Blog: Encouragement for the Online Student

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Meet the Writer

Victoria Mininger

Blogger/Writer

"I am a wife to Brian & Mom to our four girls...living in a very loud house.  Imperfect & flawed but saved by God's grace. This space is dedicated to encouraging you, our online students, as you pursue your education here at Liberty University. I look forward to connecting with you here."


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Blog: Encouragement for the Online Student

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Juggling Game

For many of our online students, you are in the middle of your studies.  You are deep in papers, quizzes and discussion boards.  The days feel endless and long; yet you press through carpool, work schedules and dinner plans to finish up those last notes and final pages of reading. 

Juggling school, work and family is hard work.  

For some of you, you are ready to launch into a new semester, gearing up to dive into classes.  You worry if you can juggle all your responsibilities and school.  How in the world to get all that work done, keep your grades up and graduate on time? 

We want to encourage you to keep pressing forward and offer you some “juggling tips” as you continue on through the school year. 

  • Get Organized – Plan out the day and evening, making definitive breaks between each responsibility.
  • Hone your time management skills – Be realistic about how long each of those responsibilities takes.  Be willing to cut something from your schedule if necessary.
  •  Study time versus family time – Make room for both.  Even if it is not as much time as before, take time with your family through the schooling process.  Even short quality time makes a difference.
  • Plan ahead - meals, activities, schedules – A little pre-planning can go a long way. 
  • Take Care of Yourself – Plan some downtime for yourself, even if it means a 30 minute walk or a cup of coffee with a friend.\
  • Be refreshed spiritually – Take time for personal devotions, listen to a sermon on tape, play worship music on your carpool drive.  Whatever you do, take time to meet with God.
  •  Remember that this is just a season, and it too shall end one day. 

What other juggling tips do you have to offer one another? Share them in the comments below. 

~Victoria 

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11

Posted at 8:36 AM | Comments (1) | Permalink

Monday, September 15, 2014

For The Days You Feel Inadequate

Have you ever had one of those days when you feel like nothing you do is right?

The kind of day when you feel so inadequate for what God has called you to do?

I know I have.  Yet what I find is that there is a weariness that comes in this need to be and do.  Because the truth is, we all have days we feel less than adequate. 

Days when we buy into the lie that somehow we are not enough and that somehow, we are less than adequate for the calling God has placed on our lives.

Yes, there will be days when your child’s behavior makes you want to crawl in a hole, days the budget runs over and days you get a C instead of an A.

But even on those days we must commit to press forward. We must remind ourselves that our worth and value is not a result of what we can do or accomplish, but simply comes from who God says we are and who He has uniquely created us to be.

So today, my prayer is that we would cease striving and simply rest, and in that rest find strength to move forward once again.

Hebrews 12:1-2 – “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

How do you find “rest” when you feel overwhelmed or inadequate?

~Victoria

Posted at 8:58 AM | Comments (0) | Permalink

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Life Under Construction

"And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: "Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious cornerstone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed." - 1 Peter 2:5

Today walking around campus, I was observing some of the new buildings that are still under construction.  Bit and pieces of material is scattered here and there, waiting for the right time to be used as the architect designed it to be.  

All this construction got me thinking that many times our lives can reflect a building project.  The blueprint has been laid out, and the final drawings look fabulous, but sometimes things can get a little messy between now and the finished product.  We often stand back and wonder if it will really all come together.  Sometime we even wonder if the architect knows what he's doing, because sometimes it seems the pieces don't fit. 

However, the truth is, we can't judge what those buildings will look like based on the mess that lies around them; because the "mess" is actually the building blocks for the finished structure. 

The same is true for our lives.  As we seek God, and the blueprint He has for our lives, sometimes all we can see is the mess that lies at our feet.  The realization comes when we began to understand that the mess is really God's building material for our lives; Material that helps to complete the whole picture. 

Therefore, we can rest assured that our Heavenly Father, master architect and builder, has it all planned out, and the results will be nothing less of stunning. 

Here are three helpful tips to navigate the "building projects" of your life:

 

  • Pray - seek Him daily about His will for your life and then walk forward in faith that he will finish what he has started in you. "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6
  • Read His Word - Some call it the road map of life.  "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
  • Hope - Hope in the one who is the "Author and Finisher" of our faith. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

Has your life ever felt like it's under construction?  How has God seen you through the "building" process? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

~Victoria

Photo Credit - David Duncan

Posted at 8:42 AM | Comments (1) | Permalink

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Am I Too Old For College?

I started my college career a long time ago; 1995 to be exact. I attended my freshman year at Liberty University, but then I meet my husband and we married the summer of 1996.  It would be 2011 until God opened the doors for me to return to school.   However, this time, not only was I married, but I had four children and was running my own business. 

 But I was excited to return to school.  However, once the initial excitement wore off, the doubts started sinking in.  "I'm 35 years old; maybe I'm just too old for college.  What if I can't handle the work? What if I can't figure out blackboard?  What if....? 

 And I know that many of you feel the same way I did.  You too play the “what if” record in your head.  Every single day, as I read through your comments and e-mails, I hear those same doubts and worries being expressed.   You wonder if you are cut out for college.  You wonder if you are too old to learn, not only new material, but new technologies as well.  

Let me assure you, there will be days that you want to quit and days the work load seems too much.  But keep reminding yourself, that if God brought you too it, He will bring you through it.  Our job is simply to be faithful for what God had put before us.  

 So, if you think you are too old for college, I want to answer that with a resounding NO.  We have students from all walks of life, and all ages; 18 years to 63 year’s young.   

 I think we mistakenly believe that learning is a young person's institution, but in reality, learning is a life-long institution.  So keep learning no matter your age. 

 Let me leave you some encouragement from God's Word. 

  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13 

  • Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deut. 31:6 

  • The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7 

  • I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of your righteousness, of yours only. Psalm 71:16 

 When you are worried or stressed what verses do you turn to for help?  Leave your comments below. 

~Victoria

Posted at 8:10 AM | Comments (1) | Permalink

Monday, August 25, 2014

Letting Go & Letting God

The day had finally arrived.  The day the Liberty University staff has been preparing for all summer. 

 It’s the same every year.  Students descend upon the campus in droves, followed closely by excited but anxious parents sending their child off to college for the first time. 

 As I rode the bus across campus that afternoon, I could see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices. Excitement, curiosity and uncertainty mingled in their laughter and conversations.  It was a new season reached and there were new paths to be paved for both parent and child. 

 It's interesting being the observer at moments like this because you know you are witnessing the growing up, the moving on and the start of a whole new journey. 

 For our online students, I know it is much the same.  Maybe you are embarking for the first time, or once again, into classes.  You find yourself chasing dreams, strengthening careers and tackling new giants.  As often is the case when we reach points like this, the reaction is to hesitate, if ever so slightly, on that first step. I think we hesitate because we know that the future forward brings change and uncertainty.  

 But just like the parent and their new college studentboth must step away from one another and launch into the new season before them.  And while they may go their separate ways, they do not go alone.  Because when they let go, they continue on with God.  In many ways it is a "let go, let God" attitude that we must develop.  Letting go of fear, insecurity and the "what-if's" and boldly stepping into the journey that God has for each of us. 

 Daily we receive comments from our online students, excited but nervous to start into classes.  They express anxious thoughts about the future and worry if they will make it through the process.  May I encourage you?  Now is the time to take yet another step of faith, but as you do, you step forward with God beside you.  When worry and fear excel your heart there is one who we can always turn to.   When we choose to let go and let God, we step forward in faith knowing full well that it is He who holds our future.  

 Where do you need to let go and let God in this season of life? How do you give Him your worries and anxious thoughts? Share with us in the comments below. 

 ~Victoria  

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

Posted at 8:17 AM | Comments (2) | Permalink


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