May 5, 2015

Possibilities Abound

It is a lovely day here in Phoenix. We had a nice rain last evening, and it brought in cooler temperatures today. The sun is shining, peeking in and out of the clouds. There is a soft breeze blowing, and overall, it is a blessed day to be in the Valley of the Sun.

I am good, feeling good, that is. I had some minor stomach bug last evening (as did my Mom and son), but today, seems to be better.

I am so glad to be home and off for the summer. I cannot tell you how much I love the fact that I get to be home for the summer. It is one of the "perks" of teaching college (well, teaching, in general). I know I complain about not getting paid over the summer, but in truth, I don't mind because I get to have three months off without any work. I work hard during the school year, very hard, and the summer is a blessing to me. It is the time when I can decompress, and I let go of the stress and strain I have allowed to build up over the preceding nine months of work. God is so good to me. He knows that I need this downtime, and even with the lack of income, the time off is so blessed, so very blessed. I am trusting Him to manage my needs through this summer, and to take care of everything that will come to pass in the fall. He knows my coming and my going (Psalm 121:8), and as such, I can rest and rely on Him. He is good, so very good!

I cannot believe it is Tuesday. I mean, it seems like I just crunched to finish my major paper (last Friday), and I pressed hard to get all my final grades submitted for GCU. The weekend and start of the week has flown by. I know "time flies" but I have to say that it sure seems like it is flying by quickly. I looked at the calendar and I will be heading out of Regent for another summer session in one month! One month! WOW!

My plans for summer are fluid as of now. I am still praying about making a trip to AL, but I have to wait on the Lord for funds and the timing of that trip. I had hoped to swing by Jacksonville to see my Aunt, but the extra cost and time, simply didn't seem to make the trip worth the effort right now. I know my Aunt and Uncle understand so I am content to take my summer residency trip only, and then wait on the Lord to open up any further opportunities for trips back east.

Regent takes priority since it is a requirement for me to spend one session for every year I am in classes. Once I pass my exams, then I am considered a doctoral candidate and no longer a graduate student, and the residency requirement has been satisfied. I am so blessed with my studies. I love Regent, and I love my program. I am excited to see how the Lord intends for me to use my coursework. Right now, I have used most of what I have learned in teaching and in real-life. I think this is why I love communication, and why I love this field of study. I learn something new every day, and I love, love, love the process of communication (the sending, receiving, and interpretation of meaning). God knew exactly where I belonged when He put Regent on my heart. I am so blessed to be a communication scholar and to be working toward this PhD.

Today has been a really good day. I got a lot done, sort of checked off some items from my to-do list, and now I am feeling sleepy. I need to run out to the store shortly and pick up a couple items for dinner, but overall, today has been a very good day. In addition to taking care of some business, I also filled up on supplies at Target, and I planted our back patio container pots with flowers for Mom.  My Mom is not doing well, and she is sleeping more and more now. She did go out to the library (Dad took her), but after lunch, she fell asleep in the chair and she just woke up (it is 4:30). She will say the same thing to me, "I don't know why I am so tired all the time." Of course, we all know it is her CLL, which has progressed quite rapidly. The doctor called today to order a bone scan/body scan, so I am guessing they are looking to see if the cancer has spread to other parts of her body. CLL is a blood cancer, a form of Leukemia, and it typically affects older adults. Many people can live normal lives with it, but in some cases, it turns progressive and it can cause symptoms of extreme fatigue, anemia, and death. In my Mom's case, she has had it for the past ten years. It was the slow-growing type, but last year, it seemed to become more progressive. Along with her CLL, she also has mild-moderate dementia, though not 100% sure it is Alzheimer's. She forgets things very easily and often says the wrong thing when asked (like where her grandson lives or whether someone told her something recently). It is a struggle for my Dad and me as we figure out how to help care for her. The Lord is good, and He is gracious to me. I think this is partly why He has given me my summers off. I am able to do a lot more care giving during the summer months, and this means that I can pick up the slack in many areas (like cooking, cleaning, house/yard work). I don't mind, and it has to be done, so for now, the Lord has me right where He needs me to be. I am content to remain here and help care for my parents and my son.

I am anxiously waiting on my grades for Spring. I am hopeful that I will get As again. My one course, Advanced Theory, is the one I am most worried about because it was so difficult for me to complete. However, I have complete faith in the Lord that the grade I receive is the one that He wanted for me. I know my professors have control over what they think and feel is best, but I do believe that the Lord has my best interests in mind. I must be patient and wait. I will be patient, and I will wait.

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