Tuesday, December 7, 2010

To be done...and what's next

What does it feel like to be me right now?

Thesis defended
Last test taken for last class needed
Impending graduation

Do you know that feeling you get when you close a good book? Not just any good book, but a book that swept you up into the story and the characters, where you followed all the twists and turns as if your life depended on it and found closure in the last pages as all was resolved... Yep that book. That's how I feel. I feel as though I have worked my ever-lovin tail, mind, fingers, and eyes to the bone since January 2009. I feel that all that hard work has paid off in me watching a dream come to fruition. I knew when I finished my undergraduate degree in December 2004 that I wanted to come back and get my graduate degree. I even felt the prompting of the Lord that He wanted me to come back. I didn't know when or how, but I knew in my heart it would happen.

It is momentous because I am the first person in my family to get an undergraduate degree and now the first person to get a graduate degree. What a blessing to have been allowed this opportunity and to have the Holy Spirit-led determination to finish what I started, when I most definitely felt like throwing in the towel. My confidence has grown in this thing I do. My craft has been honed. I feel like a stronger, more capable writer and fortunately I have an MA behind my name now to back that up.

Wow. I'm grateful. I'm grateful God led me to it. I'm grateful I did it. I'm grateful I'm done.

So now what? I think most people want to know what's next in broad spectrum terminology. What's really cool and crazy is that I serve this God who doesn't "usually" give us the five year plan. If He does, it is not "usually" chronological. So, in broad spectrum terminology this is what I know I am to do for the next season:

1) Pursue having my thesis (aka my breast cancer memoir) published.
2) Invest in my children more intentionally by being present physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally. (I have not been able to be all these at the same time for extended periods since I started grad school.)
3) Build relationships with women and invest in them more intentionally (I'm praying about leading a Bible study next semester. Regardless I know God wants me to be doing this and He'll show me what that looks like.)

Does that baffle you? I think my extended family (and heck maybe some of you!) have just decided I'm crazy and that they won't let my craziness baffle them anymore. What I mean to say is that I'm sure people are thinking, "Why in the WORLD would you go to grad school and then come back home to stay home with your children?"

Because Jesus told me to. I do what He says. His way is perfect and when I lean into it I have nothing but complete peace.

I am praying about teaching online next semester, but I know in my heart that the teaching needs to be able to pan out so that the other three aforementioned things take priority. If I cannot do both, then I don't need to teach. I have submitted my resume to a few different schools so we will see how that pans out.

I'm also dreaming dreams of writing a column for a newspaper or a magazine. Something consistent where I wouldn't have to be constantly marketing myself as a "freelancer". Not that I'm opposed to that, just don't feel like that would be time-conducive to the aforementioned three things.

So there is the panoramic view of "what's next". Do you want to know what that looks like day-to-day?

Well it all started  last Wednesday after I finished my test. I was walking to my car full of joy and excitement over being done. And then I wondered with wonderment: "What will I do tomorrow?" So I've been taking things one day at a time.

I've been reading a lot. I love to read but I have not had the opportunity to read for pleasure (and by pleasure that means everything from magazines I enjoy to fiction books, books on spiritual growth, biographies, etc.) since I started grad school (do you see a pattern here in the "since I started grad school" thing?). I have about five books from the library I'm working on right now. No, not all at the same time. It feels good to be able to press into some things I'm interested in at a heart level, not that I have to read (although I did enjoy most of the reading I did in school).

It's Christmas season which means busy season. My son is about to have his sixth birthday. Crazy. I don't even want to talk about it. Honestly I might cry. Really? Six years? Come on!

All that to say I probably won't get in a good groove (whatever that means) until after the holidays. I'll keep you posted on that.

I'm sure you feel like you just ran down a winding trail, but updated you are.

And tired I am... Good night!


  1. I'm proud of you and baffled by you, in a good way. :)

  2. I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for you in this next chapter of your life. And I'll be praying your memoir gets published.


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