Saturday, February 28, 2015

It's Really Official Now...

In December I completed my application to graduate with excitement and joy.  I also mailed out over 100 Save the Date post cards to family and friends back east so that they could make arrangements to attend well in advance.  In my mind, 2015 was shaping up to be a FANTASTIC year and it hadn't even started.

January greeted me with immense joy that quickly transitioned into gut wrenching anguish. Due to a financial aid issue, I was told that I would not be able to participate in commencement activities because I had too many credits that still needed to be completed.  I followed any and every avenue I knew to take to create a different outcome, but to no avail there was no different resolution.  At the time, there were no words I knew within my vocabulary to clearly communicate the ache my heart felt.  Honestly, the ache reached all the way to my soul.  The pain was intense because I knew I did my part and have been working so hard.  I had to share with my family who begun making plans to come to Tulsa to cancel those plans but I couldn't do it without tears.  Still not happy with the decision, I started the process of internally coming to terms with things and creating new plans.

One conversation lead to another conversation and a special petition was submitted by my department head and signed off on by a special committee; so, after two months of an emotional roller coaster, it is official, #iamgraduating!  I will have to take two summer school classes that begin and end in May, so I won't be officially completed my undergrad program until then but I'm ok with that.  May 1st and 2nd will be days of celebration, joy and reflection.  You have been a part of this  journey with me and I hope that you are able to participate in the festivities in some capacity.

Monday, August 4, 2014

"Love my neighbor as myself"???

When I started this blog, it was with the intent to document the journey I decided to embark upon in hopes of completing a 26mile full marathon.  I made a choice to run a marathon because I wanted to prove to myself that I had the stamina, endurance and overall ability to do it.  I needed to prove to ME that if I worked hard enough at something that seems completely impossible, that I could accomplish it.  I wanted the "quitter" Rochelle to be gone and the athlete within me immerge.  Although I haven't run in over two years and I've deferred my Disney marathon race
twice, I'm still on an amazing marathon journey.  This journey includes graduating and receiving a Bachelors of Science Degree from Oral Roberts University; emerging and living within a culture that is opposite of my upbringing and operating in full time ministry.

My health and physical conditioning has taken the back burner to school, work and life in general.  But this summer has proven that my health is essential to any quest in receiving collegiate degrees, living within other cultures or doing anything.  In June I was diagnosed with double pneumonia and stayed in the hospital for 9 days.  I was really sick and still suffering the residual effects of this horrible condition.  But my health can never take the back burner to any goal or pursuit of achievement. 

The Pharasies tried to trick Jesus when they asked Him, "...which is the great commandment in the law?"  Jesus reply, " your neighbor as yourself." 

I've got the "love God" down and I can "love others" but....I'm horrible at loving others as "MYSELF!"  If I don't care of myself or value myself, how can I love others in a healthy way?  So how about this, I am going to love and value myself for a while.  I'm not going to kill myself with my thoughts or with the things that I eat.  I can't afford to do that because I have too much to offer this world! 

The goal?  Eat clean and loose 24lbs between now and October 25th.  But why does something so simple have such huge obstacles?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Oklahoma Citizenship Day!!

It is official, I have lived in Oklahoma for one full year.  Last year this time I was on the road with my trunk, back seat and roof full of the only earthly possessions that would be making this voyage with me.  Leaving the DVM (District, Maryland, and Virginia) was filled with a plethora of emotion.

This journey didn't begin when I left home, it actually began back in 1994 when I read a book by Oral Roberts on the power of prayer.  In the book he discusses his university and it was then that I knew that Oral Roberts University was the place I was supposed to attend.  Fast Forward eighteen years (almost two decades), the knowledge that Oral Roberts University (ORU) is the place where I should receive my higher education from had not disappeared.  In fact, the pull for higher education increased over the years.  In my attempts to pacify the pull, I enrolled in multiple schools for various things, but I knew that it wasn't what I should be doing.

Enrolling in undergraduate school at 34 as a full time student, moving to a place where you know absolutely no one and every job opportunity falling through the cracks is STRESSFUL!  Over the course of this year my electric has been turned off twice, phone turned off, car nearly repossessed, couple of ER visits, no money except for when people sent gifts, received an eviction notice and needed assistance from social services to survive.  But, God is faithful!

Even in the darkest days, God provided everything that I needed and even some things that I wanted.  Honestly, I didn't think that I was going to make it.  I was ready to throw in the towel and quit a few times (more than I'm willing to admit) but I didn't.  Being away from everything that I know and love is hard, but the Lord promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us, and He hasn't.  I got connected with an AMAZING church here and it has been my lifeline.  The people have embraced me and loved on me and been an arm of community that I desperately needed.  My professors, boss and co-workers at school have shown so much grace towards me.

So today, August 7, 2013 I am grateful to be in Oklahoma.  Things are harder than I'd prefer, but this experience has been life changing and I'm starting to enjoy the ride.  Here's to another year!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Was My Momma Right?

I heard through the grapevine from one of my aunts that my mother never wanted me to work and go to school at the same time.  If I was going to work, I need to work.  If I was going to go to school, I needed to go to school.  She knew that my learning style require focus and committment with constant engagement on the subject matter in order for me to do well.  Secretly, even though she is in heaven with Jesus, I tried to prove her wrong!  I can do well at school and work at the same time if I try hard enough....right??

Obviously not for this kid. So midterm grades are in and I'm failing. This is what the breakdown looks like:
F - American History
B - New Testament Introduction
C - Local Church Outreach
F - Hermeneutics
F - Health/Fitness II

I don't know what to do with myself.  Failing is not an option, especially based on the scholarships that I've received.  Not only is failing not an option, I have to maintain at least a 3.0GPA!  Granted it's only midterm grades and a lot can change, but can it change enough for me to do well?  This week is currently Spring Break and classes start back up on Monday, March 25th.  There are 5 weeks remaining in the semester, which means I have 5 weeks to get this together. 

The million dollar questions - how do I do well at work while staying on top of my school work?  Do I resign from work?  But if I do that, how will I afford to live?  Oh Lord, what do I do?

Friday, February 22, 2013

I won't be evicted!!

I am so excited because I won't be evicted next week.  Ok, background info.... I was late with February's rent payment.  I ended up paying it (along with the late fees) on February 13th, but apparently eviction papers were filed before I submitted the payment.  I thought that because I paid everything, there was nothing left for me to do, but oh was I wrong!  I received another notice saying that I have to pay the court fees in order to avoid eviction.  I've been worried all week because I didn't know how I was going to pay the court fees.  Actually I came up with a "just in case" plan of what I would do if I got evicted.  I will not divulge those thoughts here but lets just say I'm grateful that I won't have to execute them.

Wondering how I got out of the eviction?  FEDERAL TAX RETURN!!!!!!  I just checked the IRS's website again and my federal tax return is scheduled to be in my account Monday morning.  I can pay the outstanding fees, March rent (on time), get my phone turned back on, pay my extra late car note and get caught up on bills.  It's like God made a way out of no way for me.  Could I have asked a family member for help, yes probably, but I felt like this was something that I had to work through myself.  Through all of the ups and downs that I've experienced here - the loneliness, the frustration, the lack - it's worth it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Interval Training

Today in PE we had to do interval training, of which I really didn't want to do.  Let me be clear, I don't have a problem with interval training, I think that it is extremely beneficial in increasing speed, strength and endurance.  The challenge for me is that my time or pace isn't up to par with what is expected for students.  My pace/time is not even on the time chart.  So before we start, I try to have a private conversation with my professor to see what she recommends I do.  Instead of listening to me, she kinda blows me off and raises her voice at me in front of my classmates. 

Immediately I get tongue tied and have a hard time trying to communicate my concern.  She's like, "this isn't hard, were you listening to the instructions", takes my book and flips to the back to show me the appendixes that I'm supposed to use.  Now not only am I embarrassed because she's treating me like I wasn't listening (this time I really was listening), but I feel my voice start cracking.  It doesn't stop there.  Tears start falling out of my eyes.  In my mind I'm like, "ROCHELLE!!  Get yourself TOGETHER right this instant.  You will not cry!!" 

I think the tears came out because she wasn't listening to what I was trying to ask. In that moment, I didn't want to yell or do anything disrespectful so tears coming out was the only thing I could do.  Only a few tears came out, but it was enough to get her attention.  She understood what I was asking and I did what I was told.  I actually ended up doing better than we both expected. 

In our exercise today, we had to run around the track at full spead twice within a certain time period then pause for 60 seconds to bring our heart rate down, repeating the process 5 times. Today now my life can be compared to interval training.   The school & work reponsibilities have me going at full spead, but there are pockets of  60 second "recovery time" each weekend that I'm learning how to really take advantage of.  Although I hate the process sometimes, the benefits far outweigh the work. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Letter C Vocabulary Word

Word of the Week: Conundrum

It means riddle or mystery.  I like this word because it's so different by has a simple meeting.  To pronounce it, break it apart into three separate sylbols Conundrum: co-nun-drum (easier to pronounce when you break it down).

Sentence: Jesus spoke in a conundrum which makes it hard to understand the Bible sometimes, ya know?

How would you use it in a sentence?