So I believe I mentioned in the last post that I had more big news to share ....
Paul & I both just started full time jobs. Yes, full.time.jobs.
Can you believe it? At first, I think we didn't, and that is why I'm not sharing this until after we've already started in full swing. After pretty much accepting a different job offer from a firm that he was previously unfamiliar with, Paul was contacted by an architecture firm called Smithgroup, a firm that he has been networking with all year long and that has been his top choice. They asked his status, brought him in for an extra interview, offered him a job on the spot and asked him to start the next day! After discussing it with me, he happily (and giddily I suspect) accepted, and then went in person to turn down the other job offer he had just recently accepted. ... A bit tricky, but they understood and the choice to work for this great firm, Smithgroup, was very obvious. Now Paul is already working full time and spending time on a crime lab design in Denver, CO -pretty interesting already.
I am doing a type of social work in my job, going back to my psychology major roots, and am really enjoying it so far. I am in training as an in-home educator to families that are at risk for child abuse and neglect; essentially I will be building caring and trusting relationships with parents (many moms especially) in which I can support them in developing healthy family relationships (with their children specifically) and in becoming self-sufficient and hopefully goal oriented.
We both found out about our initial offers within a day or so of each other, and on top of that, found a great and trustworthy babysitting set-up for Taya (our friend, Annie, for those of you who know her - so Taya and Annie's 3 year old son, Daniel, get lots of time together). It all came together quite smoothly and we're truly grateful for this time to recover from the past 11 months of unemployment. Receiving these blessings all at once makes it feel like an unbelievable fragile gift - like we could only accept it honorably if we accompany it with a plan of positive action and gratitude, and one that includes 'paying it forward'. It is very helpful for both of us to have full time jobs right now in order to help us with a little bit of recovery from this past year. Also, with my job relating to healthy parent-child relationships, it is a good chance for me to thoroughly examine my parenting and relationship to Taya. I have already been soaking up these last couple of weeks of training, just giving closer attention to how secure I can help Taya feel in our relationship. The order in which different events have taken place for us this past month, and even the last several months makes this downpour of blessings seem very purposeful. We constantly prayed for guidance in our priorities over the last year; whether to prioritize occasional temporary jobs that would help us with the next month's mortgage, but take away from the ongoing job hunt, whether to prioritize time, energy and even cost into projects like the one mentioned in the previous post, Urban Polkadot, as well as an architecture competition that Paul won, or whether to always prioritize job hunting 100+% ... it seemed there was a balance of different priorities at different times, but that as long as we prayed and continued working hard, we would be guided with peace, sometimes clear peace and sometimes peace that was a little bit harder to distinguish, but we were continually guided by our Heavenly Father. And even though we knew we were praying for this guidance and strength, sometimes it was hard to see its apparency. I wish my faith did not falter and slightly wonder about the apparency of Heavenly Father's guidance in those times, but I think the most important thing out of this is that whether or not we see the guidance, peace or blessings as clear and apparent in that moment, we can know that Heavenly Father has a plan for us and that He will help foster our growth and path of learning in this life.
I never responded with a follow-up post to my recent post about trials, when so many of you left such kind comments. But what I've wanted to say then and at so many other times during this past year is how much all of your prayers, kindness, concern for our well-being, occasional excuse to give us your 'leftover' food, load of strawberries, or caring phone conversations have meant to us. It actually means a great deal to hear 'you're in my prayers/thoughts' ... to think that someone else is spending a moment at night on his/her knees or over the dinner table thinking of or asking for help in honor of my family was really comforting and humbling. It makes me want to spend more time in my prayers at night mentioning more specific names of who I am pleading for. I always think of my Grandma Harris on her feeble knees pleading for one soul after another night after night. There is so much purity and strength in this. So thank you for your prayers & thoughts - whether they were once or twice or very frequent. We are grateful to you. With some people's trials, you can feel so helpless to assist them, and I suppose some of our experiences this year could have left family or friends feeling this way, but as I said, just hearing people tell us that we were in their prayers added additional peace and strength to our lives.
One thing I've thought about so many times since the last post that I talked about trials in is that there are so many people around us with invisible trials. ... Trials that are so private that these individuals may not have a single friend, family member or comfortable/available counselor to talk to. My heart goes out to these people. I mean I almost feel like I am thinking of one or two people in particular without knowing who they are, praying for them anonymously, especially with a heart's prayer. Do you know what I mean? Do you ever think about people and their heartache without even knowing who you're thinking about? Many of our trials this past year have been more visible, therefore resulting in more caring and action from friends/family members. I sorrow for those around me with invisible trials, but perhaps they have an opportunity to draw even nearer unto our Savior - in a way that is hard to find without feeling entirely alone. That is the most sacred and important factor out of all of this. We may have God-sent loved ones or even strangers who lighten our days, but when we don't, and even when we do, we have our Savior to cleave to. We have His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and therefore, His understanding, and we have His unconditional love.
In this single way, no matter what our trials are, or aren't, we are all threaded together by our Savior's Atonement.
Paul & I are so grateful for our jobs and the opportunities they both provide, for our peace of mind of Taya's wonderful care (Thank you Annie), and although our unemployment phase lasted nearly a year (some unemployment phases are longer, some are shorter), we are amazed at how we have ended up lasting through it, as far as staying in our home, and remaining provided for all year long. It's kind of shocking actually. There have been so many lessons to learn through it all and we feel like we're better off as individuals from these lessons; of course there will be more, and we even still have more stresses to keep working through right now, but it's refreshing to see the outcome of some of these lessons and blessings after a year of 'interesting experiences'.
I always hope I don't offend anyone in a post with thoughts like these, but these are my beliefs and I am grateful for my beliefs,
therefore I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ & for my Heavenly Father, for the Atonement, and for this plan called life.
I sometimes wonder if my deep thoughts are too much to handle or too intense for a random read... but well, they are mine. And I share them whatever they are.