Sunday, October 30, 2005
My manager said she would check around and find students who took the Lansing courses, and see if I could borrow their books. This particular insurance company seems pretty good about agents helping each other out, so I don't think it will be a problem to get ahold of some books.
I started my course yesterday, and took the quiz for my first module today. I scored an 86%. That's not bad. The course only requires a 70% on each quiz for successful completion, so I'm off to a good start. My goal is to complete the total course within two weeks, get my license as quickly as I can, and dive right into this new career.
As I realize I am moving on to something much better than what I have now, it is becoming more difficult to be content with what I have now. But, I keep bringing to mind the reality that I do not do my job for the sake of my employer, or even for my own sake, but I do it to the glory of God. If I can do this piddly little job well, and do it well even though it doesn't even pay me enough to pay the bills, God will honor it. He promises that if we are faithful in the little things, He will make us faithful with much. So, I work to keep my attitude in check, to remember who I work for, and to keep in mind that the world is watching.
It is late...though an hour earlier than usual, really...and I'm weary from a migraine, from which I am just recovering. It has been with me all day, and it's been an utter beast. Time to relax, now that it is leaving me.
Pat, where have you been? And how did the window glazing go?
Friday, October 28, 2005
Climbing the walls
Apparently, the course I have chosen to take to prepare for the state licensing exam has a high failure rate. The reason being, the course is prepared out-of-state, and does not cover all the material covered on the state exam. My district manager took the course, received high scores on all her quizzes throughout the course, but when she went to take the exam, it read like a foreign language because there was so much material that wasn't covered.
She suggested that I go to Lansing to take the weekend course that is offered, and take my exam the following week. She said there is a much lower failure rate with that course, it takes less time, and I can start earning money sooner. All of which makes sense.
However, that course is about $160 more expensive. It was a stretch for me to even consider $125, and the idea of coming up with more than twice that many funds for the course alone seems next to impossible. Apart from the course, I would also have to pay for gas to get to Lansing, food, lodging, etc...It will cost me $500+ to go down for the weekend and take the course, plus the cost of gas, etc...to go back down and take the exam.
Of course, by the time I pay for the cheaper course, and perhaps the cost of repeating the exam two or three times until I pass, it will average to be about the same cost. So, it makes sense to just take the more expensive course and get it out of the way so I can actually begin earning money.
But where am I going to get that kind of money? With my current earnings, it would take me about six weeks to save that much money. Not a long time, but too long a time for this.
I have considered that, if I were to respect my budget constraints and take the cheaper course, it is well within God's ability to ensure that I know what I need to know in order to pass the exam. God knows what is going to be covered on the exam, and He knows what material is covered in the course. It is not impossible that He could provide me with the resources to fill in the gaps.
I am so close to something that is going to change my life, it would be a shame to let a few hundred dollars keep me from doing this.
I need wisdom. I am not sure what to do. Do I forego the cheaper course? If I do that, I have to tell my manager when I am going to be doing the courses in Lansing, which is hard to do when I have no idea when I'll even have the money. Do I go ahead and take the cheaper course, and trust that God will enable me to pass the exam?
I am too tired to look it up...but there is a verse in Psalms in which David says..."By my God, I can leap over a wall."
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Anyway, it's all the rage among the folks I work with, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I justify it by saying it's a great witnessing tool. lol
Here is the URL, if you'd like to take a peek:
Monday, October 24, 2005
|Your Hidden Talent|
Friday, October 21, 2005
I love it when a plan comes together
I am SO EXCITED about this! This is going to absolutely change my life, in ways I am sure I cannot even begin to imagine right now. I believe that this is where God is leading and His blessing is all over this. The timing of the things that transpired to lead me to this point...even the precise timing of specific conversations that lead to my meeting specific people...was absolutely God-ordained.
There is a fee for the licensing class...$125...and that is presenting a bit of an obstacle. However, I am looking at it as just one more opportunity for God to demonstrate His faithfulness. I know He will provide the financial means for me to get my license, and won't leave me broke and begging. I eagerly await seeing His means of provision this time!
If nothing else, the last few months have taught me that God always has a plan, that He is working even in moments that we do not seem to see anything happening. I have believed all along that God has been working in ways I could not see, and now I am seeing the fruit of that faith. All this time, He was orchestrating events and placing people to lead me into something that is already better than I could have imagined.
The area where the regional director is going to have me start is a region that has been almost untouched, as far as new accounts are concerned. It was explained to me that the agents working in that area are focusing on existing accounts, earning money on renewals and whatnot. This means that all the new businesses moving to that area...and there are several...have not been approached. Which means, the market is wide open for a new agent to go in there and start building a customer base by selling to the new businesses. YAY!
So, it is important that I get my license soon. The sooner the better. Yet, I know that God is never late, and whatever means He uses to fund the licensing class, I know it will come at just the right time.
My head is still spinning from all of this. After my meeting with the regional sales director yesterday, I began thinking about how my life is going to change once I get the ball rolling. Imagine, having enough money to pay off my debts, and save for a place of my own, a better car, etc...and all the while, not feeling financially strained in doing so. It will take me some time to get to that point, but it will happen. As I considered this, I could hardly comprehend it.
Of course, my dad has other ideas. He is skeptical. Discouraging. It has been difficult to feel so excited about something, then have my dad say, "Well, we'll see...." I am encouraged, though, by stories of other agents whose parents or whomever had the very same reaction, and they were able to show them that their career move was very well worth any perceived risk. So, I'm keeping my head up, eyes ahead, and remembering all that lead me here.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
As you may recall, a little over a month ago, I began a job at the resort here in town. Of all the jobs I've applied for over the last few months, it was this job that I wanted least of all. In fact, it wasn't until literally every other door had been closed...or never opened at all...that I finally put my application in to the resort.
When I got this job, I remember thinking..."God, You've got to be kidding!". Yet, I was grateful, because it was close by, and it wouldn't cost me a fortune in fuel to get there. So, all in all, not bad.
Ever since I started working there, I have just had this feeling that I would not be there for long. I've had the sense that somehow, something was going to break loose in my life, and I was somehow going to move on to better things. I've kept that tucked in the back of my mind all this time, and just continued with my life, waiting for that elusive something to come along.
Well, this past weekend, I think it may well have finally come.
And, it's taken ten years to get here.
Ten years ago, a family friend started selling supplemental insurance. You know, the ducky kind that pays you when you're sick and can't work. At that time, he asked me if I wanted to become an agent, and I promptly told him I did not. I had absolutely no confidence at the time, and I was also concerned that I would be wasting my time on something that would not bear fruit.
Over the years, I have wondered how he's done with his venture.
This past weekend, the ducky insurance agents were at the resort. I saw my friend's name on a roster of people being recognized for their years with the company. One of the security guards was in there with me, and I shared with him that my friend might be there this weekend. I also shared that I thought I had made a big mistake in not becoming an agent ten years ago.
At that moment, as I was setting one of the tables for a meeting, a gentleman came in and gave me a few instructions on what to do with their things while I set the tables. He had overheard part of my conversation with the security guard, and asked me if I knew someone who was going to be at the convention. I told him I did, and told him the name. He recognized the name, and said that my friend was making about a quarter million dollars a year, after ten years with the agency.
I told him that my friend had asked me ten years ago to become an agent, and that I was seriously regretting my decision not to. This gentleman, who turned out to be the state director for the agency, told me that it wasn't too late, and gave the number for the regional director. Great!!
I was very excited about this. It seemed like things were finally...maybe...possibly...turning around for me. I couldn't wait until Monday, so I could call this woman!
Throughout the weekend, there was a woman there who was selling very beautiful jewelry and handbags, and apparently attends all of the agency's functions of this type. We had talked here and there throughout the weekend, and I told her a little about about my conversations earlier. She told me she knew the regional director, and would introduce her to me at the next break.
This just keeps getting better!
So, at the next break, I meet the regional director, who takes down my number and says she will call me to schedule an appointment for the following week.
Later on in the evening, as I am sitting with some of my coworkers (yeah, we were slackin'), the state director steps out into the hallway for a breather. He tells us that they will all be performing skits later, and we should come in and watch them for a good laugh. So, we do.
At that time, I meet a regional director from the upper peninsula, who shares with me a bit about his own experience with the company, and strongly encourages me to "go for it". He then introduces me to another sales coordinator from my area, and says I should work with her in order to learn the best and most profitable way to go about doing things. As it turns out, I had been talking with her periodically throughout the evening, assisting her with things for the convention.
All in all, this past weekend left me feeling a sense of hope, and a sense that God had given me something...a totally new and unexpected something...to move me into the next phase of what He has for me.
I am meeting with the regional sales director on Thursday at 3p.m.
I am very excited about this. This is an excellent opportunity to make some real money and move on with my life in a manner I never imagined possible. More than that, though, this will free me up to get more involved with my church, as I've been wanting to do for some time. It is going to take some very hard work to get established, but once I've done that, I'll have time to do the things I have had on my heart to do, but have not been able to do because someone else has been dictating my schedule. Beyond that, if I reap the financial rewards I saw others reaping this past weekend, it will enable me to bless others with what I've been blessed with. I know what it is to be in need, and feel like there is no way out. I would love to be in a position of helping someone who is facing that struggle.
I have a very good feeling about this. A God-feeling. I do not believe in coincidence, and I believe there are specific reasons why the job with the resort is the only one I could feasibly have, and I believe that perhaps this past weekend was a major part of why God put me there.
In other news, Sunday was surprising for other reasons...
There was a seminar at the church on Sunday night that I wanted to attend. That meant I would have to stay in town all day, rather than wasting the fuel to drive home only to turn around and drive back a few hours later.
When Herbie's roommate heard of this, he invited me to come over for the afternoon, so I wouldn't have to hang around town all day. I thought this was very sweet, and I took him up on the offer. He and I have been spending a fair amount of time lately, just talking and getting to know each other. We seem to like doing that. :) I was very pleasantly surprised by his invitation, and was glad to be able to spend the afternoon with him. I was tired, and probably rambled too much, but I think we still enjoyed the afternoon nonetheless.
Yeah...life feels good right now.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Prayer of St. Francis
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Words to think about...
Thursday, October 13, 2005
On the upswing
I went to Oasis tonight, and that is always just what it purports to be...an oasis. A safe place of refreshing.
I had a very good, long talk with dear friend of mine, who assured me that he has been through something very much like what I've been going through, and things will get better. It is good to know that I'm not the only one who ever deals with this stuff, and has had to somehow manage a way through it and out of it.
I think that one major theme God has been impressing upon me lately is to get over myself. For years, I have been perfecting the art of wallowing in self-pity, and I have to say, I have become quite adept at it. I know how to take nearly any situation, and turn it into something that reflects my overall sense of worthlessness and utterly contemptuous nature.
A couple of days ago, I was again asking God for help with the depression I've been fighting, and I could almost literally hear Him saying, "Stefanie, get over yourself. Not everything is about you."
So, I've been praying for a broader vision, that sees beyond myself and my own pain, and sees and feels the pain of others.
I do think God is grieved when we do not feel good about ourselves. After all, He made us, and He thinks we're pretty great. But, I also think that there comes a point where God will say "Enough" after dealing with a particular thing for awhile. I think that applies to many situations, and certainly to my ongoing struggle with self-esteem issues. It is as though the choice is being put before me very simply...either believe the lies, and continue struggling through the mire of a distorted image devoid of God's truth, or reject the lies, start speaking the truth even if I don't yet believe it, and go forward in light of His word.
I'm going forward...it won't be a perfect journey, and I'm sure to experience setbacks now and then...but I'm tired of walking waist deep through muddy lies.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Anyway, I do not feel quite as funky, though the funk is holding on. For now.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Days like this...
I'm not sure why I've felt this way. Just feeling like I don't measure up, somehow, to the unwritten standard men have for women...I'm not thin or beautiful like the "Desperate Housewives". I do not possess whatever quality it is a woman must have in order to make a man want to know her beyond the superficial elements. Whatever it takes, I don't have it.
But, I am consoled by knowing that men old enough to be my father find me interesting. Men who are planning on getting drunk want me there with them. And, finally, men with severe mental disorders find me irresistable!
All in all, not bad, I guess....
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Day by day
My new job doesn't feel so new anymore, and I am getting the hang of things. I enjoy my job, and I enjoy the people I work with, and that makes all the difference in the world. I have considered transferring to another position which might allow me to utilize my skills more, but if I remain in my current position for awhile yet, it wouldn't bother me in the least. I am happy where I am.
I am meeting some interesting people on the job, too. I had a good discussion with one of our security guards, who is a retired cop. He encouraged me to pursue my interest in criminal justice, as he sees a need for more female police officers. He told me that when he first met me, he knew there was something more to me than what he saw. He said he could see it in my eyes, in my face, in the whole way I present myself. He said it was "all over me". That was encouraging to hear. He and I talked for quite awhile, he encouraged me to continue with school and to hang in there and see it through to the end. It was just good to talk to someone who could give me an "inside" perspective on a field I have some interest in, and who expressed some confidence that I could actually do something productive in that field.
I also talked with another security guard (not sure why, but I seem to connect with the security guards...ha!), and he and his wife have been dealing with the mental health agency I left back in May. He expressed to me some of the frustration they have been experiencing in dealing with the agency, and he shared with me that their experiences here have been a difficult adjustment after what they were accustomed to in their home state. As we talked, he assured me that I was not imagining the problems with the care provided by the agency, and he expressed many of the same concerns I had. He also assured me that mental health care is not like that everywhere, and that if I were to move to his home state, I would be well qualified to work in their programs. Again, it was encouraging to know that I did not just imagine the things I became so concerned about, and that I am by no means the only one who sees that there are very real problems with the agency and the care they provide.
I think God is placing people in my life to give me affirmation to stay the course. I do not doubt that I am moving in the right direction, but it is also good to hear encouragement from those who have travelled the road before. Again, I see God's sovereignty at work. I believe that I am exactly where I need to be, for reasons I have only begun to see. These two security guards have no idea how major their role has been in unveiling God's purposes in my life.
I am again left with nothing to say, except that God is GOOD, ALL THE TIME!
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Just for kicks and giggles
Here are some of my favorite That Girl slogans:
We Don't Make That Girl. We Make That Girl Better.
Things Go Better with That Girl.
Time To Make The That Girl .
Just What The That Girl Ordered.
It's a New That Girl Every Day.
A Different Kind Of Company. A Different Kind Of That Girl .
Okay, now you try it! It's a lot of fun!
Saturday, October 01, 2005
And then there was this...
Okay, the really funny part is that the first time I took this test, it told me I was like HITLER! YIKES!!!
I think I more closely resemble Abe.
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]