Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dr. Pepper Tuition Give-A-Way

In case you missed my last post, I have returned to college.  I won't get in to the details, but you are welcome to read it at the above link.

Tonight, I received an email from my school with a list of scholarships.  I've applied for several, but this one is different.


Would you PLEASE click on the below link and cast your vote.  

I was only given 350 characters to share my story.  That in itself was a miracle to accomplish!  

Once you do that, would you please share it on your fb page for me? 

The top 5 votes are eligible to receive a $10,000 scholarship.  I am getting a late start as voting started on August 15th.  It closes on December 13th.

You can only vote once.    :(

Thank you in advance to all who vote!

Dr. Pepper Tuition Give-A-Way

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A "Not-So-New" Journey

The timing of this post was impeccable.  It's been twelve years since I was in this particular place, but I too, am in a U-Turn.

Christopher is now in therapy 10 hours a week and during the school year he is in PATS every Friday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

That is more time alone than I have had in years.

With the transition of his schedule, I began praying, asking the Lord what he wanted me to do with this time of availability.

Selfishly, I wanted a part time job to help with our finances.  The day to day struggles are more than I can process at times.  I just had no peace about that decision.

So . . . . . I continued to pray.


Over and over "going back to school" came back to my mind.

Literally.  OVER AND OVER AND OVER, to the point I thought I was going to be sick if I didn't at least make a call about my status at PSC.

(I previously attended is 2001, but dropped out when I was offered a full time job at my church with full medical and dental benefits.  As a single mom, it was a chance of a lifetime, but it still had consequences.  I left and was placed on financial aid warning.)

Nonetheless, I applied for a FAFSA grant.

Contacted the school to see what my standing was.

My heart sank when I was told I was in bad standing.

I met with a class adviser as well as with a financial adviser.

Wrote a letter of appeal.

And waited.

Strangely, the wait didn't take 10 to 14 business days as it usually takes.  Within 48 hours I received word I could attend school THIS TERM for a trial basis, with limits being placed on the number of credits I could take.

Since the term had already started, I was advised to start October 15, the D session.

I registered with a dual degree status to receive an AA in Journalism and an AS in Photography.

What a combination, but I knew beyond a shadow of doubt that is what the Lord was directing me to do.

I love writing and photography brings such joy to my life.

After checking to see if any of the classes I took prior could be applied to either degree, we (Chris and I) had complete peace about me starting with the Photography AS degree.

Unfortunately, my financial adviser informed me, after the fact, the expenses that come along with that degree are very high.

I let fear lead the next decision and switched to the Journalism degree immediately.

But God had his way.

When I switched to Journalism, my appeal became null and void.

There are several hands involved in the process of registering for college.  Sadly, none of them communicate with one another, making it very frustrating for the student.

Regardless, the degree was switched, again, back to photography.

Appeal left in place.

Everything went through with really very little effort.  Doors that appeared to be shut were opened for me.  I couldn't figure it out, and still am baffled by this experience.

My only hope . . . . . believing and knowing the Lord will provide for the expenses required above and beyond for the basic courses and books for Photography.

I have been hesitant in sharing this information publicly because there are so many critics, and the last thing I needed was more criticism.

I have spent most of my Christian walk giving and giving and giving to others.  In the last year I have completely stopped serving.  I have nothing left to give.  Was I serving in my own strength?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe it's just been time to rest. What I do know is it is time to do for me to learn and go into the direction the Lord is leading.

What's so crazy . . . . .is if I completely bomb and fail.  I'm OK with that  (I don't think that will happen though.).

There is no doubt I am supposed to walk through these doors, so please . . .. please . . . . instead of asking, "How is she going to juggle this on top of everything else she has?" please pray and ask the Lord to guide my steps, to honor my heart, to bless my obedience, give me clarity and help with studying, directions on time management, for him to provide for the expenses involved, and peace of mind.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Child's Bedtime Story

Just about every  night, I read a Bible Story to each child in their room at bedtime. This is a particularly special time for me because in the stress of the day, it gives me a few minutes of down time with each child, one on one to just be ourselves.

Several years ago, Christopher was given "God's Mighty Warrior" devotional Bible by Sheila Walsh.  We have read through it multiple times over the years.  I can't tell you how God has used these "child-like" stories to speak volumes to my heart.

The most recent happened just a few nights ago.  It is a story about Moses and Joshua in Exodus 17: 9 - 14. Here it is, just as it was read to Christopher . . . . .

Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some men and go and fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill. I will hold the stick God gave me to carry."

Joshua obeyed Moses and went to fight the Amalekites.  At the same time, Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.  As long as Moses held his hands up, the Israelites would win the fight.  But when Moses put his hands down, the Amalekites would win.  Later, Moses' arms became tired.  So the men put a large rock under Moses, and he sat on it.  Then Aaron and Hur  held up Moses' hands.  

Aaron was on the side of Moses, and Hur was on the other side.  They held his hands up like this until the sun went down.  So Joshua defeated the Amalekites in the battle.

Then the Lord said to Moses, "Write about this battle in the book so people will remember.  And be sure to tell Joshua.  Tell him because I will completely destroy the Amalekites from the earth."

Now, let me say this, I had to read this story twice cause I didn't get it.  God did not bless me with the gift of comprehension.  I was getting tangled up in what the friends had to do with the battle.  I didn't get it.  I have to work very hard to study and understand.  Part of that is because I try to make things applicable to my life and that means it has to be simple! (Which is another reason I love reading these stories to the kids.)

 . . . . . but . . . . . as I was reading through it the second time.

I got it!

I re-read the most important parts (what I bolded) to Christopher, raised my hands and said, "Christopher, do you see this?! Moses couldn't fight the battle on his own so God supplied two "helpers" (friends) to hold him up through the battle! When Mose's arms would get tired, they held them!"

I had a few moments of excitement to see how God used a child's story book to open my eyes.

Then, the very  next day, a friend sent me this picture on fb.

I cropped the words out because it is the because that is important.

The rooster is protected by his buddies.  His support system.  His encouragers. His entourage.

I often isolate during tough times.  These last few months have been bad for me, but there have been a few to reach out, to encourage, to love on me.

They are my "Aaron and Hur."

I wouldn't have survived without them.

Thank you.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Busy Woman Planner

On March 8, 2009, I wrote this post about the "busy woman purse planner" that I had purchased.  I do not know why many of my pictures are no longer visible on my blog, but that's not the point here.

The one item that has been searched the most and brought more viewers to my blog is this:  "busy woman purse planner."

I used my bag until it fell apart.

While they are no longer available, I was recently contacted by "The Busy Woman" and was sent an enormous file of forms to try out.

Can I tell you, I love them!

I had a little bit of difficulty getting them to view on my ancient computer, so my husband downloaded them on a jump drive and I took my handy dandy coupon for 25% off printing to Office Depot and got the job done!

I did not print everything, but picked and chose what I liked, according to my lifestyle and schedules.

For less than $6 I printed 90 days of daily calendar pages (I will print more, but was watching my expenses to see what I needed), the address & phone number pages, important dates pages (2), devotional pages, budget pages,  medical pages (for each of us), and menu pages (which I forgot to take pictures of, but I have a menu page that I now carry with me in my coupon book.  That helps me to glance through my menus, double check weekly adds and have my coupons . . . . all in one binder, which I got on clearance for .88 at Walmart).

There were other different forms with different layouts, but again, I chose what worked for me.

I have enjoyed having everything in one place and in order (at least in that area of my life! lol)

Here are a few pics.  Please understand, I put very little in this.  I had colored tabbed dividers already, so did not have to purchase that.  I did purchase and additional 4 packets of  white dividers for .89 (each packet) to divide the months. The soft binder was on clearance for .88.  I did purchase a 5 pack of pocket binders so I would have pockets to put lose pieces of paper in.  It was $2.47, and that is it.  I like that all the variety of forms to choose from.  I like that I have a personalized planner that cost less than $10 (for what I chose to use) but I still need to add the remainder of the 2014 year . . . . I like that if I had chosen, I could have filled all the information in on my computer and then printed it, and of course, the cost . . . . to get what I have would have cost much more in the stores.

I hope you will check out her facebook page and her web site.  On her web site you will see the many, many forms available.  You can also choose the size pages to have printed.  I chose the standard notebook size.

I did have all these in the upright position, but for some reason, they are now sideways and probably upside down.  I've tried correcting it and it just isn't working, but you get the point :)

My hot pink binder

Opening page

Important Numbers Page

 Special Occassions (which I'm not sure I will keep as on the Important Numbers page is a place to put special dates, etc.)

 On this daily planner page is a place for appointments, phone calls, menus, priority sections and notes.  I have filled in my  menu pages that is in with my coupons, I just haven't transferred the information over yet.

 Budgeting.  There are three pages that go with this page.

 Address and Numbers

 Spiritual Journey Pages

Devotional pages

I've had the worse time correcting these pages, but they are now all upright!  I had to go into the documents and rotate every page incorrectly for it to appear correctly on this post.  Who knows.  But I think I got it now!

Can't wait to finish getting all my pages set up.  Very thankful to have them!