June 10, 2017

Plans and More Plans

Happy Saturday! It is a great day in Phoenix, although it is a bit warm. The high today is supposed to be right around 100 degrees. I am loving it, for sure, because when I return from my trip to Indiana, the highs are forecast to be close to 114 (per the weather gal this morning). Oh my goodness! Am I crazy or what? I am really planning to remain in Phoenix (Lord, willing) and do so without a pool! This is crazy Southwest Desert living, for sure!

This morning has proven to be a bust so far. I woke up earlier than I had wanted to, thanks in part to my furry little one, Ike. Ike decided to open the curtains in my bedroom, so I had to get up and shush him away. This was about 7 or so. I tried to fall back to sleep, but there was no turning back. After a time of resting and reading in bed, I finally pulled myself out around 8:30. In that short amount of time, I have eaten my breakfast and had two cups of coffee. I had hoped to jump on the computer first thing so I could open my courses at Regent, but something is not right with my access today. I am getting errors, left, right and center, and no real answer as to why I cannot connect to Blackboard or even to our internal system. I am waiting to hear back from IT, so until then, I sit. I am vegging out right now. I do have grading to do today, and I have some prepping for my trip on Monday. In all, I am in good shape, but the morning is quickly passing by without much productive work. Sigh!
Moving Closer and Not Farther Away

This past week has been a challenge for me. I have made some decisions, some changes to my schedule, my routine, and my life. I am preparing for change to occur, and while I am not certain what that change entails, I simply feel the Lord pressing in on me to be ready, to be prepared because change is coming. I sense a change in venue, a change in perspective, and even a change in my attitude and awareness of life, in general. Mostly, I feel that something is about to happen to me, and that while it is not terrible, terrifying, or tentative, it is something that the Lord says I should be ready for, ready to accept and handle.

My life has been in flux for quite a while now. I would say that the past 7 years have seen major change, regularly occurring change. I can recount all the changes in my life over this period, and in each case, my life was altered significantly. For example:
  • In 2008, I discovered my ex-husband was having online affairs with women
  • In 2009, I discovered that these affairs were moving toward physical affairs
  • In 2010, we made the decision to separate after 25 years of marriage
  • In 2010, I took a part-time job at Macy's in order to begin moving out on my own
  • In 2010, I bought my second car (my first was in 1981), a used Kia Rio
  • In 2010, I started a Masters' degree program in order to become a teacher
  • In 2011, I rented my first place, and I moved into it with my son and our two cats
  • In 2011, I left Macy's for my first "real" job in over 18 years at UOPX
  • In 2012, I graduated with my Masters' degree in English Literature
  • In 2012, I left UOPX for a job closer to home at CVS Caremark
  • In 2013, I bought my third car, my current Nissan Sentra
  • In 2013, I began my doctoral program at Regent University
  • In 2013, I left CVS for a job as an Instructional Assistant at GCU
  • In 2013, I left my rented town home to move into a rented home with my parents
  • In 2014, I made the decision to end my separation and seek divorce
  • In 2014, five-months after my decision, my divorce was finalized
  • In 2014, I started my career as adjunct instructor at GCU and ACU
  • In 2016, I passed my qualification exams
  • In 2016, I started teaching at Regent University
  • In 2016, I passed my dissertation proposal defense
  • In 2017, I researched, wrote, and defended my dissertation
  • In 2017, I started teaching at ASU
  • In 2017, I graduated with my PhD in Communication
In looking over all these major life changes, it really is a miracle that I am still in one piece. I mean, I am spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically able to work, to produce good work, and to live a full and generous life. In fact, I would say that my life is full to overflowing with mercy and with grace. I am in this very good place right now, but the Lord is telling me to prepare for more change. I would really like to be settled, like to be permanently settled, but for now, I believe change is forecast for a while still. I think change is going to be the byword for my life, at least, for several more years. I am not sure why, but as the Lord moves, my life changes. He moves left, and my life follows along in stride. Things do not stay still when the Lord is moving, changing, making alterations, and whether those moves, changes, and alterations are physical or spiritual, there is always a wake that follows His power and presence. Yes, it is like when you walk through water. You cannot walk through water and hope to not cause any waves. The Lord moves and the water ripples throughout the various layers in our life. We have to become accustomed to type of movement because depending on the size of the change (life event sized change) the ripples can be very, very unnerving.

I have become used to His movement. I have gotten to the point where I no longer panic when He says that things are going to change for me. Even when He says that the change will be significant, life altering, etc. I simply know that with any change, there always is some discomfort initially. But after the discomfort passes, usually the change produces really nice results. I mean, moving from the home I owned with my ex-husband for 12 years was really hard for me. I was glad to be out on my own. I was glad to have a new place. I mean, I had remained in my home even after my ex and I separated. I wasn't able to move out because of my financial situation and he wasn't willing to go. We were at an impasse for 18 months, and during that time, I had to wait patiently until the Lord was ready for me to step out on my own. I had to rebuild my credit. I had to have a stable job. I had to show proof of employment, income, and also present myself as worthy as a renter on a rental agreement. The move itself was difficult. It was hard to put aside all those memories, all those feelings, but I did. It was hard to let things go. I had to sell all my books, for example, and I had to take just a portion of my things with me. I had to accept the loss of my marriage, the ending of a relationship, and I had to pick up and move to a new place to start again.

The same was true when I left my lovely town home to move into this house with my parents. This has been a difficult place to live, and I have been taxed more here than ever before. Yet, I came here with open eyes, knowing that I would be providing comfort to my parents during their latter years. Now, the Lord is preparing me to move again. This time, I believe it will be to another home in the area. I am not sure how I will do that, but as in the previous moves, I didn't know how I would leave everything behind, afford to rent a place, and then keep up with the bills each month. The Lord provided everything for me. He closed the door on refinancing my shared home. He made it impossible for me to remain in that house. He prepared me to move, gave me savings, money to use for deposits and the like, and then He opened a door to a lovely place right near the community college (where my son was attending). Moreover, He moved me without hassle or fault, and He helped me  decorate my home with some new things and make my place special. Likewise, when the time came to leave that unit, the Lord closed the door for me. He gave me an exit -- the owner called to say he was selling the unit -- and I had a perfect out to break the agreement and move here. When a larger home was needed after my parents downsized, the Lord brought this home to them. He made it possible for them to move in ahead of time, and then when He was ready for me to move, He took care of all the details. Now, I am here with my parents, and I have been for 4 years.

I wonder how the Lord will move me again, but history is a fare indicator of His way. He opens and closes doors. He will build my income so that I can afford to purchase a home. He will help me find a good home, not a perfect home, but a good home. He will give me favor and blessing with the owners, the agents, the lenders, etc. I will purchase a home that will fit me, and He will close the door on this house. I will be able to leave easily and without any issue. I will move, be settled, and just like before, the Lord will provide everything I need to live comfortably in that new place. The details are a mystery to me, but if I can imagine them, they will be as such:
  • A full-time job will come to me so that I will have the income verification I need in order to qualify for a loan
  • A down payment program will made available to me as a first-time home owner so that I can purchase a home
  • A home will be found that fits my budget (monthly costs) and that needs minimal work (paint, carpet, landscaping, etc.) so that I can move in and make updates in time
  • Furniture, possessions and such, will be purchased, arranged for, or found to help create a warm and inviting home for me and for my son
  • Moving from here to there will be accomplished by hand rather than by company
  • I will move all my things personally (by car and truck) so that I can save money and move over several weekends in the early fall
  • Utilities will be established without the need for deposits since I have such good credit now
  • Move in will be smooth, without hitch, and while tiring, will be completed quickly
In all, as the Lord opens and closes doors, He also opens and closes provision and lines associated with them. For instance, the Lord helped me close out accounts I once held in order to make it possible for me to move from one location to another. All the details, the logistics which boggle my mind, the Lord simply made happen or were fulfilled. I called, asked, inquired, etc., and then whatever was needed was supplied to me. I walked to where He said, and the need was fulfilled.

I believe that the same will be true this time around. I believe that whatever I need will be supplied to me. I don't know how right now, other than by the Lord's hand, I mean. I don't have "plenty" sitting by so for this to come to pass, the Lord will have to supply it to me through other channels. I will abide in Him, obey His directives, and watch as He does what He does best -- make miracles happen.
Present and Future Needs

In thinking about change and the change the Lord has in mind for me, I realize that much of this "change" is the result of my new educational status. I am content to teach adjunct, and I certainly could sustain myself on adjunct pay. But, I believe this is not the Lord's will for me; nor, is adjunct status His plan. The Lord intends to provide a full-time job as an Assistant Professor very soon. In this job, I will find rest. I will be at peace, and I will have a good job and benefits to provide for my needs long term. Until that time, I continue to do what I am doing now, which is to work at multiple venues. I will continue to take contracts, to live on faith, and to rest in His provision for me. In time, however, I will have this one job as the basis for my employment. I will work part-time as secondary income for as long as possible, but the one job is key for the change that is coming to me.

Once I have this job in hand, I will be ready to begin the process of preparing to move. I will have income verification, and with that need out of the way, I can apply for programs and loans to be pre-approved by lenders. Then, with a down payment, I should be able to shop for homes in the area that offer enough space for me and for my son. I am letting go the idea of a pool, despite the fact that at 114, a pool is mighty nice to have. The extra costs and expenses that come with pools are not really that great and outweigh the benefits of a pool. I trust the Lord. If He provides a pool, so be it. If not, then so be it.

The house aside, I also need to think about a new car for myself. My car, while still in good shape, now has close to 70k miles on it (thanks to my son's use). It needs to be traded in on a newer model, so I am trusting the Lord to provide a new car to me this year.

With new car and new house, the only other thing I need is rest. I really will need rest from all the changes the Lord has brought to me over the past 10 or so years. I am ready to rest, but I don't believe that He has rest in mind. Well, not sleepy rest. I believe the Lord intends for me to work very hard over the next 10-15 years before I retire. In that time, I will accomplish much. I will write articles, conduct research, and develop a ministry. I will relearn the cello, study French, German, and Italian, and travel around the USA. I will be very busy, very busy. I will have plenty of good practical work, but I will also have spiritual work that needs to be accomplished. I will travel, speak, teach, and engage in ministry that will be needed for His Kingdom. I will be matured in stature, grown up in ways I am not now, and over the next 15 years, made ready for His big promotion to full-time minister. Yes, I will become a full-time ministry servant at age 70. From 70 onward, my only job will be His work. I will do no other work outside ministry, and I will go and do whatever the Lord asks of me. I will walk along side of Him as Enoch did, and then when He is ready for me to go home, I will rest. I will enter than blessed rest and spend all of eternity with Him. Until that time -- it is busy! It is working hard, working long hours, and it is devoting myself to everything He asks me to do. I do it with a cheerful heart, a glad heart, and a willing spirit. I commit my time, my talents, and my tomorrows to Him.

May He be praised! May He be glorified! May my life be a testimony to the goodness and the faithfulness of God!

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