Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Amazing Job Possibility!

I talked with the administrator of Wylie Prep on Sunday afternoon and we had a wonderful conversation.  She is very easy to talk to (just like everyone at Faith Academy), and I really think I would LOVE working for them.  They have an opening for 4th grade, 2 sections each of math and social studies.  Typically, I would want to teach English, but I am open for something different.  It's at least at an age that I know I enjoy (because I've worked with that age in many different settings).  I will have an interview once we get to Dallas (still waiting to hear back about the exact date).

The amazing things about this position are:
1) I would be teaching at a University Model School (which I love and am passionate about!).  It's a school that started out tiny and has been growing fast.  I would love to be a part of that.
2) I would be teaching upper elementary, which I enjoy!
3) I would make enough for us to move out by about January if we want, or if we want to stay at his parents for a year or so, we can save up quite a bit.  If I worked full time and paid for full time childcare for all three, I would probably bring about the same amount home as I will here working part time.
4) I would be teaching part time (MWF, 8:25-1:45), so I would still be home with the kids the majority of the time.
5) They have childcare ON SITE!!!  And at a very low price compared to everything else that I have found!  If I were to put them in childcare anywhere else (this includes home care and child care centers), even part time, I wouldn't be able to bring anything home after paying childcare... so it wouldn't be worth it.  But working here, with their on site childcare, I will actually bring money home after childcare :).

Even if this doesn't work out for whatever reason, I still feel like I have many more opportunities than I had here.  There is another UMS that possibly has an opening that I'm waiting to hear from, but if I get offered the job at Wylie Prep, I think I will just take it.  It's almost the perfect situation.

This is just more confirmation that we are headed the right direction :).  Doors are just flying open without much effort!  Praise God!


God has shown us over and over and over again that this is definitely the journey that we are to take... I'm so thankful that He has made it clear because it won't be easy!  But, it is going to be an amazing journey.  I'm looking forward to all of the things that He is going to show us/teach us over the next few years!
When I actually have a moment to sit and think and listen to the Lord, the thought of a new beginning resonates sweetly over me... a new season... a new life...
I know it won't be easy... I know that difficulty will come... I know that we will have moments in which all we can do is rely on Jesus to get us through... and after going through that the past 7 months, I know that HE will give me the strength that I need to get through.  I trust Him.  I don't have the fear of difficult times that I once had.
But past the difficult times, I see a whole new world of opportunities that will be opened to us.  I am amazed at how precisely God has worked out all of the details.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm Getting Excited Now :)

My mom and dad took all three kids for today through tomorrow afternoon, so I have had a lot of quiet time to think.  It's been good.  I had several days of sadness as the reality of leaving our family and friends hit me, and now the excitement is hitting me again!  As I've been thinking today, I'm realizing all that Robert has sacrificed for his family, and I'm excited that he's finally going to have a chance to get his degree... something he has wanted to do since he quit school back in 2003. 
We've been discussing the best option for majors for him, and we've gone back and forth between just going to Dallas Baptist University and finishing what he started at Howard Payne (Christian Studies), going to University of North Texas and getting a Recreation Administration degree, or going anywhere he can get in and getting an Education degree.  We have decided that Education will be the best route for many reasons.  One, he can get a job teaching, most likely, right out of school (since he's male and will be doing middle school/junior high, it shouldn't be difficult for him to find a job).  Two, we will have the same schedule as teachers, meaning summers and holidays off together.  Three, he could still get a job at camp if he would like, and he can do what he would like (Outdoor Education and/or Recreation).  Four, as a family, we can serve at camps during summers.  Robert's dream would be to serve for a month at the camp that he grew up at in New Mexico (Camp Monequiwah sp?). 
No matter where he goes, he's probably going to have to spend quite a bit of time at a community college first.  He didn't do well in college the first time (mainly because he enjoyed the socializing part too much... and he changed schools and majors about 4-5 times), so he's going to have to re-take several classes to replace grades.  His GPA is so low right now that he won't be able to get in anywhere.  Plus, it's cheaper to go to community colleges anyway, and they are usually much more flexible.  The first year, he's probably going to take one class in the fall, and 2, maybe 3 classes in the Spring.  We'll see.  We're just taking it one day at a time. 

I have decided to start looking for teaching jobs, though, I am only applying to University Model Schools (like Faith Academy, the school that I worked at the past two years).  I have emailed three administrators and already heard back from two.  One of them may have some positions open, including 4th grade and some middle school.  The other told me that she may have a position open up in a week or two, and to call her when we get up to Dallas and she will know by then if that position is open.  I asked her if it would be full time or part time, and she said it would be considered full time, but only Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Both of them seemed very interested because I know the model, and I have taught at Faith Academy (which is well known among the University Model circle).  So, I'm just praying through those options... I know that a door will open where ever God wants me... and if a door doesn't open, then I'll just stay home this year :).  I won't be bringing much money home after childcare anyway... it's more a way to get me back into teaching, to give the kids a way to attend Mother's Day Out, and to give us a little extra money.  We'll see what happens :).  Unfortunately, we won't be able to put the kids in a UMS because of the cost... especially while Robert's in school.  So, next year, I may look for a full time teaching position and I will be able to bring Karis to school with me.  Of course, I won't put it past God to make it work if it's His will :).  I just don't foresee that happening.

These past 6 months or so have been C-R-A-Z-Y.  Things have happened that I would have never seen happening... life has been a huge roller coaster of emotions.  From my brother's death at the end of November, to the move into this house and Robert's change of position, to having Levi, to struggling through postpartum depression, to getting treated for it and feeling much better, and now we're moving to Dallas.  It's been a HARD road, but I've learned so much about the person that God has created me to be (I'm different than everyone else!), and what is truly important in life... which is knowing Him and making Him known, and loving and serving my family (& friends)... that's about it :). 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reality is Setting In........

Well, the reality of leaving my friends and family here is hitting me.  I know this move is a God thing, and I know that in the long run this is going to be great for our family, but I'm sad :(.  I have been blessed with an amazing family here at camp and I am very close to my mom and dad (and the rest of my family)... so this move is going to definitely get me out of my comfort zone.  I feel like I'm starting all over; which, I know isn't necessarily bad, but it's just going to be an adjustment.  I was just talking to one of my friends here, and she reminded me that she would be of any help that she could be to me in this process, and it made me so happy to know that no matter what, I have friends/family here.  I'm so thankful that (most) people here are understanding and that we're not burning bridges.  We really aren't just trying to get away from here... we are truly going because God has made it clear that He wants us to.

So, as I pack up, I see the end of one season and the beginning of a new, fresh season... We have lots of history here at camp.  We met here, we got married here, had all three of our kids while living here (and 2 were actually born here), and we have family here at camp.  But, we know that the memories will always be in our hearts, and our family will always be here... and that's all that really matters.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Our New Adventure as a Family

Well, I have written and deleted this post several times... I just don't know how to explain everything in words :).  We've been through a long process of having blind faith and watching God unfold His will without much effort at all on our part.  Our family is about to embark on a new adventure of trusting Him, His provision, and His plan.  We both have feelings of nervousness, sadness, but mostly excitement!  We know that God is all over this, so we trust where He's taking us.

About a month ago, Robert and I were discussing where we might be in a few years... when we moved into this amazing house that the camp provided, we really thought we wouldn't move again for a llloonnnggg time.  Though Robert wasn't real happy with his position here at camp, we were just trying to trust that God had a plan... we also didn't want to move again for a long time... I mean, we have an amazing house and amazing friends, what more could we want, right?
Anyway, when we were discussing where we might be in a few years, we decided that we wouldn't be here as long as we thought... we knew that Robert needed to get his degree to do what he had a passion for in camp ministry (recreation and outdoor education), and we knew that he couldn't get it staying here.  We talked about all the different options, and with many of the options, it would require me to have a full time job immediately... so, we thought we would just wait a few years.

One night, Robert and I were talking, and he remembered that his mom had offered us the upstairs of their house to live for free if he ever wanted to go back to school.  Their upstairs has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a living room.  It's very comfortable, and about the size of a house that we lived at in San Marcos.  So, I emailed her the next day and just asked if the offer was still on the table.  She said definitely yes, and to just let them know if we needed anything else.  I emailed a friend of ours (Robert's room mate from college), who works for Stonebriar Community Church (where Chuck Swindoll is the pastor), asking him if he knew of any job openings.  He immediately contacted me back telling me that he had two positions available, and he could choose which one he wanted.  So, with-in a few hours, Robert had a good chance for a job and we had housing.  Those were really the most important things that we needed to be able to move!  Over the following weeks, Robert and I sought counsel (from several wise people) and prayed a LOT.  We discussed the pros, and we discussed the cons.  We went into the idea of moving realistically.  We know that it won't be a piece of cake.  We know that there will be difficult times.  BUT, we know that if this is where God is guiding us, He will provide what we need.
About a week ago, Robert went up to Dallas to meet with his friend, and he got an official job offer.  He was also told that the church would be flexible with him to go to school.  He was also told that they want him to start July 1st.  So, the next day Robert fasted and prayed... July 1st is really soon... and in the middle of summer here at camp... Through his fasting and praying, God reminded him that this camp was here before him, and would continue after he left.  This camp is here because of God's provision, not because of anything that he has done... so he was just going to have to trust God to provide for the camp's needs, and in His timing.  Because of us leaving, the door is opened for someone else.  God has a plan, and all we have to do is trust.  Just like he quickly opened the doors for us to go to Dallas, he will bring someone to fill Robert's shoes here.

Though there are a some cons (not having our own place for a while, moving again, leaving our friends here and my family, etc), there are many pros.  Robert will only be working 40-45 hours a week on average (a few weeks out of the year he'll work a little bit more, but not often).  His hours will be 8:30-5, M-F, and every 3rd Sunday (though when he starts school, his hours may vary a bit).  We will be right in the middle of town... Whole Foods is about 5 minutes away, there are amazing Farmer's Markets and Farms in the area.  There are libraries, parks, etc, very close.  We will be able to eat all meals healthy, because we'll have dinner together every night.  We'll be able to do things on the weekends... like go camping... We'll be able to be together more.  We have friends that have kids around our kids age that live in the area (including Robert's boss/friend... they have 4 kids).  We'll be able to be involved in church... go to Bible Studies... the kids will be able to be involved in the children's ministry... All things that are important in this stage of our life.  I will be able to stay home this year, and we'll just see how things go.
And the biggest pro of all is that Robert will be able to work on his degree... something that he has wanted to do for several years.  It will take a while, but as long as he's working on it, we know that it's a goal that will be met eventually :).

So, we are about to move (again), and start a new life.  We have had a really rough year, and I'm looking forward to a fresh start.  We are taking a step of faith and definitely getting out of our comfort zone.  I'm excited about where God is taking us!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

God Will Fill in the Gaps

As a mom, I often struggle with the strong feelings of "mommy guilt."  Do I play with them enough?  Do they have enough structure in their day?  Do I love on them enough?  They haven't been eating so well lately.  They throw fits, is that my fault?  Do I discipline them "correctly?"
The list could go on and on...

I read something this morning that completely transformed my way of thinking about my parenting...

I read a devotional every morning titled A Cup of Comfort: Devotional for Mothers.  This morning I read about the familiar feelings of mommy guilt, and how God helped this mommy deal with it.  Here are some excerpts:

"When my children sinned, acted unbecomingly, or spoke harshly, though I knew they made their own choices, I also saw the seeds I had sown.  Over the years, guilt over-shadowed my mothering.  I seemed to fail on so many issues.  How often did I wish I had been more patient?  I nagged myself because we should have had more family devotions.  I should have played more with my kids.  Had I been too lenient in their dress codes and social lives?
Over the years I had sought God's wisdom many times.  I longed to be a good example for my kids.  Though often I sensed God's guidance and was able to respond to it with positive results, I continued living with a nagging sense of never living up to my expectations...

Through my tears, I prayed, and experienced what would become a turning point away from the guilt I carried.  'God, you know I've always wanted to be a good example for my kids.  But you, of all people, know how I've failed at times.  You know my weaknesses.'
Then the Holy Spirit led me to God's comforting truth.  Before I knew what I was saying, I confidently declared, 'But, God, you can make up for every one of my weaknesses as a parent.  I'm asking you today to fill in the gaps where I've failed.  Thank you that when I am weak, you are strong!'
The simple truth that God can make up for my failures has relieved mounds of guilt in my life.  Maybe I'm not always the example I want to be for my children, but I know I have a big God who covers me with His grace."

What an eye opener!  Yes, we need to seek God's wisdom, but we have to also realize that as long as we're human, we're going to make mistakes.  That's where God steps in!  He can and will fill in the gaps where we fail.  What a relief!  God is bigger than our weaknesses and mistakes.