Sunday, May 25, 2014

Back Off

I have this thing about being tailgated: I hate it.  

I'm sure everyone would agree that accidents are no fun. I have been in a couple where I was sitting still waiting to turn left and was rear-ended.  I can't describe how I felt when I looked into the rear view mirror just in time to see that I was about to be hit and there was nothing I could do about it. It's been nine years since the last one, and I still get nervous when I'm being followed too close. 

The interstate in my area has been under construction for almost a year and a half. Traffic has been a nightmare, and I have avoided driving on it whenever I had another option.  When I did drive on it, invariably I would get stuck in front of someone who undoubtedly thought I would speed up if they got too close. Nevermind the fact that I could only go as fast as the person in front of me, since each side of the interstate is down to only one lane and there is no passing lane. It's maddening.

About the time the construction started, we learned a new song at church, "Whom Shall I Fear?" by Chris Tomlin. One day when I was stuck on the interstate, being tail-gated by a bully, the chorus of that song popped into my head:

"I know Who goes before me, I know Who stands behind,

The God of angel armies is always by my side..."

Immediately, I felt the Holy Spirit telling me, "You don't need to be afraid of someone hitting you from behind.  God is your rear guard and He also goes before you."

Ever since that day, I have had no trouble with tailgaters on the interstate or anywhere else.  I even have peace when driving in heavy traffic.  A few times someone has been a little too close for comfort, but I started singing that song and thanking God for His protection, and they backed off. Seriously, they really did. I was surprised the first time, but I have come to expect it. My God has my back. Really.  

I still don't like being followed too closely, but I have no doubt I will be completely delivered from this fear someday.  Just like everything else He has delivered me from, it is something I have to walk through. I will just realize someday it doesn't bother me anymore.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation--so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?" Psalm 27:1,2 NLT

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Penultimate Semester

Today I went to the college campus bookstore and returned a rented textbook, bought a scantron, then walked to my 11:00 class, where I took my final in my on-campus class. After work, I was finally able to successfully post my paper that is my final in the online class (last night and this morning before work, the online class program at my college was apparently down and I could not get my paper to post). And just like that, I was done.  I have now finished the penultimate semester of my bachelor of arts in English degree.

That last sentence was for the entertainment of my youngest child, on the off chance that he is reading this. He and I have a private joke about the word "penultimate." For the life of me, I can't remember what made it so funny in the first place, but if he is reading this, I can guarantee he is smiling right now.

I am relieved to have a break from reading, studying, and writing papers for a few months.  The last year has been intense.  There were many required books to read, papers to write, and tests to study for.  Lots of midnight oil has been burned, so to speak, and I am tired. I am ready to do some things that do not pertain to college.

I want to plant some flowers. 

I would like to work om my photo albums, and get caught up on those.

I want to read a book of my choosing and not feel guilty about it.

I want to watch a movie, either at home, or at the theater.  Or maybe both.

I want to be able to leave work when I am supposed to, instead of having to stay until 4:45 or 5:00 to make up for leaving to attend a class in the middle of the workday.

I just need a break.  Then, in just three short months, I will start the fall semester.  I will happily read the required books, write the required papers, attend the classes during the work day, since the classes I need are not offered online or in the evening.  I will gladly stay late on the days I don't have classes to make up for the hours I have missed and stay caught up on my work.  I am extremely thankful to work where I do, where education is valued and I am allowed the freedom to finish my college degree. I am so blessed.

For now, I'm on a break from classes, and it feels wonderful.  I'm going to enjoy not having to spend every minute I'm not at work on homework.

I wonder what's on Netflix?  I'm about to find out. 

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven..." Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV