Well, it's 12:13 and I'm going to wake up in six hours. That'll work out. I'll be tired, but six hours of sleep is better than seven to me, so I thought I might as well write this first.
I graded for 10 hours yesterday. Two of those were journals and other catch-up grading and entering. The other eight were spent on the final essays I required of my students. I ran a timer, but it only let me do three minutes (no more or less), so the pacing was inconsistent.
I had food near me and movies playing in the background to ease my stress. I was finally done at 9:30 PM and caught up on some homework that I had to do. Eight hours of grading, and I got three classes done. Wow. I left school at 10 PM.
All of this is not to mention the TWS parts C and D, plus my lesson plans for this coming week which needed to get done.
I was very discouraged and upset because grades are due on Tuesday at 4 PM. And eight hours is a long time to finish up the rest of my papers. I was clearly stressed out by the onslaught of Sunday activities approaching. Being at church at 8:30 AM for meetings seemed an obstacle to be overcome if I wanted to get this grading done. I thought about taking the papers to church just in case, but I figured it wouldn't be appropriate.
Church gets out at 1:30 and dinner at grandma's is at five. That gives me less than three hours to work on papers. Five hours of time lost at church?
Oh, and then there were supposed to be committee meetings after church. Wow, there goes another thirty minutes of grading.
On Saturday night, I considered leaving church early--after my meetings. I tried to dismiss the thought.
Pre-church meetings got done at 10 AM, 30 minutes before church started. I was stressed that I hadn't brought my papers with me. I was sitting in the nearly empty chapel starting to have an anxiety attack. The previous night's thoughts came back to me. "I can leave after sacrament." Then I made myself feel better: "I can come back for meetings after Relief Society."
I tried again to dismiss these thoughts.
I said silent prayers (probably the fifth of many) to help me calm down.
I felt the subtle urge to find an empty room in the building with a piano in it.
I found a room in the institute building. I turned on the light, sat down at a bench, and cried for about 30 seconds. I begged the Lord to help me calm down, to trust that everything would be alright. I began to play. I played well, and I played my favorite hymns.
I felt much better and headed back to sacrament meeting fifteen minutes later.
I felt calm all during sacrament and throughout the rest of my meetings--calmness which came by the Spirit of my loving Heavenly Father. Every time I started to think about my papers, I heard a voice tell me, "Janae, I will take care of you. Focus on church right now." I heard, "Stay calm, everything will be OK. You'll manage it. I'll make sure of it."
After church, the girls I was supposed to meet with were not there. I considered this a tender mercy to give me that thirty minutes I'd find so helpful. I ran home. I talked to my dad on the way home who instructed me to put on some classical music and to focus.
I got everything ready to go to my grandma's. By inspiration of the Lord, I found an online countdown timer. I put all my papers on my bed. I situated my laptop near me. I put on some music. I had the timer ready at 4 minutes and 30 seconds. This was how long I'd take on each paper--which seemed really difficult and would take much focus and assistance.
For the next two hours and fifteen minutes, I was on a grading rampage. I got one and a half classes done! I left for my grandma's (20 minutes drive). I got there, started my laundry, graded two papers, ate dinner (30 minutes), graded more papers, did more laundry (10 minutes), graded more papers, stopped to eat dessert (5 minutes), graded papers, and I finished at 8:45 PM.
I graded today for a grand total of about five and a half hours. And I finished. I finished before 9 PM. I finished almost three hours faster than yesterday.
A weight was lifted from my shoulders. I couldn't keep from smiling and thanking my Father in Heaven for his divine assistance. For helping me to stay focused, energized, and fast-paced. For allowing me to go to all of my meetings today and fulfill my responsibilities and still have time to get my work responsibilities done.
None of this would have happened without sincere prayer and my desire to do what was right before doing what I needed to do.
I am so grateful for His help.
If we love Him, we should keep His commandments. We are promised blessings in return.
With this weight lifted from my shoulders, I found myself reassured that my lesson plan would get done tonight, that tomorrow, I could be productive and go to class, and that I could relax a little bit.
It took almost an hour to get back from my grandma's tonight due to a bad accident that happened on the freeway. I didn't stress out about it, or get impatient. I was just thinking good thoughts for the people who got in an accident. I trusted that even though it'd be late, I'd get my lesson plan done.
Monday's lesson plan is done.
Tomorrow I still have some totaling and entering to do. I have lots of sorting. I have my TWS to do. I need to do my Secret Spook thing (it's like Secret Santa, for the faculty). I have class from 4:30 to 6:30. I need to get groceries, and I need to scan through a movie or two for my classes on Tuesday. I also need to do the rest of the week's lesson plans. But I'm trusting that it will all get done because I got the tough stuff out of the way today with the Lord's help. He is so good to me.