the promise of the peach tree...and the passing of the dissertation defense

There is a season for everything. And some seasons, like winter in Narnia, last far too long. But when the spring comes, there is a deep inhaling of hope, a new embrace of confidence, an overwhelming knowledge that through it all He has carried us.

I have started a dozen entries, posted a few and reverted them back to draft, since the "why we planted a peach tree" post at Christmas. That peach tree was planted, has put out green leaves and the sweetest little blossoms you've ever seen, and now burgeons fruit. True, there are only a few pieces. But they are beautiful, soft promises coming to bear.

All of Alan's studying and writing has finally come to bear as well. Earlier this month, he was able to successfully defend his dissertation for a PhD in Theological Studies. He marched at graduation, with a little cross beside his name, indicating in the footnote that his degree would be conferred in August after he finishes the post-defense revisions and a published copy is placed on the library shelf. 

There were times when we didn't care whether he marched or not, times we didn't even care if he finished. But in the end, it was meaningful to all of us--kids included. 

"Mom! Did you see Dad? He looks like the pope," said my protestant nine-year-old with a laugh. And I guess the higher the degree, the more flowing the gown. But he would need that sense of humor to get him through the two-hour long ceremony that stretched out like the finish line of a race. 

As if by poetic justice, Alan was first in the long line of graduates to enter the amphitorium--and third-from-last to receive his padded pouch. And it's not even funny, but there were times when we wondered if all this would end in a padded pouch or a padded room. I shouldn't joke. But somehow, I think, we have walked away with our sanity (mostly) in tack. 

We have learned much during these seminary years and are grateful. And as this season melts away, we're looking forward to the fruit of the ministry that we have for so long now invested toward, polishing resumes...and patiently waiting on peaches. 

All in His time.

With multiplied grace,


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