Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Project: Delight Myself in the Lord - Day whatever : )

Wondering if I am still delighting? Yes, I am. I have been busy with Master's program - two classes and orientation down and about 22 classes to go; my "manfriend" (I think saying boyfriend is, children's ministry (I am now children's minister at my church), and substitute teaching. Life is good.

Monday, we pretty much had a "mini" blizzard blow through. I was subbing and as I watched the constant, heavy snowfall, I worried I wouldn't be able to get my car out of the snow. Sure enough, although the snow wasn't too deep around my car as the snowplows had kept the road plowed, there was just enough incline that I could not get my car on the road. I had to have three 8th grade boys and the janitor give me a push. (that sort of reminds me of when I rode bumpers cars at Six flags or the amusement part - you know how the car stops in the middle of the floor and the attendant has to come and give you a push to go....yeah....) As I waited for them to come out and give me a push, I watched some high school kids in a little car struggle to drive up the street....five kids in this little economy car....three of them got out and pushed the car until it gained traction and could was funny...I knew just how the driver felt.

I am not so good in the snow. The first two winters here I was with my friends Dan and Donna most of the time and went everywhere with them. They have the big Tahoe and big truck with 4-wheel drive plus we did everything together so I didn't get much practice driving in the snow. I missed the mother lode winter the year I was in Texas and then the next year was a rather weak winter so now... Welcome to reality Jaye. Thank goodness they plow my condo drive and clear the steps.

OK, for some winter-living attitude adjustments I have had since coming to live here:

1. High heeled dress boots look great in the store and catalog but are just plain stupid for here. I was determined to remain a "cupcake" and not to become a granola bar, leaving fashion for the city. I am still a "cupcake" but probably a less decorated one. There is nothing wrong with wearing practical, flat-heeled boots to travel to your destination and changing into more fashionable ones once you are inside.
2. When I first came here, I saw some women wearing these knee-high, fur-lined (the furr encircled the top of the boot, showing about an inch or so all the way around), lace-up boots. And I thought,"That is just over-kill on boots. That is just gaudy Colorado style." Well, uh, as soon as I can afford a pair of those boots, they will be residing in my closet. The first year I lived here, I found a pair of Ugg look alike boots at Target. Pink suede lined with lambs wool. I wear those quite often.
3. When I lived in Austin, I never wore a coat in winter. My motto was "I can stand anything for a few minutes." I never was prepared. I am still working on this one. I own two heavy coats and several jackets, two pairs of gloves and am working on a scarf collection. Now if I can just remember where I put the gloves and where I left my coat, I will be doing great. I am also becoming a fan of peacoats, coatdresses, and anything fashionable relating to "coats."
4. Has anyone watched "New in Town"? It is a movie about a city girl moving to Minnesota...yeah....and in one scene she gets stuck in the snow in the middle of nowhere with nothing but the clothes she is taking on a trip back to....Florida...and a bottle of wine. She runs her red, sexy nightie up her antennae for a distress flag and gets totally wasted on a bottle of wine as she sits in her car waiting for help. Well, I try to keep a blanket in the car and sensible shoes should I happen to be wearing stupid shoes on a day I should have worn better shoes. I do not have a bottle of wine but water is a good thing. Except I drank all of it on my way home at Thanksgiving. Neither do I have a sexy, red nightie to tie onto my antennae to use as a distress signal. Reckon my City Market shopping bags would work?
5. The lower-necked shirts currently in vogue are better served with a liner shirt underneath or given away to friends in Austin, or saved for a trip back to Austin.
6. Keep the gas tank filled. I went to a friends house to housesit without realizing my tank was so low. They live out on a ranch in Chromo - Chromo has one store on the side of the road and that is it. It is a convenience store/post office. I knew there was a gas pump there; however, I didn't know the gas pump was out of service. (where is the convenience in that one?) I was sweating just a bit as to whether I would make it back to town. Once at the ranch, I looked around for gas cans as I knew Jim had four wheelers and a tractor. I found a gas can and put enough gas in to hopefully make it back to town. (I did.) Or how about the time I didn't fill up the tank in Dan's truck I took to Albuquerque? I did not realize his gas tank gauge did not work and ended up driving on fumes across the deserted Apache cell service, out on the reservation...wearing stupid heels that had rubbed a blister on my feet....couldn't have walked four steps in those shoes....not a good thing....I am learning to take this preparedness thing seriously.
5. I have learned to build a fire in my fireplace and actually get it to burn nicely. I have also learned where you get kindling. The city girl in me arose when I innocently asked Scott, "Where do you get kindling?" He smiled and said, "You hand your son an ax and have him split wood." Oh.
6. I have learned shopping at Cabella's, The Bass Pro Shop, and REI is not a bad thing. Even if my daughter and youngest sister would raise their eyebrows.
7. Snowpants and waterproof pants with zip-off legs to create shorts are nice items to have living in your closet. Owning a pair of wader-boot things are handy as well. Keeps the legs of your pants dry when you are out snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, etc.

8. One thing I haven't changed is thing. I do not wear beanies or hats on my hair. Hair squished around my face is just ...not cute or pretty. And makeup - makeup is a beautiful thing and is as necessary as brushing your teeth.

9. My car has "On-Star" capabilities. I am re-thinking my decision about not activitating it....what do you think?

So cupcake girl in the granola world is adapting to her environment; however, I will always be the "prissy" in the "practical" world.

If you read all of this - thanks for sticking around as I reflected on my life adjustments in Colorado.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Project: Delight Yourself in the Lord: Living Joyously in the Land of Unemployment

In my last post I ended with "I find that I am living in a place most people rarely get to inhabit. No - they get to inhabit - but don't enjoy it. Not Pagosa - the life of unemployment. I am sure many would say, "We'll let you take this one for the team, Jaye." ..... Let's talk about that...

Unemployment has been the absolute best thing in the world for me. Really. I am serious. I may say that I trust God but when the things that are most important to me and the things I rely upon are taken away from me - that is when the real truth comes out. Do I (we) really believe God is sufficient for EVERYTHING? Do I (we) really believe that He is going to come through for me (us)? Is He really going to provide for my (our) every need without my job bank account? Let me tell you - when hard times come, this is when the rubber meets the road in my (our) faith walk, don't you think?

Unemployment and Project Delight is making me a much more disciplined person in a variety of ways. For instance, this morning, I made myself a budget. I know. I don't hardly have any money and most of what I do have is "faith-based." I laugh as a write that because I substitute know ...the whole "separation of church and state" thing....yeah right. Anyway, projecting in faith of what I think I will have, I made a budget. I even thought I would challenge myself further and budgeted a tithe. And wrote out the check which I will put in the offering plate on Sunday. Should have been doing it all along but I got....skeered... about trusting my Dad.

But here's the deal. I don't know what God has in store for my income. So far, the substitute teaching is averaging out very well. Listen to this: Last week, on Sunday night, I had one job on the calendar for the week. (I just live by the week.) Okay, so I was going to have an easy week. No worries. Gave me more time to work on Harvest Fest.

8:10 Wednesday, just settled in with coffee and bible and my phone rings. Ms. Gorman, freshman algebra teacher. She has a migraine and needs a sub. Could I come in. Sure!

Friday morning, 6:50 a.m. phone rings. I knew it was a sub call but I really needed to write a paper. Ignored phone. Felt guilty. Called back and took the job. You know if you don't take the jobs offered they might not call you back! There was my 3 day a week average! The words from Psalms 37..."Wait patiently. Trust in the Lord." ring so true. And I don't worry about what is or is not on the calendar! Nor do I worry about what happens after May 31st. Someday, I will have a job and it will be perfect and in God's perfect time.

I believe with all my heart, my Father, Daddy, has me in His blessed hands. Every need and sometimes my wants are met. I am not suffering in the least. My faith trust base is being strengthened - one more time. I know my family wonders sometimes why things are hard for me and why doesn't God let me catch a break and live easy but I am glad that He hasn't. I would miss so much of Him if that happened. I hope during this time I am becoming wiser. I know that I am the happiest I have ever been. I laugh all the time and I rarely get bent out of shape over things and if I do - it is short-lived. Why waste precious energy on .... stupid?

I don't know where this trail leads and I am content to walk along each day just taking in today. So, you guys out there, I will gladly take one for the team in unemployment. It's the best thing that's happened to me and honestly....I am sorry you missed it!

Ms. Jaye

Friday, October 23, 2009

Project: Delight Yourself in the Lord

Okay - just because you haven't heard from me doesn't mean I'm not still delighting! Life has picked up pace. Started school - UoP - and am off and running on the master's. It will be fun because I really like the subject matter!

Had to do jury duty two days this week and that really messed me up on my paper writing schedule so I was up very late last night beating a 12 midnight deadline. However, we won't mention the fact that I procrastinated the last two weeks to get it done will we?

I am still reading,"The Sacred Sorrow" but can't read any further until I finish the book of Job. I have challenged myself to read Job all the way through as I never have and Michael Card challenges us to do so at the close of the section on Job. I read 5 chapters a day and have 7 more to go.
(you can tell I don't read everyday)

Also have started reading "Prayer" by Philip Yancey - love his writing. It is so honest and real and takes you out of the church box. I have also read his books called "What's So Amazing About Grace?" "The Jesus I Never Knew" and "Disappointment with God."

AND I am reading "Tomboy Bride" a book, actually, a real journal of a woman who traveled to Colorado to be with her husband during the Gold Strikes and her life living in a mining camp.

And trying to stay up with my reading for my school...and sometimes work.

This delighting myself in the Lord has made me be more disciplined. Don't laugh as you are not seeing the discipline in the blog writing. Inconsquential, actually. I find myself focused on being delighted. Not sad and worrying about stuff. The project has affected my attitude and thinking. It has changed the way I view my time with God.

The other morning, I woke up before the alarm went off. I lay there trying to go back to sleep and I felt this huge desire to get up and visit with God. Not pray. visit. What is the difference? For me, it was quite different. I didn't want to go before God with my usual prayer routine. I just wanted to talk to a friend. No formal wording or the way I usually pray. (Do you think God ever wants to say to us, "Just shut up and talk to me?") So I got up and sat on my bed and had this sensation that God was sitting right there with me, crosslegged, right in front of me and we talked. I told him how things were going and how happy I am and just stuff. And we laughed. That was because in the course of conversation, I said I wanted to be like Paul having a tentmaker's kind of job and then I thought of Paul's life and all he went through and I stopped talking and that's when God and I laughed. Because the LAST time I told God I wanted to be like somebody - as in Darlene Rose - this missionary prisoner of war in the 1940's - my life got turned upside down. SO, I remembered that and so did God ...and we laughed and I said to God. "Let's put some qualifiers around that one." The whole 'meet with God' experience was SO amazing.

I don't really know why the beach scene is a place God takes me to but He does. As we talked, and it was SO comfortable, my mind ventured off to walking on the beach. And it was God walking with me, holding my hand and hugging me close as we walked along the seashore. I didn't ask him for anything - other than being like Paul - uh - having a tentmaker job like Paul - we just talked and It was good!

I find that I am living in a place most people rarely get to inhabit. No - they get to inhabit - but don't enjoy it. Not Pagosa - the life of unemployment. I am sure many would say, "We'll let you take this one for the team, Jaye." .....

I will continue this line of thought later - I must go walk as I have missed my routine all week. Walking also is great think time for writing. My head is overflowing. So

with that

Good morning! I'm off!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

On Being...Enough

I really hate going to the mailbox. It's not like it's very far to walk to it - the box is right there in front of the the condo. But I have NEVER enjoyed getting the mail. Most of the time it is only junk mail and bills.....uuuugggghhhh. And then you have to spend precious minutes going through all of it, deciding what to do with each piece, where to file it or what pile to put it in and then trashing the remaining junk. It probably wouldn't be so bad if I didn't wait days to get the mail and have "mail build up." Hey, why go to the mailbox everyday when you can spend half an hour going through the mail one day a month? Just kidding. How about once a week...And that is why I love on-line banking bill pay. OLBP makes my life easier and reduces "mail buildup" and saves me time. You know, if I knew I was getting happy mail like "I love you, cards", encouragement cards, winning lottery ticket notifications, and tax refund checks, etc, I am sure I would check the mail twice a day therefore changing my bad attitude about mail. Keep dreamin' sister!

Well anyway.....I have been expecting something really special to come in the mail but I had kind of forgotten about it.

I checked the mail Tuesday and upon opening the box, lying among the assortment of mail was a white, cardboard envelope. I knew what it was. I walked up the stairs to my condo, opened the door and laid all of the mail on the counter. I began going through all of it, saving the white envelope for last. A couple of bills from companies I have yet to put on bill pay....official transcript from Univ. of Phoenix...mmmm....3.41 GPA - pretty good - huh?...(Would have been higher but I took that trip to Stupid thinking I was going to get married a couple of years ago and failed to turn in a final least it was a very short trip...) Alco for the envelope. I ripped the tab away and pulled out a black, leather folder, opened it up and stared at my name.....Jaye L Price....and above it...University of Phoenix...I was staring at my official diploma from the University of Phoenix. And I burst into tears.

I did it. I really, really did it. After three years of staying up late at night finishing papers; scheduling my life around when I could be on the computer doing school; choosing what activities I could participate in and what I couldn't; passing college algebra on an on-line program no less, although I couldn't have done it without my friend Diana and her son Kevin - thanks Diana for letting me be 9 years old and cry through the whole lesson while we did algebra together - I will never forget it and will be eternally grateful to you for seeing me through that ordeal....and others; going to work at Alpine Components after staying up nearly all night to get an assignment done and spending almost as much hours at work as I was in one particular class, crying and telling Donna - "I can't do this!" - thanks Donna for saying "Yes you can. Take it one assignment at a time." The instructor was almost as impossible to deal with as the amount of work in that class....most creative I have ever been on an assignment...I will explain maybe another time....LOL...experiencing a very adventurous although grueling past summer...hostel life rocks!.....ya'll..... three years of hard work and I DID IT.

However, being the over-achiever I am, my educational goals have increased through time and process. When I started college in 2000 at Austin Community College, my goal was to get an associate in Early Childhood Education. After getting half way through the program I knew I would not be satisfied with an associates and started taking core curriculum classes toward obtaining a bachelors degree. After having the education program interrupted with life blips, in 2006 I entered the University of Phoenix to complete the bachelor program. Check that one off the list. Now, I must have the Master's. As of Tuesday, I am enrolled in the Master's of Education program for secondary education and I wonder, will this degree of education be enough for me? Will I one day be "Dr. Jaye"? Kind of scary huh?

As I bask in the achievement - do you know what it is like to be able to open the classifieds or go to company websites and apply for jobs that were previousy denied you because of a piece of paper? Knowing full well you could do the job but are denied the opportunity because of ...a piece of paper? -however, there is a cloud that mars my ray of sunshine. Although I can apply for the jobs, the market is so competitive. Lots of people are looking for jobs and they have the degree plus the years of experience and accolades that accompany those years of experience. Once again, I don't have enough. I don't quite make the grade even with a 3.41 or the piece of paper or the passion and determination. Even when I finish the masters program - I still may not have enough...When is it enough?

I have been plagued with this dilemma all of my life. I am not sure exactly when it started but I remember always having the thought, I have to be the best. I could never simply turn in an assignment. For example, I remember an assignment in fifth grade where we had to draw a spider and label it for a science assignment. Could I just simply do a pencil sketch, label it and turn it in? No. I had to have artist paper, pastel chalks, and a black marker to label my drawing. It had to be the best - stand out - look great. In junior high, I tried out for twirler in the band. Well, that was just a step up to what I really wanted - cheerleader. I didn't get it my eighth grade year so I spent the next year preparing for tryouts. Always in front of the mirror, doing jumps - checking my arms for being straight, thumbs in, crispness...smiling...perfection. I made cheerleader the next time I tried out. Our squad was always trying to think of how to do cheers, jumps, signs, and skits better than the other squads. I was president of student council and our community service project we participated in with March of Dimes had to be bigger and better than anyone had ever done. We bought a neonatal something or other for our local hospital.

As I have grown up and participated in various events and projects, I find I still can't just do projects and events. I am always thinking of how to make them be...over the top....the best. I want whatever I do to be....enough...And still sometimes, no matter how hard I have worked at something or how good something may look, I look at it critically and sometimes think... it isn't enough. This same "flaw" exists in my mom. She is an awesome artist. She painted this clock for me and the fruit on the front of it has a water drop that looks like you could reach up and flick it off it is so lifelike and yet, she doesn't think she is good enough. I want to shake her and make her believe she is good, definitely good enough....more than good enough, but she wouldn't believe me I am quite sure. Shaking me wouldn't make me believe I am enough either.

Although I was tiny in high school and voted most attractive, I still have never thought myself to be thin enough or pretty enough.....Enough...does it ever happen? Will I ever consider myself....enough?

I ponder this question and as always I am taken back to the spiritual. When am I.... enough? Fact is, spiritually, on my own, I will never be enough and thank God, I don't have to be enough. Do you realize what a work-based salvation experience would do to an over-achieving crazy like me?!!! I would be on over drive. And if I didn't drive people crazy before, I would certainly do it then. If it matters so much to me now to be "enough" in the secular world that really counts for nothing - can you imagine how I would be in my spiritual life that matters for eternity?????!!!!!! An absolutely SCAREY thought!

Thank God, my salvation does not rely upon my being enough. Thank God, I am not on a degree system or merit system that may or may not be enough. No matter how good or bad I am, Jesus is still enough to encompass good, my bad, and my ugly, my overachieving personality, my OCDness...Jesus, YOU are enough.

I don't know if I will ever be cured of my earthly longing to be enough but I do know I was cured of being enough spiritually 40 years ago in a little country church in Enochs, Texas during a revival service when I gave my heart to Jesus.

Lord Jesus, thank you for that awesome spiritual moment of completeness...of "enoughness" when you entered my heart. In you, and you alone, I am enough.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Previously on Project: Delight Yourself in the Lord - Day 14 - Concrete formulas and faith

Okay - actually this is previously, previously day 14 since I posted twice in one day!

Math is not my best subject. I'm not really sure why - I mean - isn't it just learning facts and formulas and applying them to equations and working it out? Pretty cut and dried you know. But I just find math very tedious and unless I am in it every day - I forget all those formulas. However, the one thing you can count on in math is that regardless whenever you return to it, the rules are still the same. 1 + 1 = 2. Everytime. No variations. No matter how you write it - up and down, across, switch the numbers - it is still two and always will be....

I am glad concrete mathematical concepts exist - even if I don't always understand them. I know those concepts bring order and keep things from being chaotic in a chaotic world. Concrete concepts create boundaries and make us feel safe. However a problem arises when we try to attach concreteness to God. Don't get me wrong - there are very concrete aspects of God and THAT makes me feel safe but sometimes concreteness doesn't work with God. How so?

Job's friends wanted to attach concrete mathematical concepts to Job.
Job's righteousness + God's love = God's blessings. But Job was righteous. God said so. Ok, so Job's sin + God's wrath = Job's punishment. But Job's slate was clean. Ok, so Job's sinful deeds + God's anger = Really bad consequences and hardship for Job. But Job had not committed sinful deeds. The equation isn't working. Shouldn't Job's blamelessness = God's blessings? Why was Job's life falling apart in spite of his righteousness before God? Why do bad things happen to good people who are trying to follow God and do what is right? Why does it seem the harder we work and try to be "good", the harder life gets? Because it is not about the blessings. It is about the relationship.

There was a time in my life when I raged before the Lord over my life falling apart - "God, I have gone to seminars, read books, done bible studies, listened to radio broadcasts, taught my children about you, served you in the church all these years and LOOK HOW YOU REPAY ME!!!" My marriage was eroding, my sons were rebelling - why? WHY? I screamed before God. "God, you aren't doing your part of the bargain." What bargain? Where in the bible does it say we will lead a blessed life if we follow the "rules"? God promises to never leave or forsake us; to bear the burden; walk with us in the valley of the shadow of death; to protect us; and the list goes on. But we are not promised a carefree, problem free life. In fact, it is almost a guarantee the life of the believer is going to be full of strife. As believers, we are walking in a world not meant for us. We walk against the tide - the flow of life, thus war erupts within our world. So why do it? Why walk intentionally in the warzone? Because of the relationship with God.

I thought I knew God before my life was interrupted with "relationship wars." If the war in my life had not broken out, I would have continued in my misguided concrete thinking that if you follow God's rules, life is good. I never would have had the opportunity to experience the goodness of God through some of the most horrendous moments of my life and come out knowing and believing: God is good. ALL the time, God is good. Even in the horrendous.

When God allowed Satan to test Job, God knew Job's heart and that Job did not love him (God) for the blessings, God knew Job loved him (God) for Who he is and would remain faithful through all of the trials in his (Job's) life.

I am not even a tiniest fraction close to the person Job was and I have certainly done my share of screaming, raging, complaining, griping, pitying myself, and rebelling at times BUT in spite of my temperfits and because of God's omniscient knowledge, he knew my heart and knew I would hold onto my faith through it all. It's been sketchy at times but never have I walked away and thrown in the towel.

You know my little project "Delight Yourself in the Lord" has and continues to be a great avenue of keeping me centered and focused on my walk with God. Each day is good because I have no concrete expectations other than to rest in the Lord and wait upon him and not stress. Interesting things have happened...

1) I am relaxed and happy.
2) I am not fighting against God. If the direction I have felt is led by God (substitute teaching), then He is going to provide the way. I am resting in that knowledge.
3) The best thing has been surprises and delights from the Lord. For instance, his very surprising provision this week. I have no clue if anyone reads this blog or not. If they do then they have an inkling of my circumstances. Regardless, someone felt the nudging of God to help me financially and deposited $500 in my account. I have no clue who it is. But what I do know is that it is a gift from God via someone whose heart was nudged. The money is great but the best part of the whole thing is knowing God ordained it. He knows and sees and hears my physical need and my heart need.
4) My substitute teaching calendar. I have consistently worked three to four days each week. Next week, I have two assignments and the assignments then thin out. I wait expectantly for God's appointments. Whatever it is will be perfect.
5) I don't think God intends for the government to be my "bail-out." I asked for help from them and received $60. I didn't ask for help from the Lord and received $500 anonymously. Think I'll stick with the Lord and forget SS. Much better deal.

What I know: 1 + 1 is always 2 and my obedience does not necessarily equal blessings, i.e. a happy life. However, God's love, care and concern, kindheartedness, and devotion to his child (that would be me) always equals his protection and provision.

Thanks God for being concrete in your character.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Project: Delight Yourself in the Lord...Day ?..again!

I know I have already written once today but this is too hysterical to not share....

I make too much money. I'll continue when you pick yourself up off the floor and stop laughing. Okay, this is just brutal honesty here - not a plea for help, etc...just letting you know how our wonderful government works.

About a month ago I decided to cry uncle and go apply for food assistance aka food stamps during the recession in my life. Talk about swallow your pride. Man has my ego and pride taken a few dives. Okay, so I dredge up the courage to go to Social Services and apply. Well, I decided if I must go, I might as well try to look like something. No use trying to look like the dregs of the earth. Never being one to abandon class, I dressed like I was going to work in a Dallas office and walked into Social Services. (Actually, I was also dropping off substitute teacher resumes at the schools thus the true reason for dressing nicely.) Sauntering up to the counter I told the lady I would like to apply for food assistance. What I really wanted to say - in my best southern accent was, "I am havin' a really hard time maintainin' my style of livin' and surely would like some he-ulp." (gotta get the drawl in there) but I didn't think they would appreciate the humor so I didn't do it.

They give you a packet of papers to fill out at home and bring back - along with your bank statement, proof you pay rent, mortgage, electricity bill, car payment, etc. ...and there are also about 5 extra pages provided for you to list all 50 'leven dependents you might have. No, no, it's just me. There is a question also asking if you have I have lived longer without insurance than with it. Anyway, I checked the box saying I would like some. Well, the 50 'leven kids would be eligible but not the poor, white, single, struggling, "mature", college student!!! Never hurts to ask. LOL.

I brought the papers back to my next appointment and answered all kinds of questions from the social service lady. One of the things that showed up on my bank statement was a deposit I made from an anonymous person for $400. My other deposit was my 1st check in the amount of $258 from the children's ministry job I have. (I get another on the 15th of the month - a total of $516 a month.) That's it folks. That is my income for the month of September.

They want to know if you are looking for a job. Yes, I am substitute teaching. How much does it pay? $85 for a full day but varies according to the it a teacher job or paraprofessional job? Is it a half-day or full-day? Secretarial? bus driver? cafeteria worker? I told the lady I don't know what the income will be because I don't know how many assignments I will get and I won't even get a check until the 25th of October. So, basically, all she has for guaranteed income is the church check - and potential income with teaching.

But the gift deposit threw her. I explained carefully that the money was a one time gift from an anonymous person and could not be counted as "income." (They did anyway.)

Okay, so, as I am leaving they give me a debit looking card that will be loaded with money (I use that term loosely) for food once the forms are processed. It took two days for that to happen. I had to "prove" my income from the church. How do you do that? I do children's ministry....Soc. Serv. has a copy of my paycheck stub...that is all the church has for my else do I prove I work there? I guess they finally took it.

I called the number on the card to find out if it was activated. Yeah, for $60. Hmmm, well, I guess if I go on a Ramen noodle diet with a few things tossed in, I should be able to make the food budget last. I couldn't believe it. All that paperwork for 60 bucks not too mention the humiliation? I called the lady. I was totally embarrassed to ask but I did. I asked her, "Is this all you get for the month or is it pro-rated since this is the midde of the month?" I am totally feeling like an ungrateful pig for even asking. She tells me it is pro-rated for the month. does that mean it will be $120 next month? Wishful thinking.

Here's the funny part - I get a letter from the State of Colorado telling me I have been approved for emergency assistance (Less than $100 in the bank and half the month left must indicate an emergency) but I had been denied for October because my income was above the qualifying level!!! Are ya kiddin' me? I called the Social Service lady up and flat out asked her, "Well, how poor do ya have to be to qualify?" Man, $516 income is hardly up there with quality living! Is it because I own a house and a new car? Dan's little slogan is starting to get a little close to home - you can live in your car but you can't drive your house. I told the lady you cannot base my income on substitute teaching. You don't know how much I am going to make and neither do I! It depends on how many sub jobs you get! But they are gauging my income on the potential - not the reality. this is unbelieveable!

Ask me if I want the government to provide me with healthcare...are you absolutely out of your ever lovin', pea-pickin' mind????? Not on your LIFE!

Stay tuned - I'll let you know how this goes...

LOLROTF (laughing out loud, rolling on the floor)

Project: Delight Yourself in the Lord - Day ? -

My daughter produced the first grandchild in our family recently. Little Collier, of course, is absolutely beautiful but much to my daughter's consternation, the bebe' is having these fussy moments. Word on the baby street is that it is not good to let babies cry or fuss it out, so my daughter is looking for the solution to Collier's fussy moments so that he does not cry.

I think back on early mommy days and preschool days and the issue of crying. I, too, sought answers for crying babies and children. Kade had colic caused by a spastic reflux muscle in which he threw up everything he ate (seriously, projectile vomiting) and cried everyday the first three months of his life. I kid you not, every picture we have of him the first three months, he is crying. Nothing, absolutely nothing, helped to calm him. The only respite we received was that he slept from 9 at night to 9 in the morning. Then he cried from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. I tried everything anyone told me that might help the colic to no avail. So...he got to cry. Finally, at the end of his third month, his spastic muscle repaired itself and he was able to eat, keep it down, and smile. Happy days!

One of the earliest "tricks" you learn as a parent or teacher for toddler and preschool age children is how to avert crying. The child falls down and they look at you and gauge their response according to yours. If you race to them and are all "oh honey, did you hurt yourself?" and you get all emotional about it - so will they. However, a lot of times, if you matter of factly, walk over to them, pick them up and say "what a big boy or girl you are! You didn't even cry...." They don't. They dust themselves off and toddle or run off to play. Therefore, crying is averted.

Averting crying does not stop with the little ones. Our most basic instinct, I think, is to stop the make it all better..."let mommy kiss it and make it better..." I know I am a fixer; my mom is a fixer; many of my friends are fixers. We want to stop the tears because tears are evidence of pain. If we can stop the tears, we can avert the pain. For the moment.

If you read through my blogs this past year, you will see I have shed some tears of anguish, pain, confusion, doubt, happiness - a myriad of emotions. You have read it through my blog but my friends and family have seen the tears and anguish and have tried to make it better each in their own special way. But sometimes, I just need to express my emotions... you know..."it's my party and I'll cry if I want to..." kind of thing. Scott, my guyfriend, said it best. "Jaye, I can't make it better for you - I wish I could. Sometimes we just need to cry, get the tears out, go to bed and face a new day." He is right. Sometimes, we just need a good ole Jewish cry fest - you know where you and your friends throw ashes on your faces, rip your clothes and all of you wail and cry together. Nobody needs to fix anything, just cry - lament with me. Take a moment to get a mental picture of that - kind of makes you laugh, huh? Next time I'm having one of those days, I having a "Wailing Party!" Seriously, I am going to do that.

Lamenting. Even though I do a pretty good job of getting my emotions out there, there is a part of me that feels guilty when I do. I mean, I am supposed to be this strong woman of faith in which "with God, nothing is impossible" according to my phone message and have made Jeremiah 29:11 my life, if I lament to you about my situation, doesn't that decrease my faith walk with God? Not according to Michael Card, author of A SACRED SORROW. Michael has reminded me of all the biblical saints and disciples that have lamented before the Lord....David (the Psalms are full of lamenting)...Jeremiah...Job...Jesus. Michael reminded me also of the words of lament spoken..."where are you, God?"..."why are you hiding your face against me?" "Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, think I'll go eat worms..." OK that is not in the bible...LOL...but I am sure that is only a revised version on someone's lament - Jonah I'm thinking and I think I have spoken those words as well. So, if these great men of God and our Lord Jesus himself have spoken words of lament, has that lessened their faith in God or made Jesus less than he is? Not in the least.

Actually, lamenting our prayers of complaint can still be prayers of faith. How so? Because if I am griping, complaining, throwing my temper fits before the Lord, I am expressing the thought that there IS a God out there that hears me and "represents my last refusal to let go of the God who may seem to be absent - or worse - uncaring. Lamenting expresses one of the most intimate moments of faith - not a denial of it. It is supreme honesty before a God whom my faith tells me I can trust. God encourages me to bring everything as an act of worship, my disappointment, frustration, and even my anger. Lamenting uncovers a new kind of biblical faith that better understands God's heart as it is revealed through Jesus Christ." (Card, 2005)

So, I will continue my litanies of every emotion - hurt, anger, disappointment, jubilation, sadness, confusion...because...well, although YOU may get sick of hearing all my stuff, I think honesty before the Lord is truly a delight unto Him. Don't you think?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Project: Delight Yourself in the Lord - Day 6 "Happy Mojo"

Okay, I skipped a couple of days....ummm...delighting myself in the Lord. Saturday, my guyfriend and I went on a "color" drive through southwest Colorado. We left early that morning and drove to Durango, Silverton, Ouray and then Telluride and then looped back home. I had heard a lot about Telluride but never been there...WOW - it was beautiful. A great place to visit but extremely expensive to live there. We took the gondola to the top of the mountain - went over Oprah's house, viewed Tom Cruise's airport investment, and had Nicholas Cage's mansion pointed out to us or at least the general direction.

So, how have I delighted myself in the Lord recently. Just resting in the Lord and not worrying about anything. Taking things one day at a time. Interestingly enough, I am averaging about 3-4 sub jobs a week. I have heard varying reports but I have been told that the number of jobs I am getting is phenomenal - and then today - as I turned down a sub job since I was already booked - the teacher told me subs were hard to find. So. I don't know how it really is but I feel like it is totally the Lord's blessings I am getting so many jobs. And I am enjoying having a varied schedule.

My other little "delight" is my new business - "this girl needs a party." It is a party and event planning business and I have come up with these little cupcake bouquets I do that are just Adorable!!! Even if I say so myself. My ad goes in the paper this week so we will see what happens.

I love this little business. My creative mojo just gets going and I absolutely have fun designing the bouquets. The creativity totally comes from the Lord and it wears me out sometimes. My mind gets going and I can't keep up with all of the ideas and plans I come up with. Results of being a victim of experiencing "happy mojo." LOL

Well, must go to bed so that I don't MISS MY ASSIGNMENT TOMORROW FOR MS. BECKY!!!

Delighting myself faithfully.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Project: Delight Yourself in the Lord Day 3

Well, I almost missed posting today. Let me give a recap of this morning...

I had just settled myself down this morning with coffee, bible, and notebook when my phone rang. It was my friend Faith. "Hello?" "Where are you?" Faith demanded to know. "At my house." I replied in a tone that implied where else would I be at 8:20 in the morning? She says, "You are SUPPOSED to be here." OMGosh! Tone has now changed to horror. "What?" "Yeah, Becky has you scheduled to sub for her today." "Well, it's not on my calendar!" Holy smokes. My nightmare situation is occurring. I have forgotten a sub job. "I will be there in 45 minutes tops!" I hear Faith laughing as I hang up the phone. Forget delighting the Lord this morning! I am in turbo mode getting ready to be in a classroom I should have been in 20 minutes ago. Possibly, the Lord's delight for the day is this little episode in my life and He is very likely having a little laugh Himself. So glad I can provide comic relief for friends, family and God. Once I was actually in the classroom and settled in, I did find the situation rather humorous and laughed at myself. I am such a noo noo head. LOL

I had a moment to visit with a teacher friend and she made the comment, "Don't you think by delighting yourself in the Lord, God changes your heart and changes your desires?" I absolutely think that. When my desire is to delight God, I am not thinking about what I want so much. I am just letting things go and not making my demands to the Lord. Just like with prayer. Prayer is not about having a genie God to do my bidding. Prayer is about conversing with a friend... a special friend that has all the answers whether He chooses to reveal them at that moment or not. So another rather uneventful day in the project has passed but it was still a beautiful, well-spent day.

oh! another signature item about Ms. Jaye:

Perfume: Clinique - Happy Heart or Happy. Aren't those great names? Actually, my preschool was named "Happy Heart" and I came up with the name before I EVER heard of the perfume! Alfred Sung is my other perfume. The day I subbed for the freshmen algebra class, they walked in and said, "It smells like Ms. Jaye. It smells just like last year's class. Overpowering!" Oops. Oh well. At least it is overpowering in a good way - I think - As I reflect on being overpowering, I know that is also a signature feature of my personality - for better or worse. I know I can be a powerhouse and I am learning to curb it...kind of...

Still delighting...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Project: Delighting myself in the Lord Day 2

Nothing really of significance happened yesterday but it isn't always the big things that are so major. I just looked up the word "delight" and the official definition for delight is "find great pleasure or enjoyment of something." The opposite definition is "to be in distress." So - children give me great pleasure and enjoyment. I spent yesterday with K-4th graders helping with reading skills. One little girl and boy drew me pictures - their version of a thank you/I love you to the substitute teacher. Ahhh - refrigerator art - I miss that.

Reflecting on these children's art - isn't it amazing that you can spend 45 minutes with a child and they think they love you? I didn't do anything special for either of these children, like play favorites or anything, I was just there. At the end of the class, they hand me pictures and notes saying "I love you - you are so nice to me." Kind of makes you tremble in awe with the power you hold in your hand, your voice, your demeanor at touching a child's heart. Ok - that was my delight but what about delighting the Lord?

I think - no, I am pretty sure, positive that God delights in absolute trust in who He says He is. Every time Satan put a negative thought in my head about job possibilities, I just pushed it aside and repeated: "Delight yourself in the Lord." No need to worry about tomorrow, or next week, or what people think or don't think... work with today...go with the moment...and be who God created me to be and who He created me to be right now in the moment. Trust in the God who says, "Trust me, fear not...I have you in my hand and I WILL NOT leave you nor forsake you..." (Jaye's condensed version.) Do you know how awesome the feeling is to just let go and live for the day??? Incredible!

So, I can choose to find enjoyment and great pleasure in the day or I can settle in for distress and discontentment." Ummm....choosing great pleasure so here I am on the morning of day 2 and anticipating the day's events...

Ms. Jaye

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Project: Delight Yourself In The Lord

I absolutely love Hobby Lobby (craft store). I mean, I can walk in the store and just feel ....happy! Everything in the store just spells ( most of it) ....and of course there is sure to be "tacky" stuck in there somewhere but overall it is a store supplied with materials to enable the creative genius to do their thing. Anyway, on a recent visit, as I walked through the store, I realized, "I have lost my fun." How do you lose your fun?

First off, you get so intense and focused on something that you lose sight of everything else. When things aren't turning out the way you want them to, you get angry and depressed and cynical and lethargic - or at least that is what has happened to me - and a really stinky attitude settles in. So, without realizing it, I have been in this really long temper tantrum with the Lord because I didn't get my way. Even though I have said the Lord has something else for me other than teaching full-time this year, I didn't really believe it and I have just been plain mad about it. Then my friend made a comment to me that has changed everything. He said, "Jaye, you have been through a lot. Why don't you just enjoy this time you have substitute teaching and enjoy being off on the days you don't have an assignment..." hmmm... novel idea....enjoy my time off... first remark was "you haven't seen my bank account." No, but God has and does.

So, after seeing the movie, Julie/Julia, I have been inspired to do my own project. The Lord has been whispering in my ear one of my long favorite verses: "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your hear." Psalm 37:4. Everyday, from now until May 31st, I am going to delight myself in the Lord; put my "happy" on; and focus on delighting the Lord. Each day, I will share what has happened.

As of this day, I am letting go of the past disappointments of not getting a job. I have no expectations of getting a job this next year with the district. I am leaving that situation to the Lord. I have no agenda other than to start and finish my masters and see what happens. Feel free to remind me of this at any point should I get off track!

Happy facts about Ms. Jaye:

Current job: substitute teaching and children's minister at my church

Signature colors: Red - passion, energy, power, danger, purity, joy, happiness, celebration and prosperity. YELLOW - cheerful, hopeful, joy and courage - mixed with red - excitement. BLACK - mystery, sophistication, elegance, class, depth, encourages the imagination of a different world from that of daylight realities. (each color does have a negative side but let's just focus on happy!)

Relationships: Daughter of a king; earthly daughter to two wonderful parents; sister of two beautiful sisters; mother of three beautiful children; grandmother to one beautiful little boy; special relationship to one incredible man; owner of a multitude of friends that she can't engage with as much as she would like.

I invite you to share this journey with me. And now, I must get ready for this first day of delighting myself in the Lord...


Ms. Jaye

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Prayer - does it really matter?

I bet you saw the title and thought, "She's on a downer." No really I'm not. I have had this question posed to me a couple of times in the last couple of months...and I am at a place where I can really think about it...again. Why pray?

I contemplated this question shortly after Kade's death. I mean - if God is sovereign and He knows what He's going to do and things are going to happen according to God's plan, does it really matter if I pray? or...can God's mind be changed with prayer? or...we pray and the harder we pray the worse things get? What's up with that one?

I think the bottom line answer to the question is prayer isn't about us. Prayer isn't about getting our way or getting God to be our own personal genie. Prayer is about relationship. When I pray, I am talking to God, my Father, my Friend, my Savior, my Comforter, my Deliverer, my Provider, everything.

I was thinking about this question the other day and the comparison came to mind of parent/child relationship. My mother and I are very close. Growing up, I could talk to her about anything. I spent a lot of time with my mom talking in the car or just around the house and when I married and moved off I still called her a lot...about anything and everything. The thing about my mom is that if she could fix a problem for me, she would - come hell or high water - if it was in her power to help me, she did. Or if she felt I needed something she got it. If she found something she knew I would like, she bought it. If she couldn't fix it for me - like my broken heart - she was there to hold me and comfort me and tell me she loved me. I saw her love for me in her eyes and actions. And her prayers - I was on every prayer list she could get me on because in her weakness and powerlessness she knew the One who could help me. My mother loves me with everything that is inside of her and I am pretty sure she would give her life for me. My mom and I are close because we have shared our hearts with one another.

Prayer is communication with the God that loves me so much He died for me. Everything my mom feels for me and does for me is minute compared to what God can do and does for me. Spending time with God in prayer develops a relationship that cannot be created any other way other than by time being spent with him. In the movie, "Elf", Buddy quickly discovers the "false" Santa. He knew the real "Santa" because he had lived with Santa, worked for Santa, and talked with Santa. Buddy tells the fake Santa, "You don't smell like him." You don't know how someone smells unless you have been next to them. That is what prayer does for you. It puts you next to God so you can smell him. It doesn't matter whether you get what you want or whether you get the relief you seek- what matters is that you know the One in control and you know Him well enough to trust him with your life. And you may not understand. But you know the One who does get it and has it all under control.

So - what do you think? Why pray?

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Climb...continued

From yesterday...(this is my last email post as I will be using my blog-spot ...)

What a climb. As I think about the different climbs I have made in the last few years, I realized I have had this unconscious idea of "The End and she lived happily ever after." If I could just get the degree, I will "live happily ever after...." If I could just get a nice-paying job...If I could just be settled and not flitting from one place to the venture to the next.... of the biggest words in our vocabulary... (I still laugh at this saying my mom used to tell us when we used the word "if" - "Yeah, and IF frogs had tails they wouldn't bump their butts when they jumped either." We would kind of look at her like....huh?)

Miley Cyrus' theme song from the movie "Hannah Montana, The Movie" is called "The Climb." The words are exactly where I have been, where I am, and where I am going in life. Here are the words but I am going to break it down to what "The Climb" means to me...


I can almost see it
That dream I'm dreaming ( currently the degree...) but
There's a voice inside my head sayin,
You'll never reach it, (No the voice is saying "you still can't get a job")
Every step I'm taking,
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction (I'm not lost just confused and impatient over God's Plan)
My faith is shaking but I (My faith in God is steadfast and strong underneath but there are moments when I just flat don't understand..)
Got to keep trying (Hope....that is why I can't join Chris down at townpark and just give up)
Got to keep my head held high ( don't understand the plan but I am planting my feet firm on Jesus Christ and pushing forward walking and standing on faith)

There's always going to be another mountain (I am already planning on entering the master's program with Univ. of Phoen. in September)
I'm always going to want to make it move (There is always something else to accomplish - like that book mulling around in my head and heart)
Always going to be an uphill battle, (that is part of life)
Sometimes I'm gonna to have to lose, (took a HUGE gamble this summer on a job and lost)
Ain't about how fast I get there,
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's The Climb (think of all the adventures, lessons learned and places I have been - spiritually and physically! Can't say my life is boring!)

The struggles I'm facing, (seeking the career)
The chances I'm taking (living on faith - literally)
Sometimes they knock me down but (started wearing a butt-pad)
No I'm not breaking (I will NOT give in to despair or self-pity - I am Jaye Price, daughter of a King, hear me roar!)
I mean I know it
But these are the moments that
I'm going to remember most yeah (It's not the good times we remember the most - it's the hard ones and the lessons we learn. How many times did we hear our parents say, "When I was going to school we had to walk 10 miles in the snow - barefoot - to get there!" They don't remember all the times they had shoes and got to school in a bus or warm truck or car....)
Just got to keep going (I will wake up everyday and say, "This is the day the LORD has made - I will rejoice and be glad in it! and think of something fun and productive...or maybe just do today)
And I,
I got to be strong (that label has been applied to me many times but I am only strong because in my weakness GOD becomes strong....."Jesus loves me this I know.....I am weak but He is strong")
Just keep pushing on, ( I refuse to sit down and throw my hands up and say, "I am done. This is too hard.)

Keep on moving (Walk tough)
Keep climbing (It's worth the climb)
Keep the faith baby (No worries there)
It's all about
It's all about
The climb

Keep the faith
Keep your faith

The thing about the climb is this....there is always another one. The realization I have come to is this: THERE ISN'T A 'THE END.....AND SHE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER'..... until I close my eyes in the final sleep and wake up staring at my Jesus.

But meanwhile back at the ranch or rather at the Barbie Condo, Ms. Jaye will try to fulfill the words of her favorite quote:

"Life is not meant to be a gentle journey to the grave arriving in pristine condition, but rather a wild roller coaster of a trip, sliding in sideways, a mocha in one hand and a bar of chocolate in the other, completely used up and screaming whoooeeee! What a ride!" (or climb)

The Climb

Just so you know I don't have altzheimers...I realize I wrote about this in my blog last year but it has new meaning this hang with me...there is a point...

Last year I hiked Pagosa Peak for the first time. Let me try to get your head wrapped around what that was like. First, Pagosa's elevation is about 6,000 ft. Pagosa Peak is 12,556 ft. in elevation. You drive to the trail head which can be an adventure in itself - 10 miles per hour over the bumpiest "road"- I use that term loosely - to get there. Then it is about a 1.3 mile hike up the mountain to the peak. Just a mile....yeah right ....1.3 miles on a pretty steady incline.

There is a trail to lead the way but there can also be fallen trees on the path and you must decide whether you can hike your leg over or maybe it would be best to climb under it. You walk a few minutes and stop to get your breathe and take a peak at the beautiful scenery around you -- in case you have been so busy watching where you walk and figuring out how to walk and breathe, you forgot about the scenery. And you are huffing and puffing as the air gets thinner and thinner. But when you stop for that quick rest and look around, you take a moment to take in the beauty of the place and gasp at the beauty surrounding you. And then you keep walking.

Finally you are above treeline and in this meadowlike area. You can look down in the valleys before you and see how high you have far....and you ask the person wearing the much farther? how high ARE we? She says, "We have 1,000 feet to go" woohoo. really. that far... huh. you look up and it is right there....really?....1,000 feet more? You take a deep breath and keep going. You look at your watch and see you have been hiking for about 2 plus hours.

Then you find yourself really above the trees...and it is rocky...and you wonder...where's the trail? Oh is it that tiny little trail you thought was for the mountain goats? Yep, that would be it. Now there are no trees around you. Just a climb following a trail truly meant for mountain have become the mountain goat. All of a sudden you are on top of the!...uh...don't get too excited because it's just the peak before THE PEAK.

You look up and there it is - a beautiful, majestic peak looks so high...and rocky...and a little scary...can I make it? That trail is getting more rocky and is it skinnier?...I can do this you say. And you keep climbing.

All of a sudden - you are there! It is the most amazing sight ever! You are actually standing on top of a 12,556 ft. peak. You are even with the clouds! If that cloud on the left there was any closer, you could touch it! You can turn 360 degrees and see the tiny speck of Pagosa, and Navajo Lake and rivers and green valleys and smaller mountains -

We were fortunate enough to hike on a day when it was almost cloudless and we didn't have to worry about an electrical storm coming up. The hiking rule for Pagosa Peak is to be off the top of the mountain by 12 pm because if the rain comes, you are above treeline and a target for lightning. After all the photo ops were done, we sat down and ate lunch.

3 hours after the starting at the trail head, we were there and having lunch.

What goes up must come down. After about 30 minutes up at THE PEAK, we started back down. Going up the mountain you are huffing and puffing and resting every few minutes. Going down the mountain, you stop every few minutes to give your knees and toes a rest. Balancing your weight and using good hiking posture helps the back but puts pressure on the knees. Because you are going down at a nice little decline, your toes hit the ends of your shoes and puts lots of pressure on them as well. It doesn't take as long to get down but it is still a difficult trek down. The euphoria from the top helps because you have just been to the most incredible place.

An hour and a half later, my group was sitting on the tailgate of the truck... after taking turns finding a bathroom bush!...we were exhausted.

This trek is an all day thing. Meet at the church parking lot at 7:45 a.m.; drive to the trail head....about an hour....9:00 hit the trail....12:00 at the Peak....2:00 back at the trailhead...wait for everyone else to get down...load up...back at the church around 5ish.
What a climb. WHAT A CLIMB!!!!

What a climb. As I think about the different climbs I have made in the last few years, I realized I have had this unconscious idea of "The End and she lived happily ever after." If I could just get the degree, I will "live happily ever after...." If I could just get....

to be continued....have to study more for the biology test....hold the thought.

School Update

Let's see...last night at 11:49 p.m. I posted my Humanities final...woohoo! I am done with that class. Now for biology...actually...I have kind of enjoyed that class. I have some rather dippy test grades - 59...103...78...every other test I have had some crazy schedule like taking the Praxis and almost being brain dead and then spending 34 hours in 3 days on the road getting to my daughter's baby shower. (Totally worth the grade sacrifice!) Great testing set up. Driving and studying is less than productive and promotes hazardous driving.

In three days I will take my final biology test and be done with the class. That leaves...University of Phoenix. As of tomorrow I have two weeks and one day left to finish the class and GRADUATE!!! What a summer!

I mentioned the Praxis....remember the test I took earlier this summer? I PASSED IT!!! So I have an endorsement to teach Middleschool Language Arts but since I didn't get the job...oh well...

I am exhausted and overwhelmed beyond belief. Along with trying to study and write papers, I have been looking for jobs. I have applied in Durango, Bayfield, Ignacio, and will apply for a job here in Pagosa tomorrow. I have an interview (tomorrow/Monday) in Ignacio as a headstart teacher. Not really what I want to do but sometimes you have to do what you don't want to do in order to get to do what you want to do.

I am scared. I know that God promises to take care of me but there sure seem to be a lot of "no's" lately. Sometimes I see Chris the homeless guy downtown and I think of other homeless people and I wonder at what point did they just say "I give up. This is too hard" and they just quit. I don't know the answer to that but I do know that whatever it is that snapped inside of them doesn't seem to exist in me. No matter how hard things are I can't just throw up my hands and give up.

I have prayed and my prayers have had phrases such as "....tired of being the poster child for faith....", " there really a job for me out there?..." "Have I persevered these past three years in order to still not get a job?"....the competitions stiff and I am inexperienced..."Lord, I need an open door." Actually, the day I found out I passed the Praxis exam, I had prayed for a glimmer of hope. I was almost sick as I opened up the website to find out and then it didn't say. I spent 45 minutes on the phone trying to find someone who could tell me whether I passed. I was deliriously happy when I was told I had passed the exam. My glimmer of hope.

Please continue to pray for me.
1. Pray for me to have wisdom to know what to do.
2. I want to get into the teaching field but I need a miracle from God for that to happen.
3. More than anything I want some stability. I want a steady job with a steady paycheck.
4. Pray for me to have renewed hope. My hope thread is pretty thin.

PS I have a beauty tip warning for you. Do not try to massage the cellulite off of your body. It just bruises you and makes you look like somebody beat you up. Seriously...and it doesn't help the cellulite go away.
Jaye P.

Power Living

Well Team,

I didn't make the cut - as in- I didn't get the position at the Jr. High I was hoping to get. As for the test - well - I am still waiting - two more weeks. So how am I doing? Great!

Seriously....okay - last night I did cry and feel sorry for myself and wanted to go to Sonic for a Banana Cream Pie shake or chocolate malt but that would have busted my 20 lbs in 20 days goal (saw that in the paper this week-really I did- and I have created my own plan to get there but we won't get on that subject) - Back to crying and feeling sorry for myself -that would be the Jaye thing to do - first - until I got a grip. Actually, I didn't even cry that much. Must be getting tough.....or experienced with these sharp left and right turns God guides me through....LOL.....Went to bed with Scarlett O-Hara's words on my lips, "Tomorrah is anothuh day." And it is.

I got up this morning, made coffee, went out on the patio to sit in my hammock swing to contemplate my future. As I sat there staring out over the lake and at the mountains, the Lord directed my thoughts to David and Goliath. Funny place to venture huh? I opened my bible to I Samuel 17 and read this story and let the Lord speak to my heart. Have ya'll read this story lately? Good, because I am going to tell it to you the way God spoke it to me today.

David has gone out to the valley of Elah to bring food to his brothers and bring back news to his father over how the boys are doing. When David gets there, there is this stand off between the Israelies and the Philistine army. Goliath is taunting the Israelites and David hears it and sees the Israelites flee and run from the giant as he throws his taunts. David is puzzled by this and asks the men:
Verse 26: "What is going to happen to the person who kills this Philistine and take the reproach from Israel? And furthermore (my words), who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should taunt the armies of the Living God?" In other words, what are you going to do about it?
David's brother Eliab gets angry at David for coming to the battlefield. (Not sure why - he doesn't have very nice words for David but it is evident he doesn't want David down there) and I love David's words.
Verse 29: "What have I done now? Was it not just a question?" (Does that sound like a little brother or what?)
Then David volunteers to go fight the giant. Saul tells him, "You are just a kid. How can you possibly fight a giant who has been trained for battle since his youth?"
Still David is not deterred. In fact, David utters these powerful words: "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." David is basically saying to Saul and the Israelites, "Don't you know the God you serve? No one but no one taunts our God and with the help of the Lord I am going to prove it to you."
David is just a kid but he is a kid who knows who his God is - totally. And he is not afraid of facing the giant because of the knowledge and revelation he possesses. This is power living! Or as pastor Dan says, "Living in High Definition" The next part is even better....

Saul tries to outfit David with armor,helmet and sword but it doesn't work for David. He isn't used to it and honestly, he doesn't need it. He is going out to battle in the strength and might of the Lord. He tells Saul, "Thanks, but no thanks." And he marches onto the battlefield. Goliath and David start walking toward each other and as Goliath nears, he realizes David is just a kid and is disgusted by the fact. David gets close to the Philistine and I can just see him stopping, planting his feet and shouting out to Goliath:

Verse 45-47: "You come to me with sword, spear and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands."

Ummm....fighting words for sure....and Goliath rises and came and drew near to David - but DAVID ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine! This is so awesome! David runs to meet the challenge! No weak-kneed, timid entry for him - just go for it! just do it! And - what is even better is that he doesn't fumble in his bag for a stone and nervously put it in the sling hoping for the best - David confidently reaches in, grabs the stone, positions it in the sling and slings it at the giant and nails him in the forehead and kills him. Then just for good measure and to make his words true, David uses Goliath's sword to cut the giant's head off and brought the head to Saul. Wow! This passage shouts power and confidence!

So - what did this say to me in my situation today? I am going to be like young David. I know the God I serve and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I can walk in confidence in the power and might of His name. I don't have to fumble around for a bag of tricks I am hoping will work. The Lord's aim and direction is true even if it looks a little crazy to me.
I spent the last 5 months of the school year doing something I absolutely loved and I believe God directed me there. Getting to teach was just another step in the journey of life of directing me where I need to go.

The older I get the more I realize that life is a journey. I have said those words before but I am still learning to believe them. I will probably never stand on top of a mountain and plant my flag and say I have arrived - Please God - I hope I never do. My life journey may be like a butterfly - to flutter here and there - rest awhile - leave a mark on a life and/or take the mark someone embellishes me with and move on to the next adventure. However -whatever my life looks like, I want it to be a power-living, power-walking life like David. To walk forward in confidence, running to meet the challenge head held high and smiling and nailing the lesson or challenge thrown before me. Now that is Power - Living!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Living Life Backwards

I would rather write about my adventures than study.....I think I am burning out on the much can you stuff into your brain?

Let me tell you about biology. First off, I am enjoying it about as much as I did in High School....not much. organelles, mytosis, ribosomes, we had to look at slides under a microscope and identify and draw what we saw of the stages of cell division in a plant and animal cell....I finally conceded to being slide challenged and called the instructor over. My description of the slide was like this:

"It looks like corn on the cob with this little dark kernel looking thing..." The instructor stopped, looked at me, and with a quizzical expression said, "I don't believe I have ever heard it described like that...." Then she told me what I was looking for and told me I could just copy it out of the book. biology lab is going to be great.... 7 weeks and counting...

Humanities - love that class and the instructor is a riot. She has this very dry sense of humor and makes me laugh all the time. I would tell you some of the things she says but you just have to be there to get it....the subject? lots of favorite so far is the story about the little child born in a corn field and raised by corn.....see - you have to be there.....

Hostel life! Seriously! I would do it again. Smelly roommate left yesterday and amino acid recovery lady will be there through next week. She is really nice but I realized very quickly she values sleep. I kept getting text messages the first night after we went to bed. I turned my volume off or at least to vibrate. The next morning she says, "You were on the phone late and a lot last night." I said, "You heard me texting?" She replied, "I have a hard time sleeping...." point taken. Turned the phone off last night.

There are new people there all the time. Two guys from Sweden were making their way across the United States; college engineering and aerospace grad from Univ. of Arizona chillin' out and rock climbing for the week; a team of college students working for the forestry service for the summer travelling across Colorado; just a conglomeration of is very night some of them get together on the guitars and jam, toke a little dope...just kidding....drugs are not allowed......thought I would throw that in there since it is such a part of the hippy life....

Co-ed bathrooms - no big deal. It's not like camp and everybody is on the same schedule getting ready. I think I only encountered two males in the bathroom....the shaving guy and some guy yesterday taking a shower. (I went back and read that and it sounds a little risque but it wasn't....he did sing in the shower though...happy little guy...) I know it sounds wild and crazy but it really isn't. The showers and bathroom stalls all lock and are totally enclosed....the shower stalls have a changing area within the locked big deal.....

Had the marriage, had the kids now living the financially challenged, white, female, single college life.....I am living life backward and loving it!

I have to be a responsible college student and study...My new boyfriend Praxis is calling my name...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The princess has gone hippy....

Have I ever mentioned that you should follow me fast? or that I should follow me fast? LOL Heed the advice. I am on my next adventure! I told my mom I am the daughter that has the most adventurous, unexpected life.

The goal is in sight. In EIGHT! Did you hear me? Eight more weeks, I will graduate from the University of Phoenix with a B.S. degree in Healthcare Services/Management! Holy Frijoles! I NEVER thought the day would come! When I started the program in September 2006, the year 2009 seemed light years away...and now I am living in 2009! Now for the adventure part....

I have applied for the 8th grade Language Arts position at Pagosa Springs Jr. High where I spent the last 5 months of my life in a long-term sub position. Oh yeah - adventure...

Although I only have two classes to finish UoP, I have a science and humanities core class requirement to finish as well. So I am enrolled in summer classes at a community college in Durango (an hour away from Pagosa Springs). One class is MWF and the other is Tues/Thurs. THEN, I am taking the Praxis II exam to be certified in Middle School language arts.....kind of important since that is what I am applying to teach. The test is in two weeks - actually a week and a half now. So - I am taking UoP, two classes in Durango and studying for a major certification test - just a bit on overdrive. Adventure -

To make the best use of my time, drive time and study time and gas usage, I decided to stay in Durango for the next couple of weeks. My humanities class will go on-line after next week and I won't need to come everyday - plus I will have taken my Praxis and that pressure will be off. However the additional existing pressure is that I am unemployed and spending money on accommodations is an issue - what to do -

I decided I would live in my car. I can do this for two weeks. I would bring my sleeping bag, book light and clothing. I would park my car at Walmart (they let you park overnight) and in the morning go brush my teeth, comb my hair, and change clothes, put on makeup etc. For computer service I would use the library or the computer lab at Pueblo Community College. For safety, I would borrow my friend's son's 22 pistol he taught me to shoot, and sleep with it. I even thought about trying out the free breakfast bar at one of the hotels - okay - so I am not a guest - but I have always wanted to try that and see if I could get away with it. I know the little scoundrel in me is coming out. For some reason, my friends and family were not cool with this plan.

I just received my tax refund check (God's timing is always perfect!) Now I have some funds to change my plan up. So I decided to stay in a hostel. I have always wanted to try that out. I found one in Durango. Yesterday I checked in. Very nice accommodations but very different...I have joined the hippy lifestyle...

I am sharing a room with two other women. One is here for two weeks in an addiction recovery program. She is having amino acid therapy to replace lost brain cells. I hope it works. Within two minutes of talking with her, she told me there was a hostel in Durango to stay in....ummm newsflash...we are in the we speak...hmmm....maybe I will go get that padlock for my locker space...LOL....the other woman doesn't believe in deodorant....lovely....however she did take a shower before bedtime. How can you still smell after a shower....oh yeah...natural soap...give me bath and body works any bed is by the window and the window is open...after a while I didn't smell anything.

The hostel is like a house with a lot of house guests of every type. The upstairs living area is equipped with a full-size large kitchen,living area with 3 computers, and a couple of bedrooms. It is very modern and extremely nice.

Oh yeah, bathrooms....Since I am downstairs in the "dorm" we also have co-ed bathroom facilities. Hmmm...this is a new experience as well. There is a private bathroom if you want to use it but only for potty purposes. The tub is under repair so you have to use the co-ed bathroom facilities for a shower. Okay - let me just say that this morning when I got up to use the bathroom and opened the door to the communal bathroom and a man was shaving at the sink....I wasn't sure I was cut out for this lifestyle - BUT - a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do - so I smiled, walked past him into the stall and know... LOL

As for costs - $22 a night for a very nice place to stay - you just have to get used to living with people you don't know. Kind of like college life only with an older,(and younger)mixed crowd.

well....must go and study for awhile...I am in turbo study mode...every minute counts.....just needed to blog my thoughts...

Laughing as I type....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Toenails, bras and other random things's been awhile. So "awhile" that I couldn't remember my password to get on here. So MUCH has happened since I last wrote. But first - let me tell you about my nail adventure. As in fingernail adventure.

In my own personal ecomonic crunch, I have had to give up doing my nails - you know going to the salon to "get my nail done" "15 minute"...."you pick culah (color)" has been a really hard thing but I have survived.(LOL) However,I saw a commercial on TV for "Kiss" nails and they looked really good so when I went to the grocery store last time I checked to see if they had them and they did. So I bought them. This past Saturday I decided to experiment with them. Spent 30 minutes putting on my fingernails and they looked fantastic! French manicure in 30 minutes - just glue them on and shazam! they are on - I can handle this. Then I put some on my toes. (you get 24 in the box for fingers and toes) Holy smokes! they are looking great. But how long will they last? Well, it is Tuesday and I have glued two toenails back on so far....until a little bit ago. got up from the sofa to make a potty break and looked down and a toenail was gone. When did I lose it? I know I made it home with it. So I start looking for my know how people used to look for contacts in the carpet? Well I am looking for my toenail - back and forth across the Barbie Townhouse condo - can't find the toenail. Every little piece of white whatever is snatched up in hopes it is the "nail." finally I decided I would just have to take out a new nail. As I sat back on the sofa and picked up my computer - there it was - the little nail was under the computer. Ok so we are up to 3 toenails being glued back on. I have put the glue in my purse for emergencies - probably should add some nails too - don't you think?

Now for the bra adventure -
I am teaching school (I will tell you about that later) and Friday I wore a top with a strapless bra. We get out at 1:30 every Friday - at least the kids do - and we stay for staff meeting and planning. Early day or not, no matter how hard I try I just can't get out of that place before 5:30 or 6:00 and usually I am the last one to leave unless the janitors are still cleaning. So, Friday, I have this strapless bra on and it is killing me. I was sitting at my desk so I decided to take it off. After all, it is just me, myself and I left at the school. Or so I thought. I am grading papers and getting caught up and there is a knock at my is one of my students and her mother. I am thinking, "I can just carry these papers in front of me and it will be fine plus the top is print and loose - they won't see anything." I let them in, visit a minute and they leave. Ok. that was cool. 10 minutes later....another student knocks on the door - a boy student - "Ms. Jaye, can I use your key?" Sure I say smiling and toss him the key. He brings it back and I think okay that worked. A few minutes later another male student comes to my door and asks to borrow my key....and then another....then I realize the jr. honor society is having a car wash and that is why kids are still there. After the last student threw me back my key and left, I very discreetly put the strapless b. back on. I think I'll just wait til I get home to get comfortable.....(LOL)

Jr. High - I think I was subbing the last time I about the hand of the Lord on you...finding Favor with the King and all those fine things....Wow...listen to this story.

January: I am subbing quite often in the jr. high. One particular day I was there on a ski day - yeah get this - the resort gives the kids 5th-8th grade 4 ski days a year. Total cost of skiing for the day is $25. This includes lift ticket, ski and boot rental, and a lesson. Teachers get to go for free I think. Well I was subbing and I got to go. I went snowshoeing since I don't do the ski thing.

The 8th grade Language Arts teacher had given notice and the school had offered a job to a teacher in Alamosa, NM. However, she could not come until spring break.
So my awesome, wonderful friend Faith who is a paraprofessional at the school just "HAPPENED" to be skiing with the 7th grade LA arts teacher who just happened to have me on speed dial for her sub! Faith asked her how the teacher search was going. The LA teacher answered that they had found someone but she couldn't come until spring break and they needed a long term sub until the new teacher could come. Faith says, "Why don't you ask Jaye? She would be great!" LA teacher loved the idea. As soon as we arrived back at school, she went to see the principal and recommended me for the sub position. They offered me the long-term sub position for 8th grade LA. I was only supposed to be there until the end of April. Well the teacher ended up not being able to accept the position and they asked me to stay for the rest of the year. I have been the 8th grade sub since January and next Tuesday I will have filled the position for half the year. and.....I LOVE MY JOB!!!!!!!

You know all those crazy jobs, including the one I was FIRED from (I'm not bitter LOL) and the yucky medicine was for my good! I discovered I love teaching Language Arts, love jr. high kids,.....I have had the best time of my life these last few months.....until today I wasn't ready for school to end but today I told my last period class I had one nerve left and they were all on it! You know how you come to that moment when it is time for your own personal, biological offspring to leave the nest? It is time for these kids to go to high school. A couple of them told me they may be held back and I am praying that the "No child left behind" is still in effect and they are moving on....LOL

It truly is so that "all things work together for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purposes." (you all know I know that!) So now for the next HUGE faith step....

OF COURSE I AM GOING TO APPLY FOR THE POSITION! But I have an intense summer before me. I will graduate from University of Phoenix July 28th!!!!!!! Can't believe it is finally going to happen but here is the intense schedule:
UoP: two classes left....I am not going to explain how that works but trust me it can be intense.
Pueblo community college, Durango - an hour away -: must take a science and humanities to finish core curriculum classes. Man I wish I had done those in Austin!
I will be traveling back and forth to Durango 5 days a week for my classes. I need to find a friend in Durango to stay with so that I can spend Mon & Wed nights in Durango (late night class followed by an early morning class)
Praxis I & II test June 13th: I have to pass these tests especially the Middle School Language arts one. Really, really, need to pass those tests to be qualified for the job.

I know that the Lord laid this job in my lap and I am so hoping it is going to become a permanent position. I have never wanted a job so badly in my life. I love what I am doing. However, it is a lot of intense study and work for the next couple of months. Here comes the faith step: I can't work and get all of my studying done. How on earth am I going to not work? I'll tell you - "Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding..." that's how it is done.

Pray for me to accomplish all that is set before me. Pray for favor with the hiring team (oh by the way - we just received our NWEA results which is like a benchmark test done at the beginning of the year, middle and end. My results were very good. My kids scored more than a year's growth 3 out of 5 categories and at grade level on the other two categories. The superintendent of the school said, "Your sub is getting the job done." The principal said these results were impressive and I could be proud to show them to any school." I said, "Yeah and I came in here with no experience in the field!" Yes, I was pleased. Pray for financial favor...I don't know the how's and wherefore's, I just know my God.

Okay you are probably thinking I will never shut good night and it felt good to write again!
Ms. Jaye