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  • Writer's pictureAlie Powell

More with Less

Before I dig into what I have been learning lately, I have to give this story a little context. I graduated April of 2020. It took me two failed attempts before finally passing my national boards exam on the third time. That put me at finally being certified to practice in December of 2020. I got my first job in March 1st 2021 at a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) as a per-diem (PRN or as needed) therapist. It was not until July 2021 I got my first full time position as a In-Home Outpatient therapist. I can be as full time as I want and I make my own schedule. So I was typically working M-Th leaving Friday and Saturdays open for my part time position. Problem is, sometimes gigs are few and far between...either that or they need you all the time. SNF can be feast or famine. Around December 2021 a Physical Therapist (PT) I know said a company she works for was looking for a part time Occupational Therapist (OT) to do some evaluations for Home Health here and there. At this point I was not working all that much at the SNF so I contacted them. I ended up accepting the position for the new year since we were traveling for Christmas. Since then, there has been all kind of bumps, holidays, getting sick after the holidays, them trying to schedule time to train me, etc.

Now were looking at early February 2022. I have my first meeting to start working with the new company. On the surface, it looks as though I will be getting more money per visit. In reality though, the amount of work I was going to be doing (for a part time position) was going to be more than my full time job, and I would be driving farther distances. I walked away from that meeting feeling unsettled. At the same time my first ever job was talking about upcoming regulations to make a requirement to have PRNs work 2 weekend days a month. Now that may not seem too bad, but when you plan things around the two days you have off, it fills up quick sometimes. I also love to make and share content about OT on my Instagram through my full-time job and the flexibility it allows to film patients (with permission of course). Chances are, you might even be reading this because you saw the link on IG, if so WELCOME FRIEND! The other factor of this is intentionality. If I was already feeling this way, I was starting to wonder if I could really give my 100% to all of it.

Towards the beginning of this month, I started feeling even more anxious, unsettled, conflicted, burned out, and less creative than normal. Like I was missing my usual spark. If I am honest it didn't come out of nowhere, and upon reflection I should've addressed it sooner...but here we are. I started praying about clarity and wanting to hear God speak about what I was supposed to be doing. In my experience, when I don't hear God speaking about the next thing, it's usually because I haven't been obedient to the last thing. So I started asking Him for guidance, to show me what I missed. My head felt loud. Busy. Distracted. So I started praying about how to get a clearer head.

Take a break from social media.

So I did. I deleted all the apps from my phone. No more morning distractions when I try to do my quiet time with God.

Take a break from coffee too.

Now I have done this before for health reasons, and significantly cut back on my coffee intake... so before you are like WOAH I COULD NEVER. I would've once said that too. That's a story for another day though. I took a break from coffee and started my mornings in tired silence with the Creator. My creator. And guess what, he spoke!

I want you to quit trying to make money with these extra jobs in your own strength. Focus on your full time job. Ask her (my boss) for ways to fill the gaps. You are trying to do this because you are trying to control your money. Trust me to do more with less.

I was not surprised by hearing God tell me I was trying to take control and do it myself. I struggle with this all the time. I'm a work in progress, trying to trust God every step of the way by surrendering over the reigns when I try to take them again, and again. But it was very clear to me that I was supposed to quit my extra jobs and focus more on my full time position. Now this may not seem like a big deal to you, it may seem like the obvious choice to not feel spread thin or overwhelmed. But let me give you a very real life scenario and world we are living in.

My husband and I are trying to save to buy a house. His salary is steady, consistent. Mine.... is not. My schedule can have cancelled patients which can effect my pay. It's just part of the job. However, me trying to "get more jobs" was not a conscious decision to burn myself out or to over work in general. In fact I try to be pretty intention most of the time. This was more about making sure I had what appeared to look and feel like a typical "full time schedule," when in reality, my job may never look like that. It was my version of thinking it would help me fill out my time to make more, so my income could compare and maybe be more consistent too. The thing is, is that God did not ask me to get more provisions, work three jobs, or try harder. He asked me to serve the company I'm at...and to do it well. He did not ask me to run all over the place, be too busy, and burn out quick. He asked me to trust Him to be exactly what He is already. A good Father. A Provider. A Way Maker. He spoke for me to "trust Him to do more with less."

When I take those reigns back in my own hands, way more often than I should. I am telling God I don't need Him. That I don't trust that He is enough, or that He will provide for us. And while I would never say that with my words, my actions were not lining up with beliefs. So in my coffee free/social media free mornings... God spoke. And I knew what I needed to do. I had also talked through this decision with my bible study girls and told them to pray for me. I also discussed it with my husband too, obviously. The next day I made moves towards calling my other bosses and telling them I was resigning.

Since everything has been finalized I have felt lighter and more joyful. Social media is fun again and coffee is still delish! Sometimes I just need to get still, and listen close to the whispers of the Lord. He will never shout or fight for our attention, he is so patient to wait on us when we are stubborn... but this world is loud and sometimes we are the ones who need to slow down and receive a word from God. Remind ourselves He is good good. Realign my heart with Jesus.

Praise God I now have ONE JOB. I have already discussed with my boss ways I can help out in alternative ways to fill my schedule, and I am looking forward for what is to come. As I was thinking about the timeline of all of this, I realized that it has been about 1 year almost to the day that I started my very first OT job. SO MUCH has happened in the last year. I'm so grateful, and so excited for this next season! It is amazing to think how much can happen in a year. I challenge you to remember God is always speaking, and if you need your next right step, he might have already told you what that is.



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