Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Final Post

Just for fun wish list for going back to school:

To Have
  • A bike for me and dw, and kids bike seats on the back of each of them
  • A helmet
  • Good bike locks for each of us
  • A laptop (I am crazy for the new lightweight Toughbook covertible, but hey, I'll even settle for a netbook...just something hopefully reliable I can use for notetaking and school work)
  • A Kindle (did you see the new Kindle is out and it is finally supposed to be readable in sun?)
  • A printer (turns out there is a charge per sheet for printing things out at school these days...phooey!)
  • Some clothes I feel comfortable in (time for the every-15-year wardrobe update that I can never afford LOL)
  • A fix to those little plumbing and electrical issues, etc., in the house that we can tolerate, but that we can't leave for a renter
  • And if I am getting really dreamy...maybe an iPad

To Shed
  • Our second car
  • My broken laptop
  • My house for 9 months out of the year
  • 50 pounds

Closing Out This Blog

So I will no longer be blogging on this blog, at least for the time being.  I do not know if I will return to make this blog into something else when I finally enter grad school for real.

In case anyone is wondering, I decided to defer enrollment at YDS by one year.  In the meantime, I have kindly been offered a one-class arrangement at one of the other schools to which I was accepted, and I will be dipping my toes in grad school life by attending that one class (which is held one evening per week) for the fall term.  I have registered for that class, and borrowed a few of the books required from the minister with whom I am working.  Fall term begins in early(ish) September.

In terms of my work and living arrangements, here is what has been established and what is still up in the air.  A committee met to look at my offers to continue working full-time, as well as their other staffing options.  They evaluated the situation, and decided to recommend that a search committee be formed and work on finding my replacement this year.  So I will be able to move to my school location and make a clean break.  I will need to find at least a part-time job in the new city in order to help keep a roof over my kid's heads and food on the table. 

The one painful thing that has occurred is that after the committee made its recommendations, the finance committee decided to recommend my replacement be hired at part-time to deal with finance shortfalls.  Since the whole conversation about me leaving was initiated because I couldn't work part-time, I am sure you can understand why this hurt me greatly.  That said, there were a number of factors considered in the original committee's recommendation to go into search, and that recommendation didn't stem from a desire to change directions, so I think what happened with the finance committee was largely that they backed into this position after it was determined I would be replaced.  I am working on letting that go.

We are hoping to be able to find renters for our home, but it is not looking particularly hopeful.  For this reason, we are also planning to save anything we get back in taxes in the coming year to cushion either a loss of rental income some months or a need to rent at a much lower amount than our mortgage.  I am not sure what we will do after the first year.  It may be that we attempt to sell the house as well, and just see what kind of offers we get, though we are reluctant right now to invest in preparing the house to sell it with the way the market is right now.  We will see.  I'm trying to just stay calm and take it one day at a time.

I want to thank the few of you who read this blog, who posted supportive messages, and kindly cheered me on when I thought I would drown in all this.  I also want to thank a few of you who took from your own money to make a donation toward the application fees and testing.  I simply would not have been able to apply without your help.  The money just wasn't there...that's a fact.  So thank you for your generosity because it made my dream of going to grad school come true.

I am still actively blogging, as I hope you are already aware.  I am blogging on religious leadership here:

I am also starting up a small business as a parenting coach, and you can find out all about that here:  If you are asked to login to see the site, it is because I have not yet opened for business.  I hope to be open within one month.  Please do come again.

My final post will be made momentarily.  It is really for my own purposes as an outlet.  Just for fun, I am making a wish list as I head off to school.  I know I am dreamin', but hey, that's what this blog has been all about.  After that, it is all serious business!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Future Blogging

So I am going to keep this blog up until I get through decisions about deferment and my negotiations at work.  Meanwhile, I've started what I think will be my next blog:  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My School

I will be attending Yale Divinity School.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Negotiation Dance

So I am in this awkward phase of the process.  I've picked my school, communicated my decisions, and now am waiting to hear back (hopefully I'll hear back) when the schools receive the letters.  But the most uncomfortable stuff is at work.  You'll recall I work in a non-ordained ministry in a congregation.

First, I've requested a deferment with the school, and now I have to figure out if I am going to be starting school this fall or next fall.  Still, I had to open up a conversation at work about the future of my employment.  I work in a field in which it can take a year to hire, so advance notice is really helpful.  In some ways it would be better to just be submitting my resignation.  Instead, I am conversing with them about whether me working on a limited/part-time basis would be mutually beneficial, and if so, under what type of arrangement.  All the while, I am holding up the possibility that it might be best for one or the other of us if we part ways. 

At times, the conversation feels highly generative, mutually supportive, frank yet compassionate, and productive.  Other times it feels, well, laced with distrust.  I've only been there a few years, and have come to be there after my predecessor served the congregation for 25 years...soooo, we are just settling into our relationship with one another, and now I've thrown this in the mix.  They took a bet on me, and they won't get their full returns no matter what way we dice matter what, I am going to be there for at least a handful of years shorter than we all anticipated at the starting gate, and probably much shorter than that.

Here is what I am struggling with tonight.  The congregation is in the midst of a big ministerial transition as is, for another reason, and they've been handling it really well.  I worry that I will become the "safer" outlet for that anxiety, and yes, my ego is slightly involved because whenever I am going to leave, I'd really like it to be under conditions in which people can still see the good things I've done over the last several years.  I am not sure I am going to have that experience, however, because in this negotiation dance, I can already feel the tidal wave of congregational anxiety is right behind us.

(P.S.  Just to make things a little harder, tonight I also learned funding was cut for a position we were adding to my expected revenues have not surfaced.  This is TOUGH stuff!)

Friday, April 16, 2010

...And a funny little note...

Tonight I am watching a video of interviews with "visionary ministers" who have led congregations through significant growth.  Among the faces I recognize on the video (both the ministers and the congregational and denominational leaders listening and reflecting back the conversations), I personally know a fair number.  It makes me think how many mentors I already have as I enter into this period of concentrated formation.


So letters are out to all three schools...albeit missing the official paperwork and deposit money for the school I have chosen.  I'll name the school on this blog officially next week.

This was such a tough decision, but now that it is made and letters (as hard as they were to write) are on their way, I am feeling eager to prepare for the future.  It is a lighter feeling, and one that dances joyfully with gratitude, even as I struggle with the next set of decisions on the table. 

Thank you, God, for bringing me to where I need to be now.  I am listening, following, and submitting, as I wait to know what you will have me do next.