November 16, 2016

Welcome Wednesday

Today is a good day here in sunny and mild Phoenix. I am feeling GREAT! I am happy, to boot, and what is more, I feel refreshed (finally, yay!) My day so far has been really good. I had a good morning over with my COM students at ACU, and I enjoyed chatting with them after class about sci-fi and other interesting things. I so love being a teacher! In all, I am feeling cheery, happy, and very contented. The Lord has provided abundantly for me, and right now, I am thinking everything seems pretty rosy, pretty special, pretty good. I am praying that the glee and the glimmer of hope I feel will continue on through the rest of the week. Hoping, hoping, hoping, it is so.

The weather is lovely outside right now. It is about 75 degrees out with a very slight breeze. It is spot-on perfect. I love this weather. I love this life. In truth, I am thinking that my life is about to get even better -- er -- well, it seems like it is. I am in a good place with my dissertation research, and with just under 3 weeks left of school, I am giddy with excitement. This has been a difficult semester for me, and while I have been so thankful for the income (praise God!), I really have been pushed to my limit on work and ability to maintain my steady and consistent level of productivity. I am praying for release, sweet release to come to me soon. Hopefully, that release will bring a steady paycheck through the spring semester, a new car for my son, and a reduction in my monthly expenses. I am trusting the Lord for a quick infusion of cash between now and the end of the year, and my prayer is that I will have enough money to pay off a couple credit cards and put a down payment on a car for my son (yes, I want my car back!)

Christmas is around the corner, and right now, I am starting to feel the rush of the season. This is my favorite holiday, and I love everything between Halloween and New Years. I just get excited when the holidays roll around, and this year, in particular, I hope to spend more time enjoying the change from autumn to winter. It has been a long, long year, and I am finally seeing the light at the end of my tunnel. Last year at this time, I was beginning my study/prep for my exams. I was consumed by studying for my qualification exams, knowing that if I didn't pass them, I wouldn't graduate from Regent. Well, praise to God, I did pass them in the spring, and since that time, I have been steadily working toward the finish line. I am in the beginning stages of my research project, and I hope to be finished next spring so I can graduate in May. In all, I have about 4 months of work ahead of me before my degree, my PhD in Communication is conferred. I am ecstatic. I cannot believe that this dream is coming to pass, and in a short time, I will officially be "Dr. Hepburn." I laugh when my students call me Dr. because "technically" I am just Professor Hepburn. It will be nice to finally have all of my diplomas on my wall (something I have wanted to do for a very long time).

Yes, in less than a half a year, I will be a fully-fledged Doctor of Philosophy. My dream has come to pass, and I am overjoyed that I have been able to pursue this line of work at this stage of my life. I am in my 50s, yet I am finally do the "thing" that I believe I was meant to do. I am working in a job I love, pursing passionate study, and finding the whole process enjoyable -- day in and day out. I have more good days than bad, and compared to when I work in industry, I am absolutely at peace in my work. I cannot even describe what it feels like to go to work and not be stressed, angry, disappointed or upset. My last couple of jobs were in environments with a lot of drama, tension, stress, and pressure. I am in this wonderful place now, low-key, easy going, and so blessed. I am absolutely in the best possible place. Granted, I do work at Christian colleges. I realize now that one of the reasons why I am blessed is because of the schools where I teach. I don't know if I could say the same thing of a secular school. My schools are blessed by God, and as faculty, I really have such amazing colleagues and support for my efforts. I really, really do love my work.

Speaking of work...I am about ready to drive over to GCU for my second go-round of teaching today. I am getting tired of the drive, but I look forward to seeing my students each day, to helping them learn how to write and think critically and to developing them as scholars (if you can call it that). On top of all of this, I have come to realize that I love teaching literature more so than writing. I like to teach writing because it is easy, low-key, and less work for me. But, I love engaging in dialogue, conversation, and analysis, and well, literature does that for me. I am looking forward to teaching American literature next semester. I am looking forward to all the wonderful opportunities the Lord brings to me here on out. He is good, so very good, and He is so very good to me! Praise God, He is good!

In Closing

I am thinking more and more about my life. I will blog more on some of the smaller challenges I am facing, now that my work life is coming to a halt (temporary, for the holiday, I mean). My prayer today is as follows:

Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others (1 Thess. 4:11-12 NLT).

I need to be reminded of this call -- to live simply -- to pursue quietness (peaceful relations), and to remain busy for the Lord. Especially in the wake of the recent election and all the mayhem going on around the world. How much I desire quiet, peace, and a life that is predicated on simpleness.

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