October 18, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yep, today is my birthday. Nothing big to celebrate, just another year passed, and a little further down the road. Still, it is a good day, and I am excited to experience what is ahead.

I woke up this morning itching like crazy. Seems some little critter decided to bite me last evening/during the night. I have three large welts on my upper chest/neck area. Red, swollen and itchy. Ugh! Not the best way to start your birthday!

On the job front, today is my last day at GCU. I changed my last day from next Friday to today because I found out that the school offered contracts to online teachers for grading help. I was told that they didn't have the money to pay me for the extra work I was doing for two other teachers. I was also told that they couldn't ask other IAs to take on more work because these students wanted to get paid to do it (as if I didn't). Then I was told that I wouldn't be doing any grading next week and I would be assisting in class only. Well, after factoring all that into the mix, I decided that one week's notice was good enough. Really - I mean - I think they treated me badly. They miscommunicated the matter numerous times, and when it came down to it, they continued to use my gracious service to their advantage. Now they are "paying" teachers to grade where before they said they didn't have the money to do that. Hmm...funny how the money can be let loose when it is absolutely necessary to do so! Oh well...

The good news is that now I have a whole week off before I start my new job. I had wanted to do this but I felt so bad about leaving GCU and the teachers I was helping in the lurch. Ha! I wanted to give them two weeks notice to help them out, and in return, they hired other teachers in a heartbeat to pick up the slack. So much for my good intentions.

God has me so well covered. I wanted to serve with honor and integrity, and I did so. I didn't want to give a short notice, but in the end, I was able to do so AFTER I heard the school's plans. Once I knew that my services were no longer needed, I took the quick exit and ran out the door. God provided a way out for me, and I am so thankful that He made sure everyone was covered as well.

I have no malice towards GCU. The school is a good school, but they have problems (internal and with faculty services). They are growing and they are seeking the Lord. They need to get their infrastructure issues resolved PDQ, but that is not my concern. I was glad to test out teaching, to learn that it is not the job for me, and to be able to work/earn income while I waited for the Lord's provision of a good job.

The good job has come and I am blessed. I will start my new position next Monday (10/28), and I will have the blessing of a whole week off to boot. More so, I can visit with my colleagues at CVS next week (lunch), and catch up on news from UOPX (tomorrow). In all, it is a good move, a good week of plans, and a good thing.

As I consider my life, and I look over the details of the events, I see God's fingerprints. He has moved me, changed me, and remade me into the "thing" of His desire. I am His and He is mine. I love the fact that I am doing what He wants, that I am going where He sends me, and I am doing it all through His Grace and Love. He is moving in me and through me. I am blessed, I am excited to be used this way, and I am eager to see what His hand will bring to me today (tomorrow and forever). God is so very Good. He is so very Good to me!

October 16, 2013

Happy Day!

I received a call from HR on Monday asking if I would accept their offer of employment. Of course, I said "Yes!" I am very pleased with the offer. I will be bringing home more than what I did at CVS Caremark, and I think the benefits packaged is better (I know it is). I will be able to keep my Delta Dental, such a good thing, and I will be able to get that last crown done after the first of the year (whoo hoo!) Medical is better, and I should be able to stick with a PPO rather than a HSA, though depending on the out of pocket expenses, may choose to go with the HSA once again. Overall, I am pleased, so very pleased.

I turned in my notice to GCU on Monday. They were gracious about my leaving, and I am thankful that they understood my reasons for turning in my notice. I have been frustrated with GCU internal processes, but my reasons for leaving were completely monetary. As a single parent with the added responsibilities for helping my own parents, the need for regular income weighed heavy on my mind. I help my parents with food and miscellaneous expenses, and the thought of not being able to do this really worried me. Now I don't have to be concerned, and I am thankful that I can continue to help them live a comfortable life through their latter years. God is so very good to me, so very good to me.

Additionally, I feel that I will be able to better handle my schooling, and I will be able to manage my time and not fall behind in reading or posts. I am two weeks behind as is and that fact bears down on me every day. I want to use my schooling for both career and ministry. I know my calling is for ministry, and my education is to support that call. However, in this new position, there is an alignment which will allow me to bring my studies to bear on my work. I think I will be able to use my study to help build out my working life, and to open potential opportunities down the road.

As I contemplate my remaining days at GCU (two weeks - my last day is 10/25), I realize how God has used this time to allow me to decompress from CVS Caremark. I didn't realize how stressed I was coming out of that environment. GCU has been stressful too, but not in the same way. It has been frustrating more than stressful. CVS was a toxic environment, and I needed time to get all that "yuck" out of my system. I feel better now, and I have lost 12 lbs since I left that company. I have also gotten off soda and candy/cookies, etc. I still have more weight to lose, but I am feeling so much better now. It has been a good thing to walk and to get out in the fresh air.

I see how God provided this opportunity for me, and while I thought it would be a permanent solution to my career needs, I understand now that it was meant for a temporary measure. I needed something to do until THIS job was available. I needed to be busy, to work, to earn some income, until the Lord was ready to move me into the position of His choosing. This new position is a good fit for my skills and abilities, and it provides for me and my family. I won't know about the environment until I get into the work office, but on first glance, it seemed very nice (quiet and nice). I am excited, and I am looking forward to starting this new position on 10/28.

God knows my needs -- all of my needs -- and He is faithful to provide for everything I think I need or even want. He has a plan for my life -- a rich and wonderful plan -- and He has me covered completely. I rest in His Sufficiency, and I let go of everything so that He can move and do whatever He needs to do in my life.

Dear Lord,

I thank you today for the life you have given to me. I thank you for your provision and your goodness. You have more than abundantly provided for me, and I am blessed to be the recipient of your favor. I look forward to the work you have planned for me, and I am eager to see your hand as it moves through this new place of employment. I know your plans are good, and I know that you are actively working in and through me to bring about your will. May your name be praised today and forevermore! Amen, so be it, thy will be done.

October 11, 2013

Fall is Here!

Fall has finally arrived to sunny and hot Arizona! Yesterday, it was actually "jacket weather!" Lovely and cool, it was a perfect day to be out and about. I spent the morning at GCU, but ended up coming home early because I wasn't feeling well (tummy bug along with some seasonal allergies or cold possibly). I took my Mom out to the store to buy groceries for this weekend. My brother and family are coming in from LA to celebrate the birthday of their youngest son. He attends GCU and the whole family is coming for his 21st birthday.

My birthday is next week as is my Dad's, so we are having a combined celebration this week. It should be a lot of fun, and with the cooler temperatures, pleasant to hang out or go shopping/touring.

Update

I have heard anything on the job yet. I did get a call from the background check company on Monday. They needed to verify my employment at Ace Promotions. I don't really have a way to do that, but they were willing to speak with David about it, and I guess it went OK. I hope to receive an offer today or early next week. Praying for one, anyway!

God is so very good these days (well, all the time really!) I was marveling at His Goodness yesterday, just thinking about all that He has done for me. So much change has happened over the past couple years, and while it was not 'easy change,' still it proved to be for my benefit and not my harm. I am reminded of Joseph's words to his brothers when he finally confronted them about the treachery they had used on him. Joseph writes,

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people." Genesis 50:20 NLT

And while I don't see myself in the same position or calling as Joseph, I do take heart his words to his brothers. I have suffered some at the hands of other people, and while I was hurt (whether intentionally or unintentionally), that suffering was not meant to destroy me. Instead, it was meant for my good, to better me, to help me, and to save me ultimately. God is so very good to use negative experiences for positive outcomes.

I am where I am because the Sovereign Lord intervened in my life and turned what looked to be a hopeless and horrible situation into something beautiful and blessed. I am blessed beyond measure, and I am good this day.

Thinking Forward

It's October 11 (hard to believe it), and the end of the year is at hand. I cannot believe we are so close to Christmas right now. I love Christmas - it is my favorite season. I am looking forward to having a blessed Christmas this year. It will be my first at home since I was living at home with my parents almost thirty years ago. I want to make this holiday a special event for my parents. They are getting up in years, and I want them to enjoy their holiday as much as possible. I want us all to have a good time celebrating the Lord's birth, and enjoying the seasonal aspects of holiday.


October 8, 2013

Update

Good news! I received an email yesterday asking me to complete the background check information for this new job. I completed the required paperwork yesterday, and now I am back to waiting again. This time, though, it is a good wait. I don't anticipate any issues with my background check (nothing has come up before, so I doubt it will now), and I feel confident that I will get an offer very soon.

I am tired, very tired, from school and work. I really need a short break, so if I get the offer soon, I am planning on taking a week off before I start this new position. I need to rest and to be refreshed so I can start this new job on a good footing. I am excited about working for this company, and for the opportunities that are possible. I am dreading the drive, though, which will take me  a good 30 minutes each way. However, the income should offset everything, and I should be able to take advantage of the quiet time in the car to relax and get prepared for each day. It will be OK, and I think it is a good thing.


October 4, 2013

The Waiting Game

Second interview went well, I think. I spent about 30 minutes on the phone with the HR person. She asked traditional behavioral questions, and I did my usual thing (which is to be wordy). I am not sure whether she got what she wanted from me or not. Oh well...It is how I handle these kinds of situations.

I asked about next steps, and she said that they were just starting the hiring process. She said that she had to speak with the hiring manager, and that if I was selected to move one, I would have to interview with the VP. Not sure what that means, but there you go. She said not to expect anything this week (it is Friday, after all), and that they would be in touch.

Ok, so there you have it. Now it is a matter of waiting this one out, and seeing what comes out in the wash (so to speak). I believe this is the job for me, but these folks have to agree on that point. Hopefully, this will be the case. Until then, I am just waiting.

On Other News

I got another boatload of essays to grade for Psychology. I was told last time that I would be grading one time only, and that I wouldn't be asked to do it again. Ha! I really cannot grade another 40 essays for this teacher. I have my own work to grade and my doctoral papers to finish. I am not a happy camper about this, and I do feel that GCU is taking advantage of me.

The more they load on me (me only -- no one else is doing this extra work), the more I am wanting to walk away with a "see ya" attitude. I am praying I hear on this other job soon. If not, then I will have to grade these papers, and try and balance the little time I have for my own studies. It is not a good thing, IMHO.

I am trusting the Lord. He knows me best, and He is my manager, so to speak. I will wait on His deliverance to set me free from this situation. Until He moves, I am to wait here and be patient.

Diet and Lifestyle Plan

It has been one month since I started a new lifestyle plan. I have had very good success so far, and I am feeling better (generally speaking). The first three weeks, I went low-carb. I lost 10 pounds, but I had the typical low-carb side effects (weird pee smell, light headedness, constipation, etc.) I am now down to 157. My target goal is 145 (12 more to go), and my goal date is still the end of the year.

I started on a new plan today, really the original plan, but less restrictive. I am now on a high fiber diet (to aid my constipation), and eating natural/organic produce and lean meats. I am still low on dairy due to some lactose intolerance, and I am choosing whole organic breads, pastas, etc. instead of anything enriched or bleached. I am no sugar still, and no carbonated beverages.

The plan now is to create a healthy eating lifestyle where I can eat what I want, the the amount I want without having to diet. Portion control is still key as is eating six small meals a day. I am also drinking between 48-88 oz of water each day plus one cup of coffee in the morning.

So far I have not struggled to get off the cakes, cookies, candies or the sugar. It was hard to go without the diet drinks, but after 3-4 days, I was fine.

Atkins was a good start, but restrictive. It worked well for me, and I was rarely hungry. I just got burnt out on all the protein. Ugh! I need to eat normal foods, muffins, and all-natural snacks -- I need a regular meal plan because I cannot live such a limited life.

I guess I will be following weight watchers now. I mean as far as the portion control goes. I will eat on a small plate and remember that the bulk of my food choices are to come from fruits and vegetables. Smaller portions of grains and meats.

It is nice to fit into clothes I haven't worn in 2 years, and I bought a pair of size 10 jeans (whoo hoo!) for the first time in probably 2-3 years. I love the fact that my tummy is not distended anymore, and that my hips/thighs/waist, and breasts have shrunk about an inch so far. It is good to see my old body come back to me. Now I need to stick with this plan, and get down to the weight I need to be at, and then I am good. God is so very good to me, so very good to me!

October 2, 2013

Happy October!


Happy October! Fall has arrived! Unfortunately, it is still very summer-like here in AZ, but the 'thought' of fall is everywhere. The stores have all their fall and Halloween items on display (and even some Christmas items). The weather has gotten cooler, though still not as cool as in other parts of the country. The colors are summer-like as well because of our warm evenings do not allow the trees to change color. Still it feels like fall, and that makes me happy. I love autumn colors and the cool days.

This is my birthday month. It is probably the first birthday I have looked forward to since I was a child. I don't get presents anymore, and celebrations are usually a nice dinner with family. However, I am excited about this birthday (it is not a special number) and for the opportunity to experience another good year on this Earth.

God has been so good to me. I stand in awe at His Mercy and Compassion, and I lift my hands in praise to thank Him for His Goodness. I cannot express what His Presence means to me or how important it is to my well-being. I love the Lord and I worship Him this day.

Preparing for Change

I confirmed my second interview with NurseWise yesterday. I will have a 30-minute conversation with HR on Thursday afternoon. I am very excited for this opportunity, and I believe that this is a job I can keep for a long-time (praying it is so). I am also excited that this job will provide excellent benefits (what with Obama Care and that debacle in Congress). I don't have benefits right now, and while I would have signed up for government healthcare to comply, I am happy to know that I will have employer provided benefits. I still feel that I will pay less in the long run to have employer insurance, and I am glad that these benefits kick in after 30 days on the job.

I am thinking of giving my notice to GCU on Monday, assuming that I am offered the job this week. I would like to take a week off (the week of 10/14) so that I can rest between jobs. I haven't taken any time off between work for three years. A week off (without pay) would be OK, and would give me time to rest and be refreshed before my new job starts.

I may have to travel to St. Louis for training. I am OK with that since I have been there once already this year. I am not sure where the office is located, but I am comfortable with traveling on my own now. I am looking forward to traveling again. I enjoy it, and I like the opportunity to go to new places and see new things.

My hope and prayer is for the Lord to go before me in this work. I am asking for His Favor over my conversation tomorrow. I am trusting Him to provide the right amount of income and benefits for me. He knows my needs well, and I trust Him as my Provider.

Thinking Forward

As I consider my future, I am filled with hope. I know that the plans the Lord has for my life are good. He has orchestrated this path, and I am trusting Him to show me the way each and every day. He illumines the steps, and I follow in His Light. As I learn from Him, trusting Him, relying on Him, I am able to rest and to let go. He has me covered. He has me completely covered and I am safe. God is Good all the time, and His Mercy never ends. 

News and Other Items

I completed my annotated bibliography for my COM 631 Organizational Communication in the Digital Age class. It was a bear - almost 25 pages long - but it is done! Hallelujah! It is done. I am praying for favor with my professor, and for a good grade. I worked very hard on that paper, and I believe I covered my topic well. God has this under control, I believe it, I know it, I rest in it.

I have another paper to write this weekend, and then I will have complete my first major assignments for my courses. I will have another applied project and paper due later in the semester. I have to keep up with my reading and DQs, but generally speaking, I am half-way through my second and third doctoral class at Regent University (whoopee!)

Again, I consider the work of the Lord, and His Grace, which has made all this possible. I thank Him for providing this opportunity, for helping me stay focused through the course load and assignments, and for bringing me the sweetness of fellowship with my cohort/colleagues. I am excited to see what God has planned for me this year (and next). I am open to opportunities for research, to participate in research projects, and to write up scholarly articles on research studies. I believe God has called me to be a research scholar (versus a teacher), and that this program at Regent is preparing me to do just that. I love research, and I love to write about research. I know God has a plan for research in my life, and I know that He is working behind the scenes to help me be prepared and trained in research practice. God is so very good to me!

Dear Lord -

Thank you for this gorgeous day! Thank you for giving me hope; hope for a new future filled with promise, and hope for opportunities to express you divine will and demonstrate your goodness to the world around me. Thank you, Lord for your Presence, which comforts me daily. Thank you for caring for me and keeping me safe. Thank you for your Provision and for meeting all my needs (income and benefits). Thank you Lord for keeping me steady, and for managing my time so that I can complete every task assigned and every project planned. You are Good, Lord, and I praise you today for your Goodness. I ask now that you cover me this day and that you help me to complete the grading tasks this morning so that I can focus on Regent and the work ahead. I need Grace to handle the task and to do it well. I ask now that you favor me in conversation, in application, and in thoroughness so that I can be your representative to the people you bring to me this day. May I give you praise in every area of my life, and may I experience your blessing today in every way. I ask all this in Jesus' Name, Amen. So be it, thy will be done. Selah (pause and calmly think about it)!



October 1, 2013

Stepping Out in Faith Yields Big Rewards

I am dancing for joy right now! I received a call from NurseWise asking me to interview with Human Resources. It has been a long week since I interviewed with the hiring manager, and for a time, I didn't think I would hear from them again. The hiring manager had said that the "next steps" would include an interview with HR, but after a week went by, I assumed that they had made a decision to go with another candidate. I just got off the phone with the office in Tempe, and I am scheduled for a phone interview on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. My prayer is of course to have a good conversation with this lady, and for her to like me, and offer me the job (always, the job!) I believe this is God's will and that He has orchestrated this interview and job opportunity. I knew He wanted me to wait, and to be patient, but I struggled so with doing what He asked.

In fact, now that I think about it, He told me to wait while I was at CVS Caremark. He said that He had a job in mind for me, but that I had to wait and be patient for everything to come together. I was so stressed over the events at CVS, that I begged for a way out, and the Lord provided the opportunity at GCU. I am thankful for the time at GCU, and for the lessons I have learned there.

First, I learned that I don't like teaching. I think teaching is a great career, but it is not the choice for me. I am not passionate about teaching, and I don't really enjoy helping students learn basic studies. I do enjoy higher level studies, graduate coursework, etc., but learning how to write a paragraph or essay is not of interest to me.

Second, I learned that I don't like being bored or waiting for work. I need to be busy, and not with busy work, but with real technical or challenging "thinking" type work. Waiting for the teacher to do the lesson, waiting to answer student's questions, waiting for them to show up for appointments, etc. Yes, I sit around and wait -- A LOT. I am not good with waiting, and teaching is a slow paced type of career.

Third, I learned that I love money. Yes, I am breaking scripture when I make that statement. The truth is that I see the value in money, and I see what it is used for in our world. I am not zealous to make money, and yes, I believe it is the root of all evil. However, money is a provision of the Lord, and with His provision, it is always a GOOD thing.

Last, I learned that there are certain kinds of work that suit me, suit my style, suit my personality, and suit my preference. Not every job is a good fit. Not every job aligns with His will for my life. And, not every job is a good choice for my skills and abilities. It is OK to be particular, and it is OK to wait for the right job opportunity.

I know what I am good at, and I know what kind of work I like to do.

  • I like to work on the computer (mostly)
  • I like to analyze data
  • I like to conduct research
  • I like to wear many hats (variety)
  • I like stimulation and challenge (thinking)
  • I like to make a contribution
  • I like to be part of a team
  • I like to work on my own
  • I like to make my own plans
  • I like to work in a quiet environment
  • I like little socialization
  • I like to use my brain 90% of the time
  • I like to laugh
  • I like to build relationships
  • I like to be productive
  • I like to advance
  • I like to achieve
  • I like rewards (A LOT)
I don't like to be social, to be "on", and to be in the limelight. I like to work quietly on a project until it is done, and I like to know that what I am doing is vital and important. In short, I am an analytical and logical thinker who needs mental challenge and stimulation to feel valued and to be important. Not much, really, but in my view, these are the very things I need every day to make me feel OK, to feel good about myself, and to know that I am right where I need to be. God is so Good to help me understand this, and to accept who I am, and what kinds of work suit me best.

I spoke with the Lord this morning about my inability to rest. Resting is an important characteristic of the Lord. He is at rest now, and He has rested from His work. We are also to rest, and to do that we must choose to rest. It is not an option for us, well -- yes and no. We can choose not to rest and then suffer stress, strain, and sorrow or we can choose to rest and feel the blessedness of His peace. I was stressed, and I felt the strain of trying to do everything in my own strength. I chose to rest this morning, and the peace of God flooded my heart and gave me the grace to let everything go. I let all that I was holding on to go, and I rested in His Sufficiency. As soon as I did so, everything seemed to level out. I went to my class today, completed the tasks, and as I walked back to my car - noticed I had a voicemail on my phone. That voicemail was the call asking me to setup a second interview. It was like the water was released from the dam and the spillway began overflowing with blessing. It was an amazing experience, and now I sit here an marvel at His ability and willingness to bless my life. I love you, Lord. I love YOU!