I wanted to write a small post to celebrate the Lord’s work through my husband. Through God’s strength and Shaun’s discipline, efficiency, and hard work–today marks the long awaited PhD thesis submission. We appreciate your prayers as he orally defends this work sometime in the next 8 weeks as well as for job employment to commence in the fall of 2013.
Many students struggle to finish their PhD through fighting barriers such as laziness, writer’s block, deciphering difficult texts and plowing through cryptic supervisor critiques and suggestions over the course of three (or more!) years. These guys must also contribute to mastering a logical, convincing, and comprehensive flow to the course of their research project adding in the necessary grammatical and stylistic requirements making their topic unique and helpful to the massive amount of previously published texts in their given field. Additionally, a PhD student must consider applying to scholarships/determine how to fund the costs of their research work and living costs; publish articles, book reviews, &/or books; teach and tutor classes online or at the undergraduate and graduate levels (and apply to the necessary schools to make this happen); attend and present papers at various conferences, all the while networking with higher individuals in their area of expertise which will best enable these actions to come to fruition. Further, before submitting their PhD thesis, they must also prepare for post PhD life by extensively researching and applying to the tedious field of job applications or post-doc positions (compiling appropriate cover letters, CVs, reference letters, writing samples, doctrinal statements, and transcripts for these type of positions); reading current literature to familiarize themselves for said interviews (if they manage any); as well as applying ( and sincerely hoping!) to publish their nearly completed doctoral thesis in the competitive arena of published discourse. Shaun has managed to complete all of these weighty tasks while also leading a young marriage with small children in tow.
Let me paint the picture a bit clearer: aside from normal tasks and duties of life such as cleaning up a home, making time to exercise, helping to grocery shop and prepare meals, up-keeping one’s car and gardening/yard work, paying bills and taxes, etc–Shaun’s thesis was completed amidst sacrificing his time in even more areas. Shaun wrote in the middle of: moving twice to different flats (and the research, organization, and physical labor needed within this type of event–twice!); two pregnancies which both included morning sickness bouts obligating his time to help watch the other children/ full house cleaning responsibilities/making meals/etc; one season of a newborn with sleepless nights, hormones, and many dirty nappies; another season (ebbing and flowing over the course of two years) of letting his wife work extensively long hours on the completion her master’s degree; teaching online (grading, answering emails every 24 hours, and conducting video powerpoint chats at least twice a week) in order to provide financially for all the needs of our family and international tuition for three academic degrees (and applying for these online positions therein); making sure to be active in his local church by pursuing membership, attending various men’s ministry and family events, & teaching/leading and hosting a student small group in our home once a week for two of the three years during his work; helping raise, train, and discipline a boisterous 5 month old turn into a 3.5 year old and the preschool car runs/ wrestling matches/ car races and devotion that comes with the package of having a lively energetic and healthy son; also keeping up with various godly male friendships inside and outside of academia; cultivating his relationships with family back in the states through regular skype and phone calls; maintaining a thriving relationship with his Lord and Savior; as well as making sure his wife was prioritized through (but not limited to) writing notes of affection, purchasing tea and flowers on occasion, taking me on date nights, and making sure he listened to the some of the 20,000 words a day I needed to speak ;).
I love that though Shaun enjoys a good t.v. show or movie and spending time on social media or other recreational activities, he has chosen instead to deny himself of loads of leisure time to learn more about our God through thinking hard and working on a doctorate of theology. I am attracted to his desire to use his limited time on earth well and make it count to bless others through producing a written copy of his research. We’ve had plenty of days (and nights) where we haven’t seen each other because of this massive feat, and while I’m certainly ready for that season of sacrifice to end, I love that he has made his research a priority. He clearly hasn’t neglected the other areas where his God, family, church, and friends have asked for his attention. He has truly demonstrated the ability to become a mature and godly man through his various endeavors and I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to praise the Lord for these achievements through him. He has completed his aim which he set forth a mere three years ago and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to joyfully support and follow him to its completion. To God be the Glory for you Dr. (almost!) Timothy Shaun Price!