I have been asking the Lord for quite a while to show me what He wants me to be doing with my time after I get done with school.
In California I discovered that I enjoy working with adults learning English, upon moving to Texas I felt led to explore the possibility of becoming a ESL teacher in a school district. I probably would do well with high school students but I'm not sure that I belong in a school district. For several reasons it doesn't seem like the right path to pursue for now. Since arriving at that conclusion, my tolerance for the difficulties of substitute teaching has decreased significantly.
I also discovered that I do not have enough experience in English Second Language to be a candidate for employment in non profit organizations that are close by. Larger organizations, which may have room for a novice and budget for employment are a great distance from our house. This type of employment also means afternoon and evening commitments which put me in direct conflict with my desires to be available to my family when they need me.
In addition, I have also realized that as a tutor my effectiveness in those places was not limited by my lack of being bi-lingual. (In fact you are a better ESL tutor if you don't speak their first language. ) But, if I am ever to be working daily in a Latino environment, I really believe I need to be bi-lingual. I have been working on that goal for eight months or so but I'm a long ways away from reaching it.
Simultaneously, I was also been having another experience. Because my thinking has been altered in so many ways, I was beginning to believe that I would be frustrated trying to minister to my own peer group. I have been convicted that this thought is not true. In fact quite the opposite is true. So while I previously felt free to look outside my local body of believers to serve, I now believe that I am being asked to discern where I need to be serving there.
Which brings me to something else that had to be sorted out regarding my time. Unless something changes, we expect that I need to have a part-time income through Matt's college years.
So after months and months of going through a sorting out process, this is how God addressed all of these issues in one weeks time:
On a Wednesday, I asked God to find me something else besides substitute teaching. (I had actually been praying this for at least a month but on this day I was much more desperate about it.)
On Thursday, I applied for a administrative job in a ministry and learned the position was filled.
On Saturday, I discovered a job posting for a part-time Executive Assistant who needs to be familiar with QuickBooks and Excel. The location was Flower Mound. The business has to do with Recreational Vehicles. The owner liked my resume, particularly the going to seminary part.
On Sunday, the owner invited Dave and I down to see them "in action" at the Ft. Worth Home and Garden Show. At the show, we scheduled an interview for Monday. I accepted his Monday job offer on Tuesday and began work that day.
Also on Tuesday, before leaving for my first afternoon of work, I got a an email from my church inviting me to participate in a ten week seminar on learning to teach. If I was still planning to be a substitute, I could not have committed to those Tuesday mornings. I am very excited about growing in this area and serving in this area.
On that same evening, I visited a local ESL program. When I left I was concerned that at this time this program would not be a good match for me. I woke up early the next morning with a new friend on my mind. She has moved here from Mexico in the last year. Why had it never occurred to me to talk to her before. On Thursday, I asked her if she would be interested in meeting once a week for an hour to work on English. She said yes. We've set a date to start.
I know I have given a whole bunch of details here. But in this case, the details really do matter. See I had some expectations when leaving California about what I thought the Lord might want me to be doing. I needed to explore those ideas. Some of those ideas conflict to much with the current responsibilities to my family. I have discovered, that there is additional training that needs to happen for some of those interests and desires to come to pass. For now at least, my passions and training in seminary do not seem to be things that will bring our family additional income. So instead God has provided financially through my business skills which do make me employable. A bonus is that those skills will be used to help a Christian family who I think have a great business idea. Best of all, I will have a schedule that allows me to continue learning Spanish, volunteering as an ESL tutor and be engaged in serving women at my church.
I have been asking God for a long time to give me a to do list that makes sense to me. There have been days when I wondered if that was just asking to much.
Right now, I am just so grateful that God has blessed me with the ability to understand why I needed to go through a process of sorting some things out before arriving at this past week. And, I find it incredibly comical and very God like that all of these things fell into place in seven twenty-four hour periods.
I have been humbled yet again. I went through times of doubt. Sometimes I had trouble believing that God was at work at all on my prayer requests. At this point those doubts are very embarrassing.