Friday, May 28, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Goodbye Letter

Top reasons I'm ready to say goodbye to this apartment:

1. While the spiders, roaches, and other bugs have been quite friendly (joining us in bed, watching TV in the living room, waiting on Bug's changing table for her, etc.), I believe I'm finally ready to bid them goodbye and get my non-spider bit legs back. Although they have come to visit a little less since pest control came and sprayed, I feel we've developed a relationship where I'm comfortable not seeing them at all. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

2. To the neighbor above me, although I haven't met you in the 2 months we've been here, I feel as though I know you. You like to bowl or run around with heavy feet into the wee hours of the morning. You must be an insomniac (like I am NOW) because there seems to be more action in your apartment at 2AM than at 6PM. While I do appreciate your energy, I can say that I'm ready to say goodbye to what I always think are extremely loud thunderstorms that shake our apartment, but always end up to be you. After being here two months, I actually wonder what sleep looks like. Perhaps I'll get reacquainted with it once I'm not beneath your constant flash dance party upstairs.

3.  As much as I love taking the dogs out several times a day to go the bathroom in a relatively small area of grass that every other dog in the apartment uses and my feet are probably covered in poop bacteria when returning to the house (yes, that is the longest dependent clause known to man), I think I may be ready to have a fenced in yard yet again. While I'm SOOO grateful that the apartment provides green poop bags and most of the people here are great about cleaning up after their dogs, I may be able to go on with life not picking up another soft poop in a green bag that I'm hoping and praying doesn't have a little hole in it while trying to manage two dogs, one little Bug on my hip, and praying no other dogs come around to get mine all riled up. Fence around my future house---I'm ready for you again!

4. Since I just declared my love for my future fence, it's only fair to be 100% honest in my love affair for my future yard. Oh yard, how I look forward to the day Bug can play in you--in an area I'm confident isn't covered in the dog pee and remnants of dog poop from neighborhood dogs. I count down the days until we have a green area of our own to run and play in without worrying that a car will fly by. In the past, I may not have been as grateful for you as I should, but that's all changed now, and I will love you until the day I die.

5. To the apartment neighborhood kids, while I realize much of how you act is primarily the result of your parents and the situation you've been raised in, and while I don't judge you or have bad feelings toward you, I think we've reached a point where I can leave and not miss the WAY-too-grown up comments and inappropriate talk of 8 year old boys to an adult woman. Some of you have been very sweet and child-like, as a CHILD should be, but others of you need to have some soap in your mouths. It makes me sad for you, as I can only imagine what environment you're living in to feel so comfortable talking the way you do. My self-confidence with not be shattered without the cat-call of a 7 year old, thank you!

This list could go on for a while, but I think the top 5 is a pretty good start. We close on the 23rd and officially move in on the 25th, which means we're less than a month away THANK GOODNESS!! In all honesty, the apartment we're in is pretty nice for an apartment. We picked one that was in the best area, etc. because of Bug and the fact that we'd be spending a quarter of a year here. We've been blessed for the most part in being here instead of other places. Unfortunately, I've realized it's very hard to go from detached house living to apartment living after nearly 5 years of being away from apartment living. If I wasn't grateful for the house I'll be in oh-so-soon (and man...I thought I really was), I am even more so now. I think my heart is officially prepared to say goodbye to this 900 sq. foot apartment and onto to the next thing. I'm contemplating making a multi-colored paper chain to count down the days, but think it may make this next month crawl even slower than it already is. Here's to counting down until the end of June!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Get your reading goggles on....It's gonna be a long one!

One of my besties has been giving me a hard time lately about my lack of blogging updates....so here it is! Gosh, what would this blog become if it wasn't for N's harassment??

Actually, I've been meaning to write some posts for a little while now, but every time I think to do it, I realize that I just don't feel like it. But I will say that for the past several weeks, God's really been speaking to me and doing wonders on my behalf both inside and out, so I do feel the need to let you all in on how amazing my God is.

Around a month ago (probably pretty close to my last post), I asked friends on facebook if they had a good devotional book or Bible study they recommended since I had just finished one. Several people recommended Beth Moore's Believing God. Well, I went out that day and bought the hardcover book. Turns out, there's actually a Bible study that goes a long with the book, but is a separate 9 week study. Well, I've read the book and have been doing the study (given to me by a parent whose child I taught several years ago, but who read my status on FB and "happened" to have the study to give me--and by "happened", I mean that it was all laid out perfectly by God). In the beginning of the study, Beth asked us to follow the example of Joshua and his men by sanctifying ourselves as we go into the study and really start believing God to reveal Himself. So I prayed a lot about it and felt God was talking to me about all the distractions in my life---TV, blogging, facebook, etc. I was wasting too much time on things like that, rather than spending more and more time with Him. So I gave up certain television shows that I loved and made other decisions to really try to prepare my heart for all that He would show me and do for/IN me in the next few weeks of the study.

I will just say that God is good. Beth said that while she was writing this study & book, she prayed that God would work some miracles early on in the study in the lives of the people whose hearts were truly set on believing God--not believing IN God, but BELIEVING GOD. I've gotta say....WOW, has her prayer come true for me. He's been speaking to me about certain things, one of which is to just follow Him when He tells me what to do rather than trying to mentally work out how things would go. I'm definitely a planner, but with Bug thrown in the picture, I plan even more. I try to figure out...well, if I do this...how will I do this and this and this (mostly related to Bug, our schedule, etc.). God was really speaking to me and telling me to start believing HIM. If He tells me to do something, He's obviously got it all under control so I need to jump in completely rather than test the water and see if I can work it into our schedule. If He's got it under control, HE will work it out. So I started doing it. Some things, I have already physically been able to see that He's worked it out--down to the letter--for me, and some things haven't happened yet. Let me give you some examples.

God told me that I needed to get involved in the huge preschool program in my church. We'd train during the summer and start in the fall (we're in GA, so our "fall" is pretty much Aug. when school starts). I kept trying to figure out how I'd do it with Bug, etc. Would I volunteer during one service and go to another service by myself? Would we be taking two cars to church? Would we not do family lunch afterwards? Would I be able to do it every week? We're thinking of trying again for another baby in the fall, so will I be able to serve weekly if I'm sick as a dog for 17 weeks like I was with Bug?? How will this work out if I'm pregnant since we are volunteering to serve for a year? Question, after question, after question. I know this doesn't seem like that complicated of a situation for most people, but as a stay-at-home mom, and the main person responsible for Bug's schedule (eating, naptime, etc.), I was trying to figure out how it would work because it was definitely going to alter our Sunday schedule. Well, God told me to shut up (ok, He didn't say those words...but you get the point). So I signed up, went to an initiation the other week, and am waiting to see if they've got a place for me. But you know what?? Even if it turns out that they don't have a spot for me to volunteer, I feel like it still is what I needed to do to show God that I was believing Him. Even if I don't actually end up in Waumba Land (our preschool program), I can confidently say that God was working in me to just follow Him in an act of faith and leave the answers to all my questions up to Him. He was teaching me, regardless of the outcome.

The main miracle that I've been praying about for months and months and months is a job. I wanted to stay at home with Bug because I felt like that's what God told me to do, but I also wanted something else to give us a little more financial cushion. I can't even begin to tell you all that I tried to do in the year plus since Bug was born---online teaching, online tutoring, real-life tutoring (if you even knew how many flyers and how much work I've done to try to make this happen), virtual assistant...you name it. Now let me first say that I'm an excellent worker, a quick & willing learner with great references and a good amount of degrees & education. I'm definitely the person you'd want to hire----and I couldn't pay someone to hire me. What in the world?? God, why aren't you hookin' a girl up with a job? Well, as my readers probably know, in the winter, we decided to put our house on the market. I spent months getting it ready to go on the market and it sold, by God's mighty hand, in less than THREE weeks! You also should know about the major housing miracle He performed for us by providing this absolutely amazing house that's currently being built (if you don't know that story, check it out in the archives...I'm too lazy to figure out how to link it up). We're currently in an apartment waiting for our close date of June 23rd...and the builders only have a few cosmetics left to do. I'm confident that God's going to do amazing things in that house--it was His gift to us, so we're going to use it however He sees fit. Looking back, I don't know how I would've done some of this stuff and all the behind-the-scenes work that had to be done with all these crazy changes in the past month AND been working or at least done anything well.

Anywho (yes, I said that word), a couple weeks ago, my husband emailed one of his clients (he does anesthesia billing software so his clients are anesthesia billing companies) to get a general idea if there was a market for remote medical coding--not with them, just in the general field. We thought that maybe I could pay to get certified and do that, if that was something that could be done from home on a very flexible schedule (a requirement with having a 1 year old). It would've been a good chunk of change and time to get certified, so we wanted to ask an expert to see if it'd be a worthwhile investment. Well, this one client invited Bug and I to go to their office to check things out and see if its something I would be interested in doing---not necessarily for them, but just in general since I only had teaching experience. Bug and I headed over there a  couple weeks ago and LOVED the ladies there. It was a family-run business and such a great environment. In fact, one of the ladies working there is due in a couple weeks and they're allowing her to bring her newborn to work with her after maternity leave (small company). WOW! That's pretty amazing. After being there, I decided (especially after input from them) that medical coding wasn't my cup of tea. They did mention that they may need help there, but I left with really no concrete idea of what was going to happen next.

In the meantime, I contacted more teachers, schools, and neighborhoods---trying to get the word out about tutoring. The great thing about tutoring is that it's amazing pay. The bad thing is it's not consistent...particularly for someone not in the schools when parents are used to just leaving their kids at the school for tutoring--much more convenient. I really wanted to work for the medical billing company for consistency, but couldn't figure out how in the world I'd do it and get trained with Bug. Again, me trying to figure things out and worry about things, but this time, I gave it to God. Then I got a call.....

The lady who ran the medical billing office called me and offered me a job. She said how they'd been dying to figure out a way to get me to work for them and were soo excited to have me. They didn't even need to say any more at that point. It was a job with people I liked, and they were excited to add me to the team---SOLD! Oh wait, it gets much better....I'll be working up to 20 hours a week. I start the week of June 1st and may potentially be getting 50% of those hours from home by the end of June once I've undergone some training!! This in itself is amazing. I can bring Bug to work. She consistently takes a 3 hour (or more) nap every afternoon, so I'll put her down in one of the 6 empty bedrooms there (they work out of the finished basement of a beautiful house). When she's up, she'll play in a gated and child-proofed living area (that I'll set up) that opens to the office. She's Miss Independent, so I know that will work out fine. I'll be able to see her and work. I can work whatever days and times work best for my schedule and however many hours (up to 20, for now) that work for us. This job is a true miracle. Where else in the world would I be able to find something like this unless I was working for my own mother?? God is good, and He still works miracles. I'm just so excited to start, I can hardly contain myself.

Side note, but another exciting bit of news I found out today: We were able to do our 30 day one-time float down for our mortgage rate and we managed to snag the same rate that it was 3 months ago (4.75) when we first started looking?? Woo hoo!!

So yeah....I realize this post has been WAY too long and WAY too overdue, but God's been doing some pretty cool things in and around me lately, so I've been trying to give Him more of my time than blogging. I'm really going to try to get more regular about this (if you've read even a single other post, you know I've said this before). I've got to show you all some house updates and pics---sooo excited to get in there. I've also got to let you know why I'm soo ready to get out of this apartment, as if the house wasn't reason enough. Bug's life also needs a blogging update. So I WILL get to it all very, very soon. Hmmm, maybe I'll make a decision to try to blog every day this week before I start my new job next week. OR maybe that statement will be like every New Year's resolutions (the reason I stopped making them). We'll see.

Until then, go take a hot bath and relax after the workout light read this WAY too long novel blog post was. If you can get through this with your eyes still intact and your brain still functioning....I say, onto Shakespeare!