Sunday, February 26, 2012

Back on the Radar

What I love about my church is that there are no ministers. There are no paid clergy. We all volunteer to take on a calling (not of our choosing, mind you) and the members at large run our church.

As part of this, the speakers on Sundays are members who get the old tap on the shoulder from the bishopric and are assigned a topic to speak on.

I have been back active at church 9 years now, and guess what? I have somehow flown under the radar and never been asked to do a talk! That's pretty amazing considering our small congregation. Of course that all came to an end this last week when I got "the call" and was asked to do a 15 minute talk at today's meeting.

If this call had come within the first year of me becoming active it probably would've sent me packing and I wouldn't have come back. If this call had come 4 years ago, I would've panicked and somehow gotten myself excused or faked sick or something, but the great thing about HAVING to be involved in church, is that when the call came, I said ok, and today I stood up and delivered my message without nerves, and felt confident.

The church has helped me grow. From being asked to teach to the very youngest members, to giving prayers at meetings, to teaching my peers, each step of the way it has helped me grow into a confident person who not only knows the teachings of the gospel, but can express it to an entire congregation with composure.

For that I am very thankful!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Prioritize This!

How does one prioritize things in life when one is stretched in so many directions at once?

That is what I'm truly trying to figure out! I'm doing another 9 unit semester, working 30 hours, studying, doing my church calling, attending church, trying to spend time with my kids, cooking dinners, household chores, taking walks with my dog, and now spending time with someone ummmmm..."special" (that sounds stupid, but I guess it makes my point).

My driving time alone is about 10 hours a week. Right now it's kind of like my checkbook. I get a chunk of money at the beginning of the month (gotta love that once-a-month paycheck when you're a school employee *eye roll* ) then I pay all the have-to's and kind of try to not think about how I will make it to the end of the month (somehow it always stretches juuuuuuuussssstttttt far enough).

It's kind of like the hours in a week. I get my alottment at the beginning and hope I can get everything I need to get done in that amount of time and somehow, at least so far, I've stretched my time and I make it to Sunday evening again with my assignments done, my kids cared for, a little me-time had, and a little sanity still intact.

It's some juggling act, let me tell you! At least with college work there's a light at the end of the tunnel/semester. I know there's a break in sight if I just hang in there.

Which brings me to why the heck am I blogging when I should be: reading, studying, typing a paper, responding on a discussion board, cleaning the kitchen, folding laundry or even sleeping? Believe me, I wish I knew!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Where There's a Will...

You know that old saw, right?

Anyway, this summer when I decided to jump into this crazy idea of going back to school that little saying went through my head..."I'll figure out a way. I've got to to make my life better". I'm telling you, going to college at 47 is daunting. I seriously didn't know if I could make it through my first semester because I knew it would mean quitting my 2nd job and scraping by, and I do mean SCRAPING. Scary stuff when you not only have yourself to support, but your kiddos too.

I applied for a scholarship through our local Soroptomist group that involved a lengthy application, 2 letters of reference and a panel interview. But what do ya know? I got a $1000 scholarship out of it! Wow! I can still hardly believe it!

The scholarship awards banquet will be in April where I will be asked to get in front of the group and explain to them the reason I needed a scholarship and if I am inspiring enough, it will advance me to the regional level where I would be up for a $5000 scholarship! I can't even imagine!

I have been mulling about what is so compelling about my situation that might get me to that level and truthfully I don't have some heartbreaking, touching story the likes you may see on a American Idol hopeful's interview. It's just that I decided that it's never too late to start over and improve your life.

After being laid off from my aide position I faced waitressing and clerking at the grocery store as my options. I ran the numbers and realized that to get by, at least up here in my rural county, I would always have to work two jobs. Two jobs for the rest of my life, and two jobs that I wouldn't be particularly passionate about. My other option? Jump in with both feet and get a degree so that I can continue to work in a field that I love and get paid well for it. Easy math.

So, if you're reading this and feel stuck in your life, jump in and go for it. Whatever "it" is that you've been contemplating and that will bring you happiness and success in life. Life is a journey, but you have to be brave enough to start the adventure if you want to go places!