June 25, 2014

One project down, two to go...

It is funny how feelings are fleeting, how one moment you feel this way, and then in the next, your feelings change. I guess that is why we are encouraged in the WORD to not place any trust in our feelings (Prov. 14:12-13). If we allow our minds to be ruled by our feelings, we will end up choosing foolish things over wise things (Prov. 28:26).

I woke up this morning feeling so blue, so depressed, so angry about the world (in general), about the way my life is going (today), and about how the dreams I had last night (and my lack of good, restful sleep). In truth, I had nothing really to be upset about -- it was just that I had a rough night, filled with unpleasant dreams and thoughts, and I was sore (backache) and grumpy when I finally did wake up.

I prayed to the Lord right away, and I can remember saying to Him:

Lord, why am I so depressed today? Why am I feeling this way?

I was not a happy camper, and as my mother likes to point out, I was wearing my "I am not happy so do not ask me how I am feeling today" face!

The good news is that after I made myself a very large cup of Donut House coffee (did I say that I love my Keurig?) and sat for a while, I naturally pulled myself out of the deep, dark funk I was in. It took me a good hour (I know, crazy to think of it -- buyer beware -- I am not always sunny in the mornings!) to get myself into a better place (or as my friend used to say "a better head space").

God is good like that, I mean, He is good to me, and He knows that sometimes I wake up feeling this way. He knows that I need time to reconnoiter, to relax, and to refocus my mind. Once I had taken some time to reflect on the past night, really the past couple days, I was able to see the truth, to know the truth. My feelings are never good indicators of the truth.

Psalm 63:1-11

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

O God, you are my God;
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and
weary land where there is no water.

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.

So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips...

Note: This is my favorite psalm turned into praise song. Listen to Matthew Ward of 2nd Chapter of Acts sing this song.

Last night, I finished my COM 652 Image Project. It was a real bug-bear to finish, but I did it and I submitted it on time. Now praying that it is well-received by my colleagues and my instructor. I know I didn't cover everything that I needed to cover in it, but I did the best that I could do, given the parameters and the information I had access to at my church. I am praying I get an "A" (of course, always an "A"). God is good, He knows me well, and He knows how I stress over grades. Yes, at this point, I should let the grades go, and I have to say that I have gotten better at letting the grades slide. I mean, I am not nearly as panicked over my grades this summer as I was last Spring. I have learned the value of the grade, and I have learned to let God direct my steps through these courses.


As an INTJ personality type (controlling), and as a Type-A/Perfectionist, I know that for me grades and achievement are tools that I use to judge myself. I consider my efforts worthy by the grades I receive and the levels of achievement or success earned. Some people are motivated by love, affection, etc. I am motivated by achievement. I always have been, and I always will be. How I deal with success or failure is up to me -- meaning -- how much time I put into stressing over it is a choice I make. The Lord is my judge when it comes to my work production. If He says "I am well-pleased" or even "pleased" then I know that my work is satisfactory to Him. If He tells me that I am well-covered when it comes to my assignments, submitting them, completing them, then I know that I can let them go (submit them) and accept the grade as given. I have learned to say "enough" and to let the project end when the time comes to end it. It may not be perfect, it may not be complete, but it is as "good as it gets" and I have to let it go.

It is hard sometimes to let things go, especially if I know I could have done better on them. I have to set limits to my time, my investment, and my ability to complete projects. I cannot do everything anymore, I cannot pull all-nighters to get the work submitted. No, I have to manage my time, manage my sleep, and manage my physical and spiritual wellness. In doing so, I am able to remain well despite the increased workload. God is good. He knows me well. He cares for me completely.

Today, I am starting my COM 652 proposal on how social media is used during times of crisis. It is due next week, and while I have to review 20 sources, the proposal itself is only 4-6 pages. Once this paper is turned in, then my COM 652 class will be done (Praise God!) This has been an intense 8-week class, but it has been so good. I learned so much from the readings, and I think the study was practical and will be useful to me down the road. I am ready for this class to end, that is for certain, and I want to get working on my ethnography paper as soon as possible. All things in their proper time, of course, and I will get to that paper just as soon as I crank through this last assignment.

I also have one last DQ to post and then the weekly portion of the class will be over. I have to respond to my colleagues (I have until 6/30) and make sure I have completed all the last remaining tasks on Blackboard. It will be good to wrap this class up, and then work on wrapping up 703. I am at the point where I see the light at the proverbial end of the tunnel. I have a gap period of about 15 days between finishing 703 and starting up fall teaching. I have a lot of prep work to do between now and then (slated for July), and God knows me well, so He has my schedule well-covered. I know it will all work out, and that He will provide everything I need. He is good, so very good all the time.

As I consider this day, I am thankful for the bright sunshine and the good news of God's grace. I may not be perfect, but I am perfectly covered by His Grace. I know He has me covered, well-covered, and I can rest in His presence. I can rest and I can know that God is good, all the time, and because He is good, my life is good.

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