Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What's New In Oklahoma?

I have been amazingly absent from the blogosphere in the last few months. What have I been up too?

2008 was a remarkable year, and now at the beginning of 2009, I find my schedule is completely different from the one I had in February last year. At this time last year I was putting finishing touches on my recorder duet for the music festival competition and scheduling my GED. We were planning my homeschool graduation ceremony and saving money for a trip to Virginia to witness my cousin’s wedding.

This February, I am still saving money for a trip to Virginia. My other cousin is getting married, so we have an opportunity to see what D.C. is like in the summer. I am still preparing for a test, but this test will help me earn college credit. In fact, I’ve taken 6 CLEP exams and earned 21 credits since I started my college studies in the fall! I am enrolled with CollegePlus! and will be completing an English degree from home.

So, even though I feel like everything has completely changed, my life is relatively unaffected compared to most recent high school grads. I still live in the same town, attend the same church, see the same people, sleep in the same bed, and eat from the same table. Best of all, I live under the protection of my father and mother and remain with my best friends, my brother David and sister Susanna!

As a child, I never thought college an attainable ambition. I knew it was too expensive for my family, and I desired to stay involved in my community under the protection of my father. As a Christian daughter aspiring to be a future wife and mother, college was out of the question. I would never be able to pay for the traditional college education – even had I desired to leave my family and “go to college.” Discovering distance learning has been one of the greatest surprises of my life. I always wanted to continue learning and build on my high school education, and I know God is smiling as he reveals a plan bigger and better than the one I dared to imagine for myself. He is providing a way for me to gain an accredited degree faster and more affordably than I ever thought possible. Better yet, I remain with my family while working a part time job to further my experiences and fund my education.

Genealogy has been my favorite hobby for the last several years, but I never imagined it would pay for my schooling. God provided the perfect place for me, and I now work as the genealogy clerk at my local public library. I started two days after my high school graduation in June. Besides overseeing my library’s vast genealogy collection and answering the library phone, I am able to actively assist people all over the nation with their genealogy by finding and mailing needed obituaries, funeral home records, photographs, and more. I love it!
Being a daughter at home is the best thing for me. I can’t imagine it any other way. God has always put it on my heart to live at home with my parents until my wedding day, and I am so thankful for their support. I am truly blessed! They provide structure, family, and security in a changing world. They’re also great guinea pigs for my cooking! Both my parents love to cook, so while it can be a little daunting to try out new recipes and spread my culinary wings, they love to enjoy my food and provide helpful instruction.

I don’t have much spare time these days. In balancing my heavy work, school, and family schedules, some things get forgotten or neglected, and I am still trying to fit everything in. I know God has good plans for me, and even though my priorities don’t always work like clockwork, I pray I’ll continue in wisdom – and time saving techniques!

I always have time for church. Building up the Kingdom of God is vitally important, and I am glad I can stay involved in my local congregation. I am still able to sing in the choir, play bells with the Joy Bell Ringers, and support and pray for my dad (the church pianist) and other ministers in the church. It is my calling to serve the Lord’s work within my local community, and it is my fervent desire to do the work He’s prepared for me completely for His glory.

When I do have a moment free from school, study, and building friendships, I enjoy quilting. I have at least four quilting projects lined up in my head while I slowly make progress on my parents’ 25th Anniversary Quilt. Their special day was last August, but they know I am doing the best I can with my current time constraints. My mother chose the design, and my dad chose the fabric (with my mom present for veto purposes). Phrases from 1 Corinthians 13 are embroidered on the front to emphasize the gift of true love. I hope it will be completed soon!
When I look back at my life a year ago and compare it to what it is now I am humbled and amazed. Some things went exactly according to plan. Other things threw me for a complete loop. I can only thank my Heavenly Father that His plans are bigger than mine.

So, for those of you that kept reading this post to the very end: know that I haven’t forgotten any of you out there in the blogosphere. I will try to stay involved as I have time. I just wanted you to know I’m still here and all is well in Oklahoma!

Give thanks to God and live for Him!