December 3, 2016

Looking Good, Feeling Good

It is a blessed Saturday. I am feeling well, thanks in part to a good night’s sleep and some Advil, last night. I crashed right after dinner, and with a solid backache (all day), I really didn’t feel like doing much online. I needed to grade papers, and since I wasn’t able to sit at my computer for longer than a few minutes, I had to put that task off. This means, of course, that I am behind the 8-ball today. I will have to make up grading in order to keep to my schedule and begin my analysis work on my dissertation today. Sigh!

Still, I am blessed or feeling blessed. My son is on his way to Indiana today. He was in Wisconsin last evening, performing alongside some professional musicians for a mini-Christmas tour, and then today, the entire group is driving down to Indiana for the next stop. Tomorrow, they will all head into Michigan, and then on Monday, he will fly home. I hope he gets to really experience the life of a professional musician. This mini-tour might just do him in (LOL!) He texted me to say he was loving the cold, but knowing my son, I am sure he is not “loving” the drive from state-to-state. My prayer, is as always, that he comes to recognize the Lord’s will for his life, which I believe is firmly centered in professional music. This means that I believe the Lord desires him to become a professional musician, among other things. The days of earning big bucks in the music business are dead and gone, so what I am talking about is earning a decent living doing something you love. It is not about fame, fortune, or even fantastic opportunity. It is about using your gifts and talents in a way that brings honor to the Lord.

For artists and musicians this often means performing or producing artistic work. The world screams that artists, all types, are lazy buggers who never want to grow up, when in truth, they are among the hardest working people I know. My of my artist friends work in multiple jobs just so they can do the thing they love. Often, they sacrifice and they suffer due to a lack of income. I want my son to choose his path wisely, but I have never wanted him to do a job simply to get a paycheck. I did that for years, and I was so dissatisfied with my choice. I loathed going to work every day, and in the end, the stress of working in a job I hated really took a toll on my health. I am now doing a job I love, and while the pay isn’t great, and I am not going to be wealthy as a teacher, I am doing something I am proud of and where I know my work matters. In many ways, I believe that I chose the “better” portion as scripture says (of the role of Mary and Martha). I chose to do work that honored the Lord first and foremost rather than work that simply produced good results.

My prayer for my son is the same. If the Lord is calling him into music, then so be it. I will support him, literally if need be, in order for him to follow the Lord’s desire. I know the Lord will provide, so I don’t think of it as a life sentence or of letting my adult son off the hook. No — not at all. He is responsible, and he is a good worker, so I have no doubt that the Lord will use his hard work and strong ethic to produce good work through him. This work, will no doubt, bring honor to the Lord. I believe it is so or will be so. Selah!

In other news, I am enjoying my Saturday. I slept in some, and then I got on the computer to check email and make sure my little world wasn’t spinning out of control. I received an email from Kohls’ reminding me that my Kohls cash would expire on Monday, so I did some online shopping earlier today. I bought three things, my Christmas gift to me, I guess you could say. I bought a new bag for school/work, a pair of dress boots, and a nice wool blend winter coat. All three are really for my spring trip to VA. I want to look nice, but also be warm, so I invested in a pea-coat for my trip. The boots are just cute, and they will do double-duty with jeans or my dress pants. The bag was really a bonus find. It is big enough to carry my laptop and my necessary items so that I can take one item on the plane with me. Furthermore, it also does double-duty as a briefcase for my spring classes. I should be able to carry one bag to school and no longer have to lug a purse and a briefcase from class to class. With my Kohls cash and today’s bonus discounts, I once again saved $300. My total outlay was $63 with tax. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

In all, I am in this very good place. I am enjoying my life immensely, and I am looking forward to seeing the good opportunities the Lord has in store for me and my family over the next 3-6 and 9 months. I am, of course, really looking forward to defending my dissertation. One of my colleagues from my study group, defended his research yesterday. He is the first in our group to be crowned “Doctor.” Now, it is up to the rest of us (the remaining 3). We are all in the middle of research, and we are all planning to graduate in May. God is on our side, and we are all confident that what He has begun in us (as in His work), He will be faithful to bring it to completion. The Lord is good, so very good to us. Selah!
As I close out this short post today, I give thanks and praise to God above for His mercy and His grace. He is good, so very good to us. He loves me, He cares for me, and He provides for me. I cannot even begin to bear the testimony that would bring Him the honor He desires. My words fail me. My thoughts betray me. And, my heart stumbles, and I fall so short of His glorious praise. Yet, I will lift my voice this good, good day, and I will praise the Lord with every fiber of my being. I will bring the full offering into His temple, and I will sacrifice my self at the altar for His praise and His honor.

My Lord receives all my praise. My Lord deserves my worship and my unending sacrifice. My Lord is worthy of my every breath, and with my every breath, I will bring Him praise, I will sing of His good name, and I will rejoice in His grace and His mercy. He is good, He is so very good to me! Selah!

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