April 24, 2014

Down to the Wire

It is a GOOD Thursday morning in sunny Phoenix! I am loving the fact that my summer break has started, and that I don't have anything to do except REST and finish my final exam for COM 702: Quantitative Research Methods.

God has been so amazingly good to me this year. It is hard to believe that it is almost May. My life has taken such a 180-degree turn since 2010. I am living a completely different life now, and I am loving every minute of it!

I was just thinking about May 2011. My son and I traveled with my parents back to Indiana for my Dad's 60th high school reunion (Rockcreek Township High School, near Bluffton). I was working at Macy's then, and I had just started my Master's program the previous fall. I was working towards a career change, leaving Web Design for college teaching. My husband and I had separated the year before, and I was uncertain as to my future -- what would it hold, where would I go, what would I do? 

My parents wanted my son and I to go with them because they needed help through the airports, etc. I wanted to go to get away from the troubles at home, and my son wanted to go to get out of Arizona (his favorite excuse!) We spent a wonderful 10 days visiting family, seeing the old farm, walking the cemetery at Emmanuel Methodist Church (now closed - so sad - such a beautiful old stone church). The weather cooperated and it was so lovely to be back in Indiana during the springtime.

Just thinking about it makes me want to take another visit there. My Aunts are a little older than my Dad, and they are getting to that point where illness is catching up with them. I enjoyed spending time with them and with my cousins. It was such a nice time to get away and to enjoy the freedom of resting without worry or without fear.

Zoom forward almost three years later, and I am now teaching college (part-time), and I am working on a doctorate in Communication. I am living as a single person for the first-time in nearly 30 years, and I am enjoying the freedom that comes with being single. I go where I want to go, I do what I want to do. Don't get me wrong, I do miss the companionship and the fellowship of sharing your life with someone. It is hard sometimes, really hard, to be alone. I get lonely a lot, and I miss being with a friend, hanging out, going places, eating together, etc. I miss "doing life" with that special someone. I miss that part of being married that says to the world "you are the one I have picked to spend the rest of my life with and I love being with you!"

Until the Lord determines otherwise, I am single, and I am to remain single. I am content with being single for the rest of my life, if that is His will. However, I wouldn't mind finding someone special, if that someone special exists out there for me. Right now, I think there is no one out there. I mean I am not the easiest person to get a long with and I have some major quirks to my personality. I know myself well and it would take a God-chosen person to be my other half. Yes, God will have to find that person and bring them to me because I cannot be trusted to find him. Truthfully, my track record has not been that good, know what I mean, and I do not want to mess this up again (not that I did the messing it up, but I am also not naive to believe I didn't play a part in the whole demise, etc.)

God is good. He is good. He knows my needs, and He understands my wants. I am resting in Him, completely trusting Him for His will and His way in my life. If He chooses for me to be married again, so be it. If He chooses for me to remain single, so be it. I believe He is able to decide what is best, and I am resting in His ability as my Lord, my Master, my Ruler and my Savior. 

I am still waiting on contracts from Arizona Christian University. The Lord tells me to be patient and I am trying to do it. I get impatient a lot, but I also understand that it is the end of the semester for ACU and the chair and staff have a lot on their plates right now. I believe the contracts will come, and I will be set for fall teaching. I would like to have it over, you know, officially set in stone. My son laughs at me because it is so "INTJ-like" to need to know everything. I need this to be done. I need to have this part of my life planned, documented, done! See -- who would want to live with me? I would drive them crazy with my planning and organizing. Everything has to be just SO or else it drives me crazy. My son says it is part of the INTJ's need to be in control. I guess that is what it is. I am not a control-freak by any means (well, I guess I am! LOL!) I control myself and my responsibilities -- not people. I am not into controlling others -- I need that to be said! I just need my ducks to be in a row, all lined up nice and neat so that I can stop worrying over them. It is just part of my quirky personality.

Just an aside: one of my first bosses gave me a puzzle for Christmas. It said "Neatness is a sure sign of a crazy mind!" He always made fun of the way I organized my desk. I am UBER organized and I do not like it when my stapler or tape dispenser is all catty-wampus. I know there were guys in the office who would do that to me. They would just move things on my desk to make me freak out. Yes, note to self, do not disclose to anyone that you have slight OCD tendencies!

It is true, however, I am a picture straightener, and a liner-upper. If I walk past a wall of pictures in a restaurant and they are skewed on the wall, I straighten them up. I am not overt, not like Sheldon in the Big Bang Theory or Monk in the TV series, Monk. Nope, I can walk past them without straightening them, but I have to control the urge to do so. Agh! I digress...

So back to the business of ACU. I am going to be patient to wait for them to send me the contracts. I don't want to bother them considering it is the end of the semester. I believe the Lord is faithful in this business, and I will wait upon Him.

On other business, I have to book my flight and hotel for VA Beach soon. I looked at airfare a couple weeks ago and I could get a round trip ticket from Phoenix to Norfolk for about $300. I have a feeling that price has gone up. I plan on staying 8 days like last year. This summer, I want to spend some time at the beach. I didn't even get to the beach last year. I did try to drive there, but navigating Atlantic Blvd during summer break in VA -- well -- it is about as bad as driving down Highway 1 from Malibu to Santa Monica, CA. You hit every red light and stop for pedestrians crossing the street (anywhere, not just at the cross walks). This year, however, I am planning ahead and I am going to find where the off-street parking lots are located. Then I will walk to the beach (good idea!)

I am also going to be working on my beach body (HA! LOL!) between now and then. Oh, don't laugh at me. I really do need to work on it, and I finally have time to do it. My friend, Marie (a doctoral colleague) has a Fit for Life group in Alabama. She has allowed me to join via the Internet even though I cannot do the weekly weigh-ins in her barn (OH! did I say how much I love barns and tractors??) I have been really good with my diet (not really a diet, just a healthier eating plan), but I haven't made the time for fitness. So starting Monday, I am going to work out. My goal is to get back into running. I used to run all the time, well when my son was little, and I had free time during the day. I haven't been running or even walking much (though last semester I had to walk across campus two-three times each day and I purposely parked on the fifth floor of the parking garage so that I would have to walk up the stairs). Anyhoo, now that I am on summer break, I am making fitness a priority. I need to get into shape, build some endurance, and start living an active life again. I spend so much time at this computer, and the only exercise I am getting is walking from my car to class and back again. It is the sad and sorrowful story of a lonely middle-aged woman (who lives with her parents and has two cats!) AGH!

Other good news: I got approval to take COM 507: Social Media and Internet Marketing this fall. I asked if I could take this Masters level class to help prepare me for teaching undergrads. My mentor said "Yes!" and I am so happy. This means that I will have a relatively normal school load this fall. I am already registered for COM 701: Historical/Critical Research methods, and I have been told that there is a lot of reading and writing in that class. Adding an elective like 507 will balance my study load and make it easier for me to teach four classes. I am panicked a little bit over teaching so many classes and taking two doctoral classes. The Lord assures me I can do it, and I believe Him. I can do it. I am a classic overachiever and I have a propensity for being a "Type A" personality. Yes, I admit it, I am Type A. I am not satisfied with my 97.5 percent grade in my statistics class right now, and it bugs me that I did not do better on my last quiz. Sad, sad, sad. I know "get a life, right?" Yeah, well this is the only life I have, and while I may be fixated on things that don't matter in the big scheme of things, I do think I have my priorities straight. I am focused on Him first and foremost, and I am doing what I believe is the Lord's will and work. If He has forgiven me, and if He accepts all the weirdness in my personality, so be it.

Anyhoo, as I consider the Fall, I am really blessed. I think I have a good schedule at Regent, and I think my teaching load is going to be manageable. Right now, I should have three English Comp classes and one communications course. The ENG classes should be low-key since the students spend all their class time writing. The COM class should be fun, and I will need to prepare some interesting things to keep them involved. Overall, I am really excited for these new opportunities.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the way you have covered my life with blessing. You took what I thought to be devastation and utter despair and turned it into something beautiful. You have provided a new life for me, a fulfilling and blessed path to follow, and a future filled with such hope. I thank you for everything you are doing in my life this day, and I pray for your continued favor and blessing as I follow your way and submit to your will. I ask now that you provide confirmation on those teaching contracts, and that you help me with my final exam (which I just heard from a colleague was not so fun!) I am trusting for your provision this day, and I am believing your Word to me. May your Name be praised today and forever more. I ask all this in Jesus' Name, Amen.

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