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!!!!!