March 6, 2017

Preparing for My Defense

It is Monday, and I am at home this morning, preparing for my classes today. I should have attended to my classes this weekend, but instead, I chose to rest. Yes, I rested all weekend long. It was good to rest, and I think my body benefitted from the rest, but today, I am feeling panicked. I have this sick feeling inside, and I can tell that it is the result of stress. I am stressed because I have one week until my dissertation defense, and frankly, the thought of having to present my defense is just overwhelming to me.

Last week, I was cool as a cucumber. I wasn’t panicked at all, and today, I am stressed beyond measure. I don’t know what changed for me, but I think it was a conference call I had with some of my peers who are also preparing for their defense. I was overwhelmed by their views, their feelings, and my own question as to whether or not I was really ready for it. Of course, I am ready. My chair thinks I am ready. I feel that I am ready too. But, after I got off the phone, I simply felt overwhelmed, and I was filled with this panicked sensation. Perhaps it is also because I have so much on my plate right now. I have to prepare for my defense this week, and then come Sunday, fly to VA to actually do the defense presentation. In truth, I am ready, like I said, but there is this nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right in “VA land.” I am not sure what it is or if the problem is on my end or on their end. Still, God be praised, He has brought me to this point in time, and well, I am letting this go just like I have with everything else. I am letting this go. This is the Lord’s project, and as such, He will see it through to the end. I will simply go as His mouthpiece. I will go and say the words, but I will be guided, directed, and led by the Holy Spirit.

Planning and Preparing for a Defense

So the actually planning of the defense is pretty easy. I show up, I present a very short 10-15 minute power point slide show and then I take questions. I am not really that worried about it, but I know I will forget data and I know I will mess up. My professors are very kind, which is such a blessing. Still, I do want to do a good job. I really do want to do a good job.

As I was creating my power points for today, I accidentally clicked on a link that said “suggest new ideas.” WOW! I was impressed. The template I had picked for my presentation was pretty simple, but this feature in Power Point 2016 was amazing. It took my plain slides and incorporated the photos, tables and charts in really eye-catching ways. My presentation went from plain and very functional to sassy and sizzling with just one click.

Immediately, I had this boost of confidence, as if I felt that my defense — at least my presentation part — was going to be GREAT! Thank you, Lord, for the blessed provision of Microsoft Office!

Closing for Today

This is a short blog post simply because I have to get myself moving. However, I am trusting in the Lord for His grace today, especially for His ability to see me through my classes. I am so ready for spring break, but between now and break, I have this big deal day — my dissertation defense. God be praised, I really can see the end of this long and very dark tunnel!

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