August 20, 2016

Saturday Post

Good morning, Phoenix! It is a great day today in the Valley of the Sun. Actually, it is a bit cloudy, which is an uber blessing for those of us who are allergic to the sun! I am enjoying the clouds and the slightly cooler air temperatures (88 this morning with a high of only 100 today!) It seems our summer monsoon is not quite ready to give up the ghost, so to speak. We have storms all around us, mostly over the high desert and low desert areas. Will these storms make it to central and north Phoenix? Probably not, but still, they are bringing in changeable weather, and my head (sinuses and throat) are saying "thank you" to them. Yes, I woke up today without a headache (PTL!) The last couple days we have been back to our normal dry pattern, and with that dryness came my raging sinus headaches. It was a blessing to wake up today and be pain free. God is good, so very good to me! Selah!

Summer Reflections

I am enjoying my very last days of summer. In some ways, this summer has been bittersweet for me. I have had a long rest after my very difficult spring semester, which was such a blessing. My Fall 2015 and my Spring 2016 were the most difficult semesters of my academic career. Not only was I teaching but I was finishing coursework at Regent and prepping for my spring qualification exams. The stress of studying for and passing my exams took a physical toll on me. I was emotionally and mentally wiped out as well. The long summer proved to be the best thing for me. I fully recovered from the stress, and I had plenty of down-time to just relax, refresh, and be well rested.

The bittersweet part, of course, was the fact that I didn't get to propose my dissertation before summer began, and that set me back a semester for finishing my degree. I am still on track to graduate, but I missed the summer time for data collection. This brought me extra stress simply as I worried about how I would complete my dissertation AND handle my fall teaching schedule. On top of all of this was the never ending worry about money, the panic that comes on me each July and August, and the fear that I will not make it to the end of the summer without dipping below the red line.

Now that fall is here (well, academically speaking, I mean), I am feeling better overall. I am in good health (at the least, I think so), and mentally and emotionally, I feel settled. My fall looks very busy, and that is a good thing considering what happens when I am not busy (I veg and get very lazy). I would rather be busy, 'pushed to the wall' busy, than to have loads of free time. Yes, this girl needs a lot on her plate before her brain kicks into high gear and she performs at her best. Selah!

The Lord knows this about me. He knows I need to rest, but He also knows that I need to be really busy. It is a push-and-pull type of life for me. I push so hard during the course of the semester, and then summer comes and I rest, relax and recharge my batteries. I really think that teaching as a profession is the BEST fit for me overall. I think it suits my personality and my lifestyle best. Go figure that one out! God is GREAT! He is GOOD. He is so very good to me!!

Fall Plans

So my fall is officially planned. I am so relieved, so relieved. I received confirmation yesterday on my classes at Regent, and this means that for sure, I have one class set and active with students! PTL! He is so faithful and good to me!  My fall schedule looks like this:
  • (1) Introduction to Communication (campus)
  • (1) English Composition I and (2) English Composition II (campus)
  • (1) British Literature I (Online) and (1) Academic Research* (Online)
There is still a slight chance that I will teach Academic Writing and Research* at Regent, but as of today, the class is still listed as closed. I feel good about my schedule, and right now, I am content to teach these five classes. I have my two days off, TR, and those days are reserved for grading and working on my dissertation. In all, I am well-set, so very well-set.

My prayer now is that as time goes on, I will get to teach more courses at Regent (two or three per sub-semester). This would provide excellent income for me and would give me greater experience as online faculty. Furthermore, teaching online frees me to do my research, writing, and opens my schedule up for ministry and other opportunities as the Lord leads and guides me. I am trusting in His vision for my life because only He knows the plans He has for my life. Yes, for now, I am good. I am content, and I am settled. He is so very good to me! Praise God, He is good!

Some Minor Details

As I work out some minor details, mostly in transportation and bill paying, I know the Lord has me well covered. I cannot believe how He has worked out these details, how He has provided exactly what I needed and when. I stand in awe of Him, absolutely in awe. He is amazing, and His love never ceases nor does He tire of providing good gifts to His children. I am blessed to be a child of God. I am blessed to be in His tender love and merciful care. I am blessed to know Him, to really know Him, and to have such a deep and personal knowledge of Him. I cannot believe how far He has brought me over the course of the past 6 years. He has brought me through the fire, so to speak, and I am sitting here now thinking of all the wonderful things He has provided to me. I am well-set. I have a future. I have a plan for my life, and I am purposed, directed, and focused on it. God be praised, He gave me a future that is blessed, so very blessed.

I love the fact that I know where I am going. I love the fact that I know what I am to do each and every day now. I love the fact that as He leads me, wherever He leads me, He has all the details figured out. I mean, I don't have to worry about where I will live. I don't have to worry about where I will work or the type of work I will do. I don't have to worry about money (praise God!) nor do I have to worry about how I will get from A to B and on down to Zed. Yes, He has my path considered, charted, and diagrammed. I can rest in knowing that I am moving in the right direction, I am sensing the right way to go (confirmed in it now), and that the way I walk is clearly and specifically purposed by His merciful and gracious hand of blessing. He is my KING, and I worship and praise Him this good, good day!

My prayer today is to rest, to really rest. I have been practicing "rest" for a while now, and while I am not an expert at it, I have made some progress. I guess you could say I am learning to rest, but I am experiencing rest more frequently as each day passes. My goal for this semester and the one following is to really, really, really REST. This means that I am decided that the only way for me to survive what is coming (finishing my dissertation, defending it, and graduating from Regent) is to surrender fully to the will, the work, and the way of the Lord. It means recognizing what I can and cannot do, and accepting that the work He has called me to do is beyond my abilities. I cannot do His work. I cannot attempt to do His work -- but -- I can allow Him to do this work through me. Nay, I must allow Him to do this work through me, and in doing so, His will is to be done. He will have His way, and I will get to walk along side of Him as He completes, finishes, and approves of the work. I am blessed that He has asked me to partner with Him, that He has invited me to tag along with Him, so to speak. I mean, what a wonderful gift and blessing it is to be considered worthy to walk after Him. Of course, I am not worthy. No, not in any way, shape or form. Yet, it is due to His marvelous grace that He has said, "Yes, come follow me." I have followed, and I will continue to follow after Him. May my days be filled with His ever increasing presence, and may my will be 100% yielded and submitted to Him as He leads, guides and provides for me. He is my everything! He is absolutely my EVERY THING! Selah!

Psalm 100 (NASB)

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.

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