This once a week posting is for the birds.
The light at the tunnel's end is bright, friends! I'm almost done with my internship. Hooray! Then, I'll be spending the summer months at home with my boys and I'm so very very very grateful for that opportunity. And then, August will come, and I have no earthly idea what I'll be doing.
For those of you that missed it, or may be new to these parts, I went back to school 2 years ago to complete a teaching certificate. I felt the Lord leading me down the teaching path, so I quit what I thought was my dream job, and took a major leap of faith. I left my job in November and have been student teaching, unpaid, since January, with no promise of a job in the end.
It has been so enjoyable, so frustrating, and such a blessing, all at the same time. I really feel like education is my calling. My entire experience at my school has been nothing short of amazing. It solidified my decision to teach. But I have been frustrated, and there have been days where I've just broke down and cried the whole way home. I'm frustrated about our finances, and what a burden this has placed on us financially. I'm frustrated that I willingly quit a great job, and now I'm totally staring down the barrel of unemployment. But at the same time, it has been such a blessing in so many different ways. It really fills my heart to teach in a way that my other career didn't. I love working with kids, and I really walk away feeling a sense of satisfaction every day.
And now, as I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, this experience has taught me a new way to live. For the past 4 months, I have paid $110 a week for daycare, around $400 a month for groceries, and too much money in gas (I need a water-operated car, please). And, I took out a $3,000 student loan.
Oh, and did I mention I was making ZERO dollars. Yep. That's right. I haven't had a paycheck since November.
Now, fast forward to April 30. I've used my savings to pay the bills. Together, Ben and I paid off my student loan. I've gotten rid of my debt, and I have learned to scrimp and save and cut corners like nobody's business.
I highly recommend at least a small period of unemployment for everyone. I'm serious. Out of necessity, I have learned how to stretch our family dollar to the max, or, as one of my favorite sayings go, pinch the penny so tight that the buffalo poops. I didn't do anything life changing, nor did I wallow and drown in couponing all day. I simply said 'no' to non-necessities. And the funny thing is, I used to think I said 'no' to the extras. But take the cash away, and see what you really consider a necessity.
So in a few days, I'll be officially unemployed and praying for interviews and God's will. No matter what happens, I'm resting in the fact that God provides. I look back at this experience and see it as proof positive. My faith isn't where it should be. I let worldly things get the best of me. But God? He's there. He provides. And He knows what's best for us. He's used this experience to teach me so much. It's been a lesson in faith, patience, trust, and finances. To get to see God working in my life has been worth it...the sleepless nights, the tears cried, the pinched pennies...it's all worth it.
Just the other day, I was daydreaming about getting a teaching job for the fall. I was thinking 'if' I 'were' to get a job, how in the world would I get my classroom prepared? By the end of summer, the buffalo will be pooped out. I'll be flat broke. Period. My classroom would be so bare. I wouldn't have the money to do anything with it, at least not for a while. About 2 days later, I walked into the classroom of a retiring teacher to help her with something. She had 5 huge boxes of children's books stacked in the floor, and told me to take them. She needed to get rid of them, and told me to please take them, for free. There must have been at least $700 worth of books in those boxes. I teared up. I got chills.
God works, y'all. Even in circumstances that seem hopeless and uncertain. He's there!
Has God provided encouragement for you lately? Isn't it awesome how it always comes with His perfect timing, and it's there right when we need it the most?
Have a blessed Monday :)