January 18, 2016

Finding Strength to Carry On

It is Monday, and I am at home thanks in part to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. It is one of the "perks and bennies" of teaching on campus versus online. I get to have certain days "off" each semester simply to pay honor to the traditional holidays on the calendar. My next day off is President's Day, February 15, 2016. It is really a good thing, considering that I will have "sat" my comprehensive exams the previous Thursday and Friday, so I will have four blessed days of rest after that mind-blowing experience. God is good, so very good to me.

Speaking of my exams, yesterday I had a breakthrough of sorts. I finally finished my Advanced Communication Theory course notes, and that meant that I identified my 14 theories, and created study notes to help me remember their key points, strengths and weaknesses. I still need to work on a couple of them, but for the most part, my theory notes are DONE! Whew! I am so relieved.

I have about 3.6 weeks until I take the first part of my exams. This first part consists of two-days of written questions that cover eight courses in my program. Once I complete the written portion, I will have about two weeks to prepare for the oral portion or "defense." I have been feeling really good about my progress in preparing for my written exams, but every now and then, I get to thinking, "I cannot do this! It is too hard, it is too much for me!" But, here I am, moving on down that road, and with just less than four weeks left to finish everything, I have to say that I am feeling good about my progress. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...I know I can!

Psalm 29:11 was the KLOVE "verse of the day" today. It was the perfect word for me. I am tired, I am beat, and my brain is a bit fried from my long day and night of studying so to read these words this morning, well they were the pick-me-up I needed:

The Lord will give strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace.

Yes, today I need strength to carry on; today I need His strength to see me through this difficult and challenging examination process. Selah!

Plans for Today

So my plans for today include more studying, more note creation, and more review. Yes, this will be my life through the next four weeks. I am intent on passing my exams the first time out, and that means, I will be prepared for anything that comes my way. I have committed my way to the Lord, and I am trusting Him to provide to me a way, a plan, to follow, so that I can find success in this endeavor. I feel good about the approach I am using, and I feel really good about what I have reviewed thus far. I still have some holes in my review notes, mostly with my electives, and with dissertation research literature review, but I will get to plugging those just as soon as I can put away my core courses (the biggies) and feel ready to move on.

My overall approach to study has been haphazard, but that was just because of the enormity of the task. There was TOO MUCH to process, too much information, too many resources, too many unknowns, etc. I had to make some sense of the process first before I could even begin to collect, organize, and then review my materials. It has been 16 weeks of pressure, and while I haven't spent every waking moment in study, I have spent a lot of time preparing, planning, and then executing my approach.

It is a challenge to overcome, but the Lord has provided a way for me. It makes good sense now, and I see where I am going. I need to stay fixed, on target, until I sit my exams and then defend my answers. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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