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 http://www.biblegateway.com. They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!

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17 Comments

  1. ROBIN Henderson said,

    March 20, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. i liked the parakeet story and your search for a job. I think if you continue to pray about it, the lord will make a way for your needs to be met regardless of qualifications or circumstances. I will continue to pray for you as well.
    Love Ya,
    robin

  2. July 11, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Well, I guess now is a good time to update my readers. I ended up going to a place in my town called “The Wage Center” and earned an employability certificate. Then I began taking a clerical course, but three things happened that made me stop going. 1) My husband decided to go back to college this fall and I will need to get him to and from classes and to and from work. Plus I will be his “reader”. 2)We got new information that said those cuts in our income are being postponed; so we have more time. 3) I became ill on the 23rd of May and ended up being sick for the rest of May and about all of June. I am a good deal better now, but not entirely. I had lab work done and it all came back pretty normal, except my cholesterol was a little high; not really high…my LDL was 109, and I believe I can bring it down to a better number if I make a few dietary adjustments and exercise. Blood sugar, blood pressure, thyroid, and hormones were all okay. The Doctor wanted me to go on Prozac, and I might some day, but I have decided to hold off on that for awhile, and try relaxation techniques, and a few other things instead.

    I am very thankful that my husband and kids are supportive and okay with me just remaining a wife and mom for as long as I like…or at least until our financial situation changes and “demands” me to make a change. Society puts so much pressure on women these days that they easily confuse “genuine need” with “genuine something else”. One thing I do know is that at the present time “I” genuinely need to be home with my family and have lots of quiet time alone with my Lord, and the world beyond my doorstep and all of the “activities” it has to offer will just have to get along without me.

  3. February 20, 2011 at 4:39 am

    I am so happy you gave an update to your readers! And what a great update it was!!! The Lord certainly does provide.

    For the record, no stay-at-home Mom is “just remaining a wife and mom”. We fill so many more roles. These are great gifts we have the ability to offer our families. 🙂 You are much more to your family than “Just” a wife and mom. I hope that you are coninuing to find the answers you sought and they continue to bless your life!

    Tara

  4. February 20, 2011 at 6:02 am

    Tara,

    Thank you for stopping by and also for your kind words of encouragement. In some ways we all are in the same boat…we take things one day at a time and are learning to trust the Lord for direction. 🙂

    Your outlook is such an inspiration. I look forward to visiting your blog again.

    Theresa

  5. March 17, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Here is another update:

    My daughter just finished her 12th grade courses and turned in her application for admission to college. She is 16 now, and will turn 17 in June. Now I am thinking about possibly tutoring or becoming a substitute homeschool teacher. 🙂

  6. March 21, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Congratulations! What an accomplishment for both of you! I have no doubt, with your passion for your chilren and educating children, you will succeed as a substitute homeschool teacher or whatever you may put your mind to! Good luck to you both as you head towards the bright future that is out there waiting for you to claim!

    • March 21, 2011 at 4:41 am

      Thank you so much. I am still praying for direction. I hope you have a wonderful week. I am looking forward to reading again at your blog. 🙂

  7. March 24, 2011 at 1:12 am

    tmj can be painful. remedy: healing by the Lord….how to speed up healing…daily communion …grape juice and bread/cracker….i was diagnosed w/ tmj…God healed me…He is not a respecter of persons…he will do the same for whomever….

    • March 24, 2011 at 1:37 am

      She is much better now. The specialist saw her for the last time about a month ago and said she was much improved. I am so thankful.

      I am glad the Lord healed you.

  8. July 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I have another update on my situation. I recently decided to enroll in college. I have declared a major, as well. It is early childhood education (pre-K-4th grade). It looks like the next 4 years will be busy ones for me. 🙂

  9. September 17, 2013 at 6:14 am

    […] In the fall of 2010 my husband went back to college. He kept his job, and juggled work and school to the best of his ability which is a challenge for anyone. He even got on the Dean’s List once. In his case it was a really big challenge, because he is legally blind. You can read about that here:  https://pronetoponder.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/transitions-part-6-a-time-to-seek-advice/ […]

  10. March 24, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Reblogged this on Moore to Ponder and commented:

    All of my posts with “Transitions” in the title share a little about me and my family. I thought I would re-blog them, so my readers would have the opportunity to get to know me a little better and follow along on the journey I have been on since February of 2010. This post in particular is interesting to me, because I did end up enrolling in college in the fall of 2011 as a full-time student. I had to drop out in April of 2013, due to my husband’s illness. Part of me hopes I will be able to return some day, but right now I feel lead to wait.

  11. Debbie said,

    March 25, 2014 at 2:17 am

    Theresa , I will still consider this with you and pray as we both keep asking Him what we can do to help our families financially.
    Love you!
    Deb

    • March 25, 2014 at 2:22 am

      I am so thankful, and blessed to have you praying for me. I am praying for you, too.

      Love,
      Theresa


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