Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Unforgettable day

I just finished telling you about the best part of my day Monday.  Thought I'd offer up the worst part just because in all, it made for one unforgettable day.

The day started out like any other.  I, of course, had nervous energy waiting for THE phone call all day, but managed to stay distracted with work and keep my mind off it during all times I needed to be in go mode.  About mid morning I was administering a reading test to one of my students at my desk.  I asked him a question about his reading and he paused. I looked up and then he vomitted all over my desk. It was A LOT of vomit.  I don't really remember much of how I reacted for the next few seconds because it just kept coming.  4 rounds of it.  It was all over the corner of my desk, all over the floor, a little on him, and splattered all over my shoes.  I wasn't quite sure what to do next. 

Finally I kicked into gear and grabbed a roll of paper towels (thank goodness they just happened to be by my desk that day) I started to wipe off my desk before the puke wandered to my curriculum.  Then I wiped off the kid and sent him with a paper towel to clean his shoes in the hall in a desk right outside my door where I could see him.  Tried to shoe off the other students who wanted to come in for a closer look.  I then dashed out in the hallway to try to find help.  EVERYONE was gone.  Recess, lunch, they were gone!  So I darted back to the classroom and started to clean up the floor with my bare hands and the papertowels I had.  Of course I got it in my hands!  Ugh!  Figured I'd go get the spray out of the utility closet as soon as I got the bulk of it sopped up.  Got about a min in and then heard voices in the hall.  Principal finally showed up from I'm not sure where not knowing what had happened, and she took over clean up while I made my way to the bathroom to immerse my shoes in water and scrub them down in the sink.  She also called the student's parents.  We were never given parent names or numbers when we started at the beginning of the year so I had no way of doing that by myself. 

Needless to say that low coupled with the high of my awesome news later that day made for one unforgettable day!

In the Master's Hands

So you've all been waiting for my news right?  I finally heard on the job and the verdict.......drum roll.......I got the job!!!!!!!!!!  It is not official yet, no contract has been signed.  So far, it has been offered to me verbally on the phone.  The next step is to get the school board to approve my employment, then I will be working with human resources to get paperwork in order and sign a contract, then I am in good order.  I am not spilling the beans at work until I sign on the dotted line just in case something were to fall apart for some unknown reason. I have no reason to believe anything of that nature would happen. 

I can't even begin to tell you how this news made me feel. I was expecting to hear back from the district Monday or Tuesday.  Of course, I was praying it was Monday.  God answered my prayer.  That afternoon as I was shopping in Walmart, I got the call.  Praise God that I ended up choosing an aisle that was empty because when it happened, I literally started squealing and jumping up and down with my arms in the air like a crazy woman.  Would've loved to see the reactions on the of the security officers when they saw the security footage during my call.  Then, of course, I wanted to cry.  I tried to call Jeff, then my mother, then just 5 more minutes of celebration in the aisle, just me and Bren.  I cried half the trip home.

Hindsight is always 20/20.  Seeing my journey from college to now is an amazing thing.  Every single thing in my life has lead up to this moment. I can see the handiwork of God all throughout my professional and personal life.  Every single professional experience has accumulated to make this the perfect fit for me at the perfect time.  I was able to pull from every single thing throughout my interview.

God is so great and his grace is so amazing.  He even filled a hole in our income for this summer while I have time off in between jobs.  Jeff's bosses granted him a raise.  It just so happens to be just what we need to get by until I start in August.  My life truly is in my Master's hands.  Amazing.  Simply amazing! 

I was able to share my news with a friend yesterday.  I commented how this was such an emotional journey knowing I was up against hundreds of other applicants.  Her reply, "You are favored with God."  I have never thought of it that way, but the thought of it totally overwhelms me with love.  Being able to feel his love and in return wanting to dole my love out to him.  I didn't necessarily deserve this job over anyone else with the same qualifications, but he gave it to me anyways, freely.  That's grace.  That's love.  He really does want to give me my heart's desires.  
I will say this, knowing this is his blessing to me, makes me want to try that much harder to work to glorify him.  I know he gave me this opportunity for a reason.  I want to give 150% on the job.  To reach out and touch lives for him.  Can you tell I'm on a little spiritual high at the moment? I don't take my responsibility with the opportunity he has given me lightly.  I don't want to let him down.

So anyways, that's my BIG BIG news for the week.  I am so excited to get those papers in the mail to make this official.  I am so excited to spend my summer with my babes and planning for my new job.  I am so excited to be in a part of a team of professionals like myself next year and make new friendships and touch more lives (literally hundreds between the two schools I'll be at).  I am so excited to have confirmation that we are exactly where God wants us, and we are free to settle in the Ozarks and call it home for a long time and probably forever. I am so excited to be able to start working on paying off debt once and for all.  I am so excited to  be starting a job that will (hopefully) be my forever job.  I am just excited all over the place people!

And now for my grammylike speech,

A big thank you to all of my readers, friends, and family who supported me, encouraged me, and prayed for me.  Those prayers and support meant the world to me, and I could feel it.  Thank you to my wonderful husband for supporting me, encouraging me, allowing me to  stay home with my littles for 6 years while providing for us all, remaining positive when I tried to bring myself down, believing in me and my talents, and having faith for me when I couldn't seem to find my own.  Thank you to my littles who were amazingly supportive and happy for me. Thankyou to my current colleagues who support my passion, for accepting me with open arms, for appreciating me, for understanding my decision to search for other employment, for praying for me, and for giving me an opportunity to get back in touch with a part of me that felt lost for so long.

To close, I want to share a short song I learned in church as a child and that always stuck with me.  I try to sing it when I feel compelled to worship God.  I sang it a lot at night, in my bed, in the dark, these last few weeks when I was overwhelmed with uncertainty and emotions.  I felt compelled to offer my praise up in any situation. I sang it to remind myself that no matter the outcome, I am blessed and will be blessed, and he knows what he is doing with my life.  It felt especially good to sing again it the last few days in light of my news.  I felt it to the inner core of my heart.

                                              Praise God from whom all blessings flow
                                              Praise him all people here below
                                              Praise him all of ye heavenly hosts
                                              Praise father son and holy ghost

Friday, April 12, 2013

The final stretch

First off, thank you everyone for your kind comments and words of support.  It means a lot to me and helped me cope.  Since my last email, I was contacted for an interview with the remaining district that has not closed it's music position yet.  I had that interview today.  I think it went well.  It was my first real face to face interview this year and it was OH SO MUCH BETTER than those stinky phone interviews.  The individuals interviewing me included the intermediate principal, the elementary vocal music teacher, and the primary vocal music teacher who will be moving to the position of primary principle next year (thus the opening).  I felt pretty well received, and felt pretty good about how things went.  There was only one question where I know I showed weakness simply because I had not had training on the instruments they were asking me about and a few others that I may have been too generic in answering because they were such generic weird questions anyways.  Other than that, I think I did just about as well as I could have done and have no regrets.  I am so glad I held it together as I was so anxious I even felt nauseous an hour before my interview! 

Jeff spoke with an individual today who's son is a 3rd grade teacher in this district.  He was told that when he accepted his position 3 years ago there were 3 open spots and 800 applicants.  800 people!  That's a lot!  Makes me glad I'm a music teacher.  Being this specialized narrows that down a bit.  I feel blessed and lucky to even have the chance to get an interview.  What's crazy is that this is a small district.  Makes me wonder how many people applied for the jobs at the other, much larger districts I also applied to.   

Anyhoo...I have been coming home with headaches which rarely happens to me.   I barely got any sleep last night.   I am just not cut out for the stress of this job hunt stuff. The sooner I get my forever job, the better off I'll be.  I posted a goofy picture because that's just about how I feel right about now about this whole process and about the all the waiting that comes with the territory.  The good news is, I'm getting close to having answers now.  I was told I would receive a call one way or another on the status of the job early next week.  That's a quick turn around folks.  I'm guessing that means they know exactly who they want for the job, they just need to check references and so forth.  Hope it's me!  No matter the outcome, I feel better knowing at least someone gave me a chance.  I needed that validation that I was worth bringing in for an interview.  If I'm not the right fit for them, so be it.  I feel better knowing I got every chance possible to earn the spot and wasn't overlooked from the get go. And if I don't get it, at least I get to move on until next hiring season when I get to do this freak out thing all over again.  Sigh!  Let's hope this is it!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Trying to hold my head up

I realize several posts lately have been about my job search lately.  Can't help it.  It's my life at the moment and it's a super emotional ride that I feel the need to write about because it helps me get some of the pent up emotions about it all out.  I promise it will calm down after May.

 So far, there have been 3 openings in surrounding communities.  I have applied for every one of them.  In the last two days, two of the openings posted on district websites have been removed.  I assume that means they have been filled.  I was asked to do a screener interview on one of them.  I felt I did OK but was oober nervous because it was a phone interview that was being recorded, yuk!  Needless to say, this week has been a big downer for me.  I want to know why I am being overlooked, so I can work on fixing that for the future.  I spent a lot of money and a lot of hours to train to be a professional and do the best I can at what I do.  I am completely passionate about what I do and it makes me complete and happy.  I have never recieved anything but praises from students, parents, and administrators who I have worked with. I have the letters of rec and written evaluations to prove it.  Without that kind of validation, I'd be looking for a new line of work.  My current employer does NOT want me to go.  I feel my experience and resume are strong, so it leaves me feeling helpless when I can't even get called in for an interview. 

It's times like these that Satan attacks me. I have thoughts that include,

*you made a mistake giving up your other job years ago, you'll never get your career back
*no one will hire you when you've been out this long
*everyone else is better than you
*you're too old
*you don't have enough vocal experience
*you don't know the right people and only those who know others will get the jobs
*you don't appreciate your current job enough that God gave you so you don't deserve to get a different one
*God doesn't want you to move on, you're in a Christian school and can't do much for him in a public school

Needless to say I can throw a real pity party for myself.  I am down to one option.  I am really praying, praying, praying that doors will be opened.  At the same time, I am preparing myself for acceptance about doing another year in my current job because assuming that just helps me to cope a little more and prevent another emotional melt down about it all.

It feels selfish to even type this post as I don't want to come off unappreciative for what I've been given and am grateful I have a job doing what I love.  However, let's be honest folks.  In my current situation, if something were to happen to Jeff all I could afford on my current salary is our groceries and!  I realize you can't live the high life on a  teacher's salary, but one should be able to at least pay for their house and monthly bills! Praise God that Jeff's job is providing and God is really blessing him and helping him grow in his career.  We'd be in real trouble if our lives depended on my salary right now.

So anyhoo....I'm ready, willing, and waiting.  The waiting is the hardest part.  Is it June yet?  Ugh!