First things first--Matt found out his appointment for next year!
We're going to be at Bethlehem UMC in Clarksville (about 45 mi. NW of Nashville). It's a small congregation, founded in 1836, way off the beaten path, with a charming building that's on the National Register of Historic Places. It will mean a long commute for me, since we'll be living in the parsonage there in Clarksville. (The parsonage, luckily, is fairly near the beaten path, on the other hand.) Matt was scared how I would react, since I was so opposed to the idea of a parsonage and really hoped we'd buy our own home, but I actually handled it quite well. ("I'm maxed out" in the stressor department, I told him.) It's a 4 bedroom, 2 full bath ranch with a fireplace and two-car garage. There's even a kitty-door from the garage for Miss Charlotte! It's pretty nice, and we can't really afford a house right now anyway--so, why not have free rent and utilities for a couple years? This could be really good for us!
Take a look at the church and house:
So, that's all very exciting, though it means quite a big life change for us. It's good to have one part of our limbo-situation resolved, though my side of things is still up in the air. I am still serving on a "temporary" basis in our academic/ministry leadership books unit, though they hired a new unit assistant (the position I was theoretically filling in for) two weeks ago. I have been doing some editorial work these past couple weeks, and this past week even went on a business trip with two colleagues, up to one of our most important churches. I got to meet and discuss book ideas with some of our major ministry-resource authors, and I loved every second of it! It made me ever more determined to get this job and to become a great editor. The details as to why my position is not already permanent and official are long-winded and strangled in HR red tape, but I have been given every reason to be hopeful it will all work out.
In the meantime, I am remembering a lesson learned from one of my maternal grandfather's many stories that he tells over and over again. Life seems to have stopped for this 93-year old back in 1952, as most of his oft-repeated stories are from his time in the Navy, in the mid-'30s, and his early days with General Electric in the '40s. Apparently, after a year or more on the factory line at GE, he wanted to move up to a higher-ranking position. His boss was skeptical, since he was younger than most of the other men in that position, so Grandpa offered to do the harder work for the same pay he'd been receiving on the line. The boss accepted this idea, and after a few weeks or months, he was granted the better position and its according pay on a permanent basis. As I return to work on Monday with a longer to-do list due to this past week's trip, I will try to remember Grandpa's work ethic and confidence that his abilities would win him the job.