What now?

I thought I’d do a post regarding my ever changing future plans since many of you may not have heard about my latest developments.

I was laid off on January 15, 2009 from Mercy Corps.

It was a total answer to prayer.

I have wanted to work for Mercy Corps since discovering them a little over six years ago. They are still a great organization even though they laid me off.
My job at Mercy Corps was a tough, demoralizing job whereby I stood on a street corner every day, like a beggar, asking  people to sign up to donate monthly to Mercy Corps. Some days I was very good at it, but most days turned into a theological battle.  I fought with God; wondering how He could have misunderstood my prayers to work at Mercy Corps, interjecting my conversation with Him by asking each passerby “Do you have a moment for Mercy Corps?”
I heard story after story of people who had started where I had and moved up to doing the things I’d like to do.  So I tried to remain faithful. Day after day I’d pray for a sign as to what I was supposed to do with a job I hated, especially the day my boss came to me while working and said he’d have to fire me before Christmas if I didn’t start bringing in some money. I said, “I understand. I’d give me the same talk too if I were in your position.” Walked into the bathroom to clear my head and shot up a hail Mary, “God. If you want me to keep this job, I’m going to need a sign.” I walked back outside, hadn’t gotten my dumb bag unpacked when a man walked up to me and said, “You work for Mercy Corps? I’ve been meaning to sign up for monthly giving with them.”

Ok, God, I’m listening.

My boss walked back outside and saw my signing up the guy. He then interpreted this as threatening Rachel= Results. We’d have this talk a few more times before we all got laid off. So, I stuck it out. Wondering daily how I was supposed to do this job that I hated but felt as if this was my Isaac that I was asked to sacrifice.
I am someone who is very passionate about what I do and so to be asked to be in a place where I felt anything but passion towards my job was very difficult. I’m grateful I stuck it out and didn’t quit [ I can collect unemployment because of being laid off] and it really is an answer to prayer to be back to a place where I’m wide open to future possibilities and thinking critically about where I want to go. So that’s what I’ mdoing, I’m looking at possibly going back to school [ economic crisis= tuition rates lowered] or leaving the country again till this thing settles down. 

So, I’m nannying again and grateful more than ever for the generosity and love of John and Barb Marquez.  I put some pictures of my trip to Seattle up on Flickr! Check out my pictures!

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Wedding

IT.
IS.
FINISHED.
Jessica Anderson became Jessica Howell on January 3, 2009 and I am STILL recovering. WHEW! What a fun but draining day! This was the first wedding that I have totally coordinated and been in at the same time. In the future, I think I’m going to treat being a bridesmaid like drugs and “JUST SAY NO.”  [Not to all of course. Some of my dearest friends have yet to marry and OF COURSe I’ll be honored to be part of their big days]
As I was saying in the days leading up to the wedding : “Jess’ wedding has single handedly made the decision for me to elope.” “The next time I do this much work for a wedding, I better get paid for it.” “My sister’s wedding will be the next one I do, I think.” But thankfully, I have a talent for this kind of thing and almost everyone who attended the soiree told me I should go into business, which, I have to confess, I’m considering.
I have ALWAYS loved weddings. I wanted to be a flower girl more than any little girl should and I used to sit on the front porch [the parsonage I grew up in was RIGHT across the street from the church] and wait for hours to see the bride come out. My mom’s good friend made some of the best wedding dresses in town and she’d let me come over and look at them when she dropped them off at the church. I’d draw wedding dresses in church when my dad was preaching. When I became too old to be a flower girl, I made my little sister the most in demand flower girl in town by making her practice down our long upstairs hall. She was the best thing you ever saw. I swear people started walking into the church my father pastored saying, “I’ll take the flower girl/pastor package please.” She was a flower girl some 7 or 8 times by the age of 6. In a town of 1600, there weren’t a lot of weddings but I swear she threw petals at them all.  Here’s the worst of my wedding fetish. In high school I still thought I might become a wedding dress designer or then a wedding planner [the J-lo movie had come out] so I started buying every Martha Stewart weddings magazine. I know. It’s shameful. But I love weddings.
Now some of you may be jumping to the conclusion that oh, she must want to get married SOOO badly. Au contraire my friends. I LOVE  being single and when I do finally get roped into marrying some idiot who’ll agree to pay my bills, I plan on ELOPING. So, I think what I love most in weddings are the details. To me, the small things are the most important in life and a wedding is nothing but a symphony of small things. A wedding is a celebration of two people’s love of the small things about another person. So, all kidding and side notes aside, Jessica’s wedding was a near complete success [save a couple light repairs as I learned that even though Christmas lights may be plugged into each other end to end, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should] I’m considering starting a side business of wedding coordination. If have someone who is getting married and wants some tips or advice, send them my way. Other than that, please enjoy a few pictures from Jessica’s Wedding.