Friday, July 24, 2009

knowing

This week was a big week for Josh with 2 interviews. We went into it praying in faith that one of the 2 positions would work out for him, but at the same time trusting Gods plan whatever it looked like. Whether it looked like one of the two teaching jobs, or some other job in a different field.

Turns out it didn't look like either, and once again God surprised us with His perfect plan and infinite knowledge of us and our needs.

During the interview Josh had with the High School, they mentioned that there was also a part time ceramics position open at the school. At that point it was a 40% job. So when Josh got home, he sent in an application for it. Even though it wasn't a full time position, it was still exciting for him. Josh took ceramics classes both in High School and at college, and ever since I have known him he has always ultimately wanted to be a ceramics teacher one day.

Yesterday Josh got a call from the Principal of Turlock High School (the High school he interviewed at, it is about a 15-20 minute drive from where we live) and was offered the job of ceramics and photography teacher! Since he had spoken to them at the interview they had added a photography class, making the position a 60% position which means we get benefits and better pay then what we are getting on unemployment at the moment. Josh is so excited. He will be teaching a subject he has always wanted to teach, and teach in a High School, but not have to take on the intimidating load of an entire art program the first year he teaches at High School level. There is also potential for the program to eventually become full time. We are very EXCITED and thankful for Gods awesome provision once again. His plan is always better then ours.

I don't know if I mentioned if Josh accepted the position? Well he did, and will start teaching at Turlock High on August 18th!

Thank you for all your thoughts prayers and encouragement, it means a lot!

Monday, July 20, 2009

the Great KNOWN


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".


Jeremiah 29:11

change is hard


In other news, we have officially moved churches. It has been a 2 and a half year journey, but we finally feel settled and excited in our new little church. It's strange how something exciting can still be hard.

In moving to Redeemer we felt we needed to join a small group at Redeemer and get more plugged in and involved, however this meant we had to leave the small group we have been a part of for the last two years. One of the hardest decisions we have had to make. A decision that took months for us to actually muster up the courage to do.

Last night we hung out with our small group for the last time and my heart ached. As I looked around the room at the other couples we have shared life with over these two years (pretty much as long as we have been married) my eyes welled up as I realized how much I loved them all. Change is so hard.

It reminded me of the feelings and emotions I had when I moved countries (both times). It's this strange mixture of excitement for the new, for the adventure that lies ahead, with sadness and heart aches for the memories and people you are leaving behind. It feels silly cos we aren't moving away, we can still see these people we have grown close to and love, just not as often. I will just have to more intentional now.

I think these big changes (and losses) that occur in our lives (although compared to moving countries this isn't that big, but for some reason feels like it, and is evoking similar responses and emotions in me), makes us take a step back and look at life from a different perspective, it gives us an opportunity to express our gratitude and love for those we don't necessarily always take the time to tell how much they mean to us. It reminds me that I need to be better at telling people how much they mean to me and my life.

So to our dear small group, this is what I couldn't put into words last night (mainly cos I am ridiculously shy in big groups and my face would have been as red as a tomato, and I probably would have burst in to tears, and been utterly dismayed, but it was on my heart and in my thoughts)......We love you all so much. We are so thankful for having you all as a part of our lives these last 2 years, to share the ups and downs of life. Thank you for all your prayers, encouragement, love, memories, and much laughter. You are a special group and we will miss being a part of it. Thank you for all your support and understanding as we make this move. You guys are awesome, and will continue to be in our prayers. I will not say goodbye, but see you later!!!

And away we go into another great unknown, taking baby steps and excited for what God has in store for us.

The Great Unknown



"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us"
Ephesians 3:20
We find ourselves once again looking blindly ahead into an unknown future post the hot summer days. Josh was laid off at the end of the school year from the school he was teaching at, something we had expected to happen when he was first hired on. The position he had was funded by grant money and so it all depended on whether they got the money or not for the next year, that, and the declining economy, which saw schools cutting art and music programs from their budget, made it unavoidable that he would be laid off.
We held loosely to the hope that the grant money would still come in so that he could get rehired at the school he was at. Even though he desired to move to a school district closer to home, in this economy he would have been content to stay another year or too, and had grown quite attached to the kids he was teaching. But that was not an option. We didn't expect there to be many job opportunities out there for him in the art field, due to many art teachers being laid off with more experience, scrambling for available jobs. But amazingly three art positions came up that he applied for in school districts closer to home. We were amazed and excited, and waited expectantly for 2 weeks before he got a call back for an interview for two of the three positions. Funny how, just when you are about to start biting your fingernails and worry a little more, God plonks a bunch of hope in your lap to carry you a little further.
Both interviews are this week, one was this morning at 8am (he thinks it went well) the other is tomorrow morning at 9:30am. The one this morning was for a high school position, and the one tomorrow is for a junior high position. Up to this point he has taught junior high, but would ultimately like to be a high school art teacher. So we are hoping and praying for the high school position but will be happy and content with either position.
We have both felt an incredible peace these last couple of months, even though everything ahead is so unknown at this point. Sometimes I feel like I should be worrying more, praying harder, feeling more anxious. I mean we have a MORTGAGE to pay now! I have been waiting for all those feelings to tumble down on top of me. But to be honest I feel so at peace, so secure in my faith and knowledge that God has a perfect plan, perfect timing, and that he is in complete control. I have no idea what that plan will look like, if it will match up to what we are hoping for it to look like or not, all I know is that His plan is the only plan I want for our life, it's the best plan for us. I am praying with all my heart that one of these teaching positions will open up for Josh (all we need is one), because I believe he has a gift to teach kids, to impact their lives and love on them. At the same time I know that if no teaching job opens up for next year there is something else God wants Josh to be doing for now, and so even though it may make no sense to us, what will ALWAYS make sense is that God knows best and has the best plan for us. He is "able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine". Thank goodness! My fingernails can stay intact. With God the unknown is great!
I will keep you posted.

big kids