Saturday, April 27, 2013

It's a wonderful life

My sabbatical came to a crashing halt Sunday. While W represented NU in Montana, I enjoyed the NWMN conference in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, until Wednesday. My coaching and ministry friends and I visited throughout the event. What fun! I appreciate the investment of friends old and new in us.

In two weeks, I start TESOL classes (teaching English to speakers of other languages). Seattle is full of non-English speakers, so I've wanted to take the course for a while. Since NU offers the 4 semesters required for certification in 4 weeks of summer school, I might as well plunge in.

When that's done, we're on our way to teach in SE Asia. W gets to teach theology, which he loves. I still have course prep to finish: as usual, it's a course new to me and not my main interest. Thank God for faculty friends who loaned me their notes. I'm teaching their courses in their names. (Thanks, Lois! and Barbara.)

We've found good house-sitters, which helps make the time away easy. Our big family reunion and a 60th anniversary arrive in August, but we will celebrate that at our cabin. So... life is swiftly moving along. I'll be training for a new job, come fall. More on that later.

It's time to catch a deep breath and plunge right in!

How can we transition in busy seasons, where everything we've done comes together into "whatever that looks like next"?
  1. Know who we are and who God is. Get our bearings before we cross the bridge of transition or launch the boat for the distant shore.
  2. Know what we love and want to do. What makes our hearts sing? What's a good fit? (On the flip side, what would we most dread doing, no matter what the paycheck?)
  3. Gather our assets. Pull together the education, experience, and other resources - including friends and coworkers - who will help us realize the future.
  4. Write down a plan and our action steps. (If you can't figure those out, get a coach. I'm one, and would love to help you in a session or more. You'll be amazed how much you accomplish in a coaching hour!)
  5. Begin to move in the direction of the next thing. Use what we know, because some parts of a new season won't appear until we're on our way.
  6. Gather advisers - spiritual, mental, emotional, even physical - who are willing and ready to assist us. Let's listen to them and let their counsel guide our transitional process. 
  7. Make sure God is with us each step of the way. Keep our spiritual flame alight and "hot": this is not the time to reduce our spiritual disciplines and devotions.
  8. Embrace change. Transition is a wild uncertain ride, filled with joys and traumas. We're leaving behind the past for an unknown future. If God is in it, we'll be okay. And the future will be more astonishing and crazy-wonderful than we can imagine.
Read more:
*I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. Psalm 145:1-3 NIV

*I will make with you an everlasting covenant. Isaiah 55:3 NLT

*For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty,  how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?

After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. Hebrews 2:1-4  NASB

*We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Hebrews 6:12 (NIV)

Moravian Prayer: Lord, you named yourself “I Am that I Am” – a title of stability in a world that is confusing and ever changing, with new aims and ways to achieve them almost daily. Satisfyingly, we keep our eyes fixed on you, our one destination, knowing its way. Amen.

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