Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The plot thickens....

So, awhile ago when we didn't have any job prospects for Brent in sight, I submitted my resume and applied for a position here at John Brown University (well, I say here, but I really mean over there since JBU is 45 minutes away in Siloam Springs). Brent came home from work a little over a month and a half ago and said, "Did you see they are hiring a part-time Head Cheerleading Coach at JBU?" Now, Kelli--since I only know for certain you might be reading this--don't laugh. I know how you feel about cheerleaders. But, this really is the perfect job for me. JBU is in the process of building a new gymnasium/athletic center/arena and they are really excited about increasing student involvement at basketball games. They would also like to leverage scholarships to increase enrollment and attract students with the added fringe benefit of getting to cheer in college and get a little extra scholarship money. So, they are starting a cheerleading team back up. (They had one for awhile but did away with it four years ago because it wasn't very good.)

So, anyway, it will be a part-time position focusing on recruiting in the fall and then hanging out with the girls and overseeing practices and games. No traveling will be involved...just lots of fun time encouraging and pouring into young people. And the freedom to still be a full-time mom. That's my kind of gig. And, I actually did cheer in college and serve as a co-captain/choreographer all four years...so, it's not that big of a stretch. Anyway, I applied. And interviewed. And yesterday I got a call with a job offer. This is where the plot thickens. Saying yes to this job would require us to move to Siloam Springs. We had been talking about doing that anyway if we stay here since Brent is working from over there 3-4 days a week. But, here's the problem. Brent is in the middle of interviewing with a college in Minnesota and a school in Virginia (as I said below), and we aren't certain if they are going to offer him a job or not. So, do we say yes to the cheerleading position for me and move to Siloam and hope and pray something new comes open at JBU for Brent to do soon since he really doesn't want to continue doing his current position for much longer? Or, do we say no in faith that one of these other jobs is going to pan out...and hope and pray that God provides some extra income if they don't and we end up still here in January?

My biggest prayer right now is that we would be unified in our decision....which isn't always easy. We sat down last night and wrote out a pros and cons list for staying here or moving, but that's really difficult to do when there isn't any certainty about whether moving is an option at this point. Sigh. Brent is going to have a conversation with his boss tomorrow afternoon (Wed) about future direction and opportunity in his current role. I am praying that will give us some clarity. I really need to give JBU an answer to their job offer by the end of the week. Fortunately, the person who called to give me the offer was one of our professors and is one of Brent's references and knows what's going on. He is allowing us as much time as he can, but if I am not going to say yes they need to get moving on finding someone else so that the new coach can get started on recruiting for next year.

All that to say, if you are reading this, please pray that we have wisdom and discernment...and that we aren't afraid to take another leap if that's how God is leading us. I just don't want to be like the guy on the deserted island who prayed for God to save him and missed the helicopter and the boat because he thought God was going to do something greater. Is this cheerleading position our helicopter?

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Wow...two and a half years, and we are still waiting. I doubt there is a single person out there who is reading this blog, but that's okay. That's kind of the reason I am writing this here. It's safer.

We are both finished with our master's degrees.... While we were in the middle of it, it sure seemed like it was taking an eternity. But looking back, the last two and a half years have flown by quite quickly. When we started this leg of our journey, we didn't know that I would be finishing my master's along with Brent. I'm glad I was able to join in on the fun! =)

Since Brent finished in May, well, actually, since about March, we have been diligent about looking at jobs for Brent. I would say about 65% of my waking time not involving the kids has been spent scouring the internet and typing up cover letters for potential jobs. I can't write that on my other blog because people who shouldn't know that might read it. But, not being able to speak openly and honestly about how I spend most of my time these days has been difficult for me. The job search has been pretty consuming and tricky for me not to mention...especially since there have been several times in the last six months that we thought for sure we were about to move. But so far God has consistently closed the doors before it has gotten to that point.

It's not that Brent doesn't enjoy what he's doing...most days. It's just that two and a half years ago we took a leap of faith and an over 50% pay deduction for him to leave Wal-Mart and work at JBU. We went into this deal eyes wide open, full-knowing that we would be using our savings for a couple of years and thankful that we had a savings we could use. (That's what savings is for, right?) Well, two and a half years later, the savings is just about dwindled and we are facing the additional expense of our student loans that need to start being repaid in January.

I know God is big, and I know that we have been walking the path He wanted us to walk. So, likewise, I now trust He is going to continue to provide for our needs. Of course, that doesn't mean that we are going to ever be financially in the place we were before, but that's okay. God doesn't promise us prosperity. However, that doesn't change the fact that we have bills to pay and something has to give. So, that's why we are looking for a new job for Brent. (And because that was kind of the plan all along...that he would do this job, which has actually turned into three different jobs in the last two and a half years, while he was in school and then we'd, Lord willing, move onto something else.)

He's actually had several opportunities at a couple of different schools, but for some reason or another none of them have panned out yet. (Two schools really wanted him to come work for them, but because of finances they were not an option.) He is currently in the interview process with two other schools, one in Minnesota and one in Virginia. Guess which climate I'd rather live in? =)

So, in the meantime, here we sit and wait....trying to be patient and trust. Interestingly enough, in my time with God this morning, I read through the fruits of the Spirit(Gal. 5:22-23). I pray these fruits over my children all the time, but this morning the Holy Spirit clearly spoke to me in a new way. The version I was reading used the word "long-suffering" instead of "patient", and it struck me between the eyes that I am not very good at suffering long. The word long-suffering just says so much more than patient.... Maybe because it's so infinitely more descriptive than patient. We are to be joyful in affliction...long-suffering. I suck at this most days. So, it is my prayer today that the Lord would enable me to be more long-suffering as we wait.

It is also my prayer that He would equip me to be more long-suffering with my children. I suck at that most days, too. It was way easier when they didn't have a will of their own and strong opinions about everything. =) Man, having kids sure gives us such a glimpse into how God must feel about us!!!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I quit....

My stint in the retail world lasted about two weeks. I resigned from my job at Old Navy this morning. I will go into more detail later...but I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Stay tuned for more info soon. =)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I'm a wimp....

Still no news on that other job opportunity. I know it will be okay if it doesn't work out, but last night was brutal at Old Navy. I was on the floor all night and all I did was fold and re-fold clothing. (Not my idea of a fun time after doing laundry all day long.) =) I was so tired when I got home last night. And, seriously, why do people have to make such a mess of things when they are looking for sizes?!? I understand why salespeople get uptight when you mess up their piles now. People, please, when you unfold something to look at it, fold it back if you don't want it....or at least put it back where you got it from! At least I have a toddler so I am used to the futility of cleaning in general. =)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Other job possibilities...

I interviewed last Thursday for a part-time administrative position that I would be able to do from home. It is for a guy who goes to the church we used to attend down here who has a sweet consulting business. I am really excited about the opportunity because it would be way flexible and pay more than Old Navy ever could. I should hear back tomorrow or Wednesday to know if I get it. Either way, I am okay at Old Navy. I have worked three times now and have learned how to work the register, work the sales floor and handle all the cash at the end of the night. (That's right...I am going to be a "cash handler." I guess that's a big deal.) I imagine tomorrow night I will work the fitting room. =)

I also got a phone call yesterday from the gal who runs the MOPS group I attend. Her church is looking for a "part-time" youth director and she thought of me because she knows I am looking for a part-time job. It was very sweet of her to think of me, but anyone who has ever done youth ministry knows there is no way it can ever really be just part-time. At least, not if you expect authentic relationships to be built and legitimate transformation to take place in students' hearts. I said I would talk to Brent and pray about it. As soon as I hung up the phone I went to Brent and said, "I guess there is a part-time opening at "blank" church for a youth director." Without hesitating for a second, he looked at me and said, "No." We're on the same page about that one. I loved my youth ministry days, but I am not in a place where that is an option again. I want to be a mommy first and foremost. Helping with the spiritual lives of thirty-five 7th-12th graders (though it sounds small after what I'm used to) would seriously compromise that goal....not to mention my or Brent's sanity. =)

Monday, May 7, 2007

Just cinch it with a belt....

I started orientation at Old Navy yesterday. We spent four hours watching videos and going over the Business Rules and history of Gap, Inc. My favorite part was the intro video that highlighted the history of Gap, Inc. because it actually showed the SNL skit where the Gap workers (Chris Farley, David Spade and Adam Sandler) tell everyone to "just cinch it with a belt." Then I came home last night and there was an SNL special on NBC that focused on SNL in the 90s...which brought back so many memories from high school and college....but I digress.

I think I will like working at Old Navy, though it is a huge paradigm shift from anything I have ever done before. I guess Brent and I are in the same boat as far as that goes. =) I will only be working 15-20 hours a week during evenings after Brent comes home and then on Saturdays. The best part about it (besides the killer discount) is that I will be working with a bunch of high school students. I love that! As a matter of fact, one of the other gals who went through orientation with me yesterday is a graduating senior and she was cracking me up. Our supervisor Michelle would say something and Ashley would respond with, "Cool!" or "Coolness!" in that energetic tone you typically hear from students who haven't experienced too much disappointment in life to make something as mundane as getting to go on a paid 15 minute break after working four hours not seem like the most exciting thing in the world. I really do miss interacting with high school students...I guess I'm about to get my fix. =)

I have started the application process for finishing my masters in counseling. The plan is for me to work at Old Navy this summer and then hopefully start classes in the fall. Lord willing by then Brent will have some consulting jobs to make up for that extra income.

Still no housing news...I feverishly look through the classifieds every day. I know it will all work out eventually...but hopefully that eventually will be sooner rather than later because Brent has about a 45 minute drive to work right now. (Which, in the big scheme of things is nothing when you are used to living in metropolitan areas like D.C. or L.A., but this is not one of those places and he only had a 10 minute drive to Wal-Mart.)
Brent seems to be enjoying his job. There is a huge learning curve, but I think he is going to do a great job. And, even with the commute, he is home by 5:45 at the latest every day and it is WONDERFUL! =)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

"Limited Resources...Unlimited God"

We just wrapped up a sermon series in church on God-sized faith that challenged us to no end. It was very timely for us considering the leap we have chosen to make. The title of this post was the title of the message we heard the day before Brent told his boss at Wal-Mart he was leaving in two weeks to take a job with John Brown University. It couldn't have been more appropriate.

We are thrilled to pieces about Brent's new job (which basically involves recruiting for JBU's Advance Program) because it falls perfectly in line with his passion to help people figure out and get to the place where their gifts, passions and experiences can most be used. It is a wonderful foot in the door to the collegiate world and will be beneficial experience that can easily transfer over into other positions God might lead us to in the future when his Masters is finished. We couldn't say no. However, with this new adventure comes a significant reduction in Brent's salary...we are talking a salary decrease of just under 50%. Yeah, really....50%. So, again, you see how appropriate a message on "Limited Resources...Unlimited God" was for us to hear.

Judges 7:1-25 tells the awesome story of Gideon and his charge to conquer the Midianites. Gideon starts out with an army of approximately 32, 000 men all ready to take on their enemy. But, God has a different plan and strategically whiddles Gideon's army down (through interesting measures...you should check it out if you haven't ever read the story) to only 300 men. I'm sure Gideon was probably thinking, "are you kidding me, God?" But, the Lord knew what He was doing (shocker!) and had the plan in place to deliver the Midianites into Gideon's hands in a way that no one but He could have dreamed up. It involves trumpets and shouting and smashing of jars and is just a fascinating story all together (seriously, you should read it). And when it's all said and done, God is glorified because there is no way anyone but Him could take credit for what happened.

Our pastor took this passage and drew out three main ideas: 1) More isn't always better; 2) Sometimes we have to step out in faith even when it doesn't always make sense; and 3) We must believe that God will take a little to accomplish much.

So, Brent started his new position on Tuesday. So far, so good. But, we still wait on the Lord to work many of the details related to our now limited resources out...like, where we are going to live (we cannot afford to stay where we are and it's a little bit farther of a drive so we would probably want to move anyway); what is the best way to make some essential supplemental income (I have applied for some part-time evening jobs at places like Old Navy and Kohl's and Brent is looking at some consulting jobs with a few transportation companies); should I go ahead and finish my Masters in Counseling so I can counsel part-time (which would pay way more than any retail store could)?

Praise the Lord we serve an UNLIMITED GOD who promises to provide for all our needs! We trust this and don't doubt for a moment that He is going to work everything out in His timing. Sometimes you have to jump and trust the Lord will work out all the aspects of your landing. =)

Ephesians 3:20-21 has always been one of my favorite passages and we are claiming it these days:

"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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."