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 29, 2014

When You Feel Like Quitting

What do you do when you feel like quitting?

No matter who you are, the fact of the matter is, you will feel like quitting at some point in your life.  

If you are an online college student, the urge to "throw in the towel" will hit you several times throughout your college career.  I remember well the excitement of a new semester, but somewhere around the third week of class the excitement fades into a dull realization that this college thing might be a little tough.  Then week 6 rolls around and you just pray you can make it to the end of the semester.  That's when "quit" starts looking more appealing. 

Juggling class, along with a million family responsibilities and work demands, makes it tough to be a college student. 

I remember years ago, sitting in convocation and hearing Dr. Falwell Sr. quote Winston Churchill: "Never, Never, Never Give Up." Dr. Falwell would encourage us to "never quit" and remind us that Christ is the one who gives us strength to persevere through the tough times in life.  

And that is how I want to encourage you.  Just when you think you cannot read another bazillion pages or type one more discussion board, recall the words of Paul "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)  And as you re-focus, think on these words. "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace." (Acts 20:24)

You are not walking this road alone. There is a whole community here at Liberty that prays for you daily.  And we are cheering you on. I firmly believe that it is no mistake that you are here.  So take a deep breath and dive back in.  

Ok. Now it's your turn.  What helps you when you feel like quitting? 

~Victoria 

"In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Romans 8:37 

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7

 

Posted at 8:02 AM | Comments (1) | Permalink

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 (2) | 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


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