September 6, 2014

A Blessed, New Season in Life

Whew. Have these past few months flown by or what?!
I can't believe it is already September 6. Here in Alaska, the temps are dipping at night - a few nights getting as low as 30 degrees! Oh, and have I mentioned that it has been raining... a lot? I just looked at the weather and it is actually supposed to be sunny until Tuesday... then comes seven straight days of rain.
When I was moving from Newtok to Seward, the ladies always warned me that it was wet down here. I just thought they were saying it to psych me out. Turns out they were right!
But I think when someone, me, gets stressed, time just flies by. I can't be the only one, can I?

I was blessed enough not to work this summer. I moved in May and took the rest of the summer enjoying my new home in Seward, visiting friends and family back in Illinois, and hosting my sweet family and in-laws as they came up here.
But, just like that, summer ended. It was time to start focusing on finding a job.

I am a teacher. I love the school atmosphere, I love teaching and relaying information in a way my students can understand it, and I love working with my fellow colleagues and gaining insightful advice from them. I am a life-long learner.
So in May, before I left Newtok, I applied for a few positions in Seward. 
I knew coming to a well-populated area (well-populated for Alaska) that I would have to work my way into the school. I had no problem about that. I was willing to be an aid, a tutor, anything, but here is the kicker, I needed full time employment. 
In Seward, we have probably 3x more expenses than we did in Newtok. And Alaska is not cheap.
So when I got offered an afternoon tutoring job for only 3.5 hours in the afternoon, you can imagine how torn I was. 
Plus, this was when Josh was gone on his caribou hunt so he wasn't actually present to help in making this decision. I felt like we were living 600 miles apart... again! 

During this time, I had also applied to a non-profit organization - Seaview Community Services - for full-time employment as their receptionist. I had no idea what Seaview did, but just that they had a full-time job open, and I had worked in the President's Office during college at McKendree so I already had some background doing that kind of work. 

I was offered the tutoring job at the middle school on Thursday, but knew Friday I had the interview at Seaview Community Services.
I had so many questions going through my head. 

Should I take this school job even though it's not the hours I want?
Can I be bold enough to turn this tutoring job down, even though I don't officially have the Seaview job?
By not taking this job, will I hurt my chances of ever getting into the school system here in Seward?
What if I turn this job down and don't get the job at Seaview? Then what do I do?
How lame is it that I'm not even using my degree?

During my interviews on that Tuesday and Wednesday with the schools, both principals were extremely nice and understanding. They were honest with me enough to even tell me that substitute teachers here do really well. One principal even mentioned how if he knew what he knows now, he might just consider subbing and not worry about full-time employment with the schools. Subbing would be enough.
So my next question was:
Should I take my chances at just subbing? Will I network enough to stay busy every day of the week?

Those were just the main questions going through my mind. Plus, it was hard having my husband away for all of this. I felt like it was all on my shoulders to make the best decision for my family.

What kept me sane was my faith in Jesus Christ that he would put opportunities in my path and lead me in the right direction that would best honor Him. 

"For I know the plans I have for you,"declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
                                                                                                      - Jeremiah 29:11

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and repetition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
                                                                                                     - Philippians 4:6

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
                                                                                                - John 14:27

Before Joshua left, we had talked about it. We knew I was probably going to have to make this decision when he was gone, so we had talked about all the possible solutions. It still wasn't easy, though!
But at this moment, with my own fork-in-the road, I couldn't help but feel like I am making the wrong decision. Like I said, I am a teacher. 
But as soon as I called the school and talked to the principals to tell them my decision, I just felt an overwhelming peace. At that exact moment, I thought, "Praise the Lord, I think I just made the right decision!"

And so with that, I am the new receptionist at Seaview Community Services. No, it is not a teaching job. Yes, I miss learning and teaching young minds. But I am learning new skills and helping people in the short amount of time I talk with them each day.

But I do have to say that the best thing about this job is that I can leave my work right at 5 pm. Being a teacher, I was constantly working even when it wasn't school hours. After school, I would have to grade papers, lesson plan, collaborate with other teachers, etc. At Seaview, I leave at 5 pm everyday with no work to take home. There is something to be said about that!

Plus, Seaview is right next to the bay, so this is my view everyday!

I am so thankful for this new season at Seaview. Yes, I plan to be back in the school system, as soon as possible. But right now, Joshua and I both truly feel this is best for our family. It was such a God-thing, how truly at-peace I felt about accepting the job here, that we can only hope it was His plan for us to truly glorify His name.

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