|Pecos, NM - October 2001|
Isn't it funny how life turns out? We decide on a course and generally head in that direction even if we look like a drunk sailor still walking on 'sea legs' as we stagger toward our stated goal. Tonight, I am again waiting for the howling of the coyotes as I ponder the path behind me and the one ahead. I think about how frustrating life has been and the preposterous events have transpired as a result of that frustration.
I guess you got the news flash that Son #1 is in Australia? Wanna know the back story? He'd been looking for a j-o-b since he was 17. There were times when he launched a full court press and would park at a retail area, go door to door making personal contact, and fill out every application given him. He did Monster.com. He even went to a support group for out-of-work professionals. Other times, he'd get discouraged and follow up leads as he got them. He did pro-bono work hoping that being busy would lead to paying work. It was the pits being a teen in need of a job during the big financial crash.
|One last pic before he left.|
He'd get interviews. A local fast food chain interviewed him 3 times. He was on a first name basis with the folks at a local mail/shipping store front because of business he had conducted with them. They had an opening, so he applied knowing they knew him and that he could do all they needed done. In the interview he said, “Look, I'm a college sophomore. I just need a part-time job to earn gas and spending money while I'm in school.” In the end, he couldn't BUY a job.
We finally got my sister's friend, a lady who is an executive in human resources, check out his resume. Her feedback was both gratifying and frustrating. She complimented him saying his resume looked like someone that was qualified to hold a job that would pay 10's of thousands of dollars a year. She didn't hire at the minimum wage level like fast food and retail establishments, but even her district manager would nix her hiring Son #1 because he looked over-qualified.
Well, now! If you are a homeschooling mom waiting to hear your kid made it, that was heady praise since he was not yet 21 years old. Wanna know the caveat? NO ONE WOULD HIRE HIM! Simply put: the people who COULD pay what he was worth probably wouldn't hire him because he either didn't have his degree yet OR not quite enough experience to offset the progress toward a degree.
I went to the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and found out about elance.com. I heard 'web site for freelancers' and thought of Son #1. Yea. I did it. I went home and told him about it. He followed through, both of us thinking at most he'd find something he could telecommute and do around his college classes. That is...until the folks in Australia contacted him.
Telecommuting became trans-Pacific travel and the beginning of his 4th week of employment for a children's photography company. Seems the Australians didn't care about his being only mid-way toward a degree. So, he's gone on the adventure of a lifetime and getting paid to do it. Preposterous, isn't it?
|Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative|
Imagine...what if he had GOTTEN that minimum wage job slinging chicken or preparing packages for shipping. We would have been one happy family – ecstatic that he had landed a job...ANY job...after 2+ years of looking. I would NEVER have told him about elance.com. Imagine....if our best laid plans had worked out.
And me? God's head cheerleader that never got to be what I thought I wanted to be? Remember? When we came back from the ashes of destruction, I thought I wanted to be the one God chose to tell all the world that there WOULD be life again after total financial implosion. Not only did I not get to, but we faced another round of financial frustrations ourselves because of the most recent economic implosion. We are again holding on by our bloody finger tips.
Suppose I had gotten to be the head cheerleader of my dreams. I am sure...sure...I tell you that I would have never ended up at the Blue Ridge conference. This blog would never had existed. The 'success' of the blog would not have spurred my brother to rally the troops and get me to this conference. We've only had the first session, and already I can tell my life is about to change again.
|New Mexico - October 2001|
And so, tonight, as I wait to hear the coyote's call, I am thankful for so many things. I'm almost thankful that best laid plans often go awry. Maybe...my wrestling match with God is about to end?
There has been financial sacrifice by my brother, husband, father, and sister and brother-in-law to get me here. I feel the weight of responsibility to them for believing in me when I wasn't sure I was anything to believe in. I'm thankful that my husband's best friend told Jeff, just days after conference #1, that should I never 'need' to go to another conference, he'd cough up the frequent flier miles to get me there. I am thankful for Son #1 and his courage. How did a fraidy cat like me help raise a son who would let go of sure things and reach for far away possibilities that just might be.Where will he end up because best laid plans never worked out?
|Pecos, New Mexico - October 2011|
I am thankful for you. It is a miracle that I have averaged 600 hits a week when my primary way of spreading word about this blog has only been Facebook and word-of-mouth support. Preposterous isn't it – what can happen when best laid plans lay in ruins at our feet.
Proverbs 16:9 (NAS)
The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.
Proverbs 20:24 (NIV)
A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?