January 18, 2011

It's Noon and I am Missing My Boy

I keep looking at the clock and thinking about my boy.  He is having lunch at college today, and I am feeling lonely.  I know he is having the time of his life, and is learning how to be a grown-up.  He has taken such responsibility over the past year, and I am so proud of him.  He has managed his time, learned how to be an employee (soon to be hired again), and is now a full-time college student.  God has richly blessed our life, and I am in awe of Him.

As I sit here and blog (and try not to get too weepy on myself), I am thinking about the plans the Lord has for my life.  The past year has been one of major upheaval and change.  I had hoped to find FT work right away, but that never materialized.  I have been successfully employed at Macy's, and working PT there has helped cover minor expenses.  I am reliant upon a school loan and some money from family to get me through, but all in all, I am doing OK. 

Now, I am set to begin my second semester of graduate school, hoping to teach English in college, and I am wondering what I should do next.  I have looked at numerous graduate schools, and considered them all.  Some were not good fits, and some didn't seem to be of interest to me.  Others schools were plausible, given the right parameters, and that is where I am today -- trying to sort through these "plausibles" to determine which one suits the Lord's work best.

Of the schools I am considering, three remain on my list:
  • Regent University -- PhD in Communication (Professional Writing & New Media)
  • Old Dominion University -- PhD in English (Professional Writing & New Media)
  • University of Texas at Austin -- PhD in English (Rhetoric)
As you can see, of these three schools, the focus is on writing.  This is my strength and what I enjoy most.  It is also where I believe the Lord has need of me as far as ministry work goes.  The first two schools offer online hybrid programs, which consist of online classes during the year and summer institutes for residency requirements.  UT at Austin is an on-campus teaching program, which offers a different type of preparation than these other schools.  All three offer research opportunities, but only UT specializes in teaching.  Moreover, UT is recognized for their placement of graduates and this is a bonus to me.  The negative is of course that I would have to relocate to Texas for two-three years while I worked and finished my PhD program.

It is a difficult task to focus in and choose a path when you are so uncertain of the outcome.  However, I know that this is the plan the Lord has for me, and teaching is part of it.  I have considered teaching here in AZ, but the door seems closed to me.  I have looked to work online, teach online, and that path seems difficult.  I am not certain if this is what I am to do, but it was once the top pick (last fall) until I became fearful of leaving my family behind.

Last year closed out with a thud, and a lot has changed since then.  My attitude about moving has shifted greatly and I am now all the more settled on the idea that I will need to move some place else for good work.  I am less concerned about my parents welfare because I honestly believe that they will be in  a position to move into assisted living (or with me) very soon (in 1-2 years as well).  Perhaps this is what the Lord has in mind for me?  I know this, UT has the program that would benefit me most, and would require the shortest amount of time to complete.  Furthermore, they offer a great Music Technology program for my son.  He could easily enroll there and get a great education.

Hmmm.  I wish I knew for certain, but I do believe this:  I know that every single door to corporate jobs has been closed to me.  I have applied to more than 150 jobs over the past year and half, and with the exception of working at Macy's, nothing has come to pass.  I am a PT employee, and a FT graduate student, and I believe this is the Lord's will for my life.

Today is January 18th, and I write this down so that I won't forget it.  I do that, forget things, and I don't want to forget this today.  I want to remember that I decided to consider moving to Texas back in November, and now here I am in January, considering it again.  I need to make up my mind by December 2011, so I do have time to percolate this idea.  More so, the Lord has time to make changes in my life, to move things around, and get me ready -- should this be His path for me.  Until then, I will focus on the tasks He has assigned to me -- regardless of PhD graduate schooling:
  • Finish my MA at Mercy College
  • Study French and pass the CLEP exam
  • Focus on cello and music study
  • Supporting my son in college (helping and cheering him on)
Other than these four tasks, I only have working at Macy's, and being a good Mom and daughter.  I can do these tasks, and I can consider school options because I know that His Grace is enough, and that I am determined to do His will no matter what sacrifice is necessary to make.  God is so Good to me, and I love Him.

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