June 5, 2014

Amazed at His Grace

I stand in awe of His Amazing Grace. Yes, He is faithful to deliver on each and every one of His promises. He guides, He directs, and He leads -- exactly to the place of His redemptive grace. I am blessed, I am so blessed.

Yesterday was such a good day for me. I was worried in the morning, overwhelmed by my to-do list, but by evening (bedtime), I realized just how much I had accomplished, and I felt confident that everything remaining was in good stead.

I have blogged about this before, how I was overwhelmed by the amount of school work I had due, and about the limited time I had to complete everything required. I really panicked yesterday when my research efforts of the previous day proved that my idea for one of my research projects was not aligning with the course requirements. I felt I had wasted the entire day researching a topic that ended up being of little to no value. Normally, I wouldn't freak out about something like this because it happens often in research. Your idea, while sounding good, ends up not matching to expectations. Often, the idea can be salvaged with some massaging (changing focus or using a different theory). Sometimes, the idea simply is not practical (time, constraints such as money, etc.). And, at other times, the idea proves valuable for nothing more than speculation. It happens to all researchers, and the options are to: proceed with modifications or start over. I decided I needed to start over.

As I started over, I realized that my idea was good. I became more depressed over the fact that I wasn't going to be able to pursue this line of research. I felt this sense that it was doable, but that I had to look sideways at the problem rather than head on. I pulled my notes again, and began to think of ways I could expand the topic to reach a broader scope, and in doing so, I grasped how the idea could "fit" into the project parameters. I ended up adding more research articles, and in the end, I was able to rough out the first section of the proposal. Today, I need to work on the rest of the proposal, but overall, I can see this as a good project (a different project than perhaps my colleagues, but still valuable).

After completing the first stages of the proposal, I tackled my next item on my to-do list: my discussion question for my Crisis Communication class. This week's assignment was easier than I thought, and I was able to finish it last evening. I was also able to submit the required responses to my colleagues (week 4 done!) I still have to complete Week 5, but I have until next Thursday to complete it. I will more than likely get it finished on Sunday.

Before I turned in for the night, I looked over the two required projects for Crisis Comm. I have had these projects on my mind for a while, but I haven't even looked over the specs, and they are both due later this month. I was worried about the details, how much research (original) was required, and whether I would have time to complete it all (especially considering I may end up on Jury Duty the week of the 15th). To my surprise I realized (another realization!) that one of the projects required no original research, and in fact, I didn't even have to conduct interviews (which I thought were required). This means that I can write the majority of that project on my own. Plus there are no outside resources required (what a blessing!) and since I am proposing something for my church, I have most of the data and details already.

The second project is a scholarly proposal. This is a short paper, 4-6 pages only, but it has a required 20 reference bibliography. As I reviewed the topic list, I realized that there are several interesting topics that deal with crisis communication that could be explored. I recently read about the use of virtual crisis communication teams, and I questioned their efficacy (are they really good? better than on ground teams?). I also read in our text about dark sites, hidden websites that corporate organizations use during times of crisis. My son and I discussed the dark web a while back, so I started to think about this as a research topic. The great thing about this proposal is that I don't have to conduct research, I only have to suggest research and fluff out the details of a prospectus!

In all, the realization (I know I keep saying this word, but it is the BEST word to describe my mental state at the time) dawned on me that the word of the Lord is true. The Lord has consistently said to me that I am well-covered, that I am to rest (let go of the details), and that everything will be completed on time. Sigh! Why don't I listen to Him? Why don't I let go when He says I need to do so?

Yep, flesh. My flesh prefers to suffer, to hold on, to grasp at whatever I can in order to control the outcome. Yes, yes, yes! Thank God, He is good. Thank God, He knows me so well, and He is so patient with me. He knows that I will suffer until that point when I come to terms with the fact that I am trying to push a boulder up a big hill. Yep, I will push, push, push...until I give in. Then I will crumble and fall down and cry out for help. At this point, I let go! I let it all go, and then the sweetness of His peace and His grace comes rushing over me, and I rest. I rest, and the work is done. The boulder is shifted, and my path is clear once again. God is good, so very good, all the time!

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