Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Adjusting to a Change of Plans

I am a planner by nature. This is a great quality most of the time, but it also causes me to be inflexible at times. I don't like it when situations beyond my control cause me to change what I think are good plans. I am a woman of faith and believe God orchestrates things a certain way for a reason, but that doesn't stop me from becoming very frustrated when things don't go the way I plan.

My plans for this summer hinged around taking one summer school class on Tuesday and Thursday nights and teaching Summer school at the school I work at, since I no longer get paid in the summer. Because of these plans, I had to miss Young Life camp, which makes me sad, but at the same time I felt like I was making the responsible decision for my finances and my master's degree. This schedule would have kept me busy until mid-July when I was planning to head back to Asia for a 2 and a half week trip.

I was supposed to start working summer school on Wednesday, but I got a call on Tuesday and was told I would not be able to work. I am not 100% sure why this happened, though I think it has something to do with my status as an hourly teacher. I would have liked to know this earlier, so I could have planned my summer employment and finances better. It's too late to get a summer job and since I feel strongly about going to Asia, I only had a month and a half to work anyway.

At first I was very upset about this change of plans and even now I am trying to figure out how to survive the summer without completely depleting the money I have set aside for my next semester of grad school. After going to my first day of my summer grad school class, I found out that my class will be over at the end of June. This means I can go to Asia earlier and for a longer period of time. This is very exciting to me! I booked my plane ticket today to leave on July 5th and come back on August 6th. I know there is a reason for these changes to my "perfect" plans and maybe that is so I can be in Asia longer. And yet again I am learning to trust God's plans, even when they are not the same as mine.

Changing my timetable means I have to do a few things. I just found out that I have to get a new passport before I can travel, because the country I go to will only give you a visa if your passport has at least 6 months left on it. Mine expires mid-August. Tomorrow I have to go to the Houston passport office and apply for a rush passport renewal. I am not sure how long it takes, but I think it's about a week. Then, I will need to go to the consulate to get my visa. I am thankful that I live in a large city that has both a passport office and this country's consulate. I pray that I can get all this done in a month.

Monday, June 04, 2012

No Camp for Me :(

It's been really long since I posted in my blog. Ideally I would post entries in this no matter what was going on in my life. Unfortunately with grad school, work and volunteering with Young Life, this does not happen. Now that it is summer and I have a trip coming up, I will try to post more often.

It has been a crazy few days. Thursday was my last day of work for the regular school year. I spent Friday morning supervising my Young Life kids at a workday. Since most of my kids can't afford the $350 it takes to go to camp, they go to work days to "pay" for their camp. I think work days are a lot more work for us as leaders than for the kids. We recently had to move our club room from a downstairs location with an exit to outside to an upstairs location that opens into a hallway. This new location is not ideal for several reasons. The space is better, but now the kids have to enter the main door, which requires a key card and walk through a hallway to get our club room. We also share a wall with a dental office.

We don't have much choice about this move as Testmasters, our old neighbors complained about the amount of noise we made. This work day on Friday was spent moving the last of our stuff from our old room to our new rooms. One thing that made this all more complicated was that we share our space with Young Lives, Young Life's ministry to teen moms. This means that we store lots of donated baby items. All of these things needed to be moved.

The stressful part of workdays is that you have to tell the kids what to do every five minutes or they will just sit around. I have to constantly think ahead to what their next task could be. After three hours of this, it was finally time to quit. Later Shannon and I went to the store, so she could get some last minute things she needed for camp. Then at night we had a softball game.

The next day, we went to a local health clinic where a doctor had agreed to give the kids free camp physicals. This was pretty hectic since it was the day that they were leaving. We also had several kids drop out of camp and several kids decide to go throughout the day. Shannon had just an hour to finish packing and then we had to go pick up kids to take them to the bus. It was really sad for me to be unable to go to camp this year. I have gone to camp as a leader six times and it is really the best part of being a Young Life leader. This year I need to work summer school and also take one summer school class for grad school. I am trying to be responsible, but I am sad not to join Shannon and my kids at camp. I hope work and school is worth it!
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