January 22, 2016

It's Friday!

It is a good day today, not to mention, it happens to be Friday, and well, Friday's are always a good, good day for me! I woke up feeling a bit sluggish, but after some coffee, I am starting to feel a little more active and alert. I did sleep well, at the least, I think I did. I don't remember much of my night other than I fell sleep around 11:30 p.m. and I woke up close to 9 this morning. I guess that is good, right -- almost 9 hours of sleep -- should do a person well?

My day so far as been low-key. I checked my email, and now I am blogging. I have a little bit of time before I have to get ready for work. My students are going to work on their essays today, so there is not much teaching for me to do. I never know how well teaching/writing days will go. Sometimes my students are okay with it -- they like that they can write in class -- while other times they are bored in class and give me that "this is not what I want to be doing" look. It is so hard to know...but then I am not in the business of pleasing my students, but of helping them learn how to frame an argument. Still, there is this tug of war between wanting them to enjoy my class and wanting to know they are actually learning something. I guess it is the line we "teachers" have to walk, just never knowing whether we are doing the right thing, the best thing, or the good thing. Sigh!

Computer Challenges

Yes, it has been three weeks since I disconnected my Apple Mac by accident. I didn't mean to do it, but I tried to install a new hard drive and after carefully following the instructions, I broke the fan clip and another smaller clip that apparently were soldered onto the logic board. The directions said to pry the clips up, which I did, but my clips were glued on. I realized what I had done when I saw the tiny copper wires and I thought, "Okay, these are not pins that clip back in." I knew I had blown it, and that my $80 investment of a new hard drive was going to cost me the use of my computer. I was so bummed, like depressingly bummed. Thankfully, my PC has been working well. I had spent some time earlier in the fall reworking it, installing Windows 10, and getting it back into a functional state (Win 8 never worked on this machine). It has been steady since, but I prefer my Mac, so getting used to Windows again has been difficult. Still, a computer is better than no computer, and without one, I would have been sunk for both my need for work and for studying for my exams.

It is funny how one little thing like a computer failure can throw your entire "ecosystem" out of wack. I know that my world should be founded on more stable ground, but because so much of what I do deals with computers, not having a steady machine is one of the worst things that can happen to me. It just causes my little world to spin down to a dead stop. I don't have the means to go out and purchase a new machine, at the least not now, and then there is the practicality of that move. As much as I would like to get a new machine, I happen to have a perfectly good PC that works. It seems to be a waste of resources to even think that way. No, I will be content with what I have, thankful for it, and let the desire to return to Apple land go. Sigh!

Plans for Today

Today my plans are simple: go to work at 12:30 and teach three sessions of English 106. Come home, rest, eat, and then study a little before I get to have my evening "date" with my love. Our Friday's are our date night now, well, until I pass my exams. We are not able to talk on the phone during the rest of the week because I need my evenings to prep for my upcoming tests. I am looking forward to spending time with him tonight. It is weird to think we are in a relationship, considering we have never met face to face. Some people would say that we are not in a relationship because of this fact, but then I wonder how you would describe what we have, what words would you use to characterize what we mean to one another?

Merriam-Webster defines a relationship as "the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected." Well, we are connected to one another. We are friends who are in a long-distance, mutually-satisfying relationship. I guess you could split hairs and say that since we have never formally met (in person), we cannot wear the label of a boyfriend/girlfriend. I looked up these words and curiously they say that there must be romantic or sexual aspects to classify the relationship as such. I find this interesting, but then by today's standard, most men (from Askmen.com) enter into a sexual relationship with a woman after only 3-5 dates. I don't know what that time frame is for your average woman, but my guess is that it is around that same time or perhaps longer, if she is expecting commitment. 

In Christian relationships, this question should not even factor into the mix. God calls all his children to abstinence. We are to maintain purity of heart, mind, and body, and we are to not engage in sexual behavior outside the covenant of marriage. This means that all sexual and romantic behaviors must be checked, even romantic thoughts, feelings, or actions must be carefully monitored to keep from crossing the line into sexual immorality.

In this way, I think it is prudent for men and women to be in a relationship that is progressing toward marriage. Otherwise, what is the point? I mean, if sex is the object, well then, there are plenty of men and women out there who are only interested in this one thing. But, if marriage is the goal, then the plan needs to be to establish a long-term relationship that is predicated on friendship first, romance second.

I know that according to my family, the fact that I am not physically involved with my friend (as in going out on physical dates) we are nothing more than acquaintances. Until we meet and can behave like a normal couple, aka, take physical dates, we cannot be in a relationship. I guess that is sort of old fashioned in some ways because it suggests that the only way to be in a relationship with someone is either by proximity or by blood or by marriage.

I consider myself, however, to be in a romantic relationship with this man. I think he feels the same way. I have come to love him deeply, not because of any chemical or sexual attraction, but because of his deep sincere love for God's word, his dependency upon God for his needs, and the fact that He is actively pursuing God's will for his life. He is a good man, a Godly man, and I love this about him. I also think he is cute, pretty funny, and has a super personality. I do find him to be very attractive to me, and because of these things, I think when we do meet, we will experience that physical attraction that gets so many people in trouble. I am attracted to this man's heart first and foremost, his mind second, and his physical mannerisms and characteristics third. I think that my order is right because it places his valuation and worth front and center. I value him as a child of God, a man who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, a brother in Christ, more than anything else. This valuation thus enables me to see his worth to me, to his family, to his peers and friends, and to the whole body of Christ. I can validate and affirm his worth because of his identity in Christ. This means that I am placed in a position whereby my valuation and worth is mutually certain. He values me in the exact same way. I think that this mutual validation is fundamental to any sustained relationship that seeks to honor the Lord.

Do I find myself romantically attracted to this man? I sure do, and for that, I thank the Lord. It is such a nice feeling to be attracted to someone, to feel those lovely feelings, and to want to express your affection and love openly and with sincerity. I love being in love. I am not talking about that mushy kind of love, that giggly silly kind of puppy-dog love that you first experience. No, I am talking about real agape love, the kind that says "I am here for you, I love you, my good, good friend!" Yes, I have a heart love for this man, and I find that the longer I am with him (in relationship) the longer I experience this deep conviction, deep seated sense of real satisfaction.

I am glad that we haven't met yet. I am so glad that we didn't meet right away. I think we would have found our mushy feelings messing everything up. I think we are in a good place now, and perhaps the Lord will enable us to meet one another. Right now, I feel like I could meet him and hug him without getting all messed up. My hug would say "It is so good to finally be with you" without there being all that romantic/sexual power pulsating in me that would or could lead me in the wrong direction. No, right now, I feel that my heart would simply say to me "Yes, this is the one."

That is my hope, anyway.

God's Perfect Timing

This is a hard segue, but I am trying to rest in the Lord regarding His provision for me. I received my refund yesterday and it didn't reflect my scholarship. I am thankful for what I received, and it will help, but it is less than what I expected, and that has me concerned. I needed a certain amount to take care of some things here (past flights to Regent for example), and now I am in a precarious position because my school has used my financial aid to pay for tuition rather than my scholarship. I am not sure if I will get this fixed, so I am hesitant to use the money that has already come to me. Furthermore, my pay from GCU is less than expected so now I am worried about making ends meet, especially through the summer months. I honestly do not know what to do. I am praying, of course, and I am trusting the Lord, but right now, I am concerned, so very concerned. How will I make it through, Lord? How will I make it through?

I know the Lord has me well-covered. I know He is faithful and that He is aware of what has happened. It wasn't on purpose -- I know my scholarship was approved and applied. I think it was a clerical error, but when and if they will correct it, well, that I don't know. For now, I need to trust Him alone, to rest in His sufficiency, and to believe (to keep the faith) that He will provide a way out for me. He is good, so very good to me! Selah!

Looking forward today, I see some good on the horizon. I see my continued progress toward my exams, and that does excite me somewhat. I see the potential of getting to finally meet my handsome love, and I get the hint of something more down the road. My life is still in flux, though I think that perhaps somethings are settling down. I am glad that the Lord has covered me so well, and I am thankful for His provision this good, good day. I know He will provide a way for me, and my future, while looking a little cock-eyed right now, will eventually be set aright. I know this, I believe this is true, and I look up to Him to straighten this out. Please Lord, straighten this out!

Thus, today, I look up. I wait and I rest. I trust in Him and in Him alone. He alone is God, and He alone has me covered. Selah!

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