Finishing up my coursework and successfully passing my comprehensive exams meant a new stress entered for a few days...I now am employable as a professor, and, as school bills pile up in the file drawer, Aaron and I felt definite about my need to find employment.  It has been like pulling teeth to find a job...months of applications, letters of interest, dead-end interviews, and a few carrots dangled before us that have failed to materialize for a variety of reasons.  One day last week, Aaron asked if I'd inquired about job openings at the local university, my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire.  I'd been browsing their online job postings, but hadn't seen a single thing in nursing for nearly a year.  But I sent a two line e-mail to the dean, who had urged me to skip my master study altogether and go straight to the PhD back in 2007 when I'd consulted her.

Funny how the waiting is over in flash when God starts conducting the orchestra!  Within a few hours, I had an e-mail from the Chair of the department, asking me when I could come interview.  A brief 1 business day later...after a weekend spent joyfully celebrating Katrina's 7th birthday...and I was sitting in a delightful interview in the familiar halls of my old school.  Within the hour, I was given a job offer - and not just any job offer, but a dream job!

I remember the musty smell of the old leather couch in my father's dark basement office in Grand Forks when I was about 4.  I remember the green glow of the Apple computer screen and the shelves upon shelves of books.  I remember watching him lecture when I was Katy's age, sitting at attention in the very back row while he paced back and forth, rubbing the chalk like a worry stone between his palms until a cloud of dust followed him and the legs of his khakis took on a type of white-collar dust not unlike the farm dust of his forebears in South Dakota for all the preceding generations.  I remember his vigor and the passion with which he spoke of his endless diagrams of numbers and arrows and mysterious mathematical symbols that looked like so many panels of hieroglyphics in the tombs of the ancients.  I remember the college students that filed into our home, one by one and finally in large, raucous Bible study groups.  I remember thinking that someday I wanted to do that...infuse young people with joy in their chosen profession, integrity, honor, and Love.

Just a week ago, teaching at the same school with my dad...developing collaborative classes and programs of study with him that combine business, finance, accounting, and nursing ethics...seemed like my own version of the impossible dream.  At best, a far-off possibility when my children were grown.  But what was offered is a once a week schedule that includes amazing health benefits that will save us somewhere around $10,000 a year.  The top of the pay scale, comparable to the going rate at some private universities I interviewed at.  Maybe even the chance to carpool with my dad.  A childcare option graciously offered by my parents that will give my children the benefit of a grandmother and experienced homeschool teacher on the day that I am away.  AND the chance to teach clinicals...that's right - I'll be back in the hospital, the place my heart has yearned for since early in my stay-at-home mothering stint.  The place I feel called to be.

Tonight I accepted the job, excitedly, still with some amount of disbelief lingering.

My mother spoke with me today about how compassionate God is.  How much He desires to answer our requests.  How He is involved in our dreams and those unspoken yearnings of our heart.  She gave the example, from her devotions, of the demons in Mark 5, who begged not to be cast out somewhere far away and scattered.  Even the demons...Christ's archenemies, evil beings with no hope of reconciliation with Christ, beings He had absolutely no motivation, in human terms, to help.  Yet He answered their request.  He cast them into the swine at their feet.  Why did He do it?  I probably won't understand until I am sitting at His feet, learning forever in the great University of heaven.  But if He honors the requests of those His pure, just heart loathes...how much more does He long to answer the requests of me, His daughter, His servant?