April 11, 2017

Feeling Unwell Today

It is a good Tuesday here in sunny and warm, Phoenix. I am finally feeling better. Yes, I woke up with a massive headache (sinus), and it has taken a good five hours for it to finally simmer down. I took Sudafed and Advil earlier this morning, but I am just now feeling the pressure subside. Ugh! The joys of spring allergies!

I am at home today, which is such a blessing. I am so glad that I don't have to leave the house! I enjoy my MWF teaching days, but frankly, I really love to be at home. I have always been a home body, so to speak. The weird thing is that I don't like to be bored, so I sort of have to deal with two opposing streams -- one side of my personality is very laid back, homey, and likes to chill -- while the other side is driven, ambitious, and doesn't like to sit still. Sigh! I guess you could say I am like one of those people who works really hard, but then rests deeply when the time comes to stop and rest.

This morning, however, I felt so bad (headache wise) that I couldn’t even sit at the computer; hence the reason why I am blogging so late in the morning. I am thankful for the sunshine and the freedom to stay at home.

Details and the Like

Today is a good day, as I mentioned above, despite the fact that I am feeling less then my best. I feel overwhelmed today, and as such, I am struggling to process all the details. Yes, I feel overwhelmed by details. Sigh! Still, I know that through it all, I will make a way — well — the Lord will make a way. I believe in faith. I stand in faith. I hope in faith. Yes, my faith is in His abilities this good day, and with that in mind, I am more able to focus on what must be done today. I can push aside the smaller things that vie for my time, and I can focus on the bigger things, those “must needs” that really and truly MUST BE DONE. In this way, I can prioritize my to-do list, and with my short list in hand, I can take care of everything that really is most important in my life (today, I mean).

I think some of my challenges stem from the work I do. If I were just teaching my three on campus classes, I would be resting so easy. But, I am teaching three on campus classes and three online classes. The different learning systems, the varied assignments, the packed due dates, and so forth are getting mixed up in my head, and I feel like I am losing my grip on what is due, in process, and coming up down the road. I really need a better system for management. I really need one job only.

However, until the Lord provides one job to me, I have to deal with the fact that I am mentoring hundreds of students across multiple campuses. It is a challenge to say the least. I guess when I stop and think about it this way, I realize that my life is complicated by the fact that I teach so many online classes. I honestly do not know what is better or worse for me. I honestly do not know what or if I should do to counteract the fact that I am being pulled in so many directions. Do I pray for one job only? Do I continue to thank the Lord for His gracious provision of multiple jobs? I honestly do not know. I am grateful. I am thankful. I give Him praise every day for His provision, but today I am feeling so overwhelmed, so downtrodden, so miserable. What should I do Lord?

With this in mind, I am thinking that despite my current situation, I need to be happy. Yes, I was reading Joyce Meyer’s devotional book, “Enjoying Your Everyday Life” and I was convicted of the fact that today, especially, I am not really enjoying the good gifts the Lord has given to me. Joyce says, “Make a decision today to enjoy your life,” and while I am familiar with her many messages where she speaks on happiness, joy, contentment, etc., today for some reason I thought to myself that I am not doing what I should when it comes to happiness. In her book, “Straight Talk,” Meyer (2004) says that happiness and joy are internal feelings. They are conscious decisions made within us — and not determined by our outward circumstances. As I thought about this today, I realized that I am trying to make myself happy by thinking about what my life will be —> over there, down the road, once I have that full-time job. Rather, I should be choosing today to be happy with what the Lord has already provided to me, which happens to be a lot of part-time work. I am busy, very busy. I am well-provided for right now, and praise be to God, I really do love my work. I guess I have been focused on that one full-time job for so long that I have lost my perspective a bit. I have believed that the only way I would be happy after my PhD was to be hired as a full-time faculty member. In truth, I can be happy today as adjunct faculty. I can be happy today knowing that I have plenty of manna for this good, good day. Would my life be less busy as a full-time faculty member? Perhaps it would. But then again, perhaps it wouldn’t. You see, I don’t know if my life will be easier, harder, or for that matter, more enjoyable with a job change. It might or it might not. Therefore, if I am happy today — really content — and if I am choosing joy, then what I do, whether part-time or full-time will not matter. I will be happy today because my happiness is a choice. I will rejoice always in the Lord, not for what I have been given (though that is a good thing to do), but rather for the fact that the Lord HIMSELF is so very good.

Resting In His Presence

Thus, as I consider this to be the answer to my question, and that is to choose happiness, contentment, and joy — not because of the gifts I have received — but because my Lord is GOOD, He cares for me and loves me, and He has my needs well in hand. In this way, I am resting in His presence rather than in His provision, if that makes sense. I am saying to Him, “Lord, YOU ARE ALL THAT MATTERS TO ME.” I am choosing His presence, His person, for my fulfillment, happiness, and joy. Whether I receive more manna this good day is immaterial. He is good. This day belongs to Him, and as such, He is the object of my devotion. He is worth my attention, therefore, I turn my mind, my heart, and my entire being toward Him and say, “You are enough for me, this good day, Lord! You are enough for me!”

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