Transitions (Part 6…A Time to Seek Advice)

Scripture References;

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.  Proverbs 3:5-7 KJV

Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.  Proverbs 15:22 HCSB

I am in need of some helpful advice. After over 22 years I am probably going to re-enter the work force.  Below is my story.

I went to high school mostly here in this little town, and graduated here. I had jobs as a teenager, and was enrolled in college for a brief period of time, quit, and went back to work, but shortly after turning twenty years old, quit my job and got married. At the age of 21 I gave birth to my son, and six years later had my daughter. I have been married almost 23 years, have lived in the same house since December of 1989, and in the same town where I attended high school. The times that I have “officially” worked outside of the home have been few and far between, and also very brief.  We have never been what most people would consider to be wealthy, but we have been pretty careful, and because of that,… Well, actually, because of the providence of the Lord, I have had the privilege of being a housewife and homeschooling mother. This has been a role that has brought me a great deal of joy.

We had thought that if we continued to be careful I might have been able to remain a housewife, and possibly volunteer some in either churches or in the community, once my daughter left the nest to go to college. Well, less than two months ago we learned that due to some changes that will be occurring in one of my husband’s sources of income, we will over the next couple of years experience some cuts that will lower our yearly income considerably. We also were told by our daughter’s dentist that his attempt to treat her TMJ was not working and she would have to see a TMJ specialist (TMJ care is not covered on our insurance. The first 2 1/2 hour appointment cost us over $2,100 cash, and the following monthly adjustments at his office which is about 80 miles away will be $100 per visit.).  We have made some changes in an effort to reduce our monthly expenses, but they just weren’t enough to compensate, so unless the Lord intervenes by this May, I am going to have to find a job.

My husband is legally blind, but has been gainfully employed nearly all of his adult life, and has for the last 12 (almost 13) years been a dishwasher at a restaurant here in town. Because he is legally blind, I have always had to be available to drive him to and from work. We always know what time he clocks in, but he doesn’t always clock out at the scheduled time (They sometimes cut him early, and sometimes ask him to work late.). My daughter is only 15, and I still haven’t gotten around to teaching her how to drive, and we only have one car, so when she does learn she will only be able to drive it when I do not need it. Our state, being predominantly rural, only has public transit in its largest cities. Our town has no buses; only a taxi which is somewhat expensive.  My father lives about 10-15 minutes away and recently retired. He told me that he would be able to help me “some” with my husband’s need for transportation.

Now I am going to ask myself some questions, and hopefully I will either come up with answers or whoever reads this will come up with answers which will be of help to me in my attempt to determine which type of job(s) that would be the most suited for my situation.

My first question is, “What do I know I am qualified to do?”.  My response to that question is, “Just about anything that any person with a high school diploma is qualified to do.”.

Next I ask the two-part question, “But what all is a person with only a high school diploma qualified to do, and more specifically, what all is a person with only a high school diploma who is in my ‘particular situation’ qualified to do?”.

My third question is “What would I really like to avoid doing, but ‘will do’ only if I have no other choice?”

My fourth question is “What would I really enjoy doing?”.

Finally, my fifth question is another two-part question.  It is “What is the minimum amount of money that I must earn per year/month at a job, and what are the maximum number of hours that I could devote to that job every week/day?

At this moment I only feel qualified to answer the third, fourth, and fifth questions, and I suspect that my answers will be incomplete, so I will start with the third one. I would avoid any job that would require me to constantly stand for long periods of time.  I would not like working in a “Fast Food” restaurant or any other type of restaurant. I would not like to work in a factory. I would not like to work in a big store (too stressful). A small quiet store like “The Dollar General Store”  “The Wonder Bread Store”, or a drug store might be all right, but not if the shifts were more than 6-8 hours. I would not like to work in a bank (too stressful), or a hospital or nursing home ( That would be too depressing, but I might like working one on one with an elderly person in their home in certain circumstances.). I would not like to read meters, deliver the mail or pizza (going up to strangers’ houses after dark or possibly being chased or even bitten by dogs just doesn’t appeal to me.) Although I absolutely love caring for and teaching children, I probably would not like to work in a preschool/daycare. I wouldn’t like working outside in really hot or cold weather like those who work for landscaping companies. I would not like a job that requires heavy lifting or climbing ladders. I wouldn’t like a job where I got really dirty (I like the idea of dressing up to go to work; just being honest.). I am willing to be trained and possibly even go to a school or college for awhile, but not for 4 years, and probably not 2 years, either.

To answer my fourth question, I would have to say that I like working both one on one with people of “all” ages ( preschool age-elderly) and with small groups of people in small, reasonably quiet places both in homes and out in the community. As I continue to list things that I would enjoy doing I will mention both things that I am presently qualified to do, and things that would require some education/training before I would be considered to be qualified to do them.  I would appreciate the input of anyone who can help me to determine which things will fall in the box titled “Currently Qualified to do” and which will fall in the box titled “Could be Qualified to do Eventually”.  Now, with that established, I will proceed on with my list of jobs that I might enjoy doing. I would like to tutor children in grades 9 and under after school somewhere or if during school hours, at an elementary or middle school. I would like to possibly start another in home day care/ preschool where I might care for no more than 4 or 5 children at a time. I would also like to teach illiterate adults how to read, and possibly help them with math skills. I might enjoy working as a receptionist of some kind, or as a desk clerk in a hotel, or as some type of office worker or consultant. I would love to be some type of counselor, or one of those friendly operators who direct your call when you reach a large business, or some type of hostess. I once was a home based Head Start Home Visitor, and I might enjoy doing that again. I also think that I might like working in a library.

Now I am ready to answer my fifth question. I really only need to net about $7000 dollars a year to make up for what my husband would be losing, but about $14,000 would help us much more.  I know that doesn’t sound very ambitious, but I love my husband and kids very much, and want to spend as much time with them as I possibly can. With that in mind, I would want to work days only with weekends off, especially Sundays. I probably would not want to work more than 30 hours a week. Now if I had an in home daycare I would be willing to work 40-50 hours a week, but no weekends.

When I was answering question #4 I mentioned “boxes”. Now I need to tell you a little about my experiences in order to assess which skills I actually have and which I still need to acquire. I will list these experiences chronologically and briefly describe them below.

I was a volunteer reading tutor for 1st and 2nd graders at the public school where my son enrolled in kindergarten. Then that same school year I was hired as a “Home based Head Start Home Visitor”. My job basically consisted of making weekly home visits to families of 4 year old children where I presented the parent with lesson plans and assisted them in helping their children learn skills that would help get them ready for kindergarten. I also had to do a lot of paperwork, because so many things had to be documented. I only did this a couple months, because I was pregnant and became ill for awhile.

During the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of my pregnancy I began watching children in my home and later when my daughter was about 2 became a “certified” owner and operator of a “Registered” in-home day care that I did full time for a couple years, and part time off and on for about 3 years. During these years my son attended a small Christian school. He was there 1st grade-all but the last 9 weeks of 4th grade. Then I began homeschooling him for the remainder of 4th grade and all of 5th grade. Then he was enrolled in another small Christian school for all of 6th grade and the first semester of 7th grade. Then I homeschooled him through high school, and he did so well that he began college with a “Deans Scholarship” after finishing the 11th grade. He graduated with honors with a bachelors degree in Management and Marketing and Economics and Finance in the spring of 2009. When he started 6th grade I began homeschooling our daughter in kindergarten.  During the second semester of that year the principal of the school asked me if I could fill in for one of the teachers for the rest of the year. I was a room monitor for a small class that had 9th-11th grade students that were using a video school curriculum. I basically did everything a teacher did, except for the actual lecturing at the black board. That part was on video tape. I let my daughter finish her kindergarten year in the kindergarten class at that school. Then I did the same job with just 11th and 12th graders the first semester of the following year, and simultaneously homeschooled my daughter for 1st grade. I have homeschooled her ever since, and she is now in 11th grade and doing very well. I often wrote my own lesson plans, and at times when our budget was tight I made my  own worksheets, and even created my own curriculum.

Twelve years ago I also joined a local support group for homeschoolers, and we are still members.  It currently has around 75 families. It has a number of committees. One of them is the mentoring committee, which I have headed for a few years now. One of the main functions of that job is to meet  one on one with parents who are new to either homeschooling, the group, or both. I answer their questions about our state laws, make curriculum recommendations and gather literature to help get them started. I also set up information tables at the annual testing site and at the annual book sale which is open to the community. During these events I answered questions about all issues pertaining to homeschooling whenever asked.

Well, that pretty much sums up all that I have been up to for the past 23 years. I know that the Lord has a plan, and has promised in His word that if we acknowledge Him in all of our ways He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6), but it can’t hurt to seek help from others who are knowledgeable from time to time. I would like to translate some of the experiences above into a “Functional Resume Format”, but I have to tell you that the task is quite overwhelming  for me. I have never made a resume before. I googled  “How to Make a Resume”, and read a lot of things including sample resumes, but it didn’t help…. (sigh)

Please comment if you can help me.

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord?  Please click on “Very Important Words” on the left margin of this page and make sure.

Do you have a Bible? If you don’t have one, you need not worry. Just go to They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!

Transitions (Part 5…A Time to Review)

Scripture references;

For whatever was written before was written for our instruction,  so that through our endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we may have hope.   Romans 15:4  HCSB

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  John 14:26 KJV

I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.  He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.  Psalm 40:1-3 KJV

I know that all God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it.  God works so that people will be in awe of Him. Whatever is, has already been, and whatever will be, already is. God repeats what has passed.   Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 HCSB

Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.  Daniel 2:20-22 KJV

We know that all things work together  for the good  of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.  For those He foreknew He also predestined  to be conformed to the image of His Son,  so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified;  and those He justified, He also glorified.  Romans 8:28-30 HCSB

Today it is pretty outside.  I am looking out my window, and three things are in plain sight…a tall old oak tree with last year’s dead leaves still clinging to its branches, my mock orange shrub poised just a few feet away from the oak with its tiny new green leaves covering it, and only a few inches below the window ledge is one of eighteen blue hydrangea shrubs that is already putting out its new green leaves!  Not too far beyond the oak tree is a vast blue sky with just a few fluffy white clouds here and there.  It is early spring …in The South.  Both the tree and the shrubs offer some things to me today.

The shrubs offer me the reminder of new life and the promises that are associated with that.  There is the promise that until the Lord returns, things will continue as before, and also that the Lord works all things for good.  There also is the promise  that new life is hidden inside of that which is old and dying, and although it isn’t always visible, this new life appears both suddenly and miraculously when it’s time for it to emerge.  Beneath them the black birds are pecking around through the leaves that I never bothered to rake last fall.  They are keenly aware that there is treasure to be found under them.  The Lord has given them knowledge, and they continually act accordingly.

The oak tree, although still looking dead, has something to offer, as well.  It offers me a chance to look back to both the recent and distant past; to things I have experienced, things I have read, … to things I have learned.  It is good to take a moment like King David, the prophet Daniel,  and many others in the Bible have done, to pause and reflect for awhile, to consider the things the Lord has shown us to be of great value, and to “glean” understanding that comes from the Lord, and not from myself.  The Bible admonishes us to do this in Proverbs 3:5-7.

Today I think I will spend a little time in prayer and in reading the Bible and some of my older blog entries.  Three of my favorites are titled “Defining Moments”, “Shifting Gears- New Habits”, and “Basic Math and Very Big Hands”.  You can look them up in the search bar in the left margin if you would like to read them.

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord?  Please click on “Very Important Words” on the left margin of this page and make sure.

Do you have a Bible? If you don’t have one, you need not worry. Just go to They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!

Transitions (Part 4…A Time to Mourn)

Scripture references;

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 KJV

It has been an eventful week.  My father-in-law passed away yesterday, after a long hard battle with cancer.  We are still down at their home.  The funeral is Sunday.

The Lord has blessed us in so many ways, but I’m a little tired, so will write more later.

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord?  Please click on “Very Important Words” on the left margin of this page and make sure.

Do you have a Bible? If you don’t have one, you need not worry. Just go to They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!

Transitions (Part 3… More Waiting, More Pondering)

Scripture References;

If I live at the eastern horizon [or] settle at the western limits, even there Your hand will lead me;Your right hand will hold on to me.  Psalm 139:9-10 HCSB

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?  Romans 8:26-31 KJV

Well, more has happened since I last wrote about our situation.

Our daughter had to see a TMJ specialist this past week. They fitted her for a new guard, and gave her a temporary one.  She goes back March 22nd, and then will have to go for monthly adjustments for awhile. Since that visit her pain actually got worse. We called and  they said she would have to stop wearing it. I really hope the guard they are making for her will bring relief. I wish we didn’t have to wait till the 22nd.  I am so thankful that she is homeschooled, and has the privilege of scheduling her school day around it.  She often has trouble falling asleep, so we let her sleep as late as she needs to, so that she will not go without too much rest. Thurdays are an exception. She is a childcare worker at a ladies Bible study those mornings. She loves her job.

We also have recently experienced some financial challenges.  We found out that this year our income will be dropping due to some things that we just learned about a few weeks ago. We also found out that TMJ treatment is not covered on our insurance.  Last week’s initial examination was over $2,000. Luckily we had just gotten our income tax return.  We had hoped it would be used to lower our debts,  but it looks like we are going to have to look to other possible solutions for that. We, like so many others right now, are making cut backs.

I am also thinking about going back to work. I had thought that I would wait until our daughter went to college, but I might just go ahead and start back very soon.  If  I do return to work, I will continue to homeschool her. She will be 16 this summer, and like many other homeschooled children, she has worked independently since she was around 9th grade. Homeschoolers often refer to this  as  a transitionary period where the parent’s roll changes from that of teacher to facilitator….those are just fancy words we use to say “The kid knows as much or more than I know, and she knows how to go looking for what she needs to know.  Ready or not, Here she comes!” …LOL…   We went through this with our son around 8th grade, and he did just fine.

My father-in-law is continuing to decline. It is a sad time, and wish we could be there more often.

Well, I guess that is all for now. The Lord is faithful, and we are okay.  I am so thankful that He is helping us to see His hand guiding us and holding us.

I filled out a couple of job applications Friday, and will be filling out another tomorrow morning.  I appreciate your prayers.

Looking unto Jesus,

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord?  Please click on “Very Important Words” on the left margin of this page and make sure.

Do you have a Bible? If you don’t have one, you need not worry. Just go to They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!