I’m apparently now a 4th-year graduate student. The time seems to have passed much faster than expected, yet at the same time my first and second years seem so very far away. I went back and reread my reflections after Year 1 and Year 2 before writing this post. It was weird to read those because life seems so very different now. During my second year, I talked about working over 70 hours a week on many occasions. My how year 3 was different. I struggled with feeling guilty quite a few times this year because I would only work 20-30 hours a week. Some very different choices were made with course load this year because of taking comprehensive exams in the fall and being pregnant in the spring. As a result, I did not get up at 4:30 or 5 am this year, but worked on sleeping and growing a baby until 6 or 7. I took two classes and comps in the fall and just had one course this spring. That has been nice, but it does leave me in a situation in which I’m taking a class this summer and will have to take a final class next spring. It’s a bit of a bummer because many of the people in my cohort are all done with coursework and now just get to focus on their dissertations. Oh well. It is what it is.
I’ve really appreciated focusing more on myself in a lot of ways this year. That was grossly ignored during Year 2 because of the intense workload. This year I’ve spent much more time exercising, building intentional relationships with gals from school and church, reading, and resting. Rather than being in an almost constant state of stress, everything seemed rather manageable. I’m thankful for all of that as I’ll be having a baby in the fall and things will be very different once again. This summer I will work for my advisor, teach the online class, take a class, and work on my dissertation. I’m hoping to get a lot done before the baby so I can feel free to take some time off once he or she is born.
We continue to go to the small church plant we started at last year. I adore it. It’s exactly the Gospel community we need right now. I’ve grown so much in many ways because of that body. I look forward to how we’ll continue to grow in that place in the coming years and how our little one will build friendships with the other 6 babies due within 6-8 months of him/her.
After two years of living with two single men, we’ll be moving to a new house this summer. I’m excited because it has a yard and is much closer to campus. I’m also excited because a very near and dear friend and her sweet child will move in with us. Not only will that help us all with finances, but we will get to live in community with one another. It will be such a blessing to help one another with our kids, share meals, and just run a house as two ladies would run it. Husband and I have had roommates on multiple occasions, but they have always been single men. Looking forward for the community with another lady and mama.
All in all, it was a good year. It was definitely not a year without tears. Comps was not an entirely positive experience for me. That and the miscarriage in the fall made for a very rough close to the year. The spring has been much easier though. I’m so thankful for the friendships I’ve developed and maintained over these three years. Leaning on those folks and offering support to them when I could made things much better. Here’s to Year 4 and all the adventures it will bring.