November 10, 2015

Fall Has Arrived

It is a good day here in cloudy and not-so-sunny Phoenix! In fact, today is cloudy and the skies look as though they are going to drop rain on us any minute. It is chilly out -- just barely 63 today. I would say that fall has arrived -- finally -- to the Phoenix metropolitan area. Yes, fall has arrived. I am sitting here in my sweat pants and sweater, drinking my hot coffee, and praising God for His goodness toward me. He has made sure to cover my head with His blessing and favor, and today, I am marveling at His grace and His abundant goodness. You see, the Lord has seen fit to keep His steady hand upon my head. He has not relented, He has not moved, and He has not changed His mind. Yes, He has given me grace when I have moved and changed my mind -- oh so frequently -- but I was the one who moved, not Him. His faithfulness and steadfast are from eternity, and He is not going to do anything, ANYTHING, that is outside the scope of His will for my life. I know that I can disobey Him, I can walk away or I can even stand still (when I should be marching on), and still the Lord will remain faithful, ever true. He is good. He is God, and I adore Him this day.

As I think about my life, I realize how very lucky I am today. I may not have an abundance of income right now, but I have such goodness in and throughout my life, to the point where I can say I am happy, I am content, and I am good. Yes, I want other things, THINGS, but my needs are met with His sufficiency, and I see that what I have has come from His hand. Therefore, I can say that He has met all my needs so well, covered me so completely, and given me the freedom I need to enjoy this life, this very good and very full life He has given to me. I think I am the happiest person in the world today -- and why is this so -- simply because I realize that He has taken me by the hand and He has led me through the wilderness to this place, this perfect place today. He has done this and I give Him praise, honor, and all glory, for He is good, so very good.

My life is in flux right now, there is so much that is unknown, and yet I sit here and I think "what more could I want?" I have everything that God has desired for me. I have my advanced education (a Masters and a Ph.D.), I have a good job teaching college English, I live in a good home (safe, nice, and comfortable), I care for my parents and my son (whom I love), I have a significant other whom I hope one day to share my life with full-time, and I have a future that is filled with hope, optimism, and possibilities. I am good, God is good, and my life is so very good!

It is a good day to be home. In fact, I am home today (the rest of the day), all day tomorrow, and then besides 1-hour teaching on Thursday, will be home most of that day. Technically, I have a 3-day rest in the middle of this week. I am so THANKFUL for the time off. I am tired, and my to-do list is quite long, but the blessing of some downtime this week is extra special. I need this rest period. I need to have a couple days off right now. God has provided this wonderful respite, right in the middle of the difficult last weeks of the semester. I happen to have the entire week of Thanksgiving off too, and I am super, no UBER THANKFUL, for that blessing. Of course, between now and then I have a lot to accomplish, but God be praised, He has all this care for, and I am well-covered, so well-covered.

Today, I look around and I think, "Lord, look where we are? Look how far we have come in such a short amount of time!" Yes, it was just five years ago when I blogged about my experience of surviving divorce. I was separated at that time, and I wrote a blog post comparing grief over the loss of a loved one to the anguish a person feels when they are abandoned and left behind, cast off, and no longer wanted in a marriage. It was interesting to read this blog post because I remember how I felt back then, how I was writing about the loss of my marriage, the inconsolable grief I felt at that time, and the fact that I had to continue on for the sake of my son. I had just started my Masters program, and I was experiencing joy and sorrow all at the same time. My graduate degree tempered my sorrow, for sure, but it also gave me hope for a new way, a new path in the future. I didn't know then that I would end up teaching college (it was a far off hope), but I remember thinking that I would like to try it, should the Lord open that door for me. Now, all this time later, I am at the end of my doctoral road, and I am seriously considering move out of education and back into corporate communications. Why? Simply for the provision, for the opportunity, for the advancement, and for the excitement of doing something new, challenging, and different. In truth, I have never been a stay-at-one-thing forever type of gal. I have always valued 'variety' and I have felt that I needed change to spice things up, to keep things fresh. I guess I am that type of person, someone who likes routine and soundness, but who also enjoys a good challenge now and again. Now I am thinking about leaving teaching for an opportunity to work in the healthcare industry and to be a part of corporate communication. Actually, organizational communication is my area of emphasis at Regent, so it makes sense for me to go where I can use it, practically speaking, every day. I really do like communications, and I really do enjoy working within marketing and communications. It has been a while since I worked in this field, but I am confident that if this is the Lord's will for me, then He will open a door and I will walk through it. He is good, so very good, and He knows my next steps so well.

Furthermore, as I think about this opportunity, I am becoming more convinced that it is not only practical but that it is realistic. I mean, I can do this work, easily and with less stress, plus I would be paid far more than what I earn now. As I think about my future, and I do know the Lord has me covered for my days, I know that I need to work, and I have about 18 years left to earn a retirement income. Working in corporate communication will get me there faster, and in better shape, than if I stay in higher education. What is more, as I consider the nature of the work, what I really enjoy doing, I have to say that while I do like aspects of teaching English, I must prefer working in a corporate business. I like the pace, the challenge, the stimulation, and the opportunities for advancement that exist in business. I also like the fact that I can use my strengths, my skills, and I can be recognized for my hard work and effort.

Only the Lord knows His plans for me. I am content to remain where I am, but my mind thinks this might be His will. I mean, it does make such sense. I am a pragmatist, a realist who thinks always about practical application. Thus, to work and earn income is a good thing. But to work and earn significant income is a better thing. Of course, this means honorable work, nothing that goes against the Lord's word, His will, etc. I just mean that we all must work. In this life, we must work. Therefore, we should do work that provides for our families, meets our needs, and if that work aligns with interests and desires, well that is a super blessing. But, if the work is simply good work, then so be it. I think far too much emphasis is placed on finding a job or career that suits us. I think it is fine to do work that interests or aligns with our skills, but when "push comes to shove," a job is better than no job. Granted, that is a BIG statement, and I do realize that while I had a good job at UOPX, the job itself was a drain on me, a killer, and in the end, not a good fit for me. My boss told me it was better to have a job than no job, but in the end, I left that job for another one that was all-around better. I know what she was saying to me, but the problem was that staying in a job that doesn't pay well, hurts you physically, emotionally, spiritually or mentally, and in the end beats you down -- well -- that makes no sense at all. Job or no job, your health, vitality and well-being matter. At the least, while we still have choices in this world, options for work, and we can for the most part, choose where to go, to work, and to live.

I hear my chimes ringing outside my window. The wind is kicking up, and it does look like rain. I am getting that "sleepy" feeling that says I really want to lay down with one of my furballs and take a nice nap. But, today, my to-list is waiting, so I will keep on track, and I will accomplish what needs accomplishing. God is good, and I am resting today in His sufficiency and provision. I know He has this all figured out, so I don't have to worry now. I am letting go, I am resting, and I am giving God all the glory, the praise and the honor. He is good, so very good to me.

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