Monday, May 21, 2012

Decoding Christopher's PhD Program

Taking a break from the seriousness to give some information about Christopher's program - and what he'll be doing for the next few years.

Christopher says that while nursing has abbreviations for just about everything (CAD, OOBTC, UCI), theology tends to make things as long as possible (Augustine's description of theosis and response from the second ecumenical council. Okay, I totally made that up; I hope no one judges me.)

Anyway, for the next few years, we will spew out a couple of abbreviations that have a great impact on Christopher's school and, therefore, our life: DQEs and ABD.

Chris just finished the two years of coursework for his program. The next time he'll be in a formal classroom setting, he will be teaching in some way. I consider this the first big step of a three step program.

Now, he starts studying for his Doctoral Qualifying Exams (DQEs). Basically he'll collaborate with his professors and study til November when he'll be locked in a dismal room for two days where he will write essays to answer five questions. (This is step two.)

Then, we'll go on big, nice vacation.

After that, he will start researching and writing his dissertation. ABD stand for All but dissertation (not to be confused with abdomen); I think it goes like this: Christopher Brenna PhD ABD. But I think it's misleading - "All but dissertation" makes the dissertating part seem small when really it's a big deal and involves jumping through many flaming hoops while writing a book. (This is step three.)

Then he'll defend his book dissertation and we'll throw a big party. 

And then, once he gets a job, he'll be a professor and will teach students about Augustine, theosis and ecumenical councils (but probably not all together).

Monday, May 14, 2012

"The Lord himself will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:14

It hurts when dreams end. 
There is no answer to the question of "why" and there is no reason to be found by our human minds.
Letting go is a painful process. 

Praying for God's will is sometimes easier than accepting it. 
When all you want is to see the reason behind a circumstance,
believing in His faithfulness takes trust.

I am nearing the end of a journey that didn't end as I had expected. 
My prayers were answered differently than I had hoped.  

I don't understand and it hurts. 
  But the pain and grief brings comfort and strength. 

And there, in the stillness, just within my reach, is a little thing that makes today seem easier and tomorrow look brighter: 


And my dream?
It is now a dream that I will always dream. 
One that I laid safe and secure in His hands.