Back to School?

Yes, it’s true.  I am contemplating going back to school to get a Master’s degree and maybe even a Ph.D.  Had you mentioned the possibility of me doing either of these even a week ago, I would have called you nuts. But the reality is – I’m seriously considering this option.

I am interested in agriculture – specifically sustainable, organic agriculture on a global scale and in urban US communities.  (Bet you never knew that about me. ;)) Long term, I would love to set up a program at Southern that would equip students to work in one of two mission fields:

* Overseas – educating and creating sustainable agricultural practices to provide food for peoples in various countries and for themselves as they work along side the people (in some cases this may involve helping them set up ways to market their produce as well as preservation of food grown)

* In the U.S. – educating urban American children and adults in agricultural practices that can be utilized where they are, increasing quality of life through activity and healthy eating practices

What better way is there to truly reach out to God’s children and share His love with them?  Food is the most basic need people have, and what an incredible opportunity to really meet a need that is felt all over the world!

This is SUPER exciting for me, however, I don’t expect any of this to happen over night.  It will be a slow process as I take classes one-at-a-time.  Right now, my number one responsibility is to Samuel (and any children we may have in the future.)  While I am taking care of them I will work on the education side of things.  We may even decide to take a few years to get hands-on experience in the mission field – we’ll have to see what God has in store.  By the time I have completed my education and any hands-on experience I hope to get ahead of time, the kids will be teenagers or older, and will not need me to be a full-time stay at home mommy anymore.  It is at this time that I may work on starting a program at Southern.

One of the great things about this plan is that I am truly learning valuable things all along the way.  Even if I don’t end up starting an agricultural program at a University, there are so many doors that could open along the way – places where God could use me, and valuable skills that will be acquired.

While all the details aren’t hammered out, this may end up requiring a move to Iowa as I finish my course work there, and as I mentioned before, the possibility of overseas (and maybe even some state-side) mission work. However, I have to start with right here and now.  Life is crazy with Samuel’s sleep issues and we aren’t moving anywhere for a few years at least, so, what’s a girl to do?  Well, I plan on reading all of the books on the recommended reading list of the Graduate Program of Sustainable Agriculture of Iowa State University.  I may also, during this time seek (through online study) a Certificate of Organic Agriculture from Washington State University. I’m also looking into the possibility of starting some of the Master’s Level courses from ISU online (not sure this is an option though).

In the meantime, I will be praying like crazy for God’s guidance every step of the way.  I may have a long-term plan, but the key is seeking God’s leading in every step so that I can be sure I am smack dab in the center of His will.  Today I ordered the first book I will be reading and I am very excited about it.  I think it will be a good read.  It is “The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture” by Wendell Berry.  Expect a book report. 😉  I will also be posting a list of the recommended reading as well as my progress on the list.  Look for future updates. 🙂


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