Thursday, November 20, 2014

Slowly Getting Settled

I'm slowly getting settled in here.  It still doesn't seem like I'm living in a new location - only feels like I'm just visiting or something.  I hope that once I get a full-time job and make friends and go places with friends, then maybe it will feel like home.

Church is difficult in some ways. I go with my fiance (and his son who plays in the worship band) and sit with him.  A lot of the time we sit with friends of his, a couple who are about ten years older than us.  They are great.  My fiance has also introduced me to some others in the church (mostly this was in the summer when I was here and I don't remember who they were or what they looked like), but no one, aside from the couple that we sit with, has ever come up to me to find out who I am or invite me to coffee or to join a small group, etc.

The church (not just the one I'm attending, but many) talks about bringing in new people, creating disciples, and that's great.  But what about the newcomers who are already disciples? Don't we count?  Aren't we worth getting to know and befriending?  I think it's important that when new people come to the church, the body should be making them feel welcomed and connected.  I don't find that happening much - at least with me.  The two previous churches prior to the one I am now attending was also the same way. And it wasn't just me who experienced it.  My best friend and her daughter had the same thing happen to them at those other two churches.

I do know there are some newcomers at my current church who have been made to feel welcome, who have been invited for coffee and to join a small group. So why has no one done this to/for me?  Is it because the majority of the people attending this church are in their 20s and I'm in my mid 40s?  Do they think I'm too old to be friends with?  I do know there are some others in the congregation who are closer to my age, but none of them have approached me either.

I'm a shy introvert.  It's hard for me to make friends.  I find it very difficult to approach people and make small talk, get phone numbers, call them, invite them for coffee, etc.  It makes me feel almost sick to have to do this, so when other approach me, it makes things a lot easier for me.

Do I have to step out of my comfort zone and approach others since no one is willing to approach me? Maybe, but I honestly don't think that newcomers to a church should have to be the ones approaching church members.  I think it's up to the members to seek out the newbies and make them feel welcome (sure I've had a few people smile and/or say hi, but that's it).  At the very least,  I think the pastors should be doing this - helping newcomers to make connections with people in similar situations.

Anyway, enough of that.  I know I'll get over this and eventually make friends and feel comfortable in this new city.  So far, though, I enjoy the city itself.  Much bigger than the last place I lived, and I definitely like that!

My question to you - how do you make friends? Are you willing to be the one in your church to approach newcomers and befriend them or lead them to people they can connect with?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's Still Not Over

It's been a two-coffee morning for me today.  I have been rather tired and a little stressed at times due to a family situation that happened six weeks ago.  It's still not over, though I'm not sure how much longer it will last - a few weeks, a few months...

I've taken the last four days to get some much needed rest and relaxation.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind helping out, but I also needed this time to myself.  I do feel a little more rejuvenated, and that will help get me through what is hopefully the last leg of this situation.  I'll explain more at a later date.

I do want to say that this has been the reason for the absence from my blogs these last six weeks.  I had hoped to be more faithful in my posts, but sometimes things happen that take us away from what we had hoped to do.  I will try to get some posts done up to transfer over to my blog for when I get back, and hopefully I will learn to get some posts done up in advance and schedule them for later dates to help in the times when I don't have anything to post.  Maybe that will help in not having such long gaps between posts on the blog.

As I've said, I'm not sure how much longer I will be away from Blogland.  Hopefully it's not too much longer, and hopefully I will have some (good) posts to add when I get back.

Until then, God bless.

Monday, September 01, 2014

It's Labour Day

It's Labour Day.  Tomorrow, in most places in Canada, school starts.

This is the first year since getting my full time teaching job, three years ago, that I will not be teaching.  I've not had to go in a few weeks early to prepare and get my classroom ready.  I've not had to go in for orientation or find a new (or keep the same) class theme.

I'm not working.  I quit my job last June to move back to the east coast where there are no teaching jobs available.  I have no car, which makes it even harder to try and supply teach - it's all hard to explain, but this is the position I am in.

I'm looking for work elsewhere, but not having much luck yet - though to be honest I only started looking a week ago.  I've not heard hide nor hair from any of the places I've applied.  In all honesty, I know some of it is due to being over-qualified for these positions (which I could probably have gotten a lot easier had I not gone back to university and got my teaching degree).

There are "lots" of job opportunities for industries for which I am totally not qualified - computer related jobs, even secretarial/receptionist (because of not knowing how to use certain computer programs), nursing, sales (which I don't think I could do very well), or even teaching at a university (which required a doctorate and I don't have that - I don't even have a master's degree).

I can't afford to change my career yet again, especially with trying to pay off a student loan. If I can't find something, I might have to take some kind of course though.

In all of this, I do know that God has a plan.  God will make good from the bad, and He will provide.  I just need to trust Him, let go of my fear (which is NOT from Him and holds me back) and just TRUST.

That's hard to do.  It's something I struggle with, I admit, but as I've stated before, when I made the decision to quit and move away, I felt a total peace about the whole situation. I know there is a plan, there is a way, and things will work out.  The fear of not knowing, and 'what if' (as well as the lack of total trust) stops me dead in my tracks.

So, pray for me. Pray that things will work out well for me, that I'll stop letting fear get in the way, and that I will fully and totally trust that God will provide a way out of this for me.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A New Chapter

Hi there!

I haven't posted in awhile as I made the decision last spring that I would move back home once school was done for the year.

I moved back to get married.  Yup, I'm engaged!  I don't have my ring yet, but we do have the date set for next summer.  It's a long story as to how I got to this point and I'll eventually, possibly, fill in all the details at some point.

For now, I will say that I moved back to the east coast towards the end of June.  I stayed with my mom most of the summer, but now I'm relocated to where my fiance and I live.

I've started a new chapter in my life, and let me tell you, it's scary!  I currently have no job (though I have applied for a few so far), and there are no teaching jobs here. One of the places I did apply to is an ESL school so maybe I'll be able to get on there (I don't think it's part of the school district - more of a private type school).  There's another ESL company that I think I will apply for.  My brother told me that his "wife" told him that the mother of one of the kids she babysits works there and she is going out on maternity leave (and apparently there is another woman there going on mat. leave about the same time) around November or December, so maybe I could get on there.

As I said, this is a scary situation to be in, not having a job and having rent and bills to pay. But, I did pray about leaving my job and moving here, and I had a peaceful feeling.  I'm trying to trust God and have faith that He will provide (I know He will), but yet there is still a part of me that doesn't totally have faith.  I'm working on it though.

Anyway, I wanted to add a little update on here - you know, in case anyone is actually reading this.  I wish you all a blessed day.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Connecting With An Old Friend

We first met when we were about nine years old.  We quickly became friends - best friends.  We were in the same class, but I think she had started coming to my school when we were in grade four (I seem to recall her being in my brother's class), but I don't know if we had become friends then.  I do remember that we were in the same class in grade five, and that's where our friendship developed.

I don't remember specifics about playing together, outside of school, but I do remember going to her house or her coming to mine.  I also somewhat remember her little brother (who was probably a year or two younger than us) playing with us sometimes.  It's been over 30 years since we last saw each other.

At the end of grade five, my family moved to New Brunswick and I was quite upset about losing my best friend.  Somewhere along the line, I had acquired a decoration for my bed.  It was a red octopus made from yarn.  It's tentacles were thickly braided, and the round head had been tied off (giving it a head shape).  I put that octopus on the centre of my bed, tentacles spread out, and I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.  Before we moved, I gave it to V.

For a few years, V and I would exchange letters via snail mail (this was before the internet, before email, texting, and Facebook), but as we grew older we gradually lost touch.  Over the years I've thought about her, wondered what she was doing and where she might be living.  When Facebook came out, every so often I would try to search for her with no luck.  I tried to Google her name, hoping something would come up, but I had no luck with that either.  I figured she had married and without her new last name (providing, of course, that she took her husband's name) I wouldn't be able to find her.  I never really gave up trying to find her again.

Last night, we reconnected!

You see, back in October, I was searching Facebook for her again.  I remember she had two brothers, though I couldn't recall her older brother's name.  I was fairly certain of her younger brother's name.  I tried searching for his name on Facebook.  I came across a man with his name, but since I also hadn't seen him in over 30 years, I had no idea if it was B.  I decided to try my luck.  I sent a message with details of where V and I had lived (very close together) and mentioned about being in the same class, etc.  I mentioned that I have been trying to connect with her for so long, and if he were indeed her brother, B, I wondered if he could put me in contact with her.

I waited a few days for a response, and after not receiving one, I sent a message to a woman on his friend's list with the same first name has V.  Again, I gave details that might spark a couple of memories.  I never heard anything back.  I assumed I had the wrong people and felt a little disappointed.

About three weeks ago, I received a reply from the man I had messaged.  He had only come across my message (and several others he didn't know he had).  This was indeed V's brother, B!  He said I should contact her (and yes, that was V in his friend's list) directly.  Well, I became busy with work and was sick for a little while, so I hadn't been able to send another message to V.

Last night, V contacted me!  My message had gone to her spam folder so she hadn't seen it.  She'd been talking with B that day and he had mentioned me contacting him and said she should check her spam folder to see if I had sent her a message.  She did, and then she replied.

We messaged back and forth for a little while, doing a little catching up, but soon she had to go as she had some work to do.  We promised to chat again today, and we did.  I'm not sure how long we messaged back and forth, but we recalled memories and people from the past.  She had also wondered about me over the years and had hoped we could reconnect one day again.

I'm so thrilled that V and I have been able to renew our friendship again and start catching up on life over the years.  I hope that now with modern communication being a lot easier than it was in our youth, V and I will be able to stay in touch now.  I can't explain just how happy this makes me feel. I've reconnected (over Facebook) with a few others from my childhood, but I've not felt as happy as I am with this.

I'm so thankful God has brought V back into my life!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Proverbs

I got back from Edmonton on Friday around supper time.  It was an enjoyable trip, even with the long car ride.  I brought knitting, though, and that helped to pass the time. I also worked on it at the hotel in the evenings after we had long, tiring days of shopping and browsing.

We are still on Spring Break here (we have two weeks), and I have no plans - except one day this week K, Little K, J, and I will be hanging out with the two Ks for an afternoon/evening of playing the Wii, watching a movie, and enjoying a meal.  I don't know what day that will be, but I am looking forward to it.  Other than that, I will be relaxing and enjoying my time off.

I'm working on some knitting, which I'll discuss in my knitting blog rather than here, and catching up on my devotions and Bible reading.  Today I read a few chapters in Proverbs, something I haven't done in awhile (aside from reading a few highlighted ones now and then as I flip through to find something else to read).

I thought about how Solomon wrote these to his sons, or maybe even men in general, and wondered why women weren't included.  I stopped to think, and figure it is probably due to the culture.  Men were the ones educated. Men were the ones "in charge".  It was a patriarchal society, and women had a submissive role - they cooked, cleaned, took care of the house, raised the babies, that kind of thing.

Now, however, women play a different role in society, and these proverbs apply to both men AND women (and really, I'm sure they applied to women back then too).  Just because it says for a son to obey his father and listen to his mother, doesn't mean that a daughter shouldn't do those things.

The advice given in Proverbs - and the Bible in general - apply to all of us. Not just men; not just women; not just Jews; not just Gentiles.  Every single one of us.

The Proverbs are filled with good advice - advice we should follow.  Advice I should follow.  I need to delve into this book of the Bible more often.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Just Popping By

I've been busy at work, but for the next two weeks I am on Spring Break.  I'm looking forward to the relaxing that will happen!  On Tuesday, I'll be heading to Edmonton with K, Little K, and J. We'll be there until Friday morning when we head home.  We're also hoping to meet up with an old co-worker who moved there last summer.

I've been feeling rather stressed at work lately. I have a few "high maintenance" kids in my class and they've been really stressing me out.  I've actually been ready for a break for some time now - at least a month, if not longer.  In a lot of ways, I feel like I'm a brand new teacher again and I'm unsure about myself and my career.  I've been doing a lot of praying and seeking God in all of this, but I end up second-guessing things and doubting myself.  I'll get through it, but only on His strength and guidance.

I don't have a whole lot of news at the moment, but wanted to post a little update.  Our weather has been really good this past week and we've had temperatures above zero Celsius (including today) and melting snow.  We still have a lot left though, and in actuality, we could still get more snow and cold temperatures.  After all, we are only in the middle of March.  I hope this isn't the case though.  I've had a taste of spring-like weather and I like it!

Anyway, just wanted to pop in and do a quick update to let you know I'm still around.  I hope you have a blessed day!