July 14, 2012

Forging Ahead with the Plans

I haven't blogged in awhile, but we made it home safely from our trip to Simi Valley, CA last weekend. My nephew got married, and we had a very nice time visiting with brothers and cousins and others. The entire weekend was restful, and enjoyable. DJ and I got to visit the Reagan Presidential Library as well as make it over the mountains to Zuma Beach. The weather was lovely, and I relaxed and found the trip restful and a good reminder of all the beautiful things I have in my life.

I came back home, and of course, had to return to work. The week went well, even if there were some issues with getting settled into the new group (new manager and team). The expectations are the same, but the emphasis is a bit more pressured. I am not happy about the change, but until I can leave and move onto another venue, I am determined to give it my best.

I had already considered returning to Web Design work. I wasn't sure how to go about doing it, but I had started to work towards getting back into designing websites. I was thinking I could work temporary or contract for a while, and then later on start my own business again. I started with some tutorials just to see how out of date my skills are, and realized that while I might be a little rusty, I am really not that bad off.

I did download a free trial of Photoshop, and I will purchase the student version before the month's end. I got frustrated with Dreamweaver, and about gave up on the whole idea. I am almost 100% visual, and DW is created to code sites more so than to design them visually. I dropped the entire idea after a couple hours attempting to create a very basic website.

Then on Thursday, I received a word at work that gave me a good kick on the backside. I was reminded of my promise to the Lord -- to complete the tutorials and prepare to move back into Web Design. I was frustrated, and overwhelmed -- but I decided that the only job for me would be to work on my own again. I prayed about it, and convinced that I was to take this path, I picked myself up, and I started walking down the road where I believed the Lord was leading me to go.

Miracle of miracle (to quote "Fiddler on the Roof") I realized that I did the RIGHT thing! Everything has become so clear to me, and I know that I am to do this work again. It is not that I feel "right" or anything, I just sense the Lord moving ahead of me, making a way for me to go. It is different than before, and I sense that I am doing exactly what He wants me to do.

Today, I woke up and took some more big steps of faith. First off, I ordered my graduation announcements -- now I can send these to friends and family -- letting them know I am officially graduated from Mercy College (PTL!) Secondly, I purchased some very cool, yet inexpensive business cards from Vistaprint.com. I also spent some time online looking over good software options for me. I found a program called Freeway Pro which is a WYSIWYG editor, and looks like it will be much easier for me to use to create website templates. I can code HTML and CSS, but it has been such a long time, and I like to design from pictures, not words.

I see that God has provided to me software programs that will allow me to be creative and still use my skills the way I am most comfortable. I don't have to learn how to use a complex program just to do this kind of work. More than likely, I will learn DW at some point, but for now, I need something I can design in and have control over layout and have it work with my visual skill (not against it).

Moreover, I talked with my son the other night about doing this business. He knows that I have wanted to go back to Web Design, but has watched me not do anything about it. I know he wants me to do it, but I have hesitated, thinking that it would be up to me to do this entire work, and that I am too old and too tired to do it. However, during our conversation, I realized something wonderful. God has given me this amazing young man, and he shares my life and my interests. We get along well, and we are so alike in personality and temperament. My son is a gifted and talented programmer, and I realized that I don't have to be like him -- in fact -- it was something he said to me that set my heart at rest. He said "Mom, I am the better programmer, but you are the better designer." He was right of course. I felt that programming was going to be too much for me, and even though the Lord told me that all I had to concentrate on was graphic design, I still thought I would have to become a developer/programmer.

The Lord had planned all along to use my son as my development partner. He (my son) has wanted to find a part-time job while he was in school, but didn't see how he could actually do it with music study/practice, theater, etc. I said to him that he needed to be looking for contract work online -- to do programming. He was open to it, but didn't know how to get started. He is not the most organized and project management is not his strong suit. It is MINE, and that was when the light bulb went off for me. I can manage projects, meet with clients, and I can design. My son can do all the high end programming work that he loves to do. It is fate (well, God's way) for certain.

So here I sit, committed to leaving my job at University of Phoenix by the month's end. Hoping and with firm resolution that the Lord will provide good work to me. I need to complete some tasks before then, but I see this as the best possible solution to all my working and all my struggles. I am so pleased to know that God has provided a way out for me, and not just any way out -- but the very best way out.

Gracious Lord and Father, 

I praise you today, and I lift up your NAME, for you are worthy to be praised. Thank you for your provision of work, of plans, and of materials so that I could contemplate working from home again. I know you will take care of us, and provide for us. I am resting in your NAME and the Power of your NAME knowing that whatever I ask in your will, will be given to me. May God be praised today and forever more. Amen, so be it, thy will be done. Selah! Pause and Calmly think about that!!

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