August 19, 2015

Taking Steps Forward

Monday came and went without a hitch. My first day back to school (Arizona Christian) was on Tuesday, and my class (small as it is) seems like it will be interesting and provide a good mix of student elements/backgrounds. Today is Wednesday, of course, and I am home resting now. I have a call with my professor from Regent in a couple minutes, but other than that, my plans for today focus on finishing up curriculum, power points, and schedules for the coming week at Grand Canyon University. In all, I feel good about where I am at right now, and about the steps I need to take to make good progress through my fall semester.

I blogged about how I finally came to terms with being a teacher on Sunday. I know, earth shattering news! In reality, coming to terms with teaching has been a long and hard fought battle. I have reacted so negatively to the whole "teaching" thing, mostly out of fear, but also out of pride, which is a big no-no. Pride in my achievements at work, in my ability to do difficult tasks, and in my competitive skills. I often looked to my performance as an indicator of my success, when instead, I should have realized that everything I do, I do to bring God glory. Therefore, my abilities are not the center of focus, but rather the it is the Lord's ability to accomplish His will in my life. Pride goeth before the fall, for sure, and in my case, thankfully, I have stumbled rather than doing a complete face plant. With this in mind, I enter into my last semester at Regent with confidence, not in my self, but in the Lord. I cry out with Paul when he reminds us that, "HE WHO BOASTS IS TO BOAST IN THE LORD." Likewise, we read in the Old Testament,

Thus says the LORD, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the LORD (Jer. 9:23-24 NIV).
Yes, may my boast be only in the Lord for He as done all these things. He has called me, comforted me, created me, and confirmed me in this way. Furthermore, He has brought about all these details, all these events, and in doing so, He has prepared me for His work. He is Jehovah-Jireh or "the Lord God provides," and I rest in the knowledge that it is the Lord who performs this work, who completes each task, and who delights in all things. Amen, so be it, thy will be done. Selah!

Step One

So today has been a good day, a really good day. I spent most of the day on the phone, but after a bit, also managed to head out to the store, to Target, to get a few items for the house. Mom is very tired again. The radiation treatments are taking a toll on her, and she is sleeping as soon as she comes home. My prayer is that this is the worse it gets, but I have no knowledge of whether or not that is the case. We will wait and see.

During my phone call with my professor this morning, I received some very good news. My professor believes that I will be able to graduate early now. He is confident that I will be able to finish my dissertation in less time than I had thought. This means that instead of graduating in May 2017, I will actually graduate in Fall of 2016. Perhaps even at the first of September. This is HUGE because not only will I be finished, praise the Lord, but I will be able to apply for full-time jobs as a PhD candidate rather than as ABD.

The Lord has been pressing on my heart several things recently, and while I know that I am to move to take a full-time job, I had assumed that it would be a full-time position teaching as an instructor while I finished my PhD. Instead, it means I will be hired full-time as a professor and that could signal more pay, better position, etc. I am so excited, so very excited. God is good to me, so very good to me.

Step Two

I made the difficult decision today to drop my Philosophy class. I had wanted to take this course since I started at Regent, and I was so excited to do it with Dr. Perry (our Associate Dean). However, after my conversation with my faculty mentor, I prayed over it, and sent the email to ask my advisor to drop me from the class. This means my credits will go from 8 to 6, but I still will have enough credits to take my exams. I was worried about having enough so now, I am still full-time, but not quite as packed as before. My professor was kind, and he said he thought I might be taking on too much this last semester. I have felt this way too, but I didn't want to give in. I am relieved now, mostly because I understand that I will have other work to do -- like extra work in my TA class -- and some dissertation research w/o credit to complete. In the end, I will have less school work, more time to focus on my Mom and my students.

Step Three

Dealing with all the setup at GCU, the class prep and everything else, my plate has already been so full. God has provided well for me, and I can see His hand prints on these details. I can see what He is doing (in some small way), and I can feel His arms as they comfort me, shelter me, and help guide me through each day. Now, I rest in His faithfulness so that I can let Him handle the coming semester, all the projects and the papers. God is so good to care for me, and I know that what will come next will be blessed, be good, and will promote me on further into His wonderful plan for my life. Selah!

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