July 21, 2017

Friday, Friday!

Happy Friday! It is another end to a good week here in the desert. It is a good day, hot and a bit humid, but overall, fairly quiet on the monsoon front. Hopefully, with the lull in the monsoon moisture, the heat and humidity will kick up some good afternoon storms. It has been such a nice change of pace to have rain, thunder and lightening each evening.

I am doing well today. I woke up around 9:30 after passing a fairly uneventful evening. I did have some leg pain (right), and I was surprised to see how twisted my hip and leg region are at this point in time. I have always had “structural issues,” as I like to call them. Most of my hip/leg pain is related to the fact that my spine is twisted and my hips are out of alignment (I am curved due to scoliosis, but my hips are turned toward the left and one leg is shorter than the other). I am not sure how I got to be this twisted up, but as I am aging, I am noticing more and more hip/leg pain that ever before. One doctor said it was due to trauma at birth. Another doctor said it was more than likely my car accident at age 17, and yet another said it may have been when I fell out of a window at age 3. I don’t know for sure anymore. I have had spine x-rays that show the severity of the twist and misalignment, and I was told at age 16 that I had pretty serious scoliosis, rated high enough to warrant surgery and a back brace. Unfortunately, the orthopedist also said that I was too old at that point to do anything corrective so I would have to “live with the twisting” and get used to it. Which, as they say, is exactly what I have done.

Last night, I had this throbbing pain down in my ankle. It is like this burning constant pain that sits right above my ankle joint on the outside of my shin. I wonder sometimes if the pain is associated with my bad ankle sprain from 2015. I get this pain pretty regularly now, and nothing I do seems to help it. However, I have found that some stretching exercises and mobility movement do help lessen the pain, so before bed, I spent a good 15-20 minutes stretching. However, about mid-night, I woke up to RLS and nothing I could do would shake it. Thankfully, I rolled over on my stomach, and I tried to rest all my muscles. It is interesting when I lay on my stomach because my curvature and structural issues are more pronounced. For example, when I lay this way, I cannot lay with my head facing right. I have to lay with my head facing left. I can lay the other way, but it is very uncomfortable and hard to do (my head doesn’t want to go that way). Secondly, my right leg cannot lay flat. I mean, I try to get it to lay flat, but I can tell that my hip on that side is not laying correctly, which causes my foot to splay out. My knee doesn’t lay as it should either, so all in all, I end up in this really wonky position.

I could feel my body relaxing, so I forced myself to remain this way for about 20 minutes. I worked with my foot to get it into a position where it would begin to relax. I was painfully aware that my body didn’t want to lay flat like it should, and with my head in this very awkward position, I also realized that the only way I could be comfortable was to lift my arms over my head. Weird, I know. However, as I did that, I realized that when I sleep on my back, I do the exact same thing. I put my arms up. Now, I can see that because of my structural issues, I am unable to sleep on my back or my front. I struggle with a side position for similar reasons, but through this little experiment, I came to understand that my body has gotten stuck and all my joints and ligaments and muscles are compensating in order to keep me moving forward.

The good news is that I realized that without some intervention (surgical), I am going to have to live with my aging body. I am going to have to learn better ways to live that will not cause continued pain for me. Losing the excess weight is key as is working in a good therapy plan with strength and conditioning exercises. I have to make the most of what I have been given, and that means that I have to start taking care of myself to ensure that when I am 80-90 years old, I can still walk and climb, and do daily work as the Lord leads, guides, and provides for me. He is good to me, so very good to me!
Plans for the Day

Today, I have a couple major to-dos on my list. I am enrolled in a Master class on Effective Online Teaching Strategy through ASU. I have a little project to complete and some online interaction to add. I am also in the middle of week 5 of my two Regent courses, so I have grading and some other tasks to attend to today. I am loving my summer schedule. I have just enough work to keep me busy, but not too much work where I cannot enjoy my summer vacation/down-time.

I am still waiting to hear back on job possibilities. I have received no confirmation from Grantham to date, so I am letting this school go for now. If the Lord desires it to be so, it will be so. I am no longer going to worry about it. Apparently, they have some real management issues, which leads me to believe that perhaps it is best to simply let this school go. I have not hear back from Central Texas College, but I did check and my application materials are under review. Other than these positions, the only other one sitting out there is ASU. I have been approved to teach for fall (part-time), so if they want me to teach full-time, I will need to hear pretty soon. I guess I can add Regent to the mix as well, but since I applied back in February and I haven’t heard a peep back, I have to assume that they are either not looking anymore (have someone else in mind) or they decided not to fill the vacancy at this time. Either way, in all cases, I mean, I am in really good shape. I am trusting the Lord for His provision of good practical work. Wherever I am to teach, He will open doors for me. He will bring contracts to me, quality work, and He will give me His blessing and favor. I am no longer waiting for a job, instead, I am considering the work I have as “enough.”

My reasoning is this way: If the Lord wanted me to have a full-time job, then He would have provided one to me. I have applied for full-time work previously, but these jobs have either been filled with other candidates or they are still open after many months. More so, the only work the Lord has brought to me consistently has been adjunct. I believed that this was because my first focus or number one priority was Regent and my PhD. Now that I am graduated from school, I am ready to begin working full-time. I have relented in that matter simply because “technically” with all my contracts, I am actually working time and a half. I work more than full-time right now, but just not at one school.

Thus, if the Lord was ready for me to move into a full-time faculty position this summer, I believe it would have happened by now. At this point, it becomes difficult for me to exit out of my ground campus classes. However, I am trusting the Lord to provide for me. He has this timing thing down pat, and He knows exactly what He wants for me to do, and when He wants me to move from one job to another. I will rest. I will rest. I will rest.

More so, as I consider my work, life, and the balance between the two, I realize just how special, how favored, and how privileged I am right now. I mean, I have oodles of work — good work — and I have contracts in place for fall, praise the Lord! More so, I am in this really wonderful place where I have no lack. By lack, I mean, I have no real financial stress or strain. I have enough money to cover me in my checking account/savings account until my contracts kick in this fall. Furthermore, I have checking and savings set aside from my earnings at ASU that are “extra” comfort for me. They are not to be used at this time, so they are just there providing an extra measure of care. I love that the Lord has done this, provided this way to me. He has made sure that my kneading bowl and basket are not empty. I can honestly say that over the past seven years my income has never run out, and my accounts have never crossed into the “red zone.” He has seen to it that my financial situation has been well-established, and while I haven’t always been “flush” while in school, I have had a roof over my head, bills paid on time, and food at the ready. He has cared for me, and He continues to care for me every single day. He is good to me, so very good to me! Selah!

One thing I know is this: My Lord has me well covered. He knows my needs, and He understands what I can and cannot do. When I say this, I mean, He knows my ends, where my ability and skill ends, and where I can no longer go forward without Him. He knows how far He can stretch me, and how much strain I can take before the pressure really gets to me. What is more is the fact that I can rest in this knowledge. I know He is not going to break me. You see, the Lord does allow His chosen ones to undergo pressure, and yes, sometimes that pressure leads to a breakdown. That breakdown has a purpose, and that purpose is to call attention to sin issues such as selfishness (dependency on self or others) or to pride. However, the Lord typically doesn’t keep His children in painful situations after the lesson has been learned. I mean, what point would there be to keep a child in constant turmoil and strife? No loving parent would do this, and God, the Father, is the most loving and caring parent we know. No, in my life, after I hit “rock bottom” many years ago, I have rarely felt the chastisement of the Lord in this way. I have been disciplined, mind you, but that has been different. Discipline is corrective, and I have learned boundaries and how far and wide I can walk within His will. But, in all this discipline and lesson learning, I have come to see His hand as merciful and kind, always loving, and always filled with grace.

Therefore, as I consider my life today, July 21, 2017, I have to believe that I am right where the Lord desires me to be. I am right in this place, and in this place, He has determined that everything is good. I may hope for release. I may long for a full-time job with more income and better benefits, but the Lord has said, “It is good,” and as such, I have come to agree with Him. It is good. I am good. He is good. Everything — His plan, His purpose, and His provision — is so GOOD.

In Closing

I stand at the ready to go where He sends me. I am ready to pick up my tent and move on. I am ready to take on new work, full-time or part-time work, and to go live, do, be wherever He has chosen for me to live, do, or be. He is good to me. He knows me well. He knows just how far He can pull me in order to bring to the place of His choosing. I have to wait for His blessed opening, and I have to listen for His command to go. Until I hear Him say, “This is it!” I will keep my eyes open, and I will rest, abide, lean, and conform to His will and His way. He is good to me. He is so very good to me! Selah!

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