Friday, June 29, 2012

What is Faith??

Today I had my Interview & Assessment at Oral Roberts University for their Whole Person Scholarship.  The Whole Person Scholarship is a scholarship offered to new and transfer students for $20,000 which covers tuition costs and additional fees and is renewable annually.  The purpose of the scholarship is to recognize students who model the "Whole Person Concept" - spiritually, emotionally & physically.  The recipients for Fall 2012/Spring 2013 had already been determined, but additional money became available at the end of May for two additional Whole Person Scholarships to be made available, specifically to transfer students.  The additional scholarships being added is great for me because it is a way of financing school; also, it confirmed for me what I knew God spoke.

This morning I got up early and did something that was pretty odd.  I washed my feet.  Don't get me wrong, I wash them, but I had this burning desire to make sure they were clean and moisturized.  Anyone who knows me knows that ash and Rochelle go hand in hand on most days (not good, but it just is).  Driving to campus and riding around was beyond surreal.  I've been dreaming about this place for years questioning- what would it be like, how would I fit in with the culture, do I have what it takes to not just attend but thrive and succeed - and to actually be there... speechless.

We were put into groups and interacted with students who are already recipients of the scholarship.  Then we had a writing assessment.  When they said writing, I looked calm on the outside, but inside I froze.  Writing is like my cryptonite and I try to avoid it like the plague.  But, I had to do it.  We were given a blue book (a booklet with a blue cover and pages inside) and a pen to answer nine questions within an hour timespan. While instructions were being given, I could only pray.  I prayed that the Lord would give me the words to use, that I wouldn't leave words out of my writing (when I write, my thoughts are going so swiftly that although I have a complete thought in my mind, what's in my mind is not always reflected in my writing) and that my spelling would be comprehendible to the reader.  When it was time to start, I actually started with number 8 and worked my way up.  This part may seem weird to some, but every time I got stuck and wanted to put my head down, I literally heard the words to write down.  It kindof weirded me out at first, but then recognized that it was the Lord honoring the prayer that I prayed only moments prior...that He would give me the words to use.  It blows my mind that God is so faithful to me, like really blows my mind!

Then it was the interview.  I met with one of the professors in the history/government department.  She was a really sweet lady.  She started the conversation and I ran with it.  I shared my story - the why behind why I wanted to attend ORU.  We talked about community/support and the need for it.  We talked about how God speaks to His people and our responsibility when He does speak.  It was honestly a great conversation.  At one point I stopped talking and asked her if I was talking too much.  She laughed and said that statement reminded her of one of her favorite students.  We talked for so long that they had to come get me because we ran over time.  We then met with advisors, payed enrollment fees and went on our marry way.

I left campus today feeling defeated and settled.  Those seem contradictory, right? I know, that's what I thought to.  I felt settled, because I know that's where I'm supposed to be.  Like no question whatsoever.  I felt defeated (maybe that's not the best word to use) because all I can do is wait, like I wasn't able to solidify anything - housing, financial aid, work, the overall transition.  If you've had to wait for anything, you know that waiting is harder than accomplishing a difficult task.

But, that's faith!  It's being confident in the God of the universe and His ability to orchestrate the circumstances of our life in the best interest of "us".  You can't have faith regarding a matter and doubt God's ability at the same time.  If you doubt that God has the ability to do something, then you don't have faith.  As a matter of fact, in Hebrews chapter 11, verse 6 says that without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  I know God is going to do some supernatural things through my obedience.  The housing and multiple financial aspects of this journey have already been worked out.  I just have to WAIT while enjoying the ride.

By July 16th I will find out how I did today.  Even if I didn't do well, I know three things - God spoke, I've been accepted and I'm going!

"What is Faith" Intro

I don't know if I should blog now or if I should wait until this evening when everything is over.  Two days ago I tweeted that the next 72 hours would be the longest 72 hours that I've ever experienced.  That statement was more factual than I could have ever guessed/assumed.

The topic of this evenings blog will be, "What is faith?"  Faith is something that everyone has to struggle with, believer or not.  Everyone believes in something and how we exercise those beliefs determines where we my opinion.

Today is going to be super fantastic and I can't wait to share all about it shortly!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Land Assessment

I feel like Joshua right now...Joshua from the bible.  Before the children of Israel entered into the promise land, Moses sent spies into the land of Cannon to check things out and get a good assessment of what they were in store for.  Of all of the spies, Joshua and Caleb were the only two that said going into the promise line was doable.

The land was foreign, but they knew what God spoke.  I feel like that right now.  In 2 hours, I will be headed to the airport for Oklahoma.  I'll share with you later what the land holds for me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

You Need a Miracle

I was having a conversation today with someone I care about and they said, "You need a miracle for this move to really work out" and all I could do was agree.  But miracles still happen today, right?  If everything always made sense to us, or is clearly laid out, would we ever have to exercise faith?

Today I spoke to the financial aid office at ORU and found out that thus far, I have received $17k thus far in federal and school aid.  There are additional steps I need to take, but I am very confident in the financing of my school obligations.  My biggest concern now is, "Where am I going to live and how am I going to pay for it?"  We actually talked about that today and I have a few options that will be solidified next month.

Oh yeah, I have a job interview!!!  That's great news

More to come...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Deal with IT

It's summer time and my favorite guy is living with nephew!  It's our time to have fun and just be, but we both sort of processed through an important life lesson yesterday. When he's at my house, it's his responsibility to take the trash out.  He has to empty all of the trash cans, take the trash can out of the garage and replace all of the trash cans with fresh bags.

The first couple of times I'd walk around the house with him ensuring that he got everything, was able to open the garage door and replaced all trash bags.  Well yesterday he had to do the process by himself.  He did everything great until he had to lift the garage door and potentially touch one of the many spiders (or their webs) that surrounded the door.  He pleaded with me to open it for him.  Then he  nearly begged for me to open the door partially for him because he is extremely afraid of spiders.  He HATES them.

I was tempted to open the garage door for him because I know what it's like to be afraid of something.  But I didn't.  There are plenty of things that we are going to be afraid of in life.  Sometimes we will have help as we deal with them, but sometimes we won't and we need to have enough within us to endure and complete the task.  He cried, fought and begged.  But then....he became resourceful.  He found a hanger, cracked the door, swipped the bottom of the door free from spiders & webs and found a large stick to help him open the door.  He completed the task and realized that he had everything within him to get it done.

For as much as I want help on certain aspects of this journey, or have someone else do it for me all together; I have to muster up everything I have within me and get it done.  Putting on my "big girl panties," trusting in the direction of the Lord and being resourceful helps us realize that we are not as weak as we might think.  We have to stop running from fear huh?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Care & Concern

Wanna know if people actually care about you??  See if they challenge your decisions and choices in life.  When your ideas and "final decision" for your life regarding a matter are questioned and challenged, it is a HUGE indicator that you are loved a LOT!!

I totally know that I'm loved based on how today has gone.  You know what love is?  It's care, concern, the desire to protect, it's attempting to alleviate pain and hardship, it's wanting to ensure the growth and safety of the person that you care about, it's commitment!  Our feelings regarding a person will change. One minute we are happy with them and then the next minute we can't stand them.  But, when we genuinely love, our commitment out weighs our feelings.

I am one loved person!

And we know.....

I'm headed to Tulsa, OK for my Whole Person Scholarship Interview.  For those that don't know, because of my current GPA and number of credits that I've earned, I am eligible for a $20,000 scholarship that will 99% cover the cost of my tuition and books.  I'm pretty excited about it actually as I feel like everything that I've been through with school has prepared me for this opportunity.

I have to go for an interview & assessment with the scholarship committee at the end of the month.  As anyone knows, airline fees change rapidly so I was just praying that the cost would stay (or even decrease) at a price that I could afford.  I booked the flight but read through the confirmation carefully and realized that I booked the wrong date.  Immediately I called Expedia to see what I could do.  Turns out I was able to cancel the flight.  The cost of the correct dates was $572 and that was WELL above what I could afford so I got creative.  Instead of flying into Tulsa, I looked at other major cities.  I'll spare you the boring details, but I booked my flight to Wichita, KS and I'll drive down to Tulsa for $302 which was WAYYYYYYY less than my initial flight.  With the savings I was able to book & pay for my hotel as well.  What seemed like a horrible mistake actually worked out in my favor...
and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to HIS purpose (Romans 8:28).

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I found a check!

I was going through my drawer at work today deciding on what I needed to keep and what needed to be tossed; and, you won't believe what I found.....a check!  Wanna know how much it was for?  It was for $383!  It was an insurance refund that I never cashed back in 2009 (actually I never opened the envelop). I called the company and they are re-issueing the check and I should have it shortly.  This is huge because I have to pay for my plan ticket, hotel and car to Oklahoma for my scholarship interviews and assesstment at the end of the month.

It's coming in guys.  Slowly but surely I'm going to get everything that I need for this journey, I'm sure of it!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Silence is better....sometimes!

There is a lot that I would love to say right now, but exercising wisdom is more important than blasting someone or trying to prove a point.  Exercising wisdom and discretion is something that I've had to learn the hard way because I really like being right.  But not this time.  I just going to be silent and really listen.  I just may learn something in the process.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I Resigned Today

Today, Tuesday, June 12, 2012, I resigned from my position at First Baptist Church of Glenarden as the primary Scheduling Coordinator.  I was so nervous because it makes my decision more than just talk.  It's more than an idea to toy around with in my head.  Here we go, are you praying with me?

Monday, June 11, 2012

More People Know

As more people find out about what I'm doing, it makes my impending move WAY more real and extra scary.  You know what else?  It's kinda pressureful.  That's not a real word, but it best describes how I feel.  Like I have to do a great job and "walk out my purpose" right?


Am I putting uncessary pressure on myself???  I think I am.  I am putting pressure on myself to do and be something that meets the expectations of others.  But if I take my favorite scripture Proverbs 3:5-6 and live that, to trust in the Lord with all of my heart and lean not on my own understanding; in all my ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct my path.  Moving to Tulsa to go to school fulltime at 34 years old with no savings or job to go to makes no sense in my own mind (and in the minds of a lot of others also).  Since God is very clear in His word that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts, I can probably rest in the fact that He has a pretty good plan.  Trusting Him secures my path and brings clarity in the direction and way I should go. 

...taking a deep breath and calming down.  It's going to be ok Rochelle (I'm letting you into my self care pep-talk) because now is the time. You've been prepared for right now.  Tomorrow will take care of tomorrow, but you have everything in you to get through today.  There isn't one experience that was a mistake or accident. 


At the beginning of the year I received a Living Social Deal from Knock on Wood Tap Studio.  That e-mail sparked the desire that I've had for years to tap.  I never did anything with it because I was told that I was too heavy.  I saw the Drew Carey Show and they had a scene with tapping and there was a heavy tapper.  From that point on I knew it was possible, but I didn't know what or where to go.  Receiving the  Living Social Deal e-mail was the direction I needed in order to become a tapper!

Ms. Yvonne
Classes started in January and who would have thought that I'd actually pick it up??  I picked the steps up pretty easily too.  We learned how to shuffle, flap, break, and a host of other things.  The goal was to learn the ShimSham routine so that we could perform it.  As time went on and my work schedule intensified I missed a lot of classes.  Ms. Yvonne Edwards (my teacher) was amazing with me.  Extra patient (yet firm when needed) and forgiving.  She allowed me to come to extra classes so that I could catch up.  I learned the routine that my class members were going to perform, but I wasn't comfortable with it so she suggested I perform with the beginners only on the ShimSham.

Instead of being my normal nerves of steal, today I was ball of anxiety with a multitude of questions rolling around in my head - "what if I freeze", "what if I forget my part", "what if I fall, oh Lord, I can't break another bone today", "I don't wanna look like a goober on stage", "Rochelle, why are you even here, just go home!", "oh Lord, your friends are here...if I mess up they are going to laugh at me".  I'll spare you with the rest of my thoughts but just know that there were a host more.  Group 5 finishes and the time has come.  Who would have thought it; but, I get to lead our group out on the stage.  I stand in the back waiting for my time to shine.  When the time comes, I stepped up to the plate, stopped thinking and did what I've been practicing since January.  For that moment in time, I was a tapper.  Every step was not done correctly, but I was doing something that I was told I couldn't do!  Today was another victory in overcoming/dispelling the lies that I've embraced over the course of my life.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Accepted to Oral Roberts University

You won't believe it...well maybe you will...I have been accepted to Oral Roberts University.  That was one of the changes that I have been dying to talk about.  I applied to Oral Roberts University because (this may sound weird to some) God told me too.  See, I am a natural rebel.  That has beneficial components because I am not easily swayed when I make up my mind regarding a topic; but, the negative side is that it takes a lot for me change my mind (even with the things of God...I know...I know, totally not good) regarding a topic. 

I'm currently in school at The Art Institute and close to getting my AA, so why apply for a different school now?  Especially one that requires a complete life changer (environment, community, etc.)?  FEAR!!  I have lived in fear of so many things for so long and have compromised and settled for less than I should have.  When you’re afraid, it's easy to make compromises and stay stuck.  School is scary for me because I don't learn or understand like everyone else.  I can fake my way through things, but it really takes a lot more for me to "get it".

There is a story in the Bible where a man named Jacob wrestled with an Angle all night long.  Just to give you some background, Jacob was the twin brother to Esau.  Their parents were Isaac and Rebekah who were both partial to one son.  Before a father passes away, he speaks blessings over his children and the oldest son receives the birthright blessing which equates to a double portion blessing.  Well, Esau was technically the eldest son, but Jacob tricked Esau to get the birthright (double portion blessing) from their father Isaac before he passed away.  As you might expect, Esau was hot as fish grease with his brother and was going to kill him.  Jacob fled to another land, gets married, has children (the tribe of Israel), works hard and gains wealth.  But, what he doesn't have is forgiveness from his brother.  Long story short, Jacob decides not to allow fear to grip his heart any longer (totally scary), is schedule to see his brother, but the night before wrestles with an angel all night fighting for a blessing.  The angel blesses him, but touches his hip socket so that he walks with a limp for the rest of his life.  Later that day he sees his brother who embraces him and all is well.

I can identify with Jacob.  Even though he fled, God still blessed him.  He worked hard and established himself.  I went back to school majoring in Graphic Design because I thought I wouldn't have to write papers (my biggest fear in life) which is like Jacob's fleeing.  It's time to face my fears so that I can be everything God wants me to be.  Am I scared....ABSOLUTELY OUT OF MY MIND!! Do I have a concrete plan....NOPE!!  Do I even have the resources to make this happen....NO WAY!!
I know that when God calls us and challenges us to do something, He will provide everything that we need to accomplish this task at hand.  This is going to be an interesting new chapter in my book.  What do you think I should name it?

Change is on the Horizon

There is so much happening in Rochelle Land that I feel like I can barely contain the excitement and information.  Some of it I can't share just yet, but what I can say is....

1.  I made a decision that although I enjoy running, there are physical things happening with my body right now that I just can't ignore and have chosen to engage in other sporting activities for right now.  This won't last always and I have NOT given up on running a full marathon, it's just not my A number 1 priority right now.

2.  Within the next week I will have LIFE CHANGING news.  Nothing bad, actually it's really good.  I'm excited and nervous all at the same time.

3.  I changed up the look to my blog, what do you think about it?

4.  This summer is going to be filled with adventure, excitement and new experiences.  Stay tuned for updates.

I know, I know.....the above is not a lot of info/update, but trust me, more is coming and it will blow your socks away.  Love ya and thanks for going on this journey with me.