April 21, 2017

Coming Near to the End

Happy Friday! I am so glad this week has come to an end. I have to go to school today, but I can see the bright summer light at the end of my long, long, long semester tunnel. It is a good day, despite waking up with another headache (oh!) It is the rising pressure, of course, and for the next several months, this will be the normal pattern. I have to say, while I am happy to have low humidity, I am not looking forward to sunny and HOT temperatures from this point forward. Of course, the monsoon is on the horizon, and perhaps this year, we will have plenty of stormy weather come July and August.

For now, though, I am thanking the Lord for His provision of sun and warm temperatures. I am thankful that it is April 21st, and it is going to be another sunny and warm day in Phoenix. I am ready for summer — it is so hard to believe I am saying this — but I believe my summer of 2017 is going to be FREAKING AWESOME!
Plans for the Day

So today, I am heading over to campus to teach my last Friday class of the semester. Next week, I only have Monday and Wednesday and then I am finished — fin, finis, fineto! I am so looking forward to starting my summer, and that means taking my time, enjoying my days, and simply resting in His good pleasure.

As of right now, I only have one summer class scheduled for June. I am hoping to pick up another from ASU, but I haven’t heard anything on that accord yet. In fact, I am hoping to also hear back from Grantham University at some point. They seemed really upset that my transcript wasn’t available, even when I clearly told them I wouldn’t have access to it until May. Oh well!

In all, I am thankful for the lack of work as much as I am thankful for the hope for work. In either case, I will be joyful. I mean, less work is a blessing. I can fully rest and recover. More work is a blessing too because I will be able to earn some much needed cash during my dry period. Either way, I am blessed. I let the need go, and I rest in His abilities to provide for me. If He wants me to work over the summer, so be it. If He wants me to rest and not work, so be it. I am content. I am choosing to be content. I will continue to put on contentment because this is the life He has created for me, and I am blessed, highly favored, and so well provided for in it. He is good to me. He is so very good to me!

This morning, I woke up feeling less than my best. In truth, with the headache sitting behind my eyes, I simply didn’t feel like getting up. My normal low-key Friday is a bit pushed since my son and I need to get to the rental agency before noon to pick up the car I reserved. Hopefully, we will not have any issues getting the car, and I will not be late getting to school. Praise God for the provision, and I praise God for His goodness in making this opportunity possible. Right now, I am simply stressed with having to leave the house in the middle of my morning. I guess you could say I am getting old. I am set in my ways, and I am not very flexible. Sigh.

Understanding My Needs

I’ve been thinking more and more about where I am today and where the Lord seems to be sending me for work. I know that He has this figured out, so I am trying hard not to overthink it. In specific, I was discussing my work with my Dad, and he said he “hoped” I wasn’t planning on moving any where soon. I understood his concern. He and my Mom are in tenuous shape, and frankly, the whole process of moving would be difficult for them. I mean, mentally, physically, emotionally difficult. They really need to stay where they are until the time comes when they can no longer care for themselves, and then the decision will need to be made for better quality care. It is not that I don’t care for them or provide for them, but it is more so that they need regular meals, and when I am gone during the day, I don’t think they eat. Furthermore, I don’t clean like I should. I keep my end of the house tidy, but it is not deep cleaned. They need housekeeping because my Mom can no longer do it. Then there is my Dad’s hobbies, which are overtaking the garage, and he is unable to keep up with them. In truth, we need a deep cleaning, reorganizing, and yes, downsizing to take place. However, until I am free from work, this will have to wait. I will need to attend to these needs this summer, but until then, I have to let this need go.

I am looking at homes in my area, and with the current economy as it is, the housing marketing is hot. Most homes sell within days or weeks, and very few are available (decent, safe) under $200K. This means that I will have to consider purchasing a home that costs somewhere between $250-300K, if I want to live in a safe and nice area. There are plenty of homes in this range, but as I said, they go quickly. I will need a downpayment and I will need to be able to afford this price of a house. I think with my income, I can do it. I need the downpayment, however, but I believe the Lord will provide that for me soon.

I have given up hope of having the kind of home I long for and dream about since these types of homes do not exist in my area. I have several choices in style: California ranch (what I call the box-style), the modern/contemporary (the big box with lots of empty space), or the Spanish/Mediterranean (with peaked tile roofs and Saltillo tile). In Phoenix, most of the homes are one of these three types. We also have some cool mid-century homes, but these go really, really fast. My preference now is to have a home that fits my needs. I prefer one-level to two, but I will take a two-level home if that is what comes to pass. I will also take a pool, despite the extra cost. In Phoenix, in the summer, a pool is a blessing. I would prefer no HOA, but most of the homes around me have HOA’s, so I will deal with that as it comes to me. Mostly, I need 3 bedrooms with an office space or 4 bedrooms (one for office). My son will live with me for a while, I am guessing, and he will need two rooms or a really large room to accommodate his bed and personal things along with room for his music setup/studio and other gear. I am not particular about a fireplace nor do I need a living and family room. One is fine. However, I would like a decent kitchen, and I would like indoor laundry (not in the garage) if possible. Two bathrooms are necessary, with a half-bath, only in the event of a two-story house. Otherwise, I am good to go.

I have been looking near school (ACU) as right now we are centrally located. We are about 30 minutes drive from the church where my son works, GCU, and ASU. We live down the street from ACU, so really, this area is optimal. We have shopping malls, hospitals, Home Depot, etc., plus oodles of restaurants and grocery stores near by. It is a good location.

If I work from home, and right now, this is what I believe the Lord intends to provide to me, I have to have Cox Communications (like I do now), and I need Gigablast 1G Internet. I know, sounds crazy, but with my constant need to be online and my son’s need to do things (heavy internet things), we have to have the super fast and reliable connection. I don’t care about TV or phone, so I am cool with their bundle or splitting it up like I did before with AT&T (cell/DirecTV). However, I believe I have to be bundled for Gigablast, so I really do not care too much one way or another.

Other things I am considering is the fact that newer homes rely on APS whereas older homes have a combination of APS and SW Gas. APS will be more expensive, but not every area has access to gas. Thus, living closer to where I am now, could be a benefit. In AZ, electricity is high, so having gas for heating, water, and cooking can really save $$$ in the winter months. Of course, you pay through the nose come summer, but saving some costs at other times of the year is a blessing.

Last, I have decided on my style for decorating. I have spent the past year or so on Pinterest (it is my new addiction), and I have decided that I favor three styles: eclectic, modern, and farmhouse/country. Eclectic is my preferred style now, and after many months, I feel it is the style that resonates with me and that it has been my hidden style for most of my life. My parents are traditional, so while I like traditional lines, I tend to lean more modern and contemporary than strictly traditional.

Thus, eclectic allows me to have some traditional, some contemporary, and some of my favorite Scandinavian and rustic (Mediterranean) touches mixed in. For many years, I was all farmhouse and country, and while I liked that style (because it was my in-laws style), I never was able to really pull it off, so my home always looked like a mish-mash of clashing styles.

Now, I am settled, and I have finally identified the style that suits me best. It is an intellectual style that incorporates my love of art with my love of books. It is clean and uncluttered like the Scandinavian modern homes I love, but it has enough texture to give the style that comfortable “put up your feet” feeling.

With this in mind, I feel ready to step out on my own. I simply need a job, a downpayment, and a resolution to my parents care needs. Once these things are in place, I will begin to look for a home where I can put down roots and start living. I know that sounds weird, like really weird, but the fact is that I feel I have been living in transition since 2010. I was forced out of my home due to my husband’s lifestyle choice, and then I moved to one place (temporary) before landing in this other place (temporary). I have been in transition due to my education as well, and since I have been working part-time for the past four-five years, I feel that I am ready to take on full-time work, full-time living. This means that there will be no more school in my future. It means that I will apply myself to work, to do good work, but mostly to earning as much income as I possibly can so I can retire at age 70. My new goal is retirement, and so I must be focused on the work, the job, and the outcome in order to realize a quality of life after I stop teaching full-time.
In Closing

As I close out this blog post today, I affirm my decision to remain where I am for the time being. I know the plans the Lord has for me, says Jeremiah 29:11, and while I don’t have all the details, I take heart in knowing that He has a good future in mind for me. I am resting in His provision, trusting Him to guide me, and then letting go of my need to be in control. I am resting — relaxing — and letting Him reveal to me His explicit and expressed will so I can know for certain that the way I am going is the way of His blessed counsel. He is good to me. He is so very good to me.

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