Eve Annunziato

Wisdom From Kung Fu Panda July 29, 2008

Filed under: Life and Leadership — Eve Annunziato @ 2:08 am
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The family and I went to see the new DreamWorks movie, Kung Fu Panda and afterwards we decided we were in the mood for Asian food so we headed down to a local Thai Restaurant. We ate the same cuisine of noodles and dumplings that Poe (The sweet Panda and main character) enjoyed through-out the film. It was an entire experience from the Orient. The kids had a blast and really got into the spirit and much to my surprise, they cleaned their plates!

The movie was excellent, had a wonderful message which was full of wisdom. Following the movie, I wrote down several lessons I had learned – a list of 5 to be exact (Yes that line was for you, Pastor! Readers, I’ll explain that inside joke to you another time.). I know what you’re thinking, “Why is Eve quoting philosophy from a cartoon?” Because it is relevant to our daily lives.

Here is one of my favorites:

“You are too concerned with what was and what will be. There’s an old saying; Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.”
Oogway (The Tortoise)

Enjoy and soak it in… I absorbed and unpacked this statement as it relates to both my personal and professional life. I’ll dig deeper into these ancient words of wisdom next post

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I’m An Ungrateful @#*%! July 21, 2008

Filed under: Ministry — Eve Annunziato @ 2:45 am
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Just the other day I was complaining because I don’t have a garbage disposal. Due to the fact we live on land outside the city, we have a septic tank and our builder discouraged installing a disposal for risk of clogging up the tank. But, while I was fishing out pieces of half-eaten food from the drain that my kids accidentally put in the kitchen sink, I told my husband that was it. I had it. I’m purchasing a disposal despite the warning. My thought process and words went something like, “This is barbaric and I refuse to live with out this modern common kitchen appliance.” In other words, the inconvenience was unacceptable. It was time my kitchen had a disposal!

Fast forward a few weeks. A team of more than 20 volunteers from my church community, Cross Point, has spent the past week in the Dominican Republic assisting in building a worship and feeding center. Each year, the volunteers arrive in a small village on the Island just outside Santiago to work in the blistering heat day after day, hour after hour, cement bucket after cement bucket, digging trenches, pouring concrete and laying block. When each day’s work is done, they make their way over to the barrio of “Heja Del Ciamito” – a dorm that doesn’t always have water or electricity, I imagine exhausted yet fulfilled to say the least. We’ve been praying for this team and, fortunately, during this trip can keep up with their ventures via the mission blog. I’ve been blown away while reading the updates written by Anne Jackson. Most of you know Anne and her amazing and inspiring posts. She’s an incredible gifted and published writer, a down-to-earth communicator, and has an unwavering heart for missions. Anne is also the newest addition to our church staff family. I have had the privilege of getting to know her over the past few weeks. (Anne has one of the top blogs in Christian Leadership – so check her out here and you’ll be blessed as a result). Here are some of Anne’s observations while in the DR:

“i never can seem to translate what is in my head after visiting a slum. a true third-world slum. the sights and smells and naked babies and starved dogs and sweat and raw sewage and shacks and the most impacting thing. hope.”

Then, Anne posed this question:

“How can we consistently show those in developed, consumer-driven countries that places like this exist? That, although, these places need clean water, sanitation, food and medical care, we need their hope, simplicity, community, and generosity.”

How did I feel after reading her profound observations poignantly worded? My mixed emotions included hope, despair, sadness, joy, helplessness, thankfulness, encouragement, discouragement, but more than anything, I realized how UNGRATEFUL I can be. This reminder of how most of the world lives, suffers, and fights to simply stay alive with unyielding hope and faith, is yet another awakening for this unthankful, unappreciative consumer. It’s a privilege to serve in a mission-focused church and an absolute honor to serve along side volunteers whose goal is to reach those outside of Christ and to serve those outside living in the slums of the earth. I vow never to complain about the lack of a kitchen luxury again. I will be eternally thankful each time I reach my hand down the drain and fetch those nasty, stinky, leftovers. Rather than complaining, I promise to give thanks to God and give thanks for people, like our servants in the mission field, who venture out of their comfort zone and risk everything but in the process gain EVERYTHING!

 

Compromise – But Why Should I? July 14, 2008

Filed under: Life and Leadership — Eve Annunziato @ 4:29 pm
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There was a time long ago (okay, not that long ago) that I didn’t like to compromise. I didn’t care for the concept, the idea, the act because I thought it was a sign of weakness or a declaration of defeat especially in leadership. I had that, “this is my story, and I’m sticking to it” mentality. I felt I could balance the dichotomy of having a teachable spirit with out having to “give-in” or bend against my wishes. Have you been there?

However, after a few years of marriage, I realized that if I continue to think the “c” word was a bad word my marriage would suffer the consequences. Incidentally, the more I fail, the more I become a pragmatist and open to practical change. My wise and sweet-spirited husband kindly taught me the benefits of this “give and take” approach by leading through example. I began to mature in this area, and I would soon commence to appreciate the art of compromise is other avenues of my life. Eventually, I learned that it’s a sign of strength. However, there are still situations when we should NEVER compromise – and I thought my husband’s latest post (http://lifebarometer.wordpress.com) on the subject put it pointedly. Here are his thoughts; I would love to hear yours:

If you’re not very good at compromising, you’re missing out on opportunities to strengthen relationships and to make your world better than it is today. Compromise can improve your relationships because it shows others that you consider their side important. It assures them you take their feelings seriously. In business, if you’ve ever closed a big money deal, you know the importance of the “give and take” in negotiations. Most deals wouldn’t be done without some compromise from both sides.

Compromise is generally a good and productive thing. However, there are things you shouldn’t compromise. Hold fast to your morals and principles. Don’t compromise your core values. Your values determine your daily actions and how you conduct your life. Don’t change who you are to satisfy someone else if you have to lower your morals to do so. No deal is worth that. The goal in compromise is to create a win-win situation. Everyone should get something of value out of the deal. But how can you get value by compromising your core values?

The truth, I have compromised my values in the past, but now realize I was making the wrong kind of deal. No longer entering into that kind of one-sided deal is a skill I plan to work on and develop in both leadership and in Life!



 

In Marriage, Nice is a Necessity… July 8, 2008

Filed under: Just thinking... — Eve Annunziato @ 12:58 am
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Eve’s husband, Charlie, here. I’m continuing my stint as a guest blogger for Eve. I’ve enjoyed reading the comments from the previous posts and I’m glad you’re reading! Thanks!

This week I wrote the following over on my blog at lifebarometer.wordpress.com…

Whereas you love your spouse deeply;

Whereas your spouse deeply loves you;

Whereas your happiness is increased when your marriage is of high quality;

Whereas the quality of your marriage is highly influenced by how you treat one another;

Whereas how you treat your spouse is a daily decision;

Then…

Shouldn’t you be nicer to your spouse than anyone else?

This post is the result of a conversation Eve and I were having in the car a few days ago. We were musing on how we truly enjoy each other’s company. One of the reasons we get along so well is because we make a concerted effort to be nice to one another. Eve is great at this. She freely gives words of affirmation. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy walking into the door of my home at the end of the day and have the person I most adore be kind to me. The simple act of being nice goes a long way into making marriage work. I know this isn’t always easy. There are days you probably don’t feel like saying much and there are other days when you might be in a bad mood. But on those days, not saying much is nice compared to flying off the handle and verbally bashing your spouse over something insignificant. Even when Eve and I disagree, we try to respect each other’s opinions and not attack in a mean-spirited way. This keeps our discussions on track and in control. It’s easier to want to spend time with someone who’s nice. It’s easier to enjoy time together with someone who’s nice. Life’s more fun when your spouse is nice.

I’ll leave you with this thought… The next time your about to walk through the door of your home and see your husband or wife, which would you rather have happen? You walk in the door and are greeted with kind words of affection and genuine interest or with a short “hello” and a cold shoulder… I bet I know what your answer is. Could you be a nicer spouse and if so, how would that affect your marriage?