Wow. It’s been a long journey, but we’re finally reaching the finish line!

The home stretch of the dissertation-writing process involved preparing the final draft of our dissertations after we received the last edit from the editor at Asbury (see The Rest of the (Dissertation) Story and One Step Closer to see recent lists of tasks in the final stages of our dissertation work).

We received our drafts from the editor last Thursday and completed our revisions Monday and Tuesday, printed a copy, then dropped them off at Staples to be copied (we’re required to submit multiple copies). We picked them up today and will deliver them to the D.Min. office at Asbury on Friday.

Tomorrow, we make our last 9-10 hour trip to Kentucky (as part of this program, anyway), and will have most of Friday to relax before kicking off graduation activities Friday evening with a dinner for Doctor of Ministry graduates.

Saturday morning, we have rehearsal for the commencement ceremony followed by a worship service in the historic Hughes Auditorium on the campus of Asbury College (across the street from the seminary). After lunch, graduation activities will conclude with the commencement ceremony, beginning at 2:00 pm.

We’re excited about celebrating this milestone. We’re also excited that my family (dad and step-mom, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew) will get to meet Ethan for the first time as they join us for a few days in Kentucky (they live in Tennessee). Joleen’s mom and step-dad will make the trip with us as well.

We’re tacking on a few days of vacation after graduation in order to get some rest before coming back home to jump into packing!

IMG_0764You might be interested in going back and reading this post from last October (a couple weeks after we learned Ethan would be joining our family) — If Baby Willis Could Speak. Amazingly, things pretty much played out the way we hoped they would (and needed them to)!

Ethan was a huge motivation for us, especially during the final stages of this journey!

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