There will be peace…

September 30, 2010

Peace.

If you had asked me what that word meant 3 weeks ago, I would have told you it was a sign my almost 14-year-old niece uses every time she sees a camera. But over the last 3 weeks, through a series of events, I’ve come to LONG for this word in my life.

Don’t get me wrong, my life is blessed. Blessed beyond measure. I am so thankful for the way that God has been at work in my life and the life of my little family over the last year. I have learned so much about God’s faithfulness. But I recently found myself….discontent. Wanting something else, wanting to fast forward to the next stage of life, to move forward faster than I need to, to rush ahead.

And then my small group started reading this book “Finding Peace” by Charles Stanley. Even though we have barely started (we’re 4 chapters in), I’ve already gleaned so much from this book. Namely, peace and contentment are not the same thing. Contentment is a state of mind, a perception. I can decide that I am content with my current state. Peace is a perpetually state of BEING. Peace is pervasive. It is constant. Not peace in the political sense of the word, but in the spiritual sense. The peace that only God can provide. Even in the midst of some of life’s more difficult moments, His peace is still there. And it’s perfect.

I’m all about feelings. I love that warm fuzzy feeling I get when my husband says something sweet to me. I love the chills that I get when I can hear God’s people praising Him in unison. But feelings come and go. What joy and PEACE it gives me to know that God does not behave in such a fickle way!

So, am I completely at peace? Yes! I may not feel that way, but I know, like I know I love my husband, that I belong to the one who gives perfect peace!

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What’s up Doc?

March 10, 2010

So it’s been a little bit since I posted anything. Oops.

Here’s what’s happening.

I’ve been doing really well (according to my supervisors) with my job. I really love the kids that I work with, even on the challenging days. I’m FINALLY getting supervision hours signed off and am on my way towards being able to take the BCBA exam. Most exciting of all, the Riverside CARD office is officially open and I no longer will have to drive to Orange County for any meetings or paperwork needs!!!! Such a good thing!!!!

Last month, we moved to a much bigger, and much nicer, place. It’s 7 minutes from church, so that makes Sunday mornings a little less hateful. I can sleep for like 10 minutes longer….But we really like the new place and are enjoying our new home.

Also last month, my Mom got her doctorate degree! She is now Dr. Cox! We all went for her doctoral defense on inclusion in preschool programs. I, of course, was very interested by the topic. But mostly, we are all so proud of Mom. She has always been an inspiration to me. She (and Dad) made a lot of sacrifices for JW and I when we were growing up. Mom stayed home with us while we were little and then went back to school when we went to school. She worked soooo hard and diligently throughout her whole career and she has done such a wonderful job in the field of education and special education. I am very inspired by my Mom, to be a godly wife, a godly mother, a strong woman, and to be diligent in all that I do. Both of my parents have been a wonderful example for me throughout my life, and I wouldn’t trade my family for any family in the whole wide wierld. (world).

Let’s see…what else…Oh…I got to see my good buddy Merry Pierce when she was down here for her sister’s wedding. Even the little bit of time that I had to spend with her, it made me really miss her a lot. And then I started thinking about all of my “old” friends and really missing them. I feel like, I’ve been missing a strong Christian woman in my life that I can really bond with. I have lots of good friends in the Journey and outside of the Journey, but I guess I’m just really craving a deep Spiritual connection with a woman that really understands me. In some ways, I think it’s my fault, because I don’t really put myself out there for connecting with women. So I really need to work on that…and pray about that…

Coming soon….who knows?

As promised, here comes the update on the job situation.

I went for the training weekend at the beginning of October. It was a lot of fun to meet new people and have a nice refresher course on the “basic” principles of ABA. As nerdy as it sounds, I fell in love with my job all over again. To top it off, Paul and I got to spend the weekend in Orange County in order to eliminate my having to drive back and forth every day of the training.

After that looooooong and informative weekend, it was study time. I studied my enormous binder of ABA terminology and theories and then it was exam time. I managed to get a 95 out of 100 on the exam, which I was pretty pleased about. THEN I got a schedule for overlapping sessions. I started my overlapping sessions, which were so fun! The kids that I got to work with were all so different and it was just really refreshing to get back into the field and to learn new ways of doing things. A really “mind-expanding” experience I guess you could say! 🙂 After a brief hiatus for a previously planned Washington D.C. trip, I finished up my overlap session and completed my field evaluation last Friday (October 30).

That brings us to now. I’ve been waiting to hear from the office all week regarding whether I passed, and what my schedule of clients would be.  I did receive word yesterday that I passed the field evaluation portion of my training and that due to some unexpected delays on their end, they have not been able to finalize my schedule yet. So I’m “patiently” waiting. As my wise Mommy said to me earlier today, I’ll probably get my schedule and be working more than I expected.

I’m trying to be positive through the whole situation, thanking God for taking me from a really difficult situation and placing me in what promises to be a bright, if challenging, new environment. I am struck by how God provides things we didn’t even know that we needed. For example, this week, because I wasn’t working I’ve had the opportunity/ability to do the following:

1) spend more quality time with my husband in the evenings.

2) take care of some unexpected maintenance issues on my car.

3) reconnect with some OLD friends at Disneyland

4) have a good lunch with my “little” brother

5) simply RELAX!

I firmly believe that God knew that I needed/wanted the time to do those things and He provided! I know I probably shouldn’t be, but I am continuosly blown away by the perfection of His timing!

Answered Prayer

September 29, 2009

Change is in the air.

It appears that I, as well as the metaphorical climate, will be turning over a new leave in the next several weeks.

On Monday afternoon, after months of applying and praying for new job opportunities, I got a phone call to interview for a position in Hemet. I interviewed for it, but, for various reasons, I don’t think that job would have been a good fit for me.

On Tuesday afternoon, I got a phone call from the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) to invite me to a group interview on Friday September 25. I attended the interview. And was informed that I would be invited for the training to become a Junior Therapist for the agency.

Praise God! I have been having such a difficult time with the challenging atmosphere in my current position. God has really been testing my faith. As many of you know (particularly my family members), I am a HUGE worrier. I may or may not have inherited that…. So for the last several months I have been worried that I would be fired, that I would not make enough money, that people would be disappointed in me, that I’m a failure, etc., etc., etc. So one can imagine the relief and peace that I felt just knowing that I had another opportunity somewhere else to do what I love to do.

This morning I got the official call that I was invited to the training to become a Junior Therapist. I submitted my resignation. Due to a series of events not really worth discussing, my last day with B.E.S.T. Services, Inc. will be September 30, 2009. It’s actually a little bit bittersweet. In some regards, I have had such good experiences with this agency. I’ve grown a lot as a person, as a Christian, and as a behavior analyst. I’ve learned many valuable lessons about patience, diligence, perseverance, and grace. I’ve experienced the highs and lows of working with these kids, and I’ve seen the kids grow and develop in ways I would not have thought possible. However, it’s a relief to know that I can continue to do what I love, without feeling so…..depressed. There are of course, things that are still specifics that are unknown at this point. But I have peace about the decision, and I have assurance that the Lord will provide exactly the opportunities that I need. Continue to pray! Prayer is ALWAYS needed!

Iconic

September 14, 2009

At the risk of sounding whiny, I’ve decided that sharing this is important. With all of the things that have been going on with me in my job situation, it’s been really easy for me to slip into “woe is me” mode. I find myself thinking that I’m not good enough, and that perhaps I misread my calling in life. It’s  a pretty terrible place to be in, and one that I’ve only been in one other time in my life. I’ve had people in my life that have reassured me that this is not the case, what’s happening in my job situation is not because of something I’ve done or not done. What’s happening is inexplicable. What’s happening is not something that anyone fully understands. I’ve done my best to take responsibility for my actions, but I’m learning the difficult lesson that I can’t control what other people think and feel. Thus, my point….

I’ve been going through SHAPE with the young adult ministry at church. We’re discussing our spiritual gifts and the way in which we use them. While I’m recognizing my spiritual gifts within myself, it’s been challenging to truly accept that God has gifted me with something that is worth sharing. One day after work, I was driving home, and I started praying and asking God “are You sure I’m special, are You sure You have a plan?” As if breathing for the first time I was answered with “You are MY masterpiece.” These words poured forth suddenly:

I am fearfully and wonderfully made/Created in Your image/and made to bring You praise/even though I can’t see what You see in me/I am Your masterpiece

Those words have bounced around in my head since that day on the 210. THEN (sorry it’s kind of a long story), on Friday night a wise spiritual leader (my husband) spoke at FUEL. We’ve been going through the book of Matthew, and that particular night he was going over Matthew 23. The chapter is basically Jesus chastising the Pharisees and pointing all of the ways in which they are hypocrites. Paul made the point that there is a difference between an idol and an icon. An idol points to themselves as something to be considered great, an icon points to One that is greater.

Wow.

That was so profound to me. I was touched with the idea that my purpose is not to feel “proud” of myself, but rather I am created to point to my Lord above all else. When I disparage myself, or give into Satan’s lies that I am not worth it, that I am not good enough, I’m taking away from the Goodness of God. After all, I’m created in His image, and He is perfect. Although I am not perfect in any way, my actions and my attitude should not deflect from The Perfection. In the same way that the Pharisees were considered hypocrites by touting themselves as something other than what they were, I too am considered a hypocrite when I fail to live fully in the Perfection of my Savior.

I have decided that I want to be an icon that points to my Jesus.

Praise God that I am made perfect through the blood of Christ!

I’ll try it….

September 10, 2009

My hope is that this blog will be sort of a way for me to share what’s been going on in my life. The good, the bad, the ugly. Without spilling too many details, I’ll let the adoring public know what I’ve been doing, and what God’s been doing in my life. So let’s get started…

I’ve been learning a lot about faith lately. Faith in God, and faith in what God can do through me. I must admit, I’ve been having a hard time really believing that I’m particularly successful. But I’ve been reminded lately, that God has a purpose for everything in my life, even the painful stuff. I’m not sure what the purpose of this current pain is, but I know that God will deliver me and I will be a better person because of it.

This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to sing special music at church. The song was “Yet I Will Praise.” It’s basically a declaration to God that even in the midst of the painful stuff, the difficult stuff, and the hurtful stuff, I will still praise Him. As hard as it was/is to sing those words, I have not been able to get those words out of my head. On the surface, I may not always feel like praising God, but in my heart of hearts I know that I serve an almighty God who has great plans for me. 

I, for one, absolutely cannot wait to see what those plans are.