October 5, 2016

Feeling Better

It is Wednesday, and well, I am in a slump (a minor slump). Yesterday, was a let down for me, and on top of some deflating news, I also suffered mightily from some little bug. I had a massive headache mid-afternoon, and then I suffered with nausea into the evening. This morning, I still wasn't feeling 100%, but like the good little trooper I am (ha!), I got myself up and dressed and out the door to ACU in time for my morning class. Thankfully, as I waited for my class to start, I had time to read God's Word, and I prayed over my morning. The Lord, in His usual GRAND  FASHION, showed up for me, and carried me through my morning class. I am feeling a bit better now, but I still have some lingering headache/nausea. I am guessing it is a little virus of some sort. My prayer is that whatever this is -- well -- it simply "poofs" very soon. I really cannot be sick. I mean, I cannot take any time off for illness at all this semester. The Lord has graciously covered me in previous years, so I am trusting that He will keep me well through the remaining 8-10 weeks of the semester. Selah! He is good, so very good to me!

Getting My Ducks in a Row

So I mentioned being deflated yesterday, and how some distressing news simply sent my heart and my body reeling. Well, I guess I am overstating the facts a bit (just a bit), but in truth, I did feel so let down yesterday. My conference call with my chair went well, short but well. My chair advised me that the soonest I can propose is the end of this month. This was not the news I was expecting at all. I had factored in being able to begin my research in another week or so, but now it looks like I will not begin my research until November. I know it doesn't seem like such a big deal, but really it is a very BIG DEAL. Here is why...

My research project consists of conducting a content analysis of 15 megachurch websites. The process is time consuming, and it will require I spend a good three weeks collecting data before I can import it (code) and analyze it. Then once this is done, I will do a visual analysis of these same websites. A visual analysis will take another good three weeks to complete. Once all this is done, I will have to begin writing two-three chapters that will cover my findings and a discussion of my findings. In all, my research will need a good three months to complete, but as of now, I will have two. It is not impossible to complete this research, but given the fact that my chair and committee have been busy with other projects, the lack of control over the schedule has really caused me great concern.

In order to graduate on time, in May of 2017, I have to complete my research and pass my final defense. This is not some cake-walk in the park, you know. It is a major presentation and defense, and I have to have everything in spit-spot order. I know the Lord has me well-covered, but it seems like this final phase of my PhD has been pushed out for some reason. I had hoped to be finishing my project by now. My plan had been to do my research over the summer, but now, I am looking at squeaking by in Spring. The Lord knows what I can and cannot do, so I let this be. I let this go.

Still, yesterday, I felt so put out. I mean, not only did my project get slammed back again, but I also learned that I had not gotten my email from my chair for four days because of my own error. I was embarrassed to admit that I didn't realize I had to check my email through Outlook and not Gmail as I had thought. In all, my day was spotty at best, and with not feeling well, it just ended up being a day of frustration and feeling less than adequate. Sigh!

The good news, if there is any, is that my Mom got a great report from her doctor. Yes, the doctor has said that my Mom does not have Alzheimers. I don't understand it, but he said what she has is memory recall, which is clearly not dementia or Alzheimers. I am not sure what the difference is, but according to the memory tests he gave her, her condition is normal for her age, though she does have memory (short term) recall problems.

I guess we are relieved. I don't know what this means going forward, but my thoughts are that it simply means that my Mom's condition, which does seem to be getting worse, is not going to turn into Alzheimers. She may forget dates or to take her pills, so we will have to continue to remind her about these things. I guess the comfort comes in knowing that she will not lose her ability to communicate or know those around her.

Plans for Now

As of right now, my plans for moving seem to be on hold. I am not sure why this has happened all of a sudden, but it seems like the Lord has me in this holding pattern for a time. I think this means that until otherwise noted, I am to remain where I am. I still feel confident that He will move me and my son soon, but I am not sure of the timeline at present. Perhaps He has plans to move all of us, my parents and me and my son, and that He is working out the details to make that happen. I know one thing is for certain, right now, I am content to do the work He has assigned to me. This means that I need to focus on teaching my classes and finishing my dissertation. In time, He will open a door for me to move, and until then, I will be content and I will focus on the work He has assigned to me now.

I still think I will move at some point, but yesterday and today, I have had this feeling that the "intends" to keep us here for the short term. For now, that simply means that we are to live in our rented home together -- the four of us -- until He moves us elsewhere. I guess this is not really news, but for the past couple seasons I have focused on moving, so much so, that I have become preoccupied with it. Now, though, I feel like I am supposed to let this go too. I am being asked to trust the Lord to provide for me, and that means right here and now. I have done this, of course, but something has changed, and I cannot put my finger on it. I simply feel compelled, absolutely compelled to stay put. Why is this so? I mean, I want to go. I want to move. I want to live some place else! Yet, here I feel now, ready and so willing to simply remain. It is not like I want to stay in Phoenix! Egads! No! Rather it is like the Lord is telling me to stay put, to remain here, and to wait for His open door. I get it, really I do, but what I am trying to say is that rather than wait and watch for the open door, it is like He is saying to me, "Wait, and let this be." It is like I am being asked to simply let go all thoughts of moving, and to embrace, to accept, to contentedly agree to remaining here in Phoenix. Why? Why, Lord?

In Closing

In closing, I am sitting here thinking about this whole idea, and I am wondering why the Lord would ask me to do this now. I don't really have an answer, but I think my response has to be, "Yes, Lord. Not my will, O Lord, but thy will be done!" Yes, Lord. I will patiently wait and endure while you what you desire to do in and through me. May this be for your Name sake, and may it bring you glory, praise and honor this good, good day. Amen!

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