Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Professor Osmon

Surprisingly I'm calm.  Excited.  Happy.  Thankful.  I have just been given the green light (or official invitation) to begin a new career.  A dream that was planted in my heart 12 years ago.  Specifically somewhere between Cone-Bottoms and Berry Chapel at Ouachita Baptist University of my sophomore year.The dream and desire and goal to teach college.  To offer to other students the kind of professors that I enjoyed.  To teach with passion and with a genuine sense of care for the students' all-around growth.
It was a total opportunity from the Lord to be employed with Procter & Gamble.  Not only for the prestigious name on my resume, but for the amazing growth in my business knowledge.  And, possibly most importantly, it paid for my MBA.  (A must-have to teach college.)
Then, I had two children and felt the Lord calling me to stay home.  At times this was confusing and extraordinarily hard.  But, I knew it was where He wanted me.  Oh, the growing pains of being a stay-at-home-mom.  And, this has become my focus for the past three and a half years.  I continued to do part-time work with a non-profit, work at my Dad's tax office, and become heavily involved in ministry at our church.
When we had .zero. money, I would ask of the Lord if it was time for me to look for permanent work.  The answer was clearly "no."  During this time, I was led to this verse, "You will not have to fight this battle.  Take up your positions, stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Go out to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you." (2 Chronicles 20:17)  While I didn't know how all that applied to my life, it was clear that I was to stand firm.
Over the last six months our lives have changed quiet a bit.  First and foremost, Chris was able to get a "real" job (first in over 2 years).  The Lord has given me the ok to look at teaching opportunities.  I have applied or called just about every place of higher education in our area.  With great work history and academics, I still don't have teaching experience.  Which, is a bit of a snag for the work I'm looking to do. I applied to many and received just as many "not at this time" letters.  I do believe you have to keep pressing on and looking if it's the direction the Lord is giving.  I firmly believe we should seek the Lord's will, but we also need to be quick about acting, by faith. 
A few weeks ago I applied for an adjunct position with JBU's adult degree completion program.  Adjunct means it's part-time, basically contract by course.  The courses are one evening a week for 5 weeks.  This gives me the teaching experience (at a first class university) and allows me to continue being the primary care provider for my chillin's. 
I interviewed last Thursday, and today I received an official invitation to teach Integrative Strategies in Marketing!  I am floored and excited and just plum thankful!!!  12 years in the making, in His timing- never early, just when we're ready.
I've been reflecting lately on God's timing.  Although we have been waiting on answers to some big prayer requests for quiet some time, I really, really do not want to miss what He wants to show me and how he wants to change me in the process.  He has shown me compassion when I had no strength left (see previous post).  He has continued to mold my heart and teach me more about relying on Him.  He has given me opportunities galore to prove Him faithful and to testify of him to others.
This morning as I was cleaning (for yet another house showing), one of the scriptures on my fridge caught my eye: "Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!" (Psalms 66:20)  I love this verse!  What hope and promise!  It was my rally cry in the darkest season of my life.  Darkest.  I praised the Lord for his grace- and for grace that I can extend to myself and others.  So, thankful. 
Seriously, the Living Word continues to speak kindly to me.  Providing direction to me.  Convicting, restoring, and full of promise.  I could go on and on about the love of my Father. 
So, as of today, March 21, 2012, the Lord has opened a door that I didn't think would ever open!  And, at a place that desires to bring glory to the Lord in the classroom! 
Hurray!  I am so excited!  I think this is a prompting for me to go shopping!  Or, at the least to go out to eat! 
Lastly, here is the verse-of-the-day from (see what I mean about the Living Word):
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”        Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Compassion and Creator God

Last week was a crazy one.  This season of life is just crazy.  Thankfully, a good crazy.  Friday and Saturday I had a wild headache- basically because I needed rest!  The three days before that I was in a rough mood.  Just cranky and unsetteled.  I kept telling myself to get it together because I believed Satan was distracting me from what the Lord was or was about to do.  And, I don't ever want to miss what the Lord has for me!  But, I couldn't shake "it."  I was struggling with guilt about how much time I had spent in the Word and how I was wanting to "fix" everyone else's walk with Him (or atleast get the opportunity to tell them how to fix it!).  Did I also mention I was exhausted?
In Sunday School (which everyone should be apart of!), we read this verse (along with several others)..."The Lord will judge his people and have compassion on his servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free." (Deut 32:36)  This is the Living Word, relevant to my very-present-life!  The Lord will have compassion on me when he sees my strength is gone!  I am SO grateful he speaks tenderly to me!  {See my post below about mercy and compassion.} Again, the Lord was affirming his presence with me and that my state of exhaustion was not lost on him.
He also cut deep during the worship service about some pride issues I had going on.  We also read this verse, "Is this the way you repay the Lord, O foolish and unwise people?" (Deut 32:6)  Introspective questions like this can pose a tough self evaluation of our heart and our choices.  So, generally, we (I) think of those who this definitely applies to!  People/friends/family/church members who God has moved mountains for and been a shield for..and "is this the way you repay the Lord"?!  Jesus ever clearly showed me (again) that He is Creator God and just as I love how He works so personally with me, He is able to work a work in them that is personal.  He doesn't need my craftiness or my pride to assume that he does.  Woops.  And, my response is to agree with Him.  Confess and restore. And, cheer my brothers and sisters along in their pursuit on Him!
It's amazing what being in the Word and responding to the Spirit does for one's spirit!  My prayers concerning others has changed and, I think, for the better.  In a way that encourages the Spirit to draw them to Him and in anticipation of their growth! 
I also have taken three naps this week.  Yes.  That is a game changer too!
And, I've made some decisions to say "no."  And, the Lord has granted me peace in those decisions.
And, he appears to be opening other doors to dreams he gave me long ago.  It's always an exciting ride when Jesus is moving his servants!  I love that he uses the term "servants" in the verse above.  It's a good reminder that we are to be actively serving Him- even with no strength.  That's when His compassion cannot be missed!
Enjoy the spring weather!  Enjoy the goodness of the Lord!  Get in the Word and agree with the Spirit!  It's always for our benefit!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

On mercy, compassion, & the Living Word

I love Jesus.  I love how He loves me.  I love how he often speaks so clearly to me that I cannot deny his voice.  Jesus is just for the very reason that he chose to save me.  So unworthy and undeserving...but so thankful, indeed.  It never fails to amaze me how the Bible is proven to me as the Living Word of God.  Living!  Not old, ancient, or irrelevant to my woes and joys and life in 2012.  But, the very essence of what I need to not just survive, but thrive!  Here is my latest taste at the Lord's goodness...
On Sunday, my Dad (pastor of our church), preached on Psalms 4.  About how our security is found in the Lord alone because he is righteous.  The last part of verse 1 has been my rallying cry..."Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer."  Jesus and I have been talking about mercy lately.  And, you know, it's ok to ASK for it. 

On Tuesday, a cousin posted the following verse on facebook... "Therefore, the Lord longs to be merciful to you; he rises to show you compassion.  For the Lord is a just God.  Blessed are all who wait for him!" (Isaiah 30:18)  I blinked twice and read it again!  It was Him speaking directly to my heart.  In Scripture when the Lord rises he is getting ready to act.  And, for a few days I had been praying specifically for the Lord to show mercy in a specific area.  Here was my answer! I was giddy with excitement at how I would see the Lord's mercy and how he would rise to show me compassion!

I promptly committed to memorize the verse- repeating it all throughout the day.  While driving that afternoon, I was (again) talking with Jesus about these verses.  He was affirming to me the lessons shown to me.  Even the songs playing on our local Christian station were parrallel to the messages in the Scriptures!  I said out loud, "The rest you give me is the best!" (in reference to the last verse of Ps 4)  ...And my phone rang...

Our realtor called to let me know that the family that had seen our house for the second time chose to offer on another home.  While listening to her my mind was saying, "Lord, you have prepared me for this moment.  It could be crushing news, but it isn't.  You have better plans and I will wait for them."  Time in the Living Word and in prayer is EXACTLY what we need to make it through the roller coasters of life.  While my prayers were not answered how I would have liked them to be (a sell after 7 days on the market in this tough economy), I know in the core of my soul that His timing is never late and His ways are always (not most of the time) better than mine.  This security allowed me to keep an even tempered response to our realtor and to be hopeful in sharing the news with others.  Chris and I do not want to rush what the Lord is doing.  We trust His timing- because that is where we experience his mercy and his compassion.  And, we are blessed in waiting on Him!