While I have been a college graduate for just shy of a month, I wanted to share some thoughts on the things I have learned from going back to school as an adult.
- Know your Learning Style! This is so VERY important! I learn best by classroom interaction and conversation. I show what I learn best by writing a paper or doing a project. I do not test well. I was very fortunate to have professors who worked WITH me and allowed me to write papers instead of taking tests. They knew I knew the information. Thank you Dr. Spaulding! Stretch yourself in how you take classes. During my first semester in college I took courses with underclassmen who were just fresh babes out of high school. It was refreshing to see things through their eyes but I was also able to bring my life experiences into the classroom. I then went to my co-hart and adult classes, one night a week in which I thrived. Once I got married I lived a little too far to drive to campus once a week and I took classes online. I knew this would be a challenge as I am NOT an online learner!
- Come expectant and ready to be stretched because YOU will be stretched! I didn’t have a clue what to expect coming into college as an adult. All I knew was that I would receive a piece of paper that would enable me to have other career opportunities. I am so glad that I finished and went OVER the mountains that at times seemed impassable.
- Having at least one person if not more in your life that has your end result at hand will keep you focused on the end result is VITAL! I can not tell you how many times I wanted to give up! I am grateful I had my husband to kick me in the butt and keep me focused. My kids motivated me, my parents motivated me and my friend Kevin motivated me! I would not be where I am without the pushing of all these people. My advisor pushed me and told me I could do just when I thought I couldn’t. Do NOT isolate yourself!
- You have to give up to go up! Yes, there are times where you will have important deadlines and you will have to choose between an activity or the assignment. My advisor actually told me that sometimes you have to prioritize and if that means missing a Sunday in church to get your homework done then do it. School is for a season.
- Reach out to your professors WHEN you are struggling. I will not say IF but WHEN because you WILL struggle. Going back to school as an adult versus a young person is totally different. Your professors WANT you to succeed! They are for YOU! I saw Grace more time than I care to count by professors who were FOR me! Grace in action is beautiful!
- Finally WALK ACROSS THAT STAGE!! Yeah it may cost you some money for the cap and gown but it is SO WORTH IT!!!!!!!!
Over the past few years God has showen me Grace through different people in my life. You see when I divorced my ex, I was filled with shame despite the freedom that came. I was shameful because I was leaving the extended family. But my ex’s extended family has been quietly cheering me on. The first Christmas his Grandmother who has since passed set me a Christmas card and I knew she still cared. But what amazed me is, my ex’s Aunt Vicki and Uncle Ralph and his Aunt Bev and Uncle Mo who have reached out to me over and over again each year and are celebrating with me as I complete the course of attaining my bachelors degree. They STILL Love me despite the circumstances. It breaks me each time one of them sends me a card or a message on Facebook. This is what LOVE and GRACE looks like.
So, this summer has been an emotional filled one. My ex and I have experience mediation and it is quiet an emotinoally roller coaster. B kept gently telling me that once I forgave my ex I would find freedom. I’d been fighting it! A few weeks ago we were at a Matthew West concert and he played his song “Forgiveness” and I immediatly knew what I needed to do. You can hear a song and know the meaning but in that moment it was speaking straight to my heart. I looked at my husband and said you are right, I need to forgive. I didn’t say much more to him about it but rather this past Sunday at church the message was on Forgiveness. Are you seeing a pattern here? Well, I made the choice to forgive on Sunday and have felt freedom. Don’t get me wrong last night I was a mess of pain and hurt but the anger was not there that has been. Today we had mediation and I am at peace with how it turned out. It’s amazing how something so simple can cause us lots of pain and frustraion.
C-Section….those words brought FEAR! Fear of the unknown! Fear of not being in control. My doctor had advised me that a C-section may be in my future if my placenta did not move up! It had been low lying the whole pregnancy but some how a few weeks before it had moved up enough to try a Natural delivery. I had talked to a few nurses in the months before my delivery and one said something that was life changing “WE PREFER C-sections!” That eased my mind! I had high blood pressure and was on bed rest until Mothers Day. We went in that afternoon after church to try to ripen the cervix which we were not successful! I stayed in the hospital over night and was miserable! My doctor tried again the next day. No progress and I was tired! She came in that afternoon and said, “we can try one more time and have a baby tonight OR I can send you home, get some rest and we can try again on Wednesday!” I wanted to go home more than anything! I went home, which was maybe 10 blocks away, fell as lee and woke up to a feeling of wetting the bed. I went to the bathroom to only have my placenta falling out all over! I wanted clean clothes and my ex wanted me in the car! I got in the car and GOD had everything planned out to a T! I got there and the nurse that worked with me was still there and I begged her to stay with me! She did! My doctor and the anesthesiologist was at the hospital. The surgeon was on the golf course and came in, in his golf gear! I was rushed back to the OR where my daughter was born 30minutes later! I was awake, she came out pooping, peeing and screaming! I don’t remember too much after that. I remember shaking and seeing my daughter. I was asleep due to pain meds and being anemic and woke up the next morning!
Timmy was perfect pregnancy, perfect c-section on schedule with lots of water but 5 weeks later he was in the hospital fighting for his life.
William was scheduled February 16th…but a few weeks earlier I went in for a check up and the nurse said…I bet your going to have this baby today! I laughed! Well, she was right…I was admitted to the hospital for high blood pressure and protein in my pee. I do NOT like being on bed rest at all! So, I tried to get up and go walk the halls to find a Dr. Pepper but the nurse said, “What are you doing? Get back in bed and lets see how much this cost you!” The next morning, I ate breakfast and knew when the doctor came in around lunch time that a c-section was going to happen. This was my second emergency c-section. William was born at 36 weeks…he was 6lbs. That c-section experience was by far one of the best. He stayed in the OR with me until I left! The staff was so fun, we were talking about roller coasters while the doctor was digging and prodding to get my baby boy out!
1 Peter 2:9The Message (MSG)
9-10 But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
This morning as I was reading my devotion from Christine Caine’s book, this was the verse that she referenced.
Growing up many of us may have had images of being a princess or a prince like we say in the movies begin swept away but then life happens and this may or may not have been how your life has turned out. God however has a different plan for our lives and wants us to share what HE is doing in us and through us because we are HIS Choosen! We are HIS royalty! That is so exciting to think that we are HIS Princess and HIS Prince! No matter how our lives have turned out here when we call upon HIM and choose to follow HIM we become ROYALTY!!!!
So, if you have never made that choice I challenge you to say YES to your heavenly father! He will NEVER leave you nor will He EVER forsake you! When we say YES, I will follow you! He will walk beside you! Does that mean that following Christ is an easy road, NO WAY!!! As a matter of fact it can be very challenging BUT this is when we are weak we are STRONG! When you call out to your Abba, He will give you a peace to calm the storm ranging inside of you!
So, for many many years Facebook has been the first thing I woke up to and the last thing I said “Good Night” to! I’d check Facebook many times throughout the day! While I’ve enjoyed being “Friends” with people on Facebook…..those relationships are not going to last. Real life relationships are going to last. That is what will matter in the end. My relationships with Jesus needs to be number one. It needs to be the first thing I wake up to and the last thing I say “Good Night” to. Will it matter how many likes I had on a post…NO….what will matter is did I look up from my phone and make eye contact with that hurting person and smile. This was an EASY choice for me. I thought this would be a difficult choice because of the amount of time I spent checking Facebook but it was not. When God is in it, it is so much easier. The chains are broken and victory is mine! Between my husband making comments about people posting everything in their life on Facebook to the pastor last Sunday sharing about how Jesus was about relationships. I thought I used to be that person and I want to get back, being about relationships. Facebook will NEVER fill an empty void in my life that can only be filled by Him. I may check it every now and then but it will not fill my life. I am feeling good about this choice. Jesus is a better way. People are a better way!
I am beyond EXCITED to share with y’all a few things that God is working in and providing!
1) I was going to go to work from home with my current company BUT that may or may not have lasted long with my personality! GOD showed up BIG time and PROVIDED more than I could ever ASK or IMAGINE! I am going to be working for AAA in Lafayette as Travel Agent!!!!
2) I am able to get into my doctor on Tuesday March 10th! PRAISE GOD! The pain is bearable or I have just gotten used to it. Either way, I can function again and I thank God for that!
3) I am going to have a “NORMAL” schedule and be able to go to church again!
4) Cooking dinner and being at home at night!
5) Opening up other doors in life that I can’t share about just be in prayer about.
What is God up to in your life?
This has been a week to remember and one for this history books! Last Saturday afternoon I started to get a dull pain that would come and go in my shoulder. It was tolerable but I laid flat most of the afternoon. Sunday came and I got up and went to work. It was tolerable but I started to take pain meds. Monday the pain was rearing to kick me in the butt! I was on Tylenol every four hours. I left work to go and have a medical massage to see if this would bring relief but ah NO! I left in tears and the pain at this point was a SHARP pain as in someone digging into my left shoulder with a knife! I went back to work until my time to leave. Tuesday morning I woke up in unbearable pain with no relief in sight. Putting ice on it, it felt like sizzling a fire! I went to the ER at IU and they took x-ray’s. The ER doc said “that area is hard to x-ray. Have you had any trauma?” I said, “Nope, but I did bend titanium rods so I don’t fit the “normal” text book patient.” X-ray’s taken in tears and an hour later two scripts one for a muscle relaxer and the other for anti-inflammatory. I got them filled and was not going to go to school that night. I also called my Neurosurgeon in in Indy to pull the X-ray’s up and take a look at them. He did and did not see anything however in a month he wants a full set of scoloi x-rays, a CT Scan and an MRI! I took the medicine religiously and the pain was getting worse not better! I had a lull in the pain and went to school as it was the last night of the class and lasted all of two hours. I got home, laid on the heating pad and went to sleep until 12:30a.m. when that ugly pain reared it’s head and I was attempting to get pain meds without screaming because it flat out hurt to stand. It felt as though there was no muscle on my left shoulder. I took the meds and at 4:30a.m. was up again in pain I wanted to scream! I called work and explained I would not be in, in tears. I was worried I’d loose my job and the pain was so intense I couldn’t stand it! My roommate decided she’d take me down to Methodist in Indy where my back surgeon is. I got in there and waited and waited and waited. Finally the doctor comes in and says “It sounds like nerve pain! And there is not a single pain medicine that can help with this!” She had PT come in and work on the area. Now mind you at this point the only comfortable position was lying down! PT has me stand up and sit up and tests my muscles, more like torment me! But all was in tack! Then he say’s “Is the left side always raised like that?!?!” And I said “Uh, NO!” So, he proceeds to put ice and electric treatment along with showing me some stretching exercises. He tapes the muscle and I’m headed home with a script for PT and a steroid! I get home and get comfortable and think Thursday will be the day I can FINALLY go back to work! Nope! I go in and then send me right back home! I thought Friday! Nope the pain was the WORST and at this point I was ready to do anything! I finally called for PT and could get in later that day and I also found an Acupuncture person that could get me in that morning!!!! PRAISE GOD! The Acupuncture finally provided the relief I needed!! I have used Acupuncture before my back surgery and found relief! I was so grateful!! Now I rest tomorrow and hope to work on Sunday!!!!!!!!!
I absolutely love this song! I don’t know about you but for me communion is something that is rich, and brings healing and hope to it. I love this song because communion represents many times I have had healing through communion. It’s an outward representation of what Christ did for me on the Cross. He dies for a sinner just like you and me! I can remember growing up as a child and sitting with my parents as the communion plates were passed but not making the connection, as I was in jr. high I can remember breaking the bread and dipping in the cup as my counselor served us. This took on deeper meaning as it was a physical outward symbol. Then as I grew I was the one serving. I can recall the first time I served, I had it all backwards saying “….campers name, this is the blood broken for you….” The camper didn’t care it was the action. I got it right after a few mess ups and you know looking the person in the eye and saying their name brings about a powerful connection. When given the opportunity I love serving communion because as you make that eye connection with the person and say this is the body of Christ broken for you or this is the blood of Christ broken for you, it brings hope that there is more to this life and Jesus loves us so much that he did this for us!
I am actually quiet excited to have this song sung at Byron’s and I’s wedding as we take communion and then give our guest the opportunity to receive! It’s going to be an amazing thing!
Yesterday Byron and I went to church in Dayton, IN at the United Methodist Church. I was excited because I love hearing Pastor Mike preach and I love seeing Shirley! These are my pastors from about 3rd grade through 6th grade but our lives intertwined throughout the rest of my adult life. Here’s the cool thing, Byron and I have been searching for a church and I think we may have found it! It was amazing to worship next to him and listen to a sermon preached not on “The Story” but on balancing “Grace & Truth”! We had the opportunity to go out to lunch thanks to Mike and Shirley! It was neat for me to see my fiancé connect with people who matter to me!
We then went to the Purdue Women’s Basketball game and I loved watching the game in person over t.v.! After the game we made a short drive down to the Purdue Airport where my friend Kevin works! He has been there for me over and over again and it was extra special to see Byron and Kevin connect just like they had known each other for ever! That was exciting because to me that means we can hang out and do things together as life allows!
Next stop was Fowler! We popped in on several friends and ended the evening with a scrumptious dinner cooked by Deb Parker! We went over our premarital counseling and it was so neat for her to see us interact together! I am grateful and blessed!