July 30, 2014

Anticipation is So Sweet!

I found this graphic online this morning while searching for something Biblical to tie into my topic on anticipation. I knew I wanted to use this poster the moment I saw it. I cross-posted it to Facebook too. I identify so well with what this poster says -- it sums up my life to a tee. Let me explain...

I would characterize myself as being very practically-minded. By that I mean that I tend to see the rational, the logical, and the "oh so" orderly side of life. If I notice things are not just right, well, I usually point them out. I don't mean to do it, it is just that my brain seems to prefer to have everything lined up perfectly horizontal and vertical. Neat and tidy would be good descriptors of my personality. I like everything to fit nice and neatly into my prepared boxes.

I think this is partly due to my INTJ personality. I tend to like to plan and to purpose my life so that I know what to expect. I don't "do" unexpected events well (though, PTL, I am learning how to handle the unknown and the uncontrollable). So when I point out the mistake, the error, the inconsistency of things, I sometimes appear to be complaining or passing judgment, when in reality, I am simply noting that something appears to be off-kilter. In making these announcements, my goal is not to judge, but to inform. It is like the officer who tells the people of Piza that they really shouldn't sit under the tower because it is leaning. Is he judging them for choosing to sit under a leaning tower? No, he is informing them merely that there is a good chance the tower might fall on them and crush them if they continue to sit under it. I am like this officer. I bring up what I feel is useful analysis of events or circumstances. I want people to know "Hey, there may be something to think about here so let me share my concerns with you." Some people take this well, while others see it as a negative and critical spirit.

It is very hard to purposely NOT notice these things, especially when your eye is drawn to seeing imperfections in everything. Yes, I know, you are thinking "so you point out other people's flaws, then?" No, I don't. I am not about pointing out personal issues, I am more about pointing out how events and circumstances might influence or impact decisions that people make. I want to help people, not hurt them. I digress.

Back to the moment -- I saw this graphic/poster online and I loved the sentiment. I know that while I don't whine often, I do complain sometimes. My biggest issue is the fact that I tend to wear my expression of critical concern on my face, and that critical concern looks strikingly a lot like a FROWN. I notice my frown lines in the mirror daily. I see how deep they are furrowed on my brow, and I don't like that they are there. I think they make me look old, and I wish that I didn't have them. I know they are to be expected considering I have been frowning my entire life. Yet, I think that perhaps if I thought a little more about my expression when I am expressing concern, I could alleviate adding more frown to the mix.

So - ta dum! I am going to attempt to present a warm and fuzzy outlook on my face from now on. I am going to give away free hugs and smiles to anyone and everyone. This is not a far stretch for me. I would say the number one compliment I get is from people who say they love the way I smile or they will tell me that I am always smiling. It is true, I love to smile. I think my smile is one of my greatest assets. Perhaps God knew that I needed a great smile to counteract all that frowning, LOL! Regardless, I am endeavoring to smile more freely, and hug more often.

Update - July 30 @ 6 p.m.

Yes, I just had to add an update to my blog post from this morning. Why is it that whenever you make a big announcement such as "I am going to do such and such starting today," Satan comes and whacks you so hard that you just crumble to the ground. My decision to whine, complain, and frown less lasted a whole 6 hours. Alas, I am sunk! The blessed news is that I refuse to give up. So while the enemy has "counted coup" against me this time, I refuse to sit down in the dirt and give in to these feelings of anger and emotional control. Nope, I refuse to let him win this day.

Now to the point of this blog post: anticipation.

I am really excited and filled with anticipation today.  The funny thing is that I don't know why I feel the way I do. I woke up to a normal day. I was tired, but I think that is due to the stress of my paper deadline looming on Friday. I had to get up earlier than usual today because I had a dentist appointment. I have not been to the dentist for a cleaning since last November. It is my fault -- I lost my dental insurance when I changed jobs, and I simply did not want to spend the money on cleanings. I needed to do it, though, considering the amount of dental work I had done last year. I digress. Anyhoo, I was able to get into the dentist today, but the appointment was early this morning. I went to the dentist, had a very good checkup, and then ran a few errands before heading home.

It was during a quick stop at Arizona Christian University that I had this wave of anticipation come over me. I was there to pick up a new edition of the textbook I am teaching from this fall, and after I had returned to my car, I started to feel this excitement well up inside of me. I was in my car, driving out of the parking lot, when these words just popped into my head:
Lord, I love my life! I am filled with such anticipation about what you are doing for me today. I cannot explain it, but my life is so GOOD. I have never felt this way before, never felt this good about everything going on. I know I am a little stressed over my paper, but even with that little bit of stress, I feel so confident that you are doing something extra special for me right now.
Weird as it may seem, I had this overwhelming sense that my life was heading straight up! I mean, it isn't that I noticed anything in particular at all. I was just driving out of the parking lot, thinking about teaching classes in the fall (in three weeks), and it was like "This is it! I am doing exactly what the Lord wants me to be doing. My life is exactly has He has planned it to be."

I am in such a good place right now. I absolutely love my teaching schedule. I have never had a job whereby I had so much downtime. I have had downtime before, but not like this kind of downtime. I am not bored, I am not sitting at my desk with no work, twiddling my thumbs, and trying to "look" busy so I don't get fired. No, this is free time, downtime with the benefit of allowing me to do other things, on my own time, according to my own schedule. I was telling my Dentist that I would be teaching MWF only this fall. I love the fact that I will have T-TH free to do my school work as well as to prep and plan for my classes. I can hardly believe that I am only "working" three days a week. Yes, those are three very long days. The blessing is that in between those very long days, I will have a day off plus the entire weekend. If you knew me well, you would know that having time off is critical for my well-being. Not only must I be careful not to get overly tired, but I also have to manage my stress level to ensure that I don't get burnt out. God has planned my teaching schedule to give me the maximum amount of credits (contracts for payment) while still factoring in plenty of time to destress, to offload, and to chill out. God is so good, so very good!

On top of my teaching schedule, I have my continued progress at Regent to be excited about and to look forward to completing. I will be taking a good load this fall, and I am excited for these classes. I see great opportunity for continued research, and for the fulfillment of my doctoral program. I know that what I learn each semester will accumulate and will bless me with both preparation and experience. I will be able to use my schooling to practically improve the Kingdom of God. I am so blessed, so very blessed.

My life is rich and it is rewarding right now. I feel good about everything I am doing, and I feel content to be right where I am. I know that whatever is going to happen to me, it is a good thing, a God-thing. Yes, the Lord is bringing goodness into my life from all angles, and I see it as it comes toward me. I see the blessing, I am experiencing it now. I am the recipient of His good favor. I can hardly stand it, I am jumping for joy because of the goodness of the Lord, because He is Good, and He is showering me with that good today.

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