Back To Work

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking and praying about the upcoming school year. Our students begin the Tuesday after Labor Day.

Today I applied for a full time special education paraprofessional. Although I’m not sure which school it would be at, I have experience at two of the three schools in their special ed programs so feel confident I’d fit at any school.

If I’m not hired for that one, I will likely just continue to be a substitute. As the school year went on last year, it was a better and better gig. It seems as though once the teachers, para, and cleaners know you are available, they start remembering to ask for specific people when they request days off.

The Special Ed teacher at the high school told me that for the upcoming year, I would be given first right of refusal for any and all sub days if I was still going to be subbing. With that knowledge, I am confident that subbing will allow us financial stability and the ability to move forward financially instead of just treading water.

Yet money is not everything.

As long as I make enough to keep the rent paid and the lights on, the rest is truly fluff…and honestly, I like some fluff; but not too much. I like to live within my budget and an often called to be radically generous with my time, talents, and resources. A full time gig with the school would provide for that, easily.

Please join me in prayer as the school year comes upon us and decisions need to be made.

Lord,

You have never failed me in leading me to employment that has sustained us. I am eager to hear Your guidance this fall and beyond. I ask for employment that fulfills Your calling for me.

Amen

Advertisements

More Than A Status Update

With Cancer Can Kiss My Skates taking on a life of it’s own, we thought it appropriate to give it a blog of it’s own.

I posted the first post last night and it’s had more views than ANY of my posts here.

Join us over there for a look at life on skates!

via More Than A Status Update

 

I Did It

I went out of my comfort zone and apologized to somebody who truly did not expect one. The thing was though, that this person deserved one and I needed to do it face to face.

I prayed, I went, I conquered my fear, and I overcame.

I apologized,  I asked for forgiveness, and I said goodbye.

This is how endings are supposed to work. This IS happily ever after…it’s just not how I thought it would look. I thank God so often for unanswered prayers…because it’s not often I pray for specifics like, “Make X into Y.” I prefer to pray for His will to be done in every aspect of my life.

His will, His wisdom…not mine.

Thank You Father for the courage, the strength, the words I needed this evening. Without Your faithful love I would not have been able to be as confident in the outcome.
Your unending guidance and protection from the enemy is security nothing on earth could ever compare to.
I continue to look to You for my next adventure, my next move; here I am, use me.

Amen

Going For It

Tonight I am doing something so far out of my comfort zone I’m almost sick about it. The worst part is that the alternative is much worse.

It’s either closure or a new beginning and I am truly at ease with whichever way it goes. I know that which ever it is, is of God.

Father,

As I take this leap, grant me peace and the words You would want me to say.

Amen

Marathon Week

This week we leave for our first of three inline marathons. We have been raising money for Metavivor and Trails to Treatment in the process and I believe we have already raised close to the total we raised last year.

We have Cancer can Kiss My Skates t-shirts available, and a Facebook fundraiser set up.

We’ve been skating not as much as we’d like do to work schedules and other commitments, and strangely, I’m okay with it.

I skated 15 miles on Saturday and it was fast. There is one trail we regularly skate and six laps is almost 5.5 miles. From the first time I ever tried six laps until Saturday was a 13 minute difference. I was over 3 mph faster pace! That’s an amazing improvement. Even more amazing is that last year, those six laps were so difficult. I would collapse from exhaustion and nearly in tears every time because it was so hard. Now, I just keep pushing and pushing. I went back later that evening and skated 10 more laps, it felt so good to finally have found my pace, my upper limit, my real drive.

A marathon is not about going fast all the time, it’s more like various sprints broken up by periods of slow and steady. When I skated in Duluth for my first marathon last fall, much of the first five miles is downhill. I refused to even stride as long as the hills could keep me moving because I had no frame of reference for just how long I could skate or how difficult the terrain was going to be. Now that I know I can actually push myself a little harder, I’m excited to see how it goes.

I’ve never been to where we are headed this weekend so I will likely not get too carried away to begin with. It’s a race around an island, a full marathon consisting of three laps. I need to decide if I want to push through that first lap as fast as I can, then pace through the last two…I want to push myself so hard that my legs are jello when I cross the finish line. I’m aiming for 2:30:00 for time. That will be 22 minutes faster than my first marathon. By the time I return to Duluth, I want to be able to be a full hour faster this year.

Our second marathon will be in August in Grand Forks, also a course I’ve never seen. It should be fairly flat though, so I am aiming for a 2:00:00 time there. My Duluth time last year was 2:52:32 so anything faster than 1:52:32 is my goal.

The biggest hurdle I’ve overcome through training is reminding myself that the hardest I’ve ever skated, is still easier than chemo was. Once the chemo was in my system, I had to go through the side effects. I knew I had no choice but to push through. I had to take the next breath…

When that thought occurred to me the other night while I was out skating, I was so devastated for all the people I know whom are currently on that path. Dealing with side effects, and just feeling bad.

So now, even when I’m tired and want to break my stride, I keep pushing. Those fighters are pushing me through the toughest parts.

When You Just Know

Lately, The Holy Spirit has been leading me and filling my heart for a woman in need. She is a relatively new follower of Christ and is looking to change her life in radical ways. She is ready, she is willing. She doesn’t know if she is able. This woman is eager for me to come along side her and mentor her through some tough stuff and she is ready for some tough love.

There’s just one problem.

I have no idea who this woman is!

Not like I don’t know her well enough to approach her…I don’t know which woman it is. She might even be an older teen desperate for my love and trying so hard to make good decisions.

I reached out to my friend Mary to help me pray about who it is and what I’m supposed to do about it. Of course, the logical thing to do would be to get involved with Celebrate Recovery and/or Youth Group.

Taking this job in the evenings for the next three weeks prevents that…and I’m confident that this was also God’s plan. There is something in the next three weeks that is going to change this woman’s life and she is being prepared.

My heart aches for her and what is to come…it’s tough stuff. She doesn’t even know how strong she is, she only knows God is calling her.

As I go through these next three weeks, I need to prepare myself for this task. Refining my schedule, praying about my role in her life. I need to prepare my home for visitors and seriously get my grown-up boots on.

Lord,

As You prepare this woman and myself for what is to come, I am excited to see Your good works in her life. Give her courage, persistence, and strength to be vulnerable. Show her that being in Your loving hands is all the strength she needs.
Help me to shed my own ideas about my role for this woman and fill me with Your discernment. Open the doors Lord and I will walk through.

Amen

I’m Positive

It’s been such a blessing to share my story with so many people. I know my situation, although not unique, is not one often shared publicly by people in my situation. As you wonder what each post may bring; I equally have no idea what may or may not make it on the page. I should try to use a more professional writing style and I should likely edit my posts before posting.

When I look back through my posts and see the ebb and flow of life, I am still amazed by the grace extended to me, the mercy shown to myself and my children.

If your only understanding of the world is the negativity found on news channels and social media; you’d likely think we live in a really crappy country. I am sad when I see people forwarding negativity through social media and the keyboard warriors who exacerbate the negativity.

It starts at home.

The good, the bad, the right, and wrong.

When my children see something negative with words like everybody and nobody, I challenge them. They are learning that absolutes make a news story less credible. They are learning that their contributions to charity make a difference in the lives of people right here in our town.

They are 10 and 13. They already know that they can make a difference in somebody’s life. They know they have the power to change the outcome of certain situations. They know that serving others out of love is more important than doing their regular chores. My son’s have the compassion of true gentlemen.

We’ve been through some tough times and I am so very thankful for the trials we have faced as a family. They have strengthened our faith in God, they have helped us learn to reach out to people and that there are people who genuinely care.

They still see the ugly in the world. It’s unavoidable unless you live in a bubble. There will always be negative in the world, learning to deal with it, and face it with your head held high is a gift I’m grateful to pass on.

We are a Christian family. We believe in God, the Father Almighty. Creator of Heaven and earth. We believe in prayer and that God will provide for His children according to His will.

As I have given my income potential over to God’s will, we have been blessed. We are not rolling in money, by any stretch of the imagination, but our bills are being paid on time. I am less panicked at the end of every month about adding up my pennies to pay the rent on time. I know the money will be there.

My last two paychecks have been bigger than my paychecks when I had an actual job at the school. I was just given the opportunity to take a full time, temporary position for the next 7 weeks. As it is double the hours and increased pay rate, it will be like working for almost four months. It will ensure our bills are paid through the summer.

The cost of this position is that the first three weeks are an evening shift of 4:30 – 10:30. I talked with the boys about it and we added up the costs, the pros and cons, the friends we have available to step in when needed, and I prayed about it. We decided that this is an opportunity brought by God and we are going to ‘bite the bullet’ for a couple weeks.

I will have supper ready before I leave for work and I can take my dinner break whenever we figure is the best time. I may even have the option to start a little earlier than 4:30…if I start at 3:30 I can then be done by 9:30. If I skip my lunch break I can be done at 9:00. Lots of options to discuss with my supervisor on Monday.

Also, as this is a 30 hour per week position, I am able to still take day time calls for some part time subbing as long as I stay under 40 hours/week.

When I heard God telling me to be a sub the rest of the year, I had no fear. I knew I would make enough money to make ends meet. I never expected to make more than I had been. My goal was to make the same amount of money but have the increased flexibility in scheduling. While I knew I had the potential to make more money than I did working in the kitchen, that was not my intention when I quit my job.

I have been able to volunteer at the school, attend to friends in need, and take care of myself emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

I am excited to see what God has in store for our summer. I have been looking at purchasing a new tent, and some camping equipment so we can get out and enjoy nature. The tent we have, I bought when they boys were much younger. It is a 3 person tent; much too small for actually camping for a mom and two growing boys! Okay for a night on Grandma’s front lawn…not so much for spending a weekend together!

I look forward to sharing our summer with you and all that God puts in our path. We are truly blessed to share this journey with you.

Lord,

We called, You answered. Your unwavering love fills us with hope every day. It is such an honor to be Your child and to teach my children about Your great love.
As school comes to an end, be with these boys and their activities, their friendships that have blossomed this year at their new schools, their growing independence from their parents.
Help me to facilitate their maturity and goals in ways that give them the roots to know where they come from and the wings to fly to places unknown without fear.
As our summer plans come into focus, I thank You for provision to continue to serve You fully, completely.
My big-ask-prayer is vehicle related and I am confident that the right vehicle will be available with the funds needed when that time comes.
Thank You for Your great love.

Amen