June 11, 2015

Loving My Life Today

It is a great day today here in sunny and somewhat humid Virginia Beach, VA. I am having a great time in class this week. My professor is amazing, so knowledgeable and understanding of the subject matter. I am learning so much information about publishing journal articles. I wish I would have had this class earlier in my doctoral program because it would have helped prepare me for writing better quality articles. I feel like I am finally a "real" 3rd year student. It is weird to think of it that way, but I am learning subject matter that is practical and will help me in my career as a full-time professor (tenure). I thank the Lord for providing this third summer experience. My prayer is that I can finish strong and complete all the work I have left to do this week.

Today I think about how good God is, and how much He loves us. He is so good, so very good to us. All the time, God is good.

Knowing Your Limits

This post is spanning a couple days simply because I don't have much time each day to blog. I simply do not have the time in the morning to sit and blog like I do when I am at home. Still, I find that I need the time to rest and recharge, and I do this through writing on this blog. God is good -- He knows how it helps me to write about my experience, my thoughts and feelings, and generally, how I am processing the details of my day. He knows that my limits are fixed, and that while I can be stretched, there are times when I am nearing my limit, and I must rest. I must let go, I must learn how to stop, to sit, to be still. Yes, He knows my limits, but do I?

This week has been a good lesson in limit setting. I will admit that often I live in crunch mode, and that I tend to crash once I complete all my work. However, this week, I have not been able to do that because I have been working on my in-class assignments, some field assignments, and my publication course work. All of this has caused me to feel depleted and to feel as though I am undone, feeling like a cake that has been left in the oven just a bit too long (LOL!)

I woke up this day feeling oppressed, really oppressed. Normally, when I come to Regent, I feel uplifted, I feel the Holy Spirit's presence on campus, but this week all that I have felt is oppression. Why is this? I am not sure, but I believe it has to do with the groupings of individuals who are in the program here at Regent. Not everyone is born again. Not every person in the COMM program is here on the leading of the Holy Spirit. Many people come to this program because of content, and that is fine, just fine. However, Regent is an evangelical school, and the overarching focus is on Christian leadership and scholarship. It is possible that some of the colleagues in the program do not like this focus or they don't like the overt spirituality that exists with the faculty or the campus itself. I just don't know, but I have this sense that I am being pressed down on, sort of a depressive spirit that wants to see me knocked down. I don't know, I just don't know.

I came to campus and thankfully I am feeling better now. I guess it is my colleagues in my class and the fact that my professor is a Godly man who prays for us before class begins and when class ends. Still, there is part of me that feels so poorly right now. I am starting to see some light, though, and that helps me believe that whatever is at play here, is diminishing in its intensity. Perhaps others feel this same presence, and they are also praising God, lifting His Name in prayer, and trusting Him for protection and provision. I am thankful for my campus, and for the staff and faculty who pray constantly over this program, the campus, and the students who attend online and in person. Regent is a wonderful place, very supportive, very scholarly, and very strong in making sure students feel they are where God wants them to be.

As I came to campus today, I found myself letting my need to achieve go (yet again!) I have accomplished everything on my to-do list, and I am in very good shape when it comes to my remaining assignments. I am good, technically good, as far as what needs to be done before I fly home on Saturday. I parked by my building, and I spent a few minutes thanking the Lord for His provision of my schooling, my studies, and my scholarship. I realized that while I want to be successful, and I want to do my best, there are times when I cannot do everything that is asked of me. In these cases, I have to confess Phil. 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Yes, I am not able to do what needs done so I have to remember that what I cannot do, He can. He is able to handle everything that concerns me this good day.

I remembered today that the only reason I am here on campus is through the provision of the Lord. He has provided to me, and praise be to God, He has made a way for me to be here. I love this program. I love my school, my professors, and my courses. I love everything about Regent, and God has chosen this school for me because of the way Regent serves students, equips them for leadership and scholarship. I remember praying about Regent, whether this was the school for me, and I recall the Lord impressing on me that the professors are skilled at teaching scholarship, teaching academics, and teaching the discipline. This means that Regent COM is determined to turn out quality scholars. God knew that this was the school of His choice for me. I am so blessed being here and the decision to come here was based on the Lord's leading and guidance. He is good, and He knew that this was the place for me to study to get my PhD.

The Lord knows everything about me, what will be today, tomorrow and into my future. The Lord knows what He wants me to accomplish over the course of my life (academically), and He knows exactly where He wants me to work, to serve, and to minister. I worry about the details, about the tasks, but the Lord sees it all, and He knows what must be done, and what can be let go. The key though is that everything can be done through His strength, through His efforts, and through His provision. Really, the Lord can accomplish whatever necessary on His own, without my help at all. Yet, He chooses to use me through this process, and for that I am so thankful. I am learning how to be a scholar, a teacher, and a writer. I am learning how to do this thing the Lord has placed on my path, the career focus of His choosing. I am remembering that I cannot do this -- really I cannot -- but He can, and as long as I trust Him, and I let Him do this work, then I will achieve everything He has in mind for me. I can rest. I can rest. I can rest. God is good, so very good.

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