June 30, 2012

Changes on Friday

This entire week has been challenging for me. After last week's post about making the decision to return to web design and development work, some changes have taken place in my life and at my current place of work.

First off, I have been contacted by another recruiter about my resume. I spoke with this person on the phone, and while the job sounded great, it turned out already to be taken (close to hiring someone else). I am OK with this because I feel like I need a little more time to get my knowledge base up to snuff. My skills are a little weak, but with practice, it will not take long for me to get back to being an expert at both Photoshop CS and Dreamweaver CS.

Second, I was able to download free trials of both software applications and I started playing with them last weekend. I realized after a couple hours that I don't need to complete the certificate program at UOPX, and that I can learn everything I need to learn from online sources.

Third, I was exposed to Element K, which is a professional certification resource through UOPX and other businesses. I am in the process of completing Photoshop and Dreamweaver CEU course work. In addition, I will learn Java, JavaScript, HTML5, CSS and other useful course work to help get me to where I want to be in regards to job hunting. My timeline for this coursework (self-paced) is one month.

Fourth, I found out on Friday that my new boss is leaving the company (well left -- that is how they do it at UOPX). He took a job across the country (good for him and his family), and is gone (packed and out the door). I won't be getting a new manager right away, but my team (11 people) will be split between the remaining two healthcare teams. This leads to a whole lot of speculation, and without going to far into it, I would just say that I am hesitant to remain confident that I will have a job for much longer. I know that is a major leap but there are a number of red flags, and in our group (which is the smallest of all enrollment), it doesn't look that good --> longterm.

I spent most of yesterday trying to stay focused, but it was difficult. I ended up calling out for Chamber, and chose instead to work the extra time so that my 40 hours was clocked correctly on my timesheet. Next week will be interesting to see, so until then, I am going to continue to work on my plan to reinvent myself as website designer/developer, poised and ready for work in this new era of mobile devices and tablets.

Last, while all this was going on, I came to the conclusion that I miss my husband and I miss the work relationship we shared for nearly 20 years. There are many things that I don't miss, of course, but I do miss work with him, and having him around the house. In this revelation, well not really new, it became clear to me that while I do not miss marriage per se, I do miss the companionship we had and I miss the way we worked together. I missed my life --> all of it --> homeschooling our son, going places on vacation, and working together to create a life. It wasn't great, but it was my life, and I do miss parts of it.

With this revelation, I have realized that as a person I understand why God created us to live in fellowship with one another, and why the Lord reminds us to "be unified in spirit." We are called to live in community, and to love the church (our immediate family, our church family, and the greater Body of Christ). We are then called to reach out to the world, to demonstrate the love we have for one another to them, so that they may see that we are different and desire to be a part of our family.

I have lived in isolation for so many years, and while some of this is due to my personality, which is introverted and quiet, I still need to be with other people. I think this is why I have enjoyed working at UOPX and being with other people. It has taken a while for me to learn how to get along with others, how to work with noise and such, but I have learned how to do it. I like being with other people, and I know now that working on my own, which is the best thing for me, still requires that I work with a small group of people each day. I cannot be alone all the time, and I need to be with people --> it is part of God's plan for me.

I look forward to the future, and to realizing all that God has in mind for me to do. I am ready to move forward, and I am ready to walk out of UOPX. The funny thing (as in curious) is that the Lord asked me to let go of UOPX about three weeks ago. He asked me to let go, and I thought He meant the "job tasks." I did that, but I never expected that a door would be slamming shut on me -- and that I would be moving out of the company so quickly. Now I think that this is God's way of telling me that I am to go, to move out, and to not look back. I think of Lot's wife who looked back towards her home in Sodom, and was turned into a pillar of salt. I am reminded to not look back, to look forward, and to walk on. I am to follow the Lord wherever He leads me, and right now, it looks like He is leading me about of UOPX and into a new life and career as a Website Designer/Developer.

I am pleased, really pleased. I am a little worried about the transition, but after yesterday, see now that it will be much easier for me to leave since my boss already dropped the B-shell on us with his move to another company. I can walk away, keep my friends there, because they will all understand. I am not leaving due to the job, but rather, I am leaving because I need steady work, and a new path. They will understand, and while I am sure they will feel sad that I am going (me too), it will not be me jumping ship and leaving them behind.

My God is so very good to me. He knows how hard it is for me to form friendships and how hard it is for me to let go (my loyalty) of what I do care for and attach myself to. Yet, I have to move on, and the Lord has made it possible for me to do that today. I am excited to see the changes He has in mind over the next couple weeks. I look forward to working in a new place, and then someday working from home again. I don't know where we are to go, where we will end up --> I just know that God is Good all the time, and that the plans He has for me are so very good!

June 24, 2012

Pacing Myself and Making the Commitment to Leave Work

Today was a great day! Church this morning was wonderful, and my afternoon restful and filled with peace. My evening has been good as well, and now I am getting ready for bed. Tomorrow will be here much too soon, so I am getting ready for a good nights sleep just as soon as I finish this post.

Our Pastor taught on Spiritual Gifts today, and while I am familiar with how the Holy Spirit manifests Himself in my life, I still found the message refreshingly new and interesting. You see, I have been struggling at my job for the past six months. I have been dissatisfied with the work itself, and I have come to resent having to do the tasks associated with my position as an Enrollment Advisor. Although I am deeply grateful to the Lord for His Provision of this job, I feel that I am working against the natural and spiritual grain of the fabric of my life. In short, I feel that the job goes against the grain of who I am as a person, and that the longer I remain in this work, the more depressed, and ineffectual I become. In fact, my numbers at work (my student registrations, etc.) have consistently dropped off since January, and no matter how much I apply myself to the work, I am not able to bring them back up to where the company expects that they should be.

I blamed myself. I blamed my inability to master the SSP Process at work (our training program). I blamed my graduate studies and the intense focus I had for completing my degree. I also blamed the loss of my home (in January), and the resultant stress. Now, however, I clearly see that I am somewhere I do not belong. I don't fit the role, and the longer I tarry here, the more miserable I become.

So with this new found understanding, I realize that I don't need a job. I need to be in a job that suits my spiritual giftings, and that is aligned with God's will for my life. It is pretty simple when you think about it. If you are working in a job that is not suited to your personality, you must either adapt (change your personality) or find a different position that fits better. In my case, my spiritual gifts are in Administration, Tongues, Leadership, Apostleship,  and to a lesser extent teaching/preaching. My greatest ability (natural combined with spiritual) is in organization. I am efficient, and I am effective in administrative roles. Now my job is mostly administrative, so that part is a good fit. However, the bulk of my work is in communication and this is not my strong suit. I can write, but I cannot speak well. I don't enjoy it, and I struggle to be able to effectively communicate on the phone. I can do it, but it is not what I enjoy nor is it what I do best.

I see myself as a leader, and I am able to organize and run a business well. I can be successful, and I can be an efficient and good manager. However, I do not fit in the corporate structure because I don't have management experience, and to get it requires a lot of years of practice. I can run my own business, and be successful at it. I need some help to get started, but generally speaking, I know what to do and how to do it. I just need to do it, kwim?

As I considered my role, and what God has in mind for me, I realized that I was most happy when I was working for myself. Though I didn't like certain aspects of that business, I know now that this can be different once I am fully in charge of the program. I can lead, I can administrate, and I can run a business so long as I am the one calling the shots. So this is my plan, and with the Lord's help and blessing, I intend to become a business owner. My timeline is now. I am ready, and I am willing. I am waiting on the Lord to do it, and I know that I can be effective so long as He is the One behind every aspect of the business.

With this decision in the bag, I am ready to walk away from my job at UOPX. I need to remain for a short while until I have everything in order, but then I will walk away, and thank my coworkers for their friendship and help over the past year. I want to do this now, but I know that I need another pay check, and that I have to get some key items in order first.

Dear Lord,

I am ready to do this work. I want to do it right. I want to be successful, and to have a good life. I am trusting you to provide for me, and to help me set up a business that will be prosperous and will bring you Glory. I ask now that you do this for me, and through me. I wait upon you, and I look to your hand of Provision. In Jesus Name, I pray this...Amen.

June 23, 2012

Decision Made, Steps Taken

It is the end of a good Saturday. I took half day on Thursday, splitting my shift with another girl so that I could work half day today (she did the same thing). This way, I got to have a good afternoon's rest, and then still have my sleep in this morning. I got home from work around 3 p.m., after another boring day at University of Phoenix (one call from a new student, the rest of the three hours -- nothing at all!) I took my IPAD with me, and while I was waiting for a call to be transferred over, I spent the majority of the time planning for my re-entry into the world of Website Design.

Yes, I made up my mind to go back to what I know how to do best, and to focus on using that career to provide for me and my son. I have tried to find other work, other jobs since I left my design business back in 2009. I left back then, not so much due to the economy, but for dissatisfaction over the way the business was being run (not by me, but with my name). I was fed up of the way the business was run, of the pressure to work too many hours, and for not enough pay. I wanted to home school full-time, but I didn't have that opportunity, so I worked 30 hours a week, sometimes more AND home schooled and helped in my then DH's consulting business.

I was beat. I was broke, and my life was going no where. I was miserable to say the least, but I focused on home schooling, and my life with my parents and church ministry. I made it through until the bottom fell out of my marriage and I was forced to take stock of what I actually held in my hand. I realized then that I had nothing, nothing to show for my life of sacrifice, and that I was a 40-something stay at home Mom facing a life of singlehood.

I took the only road I had in front of me, and that was to start looking for work so I could provide for myself. Of course, I trusted God to provide -- I just applied myself to job searching to find some position that would pay me a decent salary and provide good benefits to me. It took over 18 months to get hired at University of Phoenix, and while this job has not been perfect, it did do what the Lord said it would do -- establish me as a single parent.

In truth, the Lord never told me to quit website design. I begged, I pleaded, and I prayed without ceasing for the opportunity to quit that line of work. I was burnt out, and I didn't want to continue to support my husband with my hard earned dollars (especially when I didn't get a say in how that money was being spent). I asked the Lord to release me, and He did. I quit that work, which literally sunk my marriage (since my work was all that I was bringing to the table), and I walked away from everything related to it.

I worked at Macy's for a year before I found full-time work. I have been at UOPX for one year (July), and I am ready now to do my own thing again. I have come to this conclusion after two years of struggle with job hunting. It seems odd now, but it has taken this long for me to come back around to this line of work. Let me explain...

The Lord promised that He would provide for me throughout the ordeal of my marriage failing, and my eventual separation. I didn't need to find work outside the home, but I chose to do it because I was angry with my husband, and I wanted to move out of the house. I was putting up with a lot back then, a lot of sin, and a lot of oppression. I wanted out so badly that I started looking in every direction possible to get me an open door.

I knew in my heart that this line of work suited me, and that while the business had been mismanaged, it wasn't a total failure. I knew that if the business were managed by the Lord, then it would be successful, and I would be well provided for and kept secure. However, I wasn't willing to trust Him to do that for me -- I was scared about being without steady income, and without benefits (even though I have used nary a one since last year). I wanted to be established, secure, and well-provided for so that I never had to worry about collectors and utilities being shut off. I needed that pay check, twice a month direct deposited into my account. I need security, and I needed a company to provide for me.

Over the past two years, I have considered web design again. Each time, I feel the Spirit of God give me confidence and peace, but then I start to worry about it, and I recant and return back to "work." I spent 18 months applying for work, working PT at Macy's, and then FT at UOPX -- all without any new job offers on the horizon. I have applied, and I have been considered -- but nothing has happened for me. Not even teaching positions, which I so desperately wanted to try once my Masters was complete. No, there have been no jobs for me. No jobs but Macy's and UOPX.

I came to my senses last week. It was Thursday, and I was exhausted beyond function. I dragged myself out of bed, and I so wanted to chuck it all in. I didn't want to go to work, and I was trying to figure out how to stay at home. When I am home, I am happy. I am at rest. I am at peace. I love being home. I have used all my sick days, and my last two vacation days are scheduled for two weeks from now. I have no extra time available. I had to go to work, so I did.

Once there, I sat miserable all morning. I tried to do my best, but nothing worked for me. I took a break, walked with a friend over to our online cafe, and discussed my situation. She recommended I speak with someone, a counselor to help with my feelings.  I thanked her, but I knew that wouldn't help me. My problem was simply one of working in a job that was a poor fit for me. Moreover, the job is boring, and routine, and I sit all day in a cube and make dials to people who never answer or when they do, they hang up the phone. It is crushing, it is debilitating, and day after day, it is the same thing.

My boss and director have offered no help. In fact, I was told in not so many words to find another job if I was that dissatisfied with the work. This bothered me because I had been the "golden child," and once I stopped producing students, I was cast off. Really, as soon as I complained -- I was told to sit down and do the work or find another job. OK, I get it. But truthfully, that kind of support (no support) is not going to win any points in my book.

So I stewed at my desk until one of my teammates asked me to split her Saturday shift. At first, I said no, then I said yes, and I went home at noon. It was a good decision. I needed to go home. I needed to take stock of where I was, where I was going, and what needed to be changed to make fresh steps forward.

As I considered my options, I wrote down my choices: teaching English at the CC, working for another company or school, and working as a website designer (preferably from home). The only job that suits me besides web design is teaching, but I have had no luck getting hired. If I work for another company, then I belong to that company -- 40, 50 or 60 hours a week. No, I want to have time off, and I want to do my own thing. I want to work for myself, and earn what is rightfully mine to earn.

I prayed and asked the Lord if it was possible for me to do this again, and He said yes. I asked it this was His will, and again, He said yes. I went into work today with a new approach, with a new way of thinking -- that I preparing to leave UOPX in the next two weeks for my own business. I can do this, I know I can. The Lord must provide a job for me (contract work), but I can do this work, and I can do it really well.

So today, I made the decision to leave corporate America and return to my own home-based business. I know that I am able to be successful -- I was before -- and I can again. I need the Lord to provide clients to me, and I need some software for my computer. Other than that, I need Him to move and make this happen for me.

Dear Lord,

I am ready to do this work. I am committed to it, and I believe that this is your will for me. This way suits my natural abilities and my acquired skills. With your Spiritual Gifts, I know that I can be successful in this venture. You brought me students at UOPX, and I know you will bring me clients. I ask now that you will provide me with everything I need to setup my home office so I can start this work in two weeks time. I ask now that you will lead me through these next two weeks, and provide explicit instruction so I can be setup and ready to start this work. I ask this all now in the Matchless Name of Jesus, Amen. So be it, thy will be done. Selah!

June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day 2012

Wishing my Father a wonderful day of peace and blessing! I am blessed to have such a dad, a great friend and mentor in my life. I thank God for His gift of a loving earthly father, and for the ongoing relationship I share with my Dad to this day (now almost 79). Thank you Lord, for your Grace, your Mercy, and your Great Kindness toward me in providing a loving, good and sweet Father in my life.

June 9, 2012

With God -- Anything is Possible

It is so hot today, nearly 100 plus. I just walked in the door, dropped everything at the entry, and came on upstairs to cool off. I have my fan on in the bedroom, and the breeze is so refreshing. My air conditioner is set at 80, which is where I hope to keep it though the entire summer. My APS bill jumped from $100 per month to $160, and this was for June (May timeframe). I am anticipating that my AC will push that cost up towards $200 for July-August. The good news is that we are doing OK with the thermostat at 80. My son's room gets a lot hotter, so I am trying to come up with a plan to help him beat the intense heat from the south side of the building. I am thinking of getting some blackout curtains for his windows and maybe some tinting to put on the inside. I have to do something since his room gets sun almost all day long.

On the other front, I am feeling so well today. God has done a miraculous work in my life, helping me turn from this awful downward spiral to a soaring uplift in positivism. The more I think about the path I am on, the more convinced I am that I am where I am supposed to be (oh my -- three 'am" statements in one sentence!) Yes, I know this is the right path. Yes, I know I am doing exactly what God wants me to be doing. I know this is right -- it just FEELS RIGHT.

I have tried to get this feeling back, oh for so long now. It has alluded me, no matter how hard I have tried to get it back, I couldn't do it. I prayed, I confessed, I surrendered -- I did it all -- but nothing helped, nothing worked. Then one day last week God did it, and made my life better. He took what was wrong or what I thought was wrong and turned it into something of His own creation. My job at UOPX hasn't changed. I didn't get a promotion. I didn't make great progress on my diet. Nope, I did nothing -- but He did something -- and I am blessed because for it.

I am right where I was last Saturday. Nothing has changed:

  • I have an "I" on my transcript still. My professor hasn't posted my grade yet, and there is no word on my official graduation.
  • I am still an Enrollment Advisor, still responsible for making 100 calls a day. I still have few students, and I am still getting 1-2 calls per day. I am still feeling pressure to perform and master SSP.
  • I am still married, yet single. I am content where I am, but there has been no change in my status.
  • I am still at 160-162 lbs, some 20-25 lbs above where I should be in my weight.
  • I am still struggling with the cello. I am still learning the same old material, still making the same old mistakes.
  • I am still tired and weary every night, and I still fall asleep in the chair when I come home.
Yet -- I am renewed. I am feeling GREAT, and I believe that "all things are possible with God." (Luke 1:37)
  • I enrolled at UOPX to start a Visual Communication Certificate program (beginning June 26th).
  • I applied at Regent University for a PhD in Communication (Summer 2013) and I am collecting all my documents to submit by end of year.
My heart is singing, and I am happy to be where I am today. I don't know what next week will bring, but I know it will be good because He is GOOD. I am trusting Him to take care of all these details, all the plans, and to meet every need. I am at rest, He is Good, and I am blessed. God is so very Good to me!

The Next Step of Faith

God is AMAZING! I cannot tell you how much I have learned from Him this week, and how my feelings have settled through knowing that MY GOD has everything in order!

I am not really sure what happened, but I *THINK* it has to do with my attitude and my willingness to let go of my worries. I wish I could say that it was a matter of "just letting go," but in truth, I feel that it was more than that, more like surrendering and allowing God to take control. Let me explain...

Last week was another in a series of horrible weeks at my place of employment. I was fed up, feeling miserable, and thinking that EVERYTHING was a mess. I was praying, praying, praying for some release, and for the opportunity to move to another job (anywhere) someplace else. I had applied to several good jobs, but nothing *SEEMED* to be right for me. I was hopeful that God would bring me to another job, but frankly, I wasn't believing that He would do it.

Yes, lack of faith on my part was there, but it was more of my knowing that God wasn't going to do it, that made the mess all the worse for me. I believed and I still do believe that God is able to extricate me from my job. However, there was this lingering feeling that at this point in time, God didn't think that moving me was a high priority. Of course, I don't know the mind of God, but there was this feeling that in His time and economy, He wasn't too upset about my job and my dissatisfaction with it. More so, it was more a matter of His provision for me, and His attitude that mattered.

My attitude was the culprit, and I knew this about myself. I also knew that at work there was a lot of crumbling about the job, the process, the policy, and I was getting hooked into that downline. I was being pulled into a place where I wasn't happy, and I wasn't trying to keep from being reeled in with the rest of my team.

I prayed about my job the other day. I prayed about my opportunity to go on to Regent University for my PhD. I confessed my attitude and my unwillingness to do this work, and somehow through that process, I came to see my life more clearly. At one point, I asked the Lord for His Help to make this job work. I asked if He would help me enroll students, and show me how to make the most of my time at UOPX. I also asked that He provide a way for me to go to Regent, and show me what to do between now and then so that I could accomplish His will. Sometime in between my grumbling and complaining and my confession that I was willing to stay put and do what God had asked me to do -- my heart, my mind, and my attitude changed.

Once my attitude changed, things changed in my life. Once my heart and mind became refocused on doing God's work, my life altered course, and I found peace. I began to see the plans, and I began to understand why things are the way they are right now. I also came to accept the fact that the work I do, all the work I do, is for one purpose -- to Glorify God. It doesn't matter what job I do, what work I choose -- so long as all my tasks, all my energy, and all my days are spent bringing God the Glory.

I began to think about my "job," the practical work I do and I realized that I have the opportunity to bring God Glory right where I am at UOPX. Sure, I don't have the freedom to praise His Name boldly, but I can be a good worker, and give Him Praise internally. I can also be a good example to my team mates, and when asked, give account of God's work in my life. Yes, I can give Him Glory in my dials and in my student conversations.

My job hasn't changed. My work environment didn't miraculously get better. No, I changed, and with it came a new understanding that God has provided good work to me so that I can live comfortably and easily as I focus on my planned "work" or His Ministry for my life. This job is for my benefit, and it provides a nice living so that I can have what I need to do His Ministry work. It is not challenging, and it is boring -- but it is good honest work -- and I am able to live comfortably without any worries. It is a very Good thing.

As I changed my mind about what I do, God began to intervene on my behalf to help me see a way through this trial. Yes, He provided a way for me to endure the work, to be patient and to rest in it. No, He didn't move anyone or move me -- He just made a way for me to remain and to endure. This is what James writes about in his book -- we endure and we learn to be patient through the trials we encounter. In doing so, we can give God the Glory, and we can rest and know that everything is in God's hands.

Since my mind shift, I have come to see the clarity of what is taking place in my life. My refocused attention to God's priority and plan has made it possible for me to experience other blessing in my life. First, I have found my enjoyment of cello again. I am excited to be playing the cello, and to be back in chamber group. Second, I signed up for a certificate program through my University. This program will give me that chance to brush up on my skills as a Visual Communicator. It aligns with my web design work, and will prepare me for Regent University. It is also free -- no cost -- and it will keep my loans in deferment. Third, my paperwork with Regent is in full-swing. I reapplied, and I am in the process of taking the GRE and sending the rest of my papers to them. I have applied for scholarships and financial aid. Now, God must provide a way for me to go there, but the work is done. I did what was asked, and God has taken the rest on for Himself. Last, I am content to be where I am. It is not perfect as far as having a satisfying career, but then the Lord has been clear -- I will have no career. I am to do good work until He is ready for me to do His work. My work is His work, and there is no other work to do.

As I think about my life, I give Him Praise. I am thankful that He is helping me to endure my job. I am also thankful that He has given me things to do, work to do that aligns with the plans He has for me. I am happy to know that everything is Good and in His Hand.

May God be Praised today and forevermore!

June 2, 2012

Moving Forward with God's Plans

I am still waiting for my final grade to post, but I am for all "intents and purposes" graduated from Mercy College. My Mentor/Advisor liked my thesis, and he didn't anticipate any changes. He sent it to a second reader, which is a good thing, so now I am stuck waiting for that person to do whatever they do so I can get the "I" changed to a final grade. Sigh!

In the meantime, I am trying not to get frustrated about my path and the plans the Lord has for my life. I know what I am to do, and I know where to go -- I just don't know how to get from this point (A) to that (pointing over there) point (B). I need a bridge or transition so I can move from where I am now to where I "think" I am supposed to be tomorrow (or in the near future). I see the place, I just don't see a way to get there.

Perhaps I missed the exit? Perhaps I need to turn around and go back a ways to pick up that transition path so that I can bridge over to where I want to be? Or perhaps I really have missed the exit, and now I must drive on and wait for another turn in the road?

I am not really sure what to do, I just know that there are some things that are still unresolved, and that these things need to closed or brought to a close before I move on. What are these unresolved things?

Well, first off -- my graduation from Mercy needs to be recorded on my final transcript. I cannot be employed as a Masters level graduate without that official record. I am applying for jobs that require a Masters degree, therefore, I need to have proof of completion. I know this, and of all the unresolved items, this is the least troublesome for me. I know it will happen, and more than likely it will be really soon (within a week or two). I will graduate. I will have that conferred degree. I am good, I know it, and it is just a matter of being patient while the paperwork is finalized.

Second, there is the issue with my occupation, my daily work. I am working as an Enrollment Advisor at UOPX. It is an OK job, but it is not a good fit for my skills. I am blessed to have it, and I am thankful for God's provision. I know that I need to do something else, but I don't know what that something else is right now. I thought for a time that I was to teach. Well, I have wanted to teach now for 20 plus years, and I have this desire to do it. I start this path, then stop when I see the road blocks ahead. It is like this path is blocked to me, even though I really desire it. I think it suits me, and I see the potential of doing this job for the rest of my days (until I retire). However, I cannot do it without my Masters degree, and I cannot do it without some prior experience.

Third, there is the issue with my son's schooling. He has finally decided to study Languages (Linguistics) and he took it upon himself to look for schools. He is looking in CA right now, and while that is OK, it does conflict with my plans or the plans I think the Lord has for me. He can attend ASU and study Linguistics, but for some reason he wants to move to another state (out of the heat), and he wants me to come with him. I am OK with that as well, but not if it causes issues with my advanced study degree.

Last, there is the issue with my path to PhD. I have blogged about my choices before, and how I am down to two choices: Regent University (Online) and ASU (campus). My preference is ASU because this degree aligns with my desire for teaching (Composition). Regent is the Lord's choice, always has been, and I do love the program and the Christian Ministry emphasis. Regent doesn't prepare me for teaching, it prepares me for Ministry -- a very good thing!

If I stick with Regent (the path I am on now), then I am not going into teaching, and I need to do a variety of jobs to live while I am in school. I am OK with that too, but at my age, I would prefer one job and to do it until I retire. I don't have the energy to do multiple jobs anymore, and I don't want to live with the uncertainty of getting a paycheck. Yes, I do believe the Lord will provide -- I just mean that I really like it when my check is direct deposited and I don't have to collect money or do extra jobs at the end of the month.

If I go to ASU, I feel like I am abandoning the Lord's provision for me. Even though I know that Regent is a $40k year commitment and that while they do offer financial aid and scholarships, I will be in debt up to here (^). At ASU, more than likely I will receive a tuition waiver, and the total cost of that degree will be around $20K. This means I will have less overall debt, and that is something that I want to keep in focus.

Of course, I do believe that the Lord will provide, and I do believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthen's me. I believe that if God wants me to go to ASU, then I will go. If He wants me to go to Regent, then I will go there. I am open to either school, it is just that I don't want to let go of teaching in favor of doing odd jobs, owning a business, or going back into web design.

No, I want to teach and I want to go to ASU. I just see that path blocked. It is like when I was raising my son, and I knew I was to go to graduate school. I wanted to go so badly, but the path was blocked. I cried out to the Lord -- and all I could do was lay that desire at His feet, and let it go. I feel like I have to do the same thing now. I have to let teaching go, and accept that the Lord has other plans for me. I have to accept that while teaching will always be a part of my heart (and that it WAS the path for my life early on -- a path I chose to skip), but now the Lord is asking me to do something else.

I don't want to let it go, but I have to obey my Lord. He asked me to let go of UOPX, and I did. I didn't want to do that either, and the thought of leaving that solid job scared me. Now I see why He asked me to let it go. Things have changed internally, and I do not feel such a strong attachment any more. Sure, I like my team mates, and I will keep in touch with many of them, but I am not connected to them the way I was when I first started that job. Now I am willing to let them go, keep happy memories, but stand at the ready with hat and cloak, and walk out the door when the Lord gives me the Ok to do so.

What does this mean for me today? Well, just writing it out helps a lot. I know that God has allowed me plenty of time to think about my options, to consider His Way, and to choose to follow after Him. I know that I want certain things, things that I know align with His will, but for some reason I cannot have them. I have never been in this boat before, where I am asking for things that are within His will for me, but the Lord is not saying Yes to me. Instead, He is asking me to do something different, and it upsets me. After all, doesn't the WORD say that we are to ask, and keep on asking?

"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you." Matt. 7:7 NLT

So I am asking, asking, and asking -- yet I am not receiving. This leads me to believe that I am asking without believing that it will be given to me. I know that I believe, and I know that God's WORD is true (John 17:17b). I am uncertain why I am where I am, and I wonder what I have done to cause this confusion?

Dear Lord,

I have asked you for certain things, and yet I have not received them. I know that I have not obeyed you in going where you told me to go. I am confused now, and I want to get everything straight in my mind so that I can be moving forward, following after you, and going where you are telling me to go. Help me now to understand, to turn around if I need to, and to go the direction of your leading? I ask this now in Jesus' Name. Amen.