Tuesday, February 27, 2007
At the time, I had no idea what that would entail. I didn't know how uncertain my future would be, or that these would be the most trying times of my life. I didn't know that it would take eight years to complete His plan. It is better that I didn't know. If I had known in advance, I wouldn't have completed this journey.
It turns out that God knows best. Did you know that? Apparently it is a lesson that I must learn again and again. Throughout this internship application process, I have prayed the prayer "Put me where you want me." I didn't ask to match. I didn't ask to be placed in a certain position. Instead, I did the thing that is the hardest for me: I turned over control of my life to God. During the pain and uncertainty of the past few days I asked "Why? I am following Your plan for my life. Why are You allowing this to happen?" I heard him answer with that still, small voice. "I have brought you this far. I will not leave you now."
The internship site that I got is, quite frankly, perfect for me. Is it exactly what I imagined? No. But I will have great training and will get to work in the area that I love. I will only move 30 some odd miles from my own home. I will not miss out on a year of my niece and nephews' lives. I will not miss the familiar comforts of my family and friends. I will not have to wait a year to really begin my career. I am in the exact area that I want to practice. This is, and feels, right. You know, God-right. Not Tessa-right.
To those of you who have read my whining and fears over the last months, I thank you for sticking with me. For those of you who have prayed for me and encouraged me on this blog and through email, I want you to know how much that has meant to me. It has been so nice to have the outlet of a fairly anonymous blog where people who were objective and not too close to the situation could offer opinions and encouragement. Thank you, thank you, and may God bless you indeed.
Has this path been worth it? YES. Going down God's path is always worth it. Always. Further, I really, truly enjoy what I do. It is so fulfilling and deeply rewarding. I have the privilege of getting to help people. Every day, I reach out to those who are hurting and try to ease their pain. I hope that someday I can learn to love people in the way that Jesus did during his ministry here on Earth.
Praise to the Giver of all things!
Monday, February 26, 2007
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
Makes my own drama seem like not such a big deal after all. Perspective is a good thing to have.
This whole experience has been very hard for me since, frankly, things usually come easy to me and/or opportunities fall in my lap. I'm sure this is a growth experience or something, but I'm not feeling very much like growing right now.
Please keep me in your prayers.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
* I have several things up on eBay that are selling really well! One is already sold because I had a person email me and ask me to set up a Buy It Now for way more than I expected to get. One of my friends has invited me over next week to look at some stuff of hers that I can sell. I'm very excited.
* I started mystery shopping and it is really fun! The money from this and from my eBay sales will be going to my student loan debt. It's a bit like throwing pennies into the Grand Canyon, but every little bit helps, adds up, and saves me from compounding interest!
* My laptop order was cancelled. I'm a little relieved since I felt guilty spending several hundred dollars when my current computer works fine AND I have so much student loan debt. That begs the question: Are you ever free to make large purchases when you have that much debt? This topic deserves a post of its own.
* I have my dissertation data almost completely scored. Next week I will begin analyzing it!
* I went to J.C. Penney to look at their clearance racks and did not buy a thing for myself. There were a couple of cute tops, but I don't really need any. I think something is wrong with me since I started thinking "$5.97??? This really should be less. Like $2.97." The cheaper that I get clothing, the less I am willing to spend in the future. I did buy a little baby boy onesie for $1.97. I have several baby, birthday, and anniversary gifts in the works.
That's all for now!
Monday, February 19, 2007
Why is this so important? Because you cannot complete your doctorate in psychology without a one year internship. You will remain in limbo until it is done. This is the single most important moment in our academic careers to this point. Everything hangs on this internship.
Everyone looks and feels terrible this week. Even the more positive people are tense and mildly depressed. Personally, I have two very painful and prominent pimples (more to come, I'm sure) and a stomach that feels nauseated. To combat the stress, I will be upping the amount of exercise that I get, making sure that I get plenty of sleep, and upping my level of general productivity.
At the end of the day, I know that God is in control and that He will place me where he wants me. As a very weak human, it is easy for me to forget that and to imagine that I have some type of control over my life. I could use prayers this week.
I will keep you updated!
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Much of living frugally has to do with learning how to get things for free. Two very important sources for freebies and hand-me-downs are your friends and family. In The Tightwad Gazette, Amy Dacyczyn cautions the reader to not turn down hand-me-downs. In the text she is talking about children's clothing, but I think it applies to many things. There is nearly always something you can use in what you are given. By the same token, you can return the favor with some hand-me-downs of your own.
This week, I stayed at the house of my friends B. and N. They are going to have a yard sale sometime in the spring, and they invited me to go through their pile and take anything that I wanted!!! I took the above picture, a CD organizer that hangs on a car visor, two new brown placemats, a silver heart bracelet new in box, the book Body for Life, and a coffee maker that makes enough for two travel mugs. It is missing the travel mugs, but I can just use tall cups. I don't drink coffee, but nearly everyone in my family does. What a blessing to have a coffee maker fall in my lap!
Accepting free things does not make me feel poor. In fact, it makes me feel rich. I can see the abundance in God's provision through hand-me-downs, but I understand that it can be emotionally difficult for some. Accepting with grace can sometimes be hard to do. Minotte at The Frugal Immigrants has a very well-written post on gracious receiving here.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
One of my goals is to be free of student loan debt by the age of 32. This is a huge goal, but one that I feel is do-able. I will be finished with school at age 26, but will only be provisionally licensed (a.k.a. reduced earning power) until the age of 27. That gives me a mere five years to be done with over $125,000 of debt. I'm not sure of the exact amount yet since I have another year of potential debt to factor in. I am certain that I can get this done even in that short amount of time. God has always provided an abundance for me; if I continue to be smart with His money, I know I will get it done.
I have three other things on my side:
1) I will be eligible to enroll in a program that will pay $20,000 per year toward my student loans for a minimum of three years (providing this program is still in place in 3 years)
2) I am honing my frugal living craft now. I will not make a huge amount of money as a beginning psychologist in southwest Missouri. But the amount I will make is plenty. If I can continue to live below my means, I will have extra money to throw at the debt.
3) I will have no other debt but student loan. No car, credit card, or house debt providing that all continues to go well.
In the meantime, I have decided to start paying back money on my loans. I do not have a job, so this can be tricky, especially since I am also saving for certain things. I have decided to allocate my money in the following manner:
1) Any windfalls, tax refunds, rebate checks, and consignment shop monies will go to savings.
2) Anything that I sell (other than at the consignment shop) will go toward the debt. This means eBay, half.com, garage sales, and so on. I may also do some mystery shopping, and this money would go toward debt.
I have already listed some books on half.com and am gathering other things to sell on eBay. I am not happy with eBay's fee structure, though. Has anyone had any success with Yahoo auctions? Also, I may set up an Etsy store sometime in the next few months. Stay tuned!
Saturday, February 10, 2007
I hit the jackpot today at two flea markets! I found a plastic crate of trim, ribbon, lace, and such for $5. It has tons of vintage and other gorgeous stuff in it. The second picture is the contents spread out over the floor. I will not have to buy trim for the rest of my life! It was very much worth the $5 to me as I *love* fabric, ribbon, trim, and paper goods. Basically any kind of textile.
Friday, February 09, 2007
2) Get a free bag of Feline Pine cat litter- the form is here.
3) Aquafresh Dr. Seuss rebate- I've posted this before, but it bears repeating. Buy any 2 Dr. Seuss Aquafresh toothpastes or toothbrushes and get a free Dr. Seuss rebate. These often go on sale and there are usually coupons out for these products. I've done this offer before and the book comes really quickly. The form is here.
4) Paypal is having a rebate where you spend $30 and get $15 back. The details are here. Make sure you *carefully* read the terms and conditions. This has been confirmed as being legit, but if you are still wary, call (don't email) Paypal to double check. I am thinking about buying a $30 Barnes and Noble gift card with this deal.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
A couple of weeks ago I went to my local tiny library bookstore. Hardbacks are fifty cents. :)
* The Most Wonderful Dollhouse Book: SO FUN! It shows you how to make dollhouses out of cardboard boxes and furniture and dollhouse people out of stuff you have around the house.
* Super Toys and Games From Paper: Another cool book. It shows all kinds of toys, little and big enough to sit on that you make from paper.
* Trash to Treasure Christmas: My favorite of this bunch. Another make-stuff-from-what-you-have-around-the-house type of thing.
* Container Gardening: A handy reference, but I think it's just for flowers.
* Dark Reunion, Contents Under Pressure, and Roots: Dark Reunion and Contents Under Pressure were short, fun mystery reads. I picked up Roots since it is, to me, a classic and I didn't have a copy.
I have way more books than I can read and have completely run out of room for them, but that hasn't slowed me down any!
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Tonight I got my proof, which was actually nice to have. The professor asked for volunteers to take and administer (give) the memory test. I volunteered to take it, and my friend B. administered it to me in front of the class. Initially, people thought I was faking how poorly I was doing or that I was trying to be funny. This turned into concern. Some comments were "Have you had a head injury?" and "Tessa, we need to do some exercises to improve your memory." Basically, to do as poorly as I did, there must be something wrong with part of my brain. I think the problem lies within my parietal lobe, as I also have difficulty with multiple visuospatial tasks. For example, when attempting to put leftover food away in a container, I inevitably will choose a container too large for the amount of food. I am simply unable to see the correct size. I have learned to compensate for this by locating the size I would normally choose and taking the next size smaller instead.
I have learned to compensate for this memory problem as well. I am fairly intelligent and I have good coping mechanisms, so you wouldn't know that I had this problem if I didn't tell you. I have learned to use lists for things that I need to remember for the short term. My long term memory doesn't seem affected. I didn't even become aware of this problem until I was in graduate school and learned what "normal" memory was, so obviously it has not held me back any.
I am going to try to get either a full neuropsychological test done or maybe just some memory tests to have "official" results, but this won't really affect my life one way or another. I just think the brain is fascinating and wonder how God came up with all of this stuff! And isn't it neat that I can still function well even with this seemingly important part not working 100%. If you were wondering about the cause of this problem, I believe it to be genetic as my mother seems to be similarly afflicted.
And let this be a lesson to you bloggy people: Don't doubt the Tessa when she tells you something, even if she is a little dramatic. ;)
Monday, February 05, 2007
Sunday, February 04, 2007
For example, I haven't found any good deals at my local T.J. Maxx in years. However, this afternoon I bought tins of Calvin Klein women's socks (2 pair per tin) for $2 each, a Wilson sport package with women's sport socks (3 pair), a water bottle, and a wristband for $3, and some Nautica and Laura Ashley pajama tops for $1 a piece. I think I may go back tomorrow for more of the socks and Wilson sets. I also got a beautiful olive-y silk blouse for $10. That is more than I normally spend on a shirt, but it was too beautiful to leave on the rack. I also spotted some really nice wool scarves for $6 in the men's accessory section, so be sure to check out clearance in every department.