Why Regent University?

Regent University offered a unique perspective in undergraduate studies. Christ-centered leadership and biblically centered classes develop students professionally and personally. The campus is beautiful, and I soon found that my professors and my fellow students exuded enthusiasm and dedication to the Lord and their educational pursuits. Classmates prayed with me and for me; studying became a group effort towards excellence and not just another homework assignment.

Why Online Learning?

I was 21 when I started the online learning program at Regent University. I had the opportunity to dual-enroll in a local college while in high school, so my associates degree was partially complete when I graduated in 2002. I hit the ground running by working full time after graduating from high school, attending night classes to finish my associates degree. I guess I got used to the schedule, and when it came time to find a university to transfer to, I knew I'd want a flexible format that would allow me to continue in my professional endeavors.

Why A Business Degree?

My degree is in Organizational Leadership and Management. I chose this concentration because of the unique mix of business strategy and leadership development. In choosing a degree program I wanted one that would emphasize the "people" part of organizations and their strategic development. Some degree programs focus primarily on the financial and strategic side of business development, but Regent stressed the importance of the organization's people and the effectiveness of biblical leadership.

Business Degree

Never Be Too Busy For What Is Eternal.

(A post from May I just finished editing.)

I used to keep this yellow Post-It note in my pocket calendar that had "Never be too busy for
what is eternal" scrawled across it, a by-product of a moment of inspiration that must have been captured on whatever paper was handy and with whatever pen was close by. Stuck under a picture of the boyfriend I had through most of 2008, and with tattered edges curled, I was happy that I was able to close those days with the elastic and crack open the creamy, clean pages of 2009.

And even though that pocket calendar has long been shelved (I keep all my calendars because they are more "diary-ish" than my journals) along with the others, I have been continually reminded of this phrase. How in the 24 short hours we have in the day can be choking eternity's story, depriving her of the subtle moments that could make all the difference. But I digress.

Recently, people in my office shared in the grief of a dear woman who recently lost her husband.
Imagine this brave lady coming to work day after day, up until the day he died, knowing how precious each hour was.
And in our worry over missed lunches and late evening traffic, early morning spilled coffee and reports that were due yesterday, our worry seems kind of small... doesn't it? And I think we all thought through the past several weeks, wondering if perhaps we had let stress give our words a sharper edge than intended and perhaps we had been a bit short with each other.

I chided myself for not "doing something." I'm a kind person by nature, but day to day familiarity and workday stress creates a sense of easiness that I hope I never experience again. I hope that I never try to assume that all is well in another person's world, and that I may be careless in thought, word or deed because they are, well, they seem okay.

I am ashamed that I have let a thousand moments pass, with friends, acquaintances, shopkeepers and barristas and classmates and street-sweepers, where I was "too busy for the eternal." And if I reflect on them too long I could begin to weep for those times that I was too busy to stop and truly listen. To truly pause everything long enough to see the pain in someone's eyes, to hear the same aching statement over and over, an obvious weight upon their heart that perhaps ceases only when someone comes along side them and says "I know" or "I care."

So I've endeavored on an unusual change that is one of the hardest disciplines I've ever attempted. I'm learning to listen, not just with my ears, but with my everything. With my time, actions, words, and moments that seem so important to the here and now. I'm seeing time in a different way, realizing just how short our stay is here on earth, and endeavoring to be the tender heart that makes the difference between pointing someone to Him and the calloused one that does not feel and therefore cannot love. I will no longer assume that all is well in another person's world. We know not what private battles each one of us faces and what misplaced word might be the dagger in the wound.

It's funny what you learn when you truly listen. Thursday I felt the heartbreak in the voice telling me about a love story that ended in a way no one wanted. Friday I heard a possibly tortured man tell me what he did for a living, and I saw the desperation in his eyes though he smiled at me. Saturday I saw the joy at sharing and giving, watching fellow ladies and their varied talents and gifts flower over laughter and stories and kitchen cleaning. And today I made it my mission to not be too busy for anyone, but instead seek to understand and have compassion and kind words ready.

And I pray and hope with everything in me that Christ will give me a heart soft enough to feel the hurt for others, strong enough to hear the details and not become weak, joyful enough to give a ray of hope, and discerning enough to make the right decisions. And I pray that I'll never, ever, ever be too busy for what is eternal.

(If there are typos here it's because it's almost 2 AM and I'll fix them some other time... for tonight, I just have to get this off my chest. :)