In other news, my birthday is tomorrow. Yes, I will reach the double-nickel the day after my Dad turns 84. I don't have any plans, per se, but I think we will go to Longhorn for dinner on Friday. I am also intending to purchase an Apple Watch. I bought my son a watch for his birthday last month, and my nephew got one for his birthday earlier this month. Between the two of them, I am sold on its value. I already picked my mine out -- rose gold -- and I hope to purchase it very, very soon.
Today, I am getting ready to teach communication at GCU. I have had a hard start to the week, but God be praised, I am feeling more invigorated. I just received another class assignment from Grantham University. I was so hesitant to take more courses from them since the first two have been a challenge out of the barn, so to speak. But, I decided to do my best, and make the best possible experience for these worthy online students. I will do this work unto the Lord, and in that way, no matter the outcome, I will represent Him as best as I can.
This new class is a literature course, and well, I am just excited as can be to teach it. I will be teaching ENG 102 and ENG 205 (Survey of Western Literature) at Regent, and I will have ENG 101, 102, and 406 (Survey of Western Literature II) at Grantham. Then I also have ENG 102 at ASU. Something tells me that the Lord intends to keep me very busy teaching English rather than communication courses. I mean with these online courses plus my three 106 (Composition II) and Com course, I am on overload. Still, He is sustaining me. I feel confident that I can finish my remaining time at GCU (7 more weeks), and then I will move to 100% online teaching in the spring. If Grantham continues to provide enough work for me -- to replace GCU -- I can confidently teach online and earn a good living to boot. Should Liberty eventually come into the mix, I would be very well set, very well set, indeed.
My desire is to do the work He has supplied to me. I know I grumble a lot, and for that I am sorry. I have promised the Lord that I would take whatever was offered to me as far as teaching assignments, but I believe it is His desire not to overload me, but to provide the "right" or "best" combination of schools for me long term. The timing of the matter has caused issues, not so much the schools. I see now that the Lord's plan is for me to teach English and not Communication (as He said in the beginning), but not as a full-time faculty member -- instead -- as adjunct or instructor. I am okay with this approach, and perhaps things will change down the road. Perhaps I will teach full-time online at some point, as an Assistant Professor, but until then, I will do whatever combination of work I need to do to make ends meet. He is my "manager" and He is the one who supplies all my needs through Christ Jesus -- spiritual, mental, physical, emotional, and practical.
Therefore, today I rest. I really rest. I see my life now in more clear detail. I will teach at multiple online schools, earning a decent income, and I will teach from home. I will be able to make my life comfortable all without having to go and stand and teach in person. I simply am ecstatic about this news, this development, and may the Lord be praised, I feel it is His best for me. I am no longer seeking a communications position because the Lord has said to me, "Carol, your Ph.D. is for my work only, and not for teaching!" I have used my Ph.D. to get into schools as faculty, but the courses that are offered to me are all English! My Masters' degree is in English, and this is the discipline that the Lord has chosen as my career field. I simply am not a communications teacher. I do teach com courses, and while they are interesting to teach, I love to teach writing and literature. I am more of an English teacher than I am a communications teacher, for certain.
My life is now complete, as far as I can say that aloud. What I mean is that with this school now providing the same income over 8 weeks that I would earn through 16 weeks of campus courses, I feel confident in walking away and knowing that my income needs are met. Furthermore, with this development today, I am confident in knowing that the Lord intends for me to remain at home so I can help care for my parents full-time. I am not to be a "caregiver" per se, but I provide supportive care for my parents (as in helping them, caring for them, shopping, cleaning, and being present for them). I am good with this role, and I love being home. My prayer today is that I can exit out of my contracts at GCU (I have already signed them) and simply step away. This will bring a huge relief to my parents, especially my Dad, but I haven't wanted to do that until I was certain that this is His will for me. Now, I know that it is, and with this confirmation, I can make plans to stay at home full-time come January 1. God is so good to me! He is so very good to me!
What is more is the fact that last night, I dealt with my student loans. I have put off contacting my service provider for months, but my loans are coming due and well I had to do something about the monthly payment. My payment was a mortgage payment, LOL, and I knew I couldn't make it each month. Thus, I talked with my provider and was able to choose a different plan, one that gave me a manageable payment. Yes, I will be paying for 20 years, but thankfully, after that time, my loans will be forgiven. It is great to know that I will be able to pay back a portion of the debt and the government will forgive the rest. Now, that is not my plan, of course. I want to pay all my loan debt. But, it is a relief to know that should something happen and in 20 years (I would be 75), my debt would be canceled.
For now, I proceed with the plan to pay every cent back, and I am trusting the Lord to provide a way for me to do that soon. Until then, I will make the monthly payment and praise God be satisfied to know I am honoring my loan debt and remaining faithful to my obligations.
So with all this in mind, I am thinking more about moving to a place where I can live more comfortably on my online income. Right now, home prices in Phoenix are very high. In my area, houses are in the $350K and up range. This is crazy high, and unless I want to move to a very unsafe part of Phoenix, I need to consider moving to a different state where I can easily purchase a house under $300K. My goal is to save about 40-50% for a down payment so that my monthly mortgage and insurance are right within my budget. I would like to keep my expenses to under $3K a month -- for everything -- so that I can really save for my retirement (what is that?) I hope to be able to save the majority of my income over the next 15 years so that I can pay my home off and live off my retirement income in a comfortable way. It is doable, given my income, but of course, I can carry no debt. I am working on eliminating all my credit card debt, and then with my loans paid for, I should be able to work out my plan easily. The Lord is in it, and He is the One who has said I should work this way and approach my financial situation with grit and determination. I am following His policy, His plan, and with His provision and permission, I am starting to look seriously at locations that would be in my best interest. I don't think the Lord intends to move me before next summer at this point in time, but I won't know for certain until things are settled here. But, until then, I am to keep my eyes open, to wait on the Lord, and to remain faithful -- believing He will provide a solution to me.
I believe He will, and I believe that He has a good plan for my life. I am stressed, very stressed, but praise to God, I know that He is carrying me through this season. He is the One who is making all these plans, and with His help, I will endure. I will continue to do the work assigned, trusting Him to do whatever needs to be done in order to make it possible for me to rest, to relax, and to stay rejuvenated and not worn down or out. He knows my limits, and while I feel that my limits have been tested this semester, I haven't fallen down yet. I've stumbled some, but I am in this safe place with His arms around me, and God be praised, I feel secure. I really feel secure. Honestly, I don't even worry about my finances anymore. I mean, how weird is that? I used to panic, to be sick to my stomach with worry over paying every bill. Now, I don't even look at my checking account. I don't even bother to think about what I can buy when I go to the store. The relief I feel is amazingly sweet. He has done this for me, brought me to this place where I live in complete trust for His provision and goodness. I cannot tell you how I lived when my life was paycheck to paycheck, and when I would give up items simply because I couldn't afford them. More so, I would hyperventilate every time I entered the grocery store because I wasn't sure I could afford everything on my list. God has made a way for me, and day in and day out, I rest in His complete protection and provision. I am good today, not because I have made a way for myself, but because He has shown me His grace and His mercy. He is good to me, so very, very good to me! Selah!
As I close this blog post today, I am reminded of His word to me. He has asked me to trust Him completely, to remain holy and wholly devoted to Him. I am committed to His way, to doing His work, to walking, living, and striving to produce the results He has determined for me. I do not want my way at all. I do not want to live in any other way than to rest at His feet, and to enjoy the sweetness of His fellowship and goodness and grace. He alone is worthy to be praised! He alone is worthy to receive our praise and adoration! Selah!