Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ye Shall Hold Your Peace

“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day...

“The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

“And the Lord said unto Moses, … speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward” (Exodus 14:13–15; emphasis added).

So how is it that I can "stand still" in my life? How paradoxical that in one breath the Lord commands me to stand still and then in the next tells me to go forward. What application does this have in my life? It never ceases to amaze me how I always find scriptures that admonish me to "fear ye not" when I am seeking for further light and knowledge. I am still left wondering how I can stand still and move forward at the same time though. Guess that leaves me with things to ponder about today while I go about my daily work.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Some advice

  1. Don't have your major professor's nanny watch your child as well.
  2. Don't loan your extra car to your major professor for 6 months just after you get it registered and insured.
  3. Don't trade your extra car to your major professor's nanny for child care.
The nanny is now telling me that the car won't pass inspection for her to register it in her name and needs about $700 worth of work done on it. passed inspection less than 6 months ago and I have driven it a grand total of 3 times during those months.

I am a little steamed to say the least that she would expect me to shell out the money to fix it, especially when I traded it to her for below fair market value AND I haven't been driving it for the past 6 months--she and my graduate adviser have been driving it. It passed inspection just fine in January. Is it unreasonable of me to feel this way?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sitting Shiva for Boo Bear

Today Boo Bear turns 15. I did nothing to mark her birth except privately mourn my loss throughout the day. I told no one. I did not even mention it to you. How could I? What would you have said that you have not already said? What more could you have done to ease my pain than you have already done?

Each year I take inventory of what I have accomplished since she was born--I always ask my self, "Was the sacrifice worth the returns?" Most of the time, especially when I see my boys playing together, I have to answer NO. It was not worth it and I made the wrong decision. I guess this is a question that can only be answered completely by both myself and Boo Bear in the future, if the time ever comes. Maybe she thinks the sacrifice was worth it--if she does, then maybe I can forgive myself.

Until then, I will continue to sit my private shiva.

"Instrumentalities of a Higher Law"

"After we have done all we could do for the cause of truth, and withstood the evil that men have brought upon us, is still our duty to stand. We cannot give up; we must not lie down...To stand firm in the face of overwhelming opposition when you have done all you can, is the courage of faith. The courage of faith is the courage of progress. [Those] who possess that divine quality go on; they are not permitted to stand still if they would. They are not simply the creatures of their own power and wisdom; they are instrumentalities of a higher law and divine purpose."

(Teachings of the Presidents of the Church--Joseph F. Smith [1998], 107-8).

This is why I have persisted in school, even when the weight of it felt as if it was crushing me. I can't give up--I can't quit, because I know the Lord called me here for a specific purpose--one that I don't understand or know at this point. All I know is that earning a Ph.D. in this field at this time is fulfilling a higher law and a divine purpose. I am not simply a creature of my "own power and wisdom." Trust me-- I am way to0 lazy and like being a stay-at-home mom too much to be motivated enough to get a Ph.D. without some fairly specific and direct input from the Lord.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The sure provisions of my God

I just watched a video on youtube that has left me crying--it was a mashup of pictures, videos and music about the war in Iraq. I can hardly see through my tears...I don't know what to say except please don't come home to me in a casket. Please. There are many burdens I have endured and many that I know I must, but I don't know that I could survive that. And regardless of what you or I like to believe, it is a possibility.

Having said that, the only thing that gets me through these difficult days of having you gone is the sure knowledge of that your work is a call from the Lord. There is an extra measure of comfort provided because of this and I cling fast to it, like a life jacket it ever raging waters.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Trying to get motivated

Which is really ironic considering the fact that I have to grade 30+ papers about motivation. Simply put, I am tired of reading about motivation and think I need to go take a nap. Or at least fold the laundry and get Luke out of bed for the morning.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"Let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail"

The prayer given by FDR on 06 June, 1944

My Fellow Americans:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Therein lies the rub

And I ain't talking about that scrumptious rib rub my Samoan-Mexican bagpipe playing brother-in-law makes either. I am talking the kind of rub that leaves you in a jam, a pickle, a tight spot, between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

We are currently searching for a department head--it turns out that this has been a far more educational experience than I ever imagined! To watch the politicking and posturing which has occurred over the past year has been interesting to say the least. I realize that my department is vastly more serene than many others out there and frankly...that frightens me. I keep asking myself, "Is this what I have to look forward to the rest of my professional life?"

Simply put, I am going to be up a creek without a paddle if what I have a feeling is going to happen actually happens. Even more, I can see the raging rapids and the careening water fall dead ahead of me and I am not sure how to jump ship and still survive.

I called my new-and-improved dad tonight to talk about gardening but ending up asking him what I should do. He has been around the academic environment enough to know a few things and he gave me some great advice:
  1. Go see the Dean of Graduate Studies, our old department head. Talk with him about my concerns and fears about what will happen with my adviser not getting tenure (pretty much a given at this point).
  2. Find a new major professor who will work with me and mentor me in the things that I need to learn.
  3. There isn't a professor in the department who wouldn't find me an asset to their research.
  4. I need to be "selfish" in this matter--my professional future is at stake and my family's happiness as well. (For new-and-improved dad tell me to be selfish about something is startling to say the least--I was left speechless after his talk.)
So how to do I tell my adviser that I think I need to make alliances with other professors so that whif (when + if) tenure doesn't occur (which is becoming an increasing reality), I am not left in a department that doesn't like my adviser (and by association) most likely doesn't think that highly of me?