April 5, 2017

Calm and Hopeful

Happy Hump day! It is Wednesday, and I am sitting at my computer, drinking my coffee, and enjoying the blessed morning. The weather outside is lovely, just lovely. It is mild and sunny. I believe the high today is expected to be right around 75. As I like to tell it, “You just can’t beat Phoenix in March and April.” In truth, these two months are the nicest of all our months. The weather is usually sunny and mild, not too hot, and the flowers and plants are at their showy best. It is a great time to visit the Valley of the Sun. I love it here, and I love the fact that the next 10 days or so, the weather is expected to be more of the same (no 90s!)

My morning is restful, and I am feeling well. I slept soundly, and for once, I didn’t get up in the early morning hours to use the bathroom (hooray!) My night was uninterrupted, and for that, I am so thankful. Now I am sitting here, thinking about the day, and enjoying the blessed freedom I have to take my mornings slow and easy. Yes, I am giving the Lord thanks for a job that lets me take my mornings so slow and easy. He is so good to me!
Counting the Days

It is April, 5, 2017, and I am thinking about all that I have left to do this semester. I have about 3 more weeks of classes. In fact, I looked at the calendar, and we are really on the count down to summer. I am so excited to think about all that is ahead for me. First off, my graduation is going to be here before I know it (May 3-7, 2017 in Virginia). Second, as I transition from part-time to full-time, which I know will be forthcoming, I am sensing the anticipation of what my life will be like. I mean, it will be so wonderful to have a full-time, benefitted position again. I have been part-time for so long, and while I love the freedom (and I do), I really also want to be established in my field, to be working toward a new goal, and to be able to begin to build credibility within my specific area — organizational communication. I am so ready to begin producing scholarship, to write articles, conduct research, and to develop presentations so I can take my place along other organizational communication scholars. Of course, my specific interest is in visual communication, so I really need to do some work (as in research) to be top-notch ready to engage in research. I think this summer I will begin to collect books and articles on the subject, and then read up so that I can really understand this specialization in the field of communication.

I am ready to tackle my next big project. I know that sounds really funny, but the truth is that I am a little bored right now. I miss the pacing and the pressure of having to finish a major project. I really enjoyed my dissertation and all the ups/downs associated with it. I liked my interaction with my professor, and I enjoyed the whole process involved. Now that I am on the other side of things, I feel content to relax and rest, but I also want to be productive, to have a plan of action, and to have some “next steps” defined.

My next steps has pretty much focused on graduation up to this point. I mean, for the past four years, I have been steadily working toward graduation. This has been my GOAL and now that I am here, graduated (technically), I need at new goal to replace this one. I am done with school, as much as I loved it. I can remember how just last summer, I was still thinking I might want to continue on with school, but since finishing my dissertation, I can tell you that I really have no interest in more degrees. I love the “routine” of school, but in truth, I am ready to simply enjoy other things. I have a number of pursuits at the top of my list such as learning cello again, studying French, etc. Lately, though, my mind has been fixed on finding another job, and while I cannot really do much about that on my own, it is still on my “to-do” list just the same.

I guess my next big life goal is to begin my life as professor. You know, make the move from part-time adjunct to full-time faculty. There are aspects of being faculty that I haven’t experienced yet such as being an advisor, mentoring students, serving on committees, and such. I haven’t had this chance since I was so heavily involved in my own schooling. Now that I am finished, I will need to factor in time for these things as well.

My prayer today is really to re-evaluate my life and then begin to create a plan of action that looks past the job change. I need to create some tasks, some steps really, that will move me forward in life. For example, it has been great to live with my parents, and I know they need me, depend on me for part of their care, but I don’t want to live like this permanently. I would like to find my own place, to be 100% independent again, and with the Lord’s provision and guidance, I can see this happening soon. More so, I need to plan a car purchase here soon. My son has shared my car for over a year, and while it has worked for us, we are at the point where he needs his own vehicle. He is working more hours, and with my increase income, I think we will be able to purchase a car very soon. Then, there is my car, which now needs some work. My car needs new brakes and an oil change. I haven’t been able to take it in for service simply because my son always has it. I need to get it serviced one of these days, just to make sure that the car continues to run well.
In Closing

As I close out this blog post, I am reminded of these words spoken by Paul to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it” (Col. 4:17). The Lord has given to me a plan — His plan — and this plan is specific to my calling and my mandate. As I think about all the things I would like to do, such as studying, learning, and achieving new levels of performance and production, I must remember that I am working according to His provision. This means that nothing I do must take precedence over what He asks of me. He must provide a way for me, and with that way, will come the provision I need to be successful. All my efforts going forward are to be in one pursuit, and that is for the ministry He has called me to work. I surrender my desires, my wants, and my needs to the fulfillment of His ministry in me. Whatever He determines this good day is good enough for me. May the Lord of all Creation be praised, blessed and forever worshipped this good, good, good day. Selah!

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