Taking classes during the summer semester has its pros and cons. Pro, it is a shorter semester, so you are done with the class faster. Con, it is a shorter semester, so you sometimes have to scramble to keep up and finish work on time. Since I am so close to being done with my Masters, I decided I would take a full load this summer and give myself an easy fall semester to finish my practicum and focus on the end of course papers.
After I decided to take two 10 week courses and one 5 week course, I was asked to be the Whispers of Hope Camp director for their 7 weeks of camp. I must have been distracted by the sweet smell of horse manure (yes I do like the smell) and the smiling faces of children because I said of course I can do that. Last week it dawned on me that I would be spending over 40 hours a week at the barn, and attempting to learn skills in my course work that are very important to me. Oh yeah, and I will also be giving horse back riding lessons sporadically. Again, I brushed it to the side avoiding the reality of my looming responsibilities and continued to day dream about camp.
Well today is day one of my online course work opening up, and let me tell you, I am a bit concerned. So what am I going to do about it…. Well for one I am going to suck it up because I have to, and two, I am going to do some things to help me stay balanced for these tough ten weeks. I think I will call it coping by balancing priorities with responsibilities.
Balancing Act: Jesus
The number one effort I must make is waking up every day and starting it off with Jesus. The best way for me to maintain my relationship with Christ is by praying to Him, talking to Him, sharing my worries with Him, and Knowing that I can’t do this without Him. I am able to get to know Him better by reading my bible, journaling, and seeing the way He is moving in other people lives, and how He has moved in mine. For the longest time I have felt like I have been seeking God’s purpose for me. I am just now being able to grasp that I am already in it. His purpose is where I am right now, and I all I can do is submit and ask him to move. The bible says that the Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my rock to take refuge, my shield and thorn of salvation, my stronghold (Psalm 18:2). If I don’t take refuge in Christ then their will be no balance in my life, and I will be on unstable ground. Do you know Jesus well enough that you can feel His protection and guidance on your life? He is offering everyone refuge, redemption and salvation and if I didn’t trust that Christ didn’t die for this I would be lost. So, basically, Jesus is my stronghold, has to be.
Ways to Cope:
1. Taking care of business. That’s right I have to get it done. I have to stay disciplined to stay on top of homework and readings and lesson planning EARLY. No procrastination, no leaving it to the last minute.
2. Eating right. I went to the grocery store today and bought tons of fruits and veggies, so I could pack healthy energizing lunches. For one thing it will be cheaper then buying lunch everyday, and for another, I will feel better. No emotional eating = no sluggishness.
3. Coffee. Ok, maybe I use it as a mental crutch, but coffee will have a key role on those long days and nights ahead.
4. Time with the husband. This should be higher up on the list because Eron is the second priority, after Jesus, in my life. I have noticed that the really stressful times with school bring stress into our marriage, so taking time to go for walks, eat diner together, and snuggle will be vital to keep everything in perspective.
5. Exercise. Exercise is my therapy, running keeps me sane, lifting makes me feel strong. Whether it is just 20 minutes of yoga or two miles of running, I will have to sweat it out often.
6. Blog Therapy. Writing just helps, so while I wont be posting as frequently as I have in the past, sharing what is going on in my life is another thing that will get me by.
7. Set up a workspace and keep it clean. I don’t now why but I always perform better if I have a good space to do my work, and it has to be the same space each time. Usually a spot on the couch, or a desk in the office. This summer it is my kitchen table. the only thing on the table is the printer, my laptop, books, and my papers. I like this set up, so it is going to stay this way :).
It might look like I have bit off more than I can chew, but there is not one ounce of me that thinks I shouldn’t be in this situation. I believe that I have been given the opportunity to let God move big time this summer and to confess how much I need Jesus.
Any one else taking summer classes and working?
What are some other ways to cope with the busy summer semester?