Here we are, the middle of March, already. I feel like life is moving past me so fast now. Working full-time, is really just that--full-time. But I feel really blessed and lucky with my job.
I think I forgot to mention (back in my December post) that I work at a boarding school. The school is 90% boarding students--the remainder commute. I'd never even been to a boarding school before working here. It's pretty interesting. The boarding kids have a pretty scheduled life...
Wake up at 6:30-7 am.
Breakfast at 7:30 am.
Morning assembly from 8:10 - 8:30 am
Class all day with lunch in the middle
Study/tutoring time 2:45 - 3:30pm
Dinner at 6 pm
Study Hall 6:45 - 8 pm
2-3 hours free time or extra study
Lights Out/Sleep 11 pm
Some of our kids are 18 already, some even older, because they've repeated a year due to English ability (over half the school is made up of International students). I wonder how I would feel going to this school sometimes. I think most of the kids like it. It's amazing how much more mature the majority of these kids are. Many of the students are involved in several clubs, and sports, holding leadership positions that require a lot of extra outside work. I know I was too shy in high school to do any of that, but maybe if I had gone to a small or private high/middle school like this one, I would have outgrew my shyness earlier. Anyway, with all the cuts and uproar about public education right now, I think a small private or independent school is a wise option.
While the academic side seems amazing at this school, there is definitely a spiritual deadness. There are no Christian clubs on campus. I don't even know if the kids can go to church on the weekends if they don't have a ride. Two of the people I work with in the Admissions Office are Christians. But nothing is really happening on campus spiritually at all. For Christian students coming in, there are really no supports for you if you are a boarding student.
There is a position opening up on campus in June for a Dorm Father. The position provides a free on-campus apartment, plus pay, and basically you are responsible for the kids while they're not at class during the day. Paul is considering the position, since it would be a great job to have during grad school. He could do his classes during the day, and then be around at night when he's on duty. The headmaster basically said to let him know our decision about the position...and he hasn't even met Paul! I think the Fuller name really carries a lot around here.
However, we saw one of the apartments today that will be coming available, and I don't think I could live there. It's much smaller than our current place, and older. It was being lived-in when we saw it though, and not cleaned up, so it's hard to imagine what it would like empty and clean. Apparently, there is a 2-bedroom one that may be available in the summer though, so I need to find out more about that.
Although it would be sad to move out of Fuller housing, it would be a good move financially, and who knows how God would use Paul to minister to the boys from all over the world at this school at such an impressionable time in their lives. Might be some good informal counseling opportunities as well.
We would appreciate your prayers on this decision, if you think of us! Paul is also starting finals this week -- finishing up his second quarter at Fuller.
I've been going through some weird health things the last couple months. I got sick with a cold twice --just recovered from the second one today. Then, I woke up this morning super nauseated and had to throw up before breakfast. Then, felt fine. It's strange, because I've had this morning throw-up thing happen occasionally (about once every few months) ever since we got married. I don't recall it ever happening before. I'm starting to think it may be related to my BC pill. I'm going to start tracking it now, to see if there is pattern. I hardly ever get sick though, so getting sick twice so recently just appalled and frustrated me. I guess I've been spoiled and taking health for granted. My work has been super nice about letting me take sick days though--so I guess I still am spoiled. :)
I found out I get 2-weeks vacation at my job and I have to use it before September! I really miss WA and my family. I was hoping to be able to make it to my brother's graduation ceremony in May, but Paul can't miss any classes, so it would only be for a weekend...which probably wouldn't be worth it in the end. We are looking now towards going sometime this summer.
I just found out my Mom will be driving down to our old city, Santa Rosa, CA this weekend to visit some people, so I'm (probably Paul too) going to drive the 8 hours to go see her. I love my family!
I turned 23 last month, and it feels significantly older and more adulty than 22. I tried explaining it to Paul, but he's 27 and wouldn't understand. :P
We've been married for a year and 8 months! I can't believe it. We've been talking a lot in church about the meaning of being the Bride of Christ. I guess the greek word for helpmeet/help-mate is "ezer" (sp?). From what I've gathered from the messages, an ezer is basically a warrior princess. She is an extremely powerful, valuable, and influential partner with Jesus. It's been very empowering actually, just as a woman, to learn about this. I feel like so often the women in the church that are considered godly, are the wives of rich men, stay-at-home, primped, pampered, and polite. But, the picture I'm getting of the bride of Christ seems to be one more of passion, strength, boldness, long-suffering, and the ability to confront, uplift, and empower her husband and the world on Earth. It's a very honorable, and dignified role-- which seems to fall in line much more with Proverbs 31. Also, I'd like to point out that it's godly to be MUSCULAR as a woman. Proverbs 31:17 says:
"She girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong."
God, I love that! How many Christian women do you know with notably buff arms? Generally, the ideal that comes to mind for Christian women is to have bone thin arms, so as to appear more "feminine." I know the Bible was probably also speaking on a more figurative level in that verse, but I think the literal is often disregarded too much.
I went to this "Turbo Kick" class a week or two ago with a friend, on a free trial from a nearby gym. The woman who led the class was like a female Hurcules! It totally rocked. I don't know what it is, but there is something about a fit and strong woman that I find really cool. I'm planning on signing up at the gym next month--the class was so fun and I want to get on a weight lifting routine. I doubt I'll get super buff (maybe I need before and after pics?), but I do like the way I feel after lifting. Plus, it's really important for women to lift weights for so many reasons, but especially to improve bone density. Plus, it's hot! ;) Although, I wouldn't consider Marilyn Monroe an ezer...
This last summer I went to an eye doctor because I noticed these little white bumps just outside my pupils (on the side closest to my nose). I was freaked out that it was some kind of eye cancer, but the doctor told me it was just "pinguecula," a non-cancerous growth of the mucous membrane...blah, blah, blah. So, I was fine. I got a hefty medical bill for 5 minutes in the doctor's office to notify me that I didn't need a doctor.
Lately, though, my eyes have been looking really blood-shot, and they get progressively worse throughout the day. I feel like people must think I'm on drugs all the time--it's terrible. Also, when I wear my contacts, I can feel them rubbing on my pinguecula, and it's really uncomfortable and stings. So lately, I've been trying to wear my glasses more often, despite the fact that I hate wearing my glasses. I can't see as well in them, and they hurt my nose, and I hate turning my head everywhere I want to look, and I hate not being able to wear sunglasses without looking like total dork (and I have to wear sunglasses because they say that the sun is what causes pinguecula in the first place).
I guess I've just taken for granted that I would be able to wear contacts the rest of my life, but it's looking like I'm going to be glasses-girl from now on. Ugh. This probably all sounds really immature, but glasses are just such a pain! Which has got me thinking about laser eye surgery, but after watching a youtube video of the procedure, I am terrified. All the stories of people getting double vision, dry eyes, or even blindness doesn't help either.
So glasses-girl it is. I just hope the redness and hotness of my eyes goes away soon, if I wear my glasses for a while. I might just have to go shopping for a really cute pair of specs to solve this... ;)
Christmas Eve is one of my very favorite holidays, and I much prefer to it Christmas. I love it because of the hope and anticipation--something to look forward to! I also enjoy Christmas eve church services and just that most of the celebratory activities take place in the evening or late night. Things just seem cozy and warm in the nighttime.
My family has always opened presents on Christmas morning, leaving not much to do when evening comes around. But Christmas Eve has always been special.
To the left is our tree, very happy and looking well-loved with the pretty wrapped packages!
Updates since last post:
1. I got a job! :O
God is so faithful and has given me a wonderful full-time job. The job is at a college-prep school in San Marino, about three miles away. I work in Admissions as the "Admissions Office Administrator." The school is called Southwestern Academy and it has about 125 students grades 6-12 --half International students, and half American students.
I really feel like God just handed me this job, because I don't think they even interviewed anybody else for the position. Basically, I was getting sick of applying to Craigslist jobs where everyone and their moms were applying. So, I started emailing places that I thought looked interesting and asking about open positions and attaching my resume. I did this with Southwestern, and got a call the next day from the Headmaster asking about an interview. Within a week, I had the job--it was seamless. So after much prayer and as much trust as I could give, God brought me to where I am.
It's amazing to think that a year ago, in Indiana, I was getting up at 3am in the morning to drive a half hour away to work at Macy's, lugging around huge metal fixtures for a few hours, at minimum wage. Incredible. Now I'm getting almost triple that for less than half the work! But I guess that's just how office jobs are.
Before I got this job, I prayed asking God that, whatever job I get, please help me to be a good steward of my money. Please. I feel it is so easy with me and my generation to get carried away with having the most modern material things. I really view this job as a gift, so I feel like I need to give as much as possible in a godly way. It is so easy, once you have excess money, to spend it quickly. I think these last three months when we were pretty low on money really taught me to be super thrifty and get creative.
Speaking of creativity, lately, I've been feeling really crafty! I don't know what has gotten into me, but I want to do all kinds of artsy things! I want to try my hand at painting, sewing all kinds of things, making magnets, thumbtacks, embroidering stuff...We even rearranged our room so that I could have a special place for being creative--ha! I've been reading all these blogs and I'm getting super inspired! I will add some to my "Blogs I Read List." Beware, they can be addicting!
My last post was exactly a month ago! I have so much new news!
I went to a temp agency because I was starting to get desperate for work, and about three weeks ago, they got me a temporary job at this company called W i r e l e s s W a t c h d o g s. They said it was only going to be a two day data entry job. Turns out, it was over three weeks long, and the job was half on the phone, half data entry. I didn't mind it and it wasn't stressful. Basically, big companies hire out this company to manage their phones. So, my job was copying and pasting numbers into a website and spreadsheet to "swap" or "flip-flop" the SIM cards on phones. All day. This involved me calling a phone company all day long, because some of it we couldn't do online. This is really hard to explain (and probably extremely boring to listen to), but, for some reason, for every "swap" or "flip-flop," I had to call the phone number twice. I couldn't have the rep just do what I needed them to do on the first call--I was strictly supposed to hang up, and call right back for each "swap" or "flip-flop" (with hundreds of these to do). So, as you can probably guess, the reps got used to me really quick. Furthermore, if I got the same rep on the second call, I wasn't allowed to do the "swap" or "flip-flop." I was told to tell them that I had accidentally called the wrong number. That answer got old really fast, so if I got the same rep on the second call, I would just ask them for some information that I didn't need, and then hang up and call back again. I was strictly not allowed to ask to speak to a different rep (I got in trouble for this! lol!).
Ugh, this is taking up my whole blog. Anyway, a particular rep got particularly annoyed with me, and threatened that her supervisor told her that I need to stop calling so often or she would complain to my supervisor! I told the person who was training me, and she reported the lady to her supervisor. Then over the next few days, I was reported by a rep or reps who claimed I put them on hold for up to 3 minutes (not true) and that I had been calling for over a month, (it had only been two weeks at that point). Anyway, after that, I was no longer allowed to call the phone company, and was only supposed to do the "swaps" and "flip-flops" online. Yay! Does this sound like a wacky job yet? Oh, I forgot to mention that I was commuting 1.5 hours (LA traffic) each way every day to do this. The actual people I worked with in the office were really fun, and I liked them, but this job was wearing on me. I would leave at 7:30am and not get home until 7:30pm at night.
Just before I got this job, a family contacted me through my Care.com profile, asking if I could walk their dogs a few times a week. I agreed, and once I got the phone job, they let Paul walk them with me after work, paying us $50 an hour about 4-6 days a week! This dog-walking job alone is coming close to paying our rent every month, and all I can say is that God provides in very mysterious ways!
But with the dog walking job, I had no free time during the week. I had put up a Craigslist ad on the weekend for ESL tutoring, and now have three students! I decided to quit the phone job on Wednesday, because it wasn't looking like I was going to get my hours changed (so that I could avoid traffic), and after making some calculations, I realized if I got a few more ESL students, I wouldn't even need the job!
Ahh, so now I finally have my life back. My family is coming to visit us on Wednesday and we are going to my aunt's house, who lives about 4 hours away, for Thanksgiving. I am so excited!
I am really enjoying teaching English. My first student was Indonesian, and now I have a Korean, and a Chinese student. I am going to put up ads on the bulletin boards around campus today. There are a lot of Koreans on campus that may be interested. It would be so cool if I could do this, and not have to get a "real" job! I just really like the idea of working for myself. I've always had that entrepreneurial spirit. We will see...!
We went for our second time to this church in Pasadena yesterday, called "Epicentre," and I'm really loving it. It's nothing like I've ever experienced. It meets in an elementary school, and there are about 100 or so people that go, the vast majority of which are Asians. Yesterday we got there early, by accident, and discovered that there are lot of people that come early to pray for the church in small groups. So, we came in and the Pastor came up to us and introduced himself (name tags=newbie alert!) and explained what was happening. We sat down and he came to pray with us and some others came over to pray too. He prayed for me that I would get a job, specifically within two weeks! I'm really excited to see what happens in the next week or so now. :)
The real church service starts by there being "prayer points" on the screen and everyone just prays aloud personally to God. It is so powerful to hear people from all different nationalities praying for our world, our church, our country and leaders! It's so refreshing to start the service off with EVERYONE praying, not just the person in leadership.
After that happens for a while, there is worship which is really loud (almost too loud! lol), but just alive and with new songs. We sang this AMAZING song yesterday, and I couldn't find a youtube video of it, but here is one recording I found...it's a large file and takes a lot to get going, but I LOVE this song! AH!
Maybe it's not that new, has anyone heard this before? Just found a youtube video for it (I don't think I like it as much as the other recording though):
The other thing I really like about this church is that they have Life Groups that you can get plugged into mid-week for encouragement and community within the church. Lots of churches do that, but still, I like it! We might go to one this week.
Another thing is that this church is really open about where they are financially. This church is actually in debt by thousands of dollars, which kind of put me off a bit until I found out what happened. But they put the numbers on the screen, and I've never had a church be so up front like that with the money.
I know I need to do a Pasadena update, but I'll summarize right now by saying that I feel really good here. I feel like most of people we've met have a real commitment to their faith, and it's been so awesome being in a more diverse environment. I LOVE it! Excited for the future.... :D