July 8, 2016

Peace Again

This morning, after I awoke to the shocking news that five Dallas police officers were shot (my first thought was, "Oh no! Not again!), I decided to pull myself out of bed and get my day started. I've got a lot on my plate today, and I hope to make some good progress on my dissertation revisions. I need to get moving, really moving here, but for now, I am content to drink my coffee and sit a "spell."

It is Friday, by the way, and as far as Friday's go, it seems to be a good one. I did sleep well, very well, thank you. I went to bed shortly after midnight, and I woke up close to 9:30 this morning. I had some unusual dreams, one in particular, and even woke up thinking about the dream-scenario for a time. Overall, I would have to describe my morning as peaceful, uneventful, and that I am at ease and at rest. How is that so? I mean, what changed between yesterday and today that has seemed to make me feel so rested?

Well, for starters, I did get my official rejection notice regarding the position I had applied for at UHC. It was good to finally get confirmation from them. I mean, I reached out to the hiring manager twice, each time without receiving any response back from him. The waiting was difficult, so to finally hear I was rejected was welcome news. It was good to have closure, know what I mean. Now I can move on, knowing that the job wasn't the "fit" I wanted, and that the company, while well-considered wasn't going to be my "cup of tea," so to speak. I am thankful to have been considered, interviewed, but now I know more assuredly that I am right where I belong. Corporate business as an avenue for me is a "no go." This door is shut. Bolted, riveted, and fused shut.

In some ways, while the rejection process hurt me (stings is a better word), the truth that was revealed through the experience was of far more value. In many ways, I came to understand my internal motivation, and I realized that the only key criteria for me was to find a "well-paying job" at all costs. I was "willing and agreeable" to do this work, but my heart wasn't in it. I was lying about wanting the job, more so, going through the motions just to solve my immediate needs. I knew it when I went for the interview that Friday. I knew it when I sat in that man's office. I knew it when I walked out of the company that the job wasn't the one for me. My heart wasn't in it. Yes, I knew it then, and I know it now. I made the decision to look for corporate work simply to solve the problem at hand -- not enough income -- and a way to secure my "temporary" future.

Making Sense and Moving On

Here I sit today thinking about my life, about how much of my life is settled. I am at rest, at ease, at peace today because I have finally accepted the fact that my professional career will be as a teacher, a college instructor, a professor. I am comfortable wearing this hat, and in truth, of all the hats I have worn over the course of my life, this one suits me best. It is the most comfortable for me to wear, so to speak. Now, I need to be settled on my lifestyle and the place where I will live for the rest of my days. I have dreamed of places, imagined and envisioned living in so many places that it is difficult to pick just one as a permanent location. Yet, I feel that this is my next big decision -- where will I live out my remaining days. For me, lifestyle choice and location are critical to my well-being. I have been this way since childhood so I am not going to be happy living just "any where." I have tried to be open to a number of places, to different climates and locales. In truth, there are few places that speak to my heart, and of those few places, really only 1 or 2 seem to be suitable.

One thing is for sure, I am determined not to move anywhere just to move. I have done this before and it had disastrous results. No, I am determined to go to one place only and to live there until I die. I am determined to go to a place of my liking and not because it suits anyone else. I know that sounds selfish, but I have always had to move because someone told me to move. When I was a child, my parents up and moved me as my Dad's work dictated. I left friends, schools, homes, all because of my parents' decisions. When I married, I moved to the place of my ex-husband's liking. He made the decision, and I went along with him. I never was happy in any of the places we lived, but so long as he was happy, that is all that mattered. As a single person, I made my first decision to move out based on the Lord's leading, and it proved good. I loved my town home, and for the first time in my life, I was really happy there. It wasn't perfect by any means, but it suited me and my son well. We moved to this house to accommodate my parents, but also to permit me to work 3/4 time while I finished grad school. I am sure the Lord would have provided for me, had I wanted to stay put, but it seemed a God thing at the time. The landlord wanted to sell his place, and the timing seemed fortuitous for me to move in with my parents. Now, I am ready to finish my program, ready to "take back my life," and that means that I am ready to move out and move on my own.

It is exciting to think about having my own place again. I am anxious to get started, and recently I have been collecting photos on Pinterest of places and things I would like to have for my "next place." Of course, the Lord is the Prime Mover in all of this, so it is up to Him to move me to the place of His choosing, and to set the events in motion. His timing is perfect, and He knows my needs well. Selah!

Some Things to Consider

So now that I have my career settled, I need to focus on finishing my education. I have already committed to graduating in January, should that meet the Lord's timing. This means that I am on track to graduate in the spring and walk in the ceremony next May. This has been the Lord's timing for me all along, and I am on schedule as planned. Now, though I need to prepare for my final year living here with my parents, and that means deciding on my "forever" home.

I've looked around enough to know that I have two choices, two options to decide between. The first is whether or not I want to live in a city or the country. My heart immediately chooses the country because that is what I have always wanted, but there is part of me that recognizes the value of living in a nice neighborhood. Second, I need to decide whether I want to live in an older home (like a farm house) or a newer home (mid-century to modern). There are advantages with both, but a modern home is probably better, safer in some regards than an older home. However, nothing beats an older home on the charm scale, and I am strongly pulled toward charm these days. Last, I have to decide on climate. Part of me immediately longs for my childhood days in the midwest and east. I love fall and winter, and I enjoy cold weather. I am not a fan of the heat, can you tell? Yes, almost every blog post begins with a run-down on the weather (LOL!), and ends with my lamenting the lack of clouds, rain and/or variable weather. I think the climate part has already been decided (Ha ha ha!) I do prefer a four seasons climate to a steady one such as Arizona. Enuf said!

Choices, Options, and Plans

The following choices, options and plans are under consideration. Some are settled already, others are just listed as preferences right now:
  • Career: Assistant Professor of English
  • Modality: Online 
  • School: Unknown at this time
  • Status: Part-time through May 2017, full-time thereafter
  • Living Arrangements: Temporary through May 2017
  • Current Location: Phoenix through May 2017
  • Preferred Location: Midwest or East Central
  • Style of Living: Country
  • Type of House: Farm house
  • Lot or Acreage: 5-10 acres
  • Miscellaneous: Cleared, 1-2 acres; Wooded, 3-10 acres
  • Proximity to Airport: within an hour
My preferences run strongly toward living in the Midwest again, namely Ohio. I am open to East Central which would include Tennessee or North Carolina. I have always felt a very strong pull toward the south east USA, but mostly this has been to Middle Tennessee near Nashville and Chattanooga. Lately, the Lord has placed the idea of living near Columbus, Ohio in my mind. Well, not really Columbus, but in between there and Dayton. I am working for Ohio Christian University and they are located near Columbus, so perhaps that is why I am thinking this way. Nevertheless, wherever the Lord leads me, I will consider it.

The weird thing in all of this "thinking" is that the Lord seems to be leading me to this area of the US. Perhaps it is because there is much work to be done in this area. I am not certain on that, but it does seem that He seems to want me to consider these places. I have looked at cities all along this triangle, meaning from South-Central Ohio down to Middle Valley Tennessee and over to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I have considered this area as significant to the work the Lord intends for me to do. I realize now, more so I guess than before, that just as the Lord pressed on me a type of work that suits me (aka, teaching), I feel He is pressing on me a way of life that suits me as well. He seems to be saying to me that there is a way of life that "fits" my desires and that aligns with His desires for ministry and work.

What I do know is this: wherever He leads me it will be a good place for me to retire. He knows that I need to live someplace where I can teach full-time and where I can live comfortably. He knows that He has a place in mind that will suit me specifically, but that will also provide a comfortably lifestyle for me and for my son. My son will soon be on his own, so really, where I go is immaterial; yet, the Lord seems to be saying to me that it does matter for a while. I need to be located in this area to suit my son as well as my own needs.

For now, I am where I am and I need to be content in it. It is a struggle some days because I feel so confined to my small living space. Yet, I know that this time of confinement is for a reason, and soon I will be lead out and into the open wild space. I need to rest now, to recoup, and to recharge my batteries after my long, long, road to this degree. It has been taxing on me, and in time, I will see the blessing in this route. I am happy, blessed, and fortunate to be the recipient of this degree. The Lord has plans for me, and He will bring those plans to pass. Until then, I wait on Him, resting in His ability to make His will come to pass. I need not worry, fret or fear. I need not fixate on the how or the why, but rather I must let Him lead me as He determines to do so. I trust Him, I rely on Him, and I abide in Him. He is good, so very good to me. He alone is worthy to receive all my praise and adoration this good, good day. Selah!

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