would be in the same place as my mother for a prolonged period of time.
  2. God is in control. God moved the right pieces in nature to make the trajectory of the hurricane move north and not do what was expected for PR. Praise God.
  3. God does listen to the thoughts in my heart. A few days before the hurricane I was at a church service in the church I am a member of and I had this thought: “If I ever have to be obligated to have an last interaction with my mother I want it to be free of judgement. I want to treat her well and leave a good impression legacy wise.” When I first got to my parents’ house, my father said: “come and say hi to your mother.” I was hesitant and tried to stay away. Then God reminded me of the thought that I had, which I knew that God wanted me to force myself to interact with her. Once I took that first step, things became easier. I did have to detach to interact with her, but it went better than I thought it would.
  4. I learned the importance of waiting God’s timing. One of the things that happened was that all forms of communications weren’t working where we were. My father was insistently trying to communicate with my siblings in the US without success. I told him to give up because I knew that at that time it wasn’t worth the energy. He didn’t. Before we went to sleep, I get this idea of checking my phone. I see that I have 2 dots on my iPhone when all we had before was 1 dot. I knew that it was time to try and call my brother and sister. So in faith I dialed for my sister. The call went through. I spoke briefly with her and then proceeded to call my brother. My father wasn’t around until half of the conversation with my brother.
  5. Part of hurricane preparation should be to encourage people who live alone to be with family or friends during a hurricane. If I had decided to endure the hurricane alone, I might have had to deal with the communication failures alone and that would have worried my father. Also, I would have been very bored trying to find things to do (based on having to be at my house two days later).