January 21, 2015

Moving Forward Despite the Odds

What an interesting day I have had so far. It is a typical Wednesday, and I am sitting in my office preparing for my 3:20 p.m. Short Story class at GCU. I have about 20-30 minutes before I head out the door, but "miracle of miracle," I am ready to go (dressed, prepped, and even fed!) I cannot believe that this morning I was able to complete so much work and not feel the rush of running out the door late (which almost always happens to me).

It is weird really because we have friends in town, and our normal routine (my parents, mine and my son's) are all skewed a bit as these old family friends come over each day and visit. I don't mind it at all, and it has been really nice to see them. However, there is a disruption to the routine, and that can cause problems, especially when the schedule is already full (as in mine -- with teaching and with school work).

On top of the minor disruptions, I have been stressing about my courses at Regent this semester. I am struggling to understand the parameters of my one course (assignments mostly), and the expectations of the Professor. Every Professor is different, I get that, but this one is slightly AR (not using the word here, but suffice that she is very particular about the little things). I am feeling pinched to make sure I understand each assignment, what is required, and then scheduling the reading and writing to meet those immovable deadlines.

This morning I woke up feeling unwell. Nothing major, just general malaise and a stomach ache. I am not sure what is going on, but my guess is that it had something to do with cleaning Lenny's fish tank on Monday. I may have gotten fish water inside me -- somehow -- not sure. Anyway, I wasn't feeling myself this morning, and I was a bit grumpy about our friends stopping by so early in the morning. Instead, I found that they weren't coming until the afternoon -- so that was a relief. I didn't have to jump in the shower right away, and I could relax a bit and drink my coffee. It turned out fine in the end because I relaxed, had my breakfast and lunch, and still had time to get ready for work, prep for classes, and check in on BB for my own schooling. More so, I was able to relax a little bit on the assignment parameters for the one class I have in Advanced Theory. One of my peers told me what this Prof normally does each week, and with a sigh of relief, I let that worry go.

The good news, if there is such a thing, is that while I am still facing a mountain of work, I am more relaxed now and I am looking at this pile of "stuff" with the attitude that it will all get done in the end. No sense in ratcheting up the pressure needlessly...

On other fronts, I have been worried about my parents well-being now that they are getting older and experiencing some health issues. Today, I spoke with both parents about my Dad's sisters. It seems that my Dad's sisters are also having some problems (the same kind and intensity). They are all close in age, but the realization that I am not alone in dealing with memory issues, etc. was comforting. My cousins are in the same boat, and we are all working together to create a positive outcome for our loved ones. God is so good to have given me that reminder because I needed to hear it today. While I am sad that my older aunts are having these issues, I am reminded that this is the time in life when older folks (past 80) start to decline in heath and vitality. It is a part of life, and while I don't like it, it is what it is -- just the season of life.

I think if anything it reminded me that I am not alone in this struggle, and that while I may find the burden of care overwhelming at times, it is not without its joys. I do love living with my parents, and I do enjoy helping to care for them. However, I also see that a time is coming when my care will not be enough and that is problematic. Yet, today I felt confident that no matter what happens, the Lord will provide for my parents and for me. I feel so much better today -- just in general -- and I am thinking that this is the Lord's doing to keep me on a steady keel, so to speak.

C.S. Lewis once said "Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” I agree with this statement. I believe so strongly that the Lord has a good plan for my life, and today, for some reason, I am convinced that my destiny is prepared and planned. In fact, I feel so bold that I can say that I am now not concerned with what I will be doing work-wise in 6 or 9 months. Nor am I concerned about where I will be living in that same time period. It is as if the Lord convinced me that nothing in my life is out of order, unplanned, or unprovided -- everything is as it should be -- and that gives me great comfort.

Last night, as I was driving home, I felt the Lord pressing on me to pray for my life and for the life of a very special friend. As I was praying, I felt like I was repeating myself. I kept asking for the Lord to give us both confidence to know the Lord's will for our lives. I asked the Lord to make it so clear, so absolutely clear so that there would be no doubt as to what we are to do or where we are to go. I am feeling that answered prayer today. It is not as if the Lord turn a spotlight on and showed me where to go, what to do, or how to live. No, it is more that I feel inside this boldness, this confidence, and this sense of "rightness." I have no answers, just impressions. The feelings are powerful, and they are washing over me, and lifting me up out of the doldrums. The other day, I was feeling so down. I was feeling like my school work was crushing me, my teaching was ineffectual, and the pressure of being caregiver at home was becoming unbearable. Then, just like that, those feelings were replaced by this sense of "everything is OK" and even though nothing has changed right now, I feel confident that it is changing or that it will change very soon.

Hopefully, when I speak with my friend, I can find out if he feels the same way. That would be super sweet if that were the case. If not, well, then I will keep on praying in the Spirit for whatever the Spirit wants me to pray. God is good, so very good.

Well, that is my post for today. I am off and running to school. Today is a good day, a very good day!

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