April 7, 2017
Managing My Time
The weather seems a bit cloudy today. Our high temperature is supposed to be in the mid-80s, so the cloudy skies seem a bit off. I am not complaining of course. I love the clouds — even when the air temperature is not cool. This weekend I have some grading to do, but for the most part, I am on the lo-down as they say, to the end of the semester. My students on campus are writing their final essays, and these will all come due April 30. Until then, it is easy-street. My online students are in the middle of assignments, which means that I have weekly grading to do until the semester ends (same time-frame). I am thankful for the downtime, the slowness right now. It really is pleasant, and I am able to enjoy my days.
I just found out that my Regent summer class is not starting until mid-June. I had thought it would begin in May, but it is scheduled for the second summer session and not the first. In some ways, I am thankful. I mean, this way, I get to have some real time off before I need to put my “teacher hat” back on. My ASU summer class or classes are not scheduled yet, but I checked the academic calendar and they will not begin until mid-May. In all, I think the schedule for summer will work well for me. I also was asked to read special essays at GCU. I don’t get paid much to do this work, but it will be nice to earn a little bit of cash over the summer ($10 per essay). In all, I am pleased with my progress, with my potential, and with the provision the Lord has graciously given to me. I know I am well-set, settled that is, and that in time, He will move me into the full-time position He has in mind for me. Until then, I accept whatever work the Lord brings to me, and I trust that He will help me manage my time well.
It is funny, really, but my Dad said to me today that he is worried about my “social life.” Yes, he is worried that all I do is work. He said that I am working too hard, never taking any time off, and that I need other things to do besides work. I tried not to laugh because my Dad was never the social person. Had it not been for my Mom who was the social planner of the family, my father would never have done anything. I know he would argue with me because he worked in the garage, in his home office, and did Ham radio stuff. But all these activities were solo pursuits. It wasn’t as if he was in a club or something or hanging out with friends. He was solo almost all the time. Granted after retirement, he has been in some clubs related to these interests, but still for the majority of his life, all he did was work, work, and more work.
My older brother is the same way. You know that saying, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree?” Well, we are both alike in this practice. We are very much like our Dad, yet he is the one who thinks there is something wrong with us. I am sure it is hindsight, you know. He feels that in hindsight, he should have been more active with social options. I get it, really I do. But the truth is that I am not a social person. I don’t do social at all. In fact, social makes me terribly uncomfortable. I like my quiet. I like my peace. I REALLY LIKE MY ALONE TIME, the time I can spend in solitude and in quiet reflection.
My Dad doesn’t see that need, I guess. Yet, I struggle here in our home for that very reason. I need my peace and my quiet. My son is just the same. We both prefer to spend time in our room, doing the things we love to do. He does music, I work on the computer. I do have hobbies, but I cannot do them in this shared home. For example, once I am back on my own, I will practice cello, study foreign language, and even take painting back up again. I just don’t have the room or the quiet to be able to do these things now.
In time, however, I will have my outlets, but they will be solitary pursuits. They will be things that I do by myself, to quiet myself, to pursue knowledge and further understanding. I will do these things because they bring me joy. What is more is the fact that as a professor, I will also be involved in scholarly pursuits. I will be actively writing — publishing — so that means that I will need time to write, research, read, etc. My Dad thinks that as a teacher I just teach. He doesn’t understand that there is this whole other side to my career that will require much time, much concentration, and much sacrifice of “social” life. Sigh!
I am OK with it. In fact, I would say I am in love with my life, my work, and the potential opportunities that exist for me. I cannot wait to jump in with both feet, to do this work, and to practice my craft. I cannot wait to be a full-time professor and to research communications. I am so excited to study and to research. I simply am like a kid that is waiting for summer vacation to the beach or to Disneyland. I cannot wait!
Summer is My Rest
My summer is my rest. I know that sounds weird, but I work very hard all year long, and when summer comes, this is my rest period. I REST. I think anyone who is a teacher understands this perspective. We work for 9-months with little to no break. We grade every single night, and we prepare for every single day to teach lessons. Saturday and Sundays are often used for catch up, either extra grading or prepping for the week. Our holidays are off, of course, but mostly we crash during those periods. However, come summer — we are like kids running to the neighborhood pool. We are so excited to be let loose, and we know that we will have at least two months, perhaps even close to three, where we can play and forget about our work until school begins. This is our life, and for those that work 9-5, M-F only, they just don’t get it. They see us working round the clock and they think we are “work-a-holics.” In truth, we probably are working overtime, but it is for a short duration. My summer is my holiday, and this is simply how it will be for the rest of my life.
I love my life, have I said that enough times yet? I mean it. I am giving the Lord praise because He has made my life so very good. He has made me this way, and I am living out my purpose, walking in His way, and doing the work He has called, created, and considered for me to do. I am in love with His plan, His provision, and the program He has developed for me. It SUITS me so well. I mean, I have never been so happy, so content, so at peace and rest before. In all the work I have done, and I have done a lot of interesting and good things, none of them has matched the work I do now. None of those other jobs suited me like this one. I am so at ease with my work. I am so at rest with it. I am so completely confident in it. It is like I know my purpose. I know my path. I know what I am really, really good at, and praise be to God, I know this is IT.
No one will ever say to me again, “You should be a banker, Carol,” because I know my talent well. You see, for years, no matter what I did, people would tell me what I should or shouldn’t be doing. I was never good enough for them. I was never doing what they thought would be best, and as a result, I felt like I always had to justify my actions. I mean, I had to say, “But homeschooling is what the Lord wants me to do” as my words would fall on deaf ears. I would stammer, “But this is the job the Lord has provided to me,” as I was drowned out with suggestions like “Perhaps you should work in an office — you’d be good at that.” It drove me crazy, really, and in the end, I begged, pleaded, and prayed for the Lord to provide me with one job, one career, that I could find joy in doing.
Never in my life did I think that at age 54 the Lord would provide this career to me. I mean, aren’t teachers all young? I simply didn’t believe that I would ever be permitted to be a professor — not now, not after all these wasted years. But, the Lord prevailed and He provided, and well, here I am today. I am a teacher, and praise be to God, I am so content, happy, and filled with joy in this good work. He has done this for me. He has given me this grace gift. I am in love with the Lord, and I thank Him for this good, good practical and enjoyable work.
As I close out this blog post, my encouragement today comes from this thought: It is never too late to follow the Lord. It is never too late in life for a transformation or a change that could result in a new way of being, doing, or even thinking. The Lord is not slow, and He doesn’t think that age is a barrier to accomplishing His work. In fact, many people in the Old Testament were old when the Lord either called them or began to use them. Never think you are too old to change the course of your life. Never consider your life as being over, used up, or not worth His time. This simply is not the case. The Lord can work miracles, bring men back to life, and in this way, He is able to transform your life today into the beautiful creation He desires it to be. He is able, always so able to produce good, good work in and through the lives of His children.