I received my first rejection letter. It was phrased very nicely, saying that they were forwarding my application to the department most suitable, but I don’t want them to do that. I sent an application for that job already. I would have preferred that they had just said, “You do not match our qualifications.”

Bad night’s sleep

I woke up at least every two hours enough to look at the clock, thinking it was time to get up. We may have to get blackout curtains and actually use them. All the neighbors leave lights on at night and it seems like day when you wake up at 11:30 or 2 or 3 or 5 or 6.

I managed to get a crick in my neck which also woke me up in pain. I did not look at the clock then.

I had a few nightmares too, about not being aware of where my class was, of teaching class naked, of all kinds of strange things. I’m sure that’s related to the emails from yesterday (questions about a student with misrepresentation on the student’s part to the chair).

One Month to Live: Day 16

When was the last time you wondered about your identity and place in life?

I don’t think I have done this in a while.

I have wondered what I am supposed to be doing. I asked for prayers for that tonight at Challenge Group.

Have you experienced the Enemy trying to steal your identity?

By this he means that Satan tells you that you aren’t good enough or right enough or lovable enough to be what God wanted you to be. I think I am dealing with this a little right now because I’ve applied for a job. I wonder if I’m going to qualify.

Make a list of your strengths.

good listener
speak well
read well
write well
teach well
love well

Then write down how much time you spent doing these over the past week.

2 hrs.
15 hrs.
15 hrs.
3 hrs.
15 hrs.
not sure. Hopefully a lot. … Concentrated time with members of my family… 15 hrs.

One Month to Live: Day 15

Jesus risked rejection.

Right now in your life do you have a relationship in which the communication is really breaking down?

Yes, with my mother. That, however, is not a result of a broken relationship, but an artifact of her mental instability. It is very hard to speak with someone who screams at the top of her lungs that everyone is out to get her, you included. Right now she is on medication which keeps her calmer, really too calm, but if my dad wants to take care of her at home, she needs to be quiescent.

Do you consider yourself a good listener? Why or why not?

Over the years many people have spoken to me about the private things in their lives that others either could not or would not share. I think this indicates that I am a good listener.

I try to be a good listener, even when I do not actually understand the topic of discussion. I like for people to feel they can talk to me, so I work hard at listening.

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).

I love that verse. God gave me a genuine, active curiousity. This verse speaks to my heart in a unique way. God, please tell me the mighty and hidden things I do not know, especially those I wish to know and those you wish me to know.

Of the people on your speed dial list, whom do you consider most important? How often do you call them as compared to the others on your list?

I call my friends fairly often. –Also, I used to try to write them an email every Monday and say how I was doing. Maybe I should go back to that.
I call my family fairly often.
I do not call R’s family often enough to let them know we care. Now that Pappa is gone, I need to especially call Grama. R’s not good at phone calls, so I guess I need to do that for him and for them.

Try a twenty-four hour media fast.

I have done that before, but I don’t know how I feel about it right now. I will have to pray about that.

One Month to Live: Day 14

When was the last time you remember stopping to savor the moment?

Yesterday in the fog. I just looked around and thought how beautiful everything was.

A few days ago on the way to work I noticed the water in a manmade lake and enjoyed it.

A couple of nights ago cuddling with R, I thought how grateful I was to have him. I told him and God so.

On most days are you more like the one leper who returned to thank Jesus or the nine who went on their way?

I think that most of us are more like the nine in that we are doing what he says and going forward and we don’t necessarily think we ought to go back and thank him. After all, he knows how grateful we are.

Also, I don’t think that people who are likely to go back and thank Jesus think they do it enough.

I don’t think I spend enough time telling God how much I appreciate him.

5 or 6 things I often take for granted:

My sons’ health. And I should know better since both of them were emergency Cs and one was without oxygen for eleven minutes.

R’s faithfulness and support. He’s always been there for me and he continues to be, twenty years in.

Ability to visit with my nieces and nephew. Not everyone lives close enough to visit their family.

My ability to see. R used to laugh at me “Miss 20-20.” Then he got lasik and had 15-20 and really laughed. But about a year ago I couldn’t see long distance as well as I used to. Now I wear glasses. I thank God that I can see. But I should thank him more often.

Living in the US, where we have freedoms unknown to most of the world. Free to worship God without fear. Free to say what we believe. Free to gather together. Free from random acts of government violence. Free to protect ourselves. Free to educate our children. It is amazing how often I take that for granted. One of my students wrote a definition/illustration paper on luxury one time and she wrote about freedom as a luxury. I hadn’t every really thought of it that way before. But now every semester when I teach that paper, I think about my freedoms and thank God.

Working cars, a nice house, pretty clothes, and more shoes than I need. I remember being without those things, but I still take them too much for granted.

Thoughts to chew on. (More iferisms.)

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” –Henry David Thoreau

“If you don’t know what your passion is, realize that one reason for your existence on earth is to find it.” –Oprah Winfrey

“If you do what you’ve always done,
you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” — Tony Robbins

Ambulance chaser

I learned a new meaning for that term today. A boy was hit on his bike by a car. I was driving down the one way road going away from him. An ambulance turned in going the wrong way. We all pulled aside to let it by. Then the fire truck did the same. And we stayed where we were. Finally, a huge honking tow truck went down the road the wrong way. I hope someone gets snarky and gives that ambulance chasing fool a ticket.

God, please let the little kid be okay.

One Month to Live: Day 13

I must have a really good life or I’ve run off all the sandpaper people. There just weren’t any I could think of.

There is the lady I talk to who is always negative about everything, but I like her and go out of my way to talk to her.

And my middle sister… She’s hard to talk to because she doesn’t want to talk.

But I can’t think of anyone who rubs me the wrong way.

One Month to Live: Day 12

This day is about conflict. I have written before about my besetting sin. Perhaps I did not also tell you that I try to avoid conflict by giving in on anything that is not important. I know for some people everything is important, but not for me. If you want to go to the store and I want to go to the museum, we’ll go to the store. (Which might explain why I never get to the museum.)

I certainly don’t want to write about conflict here.

I will say that my parents did not deal well with conflict when I was young and they don’t deal well with it now. Despite that, my parents have a strong marriage.

I didn’t know that.

My first book is about bad things happen even when you are trying to do God’s will.

My second book’s theme is bad things happen to good people.

Something that is in my books and that I had never articulated before, although I have thought about it a lot, though not this way, is:

God allows us free choice. If we are trying to do his will, then if something is NOT his will, he will shut the door for us. BUT if several things could bring him glory, then he will allow us to choose. Often what we choose is the harder way to bring him glory.

That is definitely the second book. It is the consequences of Dielli’s willful choice to belittle the gift God gave her and how God uses those choices to bring himself glory.

Why does it work like this? God’s plan for us is for us to bring him glory.

One Month to Live: Day 11

“To accept others means we have to stop trying to change them and we start trying to understand them.”

And this one from Mother Teresa struck a strong and loud chord with me:

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.”

One Month to Live: Day 10

Last night God called to mind a hurt R gave me, probably without even realizing it. I don’t think I explained to him how much it hurt or even fought hard against his pronouncement. I made a single complaint/request after the initial one and moved on. I love him regardless. Is that forgiveness? It still hurts. I don’t think there is much we could do about it now, though.

Then today I was catching up on One Month to Live and the first reading was on forgiveness.

Maybe I can make it better. I can certainly apologize to Mac for not posting the review he worked so long on at my request. If he still has it, I can post it now.

One Month to Live: Day 9a

If I had one month to live, I would not be spending six or more hours a day applying for jobs. I would not be looking at jobs and wonder whether or not I really want to get them, should get them, or whether it would be better for me to stay home another year and trust God will give me the job next year that is perfect for me.

Except R wants to go to film school. So that was the impetus for looking and once I started looking, it just seemed that I should also apply to schools here. If I’m supposed to go to work, the job probably won’t come looking for me. (It did once for R in an arena that normally doesn’t even pay for internships.) But if I could count on God sending the job to me, I wouldn’t even have to apply anywhere. That isn’t normally how God works, though, so I do have to get out there and apply.

I don’t think I have much chance of getting most of the jobs. I applied for two that I am perfectly qualified for and I guess I might get those. But I don’t really think so.

I was so excited on Sunday about the possibility of teaching at 4YS, but now, I am just sure they won’t hire me. So what is the point of even applying?

Okay, God works in mysterious ways. I realized while I was writing the above sentence that I haven’t gotten much email so it must not be getting through. So I decided to go read my email. One of my emails is about one of the jobs I have applied for. Not only is it still open, they have three other positions as well. Two of them I am probably better qualified for than the one I am applying for. I like teaching writing. But I don’t want to do only that.

Even the writing job has more than just freshman comp. (I love freshman comp, but I don’t want to teach it 5x a semester for the next thirty years.)

So, now that I know I could probably get a job, though maybe not my favorite, how do I feel? Good. Better.

What if they turn me down for all of them? Well, then, I guess I’ll stay home next year and go back to a light load.

I am taking the entire summer off from work, except for May, which is my favorite class these days.

But I was ready for summer starting in January. That’s never happened to me before. I think the commuting and the five writing classes are getting to me.

So, if I were only going to live one more month, I wouldn’t be working at three schools and I wouldn’t be applying for jobs. But the chances are I am going to live longer than that, so I am.