Well, here I am... in the final hours of the most difficult semester of my seminary career. This semester has just about killed me. Too much reading, too many papers, a group project, and a foreign language that I did not like and did not click with. The icing on the cake is that here in the midst of finals week, I've suffered from a pesky little cold that has completely zapped my energy.
One of the greatest lessons I've learned all semester is one I've always known but never really had to deal with: My grades do not define me. Jesus still loves me no matter what grade I get in a particular class. Greek class taught me that. :)
Well, even though Greek didn't turn out like I hoped it would, there were some great blessings this semester, too:
- My speech class with Dr. Don Demaray is perhaps the best class I've ever taken. Ever. Well, maybe it's tied with Sandra Richter's Old Testament Intro class, but I'm telling you-- Dr. Don's class was amazing. Dr. Don was encouraging, affirming, funny, insightful, and passionate. Every semester he prays daily that this would be the best class he's ever taught and that his class would be the best class his students have ever had. These prayers work, people. Every week I walked away from class, having been transformed more into the likeness of God, and more aware of God's blessings in my own life than when I entered the room.
- I got to take an Equipping the Laity course with Dr. Steve Martyn who is fabulous, but beyond that, I got to take that class with our friends Jeremiah & Jason. We were in a small group together with 3 other people, where we developed and mapped out a ministry plan for a church plant. It was a great experience.
- Every Friday I got to go to my Old Testament Exegesis class and take a Hebrew vocabulary quiz. Off the heels of a frustrating Greek experience on Thursday afternoons, the Friday morning Hebrew quizzes were a treat. Mostly because I knew what I was doing!
- Chapel this semester was no less than high-quality. My most meaningful chapel experience was the day Sean Gladding spoke, and God spoke directly to me through him. Other highlights? Any chapel with J. Ellsworth Kalas. Also, Tammy H. from India and Bishop N.T. Wright.
- Couples Connect. Billy and I had the privilege of serving on the planning/visioning team for Spouse & Family Ministries' Couples Connect events. We served alongside Jeremiah & Lindsay Aja and Andrea Summers. We have the honor of continuing this together next semester as well.
- Thursday night viewings of The Office with the Martins and the Ajas. So much laughter and so much fun. Of course, we're all now suffering withdrawals from The Office and one another due to the writers strike and subsequent absence of The Office on Thursday nights.
- Monday night dinners with the Browns & The Ajas when Jason & Dana would come to town for Jason's classes.
- Carissa & I decided we are going to start a Wilmore Chapter of The Finer Things Club. Lindsay is going to join us, too! Our first assignment? To read Pride & Prejudice! I can't wait! And I am so excited that finals are coming to an end, so that I can get to reading!
- Thanksgiving 2007. VERY fun.
- The birth of Stockton Isaiah. Jason & Dana are terrific parents and have given birth to one of the most beautiful babies ever born.
- The announcement of Jeremiah & Lindsay's little baby-to-be. We rejoice with you!
- Texas Fellowship Events & our trip to Abuelo's with the McCuaigs. We love Texas and we love good Mexican food. We've had some great times with our fellow Asbury Texans, including a visit to ATS by some Texas Tech Wesley Foundation folks.
- Our visits from Billy's parents and my dad & stepmom.
- And finally, we just found out yesterday that we get to move to Wilmore!!! We've been living in Nicholasville the past two years because it's the only place we could find to live that would let us have our dog. It's a pain sometimes commuting back and forth from Nicholasville to Wilmore. Wilmore is where school is, and Wilmore is where our friends are. So at the end of every semester, we look around and try to see if by any chance there's something that has opened up in Wilmore. We have not ever had any luck. Well, this semester I started asking around, and we found a great rental house that we get to move to at the first of February-- just in time for the start of the Spring semester. It's only a few dollars more per month in rent, and we get an extra bedroom (yea! Our bikes and desks won't have to be in the guest room anymore!) AND an extra bathroom (yes! No more competing for the bathroom with Billy. He does have quite a lengthy daily ritual!). We can't wait! I went to see the house yesterday, and it's going to be a perfect fit for us.
So. That hits many of the highlights, though I'm sure there's a lot that I've forgotten.
Thanks for reading!