God’s Faithfulness #4

It’s funny how difficult this process of thinking about how God is faithful has been. It’s a process of going through the difficult times in my life and trying to remember how God came through.

If you haven’t read #1, #2, and #3 be sure to check them out.

#4 happened last summer.

4. Internships at the last second. In my degree program I needed 2 internships and both internships were gifts.

My first internship I wrangled for myself. One of my good friends, Stacey, was on staff at a pretty cool church in the area. I visited the church a few times and I liked it. It wasn’t close to what I was used to in the Presbyterian church but I liked that. I liked how free it was.

I emailed the pastor on staff with a plan and asked him if he would let me come on as an intern. I had grand plans and was able to part of them. We met a few times before he finally gave me the go ahead and then at my first staff meeting the pastor, the only pastor, mentioned that he was leaving.

I felt completely screwed. I mean you have to have a supervisor for an internship and he was going to be leaving halfway into the 1st quarter of a 3 quarter internship. But I wasn’t as screwed as I thought.

He had me get a woman pastor that would mentor me and I found someone that was willing to work with me. So she was already a go and I talked to Field Ed and they said as long as someone at the church would be my supervisor I would be good to go.

The church wanted to help me. They saw me as screwed but stepped up to help me out. Megan stepped forward and I met with her once every couple of weeks and she mentored me along with my supervisor off site.

The church and God stepped up to help me out. God was faithful in that situation and I was able to meet with two amazing women and learn about how to have a group and I developed good skills I will take with me.

My second internship was with Gwen, my supervisor off site for my 1st internship. She was amazing. I asked the first church if I could do my internship there but they had vision I could not see and let me go. I felt screwed but I have come to see it as a blessing. They mentored me as much as they possibly could but Gwen and her church could offer me so much more.

Gwen offered me an offer I could not refuse:  9 months internship and the opportunity to do ministry in a church that already had a healing language and program.

I learned so much in both of my internships and I got them both as I felt the hammer was dropping on me. So today my question to God is: am I low enough? Have I suffered enough that you will now save me? Or is there more pain to come?

God teaches us lessons and he saves us in his own time but I just wonder how much more the house has to burn down, the water has to fill the car, and the lightening has to strike?

I’m being overly dramatic, I do realize that. I’m just wondering how much more muck there will be to walk through before he rescues me.

I’m trying to remember the point of all of this: to remember times when God has been faithful. God has been faithful in my past and I need to stop focusing on how hard it was and instead focus on how he came through. That is the point of all of this.

It’s been a rough day. Hopefully tomorrow will be easier. Until then I’ll try to hold on to the memory of when he was faithful: Internships at the last second, Food on the table, Surgery when needed, and God held my heart until I could.

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God’s Faithfulness #3

If you have missed #1 and #2 be sure to check them out.

Because of the place I am in right now this is a little more difficult than I thought it would be. I actually considered skipping today’s post but decided it is better to keep going than to stop.

God’s faithfulness #3:

3. Food on the table. God has fed me when I didn’t think it was possible.

My seminary career has been long and it has been hard. One of the hardest things has been staying afloat money wise. There have honestly been months when I didn’t know if I was going to be able to afford to feed myself. I could either pay a bill or eat that week.

Do you know how hard it is to live like that? It’s wretched. Any-who now is the time not to focus on how hard it has been but to actually focus on what God has done for me.

In times of great distress about money and eating money would come in the mail. There were several times when someone in my community (I think it was James) would put a card in my mailbox with money for food or a Ralph’s gift card. They always came when I was at my lowest, when I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to eat.

It was always enough and I always felt both loved and cared for. God met my needs through loving people and I praised God and said Thank you whenever I could (when they told me who they were).

See I don’t believe in coincidence. I don’t believe in happenstance. I believe God made good people, people who care, people who see a starving girl and give her what they can. These are the people who will be seated at the right and left hand of God because they don’t care. They do not do the work that they do for the acolades but simply because they can and know that it is right.

God has surrounded me with these people for the last several years. They see needs and fix them. They see my hurting when I cannot admit and they love me even though I cannot admit it, they love me in the moment and they are not annoyed by my pain.

God’s faithfulness #3 is supposed to be about the money but I think it’s really about the people. The people that love me. The people who met my needs, the people that were the hands of God reaching out towards me.

God through people provided food for the table and I never went without and as I go through this rough time I will try to remember that God has provided, often at the last second when all I had was faith that he would not let me go to waste, he has provided.

God’s Faithfulness #2

It’s the second day of remembering God’s faithfulness.

I’m exhausted but I’m still going to try to remember a time when God was faithful

2. Surgery when needed. Awhile ago, seven years or so, I was having an issue medically that made me feel older than I actually was. It was an issue that women usually have until after they have kids, not before, so of course all of my doctors were baffled and it took several tests and months for me to convince them that nothing was working.

I was home from college for a bit and it was Christmas time and the doctor had an opening. They said that if I didn’t have an infection and if the doctor could fit me in they would do the surgery. I was praying, my family was praying and my church was praying. At the last minute I got the call that I would be having the surgery. I was so excited that I did a little dance on top of my bed and then I proceeded to praise God for the goodness that he had brought into my life.

I was so excited that I finally got the go ahead for the surgery that was going to change my life. God was faithful in that time. He promised to do the best for me and he pulled through.

I’m worried right now that what God wants for me or that God’s plan for me is not my plan. What if this time I don’t get what I want? What if this time, his faithfulness is a no?

I do believe that God is faithful and he will take care of me but I guess what I am questioning these days is if what I want and what God wants don’t match up?

As I ponder these hard questions with no foreseeable answers I will try to remember that one time, seven years ago my dreams for surgery matched up with God’s plan for me to have that surgery. That’s God’s faithfulness #2. 

God’s faithfulness #1

I met with my wise friend Vicky today :). We meet once every couple of weeks to talk about things, usually our talks focus on me but this time there was a fair amount of sharing on all sides.

Anyway she mentioned how when we are in the midst of hard times it is helpful to look back and see when God was there.

It was an interesting enough idea that I thought I would take some time each day to write about God’s faithfulness. She actually challenged me to think about (and write about) 10 times where God has been faithful.

As we were talking I decided to take the challenge so here is God’s faithfulness #1:

There were actually a couple of things I thought about when I thought about God’s faithfulness and then I remembered my friend Laura and the discernment group we were part of a few years ago.

1. God held my heart until I could. Some might not understand this but it makes perfect sense to me. A few years ago I was a broken person (well more broken than I am now). I was just coming to grips with all of the abuse that I had endured through my life and I wasn’t able to hold it all together. I couldn’t even hold my heart.

When I pictured what my heart looked like I always saw paper torn apart. I couldn’t hold myself together. It was during this time that Laura had shared a picture that God had shown her. She saw God holding my heart in a bag, he was holding it for me, keeping it and me protected until I could hold my own heart.

He wasn’t going to allow me to rip my heart to shreds and was going to protect it and me no matter what.

Recently I feel like God finally gave me back my heart because I can stand to hold it. I see the beauty in me and no longer just see the damage. I see the scars of me but I also see that my heart is whole. God fixed it and protects it from being broken again.

God put me back together and held the parts of me that I could not hold.

So that’s God’s faithfulness #1. It’s not a tangible thing but maybe tomorrow I will be able to think about something tangible for now I will remember that God was faithful in his protection of me, even from me.

Poison to your system

Some people don’t understand what Gluten does to a system that is gluten intolerant or to a person with celiac disease.

It’s like ingesting poison. You know instantly that what you have taken into your system is no good for you. As soon as it hits my stomach I know I’m in for a rough night.

It’s stomach cramping coupled with chills and headaches (the worst of each of those you can imagine). Imagine the worst stomach flu you have ever had. Now double those symptoms and you might get close to the kinds of pain this is.

It’s been weeks since I’ve felt like this and I can’t believe I lived with this for 6 months. I’ve got shakes and horrible pain and my body woke me up after 4 hrs of sleep to let me know the fun was just beginning.

I’ve been up since 3 and would give anything to go back to sleep. I went to the grocery store to get some fruit and fresh veggies so that later when I can eat I will be able to eat something fresh. I’m actually surprised I was able to be away from a bathroom for the 20 minutes that that took me.

I’ll be staying home today because the pain and so forth is unbearable. There is no position that is comfortable and I just have to ride out the symptoms until the gluten, that is poison to my system, leaves.

Did I do the right thing?

Today I had a phone conversation with a mother for a nanny job I was looking at. We had a nice conversation and she complimented me on my resume. She asked me why I was considering a nanny job when my resume was so extensive and good. I said that I was looking to build up my non-profit resume and was considering working several part time jobs and volunteering on the side to build up that resume (which is something I have considered doing).

Then she asked me what I hoped and prayed she would not ask me. She asked me how long I was planning on being a nanny. She asked me if this was a short term or long term solution.

I was geared up, ready to tell a lie but then she said that she was looking for someone who was long term because she wanted someone consistent for her son. I wanted to lie. I wanted to say my life long goal was to be a nanny.

But I didn’t. I told her the truth. I said that it was a short term solution and she told me to keep in contact with her and tell her if things changed.

Did I do the right thing? Or did I just shoot myself in the foot?

Should I have lied? Would that have been the right thing? It feels like that would have been the wrong thing to do but it would have given me a paycheck for a short period of time and then she would have had to find someone else.

I guess what I’m saying is that my caring heart, the caring heart that has called me to care for women who have been sexually abused would not allow me to lie. It wouldn’t have been the right thing for me but the devil side of me says I should have lied.

The truth of the matter is that I can’t be someone I’m not and let’s say I got the job and needed her for a reference down the line. Would she have been willing to give me that reference if I lied to her? I’m guessing not.

I guess the thing about this awful process of trying to find a job is balancing the need for employment and the need to still be me. I can’t be someone I’m not and I wouldn’t want to work for someone who would hire the liar in me.

So I think I did the right thing by telling the truth and I just have to hope that God has bigger plans for me and this decision doesn’t come to bite me in the rear later on.

The Merry Go Round That Doesn’t Stop

I feel like I’m on a merry go round that I can’t get off. I have been applying for jobs like crazy lately and I have only heard back from people about nanny jobs.

I’m anxious which is so not helping me sleep. So I’ve been trying to find ways to cope with all of this.

So far I have painted my nails, cleaned my room, watched countless hours of Netflix, taken walks, talked with friends, and still the anxiety rests inside of me.

It’s almost noon and I have already sent out 3 resumes, filled out 3 applications and had a break down in my therapist’s office.

I need a nap. Life is hectic and crazy and I’m not really doing anything. I mean I shower each morning, get dressed, make lunch and dinner and spend hours searching for jobs and filling out applications. But other than that I’m not really doing anything.

All of my friends tell me that I should be enjoying this time but what is enjoyable about restlessness and anxiety. I’d much rather be at a 9-5 making money than worrying about how long I won’t be at a steady job with steady pay and hours.

I do have a small job. I work as a Writing Consultant and the Writing Center’s Workshop Coordinator but it is small in pay and hours. So it keeps me afloat for now but won’t be doing so for long. So I need a real job or I need several other small jobs. If I had several other small jobs then I could work for those jobs while I find one big job that will make it unnecessary to have several small jobs.

The only good thing about this week is that last night I got to celebrate with some friends and Saturday I’m taking a break from the applications. I am spending the day/some time with a friend who has promised to take my mind off all my troubles.

It should be lots of fun and hopefully I will be able to stop thinking about everything.

The hardest part about this situation is that I have no control. I cannot make someone hire me. I cannot make someone look at my resume and decide to give me an interview or give me a position. I just have to wait. The only thing I can do in this situation is send out the best looking resume and cover letter that I possibly can. Beyond that I’m at a loss. Beyond that, there is nothing I can do. I think that is the worst feeling.

I am completely powerless in this situations and it sucks. I really want to get off this merry go round!

But for now I go back to the applications and resumes and searching because I have to and my only solace is knowing that this won’t last forever.

A call back….but it’s not what I thought

Today I have been sending out resumes to people. I sent out one of my resumes to a woman for a nanny job today. She gave me a call back within hours and I just finished returning her call.

On the website where she posted the job she said she was looking for someone 15-20hrs per week. Well she found someone, a friend to cover most of those hours and now she only needs someone on Thursdays for 7 hrs with the potential for additional flexible hours on Mondays and Fridays. She also said that I could get additional hours this summer.

I didn’t mention that by summer I hope to be in a steady full time job without the need to nanny. I didn’t mention that at 7hrs I would only be making about $80 a week which is no where near what I need to make a living.

I did set up an interview for Tuesday but now I’m asking myself it is worth it? She already has other people interviewing for this measly position. So do I go into the interview: Gee I want this job or Gee I hope you find someone else?

I need a job. I get that. That is the reason I even applied for this job but I really applied when I thought that the job would be worth it. 15-20 hrs steady work would be great but 7 hours steady work is about the same I have at the Writing Center. Sure with this job I would get to play with a cute baby but come on!?!

But maybe I should just take it (if she offers it) and then I could hope word of mouth got around and I got more jobs but I’ve kind of already did the nanny thing. Do I really want to do it right now?

I guess at this point. I just have to take what I can get…right? I mean the time to be picky is over and at least with this position I could spend the rest of my week doing something else. Right?

The funny thing is I sent this woman my resume just hours before she called me. She opened her mail, read my resume, and immediately called me. I wish the non-profit jobs I applied for had that kind of timing. I wish I would have gotten call backs on those but is it wrong to take this position (if I’m offered it) with plans to find something better?

I mean any job I take right now, unless it is really close to what I want and is full time, is temporary. I am applying for jobs in an area of service that I have experience in.

I’m going to go to the interview because all interviews are practice. I’m just not sure what the goal is when I am done. Do I really want a low pay, low hour job?

It’s not what I thought it would be, so is it still worth it?

Should I block out the 7hrs of work on Thursday and risk not getting a job because I take this one? Or should I not screw myself out of work?

Those are my thoughts…..what are yours?

Gluten Free Meals and Snacks

This last bit of my schooling has take a lot out of me but I wanted to post some of the meals I have been eating and what I have thought of them:

Meal 1: Frozen mac & cheese  with Ranch Nut Thins, raspberries and grapes. The nut thins are pretty good but they don’t taste like crackers should taste. That’s the first lesson of eating gluten free: nothing tastes as it should. The rice noodles in the mac & cheese were okay but they weren’t the pasta I’m used to. I think once I get used to this diet I won’t care so much that nothing tastes like it should but for now it is annoying.

Meal 2:   Salad. I have been eating a lot of salads. The good thing about this diet is that I like fresh veggies and fruit. My mom loves to tell stories of me eating a head of lettuce and watching TV.  I used to eat it plain but that was when I had the choice. I do miss some of my favorite dressings but you have to do what you have to do and this diet is working so I just go with it.                                                                                             This salad has 1 peach, 1 fuji or gala apple, pomegranate seeds, and raspberries and of course a raspberry vinaigrette. 

Salads are easy. This salad is a chicken and gala apple salad. I loved this one. You get a skillet and put olive oil in it and then you add some garlic powder. Then you add the chicken and brown. While the chicken is browning you cut up the apple and get the bed of spinach ready. Then when the chicken is done you put it on the lettuce and pour the left over oil on top and then add your favorite dressing, mine is a raspberry vinaigrette.

You can really make any kind of salad you like. I usually like a bit of cheese on mine as well. I added a variation to the chicken garlic chicken salad the other day by adding pepper jack cheese. It was amazing!!! 🙂 Be brave. If you like certain kinds of food try adding them to each other and see if they are good. If they aren’t then you have learned your lesson.

Meal 3: A second try at the cauliflower pizza. It was okay. Still nothing like regular pizza and the toppings I chose this time didn’t really go together. I like summer squash but it’s best when other people prepare it ;). I just can’t get it sweet enough. And the artichokes just didn’t taste so great. So see. Sometimes you try something and realize you don’t really like it.

Snack 1: Sweet Potato Chips. I pinned this recipe from my pinterest board. It is originally from a Martha Stewart page. Again they were pretty good but tasted nothing like chips and didn’t look anything like Martha’s. I might try them again to see if I can get the kinks out of the process.

Snack 2:The end resultIngredients for the patties Peppermint Patties. I got these from my pinterest board as well. They are originally from Elana’s Pantry. They weren’t too bad either but you can’t eat them thinking that they will taste like the York kind or that they will look like that or that they will have the same texture. Eating gluten free is about changing your perceptions and your taste buds. Which is probably why I like all the salads. A strawberry is still a strawberry and an apple still tastes like an apple. Eating gluten free is eating in a whole different realm.

Bread: After buying one loaf of gluten free bread I decided to try one of the baking boxes. Store bought gluten free bread tastes a bit like English muffins but worse. I like English muffins once every 3 or 4 years. The bread from the store was rock hard before I put it into the toaster and didn’t improve much once it was toasted. So I bought the box and baked bread on Sunday. It looks like bread, it tastes like bread and it smells amazing. This is what bread should be like. Now it’s not what gluten full bread tastes like but it’s still pretty great. It doesn’t toast very well and I wouldn’t recommend grilling it (I tried to make a grilled peanut butter) but it does pretty great with butter and peanut butter.  And it was pretty awesome today when I toasted it (it toasts but not fully) spread pizza sauce on top, added mozzarella cheese and put it in the microwave for 1 minute. It was like mini pizza and it tasted like the bagel pizza’s mom used to make for us when we were kids.

So that’s all the experimenting I have been doing lately. I have found it is like doing an experiment and have learned to not really care what it’s supposed to taste like and pay more attention to how it actually tastes 🙂

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