Monday, April 16, 2012

Faith in a Phone Booth

Some years ago, I was finishing a long and unpleasant year at a school where I felt I just did not fit. I had been sending out resumes, making phone calls, networking, and praying, but so far, nothing.

By the end of May, I was resigned to returning to the same school the next fall. I didn't want to, but with no other jobs on the horizon, I couldn't see any other choice. I couldn't afford to be jobless.

Early in June, my dear friend, the pastor's wife, told me about a women's quadrennial meeting in Indiana. Someone who had already paid to go discovered that she needed heart surgery, and couldn't go. She wanted someone to take her place, at her expense.

It was just three days before the deadline for me to resign. (Teachers in Texas have to resign at least 45 days before the beginning of the new year.) Wick and I discussed the situation, and he encouraged me to take the trip. He felt that it would give me spiritual renewal, and strength to face the next school year.

It was a two-day bus trip to Purdue University campus, where the quadrennial would be held.
By the time we arrived, I already had a message from Wick.

That summer was one of the hottest on record in Indiana, and the campus rooms had no air conditioning. I wasn't sure I wanted to stay, but had no way to get home.

I called Wick, happy to hear his voice. He said he had a phone call from a principal who wanted to interview me. We arranged for me to be in a certain phone booth the next day at noon.

Let me tell you, standing in a phone booth in the broiling sun is no fun. But I waited for the call. When the phone rang, my heart rate went up about 100%.

The principal spent twenty minutes telling me about the program, a Disciplinary Alternative Education Program for kids who in the past would have been expelled from their home schools.

He finally stopped to ask if I had any questions. I asked a few about the program. He still had not asked me about myself or my experience as a teacher.

Then he said, "I want to offer you this position."
I said, "Unfortunately, I am in Indiana right now for a church women's conference, and won't be home until 7 days from now--too late for me to resign then."

He said, "I am offering you this job right now. I've talked to your references, and spent about 45 minutes talking to your husband. I have known for a year that this position was going to be open, and I have been praying all that time that God would send the right person. I am convinced that you are the right person. If you will fax me your letter of resignation, I will hand deliver it to make sure it gets there in time."

At that moment, I felt I was hearing the voice of God, telling me to take that job. Wick and all my family had been praying, as well as all the women from my church who were on the trip with me.

So I stepped out on faith, and said yes. I faxed my resignation letter to a man I had never met, and would not meet until the beginning of the school year.

My heart was pounding in my chest as I dialed our home phone number.

I told Wick what I had done.
He said, "What will you be teaching?"
I said, "I don't know."
He said, "How much will you be making?"
I said, "I don't know."
He said, "Jan!?!"
I said, "Honey, when God speaks to you in a phone booth in Indiana, you just have to do what He is telling you to do."

My reward for stepping out on faith was seven years with a Christian principal, and a staff which was, with one exception, committed Christians. The students could be extremely challenging, but with their background of disciplinary problems, that was to be expected.

On days when I got discouraged, I reminded myself that God had sent me there, and would not put more on me than He would give me strength to meet.

Even now, after so many years, I still think it sounded crazy to entrust my future to a man I never met. But he was a Christian brother I just had not met yet.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Kindle Touch--Product Review

After much deliberation, research, and questions of friends and family, I decided I wanted an Kindle Touch.

Wick got it for me this week. So far, I have downloaded nearly 100 books, all free from Amazon.

I still don't exactly know how to work it, but I am learning.

I'm not usually on the cutting edge of technology, so it took me a while to decide that I wanted an e-reader.

Wick is hoping that I will download all the books I currently have on my shelves. Maybe I will let go of some, but so far, nothing I have downloaded is on my shelves. And we have a lot of shelves.

I love books. I love the feel of a book in my hand. I love how books smell, especially old books. I never thought I would want an e-reader. But it is so easy to download a book, and so convenient to carry a library of books around with me, wherever I go.

Target had a special offer this week; buy a Kindle Touch and get a $10 gift card. I used the gift card immediately, to buy a cover for my kindle.

They only had orange, black, and purple. I wanted pink, but settled for the purple.

It's easy to recharge the battery, but I need to remember to do it at night, when I am asleep, instead of in the morning, when I would rather be curled up in my comfy chair with the puppies in my lap, reading and drinking coffee. By the way, have any of you tried the new International coffee creamer that tastes like a York peppermint patty? I love it, and can't wait to try the Almond Joy flavor.

One feature I love is that I can enlarge the font, and read without my reading glasses if I want to.

I'm sure I will eventually find something about the kindle touch that I don't like, but it hasn't happened yet.

I receive no remuneration for this review, and have no financial interest in Amazon or Kindle.