Sunday, May 28, 2006

Well, I am getting more and more used to the hours at work and having to get up earlier. Though to be honest, it's still a bit of a struggle. I also want to stay up late, but can't (I'm a night owl and have been one since I was very young). Oh well, at least I can on Fridays!

Last week our hours picked up and for three days we were there until 4:30, which is normal quitting time. Previously, since I started, we had been getting out usually no later than 3:45ish. We had a holiday last Monday (Victoria Day) and there were three or four people out on vacation this week, hence the later hours. As far as I know there aren't any out on vacation so things will probably be back to "normal", however I guess I won't really know until tomorrow.

I still have no idea what my plans for the future holds. I'm trying to let God be in control and listen for what He has to say. It's hard though, especially since I don't trust myself at interpreting what He says. What I mean, is that I feel like I didn't hear Him correctly with regard to teaching and now I can't trust myself to know what He tells me. It's something I'm praying about though.

I've been looking into a few options, but two of them might not be feasible because the hours and money wouldn't be a guaranteed thing, and I need that so that I will be able to make my loan payments. There is another option that I'm going to be praying about, so I would appreciate if you could pray for me about this option as well. I don't want to say what it is just yet, because it's just an idea right now. It would be a big step for me, something that kind of scares me because I've never doing anything like this before.

Anyway, I'm going to head off now. Have a Christ filled day!

Monday, May 22, 2006

It Is Well

At last night's church service, one of the hymns we sang was It Is Well With My Soul. It made me think about my current situation of not getting into the education program, and my fear of what will now happen as the result. I felt as though the Lord were reminding me that no matter what is going on right now, it IS well with my soul.

Another song we sang was God Will Make A Way, and again it was as though the message of this was for me. It was as though the Lord was telling me to relax, that He is in charge and in control of my situation. I found the lyrics here, and will post the verse we sang last night:

God will make a way
where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we
cannot se


He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
hold me closely to His side
with love and
strength for each new day
He will make a way
He will make a way

I've had a few times where I've broken down and cried my eyes out over my situation. I am finding it hard to trust - not God, but myself. What I am having difficulty with is trusting that I will interpret what God says now. I held to the belief for four years with regard to teaching, but I feel like I royally messed up. I might be at a "wait" situation, needing to wait for the right timing, for God's timing. I might also have messed up and God only wanted me to teach Sunday School or something...I don't know.

Regardless of all of this, I have had a lot of peace in my life for the last several days. I know it must be from God, because I can't explain just why I am feeling like this.

Anyway, I can say that it IS well with my soul, and God will make a way somehow - and it probably won't be in any way that I expect, but who knows.

So, I'm still clinging to Him and have faith. I am feeling a little closer to Him as well, which feels nice. I still have no idea what will happen, but I am trusting Him. It's all I can do.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

What To Do...What To Do

Well, I finally heard back from the school with regard to the education program. I did not get in. I've already done some posts with regard to that, so I'll try to keep things brief.

So, I might not be able to stay at the job I have this summer because (as I've mentioned) they have hired five new people since Christmas and now me for the summer. We have been getting out early every day since I started, yesterday being the latest time to date - 4:10. Normally we get out at 4:30. Sure, once vacations start things will be back to normal. I'm not worried about that. What I'm worried about is that come September I won't be able to work because everyone will be back from vacation again. There is one girl going out on maternity leave in July, but there is one who is out now (not maternity leave, not sure why she's out) and she is coming back in September. So, that's a worry for me...

Also, there aren't many jobs you can get with a BA in Biblical Studies...I don't want to be a preacher/pastor/minister because of what it says in Timothy about women not being allowed to have authority over men...but what else can I do with this sort of degree? Most people who get this degree go on to seminary.

I also have this big debt (student loans) now that I have to start paying back in November, and a minimum wage job won't cut it. I also don't want to do data entry because I got carpal tunnel from it. It's ok to do short term for the summer, but not long term.

You know, it's really scary when your future is at stake...what do you do, where do you go. I quit my job of 12 years, stepping out in faith to go back to school so that I could get into the B. Ed. program. That has not happened. So now I have thoughts of "is it because I did it on my own, and it wasn't really God directing me to do this" or "is it because there were times I doubted" or even "why would God bring me this far only to have the door slammed in my face?" Sure, He is in control and He has everything all mapped out and there is probably a reason why this hasn't happened, or maybe it's not the right time. Who knows. I can apply again next year, but honestly at this moment...I don't know if I should. I don't know if I want to take that chance. Of course a lot of this is just the disappointment of rejection talking.

Yeah, I clung to Jeremiah 29:11-13 claiming them as "my" verses for my school career. God has a plan and it doesn't involve harm. It involves plans to prosper me and give me a what is it? Yeah, I know. Only He knows. I need to just trust Him and have faith right? Well, in all honesty that is not a comfort to me at this moment. It's not helping me at all.

I feel hurt, rejected, let down - all those sorts of feelings. That's my human nature taking over. It's me wanting to know the outcomes, wanting to know what I need to do or should be doing. It's me wanting to be in control. Yeah, I know...Proverbs 3:5-6...kinda hard to do that at this moment ya know?

Maybe it's God trying to humble my pride. Maybe it's God saying I need a little break, maybe it's God saying I messed up. I don't know. Maybe I just messed up at the interview. Actually, I think that is where things went wrong, whatever they were. I mean, if my references and marks weren't good enough I wouldn't have gotten an interview in the first place. I also think that the fact that my experience with children is in a church or Christian setting and not in secular society.

So, since this post has stretched on far longer than I had intended, I'm just going to wrap this up and let the news sink in and try to figure out where to go from here.

Have a Christ filled day

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

First off let me wish all the mother's out there who stop by, a very happy mother's day to you!

I got my mom a little boquet of flowers and a card (I plan on taking her and dad out to supper later in the week, maybe on Tuesday, as well).

My mom loves flowers! I asked her today what her absolute favourites were but she said she couldn't decide. She really like sweet peas because they are pretty and have a great scent. She said she likes all flowers really, but can't pick just one as her favourite. Her and Dad have several flower gardens around the yard: two at the next to the front of the house (on either side of the doorstep), a small triangular bed a little way out on the lawn which has some flowers and a couple of shrub-type plants, along one side of the house on either side of the chimney, a big round bed full of dahlias in the back yard, and all along the back of the yard streches another two beds which has a little pathway under a rose arbour dividing them. There are also a couple of other small beds along the back of the house. It's not hard to see that she loves flowers!

My dad also bought her a boquet as well, and she took both of them and made a flower arrangement out of them and it looks great.

Today at church, the sermon was on mother's (of course). In a similar fashion as last year, Pastor Jonathan talked about mother's and included all the women in the church - mothers, grandmothers, those who have not had kids for whatever reason, and those who are single. He said that many of the women in the congregation are involved with the various children's ministries and in that way they are like surrogate mom's to these children - we teach them, look after them, love them, etc.

When it came time for the children's moment, the pastor talked briefly and then had some of the deacons go with the children and hand out a carnation to all the women who were standing. He said that all women should stand, even if we weren't biologically mom's. For the second year in a row, I felt honoured to be able to take part in mother's day, even though I am one of those women who do not have children (I take part in children's ministries though). Prior to these last couple of years, I have never attended a mother's day service that included non-mom's. Don't get me wrong, mother's definately deserve to be honoured! However, I had always held a grudge against mother's day services because I was never included. As many people know, I have the strongest desire to become a mom, and at 37 I feel an even greater desire and I also feel my clock ticking really loudly. Anyway, that's another post for another time.

I've decided to include a picture of the carnation I was given today, in honour of all the women out there who are not mom's for whatever reason. I share my flower with you today, and wish you all a happy mother's day:

Friday, May 12, 2006

Getting Into The Swing Of Things

I started back to work this week, to my old job that I quit to go to school, to the one I return to in the summers. It didn't take long to get back into the swing of things workwise. I mean, it's data entry so it isn't difficult. I just needed to get my speed up, and I think I've done so a few of the days.

It's been hard to get up earlier in the mornings this week, because I'm not used to these early hours. I have to get up no later than 7:00, but usually am up by 6:45 and I leave the house around 8:00/8:05. I think this has been the toughest part this week, because like I said I am not used to getting up that early. My earliest classes were on Monday and Wednesday (the same class), and that started at 11:50 am. Every evening I've had to have a little nap which helped me for the rest of the evening, however it did make my nights a little wonky. I mean, I should have been going to bed at a half decent time because of having to get up earlier. Due to the naps, my sleep was messed up and I don't think I was able to fall asleep anywhere before 12:30 some nights, and later others. I'm working on that though...

They have hired five new people since I was there over Christmas. Normally our work day ends around 4:30, but this week we have not worked past 3:45. It's nice to get out early, but it doesn't make for a good cheque. My only "fear" (if you can call it that) is that they might lay me off until people start taking vacations. Well, it's not really a fear but more of a...concern I guess. I'm not really worried about it per se, but the thought has crossed my mind. I'm not worrying about it though.

That reminds me. Please keep my friend from work, Jean, in your prayers. She is going through a difficult time and could really use some prayer.

Anyway, I'm gonna head off and try to get caught up on a few things that I haven't felt like doing this week because I've been feeling tired. Have a blessed and Christ filled day!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

An Open Letter To God

My Dear Father:

Let me start, firstly, by offering you praises for you surely deserve them. You are holy and awesome, You are the Alpha and Omega - the beginning and end. Lord, You are above everyone and everything. You are the creator of all, the great physician and healer. Lord, You deserve so much praise, yet I fear my words are not enough. Never the less, I do praise you Lord.

Thank you for the graduation ceremonies this afternoon. Thank you for each of my fellow grads. I pray that you will guide them and help them to know what is next. Thank You, too, that although Kate went to be with you about a month ago that they recognized her accomplishments and presented her degree to her family.

Thank You for the wonderful opportunity that I have had these past four year, to be able to attend university and work toward the goal of becoming a teacher. Father, You know that I stepped out in faith to do this, and I want to thank You for taking care of me every step of the way. I only pray that I have glorified you with my studies.

I have truly enjoyed my classes, though there were some that I didn't particularly care for and even complained about. Sometimes I am sure I may have complained (forgive me for this) more than anything, but all in all, I did enjoy them (except for know how much I really disliked that one - probably because I am not good at any kind of math).

Forgive me for those times when I lost sight of my goals, the belief that You called me to be a teacher. Forgive me for those times when I stepped off the path, for those times when I didn't give it my all or my best. Forgive me when I listend to the doubts and fears that Satan whispered in my ears. Forgive me for disobedience.

I admit that I am scared now Lord. I heard Krista telling someone she got accepted into the education program and then I asked when she found this out. She said she heard back about a week after her interview. She had hers the same day that I did (and I know this because she asked when I had mine and said she had hers the same day). I haven't heard anything Lord, and I fear that this means I did not get accepted. Krista said she heard they were interviewing 20 people then choosing 5 from that group, then interview 20 more and pick 5 until they are done.

I am trying to leave this in your hands, trying not to worry about it, but it doesn't seem to be working - I keep taking it back. I am so afraid that I did not get in. I am afraid now of having to tell people that I did not get in (especially all those who said they 'know' I'll get in and I won't have any problems getting in, etc.). That is my pride talking, I know. Forgive me for my pride Lord, and help me not to let it get in the way.

I am also scared because if I don't get in now, what then? What will I do? Sure, I can apply next year but it is so hard to go back after you have been away that long; trust me, I know because I was out of school for about 14 years. I really don't want to have to work at my old job again.

Student loans also worry me, because come November, I will have to start paying it back if I'm not in school. Once I start paying back, I don't know if they stop it once I start going back again to school or if it is something I will have to pay even then...

Father, I am starting to get really upset about this - probably because I am dwelling on it too much. At any rate Lord, help me to just hold Your hand and trust You. Take away my fear, (I know that isn't from you) and all the negative emotions and feelings I am experiencing. I think part of what is making me feel this way is because I told everyone that I'm doing this because I felt that you called me to do this, and if it doesn't happen then they'll think I was wrong or something. But, I guess that is pride too, isn't it?

So, Lord, forgive my sins and remove my fears and doubts. Help me to walk on the path that You have chosen for me. Help me to feel your presence and know that I am not a failure if I don't get in. I pray that you will give me wisdom to know how to handle this situation, and to listen to what You want me to do. I love You.

Your daughter,
Shelley, B.A.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Be Prepared

"So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. " (1 Thessalonians 5:6-7).

I remember reading this verse at one time and thinking 'Wow, I'm not allowed to sleep? What's going up with that?!' Well, let's just say I was a little off on my interpretation of the passage.

This verse is in reference to the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are told to 'let us not sleep as others do', but it is not referring to a physical sleep, the rest we get at night (or day if we normally work the night shift). No, God has designed our bodies to sleep and rest each day/night so that we can rest up and be able to do our work the next day. If we did not get any sleep, we would not function very well. Ever try to do your job with only a couple hours of sleep? Studies have shown (if I remember correctly), that if a person does not get any sleep it can eventually lead to death - though I believe that this has to be a high number of nights/days without any sleep.

The version I quoted from is the NASB (New American Standard Bible), and for the word 'sober' there is a footnote that reads "or self-control". I used to think this verse backed up those who say that a Christian should not drink alcohol. However, again that is not really the context. I will just interject here long enough to state that my opinion is that one or two glasses of alcohol is ok, so long as that does not lead to intoxication. I believe that when that line is crossed to where one begins to lose self-control or becomes drunk, then that is where the sin lies. It is in drinking to excess that is wrong. So, it is meaning to make sure you are in control of yourself. When you are drunk you are not in control, even if you think you are.

What the verse is saying is that we need to have self-control so that we can be prepared for the coming of Christ, because we do not know when this will happen. Much like Jesus says, that in the last days it will be "just like the days of Noah" (Matt. 24:37), people will be "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away..." (Matt. 24:38-39) The people in Noah's day were not prepared for the judgment of the flood. Had they been prepared, there would have been more people saved that day.

So too, we must be prepared. It is ok to eat, drink, marry...but we need to make sure that our spiritual life is in order. We need to be doing what the Lord has asked us to do. We need to be obedient to Him, to "go into the world making disciples", to serve others as Jesus did; to love our neighbours as ourselves; to have no other gods before Him...and it goes on. However, I wish to say that in doing these things in obedience, we will not be saved. There is only one way to become saved, and that is through the belief in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection, and that He is who He says He is.

Because no one knows the day or hour when Jesus will return - we need to be prepared so that when He does come, we will not realize too late and not be able to do anything about it. So, be prepared and get right with God. Your future depends upon it!