This week I am very proud of myself for the progress I have made. I started working on my rough draft and stopped at a place that makes me feel satisfied. Right now I have a few questions, but I am not letting that stop me. I have made up in my mind I am going to just write what comes to me, get the work done, and hopefully what I have is good.
Yesterday night, I also attended a service dedicated to prayer. The service was nice and it was filled with verbal prayer from various pastors and various people. Although verbal prayer is not the type of prayer I go to first, I still felt like it was important for me to be there and participate. How can I encourage someone to pray when I am choosing not to attend a church service dedicated to prayer? I do not know if I will be able to attend every service, but my decision to go last night shows how important I think prayer is in general. I used the service as yet another opportunity for me to pray and be informed about what is going on around me.
I see myself changing, and I am happy about the change!
This week I did not start working on what I need to complete the next time my group meets with the professor. I hope to start writing a couple pages either tomorrow or Sunday or write some pages on both days. I did manage to write down some more notes concerning my topic. Every time I have a discussion with someone I start thinking about what I want to write or discuss. After the meeting with the professor, I came home and started writing ideas and thoughts that were coming to me. Some of the things I wrote down could possibly give me other areas to explore. But choosing to start writing, was a smart idea because that is the only way I am going to find out whether this topic is really going to work, what I need to adjust, and what I need to do more research on. Writing the paper also gives me an opportunity to try and clear up or further elaborate on anything said verbally. I look forward to talking to my dad, my professor, and my group members because they offer ideas and push me to make my argument stronger and clearer. I even appreciate the little things my mother and my professor have done like listening to what I have to say and telling me whether it makes sense or if they agree. I am nervous but at the same time I feel this urge to make this paper work.
This week I worked on revising my literature review and adding the parts that were still missing. I also had to go back and look at my introduction and revise that as well. To be completely honest, I do not know what to expect tonight. By grouping my sources, I can clearly see the areas that I have a lot of information, and the areas I probably will have to do more research on at another time. I know I made a lot of improvement as far as my sources since the last time we met. I just hope the sources I have are good enough.
Upon reviewing my own work/sources harder, I think I want to go back to what I originally said in terms of my written prayers beginning in 2015. Looking at my 2014 entry harder, I am definitely reflecting/having a conversation. I just do not think I am communicating to God. Rather I am reflecting and talking about God, which leads me to think I was either writing it to get my emotions out, encouraging myself, or contemplating posting it on social media. I am still thinking about including it though because it might be interesting to kind of look at that entry in 2014 and compare it to where I am now. I will just put it under a separate heading.
Moreover, I personally remember writing poems in notebooks, and I have a poem in one of my journals. I always wanted to write in a journal in the past, but I could never really keep up with it. I think when I was younger I would try and write about my day, but eventually I just stopped altogether. Writing to God, just completely transformed how much I write. As I learn I try to get better, but I am human so it is still a process. I am thinking about including some entries that discuss things that are really personal, but only including certain sections.
This week I was working on finding the rest of the sources I needed for my literature review. I was successful in finding some more but for some reason I still do not feel completely satisfied. Between now and tomorrow before our class time, I want to do a rough citation and brief summary of some of these new sources. I think I really want to find sources that say exactly what I am looking for and go in-depth, but I am realizing more and more a good portion of this project may consist of me putting the pieces together. I just need the right passages or quotes to help me draw conclusions and state what I really want to say.
This week I am grateful that I had the opportunity to have a long discussion with my father about my topic. I believe my father is very knowledgeable when it comes to our faith and knows a lot about verbal prayer. He really helped/made me think about my topic further. He gave me a passage in the Bible to refer to, which was Matthew chapter six beginning at verse five, and I think it will help me when addressing “prayer practices.”
Right now, one of my concerns is being specific/clear. I realize I am doing a topic that some people may not know a lot about or could really interrogate. I want to be able to answer questions clearly when it comes to prayer and in the process of doing research gain more knowledge to be able to answer other questions too. I realize that I am not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to my faith, but I believe you do not have to be an expert to have a relationship with God, believe, or pray which is why discussing my topic with people who know very little is ideal.
In conclusion, my father also helped me to get out of myself. In the process of discussing my topic, I have to realize my strengths/weaknesses and realize other people’s strengths/weaknesses may be different. I have to take a critical eye and really examine everything I am trying to argue.
The good news is I feel like I am in a better place, and I have a better attitude when it comes to finding research for my thesis. The bad news is this blog is about to be somewhat short lol. This week I found more research addressing a major area in my paper or an area I wanted to focus on. The funny part is I already had what I was looking for. I just did not realize it. I went through the process of searching for the same thing again and going on different sites only to realize the final site I ended up on and thought was helpful was what I already had in the beginning. A site I found before I even started focusing on my literature review. I just needed to take the time to read further or scroll down further which confirmed I should try to read the articles, documents, etc. before I move on. So, an area I was concerning myself about was never really an issue.
Nevertheless I felt so much better after I found a source that addressed why prayer is contentious in schools, even though I still have more research to do. In addition, throughout this process I even thought about a different way to incorporate an article I have. In conclusion, the research continues.