I’m not going to tell you that I have heard the voice of God. I haven’t. However, I believe He has arranged information in my life in such a way that I will hear His message loud and clear.
I started this next chapter back in July with the subtitle ‘what to do, what to do’. I really did have the intention from the very beginning that I would like to eventually find a position here in Ann Arbor that would use my gifts to connect with others. I wasn’t sure what that would look like, and I was hoping that God would make it clear during this time of being still. I explored some of my options in a post called ‘Sneak Peak at the Possibilities’ several weeks ago.
Then, through yesterday’s post, ‘One Remedy’, God reminded me that I am a bit insulated here in my little house by the river, which is nice for the grace period, but probably not good for the long haul. To add to that, in this morning’s Bible study, on I Thessalonians 5:4-8, He reminded me that I am ‘a child of light’ who has been equipped to get off my tuchus and make a difference. Ok, Ok, I know I am not going to stay here in the grace period forever. I get it. I never intended to.
But in this grace period I am learning so much!!! So, let me re-visit my formerly stated possibilities:
- apply to the PhD program in English and Education at University of Michigan — just yesterday (I tell you, I am not hearing an audible voice, but the message is clear) my husband sent me a text telling me that there would be an on-campus discussion about code-switching. This may not mean anything to you, but one of the reasons I was pursuing this degree was to examine the ways that home language impacts academic success. One way that students find academic success is through code-switching. For years I have been discussing code-switching with students and showing them how to do it. I don’t know why, but this text from my husband said to me, “Hey, Kristin, this is God. I have the code-switching thing covered. I have people handling that. I am releasing you to look at your other options.” I am serious when I say I smiled and said, “Ok, decision made.” So, this is no longer one of my options.
Now, before I go on to examine the other options, I want to share a few things I have learned about myself in the past few months.
- Blogging feeds me. Whatever I decide to do in my next chapter, I want to be able to blog, if not every day, then several days a week. This vehicle has allowed me to reflect on life and learn in ways that I have not been able to in my bustling non-stop life.
- Rest is an essential part of my day. Everyday I take 1-2 hours to sit and be non-productive. I watch TV, read, play Words with Friends, work on a puzzle, or do nothing. Whatever position I take has to allow me to do this most days.
- Exercise is critical for my health. I have to spend about an hour each day working on strength, flexibility, cardiovascular health, and balance in order to feel my best.
- Social time is non-negotiable. I have to have time when I can chat with friends without feeling rushed. I need time to have people over for dinner and to meet friends for coffee. This part of my life was all but overlooked for the last ten years.
- I sleep about 8-9 hours every day. I didn’t always need that. I do now. Sometimes I need more.
Ok, so, you can see that my options are somewhat limited. I believe that whatever I end up doing will be part-time, 2-3 days out of the house each week. I would like this position to be one where I interact with people from a variety of backgrounds. Ideally, I would be able to use my skills in writing, teaching, and mentoring. Ok, so let’s go back to the list of possibilities.
- apply for an adjunct teaching position at Washtenaw Community College — this is still an option. I think it fits all the criteria. It is also very close to home. I would have a stack, but I can limit how much I teach, I think, and thereby limit the stack. I think I will complete an application for this in the next week or two.
- apply for a totally different position — I have been looking online and I have seen a few options here, too. The Ann Arbor Public Library is continually looking for part-time help. I would be connecting with the community and I wouldn’t have to bring stuff home with me. The downside is that it is not tapping into my skill set directly, but it might be ok to ease back in to all that.
- airport job — I have not examined this at all, but after I fly all these kids home and back over the holidays this may look a little more appealing!
- freelance stuff — this is still an option, too. In this academic environment, I am sure that I could tutor or edit. If I could get a 1000 or so followers, I might be able to just blog — lol.
So, it is October 10. I initially said that I would take a break at least until January. That seems, in my mind, like a long time off. But then I think, the last ten weeks have been so rich and full. January 2 is only twelve weeks from now. My granddaughter is due on January 10. What’s my rush?
I haven’t heard an audible voice, but I am getting the message that I need to continue to be still. I am getting the message that it is ok to take my own needs into consideration when examining my options. I am starting to feel excited about the possibilities and getting back out there. I definitely needed this break; I am glad that I listened to the still, small voice that told me to take it.
Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth.