July 27, 2013

Today is a great day. I am blessed, and I am living a blessed life. I give credit and all honor to the Lord, for He has done marvelous works in my life. 

Everyday I marvel at the magnificence of our Lord. He is a true Friend, a Father to the fatherless, and as Psalm 68:5 says, "a defender of widows." Yes, our God is Good, and His Goodness never will never end. It is from everlasting to everlasting. Praise to God the Father, to His Son, Jesus the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen, amen, and amen!

The Good News

Today is such a good day. I have to repeat it again, and again. God has provided abundantly to me, and He has shown me a way out of my current situation (or place), and is leading me into the place of His choosing. He has made a way for me, He has made a way.

God's Way is different from our way. Our way is created and determined by our own thinking, and it is predicated upon our personal experiences, and colored by our worldview. We often think our way can include God, but it cannot. The only way that includes God is the Way that belongs to Him. He is the Creator, He is the Sustainer, and He is the One who determines which way is best for us, and which way aligns with His perfect will for our lives.

I spent a lot of years going my own way. Do you remember that wonderful Bing Crosby moving titled, "Going My Way?" It is one of my favorite movies to watch during the Christmas season. I remember it because I love to watch Bing Crosby, and I always get a warm fuzzy feeling when I think about how life "used" to be back during the War years. I realize that I have romanticized the early years of the 20th century, thanks in part to Hollywood studios, and their big budget musicals. Still there is a part of me that looks fondly back on those old movies and thinks that life was more simple then. People didn't have as many choices to make, and men and women married and stayed married. The Church played an important role in the lives of families, and in general, life was very structured, and easy to live.

Yes, there were hard times. Money was scarce, and the world was at war, but nonetheless, it just seemed less complicated, less difficult to know your way.

My life has not followed a happy path. It has been difficult, and at times, it has been very lonely and sad. I have had good times too, and in truth, I would say my life has not been anything but average (comparatively speaking). Yet, I often wistfully look back to other eras, to times when life choices were easy (grow up, get married, have a family, retire).

I was raised in the church, though my family was not super active, and we didn't attend a deeply religious denomination. Church was something you did each Sunday, and summers were spent a Bible camp. I didn't come to know Jesus as Savior until I was 16. I came to know God much earlier, but I didn't really have any biblical understanding to know that Jesus was more than the baby we celebrated each Christmas.

I confessed my sin and professed faith in Jesus at 12, but again, I didn't really grasp what I was doing. I went along with the other teens at Bible camp just so I wouldn't stick out.

No, it wasn't until I was 16 when I actually learned who Jesus was and was taught about His Sacrifice that I came to know Him as Savior. My life changed then, and for nearly 35 years I have walked in the Christian Faith. It has not always been a true Faith walk, and I have not always been faithful. I tried for many years to live what I believed was the "Christian life." I tried to be the good Christian wife. I failed mostly, and I lived a hidden life that was joyful on the outside, but sad on the inside. It was not a good way to live.

I understand now why that was so, and I can now see the difference between a life lived my way and a life lived His way. It is like night and day, black and white - a stark contrast to what was the old, the former way when compared to the new way. I am blessed, and my life is blessed.

All this changed for me about eight years ago. My life was changed, and since that day, I have been on a whirlwind journey of learning to trust God, to lean upon Him, and to rest in His Sufficiency. It has not been easy, and there were many days when I cried out to Him and begged Him to help me understand. He was Faithful to me, and He even carried me through some of the toughest times.

I consider myself to be on the backside of that difficult walk now, and the going is much easier. However, it took a lot of sacrifice on my part, and it required a determination to lay down "my way" at His nail-pierced feet. Yes, I had to give up my way, and commit to following His way in every area of my life. In doing so, I have experienced tremendous help, comfort, care, and provision. I am well provided for, and my life has purpose and a determined focus. I know where I am going, and I know what I am to do. I have value in my identity, and I see value in other people now. I no longer feel inadequate when I am with others who may have different skills or better looks -- I am content to be who I am, and to know that I am exactly what He wants me to be. God is Good. All the time, He is Good.

As I prepare for another transition - leaving CVS Caremark and beginning a new job at Grand Canyon University, I will admit that I have concerns. I am leaving a full-time job with benefits for a part-time position that pays less and provides no health insurance. I have bills, I have needs -- but my Lord has me covered, and I believe that He has all this factored into His plans for me.

The change is hard for me to make. I would like to know that everything will be OK, I would like to see how it will be OK. Yet, I know that what I cannot see is not indicative of a lack of His Provision. It is simply that I cannot "see" what He sees, and as such, I have to trust, to rely upon, and rest in who He is - God.

Dear Lord -

You have provided everything I need, and I am so grateful to you. I am blessed, and I am good. You have done all this for me, and I marvel at your Mercy and Grace. I know that there is much more to come, and that I cannot see everything because not everything has been revealed yet. I rest in your Name, and in the Power of Your Great Name. I know you. I know you well, and I trust you to provide everything I need. You are God. You are Good, and I rest in that Goodness. Thank you, Lord, for everything you are doing in my life today, and for all the plans and provisions you have slated for my tomorrows. I give you the Praise now, and I lift up your Name and Honor You. Amen, So be it, Thy will be done. Selah! (Pause and calmly think about it.)

July 24, 2013

Oh Happy Day!

Well, I am on-boarded at GCU (almost). I am officially registered for training next Monday, and I am scheduled for orientation on 8/14. So far, I think I am moving along nicely, and I will be ready to start classes on the 26th of August.

I gave my notice to my current employer yesterday. I realized that I could give them 2 weeks notice, but I decided to honor the Lord, and give them as much notice as possible. I know that they will have difficulty replacing me because I have been integral in so many areas. Plus another colleague took a position in a different department, so it was apparent that I needed to let my manager know I would be leaving at the end of next month.

My manager took it well. I think my colleagues that didn't know I was leaving were surprised. Some seemed happy, some were puzzled. I know that my departure is a good thing, and that God's plans are very, very good.

Dear Lord,

Help me to remain calm through the next few weeks, and help me to complete all the tasks you have assigned to me. Help me with my class at UOPX, so that I can learn what is necessary and do my best to get a good grade. I know that this class will help me in my doctoral program, so I am blessed to be able to complete it now. Be with my parents as my Father struggles to deal with an upcoming surgery, and I ask in Jesus' Name that you will cover my entire family with your blessing now so that we can focus and do the work that needs to be done. In your Name I ask this now, Amen. So be it, thy will be done. Selah! (Pause and calmly think about it).

July 18, 2013

Moving Forward

It is Thursday p.m. and I have another 30 minutes at work before I can go home. I actually don't have any work to do, but if I log out early, my manager will notice that I am gone, and that could signal an issue. I will have more work to do soon, but today, I accomplished all my tasks, and now I am sitting here with nothing to do. I hate having nothing to do, and waiting for the clock to strike 4:30 p.m. so I can go home.

I know, I should have come in earlier today, but I am comfortable working at 8:00. I have been coming in around 8:15 each am, and I think that is a symptom of the fact that I am burnt out and that I am ready to move on.

I did get good news that I passed my background screening check at GCU. This means that I am ready to start there on 8/26. I prayed about the missing income this morning, and determined to trust the Lord to provide for me. I applied for an online position as a Learning Facilitator at Estrella Mountain CC. This position would be tutoring students in their online writing center. It sounds good, and if I was hired at the max hourly wage, it would make up the shortfall each month. In fact, now that I calculate it, I think I would be able to make $500 more per month than what I am making now. Sweet!

So as I sit here at my desk, in my lonely little corner of the building, I am thinking about all that God has done for me recently. I found out that my colleague who sits next to me will be moving to another department soon. My other colleague has applied for a position in another state, and a third is having a solid interview with his old group. My manager has expressed concern that so many people are leaving the group, and said that she would be shutting down the "posting out" process (I am not certain she can do that).

In a way, I am glad that she cannot stop me from leaving, and that I will be going outside the company. I am glad that I am NOT waiting around for an internal position.

God has provided a wonderful teaching/learning opportunity for me at GCU. I am so excited to be offered this chance to be trained as faculty. In addition, if I were able to get this other position and it would be online, so I could telecommute, then I could make plenty of money between now and when I graduate with my PhD. In truth, I probably could earn about 3/4 more each month once I am hired on Adjunct. God is so amazingly good to me.

On top of all this excitement, I heard back from my professor today. He wrote me a nice note, and said that I received an "A" in his class. My first doctoral class - and I got an "A!" I give all the praise and glory to God above - He is behind all this, and He deserves all the credit!!

Ok, it is now 4:11, and I will stick this out until 4:30. I am clock-watching, but the time will go quickly once I focus on my blog post, and stop looking at that little ticking hand.

I prayed about the money thing this morning, and I let it go - saying to the Lord that I trusted Him for His provision. I meant it, really I did. I know that He is behind all this change, and that He wouldn't hurt me or my family. He knows our needs, and He knows what the next 3-6 months will bring. He knows everything, and I am being foolish to think I know better than Him.

Oh yes - I paid for my online research class today. That was a step of faith as well - it was a big chunk of money going over to UOPX, and I was panicked to let it go. However, in looking at the class again, I realize why God asked me to take this course. The content will so well prepare me for my doctoral research classes. I will learn so much practical information, and I will be able to use it right away. I have two seminars coming up, one in critical research methods, and the other a plain History class. After those, however, I have two research courses back to back. I need these prep classes to help me be well prepared for those classes. I know that God had this all planned out, and while I was panicking over how I was going to take all these classes and work, He knew exactly what I would do and how I would do it.

Thank you, Jesus, for your Presence and Provision of these classes, my grade, my new work, and my new potential work. I am trusting you to provide for me, and to do this work through me. I give you all the praise, and I lift up your Name to honor and adore you. In your Name I pray now, Amen. So be it, thy will be done. Selah! (Pause and calmly think about it!)

July 17, 2013

Praising God for His Mercy and Blessings

Well, I have been officially hired to be an Instructional Assistant at Grand Canyon University. I completed my on boarding paperwork yesterday. I still need to provide documentation I am eligible to work, but other than that step, I am hired. I am so very blessed, and I am praising God for His Faithfulness in providing me with an opportunity to become a teacher.

I am still panicked a little bit over the money. I am going to be short - quite a lot - from what I am used to bringing home. I have bills, and responsibilities, and well, IA and Adjunct work do not pay well enough for me to live on. However, my faith is in God, and I believe that He would not have allowed me to let go of this job (CVS) to take on the uncertainty of working part-time UNLESS He had me completely covered! I am so blessed, so very blessed.

I updated my resume already, and I am ready to take on any additional work to help fill the gap in need, should the Lord open that door. I am so looking forward to seeing how He will provide the balance for me. I know that I have some extra financial aid money coming back, so I will have savings to draw on for this fall and spring. I would prefer not to use that money, and instead keep it to cover additional courses or other educational expenses. The Lord knows what He is doing, so I let this go, and I rest in His Sufficiency.

My life has taken a drastic change. The Lord prepared me, gave me a warning to prepare for change. I assumed it was a different kind of change. Yes, I had been looking for another job, so naturally I assumed this is what He meant. "Carol, be prepared to get a different full-time job." In fact, I was called back to interview at NCU this week. I had to step in faith and tell them I was already committed to working at GCU - even if that is only part-time. Still, I felt God wanted me at GCU in a faculty position, and while there was no firm commitment of work down the road, I had a sense of peace confirming to me that this was the way I was to go.

As I sit here today, I am contemplating my future. Just last week, I was looking at jobs in corporate business (my former path) or in higher education (previous path before corporate). I was content to do whatever work the Lord brought to me, but I struggled with these paths. I felt that they conflicted with my education. I have received direction from the Lord regarding Regent. I know my "path" is through Regent. By that I mean that all my focus needs to be on my studies, and while I do have to work, I cannot do work that pulls me away from what I am doing at Regent University. I believe God has called me to study there, and I have been so blessed by it, to the point where I contemplated moving from Phoenix to Virginia Beach to attend on campus. I cannot give reason other than there is something special about that campus, and when you are there, you just feel God's Holy Spirit. You want to stay there, sit there, live there, study there. I almost think it is like "heaven on earth." You know you are on an earthly campus filled with earthly people, but you also know you are doing something wonderful with wonderful people. God's presence abides there, and you are at peace.

I have never experienced this kind of peace before my trip. I was told by a couple people who graduated from there that is was special. Yet, I didn't understand what they were saying. It is special or maybe it is special to me because I tend to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. I don't know, I just know that God gave me a supernatural confirmation that Regent was my path, and that I was to focus on it to the exclusion of everything else.

So back to the job hunt....

The more I looked at corporate or even higher ed jobs that were administrative, the more I felt claustrophobic. I was panicked over how I would work full-time, meet the demands of an employer, and complete my courses at Regent. I was overwhelmed by the pressure to perform, to meet expectations, and to be a "team player." I cried out to the Lord over and over again -- "Lord, I just want to do your work." I asked if I could work part-time and go to school full-time. I asked if I could do a job that was less stressful for me.

Zoom forward to last week.

The Lord pressed on me to apply for a job at NCU -- as an Academic Advisor. I received a call to interview and I went on Thursday to do so. Almost at the same time, I received a call for the Adjunct Faculty position at GCU. I was invited to interview as well, and I went and did so on Friday.

I blogged about the outcome over the weekend, how I felt that God had orchestrated that call, and how I was hired to be an IA for one semester before taking on Adjunct courses. I felt it was God's provision, even though the pay was miserably low (I have since learned that GCO pays $866 per course load - which equals out to $2598 per 3 unit course. Adjunct can teach three sections which would work out to $7794 per semester. If you divide that out by 15 weeks, you get $519 per week (paid out every two weeks or $1039 bi-weekly). It is below a living wage, but it is what most teachers get paid nationally speaking, and it is the trade you pay for being a college instructor.

As I factored the pay in to my needs (right now around $2k per month), I came up seriously short. I need to earn another $1k per month to feel comfortable. I don't know how I am going to do this, but without any experience, there is no chance I could be hired to a full-time faculty position.

I put all that behind me, and I pressed on believing that this was God's will on the matter. I told my colleagues of my decision, though I haven't turned in an official notice. Tuesday, I got a call from NCU asking me to a second interview, but because I had already started the paperwork at GCU, I turned that position down. I was "all in" for teaching!

Today, I am down in the dumps and battling some doubts. I received an email from GCU asking for 1997 W2 forms. I don't have anything of the sort - but because I said "do not contact" on my husband's business, which I worked under him for 12 years, I have to prove I worked there. I am worried now that they will choose not to hire me because they will say I falsified information. I didn't, I just was being honest. There is no number to call, no way to verify employment. I worked there from 1997-2009, but it was my husbands business. I never got a paycheck stub nor did I file a W2.

I should have left that employment off, but you never know if they will even look at your resume if you have less than five years, you might get passed over. Lesson learned - just put down what an employer can verify.

I am trusting the Lord to work that out for me. This is His SHOW and if He wants me at GCU, He will clear the matter up. Enough said.

Another step of faith...

So after being so down, the Lord pressed on me to apply for another Adjunct position with my newly updated resume showing that I am hired as an IA at GCU. It is for a community college in our far west valley, so about a 35 minute drive one-way. They are looking for development writing instructors for this fall, and the pay is exactly the same. I wrote a cover letter saying that I was looking for adjunct work, and that I would be IA at GCU for the fall before teaching in the Spring. My hope is that they will see me as a good candidate to hire on faith. It would offer me a chance to make more money, and I could teach 1-2 classes on their campus on T-THs this fall. That would be teaching two classes, IA in three, and completing 2 doctoral seminars. It is a lot, but if this is what God wants to do, so be it.

May it please the Lord to do so...

Dear Lord - HELP!

I so need you to fix this situation. I need more hours, more money, and I don't see a way for that to happen. I know you have me covered, and I know it will be OK. I have followed your leading, and I am trusting you. Please do whatever pleases you, and whatever furthers your will for my life. I am ready, I am open, and I am willing, Lord. Lead me to the place of your choosing, for your Name. Amen, so be it, thy will be done.

July 14, 2013

Learning Words

It is a good Sunday morning. It is lovely outside, warm and humid. Perhaps we will have a thunderstorm this afternoon? Oh, that would be sweet! It has been very hot here in AZ, and the monsoon moisture has made its way up from Mexico. Now we just need the right combination of climatic events and we will get our much needed rain. Normally, the monsoon starts around the middle of July. The weather people say it starts towards the end of June, but that just means the weather conditions are "ripe" for monsoonal rains. The actual rain and stormy condition seems to start showing up around this point in the month. Regardless, it will be a nice change from our very hot and very sunny weather.

Job / Career and Occupation / Profession

Now that God has provided a path for me to follow in regard to my current "work" situation, I am thinking what this new position (Instructional Assistant at GCU) means for me and how it will move me forward in my career. I use these words --job, work, career, occupation, profession -- interchangeably, which is not really correct. These words are often synonymous with our work, the daily work we do to bring in pay/income to support our families. In reality, they actually refer to different things, and are used specifically to denote progression or an eventual course over time.

I did a little word study today to help me understand what I believe the Lord has been saying to me about the "job" I do each day. I go to a job, and I get paid for doing certain tasks associated with that job. Every two weeks, I get a paycheck for the previous two weeks of completed tasks. This job has a title, and this title has several levels for advancement, should I choose to apply myself toward promotion. I have been confused about the job, the title, the path and the progression because I know that God has called me to do a very specific work that is 100% ministry focused. It is difficult for me to grasp the difference, so the Lord has graciously helped me to better understand the concepts and how they relate to this stage in my life.


Physical or mental effort or activity directed toward the production or accomplishment of something.
  • A job; employment: looking for work.
  • A trade, profession, or other means of livelihood
  • A vocation (see below)

A regular occupation, especially one for which a person is particularly suited or qualified.
  • An inclination, as if in response to a summons, to undertake a certain kind of work, especially a religious career; a calling
  • A path or progress through life or history
  • A profession or occupation chosen as one's life's work
You can see how confusing these terms are, and how we often use them within the same context. I struggle with using these words correctly because of the fact that my calling (vocation) is not the same thing as my (job). The Lord uses the term "work" to signify His Work or Ministry (Kingdom work - the work we are all called to do as part of His Kingdom). More specifically, we are all called to participate in His Kingdom work (evangelize, minister, disciple), but there is also specific work that is assign to each of us based on the gifting of the Holy Spirit of God (Eph 4:11).

So in my literal and very black and white mind, I think WORK is God's Work, and JOB is human activity that is rewarded with pay. It is clear when I say it that way. However, when the Lord tells me that I am not to have a career, then I get confused. What does this mean to me?

Well, I see now that CAREER is a path or progressive course (a accumulation of many JOBs over the course of a lifetime that fall under one particular occupation). My father's occupation was as Engineer. He worked for many companies over the course of his professional life, and retired eventually in 2000. He was a professional Engineer, and he had a long and very good career as such.

I have worked in a number of odd jobs. I have worked:
  • Retail Sales
  • Administrative Office Support
  • Technical Support
  • Customer Support
  • Graphic Design
  • Web Design
  • Recruiting/Sales in Higher Education
  • Analyst in Print Production
I have not worked in one profession so as to lead to a life-long CAREER. I have chosen jobs that were made available to me and paid me a salary so I could earn a living.

If anything, I have had a CAREER in ministry, though in a paraprofessional way.
  • Children's Ministry Teacher/Leader
  • Children's Ministry Director
Yes, until 2009, I served in Children's Ministry for my church. I started when I was 16, and I took a break from service when I was 47 (so 31 years of faithful service to children). This is the only thing I can count as a progressive history of my life's work. I served families and children in ministry.

Now I am a full-time graduate student. I returned to school at age 47 and completed my Masters degree with the hope of teaching Adjunct at the Community College. This was my plan, to have a JOB that provided more freedom for me to pursue the Lord's WORK, and to be able to pursue over the remaining years of my professional life.

Now in thinking this through, and in considering what I believe is the Lord's calling on my life, I can see exactly what I am to do. There is no professional CAREER because I am 50, and I have approximately 18 years left to work in jobs. This can be a second career so to speak (teaching), but it will not be a full career because I am too old for that to happen now. If I were in my 20's and graduating with my PhD, then yes, I could consider a CAREER in teaching (college-level) because I would have approximately 25-35 years to pursue that course of occupation.

However, since I am 50, and changing focus, I can see now that my life's work, my calling is ministry. It is the only thing I will have done (at the end) that would be classified as a full CAREER. 
  • Ministry - Children's (past, age 16-47)
  • Ministry - Technical (current, age 50->)
  • Ministry - Teaching (pursuing, age 50->)
  • Ministry - Training (eventual, age 68->)
My life has been made up of jobs that suited the need of the moment. Now, I am changing focus and looking to work as a professional educator (to have a profession). I will potentially be able to teach college for 16-17 years (ages 51-68). With mandatory retirement, I will be forced out, and then will transition to full-time missions and ministry through my remaining years on this earth.

I realize now that what was bothering me the most was the fact that I seemed to be continuing the pattern of random jobs, and not really doing ONE thing consistently. I understand that this has been the pattern of my life, and that while there is nothing wrong with doing what I did, there simply was no cohesive path or career. 

I guess I am more concerned now that I am older, and with my education, having it look like I am actually pursuing something of value. I certainly see no issue with continuing to work in jobs - any job that suited my need. It just seems that our culture looks down on people who job-hop. I know I have experienced this with my job interviews. There is no consistency, and prospective employers question your loyalty and integrity.

I am pleased that I will work in education now. It is a good fit for me, and it aligns with the Lord's plan for me. I have wanted to get back into higher education for a while, but I didn't want to work as an assistant or an advisor. I wanted to be faculty, and I wanted to be a professional educator. 

In truth, my education has been a hindrance for me. In higher education, you are either support personnel or you are faculty. Most schools classify you as "classified (hourly) or professional (salary)" or Faculty. In the first group, having a MA is OK, though at most, a BA degree is all that is needed. Some positions require a Masters (for example, to be a counselor). However, having a PhD generally presumes a teaching background, and while there are positions of higher administration, it is generally required to have substantial experience teaching and leading faculty (I have neither). 

In business/corporate work, education is not really valued unless it is for a top executive position (usually a MBA) or a professional credential (as in CPA or JD). My MA has been a hindrance, even internally within my company. I get asked "what is someone like you doing applying for this position?" They simply don't understand why a Masters graduate would apply for an Administrative Assistant role. They are really asking, "What's wrong with you?" and thinking "She must have issues or a bad attitude or be a poor worker."

I think now I can rest and no longer worry about the JOB. It will be a while before I can work Adjunct, but I am now on that path, and I will have opportunities for more teaching positions. I think between now and 2017 (my expected graduation), I can gain enough experience to change my CV from Professional to Teaching (a CV is used in education and normally you list all your teaching and/or research experience ahead of any professional or non-teaching experience).

In conclusion, I understand that my CAREER is the Lord's work. The JOBs I have done over the course of my life are varied, and meet specific needs. There has been no consistent job, but a series of jobs that provided income for my family. Now, I am going to be a professional educator, and the next 15-17 years will be focused toward that goal. In the end, however, my CAREER life will be made up of many different experiences. The only thing outside of this last role will be the years served in ministry.  I am OK with this fact. It is OK to know that I spent my life serving the Lord and following after His heart. I am at peace with the progression, and I know that God will provide opportunities for income and a place for me to be settled.

My tasks now are to complete my PhD; to complete my language courses; to continue my cultural studies (music, art appreciation, travel); and to provide through the Lord's hand, for my family (my elderly parents an my college-age son).

The JOB I do will provide income for me, and it will be focused and aligned with my tasks above, but it is not the end goal. It is a consistent and steady focus for my professional work, that will be more accommodating to the Lord's desires for me. I will have a flexible schedule, time off at the holidays, summers off, etc. I will be able to travel, and enjoy more opportunities, and in general, be far more relaxed and less stressed. I am blessed with this outcome, and while I know that for a time, I will be without the steady income and security of health benefits, I am trusting Him to provide and meet every need. He will not let me down. He is faithful, and He will provide for me (His NAME is Jehovah-Jireh!)

God be praised today and forevermore. He is good. He is so very good to me.

July 13, 2013

Praising God Today!

This has been a great week! On Thursday, I interviewed at Northcentral University for the position of Academic Counselor. The Assistant Director of Student Services was very nice (very young), and seemed to like my answers to her questions. I left thinking the job was in the bag.

Friday, I had an interview over at Grand Canyon University. I went even though I felt overwhelmed at the thought of being hired as Adjunct faculty. I had applied because I felt the Lord leading me to reapply, but I never thought they would actually call me. I was thrilled when I did get the call on Wednesday, but as the day drew near to go and interview, I panicked and was overcome with fear. I cried out to the Lord and said "Please Lord, I don't want to do this interview. I am not ready, I don't know how to teach college." His word to me was "trust me" and then it was "go and have a conversation." I said, "Yes, Lord" and I went.

Oh, I am so glad I listened and obeyed His Voice.

The Dean was a very nice man, very matter of fact, and very kind. He asked me a couple preliminary questions, and then said "Do you have teaching experience?" Ta-Dum! I knew that question was coming, so I just said "No. I haven't been able to get experience since I graduated with my Masters." He looked at me and said "That's OK. We have a way for you to get trained, if you are interested." I said yes, and he explained that they "teach teachers how to teach their way" and that I can work for 1-2 semesters as an Instructional Assistant, and then be given Adjunct courses. He was impressed with my PhD program, and the fact that I was open to teaching development writing and freshman English classes. In addition, once I complete 9 units in Communications, I can teach Intro to Comm classes.

He sent me over to the IA Coordinator who signed me up, before I could even say anything different. I got hired. I will be assisting in three classes in the fall. My days are M-W-F, and I will be doing the 'grunt' work in the class. I will also be tutoring and providing office hours to help students in need. In short, I will be doing everything but teaching the class - though I will be exposed to how they do it - and since I am such a good learner, I should be able to do it myself.

I guess it is like Student Teaching for K-12. I will have opportunities to teach, to lead group sessions, and so on. It is supervised, and if I do well, then I will graduate to college instruction.

They pay is minimal, but for 30 hours of work, it is not too bad. I will need to supplement with some other work, but I am thinking that the hours plus doctoral classes will be just fine. In all, God has provided an amazing opportunity for me, and I cannot thank Him enough.

Now, I just have to decide when to give my notice at CVS Caremark. I am thinking that I can work for a couple more weeks, give a two week notice, and start school on 8/26. I am so blessed. I am so very blessed.

God has provided out of His abundant wisdom the exact thing I need. Now I can get the training I need in classroom management, then gain the teaching experience of Adjunct Instructor and when I do finish my PhD, I can become a full-time Professor. I am blessed, truly blessed.

I have a way now, a path that is not confusing to me. I am on a path that aligns with my education, and will provide a good future for me. It is synced with my schooling, and I can relax and know that everything I am doing is all working together for my good. I am no longer having to put the corporate face on during the week, the doctoral student hat at night. I am a doctoral student who is student teaching and assisting until I can be qualified to be an Adjunct Instructor.

Dear Lord -

I didn't believe your word to me. I remember back when I was still in school at Mercy, and I asked you about teaching. Back then, almost two years ago, you told me that I would teach Developmental Writing and Freshman Composition classes, and that these courses would be my focus. You also said that I would teach Interpersonal Communication - even though I hadn't committed to Regent and a PhD in Communication. My faith wavered and stalled when I didn't get hired after I had graduated. You told me to be patient, to wait while you prepared the work for me. I panicked, and I begged for the job at CVS Caremark, even when you said it was not a good fit. Now I am here - on the other side of things - and I see what we had to wait. Grand Canyon has just gone through a massive enrollment explosion, and the need is so great for qualified instructors. According to the Dean, they cannot find instructors who teach according to their method. This IA program was designed to train up faculty and to ensure that instructors are not only qualified, but that they are good. I had to wait to be hired until this program was in place, and the need for more instructors was at an all-time high. I see how everything has come together -- my PhD at Regent, my need for part to 3/4 time work, my desire to teach, the need for teachers at GCU, your insistence that I keep applying at GCU even though they never replied to me, my realization that to do my program I needed 100% focus on the courses. Everything has worked just like you had told me, and I am now on my way to becoming a Professor. I thank you for your Faithfulness. I have not been obedient, and I haven't followed you. I doubted and I wavered, but you remained Faithful. I am now the recipient of your marvelous Mercy and Grace and you have made a way for me to follow so that I can do what you are calling me to do. I thank you, I thank you, I thank you. In Jesus' name - praises always! Amen, amen, amen!!

July 10, 2013

Update on New Opportunties

Just a quick update. In addition to an interview tomorrow, I just received a call from Grand Canyon University regarding teaching English. This will be my first time being interviewed, and I am excited about it. I am nervous of course, but I feel that this is something I can do, Lord willing. It would be part-time, and that has always been an issue, but with my doctoral classes in process, I am thinking that this might be the Lord's provision for me. I am keeping this open, and trusting Him to provide for me.

Thank you, Lord, for your provision and for these opportunities. I know you have the right job in hand for me, the job of your choosing, that will fit me, and my family, and cooperate with your Almighty will for my life.

New Opportunities on the Horizon

Good Wednesday Morning! It is a good day today, and I am very glad that I am able to work from home. I have some little tummy bug, and between feeling queasy, and like I need to be close to the bathroom, it is good to be home today.

I am very excited to report that I have a job interview scheduled for tomorrow at lunch. I submitted my resume to Northcentral University two weeks ago. They were looking for an Academic Advisor, and I thought I would like to go back into higher education and help students. Yes, I know - it is like what I did at UOPX - except that I won't be recruiting students, only working to retain them. I am not sure if this is what I want to do, but it would be a welcome change from the work I am doing now, and all the conflict within my department.

I have another application in process at NCU, so if this doesn't work out, perhaps that one will. I also applied for an internal Proposals position at CVS Caremark, but right now, my desire is to move to a new company, preferrably Higher Education, and stay put until I finish my PhD. I need to be back in an environment where education is valued, and members are encouraged to continue to advance their careers and abilities through education. My current employer doesn't value education, and is not supportive of team members taking classes and working. They are all about work - with no life - balance. I need to do something different.

My hope is that I will find the interview and the school to my liking and that I will be offered a job. I would like to turn in my notice as soon as possible, to avoid issues in my current job, and to give me the opportunity to leave before we get closer to the start of the 2014 Welcome Season.

I am already involved in a complex privacy case - the fiftieth or so since we started to use this vendor. I know that this vendor is not going to improve their production and quality control. This means that staying in my job any longer than necessary, simply means I will be dealing with massive privacy issues throughout the welcome season and into next year. I do not want to do this again - not after last year. My company is bent on "doing it again." What is that saying by Albert Einstein,

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

This is exactly what my company is doing in regard to this vendor. We are still using this vendor, and we are planning to give them more business throughout the rest of the year. It makes no sense to me, and if history is any indicator, our department is doomed to fail our customers once again. I don't want to be a part of this process, and this team. I want out, and whether that is an internal move or leaving the company and going elsewhere, I am all game.

Therefore, I am excited at this opportunity - and whether it develops is immaterial. I am simply happy to be moving forward and to be called for an interview. I am trusting God to speak through me, to work the details, and to make this job available to me. He is Good all the time, and I know He knows me well. He knows what will work and what will not work, and I am resting in His Choice of the next job. God be Praised - He is Good all the time!!

Dear Lord,

Thank you for opening a door up for me to interview for a position at another online school. My preference would be to work with students in a face-to-face capacity, but I am willing to work with them on the phone again. I like that I will be helping them with their studies, and not trying to recruit them (though we will find out if that is part of the equation). I will certainly help them, but I don't want to get back into the recruiting business side of education. I am asking for your Grace to provide a different job to me. If this is the job of your choosing, so be it. If not, then I ask you will give me opportunity to demonstrate my skills, and let this be a stepping stone to the position you have in mind for me. In all things, may this be your will, and may I rest in your Name, knowing that you are able to do all things for me, and for your will. I ask this now in Jesus' Name - Amen! So be it. Thy will be done. Selah (Pause and calmly think about it!)

July 5, 2013

Happy Day After the 4th of July

Good 5th of July! I hope you all had a restful and celebratory holiday yesterday! Mine was very quiet, with not much celebrating going on. It was nice to have a day off mid-week, and since it is so hot here in Phoenix, it was even nicer to be able to stay indoors and enjoy the cool AC.

Nothing much happened yesterday other than a nice BBQ dinner with my parents. I still wasn't feeling 100%, and I am still having some dental issues, but mostly, I think I was just tired from all the hub-bub and hard work of the previous 8-10 weeks.

Notwithstanding the dental work, I just finished up my first Doctoral course, and while it was not as difficult as I had imagined, it was still difficult and so very different from any graduate course I have taken thus far. I had to write shorter, but more concise assignments (always a challenge for me to be concise), and I had to start to think like a Social Scientist. I think the "thinking part" was the most difficult. It took me a good 6-8 weeks until I felt comfortable writing and thinking like a Communications scholar. Nonetheless, I am pleased with my performance in class. I don't have my grade yet, but I am hopeful that I got an "A". I know - A-schmay! Yes, I cannot get away from the achievement aspect of school, and for me, that means getting all "As."

In thinking through my current path, and the plans that are in place, I realized that my struggle wasn't so much with what God was asking me to do, but rather with God Himself. I am struggling against a Mighty Force, and I am losing the battle. You see, it took me until late last evening to grasp that I have been hitting my head against a Giant Wall of Immovable Force, and that nothing was going to change for me until I gave up and stopped doing that to myself.

I know what the plans are, and I know that I am on the path of His choosing. Yes, I am a bit overwhelmed at the tasks before me, but so long as I keep looking at my hand, and my strength, I will remain overwhelmed. I have to stop looking to myself to accomplish these tasks - they are too high for me, too hard and too difficult. I am like David facing a Giant with 5 smooth stones. I am little, and the giant I face, is far too much for me to tackle. Yet, with God, all things are possible. I believe that I am called to complete this work, and as such, there is nothing or no one who will stand in my way. Therefore, if I focus on me, then all I see is the inadequacy, and the insurmountable task. Yet, if I look to Him, then I see that He is able to do this, and that He desires to do it. I am nothing, but He is everything.

So with that understanding, I am ready to start moving forward. I don't know how I will get through the next four-five years, but I know I will not be alone. I don't know what kind of job I will do, but I know that I will do some kind of job. I don't know how all these classes will be paid for, and how I will manage them all -- but I know that He will provide for me. I rest. I trust. I rely. I am safe, and secure, and I am good.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Today is a new start for me to begin to walk in faith, and to trust and rely on Him. I have said I would do that before today, but I wasn't very consistent in doing so. Instead, I am looking to Him to show me how to walk on through this trial, how to find the way through it, instead of out. I wanted a way out, but now I see that He has determined that I walk through it all.

There are times when God provides an open door, and then there are times when He asks us to trust Him and walk on through. I am at one of these points, and I have to trust Him and walk on. I know that I am not necessarily happy about doing that, but He has something wonderful planned for me, so I walk on. I am not afraid. I am not unhappy, per se. In fact, I am simply OK with it. I would have rather taken the exit ramp, but this is OK as well. I will just walk on and see what is on the other side of things. Perhaps the grass is greener on the other side of this trial. Perhaps...

I am ready to start, and I am ready to Go, Lord. I ask that you now lead me on, and take me to the place where you desire I be. I am willing to do all the classes you ask of me, and I am willing to do whatever kind of work (job) you bring to me to do. I don't have to like it, and I don't have to be happy about it. I have to be faithful to do the work, and I have to remember that you are providing this to me, so I give you thanks for each and every opportunity, good and bad, easy and hard. They are all your hand's provisions and ultimately will be for my good. I know this and I rest in that knowledge.

Thank you, Adonai - I praise you today, and I thank you for your provision and your goodness towards me. Amen, so be it, thy will be done! May God be praised today, and forever more.

July 4, 2013


I am crushed today. My world is crushing down on me, and I don't know what to do about it. I have prayed, and I have quieted my soul to listen, but right now, I am in that place of silence, where there is no answer, now way out, no open door. I know I am making a really big deal of it, but truthfully, I absolutely hate change. I hate how I feel when things are in flux, and how I stress over every tiny move, left or right. I know the Lord has moved in my life, and that He has created change -- this change has caused me to be off-balance, and to feel as though my life is spinning out of control. Let me explain...

I am what is called an INTJ personality. I represent about 3% of the total population when it comes to personality types and theory.

I am a rational/mastermind (another term), and as such, I tend to plan out my life, and create a path that is set and ordered. I like things to be very ordered. I don't like fluctuations, and I am not flexible (even though I often say that, it is not true). I am very steadfast, faithful, and loyal - all good traits - but I am not the "go with the flow" type of person. Usually, when I do go with the flow, it just means that I don't have a care or a preference for the direction. It is not important enough to me to weigh in, so I am "OK" with either move. This is probably why I say I am flexible, when I am really not. I can be lazy, and not interested, and that covers for my so-called flexibility.

So to bring things into focus and add some clarity - it was last week or so when the Lord and I had a conversation about my current predicament. As I recall, I cried out to Him, begged Him to release me from my current work (yada yada yada), and He said something along the lines of Him moving, and that change would come into my life. In short, "Hey, Carol - be prepared. I am moving, and this will bring change, and you will not like it!" (My words of course, not His). Cringe. I cringed when I prayed, "Yes, Lord. So be it." I remember the details slightly, and they had something to do with the fact that I was not willing to move to VA Beach now, and that I wanted a different job here in Phoenix. The details blur because I feel like I am living on a merry go-round. I  mean, I could have repeated this conversation (me and Him) two years ago and it would have been about UOPX. Then I could have reached back further, and it would have been about Macy's. Pattern emerging here? Yep, it is ME, all ME. I am the reason why I feel so yucky. I am the sole reason why my life is where it is, and why I stress and strain to get answers. Simply put, I don't listen, and I don't obey.

Today is the 4th of July. It is a day off of work, and that is a good thing. I am at the computer blogging because I got socked in the stomach this morning. I went out to all the jobs sites (a normal thing for me to do), and I realized that there is nothing I want to do for work. I simply do not want to do any of these jobs. I hate my current job, I hated my previous jobs. I hated working on my own, and I hated being in my own business. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being loving the job, and 1 being loathing the job, I would rate my professional career as follows:

  1. McDonalds (age 16) - 1
  2. Western Boot store (age 17-18) - 4
  3. Mall work (age 18-19) - 1
  4. Nutech Engineers (age 19-20) - 3
  5. CompuServe (age 22-23) - 3
  6. Britton Lee (nee Share Base) - 8
  7. Apple Computer (temp) - 5
  8. IBM (temp) - 3
  9. Share Base (nee Britton Lee) - 4
  10. Desktop publishing (self) - 2
  11. Shirt Store (temp) - 1
  12. Preschool Director at Church - 2
  13. Web Designer - 4
  14. Grade School Director at Church - 3
  15. Macy's - 1
  16. UOPX - 4
  17. CVS Caremark - 2
There you have it - low marks equal poor overall job satisfaction. The only job I liked/enjoyed was the job I had at Britton Lee when I worked in Computer Operations. I actually did like that job. I didn't like the managers, but I liked the work. It was administrative/technical, and I liked that I worked with computers, and could pretty much do whatever I wanted.

I've worked at a lot of jobs over the course of my life, and I have not really liked any of them. I have done the work because I needed the job, and I made the best of the situation, but there was always some factor that ended up forcing me to leave. I think it was personal - you know - interpersonal relationships as well as corporate decisions that were illogical and not in the best interest of the employees.

My reasons for loathing my job now are the same: a manager who micromanages everyone, and policy decisions that are inefficient, illogical, and unproductive for staff and colleagues.

So what do I do? 

I need to work. I have bills to pay, but I keep thinking about my career progression, and how hard I have worked to get my resume "current" again. If I quit now and go back to work for myself, I throw all that hard work out the door. If I take another "corp" job, then I sign on for more mismanagement and idiocy. 

I am a leper. No one wants to hire a 50 year old woman with a lot of education, but no progressive history. I am sunk. I feel worse now then I did when I was still idealistically looking for work in 2010. I feel like I am dead in the water, not going anywhere, and not going to get a call, a look, or even a consideration. I am nothing.

Alright - I have to do something, I have to work. I would love to be a perpetual student, but right now, I don't see that working out for me. My personality type is the issue, I know it. I am independent, and all the issues I have cited above, are the direct result of my personality clashing with other people, typically those in management above me. ARGH!

Ok, so my typical response at this point is to recognize the futility of my complaints, and pull myself up and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. I do not tolerate inefficiency, and I do not tolerate emotional upheaval. I need a plan of action, and I need a plan now. It is pretty obvious that my plan has been thwarted, and that without a plan, I falter and find myself feeling this way. Clearly, the Lord has altered my trajectory, and I need to reconnect with His plan to ensure we are going in the same direction.
  1. Validate the plan
  2. Confirm the direction
  3. Isolate areas of confusion and determine root cause
  4. Reconfigure steps to avoid confusion
  5. Identify new steps around confusion
  6. Look toward the future and create a path to reconnect with the Lord's overall plan
  7. Start moving forward towards that plan
  8. Feel better!
Lord, I need to validate, confirm, isolate, reconfigure, identity -> so I can reconnect with your plan for my life. Once I do this, I can move forward and I will feel better (settled and on the right path). I ask now that you would reveal to me what I need to know so that I can make these changes, and move forward toward where you are waiting for me. Thank you for helping me see that I was whirling about in the dust, and not moving. The longer I tarry here, the more frustrated I become. It is a no-win situation. However, you are up there - up ahead of me - and I just need to catch up to you. I am coming Lord, I am coming. I will follow, and I will obey, and I know this will all make sense to me very soon. In Jesus Name, I ask for your help today. Amen, so be it, thy will be done! Selah!! (Pause and calmly think about it!!)

July 3, 2013

Planning To Do for Fall 2013

Either I am crazy or I serve a Mighty and Crazy God! (I think it must be a little bit of both!!) I wonder how many times the men and women of old thought that the Lord their God was crazy for what He was asking them to do (fight Giants, march seven days around a secure fortress, rout the overwhelmingly larger enemy army, etc.) Yes, we serve an Amazing and sometimes Crazy God. Of course, crazy only in our limited view of things, and in our weak understanding of who He really is, and of His Greatness.

Yesterday, while being fairly frustrated at work, the Lord pressed on me to send an email over to the School of Psychology and Counseling at Regent. We have discussed the option of me taking a second Masters degree in Counseling, but I had assumed it would be at a different school or after I completed my PhD. Instead, the Lord suggested I consider studying Psychology as part of a joint degree option that Regent has for some of their programs. I didn't see how it would be possible, but I obeyed, and sent off the introductory email to the academic counselor assigned to field inquiries.

I was pleasantly surprised by their response (Should I be? Really?) I can complete the Masters in Human Services Counseling, which is a paraprofessional degree geared for ministry, church, or organizations, in 12 months. Each class is only 8-weeks long, and the program is designed to combine easily with other graduate programs in business, law or education. Since this is not a clinical degree, there is no extensive 1000-hour practicum. The courses are for knowledge, and to prepare students to incorporate the techniques and understanding of counseling into their careers or education.

I can be accepted into the program, but I have to have 9-credits of psychology before they will admit me. I have 3-credits from a long time ago, so I would have to take 6-credits from a local CC or another online school (or Regent, but it would be less expensive to do it via the CC).

Now I am thinking of completing this program in conjunction with my current PhD. The coursework would be a nice fit to what I want to study, and would provide good background information to my niche (interpersonal communication). I just need to figure out how I would do two programs simultaneously, and work! LOL!

Fall 2013 Course Load

I am registered for two doctoral seminars for Fall:

  • Historical/Critical Methods
  • History of Communication
These classes begin on 8/19 and run through 12/7/13.

I am also registered for one undergraduate course through University of Phoenix, but plan on taking a second this fall:
  • Foundations of Research - July 23-Aug 22 (Ungrad)
  • Research Methods, Design and Analysis - October-November (Grad)
I would need to complete two undergraduate Psychology courses at UOPX as well:
  • History and Systems of Psychology (Ungrad)
  • Psychology of Personality (Ungrad)
So in all, I would need to complete 3 undergraduate, 1 masters, and 2 doctoral courses between now and December. I am not sure I can do it all.

The research courses are to provide more instruction in research methods, which I feel is a weakness for me. My PhD is a research program, so I will be conducting a lot of research in each course. The Psychology courses are to complete the required 9-credits needed for acceptance in the MHSC program.

God is the God of My Education

I believe that God is the one spear-heading my education. He is the One providing the funding, and He calls the shots when it comes to the courses I take. I believe it - I cannot really explain why I do, I just do.

With that said, I guess this means that I am going to be taking these 6-courses (LOL!) I need to figure out how I will work - but I already know that God has no plans for me to remain at my present job (more on that later). I need to do something else, more flexible, easier, and a better fit (enough said). I am trusting Him to provide a job for me. These are His plans, therefore, He has to provide the funding, the acceptance, the grades, and the job. It is one-package wrapped up with His Name on it, and presented to Him for His Service. I give all my time, my attention, and my efforts to Him, for His Praise, for His Honor, and for His Name.

May God be Praised today and forever more! Selah! Pause and calmly think on that!!

July 1, 2013

Choosing to Trust

Trust (n): Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.

Trust in Jesus, for there is no other way; Trust in Jesus - trust and obey.

I so struggle with trust, yet the Bible is full of admonition for us to trust God. We are told how important it is to trust God (Prov. 3:5-6). We are told to lean upon Him, and to not place confidence in our own understanding. By acknowledging that He is God, that He knows what He is doing, we can trust - rely upon His character, and His integrity (adherence to moral principles; honesty). God is someone who keeps His word. He is trustworthy, and His Character is such that He cannot be anything other than honest.

I know that this is true. I stand firm in my commitment to this truth. God is trustworthy, and His character is without reproach. Yet, I struggle with trusting Him. I struggle so with believing that He is who He says He is, and with His word, which tells me the truth (John 17:17b).

I read a blog which listed out the Seven Habits of People Who Trust God. I like these traits, and I think that they say something of the people who place their trust in a Sovereign and Holy God.

  1. They accept suffering
  2. They accept the inevitability of death
  3. They have daily appointments with God
  4. In prayer, they listen more than they talk
  5. They limit distractions
  6. They submit their discernment to others
  7. They offer the Lord their complete, unhesitating obedience
I struggle to do 1, 4, and 6. I know that I should accept suffering, but instead I fight back. I don't like suffering, even when I know that the Lord receives glory through my earthly suffering. I talk to God a lot, mostly I talk - He listens. It should be the other way around. I know it, I am working on it. I don't share my concerns with others, preferring to figure things out on my own. I often mistake information, and make judgments that are not spot-on. Had I trust in others, I am sure I would make less errors. I need to work on that one as well.

Seven Habits of People who Trust in God - yes, I want to be classified as a person who trusts in God. I am so tired of missing the mark, falling short, being just a wee bit off -- I want His best for my life, and to get His Best, I have to let go and trust Him. I know this, I know so this well.

Today, I am resolved to trust the Lord with my whole heart. I am committed to obedience - without hesitation, and to following without question. I am ready to take the next step of faith, to go to the next level, to walk in total obedience, and complete surrender to His will -- regardless of when it will include suffering, and how it will end (in death of course). I know the plans I have for you says the Lord...

For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jer. 29:11 NLT