May 22, 2014

Positive Feedback

God is so amazingly good to me. Today, I received an email from GCU with the student response survey results for my ENG-356 Short Story class. Overall, my average score was 4.5 out of 5! Woohoo! Plus, I received some lovely feedback comments from students stating that they would recommend me as an instructor, that I was their favorite teacher, etc. I am so blessed, so very blessed!

A good friend of mine, who is an instructor at Biola University, told me that the student evaluation scores are critical for hiring people from adjunct into full-time teaching positions. I am not ready to take on the demands of a full-time position, but I feel confident that when the time is right, I will be ready and well-prepared to teach as an Assistant Professor.

In addition, I also feel that I will be able to speak with confidence about my teaching experience when I interview out at Glendale Community College on June 2nd.  God has richly blessed me in so many ways. I am taking Psalm 20:4 as my special verse for this day because it gives testimony to what I believe He has done in my life recently. He has given me the desires of my heart, and He has made sure that all my (His) plans succeed!

Psalm 103:1 - Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

Just Some Updates

There is not much happening here today except for school work (LOL! - Always!!) so I thought I would update my status on some issues/concerns/challenges, etc.

Divorce Process

June 2nd is the 20-day mark when my former husband is required to file a response to the petition for divorce. This grace-period allows him to contend anything in the petition. He has already told me that he is agreeable to the terms, and that he didn't want to pay the response fee (to file those papers). I looked up the next steps, and as usual, they are not as clear and cut as the County Court Clerk stated. The process "generally" follows what I was told, but there are waiting periods embedded, and additional papers that need to be filed before I can get the writ signed by the Judge.

Basically, I can file the Petition for Default on June 2-3rd. This simply tells the court that my former husband didn't file a response and I am asking the Judge to rule in my favor. The default application has a waiting period associated with it. Once I file this application, I wait 10-court days before I can call to schedule a hearing with the Judge. Then I have to wait a full 60 days (plus the 10) before I can file the Motion to Default without a Hearing. Since neither of us have any property to declare, and I am not asking for spousal maintenance, we qualify for this option. The Motion papers cannot be filed until Aug. 4th. Once this motion is granted, then the court takes 4-6 weeks to sign the decree. By my calculation, that puts the finalization of my divorce some where in the Sept 22-30 date range.

All in all, the process moves pretty quickly. I am wondering if it is faster to go to court and stand before the Judge. I didn't want to do it previously. I thought it would be too difficult, too emotional, for me. Now, however, I am thinking that if it shortens the time to finalization, I will do it. I mean, really, what is there to be emotional about? I filed. I did the paperwork, and I set all this in motion. I think I had my good cry out a long time ago, and even when I went over to the court two weeks ago, I was only slightly emotional about the whole deal. In hindsight, I think I was more emotional over doing it -- filing the papers -- than being sad about the ending of my marriage. It was more like an emotional relief type of cry, a relinquishing control, a letting go, and letting God heal that little bit of hurt still in my heart. So with that said -- I think I will call the court to schedule a hearing -- just to see what date I get. If it is pushed way out into fall, then I will do the Motion and go the way of "mailing instead of appearing" before the Judge. Either way, I feel confident that my divorce will be final sometime in September (weird as this may seem -- my 30th Anniversary is Sept. 8 -- how appropos can this be?)

Weight Loss/Fitness Plan

I was doing really well on my weight loss plan. I had lost about 6 lbs total, but then I started working out, and my weight went back up 3 lbs (drats!) The good news is that I have lost inches, and I definitely have slimmed down. I can fit into clothes I have not worn for the past two years (Hooray!) I am continuing on my diet plan of eating very little sugar, moderate carbs, and healthy whole foods. I have been off the diet soda for over a month, and I feel great. I am also drinking a lot of water.

I started out walking/jogging, but switched to cycling last week. My Dad swapped out my son's seat for my seat, so now I have a comfy gel-cushion seat to use when I ride. I am using MapMyRun online to plan out my route, and so far I have biked 3.5 and 5.5 miles. My goal is to ride 7.8 miles, which is probably the longest route I can get without having to ride in busy street traffic. I have to cross some major intersections, but generally, they are not terrifying so long as I am riding with the lights. I calculated that my ride yesterday (5.5 miles) burned off about 360 calories (one hour ride at about 8 mph). I am not riding super fast, but a steady pace, without stopping. My goal speed is to get up to about 12 mph, but that might be difficult because I don't have any long stretches of road to ride on around my neighborhood. Still, I figure that riding is what matters, not so much the distance or the time. 

Summer Plans

Nothing new to report here except that I did get a hotel room and I rented a car for my trip to VA Beach next month. I got a pretty good deal, if you can call spending $1K on hotel/car, a good deal. Keep in mind that VA Beach is prime summer destination for many people in VA and northern NC. I have a good friend in Richmond, and she drives down to Hampton Roads (north of VA Beach) as often as she can. It is a lovely area with pretty beaches and a lot of shops.

I bought a new dress to wear for our celebration dinner. Mom and I were out shopping on Monday, and I found this really pretty dress to wear. It actually fit me (hooray!) and I am excited to finally have a dressy/casual dress in my closet. I normally wear skirts because I struggle to find dresses that can fit both parts of my body (top/bottom). However, I have wanted a short dress that is fitted (you know -- hourglass shaped) for a long while. My good friend, Marie, wears this type all the time, and she looks so lovely in them. Last summer at VA Beach, she had a dress on every day, and I thought she was so smart (good looking and brilliant -- the heat/humidity was horrible -- should have figured it out since she is from hot/humid AL!!) Anyway, I decided then that I wanted to get something similar for this year.

My friend, Heather, is planning a celebration dinner for everyone who completed COM 702 this spring. Of course, the entire cohort is welcome to attend, but those of us who did complete this class will get medals and certificates for overcoming the stress of that course! I wanted to wear something dressier than capris, and now I have this lovely little dress to wear. I still need to get some fancy heels to wear with it, but in all, I am excited about the style and the way I look in it (which is pretty great, IMHO!)

I started to panic yesterday when I realized that I had 20 days to complete all the required reading and finish papers/proposals. I am so in trouble for procrastinating the first two weeks of the semester! 

Oh Lord, please help me to complete everything I need to complete BEFORE I fly to VA in June 7th!!

Dissertation Ideas

I had a good conversation (via email) with my COM 703 professor the other day. His research interest (among others) is conversion stories. I wanted to see if it was OK for me to write on faith stories/storytelling for his class this summer. He gave me good feedback, and he offered some suggestions for theory. I will be meeting with my mentor while on campus to discuss the possibility of following this topic for my dissertation. I am open to doing whatever the Profs at Regent think is best, after all, they are the ones granting the dissertation credit. I feel strongly that this is the topic the Lord wants me to pursue. I am willing to allow my teachers to guide me because I believe that I am at Regent University for this exact purpose. God opened this door because Regent is a school after His own heart. The mission and vision of the campus, the programs, and the faculty are so spiritually-driven that you just feel the Holy Spirit when you are in class, on campus, or in conversation with the professors. It is a wonderful place to be, and I love the fact that I can learn from these Godly and scholarly men and women.

Well, that is everything on my mind for this good day. I need to get moving here as it is 10:30 a.m. already. Today I am working on school, and I will probably venture out to Target at some point. I have to clean the litter box (wash it out), and I need to work on my closet (yes, yes, yes!) Overall, I am blessed, I am pleased, and I am content with what the Lord is doing in my life. I love every minute of it, and I praise Him continually because He covers me well. He makes sure I have everything I need IN ORDER to do everything He asks me to do. He is good, so very good to me.

Dear Lord,

Today is a great day! I thank you for your provision, your security, and your plans. I know you have me well-covered, and that you know what needs to be accomplished today. I accept your plans for this good day, and I trust you to provide for every detail. I know you, and I know that you know me. You know what is on my heart, and what is in mind. I am trusting you with all the SPECIAL plans you have shared with me, and I rest in your timing, knowing that you know what is best for me. May your will be done, may I follow after your way, and may I live in complete submission to you and your Holy Spirit this day. I ask all this in Jesus' majestic and magnificent Name, Amen. So be it, thy will be done! Selah!!

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