Sunday, December 11, 2016

New Season

I'm waaaay behind, but life is racing by so fast I can't keep up!

I need to write a post about Couple Number we had two weddings...and it's time to write my annual book list post! 

I miss blogging, but it seems it's not the season.

Remember awhile back when I stopped homeschooling and put the two youngest in school? At the time, I clearly heard God say, "I have other things for you to do." That first year, God unexpectedly gave me an opportunity I had hardly dare dream of--to be lead director for a musical, with the theater ministry we've been involved with for over a decade. I ended up directing two musicals last year, and it was a huge learning curve. I loved it. 

I was having so much fun that I even questioned if this was really how God wanted me spending my time! Again, a clear answer came:  "I opened these doors for you; of course I want you to walk through them!" So I walked, with joy. Though it's non-traditional ministry, I believe strongly in what we offer--a place where Christian youth (and sometimes their non-Christian friends) find a community, encouragement in their faith, engagement in a purpose, and training in skills they will use and enjoy for a lifetime: singing, public speaking, improv, and more.

Then two of our adult children got engaged, and I had to focus on two new productions--weddings in August and October! Both were successful (they're married!) and equally lovely. (A post WILL follow, eventually, I promise.) In between, I had a hernia repair surgery, just for a change of pace. I also began teaching junior high Sunday School; Papa Rooster and I started leading the youth group; and I was assistant director for the fall musical.

Meanwhile, after Wedding #1, we got news that took some time to process:  Papa Rooster's corporate job was ending September 1. And it had been providing over 50% of our monthly income.

Now, Light of Christ is paying us as much as they can, but we are still a small church with a perpetual problem:  It seems that every time we get a new couple or family, a current one moves away, or some breadwinner loses a job. Our operating budget has been consistently pretty tight, though as a congregation we are growing in many ways.

We all want Father Rooster to be a full-time pastor to our church, not out looking for another job to add to his plate. It seemed clear to me that this was one of the "other things for you to do" that God had told me about. I knew it was time for me to go back to work. (Directing is fun and worthwhile, but not lucrative.)

The logical thing for me to do--it pays very well, per hour, and is extremely flexible--is to be a substitute teacher in the public schools. Especially since I have an Elementary Education degree (and an IL teaching certificate, albeit lapsed). It took two months from applying to actually working, but since mid-November, I've been subbing at least 20 hours a week. (A post WILL follow...eventually!)

This fall I've also spent far more hours than I care to tally scrambling to figure out health insurance and car insurance (separate problem, but needing to take the two married kids off, plus two accidents this past summer, means we've had to re-do everything), creating a new budget, checking to see what government programs we qualify for, canceling and tightening up on whatever bills we can, etc. 

It's a new season.

But God has new and good things in store for us in it; I can see just a few glimmers on the horizon! It reminds me again of what I've always told my kids:  If you follow God, it's always an adventure. You never quite know where He's leading. Like any good father taking his child on an adventure trip, he may plan something that will stretch you, but He wants to surprise and delight you too. As our newlyweds start off on their journeys, we find ourselves on a new one too. Yet it's familiar. Though we can't see round the bend, we've been on this road before, with God. It should be a good trip!

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