Auckland Council

It's complicated...

On the one hand, I have experienced God answering big prayers in awesome ways in the last two weeks.  Sarah Harriet ended up with two jobs--so rich in work that she could be generous and share with her roommate.  Kate's daughter Gina got the teaching job she needed--the one with the short commute and at the school where she really wanted to work.  And I got a call from Auckland Council offering me a short-term contract. On the other hand, I have not exhaled yet about Auckland Council, though it is the "dream" job in many ways.  I will be working with the Tamaki Transformation Programme (more on that in a future post).  First though I have to work through many hoops to get my work permit.  And hope that Nandita, who will be my supervisor at Auckland Council, is willing to go through the hassle.  All in a time and space when it seems everyone goes on leave.

When Christmas is in the summer, as it is here.  Then school is out for the summer break and holidays.  Apparently it is much like between Christmas and New Years with the  added "bug out" of an August in France during January.  Thus getting my paperwork done will be an extra challenge.

So I ask you to keep praying for me to get a job.  If anything, you can pray more specifically that I work well with the Medicine agency who is charged to figure this out and that NZ Immigration processes the paperwork quickly.  (I will count it as a miracle if they do!)

I would say "Nothing that is worthwhile is easy."  Except that sometimes it is easy, and sometimes not.  And persistence and patience are virtues I will keep practicing.

Meanwhile, while I waited for the call from Auckland Council I went for a walk along the bay.  It was SO BEAUTIFUL today: blue sky with fluffy white clouds, pohutakawa trees starting to bloom, the sea a brilliant color.*  So beautiful that if beauty were like drinking water, then I was drinking from a fire hose.  It helped me remember that it will all be worth it if I can find a way to stay.

*Before you chide me about not providing a photograph--I do not think there is a camera invented that could have captured how stupendously beautiful the image appeared in my mind.

Work and Sweet Peas

I realized this morning that I have been holding my breath and withholding information about my search for work in the hopes that I could soon make a big announcement.  I kept hoping that anyday I would get an offer letter from Synergine and I could submit my application for the work visa.  One day last week I was particularly exasperated as I had just turned in a two-page proposal for work to Housing New Zealand through Synergine, and I was volunteering with Habitat for Humanity New Zealand.  Nothing was moving forward toward a paycheck and I was feeling a bit desperate.  Then I got a call from Auckland Council for a job that I had forgotten I applied for--I had to look up the cover letter and do some research to remember. In the past week God has used this job interview to call me back from the brink.  And to remind me why I am here.  I am intending to redesign my life not recreate it with all the same stress and job pressure.  I want to live intuitively and trust God.  In the process I am hoping to learn more about myself and more about faith.

This morning I was cleaning my flat and I was feeling very pessimistic about the job interview.  It is not a lack of confidence in my ability to handle a job interview, or about the work itself (it is a team leader position in community services providing advice to community groups about events and city services, which sounds like fun!)... instead I was wrestling with the tag-team of worry and fear.  What if God is a trickster and move to New Zealand was a bait-and-switch?

I opened the blinds and saw that the sun had reappeared and so I jammed out my apartment and headed to the village and on my favorite walk.  St Heliers Bay is a wondrous light jade green colour today.  I stopped at the best bench in St Heliers and looked across the bays toward the city with the Sky Tower poking the jumbly white and grey clouds.   I reaffirmed my commitment to walk into the future in faith.  I do not know how the details will work out.  I am not my bank account (in spite of 48+ years of conditioning that I am!).  I cannot control events, only my attitude.

I continued my walk determined to practice being in the present moment.  (Go away worry!  Scram fear!  You are not welcome companions!)  I received three treats.  First I paused at the wall to look at the bay again and saw my favorite flowers in bloom on the hillside.  Sweet peas and nasturtium may not be native species but I was glad to see their cheerful blossoms.  Then a little further on I paused as a Tui bird landed on a flower stalk and began eating nectar or drinking water.  I have an affinity for this iconic NZ bird but have not seen one since I arrived in August.  He saw me but maybe because I was still, he continued eating and drinking until all of the flowers were sampled.  I am so appreciative.  The third treat I hesitate to share.  It made me laugh but it sounds awkward when I read it in print.  I was looking out at Rangitoto form Achilles Point and I turned to leave and looked down at the strip of beach below.  There was a naked man who was just coming in from a swim.  He was far enough away that the encounter was completely impersonal.  And it struck me as so absurd.  I completed my walk with a much lighter heart.

I ask for your prayers and positive thoughts as I go into my interview tomorrow Tuesday in NZ at 1:30 p.m. (Monday at 4:30 PST).  And I will do better at keeping you posted.