New beginning

I have been working at Bethel College in the Campus Store for just under four and a half years.  In that time I have grown in so many ways.  I went from assistant manager to manager of the Campus Store, survived a building expansion while remaining open for business, and experienced, due to budget cuts the loss of a very valued and loved coworker (her position was eliminated).  In these times, as in my every day life, I have leaned on the love and care of my Lord and Savior.  Someone told me once that if everything is going dandy in your life and you aren’t experiencing spiritual warfare then you aren’t a current threat to Satan.  Ever since I heard that I have always found a moment to remind myself whose side I’m on and then just grin because that means I’m making Satan nervous.


Starting a few months ago I felt like something was changing within me.  While I loved Bethel (and still do), I felt a faint tapping at the back of my mind.  I didn’t understand it at first and even ignored it.  In June, when my coworker’s position was eliminated I felt as if a dam had burst.  My cup was already running over with daily duties and now how was I going to take on her responsibilities as well as run a store on my own?  In the wise words of my loving husband, he explained to me that my “cup” had been running over for a long time and until I could show people that I couldn’t accomplish my tasks, then it would be assumed that everything was just fine.  Being a worker and not wanting others to view my shortcomings as my lack of ability to do my job, I would put in extra hours and run at full capacity.  I realized that I had forgotten what it was like to breathe and to relax.  I began feeling it in my chest and would often cry on Justin’s shoulder at night.  I wanted so much for the store to be a success and to accomplish everything on my plate at the time it needed to be done.  I realized that my attitude was slipping and I was growing tired.  During this process I still felt that gentle nudge.


In one of my emotional lows I found out about a part time accounting position at GCC. I decided to apply and went to an interview.  I was even called back for a second interview but in the interim realized that this position was not what I felt like God was leading me towards.  A few months went by and I received an email from Jami Ruth at GCC about a position that had opened up on the Communications team and we made arrangements to meet and talk about the role.  I quickly found myself getting excited like a little schoolgirl.


I spent much time in prayer throughout my days asking God to guide me.  One morning on my way to work I was searching all my radio stations trying to find music to listen to and was unsuccessful.  I landed on a station that happened to be talking about jobs.  Some of you may know from my story about our move to Indiana that God has used the radio to speak to me quite clearly before.  I truly believe that God knows how to get our attention.  I was riding along listening to this man that called in about his new job.  He must have been in some trouble in the past and was just getting back on his feet.  The next thing I heard resonated in my mind and my heart the rest of the way to work.  The DJ said to the man, “Wow, it sounds like God is really doing something and it’s time for a change.”  Talk about chills! I don’t believe in coincidences.  I believe in God instances and this was a major one.   A tear ran down my face as I realized this message was indeed for ME.


That same afternoon my cell phone rang and the call went to voicemail (because I was at work).  I later listened to the message and it was a friend of mine that I hadn’t talked to in awhile.  She wanted to meet for lunch.  I thought it was strange that she would be calling me out of the blue but when I later met with her I realized it was about a job opportunity she had for me.  Now I not only had this opportunity at GCC but an opportunity elsewhere too.  I prayed to God asking Him for guidance.  This news of possibly leaving Bethel was so fresh in my mind and now I had two job opportunities before me.  Both were amazing opportunities given to me by God loving people/places.


I began listening to God closer and closer.  I explored more and more scripture, I prayed, I listened to music, and I sat in silence and sometimes tears.  What I realized is that for quite awhile I had been hearing God and feeling like I was listening to Him but had really been allowing Him to become part of the white noise of my every day life.  When I intentionally went to Him and seeked Him on this, it was like it was blaring from everywhere what He was trying to tell me.  He helped me to feel His direction and calling to GCC.  It wasn’t easy and I went through a lot of spiritual warfare to get there but even that showed me that my decision was the right one.


I remember this particular instance clearly because I was amazed yet not surprised at the power of my God but it was so cool to me.  I began my morning reading from my “Jesus Calling” devotional.  (If you haven’t gotten this book yet, do it!  It will speak God’s breathable word to you on a daily basis.) I read the first few lines and I knew the day was going to be a doozy.  It said, “Do not be surprised by the fiery attacks on your mind. When you struggle to find Me and to live in My Peace, don’t let discouragement set in.  You are engaged in massive warfare, spiritually speaking.  The evil one abhors your closeness to Me, and his demonic underlings are determined to destroy our intimacy.  When you find yourself in the thick of battle, call upon My Name: “Jesus, help me!” At that instant, the battle becomes Mine; your role is simply to trust Me as I fight for you.” I was blown away by the wording of this devotion.  In the battle with Satan all I need to do is call out, “Jesus, help me!” and at that instant the battle becomes His? All I could picture was an epic Hollywood fight scene in some movie where there’s darkness and danger and then all of a sudden the hero rushes out and wins.  That’s my God.  I’m sure glad I read that because that day I felt Satan constantly trying to beat me down and I called to Jesus to help me and He took over and helped me through that long and trying day.


I have grown so much through this experience. It was tough to leave Bethel.  I have come to love the people there so much. I have become invested in my student workers’ lives and the lives of my coworkers and community there.  God knew it was going to be hard for me so He filled my last day with love.  People came from everywhere to see me off and wish me luck in my new adventures.  Even Jaimes the UPS man left me a note.  My student workers wrote me beautiful notes and came to be with me throughout the day.  Bethel College is a wonderful place and I believe awesome things are already happening there.  I’m so grateful to have been a part of that campus and can’t wait to see what God brings Bethel in the years to come.


I start my new adventure tomorrow at GCC (Granger Community Church).  I can only imagine what God has in store for me there and for the people that will cross my path while I serve.  For the Bible says in John 12:26, “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.  My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

Life lately

Wow, it’s been a long time since I have taken time to blog.  This is one of the negative things about Twitter and Facebook.  I feel like I say all I need to say in 140 characters or less and that covers me for my followers on Facebook and Twitter.  A lot tends to get lost doing it that way.

Let’s see.  My parents came to visit in May and I had a blast spending time with them.  We bought lots of plants and flowers to plant around our new pond and front of the house.  Everything looked so beautiful.  I love doing that sort of thing.  It makes me happy to know that I got that from my Dad.  He has always loved working with plants.  He really loves tending to his african violets in the house the most though (wink wink Mom hehe).  We worked a lot outdoors but we also had time to enjoy Amish country and just being together.

Dave and Jessica Mast came for a visit.  It’s always a good time when those two stop in.  We wish they lived in town so we could hang out more.  Jessica and I went shopping and found an awesome deal on an ottoman (I’ve been searching for one forever). Dave spent time with the GCC IT folks.  Then we bought a ton of nerf gun supplies (thanks to Laura Gekeler’s inspiration) and had a blast modifying the guns and shooting each other.

Justin’s parents also came up for a visit recently and Justin put them right to work.  He and his dad worked long hours on rewiring our garage electric adding a new breaker box and discovering that there was little to no insulation in the walls (more fun projects).  Justin’s mom headed up a yard sale to get rid of some old college mismatch furniture.  She made a killing and we were able to go celebrate at Texas Roadhouse with the funds.  I enjoyed getting to spend time one on one with Lorraine just talking.

Hopefully my sister Kelly and Justin’s sister Stacey will make the trek up here this month or next for a visit.  It’s so nice to get to see family.

Justin and I are heading to Grand Haven, MI this month for a long weekend getaway (our first on our own since our honeymoon almost 6 years ago).  We are bringing Java and are staying at a really cool apartment down town.  I am really looking forward to it after a long summer of book prep for the Fall semester at Bethel. We also plan to head to Florida to watch the second to last shuttle launch ever in November.  Justin was lucky enough to be selected to go to the NASA tweet-up and have up close access to the launch, tours, interviews, etc.   Unfortunately I was not selected to join him but I’m super stoked he will have this once in a lifetime opportunity.  I will watch from the hotel or somewhere a few miles away.

Life at the Bethel Bookstore has been busy but fulfilling.  We launched online textbook ordering for the first time this semester and it has proven to be very successful.  It definitely cut down on lines and made things much easier for students.  We have heard a lot of positive feedback from this feature.  We now have a new touch screen register system and love it.  That also made rush much smoother.  The returning student workers learned the new system very quickly and so far all of them seem to love it.  A lot of behind the scenes work has gone into the success of this fall semester and we are excited for what the future holds for our store.

If you are still reading this long blog entry I would like to ask you to sincerely pray for me about an opportunity I have been given at GCC.  I have been asked to lead a financial course for MC3 at the beginning of the year.  I’m excited about this but very nervous to be creating, leading, and possibly teaching this course to adults, teens, and kids.  I have been praying for awhile now for an opportunity to get more involved and to follow God’s will and then this popped up.  I could use all the prayers I can get.  I’m trying to jump out of the boat and out of my comfort zone in hopes that I will expand my comfort zone and continue to be obedient to whatever God brings my way.

Well that’s it for now.  Hope to blog again soon and more often.

Beans and Rice…Rice and Beans

Two days ago Justin and I were able to PAY OFF HIS STUDENT LOAN WOOO HOOOO!  We are so excited and even more motivated now to keep going and finish paying off my student loan.  Hopefully if we keep on track and do as Dave Ramsey says, we can be done with mine by the end of this year.  God has blessed us so much in our obedience to get out of debt.  Sometimes it may seem hard to do but we have definitely been learning in our efforts to get out of debt as well as our move to Indiana, that obedience is key.  If you can stay obedient to God and what He wants for you, the rest will work out just fine 🙂

If you guys have any questions or want to hear more about our journey to get out of debt, we’d be more than glad to help out 🙂

Diving right in

Although I wish I was talking about a swimming pool at this particular time…haha I’m actually talking about what I’ve gotten myself into. Starting this Fall I will be a full time Graduate Student here at GWU. I’ve decided to pursue my MBA (no jokes please haha) with an emphasis in Health Management. I’m hoping that it will help me to find a career somewhere in a Hospital or a Medical Office of some sort. I should complete my degree by August of 2008. The best news about it is, it’s absolutely free to me…Well as Dr. Negbenebor always says, “Nothing is free…Opportunity Cost”. I will be signing away my life for the next 4 years in order for this to happen. I have to work here while I’m in school and 2 years afterwards. I figure I’ve been here fulltime for 4, what’s 4 more? haha Hopefully it won’t be too long. Pray for me and pray for Justin because he will have to deal with my many tantrums hehe. I’m nervous about taking the GMAT now ($250 test). Please make checks out to…. just kidding. That is the only thing I will have to pay for and I have until January-ish to take the test. I’m nervous about going back to school and trying to do it full time while working but I know that God has a plan for me and that I can do it if I just try. My friend Cary that I work with is in the program too so we will get through it together.
So….what do you think?

Apples and Accolades

Today is Gardner-Webb’s Annual “Apples and Accolades” for faculty and staff. This is a faculty and staff recognition program and a picnic. Every year we all gather together while members of GWU’s workforce receive awards for how long they’ve been here and how wonderful they are. After that, we eat FOOD hehe. I always love the cookies and fruit. Last year they served barbecue but we’ll have to wait and see about today. I love anything that gets me out of work for 2 hours and has food. Two more years til I can get my “5 year award”. Let’s hope not 😉

Lunch with the Girls

Today Cary, Maxine, and I ventured to Gastonia to the new Olive Garden for lunch as a sort of “farewell lunch” for Maxine. She isn’t leaving til some time in June but it’s the last chance we have while we have student workers to work the shop. It was so nice and now I only have about 2.5 hours left of the day. It’s so nice not to have to be stuck at work all the time. I wish I could just do my work and then leave when it’s done everyday and still get paid the same. Wouldn’t that be nice. My meal was actually pretty cheap for the all you can eat soup, salad, and breadsticks. Very good!


Why is it that while I’m in the bookstore time either goes really fast and it’s crazy busy or it’s slower than dialup? I’m one of those people that has to be busy when at work.  Otherwise I just sit there, bored.  I’ve been trying to think of things to do now that rush is over and I’m already caught up on returns until I can begin them again at the end of February.  All my calls have been returned (I hate the phone).  I guess I’ll just have to wait for the next task.  Anybody else in the same boat?


Today is our last late night here at the Campus Shop.  I’m only 15 minutes away from freedom.  Tomorrow should be a nice short day getting to leave around 5.  I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday. I’m exhausted.  I have forgotten what my house and husband look like.  If anyone calls tomorrow and fusses about us not being open til 8, I will tell them they’ve had over 112 hours to get their books in the past two weeks and to get over it hehe.

Justin’s mom had surgery yesterday.  I was able to get off work early and ride with Justin to do see her in Rutherfordton.  She seemed to be doing as well as possible when we left last night.  Justin has gone to see her tonight but I couldn’t get out of work.  I hope she is up and feeling much better soon.