Introducing

When I reflect back on my summer, it has felt like it has lasted a long time, but in the fullest sense of the word. And while there have been frustrations, most of my summer has been punctuated with the most pleasant of memories: spending time with people who make my life more special and meaningful, learning new things about myself, achieving new professional gains, but also relaxing by reading, knitting, baking, and taking pictures along the way. However, as of Monday, it’s back to my school routine.

I really shouldn’t grow surprised by the way the Lord works in my life, since His pattern has repeated itself almost every time I’ve ventured into new territory. And yet, God has provided for me once again, during my proverbial bottom of the ninth, with a full count, and the bases loaded. Over the past week, my circumstances have unfolded as follows:
– Thursday, August 13 – I received an e-mail from the University stating that a full graduate assistantship was available, focusing in the area of educational technology. I don’t have the strongest background in this area, but am a second year MLS student (who would REALLY like an assistantship) and would readily learn anything new that comes along. Even though I had already told my principal that I would be returning this fall, this other opportunity was too good to pass by, so I inquired and stated my interest.
– Friday, August 14 – received positive feedback from the coordinator of the program, but she needed me to resubmit my resume since the attachment didn’t go through properly.
– Saturday, August 15 – contacted coordinator stating I would be out of town Sunday through Tuesday, but for her to call if any developments could be handled over the phone.
– Sunday, August 16 – left for STL as a delegate for our Nazarene District Assembly with a peace about the entire process.
– Monday, August 17 – no word about the assistantship…but jokingly thought to myself, “When I get home tomorrow night, I’ll have an e-mail asking me to interview for the position on Wednesday.”
– Tuesday, August 18 – returned home, checked my e-mail, and found out that the professor did, indeed, want to meet with me on Wednesday. Promptly, I returned the e-mail saying I would gladly meet her.
– Wednesday, August 19 – an informal afternoon meeting/interview at Starbucks allowed me to get a better idea about the program, and state my interest that if there were a dotted line, I would be happy to sign it right then and there. However, the professor needed to finalize a few details and promised me she would call soon.
– Thursday, August 20 – while getting ready to meet up with Markli and Maresa for lunch, my phone rang, with the professor giving me official word that the position was mine! Later in the afternoon I went to campus to fill out the paperwork that makes me an official graduate research assistant. 🙂 I’m pleased to say that through this, I will receive paid tuition for the 2009-2010 school year, medical expenses covered, a living stipend, and discounts at the campus bookstore and computer tech center. As I type this, I am continually amazed at what a blessing this is. Later that day I had to make a series of phone calls to the school district stating that I would not be returning this year, which has been the hardest part of this process. The people pleaser in me hates leaving people in a lurch, or letting them down. Yet, they told me that since my position from last school year had been eliminated due to budget cuts, I had to do what was right for me. And this is most assuredly a better opportunity for me. Since they haven’t yet found a replacement, I have volunteered to help during the first day of school on Monday. This will also give me a chance to say some official goodbyes to the kids and teachers that were an integral part of my life last year before I move on with the good things God has in store.

While in the reflective mood, the past few weeks have been filled with highlight-able visual moments. Some of them are:

Saturday, August 8 – NYI Convention, lunch with Markli & Maresa at Arcelia’s in Lafayette Square, and a return to my old stomping grounds for our ten year high school reunion made for a chock-full day of fun and excitement. One of the highlights of my evening was getting to see my best high school friend and Bible quizzing accomplice, Jerica.
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Sunday, August 9 – it was good to celebrate morning worship with my former church family.
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Monday, August 10 – a return home and VBS kicked off with over 100 kids in attendance!
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Tuesday, August 11 – better late than never, I took some fun photos of Markli, which she included in her graduation thank you notes. Later in the evening I met up with Jennifer and Kyle to see The Brothers Bloom. A modern – time suspended – love story – globe trotting caper film, which I highly recommend.
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Wednesday, August 12 – homemade (except for the crust) French silk pie. It is soooo good.
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Thursday, August 13 – VBS character Professor Wordsmart (very librarian looking) and me.
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Friday, August 14 – after many BPA warnings, I finally invested in a new BPA-free Nalgene bottle.
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Saturday, August 15 – it wasn’t a miracle like the one Jesus performed Cana in Galilee, but the wedding that was held at the Theatre supplied enough of their own.
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Sunday, August 16 – our 99th District Assembly, complete with great music and the yearly report given by our District Superintendent, Pastor Mike.
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Monday, August 17 – elders choir singing “It is Well.”
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Tuesday, August 18 – Pastor Mark giving our local church report on what God has done in our midst over the past year.
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Wednesday, August 19 – after church fellowship with Maresa, Elvis, Brad, and Markli at the newly reopened diner! We happily gorged ourselves on various types of pie, mine being cherry pecan crunch. And yes, it was as good as it sounds.
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Thursday, August 20 – selling CDs at the merch table for a recent Joe Bonamassa concert.
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Friday, August 21 – BBQing is what male librarians do, apparently. Our MLS group had a great time catching up before we resume our studies this next week. Moment not captured: a final trip downtown to eat ice cream with Markli & Maresa before they leave for college tomorrow. I’m still contemplating what I will do without them.
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Saturday, August 22 – tonight I went to see Ponyo, along with a few of my library friends. I had never seen a Hayao Miyazaki film before, but was impressed with this sweet Japanese cartoon.
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The Word of the Lord: “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” – Jeremiah 29:11, The Message. The future I hope for continues to take shape, which is ever so exciting.

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