February 10, 2016

T-minus 1 Day

I think I had said that I wasn't going to count down to D-Day anymore, but here I am "counting it down!" LOL! What else can I do? I mean tomorrow is the BIG day...well...day 1 of 2 BIG DAYS. I cannot believe that the time has come and that tomorrow I will go over to Arizona Christian and sit down and take part one of two parts of grueling comprehensive final exams. I am beat, to say the least, and my brain is weary. I finished my last three practice exams yesterday, and while not my best work, I do feel like they will suffice. I wrote three 4-5 page essays on Family Communication, Leadership Theory, and my dissertation research on Church Communication. I know if I do as well tomorrow and Friday, I will have left quite a bit of wiggle room for my professors to call me out, but there is nothing I can do about it now. You see, when I normally write an essay or research article, every claim I make is substantiated by some piece of evidence to support the claim. Furthermore, in scholarly writing, your word is nothing but opinion unless you can back it up with some other writers opinion. Thus, my answers have a lot of "me" in them, and with that, comes a whole lot of "my opinion." I am not sure if this is what should be or not, but at the point in time, I am fresh out of approaches to take. It is impossible to write from memory and support every thought with some piece of scholarly reference. It is impossible for me, for sure. So...I am praying that my answers suffice, that they will be good enough for a pass, and that when I get face-to-face in front of my committee, I will be able to expand and clarify AND add some of those references to build support. This whole process is difficult to comprehend. I mean, I teach college writing so I know better, but when you are slammed and have two hours to answer a question that could take you normally a week, what can you do? You simply dig in and you do your best. Selah!

Planning and Preparing

Yesterday, I had a great visit to ACU to check out my exam room. My "Chair" was there to show me around, and poor man, he was recovering from the flu. I am praying I didn't get too close to him to be exposed. I cannot handle being sick now, not now. I am already struggling with some upper head congestion and a stuffy ear. He is such a dear man to come over from his house when he wasn't in 100% good shape.

God has provided greatly for me. The office I will be in is nice and comfy. It has a solid desk, a monitor (for my laptop), and a very nice ergonomic chair for me to sit in. Furthermore, it is in the back of the office building so it should be very quiet. The lighting is good, and I think I will find the space to be a good fit for me. I am not distracted by noise, per se, but in this case, I think the peace and quiet will benefit me. Overall, I think the room is a bonus to me. I should be able to have the freedom to stretch and do jumping jacks (or whatever) to get my body and mind in gear before each 2-hour block as well as to walk out into the courtyard and take a break. I feel as though the Lord has provided the "best" place for me to test, and for that mercy, I am truly thankful. He is good, so very good to me! Praise God! Selah!

As I consider everything that has passed thus far, I see His hands all over this process. I mean, the Lord has chosen the perfect timing for my exams. He has made this possible, in every way, and now that I am about to do this BIG THING, I must remember that it is He who has brought me thus far, and it will be He who will see me through it (Phil. 1:6). I marvel at His goodness toward me. I marvel at His mercy and great care. I marvel at the ways that He has provided for my life, how He has seen to every need (He is JEHOVAH-JIREH). I stand in awe for His presence is with me, His love surrounds me, and His compassion for my weakness and frailty is evident. He has never let me go. He has never let me down. He has been my faithful companion throughout the storms of my life, and now, I am about to face a mighty giant, a Goliath of a giant, and my faith is strong, yet somehow not strong enough. I ask, I pray, and I trust that my faith in God's provision, strength, ability, and goodness will prevail. I ask that He will show up and do this work, this mighty work. I ask that my professors will see my effort, and yes, they will be gracious toward my effort. It is not perfect work nor is it my best. It is all I have to offer, and with humility of heart, I surrender it to their review. May God receive all glory due His good, good name, and may I rest in the knowledge that His way always trumps every other way. I ask this all in His matchless, merciful, and most majestic name of Jesus, Amen. So be it, thy will be done. Selah!

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