April 18, 2015

Preparing for the End...of the Semester!

I look so forward to the end of the semester, but when it comes down to the final week, I find that I can barely keep my focus on anything important. My to-do task list is chock full of items that have deadlines, my strength is wavering, and my mind is a discombobulated mess! But somehow, praise be to God, I am able to pull through and finish strong. My prayer is for another miracle breakthrough this weekend so that I can finish all my assignments without the normal overload of stress. However, knowing myself well, I feel that I will do what I always do, and that is to wait until the last minute to finish my papers (sigh!) God is good, so very good, and I am relying on Him to inspire me and encourage me to tackle each task with due diligence. In fact, today in particular, I am in need of the Lord's wisdom and guidance as I am struggling with a major paper, and not feeling very confident that I know what I am doing with it. But as I said previously, God is good, and I know He has me so well covered!!

On my to-do list today, I have a number of "must complete" items. They are ranked in order of importance (well, based on time needed to complete)...

  1. Major Theory Paper - this is a critical paper that needs to be submitted to a conference or journal. I have struggled with the second part of the assignment (must be submitted for publication), and that requirement has caused me great concern. Had the assignment been to write a theory paper that "could be" submitted, I would have not had any issues or concerns. But because the professor mandates that we must include a call for papers with our submission, it simply ramps up the stress over doing a good job.
  2. Theory Paper Responses - this is a discussion board assignment, and while I have until Monday to complete, I would like to get them out of the way so that I can focus on my remaining tasks. I need to write to critical responses to peer papers, which is not a huge task, but because it requires outside research, I have to include additional sources in my replies. Time consuming to say the least...
  3. Major Research Paper - I am writing the findings section of our team research paper. I haven't even started this work, which concerns me, but I feel confident that the Lord will lead me through it. I am not sure how long this section has to be, but from previous quantitative research papers, it seems to be a couple paragraphs only. I hope this is enough...we will see!
  4. Grading and Such - this is the last item on my to-do list. I have class essays and quizzes that need to be graded. I need to complete these by EOD Sunday.
So on tap for today is Theory Paper 1. I had started this paper last weekend, written about 4 pages, but struggled through it because it simply didn't make sense to me. I realized  mid-week that the reason why I was not making progress was because I was tackling a subject that proved I didn't have enough information to do the topic justice. It was a good topic, needed and important, but I am not a subject matter expert, and as such, I couldn't do a good enough paper without major, major work. So instead I am going to write a critical review of a theory, and give it my best go at this late stage in the game. I believe the Lord knows what He is doing, and I trust Him for help, guidance and inspiration. The Lord is good to me, so very good to me.

Lastly, as I think about the remaining week and all that is on my plate, I look to the Lord's hand of provision. I am officially done teaching for the summer, and that means that I have no income to receive between now and September. I have savings of course, but these will dwindle. I am not focusing on the lack, but rather on the provision of good practical work come September. It is a struggle for me, however, to make ends meet, and I wonder how much longer I can keep this pattern up. I know the Lord has me well covered, and I know the plans He has for my life are good. Still, I worry about paying bills and all that I need to do. I know He is Good, and that He will provide, but I find that the outgo exceeds the income and that simply worries me something fierce. I pray to the Lord of Hosts that He provide exactly what I need to cover my expenses for Regent, to provide for my family this summer, and to ensure that I have "enough" to cover any and all unexpected needs as they arise. May the Lord be blessed, may the mighty and merciful Name of the Lord be praised. Amen, so be it, thy will be done! Selah!!

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