And Sometimes God Opens a Gate

I originally wrote this on Monday, August 26th. I’ll work on an update this weekend.

                On Saturday, I spent the morning looking at rental houses with my realtor. She’s very knowledgeable about the rental market, what to look for, and what you can ask the landlord. We even talked about negotiating rent. In case you don’t already know, I love negotiating! I even spent several years negotiating for a living.

                We looked at about half a dozen places. The last ones were condos about 10 minutes from my new school. Across the street from the condos are single level townhomes with attached 2 car garages. Probably built in the seventies, but they looked well taken care of. The realtor said, “It would be nice if one of those townhomes was for rent”.

                I agreed and asked what she thought the price would be. While she was mulling it over, I pulled up real estate on my phone and saw that my guess was right. Except there was one listed for nearly half the amount of the other townhomes in the community! I asked if we could look at this low priced townhome since we were right there. She was as interested as I, so she readily agreed, assuming she could get a hold of the listing agent.

                Ten minutes later, my realtor had the code and we were headed to the front door.  There’s a courtyard for each home. You have to open a gate to get to the front door and pass the small yard on your way in. The gate was rickety and the yard was seriously overgrown.

                The code worked and we were inside the townhome! The entry way has dark red tiles that were very trendy in the seventies (according to my mom) and a natural wood (oak?) wall. To the right is a good sized living room with skylights, a brick fireplace, and a closet. My first impression was the home needs to be painted and the carpets need to be cleaned. All easily taken care of, right? There is a backdoor in the living room. Outside the backdoor, you can see the community swimming pool. No one was enjoying the pool, but it sure looked inviting!

                Next, we moved into the large master bedroom, which also has skylights. There’s another small yard off the master bedroom. Of course, that yard is also overgrown and the fence has broken boards. There is a dressing area, complete with a not so lovely peach countertop. This leads to the full bathroom, which needs a good deep cleaning and wall paper removed. There is also a large walk-in closet off the dressing area.

                We continue through the home and find another living or dining area with a wet bar. Good thing the wet bar is hidden behind folding doors because the dark brown cabinets and golden yellow countertops are ugly! There’s another closet in this room. It is not very deep and all shelves. Perfect for organizing! And a sliding door connects to an atrium.

                The second bedroom also has a sliding glass door leading out to the atrium. One entire wall is a deep closet. I love closet space! There is a bathroom right next to the second bedroom. It was in good condition and even had a shower, making it perfect for a roommate. The shiny, metallic wallpaper really needs to be removed. I think I’d get a migraine if I spent too long in that room!

The kitchen also connects to the atrium, but just with a large window overlooking it in the breakfast nook area. Plenty of room for my kitchen table in there. The kitchen is connected to the second living/dining area – no need to actually go through the window to get to the kitchen! The stove and cook top appeared to be original; the rest of the appliances have probably been replaced in the last ten to fifteen years.  The linoleum in the kitchen is stained and torn. I do not think it would be possible to salvage that floor! The cabinets are not too bad and I could live with the countertop for a while, but the floor would have to be replaced.

                The kitchen pantry is roomy, but the wood shelves definitely need replaced. I think I could do that on my own. Also, there is a closet for the washer and dryer in the kitchen.

                We finally make it to the garage and the first thing I notice is two large storage closets, in addition to plenty of room to park two cars. Another selling point for a potential roommate!

                Now to convince my parents this would be a great investment for them. Or maybe I’ll finally win the lottery?*

* Note to self: buy lottery ticket.




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More details on my Facebook status

                I hope my “I need prayers, please” post on Facebook this morning didn’t scare anyone. Thanks for all of your prayers today. The past 24 hours have been a real struggle for me.

                As most of you know, in 2011 I made the decision to change careers from finance to education. And while my job satisfaction has gone through the roof, I have struggled with finding a teaching job. I loved substitute teaching and loved being a teacher’s aide even more but it doesn’t pay the bills.

                Fortunately, my family has been extremely supportive of this venture. For the past 2 ½ years, I’ve been living with my parents. This has gone really well. I adore and respect my parents. My mom has become my best friend.  J While I think we’re all a little sad to see this phase end, it’s time. My parents are building a house in Granbury and my new Teacher’s Aide position is in East Fort Worth. Living with them is not going to be an option for much longer. And, as an adult, I am so ready for my own space. A bedroom, office, living room, and sewing room don’t fit well in one tiny 11×11 room!

                I am really struggling with understanding why God is calling me to education but not providing an income I can live on. I have applied for hundreds of jobs. I have talked to numerous educators, including many principals. I have emailed, called and hand delivered resumes to schools. And while I’ve had two interviews for teaching positions, neither offered me the job. I am constantly seeking God on my next move and following his leading. I still feel called to teach.

                People have been telling me for the past 2 ½ years that it’s tough to find a teaching job. But God isn’t limited by this. I know He’s called me to this, and most of my friends and family agree.

                Honestly, if God wants me in a support position for the rest of my career, I would be fine with that if He makes it financially possible. I think the hardest part for me right now is I was so sure God was going to provide me a teaching job this year and it has not happened. Granted, they’ll still be hiring teachers throughout the year but most hiring is done. So a teaching job isn’t outside the realm of possibilities…

                While a permanent second job is not an option for me, I have taken on all kinds of opportunities such as babysitting, house cleaning, and editing professional documents. I am also working on starting two side businesses but have been too busy job searching to devote much time to them.

                I did go visit my new school today and really like the teacher I’ll be working for. Being in her room, felt like the right place for me. I cannot wait to meet our students!           

                If you have thoughts, questions or encouragement, you can leave them here or on my Facebook page. 

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A Little Update

          I didn’t mean to go more than a week without blogging. Unfortunately, last weekend I did not do a good job. I ate lots of junk, didn’t exercise and couldn’t “find” the time to blog.

          This week I caught a nasty cold. I’ve been told the 1st year at a school is the worst. I’m really hoping this is true for me as I’m sick and tired of being sick so often.

          That said, being sick may be a blessing in disguise. I eat way healthier (and less) when I’m sick, focusing on fruits and vegetables while not eating sugar and limiting processed foods.

          I haven’t had a soda in 6 days!! I really want to be free from the soda addiction.

          Now if I only had the time and energy to exercise. I think I need to make exercising more of a priority. My goal is to get to a point where I exercise everyday (walking on “rest” days).


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Today was not a great day for me. Today’s goals were:

  • No more than 1 soda. This I did follow through on and had no soda today!
  • Stick to my calorie goal. I had no soda and I even avoided the office today after hearing they had donuts. However, my niece’s mom is sick so I picked KK up after work and took her to get something to eat and to the store so her mom could rest. I wasn’t planning on this and I didn’t make good choices. Instead of soda, I had lemonade. Not sure that saved me any calories. And now I feel all bloated and gross.
  • Get 20 minutes of exercise. Walking around the store with my niece counts, right?

All in all, I did meet 2 out of 3 goals. So I guess it wasn’t such a bad day after all. And I got to spend time with my cute little niece, KK, which always makes for a good day. 

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My Future Self and Fear

Today I realized who I want to get healthier for: my future self. How many times have I wished my past self hadn’t indulged, skipped the gym, spent hours in front of the tv, etc.? And how many times have I been so happy the next day that I didn’t indulge, went to the gym, read a book instead of watching tv, etc.?

Although I did enjoy my one soda and a few small white chocolate covered pretzels today, I met my goals of limiting myself to one soda. My other goal was to not overdo it when I went out to dinner with a friend but said friend rescheduled for this weekend. Instead, I cooked fish, broccoli & rice for dinner. And I managed to stick to my calorie goal per MFP! Not only that, but I took my dog, Sam, for a nice long walk when I got home. He was very happy with my decision!

Unfortunately, I woke up with a headache which lasted all day despite Excedrin. The soda didn’t help, the walk didn’t help but a nice long, hot epsom salt bath helped. Epsom salts really help draw out those toxins.

I keep picturing what my future self will look like: thin with a nice flat stomach. And I realized what I fear the most in this process is not giving up my favorite foods and the soothing feeling I get from over eating. No, it is that I will not lose weight. Really, though, what’s the worst that could happen? I don’t lose weight but I am healthier, have more energy and if I keep working out, I will definitely see some positive changes to my body. There’s no good reason to not keep moving forward with making better changes.

What do you want to tell your future self? What do you want to do now to make life better for your future self? What’s your biggest fear when it comes to being healthier and losing weight?

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Small Goals

          I’m exhausted! I haven’t been sleeping well. I am not doing a very good job at updating my blog.

          After a horrible weekend (and Monday) of eating whatever I wanted, I decided to set small daily goals. Yesterday’s was to get some exercise. I was so tired when I got home but still managed to put in 20 minutes on the rebounder (mini-trampoline).

          Today’s goals were to limit myself to only one soda and no more than three bites of sweets. I didn’t have the soda or any sweets! Maybe telling myself I can have some but limiting it helps? I certainly hope this is a turning point.

          Knowing how tired I’d be after work, I didn’t plan to exercise. Yet I managed to find the energy and worked out at the gym for over an hour! Then I stopped on the way home for Chipotle. The good news is I was still less than 50 calories over my goal for the day.

          I’ve been asking God to give me verses to help me through this. Last night, I read this, “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Chris our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 24-25 The phrase “able to keep you from stumbling” really resonated with me. I’m trusting God to keep me from stumbling! J

          Going forward, I will keep setting small daily goals. I can do this!

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Day 1 Update

I did pretty good today. I stuck to eating low carb, took my lunch, got a good amount of sleep last night, took some healthy snacks to work but I did not exercise. I kind of knew this was likely to be where I didn’t follow through since I knew I’d be home late this evening.

If I didn’t have a headache, I’d blog more. For now, let me just put tomorrow’s plan in writing:

  1. Stick to low carb diet
  2. Pack my lunch for work
  3. Take plenty of healthy snacks to work
  4. Cook dinner
  5. Go to bed at a decent hour
  6. Exercise for at least 10 minutes
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