Wednesday, August 03, 2011

3 for 31 - School and Learning.

I like learning; that may have been the reason I kinda liked school. I still like the idea of school, it sounds better than work. However, I don't think God really planned for me to be in school for forever, so I will just stick with the learning part for now.

Kindergarten through 12th Grade was spent at Eastside Baptist Academy. Dad was the principal there, plus he took care of bunch of High School kids. Mom later joined him as a Kindergarten teacher in 1993. I started in 1986 with a class full of friends. I don't remember much from my elementary years at school except for the fact that I hated subtraction and I let a box of crayons melt in the back of Dad's car. Bummer for the crayons and for me. Our school was Independent Baptist all the way including the lovely jumpers that I wore from start to finish. For those who may not know what a jumper is, I have included an example.
Despite the bad dresswear, I am truly thankful for a Christian education. I learned about awesome men of God like Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, and Jim Elliot as a kid. Scripture memorization was high priority! The school was almost like homeschool is structured now. My work was self-paced and helped me learn to stay motivated and do things well. It was probably not meant for everyone, but worked well for me. Middle School and High School were awkward years for me, but I persevered. I graduated in a class of 1 in 1999. (Feel free to make jokes about that.)

From EBA, I spent the Fall Semester at Bob Jones University and then a short 24-hour stay at Pensacola Christian College.  After that, God lead me to Memphis. Still thankful to this day for that leading. I took classes at Southwest Tennessee Community College and the University of Memphis. Memphis was somewhat of a culture shock for this sheltered girl, but I learned quickly. It was the first time in my life that my Christianity was ever put to the test. Many people around me did not share any of my beliefs, some even professed that there was no God. (Lots of 1 Peter 3:15 moments.) I'm so very thankful for this time of learning. I thought God was preparing me to be an accountant, at least that was what I was in school for. During college, my relationship with the Lord was strengthened like it had never been before in my young life. I saw very clearly things about God that I failed to noticed before - He was my Provider, Sustainer, and I learned what it meant to depend on Him. (Still learning all these lessons.)

From the University of Memphis, God would allow me to go to Union University to work on a Master's in Christian Studies. This was my favorite schooling ever.  It is so much more fun when you get to study things you want to study. This time of learning was incredible. I enjoyed the professors, especially Dr. Easley and New Testament. Theology messed with me the most. I wrestled through Scripture just trying to figure out doctrines and beliefs. This gave me a greater appreciation for Scripture. God blessed me with some sweet friendships that have continued even though school is complete. I look back at Union as a very grateful student. The truth from God's Word that was poured into my life during that time impacts what I do everyday.

Higher education is not for everyone, but I do believe it was God's plan for me. I do think that learning, especially from God's Word is for everyone. Dad used to say to me, "When you stop learning, you die." That may not be literally true, but I get his point. The book of Proverbs is one of my go-to books for learning and receiving practical instruction for life. I am thankful for the Word of God that continues to teach me and Biblical-based books that promote further learning from God's Word.

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