Anxious and Excited

So, I graduated from LBC/Capital Seminary and Graduate School summa cum laude (4.0 GPA) with a Masters degree in Biblical Studies (MABS). I do NOT share this to brag or puff up myself! I share this because the reality of returning to Seminary is getting ever closer, and is causing me to be anxious and excited!

While I want to work very hard at Westminster, I do NOT want this program to consume my life in the same way that my MABS program did. When I first started thinking about Seminary Nathan’s only concern was would I go into crazy mode like last time?! In fairness, I met Nathan halfway through the program. By the time I met Nathan I had a routine; and well, I do not deal well with routine changes. I am praying I will be better and do better with changes this time around!

Last night, new students in the MAR and MDiv programs had a meet and greet zoom conference. I was really encouraged to hear one of the current student’s say that he allots a certain amount of time per assignment and that he aims for good grades but not excellent grades. He accepts he has done the best he can with the amount of time that he has. Don’t get me wrong, he would like excellent grades, but he doesn’t want to sacrifice time with his family and ministry to achieve said goal.

I pray to be like this! I hope you will all hold me accountable. I hope that if I go for a prolonged period of time without posting that y’all will email me or leave a comment reminding me that it is more important that I worship God through my studies and other activities that God has for me more than only worshiping God through school and what grade I get. I do not want school nor grades to become a stumbling block/idol.

I have perfectionistic tendencies and so I can get very frustrated very quickly. And when that happens, I usually take my frustrations out on Nathan, my mom, my dad and yes, even PQ. I do not like this about myself. It is ugly and it is nasty. Praise God there will be a day when believers in Christ no longer have to contend with their sin nature!

So, why am I returning to Seminary?! Because I miss, need and love the challenge! I am attending Seminary to learn more about Jesus so that I can love Him more. I want to work hard for God, for those who believe in me and for myself.

I am thankful for this new experience. I pray to not compare it to my last experience. I pray that I will NEVER allow my studies to replace or become my quiet time. I praise God for the opportunity to learn online with other likeminded men and women. I praise God for how He will use me and I am genuinely confident that He will.

Thank you reader for all the support you have shown me! I pray that my Seminary experience will help me to be a better writer and communicator with y’all. I am humbled and grateful for every comment that y’all take the time to write me. It is a joy and an honor to pray for you through this outlet. Thank you all for praying for me too! Lots of love, hugs and blessings!

Lord God, thank You for this new journey, this new beginning! Lord God, prepare me for my classes now so that I won’t panic later! Lord God, help Your people to be content. Help us to not be frustrated and angry. Lord God, for the reader that does not know Christ may today be day their day of salvation. Lord God, may our work, regardless of the kind and type be done in a manner that honors, pleases and glorifies You! Thank You Father for this reader! Lead and guide this reader today. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

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Blue Collar Theologian

My name is Mandy Sweigart-Quinn, I live in Lancaster, PA and I am a “Blue Collar Theologian.” I love Jesus! I am passionate about His Word (The Holy Bible)! I come alive when I can encourage others in their walk with Jesus (whether by writing or speaking). As a “Blue Collar Theologian” it is my aim to live/practice/work out my Christian hope with sincerity, authenticity and genuineness. As a “Blue Collar Theologian,” I strive to meet people right where they are (“Incarnational Theology”). I graduated in May 2019 from Capital Seminary and Graduate School with a Master's in Biblical Studies. I am a passionate, excited and enthusiastic person! I love flowers, sports and sunsets. Since January 2, 2018 I have had the privilege of being married to Nathan.

109 thoughts on “Anxious and Excited”

  1. I am so excited for you. What an exciting time in your life. I am confident you will continue to grow. Your self-awareness of the time challenge will make a difference. Your colleague mentioned time constraints. I works well. It is called “time-boxing”. I have grown to be a big fan and it has helped with my productivity and focus.

    https://clockify.me/timeboxing

    I am praying with you. Blessings. God is with you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Life is full of tension and I need to discern where to put energy and when! Thank you for sharing this! If I may ask, where did you go to nursing school?! You’ve been all over the place and so I was curious! Feel free not to answer or text privately. Love, hugs and blessings Mama Linda!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a very exciting opportunity Mandy, the challenge of another setting to serve Him in. When I was reading your post I felt that I should offer to be available to you at the end of an email, to chat or share needs for specific prayer. May our Father God guide you and your family on this new journey together.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I will be praying! Lord God, please protect Alan from the Covid virus. Lord God, please keep everyone who has been effected to mild symptoms. Lord God, have mercy on Susan Lord, heal her and restore Susan back to health. Lord God, thank You for all those who will lend their voices in praying for Alan, Susan and his family and their guests. Lord God, make Yourself known to those who do not know You in this time. Keep Alan and Susan connected to You and Lord be with them in this fight. Thank You Lord for Alan and Susan. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen. Alan, we will continue praying for you and Susan.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. How exciting! I will pray that you hold true to moderation during your studies. God will place those most important kernels deep within you. I am a bit of a perfectionist too, and overtime I have learned that it is definitely a 2-edged sword that can take you out😕. Moderation in all that we do is the key.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mandy, I am excited for you and the molding of God’s vessel that will continue. Psalm 37:5 comes to mind, I’m thinking you’ll do great and you’re probably biting at the bit about now! Oh to have that physical and mental energy. I envy you, but fear not, the balance will be there. And of course, throughout, you and Nathan and PQ will be held up in prayer. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this encouragement, Bruce! I appreciate it more than you will know! I tell myself all the time, “God has helped me before and He will help me again!” There is no better way than committing our way to Him!!! You seem to have more energy than you think because your blogs lately (which I completely agree with!) aren’t for the faint of heart! Praise God for His guiding and leading! Love, prayers and blessings to you and Peggy!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Will read this later today! But answering your question: Day is going well, will be busy studying for tonight’s lesson and if possible I hope to put some time studying for SUnday too before tonight’s Bible study! I hope you do feel better and that the medicine helps!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, this is when I am glad Nathan has his truck! He’s an excellent driver! It’s the other non-excellent drivers that cause me to pray extra hard for Nathan’s safe return!!! What are you guys doing for dinner tonight? I found a soup recipe that I want to make tomorrow that’s sort of like the Japanese sweet potato soup that Nancy made. I am eager for her recipe! I really do appreciate the time I was able to spend with y’all!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Praying for you, dear Sister. As a lifelong student and someone who feels God’s pleasure when I am learning (with apologies to the memory of Eric Liddell), I can consistently set standards for my work that are impossible to achieve (even as I know that perfection is unattainable). I remember the opportunity I had to speak to first-year students in my doctoral program. My advice: “Lower your standards. If you wait to submit your work until you are completely happy with it, you will never submit it!” Strive for excellence, yes (1 Cor. 10:31), but seek balance. In His grip, Barry

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well said, Barry!!!! Oh man, this makes me want to watch Chariots of Fire!!!!! Thank you for your prayers! Thank you for your wise and on-time counsel! Praying for your Exodus teaching on Sunday!!!! Barry, I am SO thankful for you!!!!

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  7. Amen to your prayer, Mandy! Sounds like that one student has his priorities in the right place – wisdom beyond his years. And how wise of you to recognize and take note of that. For people like us who want to do it all and do it all perfectly, this is quite a challenge. 🙄😏
    Blessings!
    Annie

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You can count on me to hold you accountable! PQ told me he would as well. I remember going back to get my post BA in accounting as a non-traditional student. Just before school began I started having those dreams where I had a big test and couldn’t find the classroom. Or the one where you find the classroom, but you showed up naked. Oooops! Sorry, I didn’t mean to add anything stressful to your new start! You’ve got this my amazing friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, C! I appreciate your support! Thank you for looking out for PQ, he’s such a boy! He hasn’t left my side since I’ve been home. It’s a nasty cold, icy day so glad for heat and the companionship of PQ! How are your puppies?! 🤗🤗🧡🧡🙏🙏😘😘love you lots and lots!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a good post; having the right heart with seminary is important. Love the example you cited of the guy whose not about grades over families and other responsibilities. I also love how you want us to contact you if you are gone too long from blogging or contact. I hope some of your academic work would show up on your blog as a post or series of posts with things like papers, essays, and other written responses, etc

    Liked by 1 person

  10. May God bless your return to a grad school environment, Mandy. I pray this time it will not consume you. I certainly understand how it feels to have perfectionist tendencies. In fact, I’m going to create a type oh right here and leave it like it is.😜 Seriously, I returned for a second master’s myself this past fall—completely online. The folks at the university said the typical student needs 15-20 hours per week to complete the course work. So this is what I have allotted myself. It’s basically two hours every night six days a week with any extra time I find during my breaks at work. Well, enough to about me. God’s best to you and Nathan and PQ too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this, David! I am so thankful for those who understand perfectionistic tendencies!!!! I will be praying for you with your studies!!!! God’s best to you and your family as well! I’m always glad to read your Saturday posts! Have a wonderful evening! Love and blessings to you and your wife!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sending many prayers, my friend! I understand the struggles with perfectionism. It can actually become paralyzing if we let it. Remember God has led you in this path and He will guide every step. In everything, may He use you mightily. Much love and many hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am excited for you and I pray that you will give your best but will not lose the balance your life and those around you need as you study. Pray that you stay focused but do not get so caught up with it all that it gets all consuming.
    May you be organised, not be anxious and may this be a blessing to you in many ways. I can relate Mandy, I am a bit like that and I have to be very intentional. Will be keeping you in prayer and if there is any day or time you need specific prayer, message me and I will pray for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bless you, Manu! They just released our syllabi and I am trying not to panic. I am taking 3 classes and I am praying I will stay sane. I’m taking Greek I, Intro to Systematic Theology and Theological Writing. I will do what I can! If I focus on God rather than grades I will be better off!! Thank you for your support, Manu! How are y’all doing?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your classes sound really interesting. Focusing on God rather than grades is a good approach. You have to probably remind yourself why you are enrolling in those classes- is to learn, get a better understanding, to enable you to convey God’s word in a more effective manner then does a grade truly effectuate those reasons.

        Doing well Mandy, had a busy week and we are having a hot weekend too, so can’t do much outdoors, more or less cooped in the AC to stay cool.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I am a lover of school in fact, when I read this post I went to Westminister website and was drawn to the courses and degrees.
    But as I sense your anxiety and apprehensions, “…I do NOT want this program to consume my life” I wonder, do you have the confidence of God’s call here? Is the Lord leading you?
    That is the only issue to settle. If the Lord called you, He will measure out every class, assignment, and project for His purposes. Nothing will be excess, nothing will be wasted.
    I hope Mandy, you will not be offended by my pondering this here. I myself want to be God-led as much as possible- it is the only way to walk in confidence.
    I always pray for you – Nathan and PQ too. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Praying for you, Bob, Starry and your parents too!!! That’s a fair question! I always have to remind myself, “God has helped me with each assignment and He will help me again.” I just saw the syllabi and had a small panic attack! Nathan always says to me, “how do you eat an elephant?! One bite at a time!” As we learned in Psalm 119 God gives us enough light for what is in front of us. When I start looking too far down the road or to the right or the left, that is when I lose sight of God and His Will and live in my strength rather than His. I can seriously hyper focus and become too focused on the assignment rather than saying, “I did my best” and continue on with the other areas of ministry the Lord has called me too!

      I appreciate you so much, Lisa! I am a verbal processor so this is helping me to redirect my anxiety into something productive! For the past 24 hours the Lord has placed a line on my heart, “prepare now so I don’t panic later.” I need to be diligent with my time now so I don’t worry and panic later! I will confess, I have to take a writing course and I’m annoyed about it. I have an undergrad degree in writing, I have always done well in writing so I don’t really want to take this course. I know the Lord is in it. I know He will use it to make me an even stronger writer! Taking two courses will be challenging enough but now I am taking a third. Again, I know I will be ok!

      I had been looking into Seminaries for over a year. I am thankful that I have been brought to Westminster. It will be way more intense than my last program and I am eager for the challenge! I am hoping my mom will take one of the classes for audit at Westminster and it would be amazing if you wanted to do some as well! Thank you again for allowing me to process all of this! I also want to be led by God and doing what He wants. I am will say there are some youth opportunities that I will not give up on because of school. I will just have to be content with not being perfect. My biblical studies program I seriously stopped seeing people, stopped volunteering I just did online school. That wasn’t healthy! How are your parents doing? How’s your weather?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Mandy for sharing so much more. Thats great that you mother’s taking a course, she must be a believer. How wonderful to share faith with her.
        We had planned to go to MA tomorrow but some urgent things came up on Bob’s job. Thank you so much for asking and for praying for my parents. They are well, thank God, but still need redemption. I am so grateful that, as they are turning 92 & 90, they have health and sound mind, can turn to the Lord and His word. May we the Holy Spirit convict and lead them.
        “Keesher paree!” (good night) to which you’d respond, “Looys Paree!” (Good light!) ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much for the Armenian lessons! I will pray for Bob and his job!!! Your parents are constantly on my heart. My mom is a big reason why I am a believer today. I am so thankful for you dear sister!!! 🤗🤗🤗😘😘😘😘

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Mandy, I’m difinitely sure this is GOD’s calling you again to gain more biblical knowledge and wisdom; knowing Him and the Bible more. This expertise will be a great help in your ministry as you share what you have learned, thus making us understand GOD’s Word better, as you always do in your blog. It will be fun too! So, in the course of your studies, out of perfection you need to throw some ninja stars/darts, don’t hesitate to call the dartboard. A blessed day ahead!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love you, Kent!!!!! What fantastic encouragement this is! You are a wordsmith brother and a boon to my spirit! You, Nathan and my mom sound so similar and are a driving factor that will help me stay focused on this journey! Blessed day to you!!! Praising God for you!!!! 🤗🤗🤗🙏🙏🙏🧡🧡🧡

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hey!! I’m feeling well but it makes me pretty exhausted. I’m usually ready for bed around 8 these days!! And goodness do I ever need to get back into blogging!😬 …In His perfect timing though!!! Thank you Mandy!❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Wow, this is great news to hear Mandy! I really hope everything goes well for you. Will certainly hold you accountable if you do not post for a long time 😄. So long as I don’t forget to post when I start my Portuguese classes next week. Sending much love, God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No. The Chesterton and Lewis proponent actually did his undergraduate degree where I went and graduated a year after me. Really not impressed! I do like my Greek professor and how he is handling this class so far. I am seriously thinking of dropping one of my classes because 3 is more than I really want to deal with, especially in light of this very strange professor.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I have perfectionist tendencies as well, though sometimes mine actually cause me to procrastinate.

    When I find myself getting hyped up, I pray and breathe. I ground myself in the moment. I also remind myself of what it’s like to be on the receiving end of someone who is taking their stress out on me and how much I don’t like it. I tell myself that it’s not fair to take my own issues out on someone who hasn’t even done anything to me, and I drive that point home hard so it sticks in my head.

    I also try not to think of every single thing I have to do all at once. If I start going down that rabbit hole, I feel way more stressed out. One step, one task at a time, and that’s all any human can do.

    Congrats though!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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