March 3, 2017

Great News!

It is Fri-YAY! Another blessed week has come to an end, and praise be to God, it is ALL good, all good! I woke up after sleeping well. Lately, I have struggled to fall asleep at night, so I am thinking I need a better down-time routine to ease me into sleep. I normally work until 9 or so, and then watch TV or Netflix until 11. It usually works for me. But, lately, even watching Netflix hasn’t really helped me relax. Hmm…

I woke up still slightly dazed, but now that my coffee is settling in, I am feeling better. I had a good day yesterday. I had my eyes checked, and while my prescription changed, mostly my computer vision and glasses needed revised. I left Walmart with 3 pairs of new glasses: bifocals for every day, computer glasses, and sunglasses. I plunked down a wad of cash (always expensive due to my -725 vision), but I feel like I am getting good quality lenses that will last me for another 2-3 years. God is good, so very good to me!

Today is a school day, and while I am so ready for spring break (soon, very soon), I have to pick myself up and focus on my remaining weeks at GCU. The good news is that my ASU class ended on Tuesday, and my Regent classes (both) end on Saturday. Praise God, my online classes will be on hiatus for one week so I can rest and relax before picking them back up again. My GCU classes plod on, but we are at the mid-point of the semester, and we are in the easy portion of the assignment (essay 2). In all, this is downhill skiing at its best…just downhill to the finish line!

Praising God for His Goodness Today

I am also giving praise to God today for another job opportunity. This one came out of the blue, really — like BLUE — and landed on my desk on Wednesday. It is funny, really, but the Lord had said to me that an offer would be coming via email and to look for it. I thought it would be an email from one of my current schools asking me to work full-time. The Lord had said it was a school I was familiar with and a school with which I had already applied. I couldn’t think of a school, outside those I am already employed by, that would contact me, so I let the notice slip by. I remember asking the Lord specifically if the school was public or private, but the answer I received was inconclusive. I work for both public and private schools at present, hence my attempt to ascertain some nugget to help me figure this alert out.

I have been praying for a full-time job for a while, you know, almost daily. I believed and still do believe that the Lord would bring me one job where I would make a good salary. I had hoped it might be with ASU. I mean, after all, I applied there last summer for full-time work. I am there part-time now, so the likely scenario to my mind was an invitation from ASU for an instructor position. More so, I am still waiting to hear back on Regent, but for now, I seem to be well set as part-time. I blogged last week how the Chair asked me to work over the summer. It seems Regent is very content to keep me on as adjunct (I am praising God for both opportunities — Regent and ASU).

So, with all this in mind, Wednesday, I received an email from a school in the central Plains. I had applied nearly three years ago, and since I never heard back from them, I simply pushed the school out of my mind. The email was from the interim dean saying rather bluntly, “I need an adjunct. If you are still available…” It was short, sweet, and to the point, and I thought, “Yes, it has been a long time.” The Lord had said that I would receive an email offer and that I needed to pray about it. I don’t recall if I prayed too much over it, I simply asked the Lord what to do. I figured, no harm/no foul to send my transcripts to them. So as of today, I am in the process of being hired by another school to teach online. I have submitted the required paperwork, and once my background check clears, I will be scheduled for a training course. The need, it appears, is for more than just teaching English. I will teach English and a range of communication courses — in my discipline. I was so surprised by the offer. It really did just land on my desk — as the Lord had said it would.

I don’t even know what the pay is like, but I figure, a little more pay never hurts. However, in reviewing the possible pay scale online, I saw some pretty high figures associated with this position. I am not sure if this is a per-class pay scale or a 12-month pay scale. Either way, I am content. I am blessed to be considered worthy, and I am giving the Lord praise right now. My prayer, of course, is that this online position will pay a 12-month salary. If so, then all my part-time work will be “gravy” so to speak. The reason I think it might be 12-month is because I filled out a W-9 instead of a W-2, thus meaning I became an independent contractor for them. This is different then all  my other schools. No benefits, of course, but as an independent contractor, I can work as much as needed without pushing the 30-hour per week limit set by the IRS for part-timers. Also, most independent contractors I know are full-time workers, just non-benefitted workers. I am okay with this since I already have my insurance through Obama, er…TrumpCare.

Of course, not knowing what the work will be like, I am a little nervous, but overall, happy nonetheless. My hope is that this job is full-time as a contractor. If so, then I will count this as my “regular” pay. Then my part-time pay from ASU, Regent, GCU, OCU, will all be set aside to build my financial and retirement package (happy cheer!)

Moreover, as I checked my bank account today, I praised the Lord. Right now, I am in such a good place. My account is full to overflowing, and while I am thankful for the abundance, I know there is reason for it. It is not like I am just hoarding wealth (well, yes I am); but rather, I do believe the Lord intends for me to use these funds for specific things. For example, I have to buy my son a car. I know, I know — he can buy his own car. Yes, this is true. But my son works very hard at school and in his multiple jobs, and frankly, he simply is not making very much money to get a decent — long-term car. I can help him get a newer car that will get him across the valley, which is what he will need if the Lord’s plan for him to work at a church in the southern part of the valley comes to pass this summer. I don’t want him to buy a junker —we’ve done that already. No, I want him to be in a safe car that will last him a good five or more years.

Furthermore, I would like to trade in my car and get a newer model. I have decided that I will trade in my 2011 Sentra for a 2017 Altima. I can get a brand new car for less than what I am paying now. I simply need to wait until the Lord says it is time to do the swap. My car is in great shape, but it is 6-yrs old, and well, I really think it is time to move up to a slightly bigger and heavier car.

In addition, I have debt to pay AND should the Lord open a door for me to move, I would like to be able to qualify for a mortgage. My FICO score (as of now) is close to 750, so in truth, with a good saved down payment, I should be able to purchase a very nice home for me and my son (though he is talking about moving out, so for me and the little boys — my fur balls). Thus, while I have my plan in place to build financial security, I feel that with these jobs now, I am in a position to not only wipe my debt clean, but also prepare to purchase the home of the Lord’s choosing. Well, almost ready.

Blooming Here in the Desert

I often tell visitors to come to Phoenix in March. It is the most beautiful time to visit. In fact, when I first came here, it was in November (also lovely). The second time I came, it was in March. I fell in love with the desert flowers, and I thought, “This is a beautiful place to live.” Of course, that was before I visited in the summer. Yes, the summers are quite a different story — I digress. Still, Phoenix has been good to me, in recent terms. I have found “my” place here, despite not having happy memories overall. I have come to see this place as fortuitous and prosperous where before all I saw was dry and barren land. More recently, I feel that the Lord is blessing me, perhaps for my willingness and obedience to remain here in Phoenix despite my negative views on the place and my unhappy memories about my former life. More so, I think He is showing me that this is His will, and He is letting these blessings come to me as a way to confirm that this is where He wants me to stay, to put down roots. I’ve said it for so long that Phoenix is not my choice for retirement, but clearly, the Lord is telling me otherwise. This is where He intends to settle me, to let me bloom, and as a result, the blessing, the confirmation, and the opportunities seem to be coming toward me at a rapid pace. He is good to me, so very good to me.

As I process this all, I can only say that the reason these things are happening now is because my Father in Heaven has delighted for it to be so. You see, I have done nothing to bring any of this to pass. I am where I am today because the Lord has determined it to be so. Yes, I have all of these jobs now because the Lord directed me to apply for them. It is truth — I didn’t go and find them; I didn’t seek them out. Rather, the Lord handed each job to me. He placed the job advertisement in front of me, and He told me to apply. I simply obeyed. The funny thing is that for all of these jobs — all of them — I applied without really believing anything would come to pass. I simply trusted His word to me, believed that He was asking me to apply, and I did the deed — I applied.

For example, at GCU, I had applied many times before I was called to come for an interview. I had applied to a number of jobs, but the actual offer to work there came out of the blue, and when I was called in and then hired as an IA, I walked through the process in awe of God’s faithfulness. He made everything happen, everything from the initial “Hello” right down to the “sign here” to be hired moment. He did it all. The same thing happened at Regent. I had applied on the Lord’s insistence, but after waiting a good 10 months without hearing anything back, I had pretty much given up on being hired. Finally, I started the paperwork process, but then I waited another five months before being offered a teaching contract. When the call came — well, it was more of a text message —there was no interview. It was just a quick text saying, “Hey, how is it going,” and “we need someone to start on Monday, can you do it?” Likewise, my experience at ASU was similar. I had interviewed for a full-time position last summer, but when I didn’t hear back from them after 6 months, I just crossed them off my list. Then, quite suddenly right at the end of the year, I received an email from the department head saying, “Hey, Carol! Are you available to work?”

I guess what I am saying is that whenever I have looked for work, no work has materialized. When the Lord directs me, the jobs open up. Sometimes, though, there are long waits in between. Like for example, this new  job. I applied in early spring of 2014. I had just started teaching at GCU, and I was looking for more work. I applied, but I heard nothing back. They must have kept me on file — three years on file — because now they need someone with my exact credential. How sweet is that? The email that came was so eerily similar. There was no request for interview, no questions asked. It was just “Are you free?” I am delighted with this new opportunity, and I look forward to what the Lord plans to do with me in this role. Praise God, another opportunity to do good practical work. He is good to me, so very good to me!
In Closing

As I close this blog post out, I marvel at the Lord’s handiwork. He is able to move mountains — spiritual, physical, and mental — mountains so that He people can accomplish His will and His work. What is more, when He moves things — change happens. He has made a good way for me. I am prospering in this way, and while the work is at times very tiring, I am challenged, and I am happy and content to do it. I love the provision of the Lord. I love what He is doing in me and through me. I look forward to my future, which I see as beautiful, bright, and so blessed. I am trusting the Lord for His goodness, today, tomorrow, and every day hereafter. He is good to me, so very good to me! Selah!

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