April 16, 2016

Looking Good, Feeling Good!

It is Saturday here in warm and breezy, Phoenix. Yes, it is quite breezy today, but the sun is shining and there are few clouds in the sky. Our weather forecast for this next week is HOT, close to triple digits, but the week following shows temps heading back down into the mid-80s. I cannot believe that this is our current weather pattern. Normally, it seems we are in the mid-to-upper 90s, close to 100, by this point in the late spring. Oh, may the weather stay pleasant and enjoyable for as long as possible! Selah!

My day today is set for reviewing student essays. I had 73 of the 150 students enrolled in classes turn in rough drafts for review (5 extra credit points). I had hoped for more, but I am pleased with this number as it is doable for us (me and my IA) to read and comment on by Monday. I will be reviewing 54 of these today and tomorrow, and hopefully, the content is decent. My students want to finish strong, and they want to get the best grade possible in my class. My day is going to be divided between reading essays and writing my own paper. We will see how much I can complete before I poop out.

It is a good day, a very good day. I am blessed to be able to do this work, and I am blessed to be able to finish my semester with gusto! My own semester (at Regent) ends soon so I need to get my research in gear so I can send something off to my professor. Technically, I sent him my outline of sources already, so I guess I am okay as far as producing some content for him. I had hoped to send him my first three chapters, but now I am thinking he will probably get those from me in early May. I am resting on this matter as I believe that I have to write this paper according to the Lord's timeline and not my own or my professor's. I have to be realistic, and that means, I have realize what I can and cannot do. He alone is faithful! He alone is Good. He will see me through this next big hurdle, and He will help me accomplish what seems impossible to me right now.

Moving Forward, No Hitches Necessary

As I consider this week to be closed, in the bag and one for the books, I marvel at God's goodness toward me. The week started out slowly, with some bumpy spots in the road. I was able to overcome a minor injury (pushups are not this girl's best friend) and still remain relatively in fine shape. Furthermore, my week at GCU ended well. I had fun with my students on Wednesday and on Friday, and in every way, I left feeling SO good about my participation and my commitment to work there. I love this school -- I really do! Despite all that happened toward the end of the semester, I absolutely love this school. God has blessed me with teaching here and He has given me His grace to learn how to do my job well. GCU has been a great fit for me, and I am thankful for the learning experiences and all the good things that happen in and out of the classroom.

Now though, I am making plans to move to another school, to replace GCU with something more permanent. I realize that it may be one more year before I physically move or take a full-time position, but between now and then, I feel confident that the Lord is going to move me to another school that will be a good fit for me in this next season of my life. I am thinking that this next school will be IT, as in my final destination. At the least, I hope so. I want to find a school where I can set down roots and develop friendships among the colleagues. I want to spend my days building bridges that will last until I retire. I love my work, all of it, and I am ready to begin moving forward to the place of His choosing.

I am not sure where that will be, however, so until He moves, I am patiently waiting for His answer. I have applied at a number of schools thus far but none have come to pass yet. I have applications in process still at Regent University (though I am now to the department review part of the process), and at California Baptist (online), Old Dominion University (online) and Colorado Christian University (online) as well at Auburn University (campus) and Point University (campus).

All I know is this -- right now and for the foreseeable future -- I have teaching contracts in place for Arizona Christian University (campus - 1 class this fall) and Grand Canyon University (campus - 3 classes this fall). I am approved to teach at Ohio Christian University for fall, but I haven't been contacted by the department to discuss needs yet. Thus, until He leads me elsewhere, I am where I am for the fall 2016 semester.

Some thoughts from past posts:

This morning, I took some time to read through my blog, in particular, back in 2012 to see how the hand of our mighty God was at work in my life. I am so thankful that the Lord placed on my heart the desire to keep this blog going forward. I had really thought about leaving it lay untended when my life hit the skids back in 2007. I had only used this blog to write about home schooling issues, concerns, and curriculum choices, so when things turned downward for me, the Lord pressed on me this desire to start journaling about my experiences. WOW! Nearly two-thousand posts later my life and my experiences as I endured so much change has been recorded for my own reflection. He is so good to me, so very good to me!

I read a couple posts, in particular, one from April and one from August just to see what God was doing in my life back then. One thing was certain -- He was moving in my life -- opening doors, giving me favor and blessing -- and my life was changing almost daily. I remember those days, how I was so stuck in my job at UOPX, miserable, bored, and feeling lost -- and then wham! -- He opened a door for a new opportunity and the rest, as they say, is history. I endured so much upset, so much change, and yet, the Lord remained my steady companion, my ROCK, who held me tightly as we transitioned from one life (way of life) to another.

When I read my thoughts, recount how I was feeling during those difficult times, I marvel at His goodness toward me. He was so faithful to me back then. He provided everything I needed to make it from day to day. I needed a place to live -- He provided one. I needed a job that paid a good income -- He provided one. I needed a new car to replace my damaged one -- He provided one. At every turn, He provided exactly what I needed, right when I needed it most. He is good, so very good to me! Selah!!

Moreover, He called me to return to graduate school, and while I was open to it, I didn't believe 1) I could do it (academically speaking) and 2) I could afford it. He provided the will, the determination, and the academic excellence so I could achieve a Masters degree AND He provided the funds to cover the cost of my program. The entire process of getting my Masters was difficult, especially as I worked full-time through the second half of it. He showed me how to manage my time, how to keep my grades high, and how to prepare for the next steps in His master plan for my life.

Now, I think about where I am today, and how He has done the exact same thing, only this time, He has prepared me to graduate with my PhD. It is like He has made this way possible, clearing all the obstacles and making my way smooth. The path has been grueling, more challenging, more difficult, and all-consuming, then the previous degree program. I was better prepared to handle my PhD, for sure. I was ready for this level of study, and while I have done well (PTL!), I still couldn't have made it through without His constant help. He has been my ROCK throughout this program, and now I look forward to the next steps, the plans He has for me once I finish my degree.

I guess you could say the same thing was true about the job I do now. I have always had confidence in my ability to handle most types of jobs. Pretty much, I believe I can do anything asked of me, so long as I have enough time to study the requirements, prepare for them, and then do them. I am highly skilled, very adaptable, and with a keen mind and sense of "how-to," I usually can master any job quickly. However, teaching, learning how to teach, has been different for me. I had to undo much of my "get down to business" attitude and relearn how to facilitate learning in the classroom. I had to learn how to be a teacher -- to instructor others -- and my attitude changed from "me centered" to "student centered." I didn't think it would be that difficult to do, but in truth, it was a challenge. It was difficult, yet the Lord prevailed, and He showed me how to teach the way He does it. I have found favor and good success in my approach, and as a result, I have come to experience the blessing of mentoring, of disciplining students.

As I look forward I imagine that the next series of changes in my life will be similar to what has passed before me. I need a full-time job. He will provide one (in His time). I need a home of my own. He will see to it that I have a home, again, in His time. I need financial resources to pay off my student loans and other school-related debts. He will show me how to do this soon. I need to travel for school and for work and for pleasure. He will provide the funds so I can go where I need to go, and He will arrange the plans so I can do these things. I have no doubt in my mind that He will do these things for me. He has done it in the past, and He will continue to do it for me going forward into my future. He is good. He is faithful. He is the mighty One, and nothing is impossible for Him! Selah!

Getting in Gear -- Ready to Move

Yes, today is a blessed day. I have much to do, but my thoughts are running toward what He plans to do through me. I know He has this all figured out, and while I want to know now, I also understand that sometimes are in His keeping and in His timing. He alone is God, and while He is faithful to share with me, He doesn't always tell me or show me every little detail.

One thing is for sure. I am going. I am moving. I am getting ready to move. All of the signs point toward a big move ahead. I don't know where yet, not exactly, and I don't know when, but I feel it. I feel change is coming, and that change is going to be radical. Major change. Massive redirection. An uprooting type of change where my life as I know it today will be vastly different in the coming year. Yes, I am expecting Him to move in my life in a BIG WAY very soon. It may be a full-time teaching position elsewhere or it may simply be several part-time jobs to see me through the next step in my doctoral degree program. He is moving, though, I can feel it. I can sense it. I know it.

My job, thus, is to rest and to abide in Him. I rest. I let go of the past, the present, and the future, and I let Him move me where He desires for me to go. I know I am safe. I am secure. I am well-provided for in every area of my life. I can trust Him because He is good, and because He is God. Selah!

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