It has been a year since I left seminar to write my doctoral thesis. I know that some people take many years to do it, but I need to get it done fast. But a year later and I had not even finished my first chapter. My director kicked my butt a bit and I made some hard decisions.
First I took a sabbatical from the church. I broke the news last night and it seemed to go ok. I know that once the kids get out of school then my time to work will become much more precious. Family has to be a priority - my goal is not just to get a PhD, but to do it and still have my family at the end. Both of those take time and with Sharon working it means that we'll have to keep to a schedule. I also think it will be a good experience for the church. I've been at this for ten years now, without a break. The church needs to see if they want to be church enough to do it without me. My intention is that in September I'll gather whoever wants to come over to my place and pray about what God might want to do next with us. It is also a good chance for those who are struggling with the Vineyard aspect of our church to pray about whether or not they belong in Freedom Vineyard. I am proud of my denomination and so whatever the community that forms around me looks like, it will be in relationship with the Vineyard.
The other thing I have done is cut my gaming in half. I was DMing every week and it was getting to be a bit much. It is fine when I have lots of material to use, but when they start getting through it I can lose up to a day getting the next bit prepared. Richard is going to take over DMing in one of my groups so I will get to play for a change. Best thing about that is I just have to show up with my character (and it will still be at my place).
On the more busy side though - I am prepping my first full course. What a lot of work! I have a literal pile of books to read and I've got slides ready for the first two lectures. Only nine more!
And the best news is that yesterday morning I mailed a complete draft of my first chapter to my director! It was a great feeling, I know now this is doable. I also was able to map out the work ahead of me - which is helpful. Chapter 3 is the only one right now that I have a lot of reading for. I'm going to read Tim Harvie's Ethics of Hope for that one - I'll definitely post a review.