Monday, September 6, 2010

Part 3

It is September and classes are starting up include Masters courses. UWM started on the 2nd of this month and I was not part of that group.

At the beginning of the year, I made the decision to pursue my Masters degree (MLIS) and do an online program from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I can't remember the last time I was that excited and I couldn't wait, but that's exactly what I had to do. I was admitted to the fall semester and it was only April when I found out. So there was nothing but time to kill. First it was just waiting to enroll. I was really As soon as the time came, I was enrolled. That morning at 8:20 I had all my courses picked out and the deed was done.

Well, then there was that whole job thing. You know, the one where I didn't have a job. Yeah, that. Ouch. The program that I was admitted into was going to be about $4300 a semester. That was for two courses/semester and then of course the cost of books. Initially, this wasn't a problem. Rob and I were pretty confident that I would be able to get a job and with his G.I. Bill, there would be no need to worry or take out loans. But seeing as how time was passing and I was still unemployed, my masters dream was going with it. The job at Back Bay was my last hope and when that didn't happen, I had no choice but to move my start date until the Spring semester. Surprisingly, it was fairly easy to do and everyone was great about it.

Do you know what time gives you? A lot of time to see stats and process information and decisions. It also gives you time to make changes in decisions that you were going to go with. Well, that is exactly what happened to me. During the time from April to now, I have read blog after blog about the MLIS and the outcome for people with those degrees. It wasn't looking promising, especially with the news of all the cutbacks in the library field...hours and closures and so on. While Rob and I were going over the money, it became apparent that my masters was going to cost us about 30K!! OUCH! I hadn't even thought about that. Over two years, I was going to spend 30K on a degree that I wasn't even sure I would get to use. I mean, come on. Here I am with a college degree, 23K in student loans, and unemployed!!! Was I freakin' insane?! Clearly.

After much thought, I decided that as much as I liked the idea of getting my masters degree I couldn't justify spending that kind of money on something that I might not even use. With that I made the decision to pursue something that I had been throwing around for awhile now...well, something that started around the time that I was in college and has resurfaced a few times since. After speaking with my dad and Rob, of course, the decision was made for me to get a skill. That's right...I am joining the medical field!

I started Tidewater Community College in pursuit of an A.A.S in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Radiology was my long ago thought, but Sonography , Ultrasound to some, is where it eventually landed. It should be a third of the cost and a pretty solid career future. A good deal all around. I am currently enrolled in Medical Terminology and Basic Human Biology, since I only made a D in Biology during my college years...bahahah. What kills me about BHB is that it's being taught out of the Anatomy and Physiology textbook...but it's a prereq for A&P. Weird. Oh, well. Next semester I think I'm only going to take one course, A&P. Everyone has always said it is so hard and I don't want to mess up my stellar GPA that I am planning on starting this semester.

Now the only thing to do is see where the Lord takes us and enjoy the ride.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Part 2

Following the lead of Part 1...I have applied for over 43 jobs since February of this year. Here is the story of how I finally got a job.

Last November, I started praying about a new direction and a new job. I have been praying ever since. During the time that passed between November and the beginning of January I had made the decision that I was going to pursue my Masters, as well as, it was time for me to leave the police department. I prayed and prayed and prayed about that and all I seemed to get was God telling me to wait. I was so unhappy and just hated life and honestly, I really didn't know if it was Him telling me to stay or something else. By the middle of March, with Rob's blessing, I put in my resignation. Come the end of the month, I would be unemployed if I didn't have something else. Of course, I thought that was ridiculous. Of course I would have something else. I was college educated and a certified police officer. Surely I was be able to get some office job. Besides, I had applied for an office position with the SS and a few other things that definitely would pan out.

Skip ahead to month 2 (May) of being unemployed: Julie, a friend from church, told me about a position that was opening up and her husband was the president of the board. Certainly, this one would pan out. As the time passed the more and more sure I was that the job was mine and God's plan was for me to work there. Decent pay, able to make my own hours, and raising money/planning parties, etc...the same things that I did in the sorority. Wouldn't you know, it took until the middle of July to finally get the board rolling on that. I had my first interview, then it was time for the second. Come to find out, they had to post it in the paper and after 30 applicants, they were having the top 3 return. Well, that was the best interview that I have ever had. I have never felt more comfortable and at ease. It was simply a great interview. Leaving there, I knew that God had to be working with this. It was mine...we were good to go.

The next more, I received my rejection call. :o( I was bet out by a woman who was already employed, making over 6 figures at her job, to take this position making 30K. Blah, but apparently it was incredibly close and I was told that if this woman did as she said she was going to and bring in the money that she was promising that they wanted to hire me too. It was be a few months at best, I was told. It was a nice rejection call and I knew that they really had to do what they thought was best for the organization, but boy was I crushed. I had put everything on that one job. While I was still applying and such, I was so positive that I was going to get that job. All my hope and faith that God had a plan was crushed. Even though there was a part of me that knew He was still going to take care of us...I just wasn't sure what I was going to do. I was too devastated to really know what else to do.

As I'm sure you can imagine the disappointment of being unable to get an interview...let alone a job...while being a college graduate and certified police officer. I was definitely dipping my toe in the sea of depression and my self-esteem was pretty much non-existent. It finally came down to a big crying out session with God Himself. Let me first say that it is not something I am proud of and find myself to be a bit foolish even...but there is that part of me that sees it as something that needed to be done. I needed to be honest with Him...not that He didn't already know what I was feeling...and it's okay to cry out to Him. Sometimes that's what you really really let Him know that you are depending on Him.

So this past Tuesday, I had hit my limit. I told Him everything, from me praying for His direction to my frustration at where I was at. I told Him that I have been waiting for Him to tell me where to go and to point me in the direction of where He wanted me and all I was getting was silent. I told Him that if He was telling me, I couldn't hear Him and He needed to speak try something us. I want to do His will and follow His plan for me, but I couldn't do it if I couldn't hear Him. I told Him that I was angry and hurt and I needed to hear from Him (pretty much asap without actually saying that, but it was sure how I was feeling).

The next morning, I was determined to go check on my job application at Pier 1. One Monday, I had went around to the local stores in the area and started putting in applications at the places that were hiring. Pier 1 just happened to be. :o) So I was up early since I wanted to get it down before going to Bible study and wouldn't you know, they were closed when I got there. I went on to the church, but as soon as it was over, I headed back to the store. I spoke with the manager and found out that they were hiring for a position to cover 12-20 hours a week. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but at that point all I was thinking was that a job was a job and any money coming in was a benefit and there was always the option of getting more hours or another part time job. She had me come back at 3 for an interview and she offered me the job at the end of it! She said that she liked me and I think that there is definite potential to move up.

So there you have it folks...I am employed. I work for Pier 1 and I am so grateful to God for having mercy on me and answering my pleas. This position has potential and I felt like He has me here to start over. To rebuild my work ethic and work history. To really improve on myself and teach me lessons that I need to be taught. With all the changes that have been made by the Potter's hand over the last year, I am in need of a place to use them and really continue to grow.

What else is new??? Check back for Part 3.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Part 1

So as we all know the recession has took a major hit on the job market. Well, not so much here...mostly the employers are just far more selective, I supposed.

Since February I have applied for over 43 jobs...those are just the ones that I have written down. 28 of those where since April 1st. 13 since the the 23rd of August. must be thinking. Well, so was I. How is it possible that someone with a college degree and a license to kill people couldn't even get a job answering the phone at Geico? Oh how I wish I knew.
Now if I had been smart, I would have been documenting this whole process; however, I was feeling pretty low and the mere thought just didn't seem that appealing.

One of the best things that has come out of this last 5 months is the opportunity to really grow in the Word and my faith. I was able to get settled into my church, attend the Women's Conference with no scheduling conflicts and join two Bible Study groups one on Wednesday mornings and one Thursday nights. I have also met wonderful people through church and have actually finally started establishing friendships. Rob and I have lived here 3 years now and at 2 and a half years I was still without those Go To know the ones...the girls (or guys) that you can call at the last minute to go to the movies or grab lunch or just hang out with. It's been since Seattle that I had one of those and we only lived there a short time, so it's really been since Oklahoma since I had my Go To friends. Boy, it has been very detrimental to my psyche. It has been such a blessing to have these women in my life and knowing that they are fellow believers is oh so much better! I am so grateful for each of them. 

I have recently, within the last month and a half, started meeting with a mentor. Her name is Martha and God has blessed her with the gift of teaching. She loves the Word and is amazing at sharing it with others. She runs the Wednesday morning Bible study that I go to and I was really looking to go deeper and really get into it, so I asked one of the Pastors and he suggested Martha. She was so excited about it and it just really touched my heart. Since then we met every Thursday morning and I have never learned so much. God is doing amazing things for the both of us during that time. It is so awesome to see how far I've come in just the year that I have been working on rediscovering me and the fact that 85% of it has been within the last 5 months is crazy...and so much in the last two!!

God really does have a plan and maybe using these last 6 months of unemployment to strengthen and solidify my trust and love of Him were just that...His plan.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

One a Month

So one entry a month...not too terrible. LOL...which you would think would be a lot more since I don't have a job and spend the day working around the house. Priorities, priorities, priorities.

I am currently waiting to hear back about a position that a friend suggested for me. I met Julie at the Women's Bible Study group on Wednesdays and it just so happened that she was the head of the Thursday night bible study that I joined as well! A foundation that she is involved with is looking for a new executive director and she thought I would be perfect for the position. Who am I to argue? There are 3 individuals up for the position and the President and Vice President of the board had an informational meeting with each of us (individually) on Thursday of last week. They spent the time telling me what they were expecting from the new ED and what the job entails. I gave them a quick run down of my qualifications and a resume for each. We are supposed to be hearing back about an "official" interview sometime this week and I was really hoping for the beginning since the current ED's last day is Friday. There is really nothing that I can do besides wait, so no need to bother with worrying. God knows my heart and knows my strengths and if this is where He wants me, then it's going to happen. When it does, I'm taking it and running!!

Last night I was looking through Rob's class schedule booklet and I came across a few classes that I would love to take. One is Greek Mythology (perfect for a future Archivist) and the other...well, all...of the classes on religion. I am so hungry to learn more about the Word that I am eager to enroll in all of the classes offered (!!), however, I am feeling more lead to the Survey of the Old Testament followed closely by New Testament and Early Christianity. They both would provide me with so much understand, so I don't believe I could possible go wrong with either. Being able to take any of these courses on top of my courses for my masters is another problem. Getting Rob to agree to it is probably the biggest hurdle, because he is eager for me to get started and finish as soon as possible. I would have to just take one masters course to accommodate the two "just for the fun of learning and personal growth" classes. Of course, there would be no way we could afford both masters class and two other courses. So we will have to see....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

God is doing good work in my life today.

I am happy and amazed at all the Lord has done in my life (in general), but especially over these last few weeks. For the longest time now, I have been missing the comfort and companionship of a church home. I could feel the void inside me and would often think to myself...I really need to get back to church...I need to find a church and I really would like to get involved. These thoughts would surface ever so often and pass without much action on my part...even though I knew that it would leave an empty void.

Since I decided to rediscovery myself and make changes and so has been a constant thought, but I would make excuse after excuse. Finally, I had enough. I knew that it was something I was longing for and that I really needed God in my life if I was going to make all the changes that I wanted and needed. The church that I had originally thought about attending was literally a block away, but you would not believe the number of excuses one could make for not going. My biggest and most frequently used excuse was one of being tired and having to get up early...I'm sure many have used this one. :) Yet, as I would justify to myself why I couldn't make it to service, I knew the true reason...I was afraid. I know, I know...who's afraid to go to church?! The absurdity of it is not lost on me, but nonetheless, it is it. I was afraid. I have always had the fear of being judged...low self-esteem/self-confidence...always worried that I would not be good enough. Being surrounded by a large group of people that I did not know and still feeling so new to the faith (even though it's been 6 years since I was saved...but 3 that I've been away from the church...eek!) freaked me out. The devil knows my insecurities and had no problem running them through my mind and I was quickly defeated time and again. Not completely though, I have still been studying the Word, reading my daily devotional, and listening to Joyce's [Meyer] podcasts. I love her! 

A few weeks ago, I decided that I was tired of being afraid. I remembered my life verse 2 Timothy 1:7: "For the Lord did not give [me] a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind" and I made the decision to go to the 11:00 service the following Sunday. Every time the devil tried to sidetrack me with my fears, I just became more determined and would run my verse through my mind. I made it to church and no, no one attacked In the bulletin, they were advertising the Women's Conference a couple of weeks later. It occurred to me that it was around this same time last year, that I had tried the church for the first time and attended very sporadically (maybe 4 times in the whole year) ever since. I had wanted to go to the Women's Conference then too, but with my work schedule and other reasons I didn't pursue it. Well, this year I was going to do it. I wanted more God in my life and more fellowship with others and to grow in my faith. I even took the time to call two Ladies' Bible Study groups to see if they had room for one more. I joined the Wednesday morning group and the Thursday evening group. Since then I have met several great women and have so many wonderful examples of women after God's own heart. I attended the Women's Conference last week and learned so much. It was such an awakening! I encourage everyone to try to attend one in their area. To be surrounded by so many fellow Christian is just amazing!

I have been working over the last several months to pull the weeds and remove the overgrowth in my heart...making room to plant new seeds of humility, grace, peace,patience, love, and faith. Using a metaphor of Joyce's, there are several stones...mine are more the size of my river of life. It's had to get the river flowing if it's stopped up with fleshy business. Through prayer, faith, and hope...I am working to make those boulders smaller, to stones, then rocks, then pebbles smoothed over by my river and at the bottom. Trust me, God has a lot of work to do within me...but I'm happy to say, I'm being made ready.

The reason I'm sharing this is because I have felt a change in my of peace and forgiveness take hold. Rob has even noticed that I seem happier, that I have been happier. My anger passes much quicker than it used to and when my frustration comes up, I look to the Word to replace it with love. The Lord is doing a good work in me and I wanted to let everyone know. I am growing roots...deep roots...and surrounding myself with like-minded ladies to help me continue to grow. 

Right now, I am still without a job. We have no more money set aside to cover our budget and Rob is being to worried. Yet, surprisingly or maybe it isn't, I'm content. I know that I will find a job and we will be okay. I have faith in God and believe that this a trial set to strengthen and grow my faith. I have hope that a job I applied for will come through. Every time my worries start, I use my words in confirmation that He hears my prayers and will answer them. He will provide. For instance, a woman in my Thursday group has an unsaved husband...just like mine. She also had the book Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and she offered to loan it to me for Rob to read. God was working, because he is actually reading it and interested in it. I believe that God is going to use this book to open his eyes and plant that seed in his heart. By the way, for anyone who has not read this book...I would greatly encourage it. Even as a believer, I have learned so much from it and I'm only on page 60. He makes the argument so logical. 

In summary, while my life is nowhere near perfect I am content and happy. I have peace in my heart and plan on continuing to sow and reap the good life. :o)

I know that this is already incredibly long, but I wanted to include this message from Joyce. It has been something that I have been focusing on for the last month or so, because it is the biggest boulder in my river and I believe that this will be helpful for everyone. 

The Mouth Has a Mind of Its Own!
by Joyce Meyer

What if I told you that the source of most of your problems could be found within you—from the neck up? You’ll find it in the thoughts that come from your mind and the words that come out of your mouth.

We must realize and understand the power carried by our thoughts and words. They’re so powerful that they can bring either blessings or curses into our lives, depending on their nature. Our thoughts and words are like the rudder of a ship—they may seem small, but they affect the very direction of our lives.

Many years ago my life was in a state of chaos because of years of wrong thinking and speaking. I had encountered so many disappointments because of all the devastating things that had happened to me. I was afraid to believe that anything good might happen. In fact, my philosophy of life was, “If you keep your expectations low, you’ll never be disappointed.”

Over the years I became very cynical and negative. I often said that if I had two positive thoughts in a row, my mind would’ve gotten a cramp. My thoughts were negative, which caused my words to be negative…which all reflected poorly on my life. Finally, I decided to change my ways and stop talking so negatively. After a while I realized that I needed to do more than just not talk negatively. Cutting out the negative wasn’t enough; I had to begin to think and talk positively!

For example, a person sneezes and says, “Oh, I’m probably getting the flu.” Or someone hears a rumor that the company he works for is going to lay off some employees, so he thinks,
That’s the story of my life. Every time things start to go well, something always happens. Then he says, “I’ll probably lose my job.” These types of negative statements seem to come so naturally to all of us. We need to discipline ourselves to be more positive—it’s not so easy!

When we react negatively, we allow fear to take over our thinking. We begin to dwell on things that haven’t even happened and may not happen. Our negative thoughts cause us to speak the words that’ll shape our future.

We’re constantly tempted to think wrong thoughts, but we don’t have to accept them! We have a choice! We need to purposely choose right thinking and speaking. In the Bible, Proverbs 18:21 says,
Death and life are in the power of the tongue…. We must choose life generating thoughts. When we do, positive, powerful, life-giving words will naturally follow. I think some people try to control their mouths but do nothing about their thoughts. That’s like pulling off the top of a weed—unless the root is dug up, the weed always comes back. You’ll never control your mouth unless you first learn to control your mind.

Believing is the first important step to switching our thinking from being negative to positive. Remember, what’s in our hearts and minds will come out of our mouths. If our soul (mind, will and emotions) is full of negative things, we’ll find those things coming our way. On the other hand, when we hear, read, think and talk about God, the Truth and more positive things, we’ll find that those good things will come our way. The choice is ours!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Brewer and Palin-Secure The Border

Racial profiling my the officers and protect our boarders.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Last night I spent a ridiculous amount of time taking the ASVAB. I was there at 5:30, waited with the others to move through the process of checking in, started the test at 6:30ish, finished around 9:20, and then stuck around until 9:40 to get my AFQT. 

While being surrounded by a lot of younger individuals, I was thinking about how much they really didn't know. You would not believe the questions that were asked when filling out the bubble sheet. LOL. I was amazed. I'm not sure if they were just slow or if it's a common thing for recent high school graduates. I don't remember being that way, but I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they were joining the Army.

Okay, so I have never been good with math...especially going into the test was going to be interesting. Most of the sub-tests were over things that I haven't studied since high school and for those of you counting...that was 10 years ago! I did try to brush up on everything before taking the test, but wasn't really sure what to expect. Here I am, 28, college graduate, starting my Masters and taking a test made for high schoolers. With all that, I expect myself to do well. Hello, college However, I am also 10 years out of high school and most of that information has been pushed out of my head by the information that I use daily. When was the last time that you had to factor an equation or figure out how long it took Jim to get to his house if he drove 50mph for 150 miles then 40 mph for 210? And don't get me started on King Phillip's Class Ordered the Family-sized Gino Special!

Well, I managed to score at 90 (AFQT). Now here's the thing, I was excited that I did so well. I did some studying before hand, but most of the stuff I haven't seen in 10+ years. Then I started thinking...uh, you should have done are in Graduate School! LOL! So my 90 means that I scored better than 90% of 18-23 year olds...hmmm....LOL! I'm glad that I did well, because I haven't seen that information in quite some time and it allows me the opportunity to pursue whatever AFSC I want and it also makes me feel smart again.

I'll find out my line scores sometime next week. That is when I'll know how well I did on each sub-section. I'm pretty confident that I will be quickly disqualified for any job related to mechanics (to include auto-shop) and electronics. Yeah, they were that bad. 

So I'm going to pack my study books back up and enjoy my Friday.