September 16, 2014
The Power of Perserving
I am tired today. I am worn out, worn in, and worn through and through. I have hit the nub end of the pencil, and I am trying to imagine how I will find the strength to carry on. My mind is fuzzy, my body feels faint, and I am struggling to pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again (tomorrow!)
I have so much on my plate right now, what with teaching and Regent studies. My professor has just reminded our class that we will be leading discussion for two weeks this semester. This requires writing a critical response to the reading, and proposing discussion assignments for my colleagues. Furthermore, it also requires responding to the board discussion -- to all my colleagues posts -- providing critical responses to their probes. I am dying under the weight of the work, and all of a sudden, I am feeling the crunch of time and of the pressure to complete my studies on time.
My school work at Regent is vitally important to me. Up to now, I have been able to handle the workload with effort, minor at times, major at other times. I have stayed on top of my discussion and readings, and I have planned out my research projects and papers. I have felt the pinch of time more than once, but generally speaking, I have been able to work my schedule into my daily business without causing too much upset. That is, until now.
The amount of work required to prep for four courses is killing me. Perhaps it is because I put so much effort into the lecture content. Perhaps it is because I worry about keeping my student's engaged. I don't know -- I just know that I spend a lot of time getting ready to teach each class. I don't mean to complain, but I have got to figure out an easier way to prep for class. I am staying up to 1:30-2:30 AM every other night, and the lack of sleep is causing me to suffer.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
I guess on the good side, if there is one, I found out that this is "normal" for teachers. I met the gal who teaches ENG 101 right before me at ACU on Monday, and I found out that she also teaches at GCU and ASU. We were chatting quickly in between courses and she mentioned that she had stayed up to 4 AM to get ready for her classes that day. So even though I don't like it -- at the least -- I know that I am not alone in this prepping business!
I am thankful for my days off, that is for certain. I spend most of my T-TH resting. I do try to get my Regent studies completed, but some weeks I end up napping in the afternoon and pushing off my assignments until later in the day. Part of me is thankful for the teaching opportunities, and of course, for the blessing of doctoral study. Part of me is whining and complaining over my lack of sleep, my extended work hours, and the fact that I can't enjoy a "real life." The funny (ha ha) thing is that no one ever said it was easy to get a doctorate. I mean no one ever said, "YEAH, A PHD IS A PIECE OF CAKE!" Nope. Everyone I know said that getting a PhD required more work than imaginable and next to zero sleep to accomplish it within the 5-7 year time frame. Yeah, welcome to doctoral studies...
I am counting down the days to my vacation/time-off. My next vacation time is October 13-14. I will be teaching at GCU, but ACU has a fall break on those two days. After that, I will have the entire week of Thanksgiving off. Then, of course, I will have the three weeks off at Christmas.
I just got the pending schedule from GCU. I have asked for three classes, all ENG 105, for next semester. These courses are on T-TH, so my PPTS from this semester should be usable again. My schedule could be 9-4:45 two days a week. This is still a full day, but it would be at one school only, and I would have about two hours in between classes for lunch and prep. I would love to have three days off, especially since I have two heavy doctoral courses in the Spring. The Lord is good, and He knows my needs well. I am praying that GCU accepts my request. It would be good to know that I could teach three instead of four courses.
I think when it is all said and done, the main point is this: God knows me well. He knows what I can and cannot do. I laid down last evening (I am finishing this post on Tuesday) at 9:30 PM and as soon as my head hit the pillow, I was out. I managed to get a prayer said, I think, before I sunk into a very deep and restful slumber. I remember saying "Lord, I cannot do this anymore. I am at the breaking point, and I am so very tired. Please help me to stay on top of all my coursework and my teaching responsibilities." As I drifted off into sleepiness, I heard the Lord say to me, "I have you well-covered." When I hear this in my spirit, it means that the Lord is saying to me that what I am experiencing is not the end, is not too much for me to bear. Yes, physically I am spent, but the Lord is able to step in when my strength fails. I am mentally, emotionally, and spiritual drained -- yet -- the Lord sustains me. When I am weak, He is strong.
Today, I woke up (Tuesday) refreshed and ready to tackle my day at the Heard Museum. I had a great day, full of fun and pleasure. I am tired (from walking), but I feel good. The Lord gave me a precious day of rest, of enjoyment, of relaxation, and I am thankful. As I look out my window, I see the rain come down. I am glad to be home right now, glad to have my work completed for the day. I look out and I see His hand upon my life and I know that while I may falter, I may lose my step, He never will let me go. He loves me, He cares for me, and He is my ROCK, my FORTRESS, and my STRONG TOWER. I praise His Name today. I thank Him for His blessings, and I worship Him as my Lord, my King, and my Savior.
Blessed be the name of the LORD From this time forth and forevermore!