Monday, August 27, 2012 it real?

HECK YES!!!  Is that how I've been feeling lately, HECK YES!!  Being homesick is defined as experiencing a strong desire for one's home environment while being absent from it.  I have been here for 20 days and it's not a bad place at all.  All of the establishments that I'm familiar with are here (excluding Uno's Pizzeria, my favoritest place to think), I've learned how to get around and my routine at school is being more familiar.  So I have to be honest with myself and ask the hard questions, "Rochelle, what are you desiring most?  Why do you feel that longing or sadness inside?"

Truth?  I miss seeing people that I know.  I miss being in an environment where I count/matter.  I miss just being present.  Here, no one knows my name.  The bible is clear that in order to get friends, you have to be friendly, but I don't know what to do to get friends here.

That nagging question rolls around in my head, "Rochelle, did you really hear God and was this a good decision?"  With tears in my eyes and a stuffy nose cause the tears won't stop rolling down my face, I have to declare that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be.  At home, I can depend on other people when there is a need, but here, I can't do that and that's hard.  Growth hurts.  Separation hurts, but they are both necessary. Ok, I'm putting myself to bed so I can stop crying.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Paper Victory

Yesterday I submitted my first Oral Roberts Paper and got it back.  Look at what my teacher e-mailed me
"Your paper is awesome!!  I will be reading a few things from it during our class discussion.  Great job!"

Do you know how great I feel?  I could yell it from the mountain top "VICTORY"!!!!

Score: 1 for Rochelle, 0 for Defeat

First Week of School & Two Weeks of Tulsa

Wow, I can't believe it, time is moving fast and slow all at once (is that even possible).  I have been in Tulsa, Oklahoma for two weeks now, classes for one complete week and things are coming together.  There is so much to say, but I'm not sure what to say at the same time.

My house is coming along.  I have a bed, a few kitchen things, a lamp, a tv (that's currently sitting on the floor), a rug that is still in the plastic and a folding chair.  My September rent, utilities, car note, insurances, etc are all paid up.  I have food in the fridge and a full tank of gas.  God is providing!!

I have all of my books (except for two that I am still waiting to receive), met with Student Resources so that I get help when needed, requested a tutor for my Hebrew I class and have made two new friends.

Now the churches here in Tulsa are a LOT different than First Baptist Church of Glenarden or Zion back home and boy do I miss them. As a part of the church covenant that I declare at communion service, I give my word that I will re-unite with another church where we can carry out the spirit of the church covenant.  So, I'm going to a church this Sunday called Church on the Move.  Apparently it is one of the largest here in town and a lot of people speak well of it.

For as much as things are going well, I miss my community and would love it if I could pick my apartment up and put it in the middle of Bowie.  Want my address so you can write me a letter?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

First Day of School

You wouldn't believe was FANTASTIC!!  Like UBER FANTASTIC!

I washed my hair this morning because I wanted to look extra nice for my first day of school.  I still haven't been grocery shopping yet in my new house, so I couldn't pack my lunch.  But I grabbed my prepared water bottle, strawberry pop tart and pre-packed book bag.  My first class started at 7:50am, so I was out the door at 7:25am which gave me plenty of time to get to campus, park and walk to class.  I had a total of five classes today - Health & Fitness Lecture, Beginning Sign Language, Spirit Empowered Living, Hebrew I and finally Reading/Writing Composition 102.

Ok, here I go again, I'm letting you into Rochelle Land.  There were a number of fears that I had that prevented me from taking on-campus classes, wanna know what they are?

1.  I will be too big to fit in the seats - FALSE

2.  I will monopolise the conversation and everyone will hate me - FALSE

3.  My ADD will be in full effect & I won't hear one word that the professor says - DOUBLE FALSE

4.  I will be the oldest in my class and looked like the grandma - True/FALSE (I was the oldest in everyone of my classes, but how about my classmates thought that I was in my early 20's!)

So ya see, every fear that prevented me from going to school was false (except for age) and in hindsight, kinda silly.  Wanna know the biggest challenge now???  BOOKS...dun...dun...dunnnn... (did you hear the music follow the word books?)!!  Books are expensive.  Even with all of my creative web searching, my books for the semester are totally over $300!  Does anyone have any creative solutions to get around this since I only have a budget of $130 for books?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ball of Nerves

I'm sitting on the bed absolutely amazed.  Today I paid my balance of $584 (plus an additional $50 for my parking pass for the year) which allows me to start classes TOMORROW!  I knew that this day would come, I just didn't know how everything would work out.  I smiled through every process I had to go through today, look - - >

Can I tell you something?  I'm probably more nervous that exited.  It's like that anxious nervousness.  I've packed my book bag twice, looked over my schedule three times today, reviewed the campus map so I have an idea of where to go and picked out my first day of school clothes.  Like my stomach is hurting!

(deep breath......) Ok, I'm ok and everything is going to be ok.  Talk to ya tomorrow about how fantastically awesome my day was!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I didn't know who to talk to about my outstanding balance of $5,200+ for the school year, but I knew that I needed to speak with someone today so that I could complete my enrollment process.  In order for me to attend classes on Thursday, I needed to pay $2,600+ for the semester.  Paying that balance would leave me with absolutely no money so I needed God to work something out.

I went to the financial aid office today to see what could be done to help with the gap amount.  I spoke with Justine and he told me to sit tight and wait for a few minutes.  He comes back and says that the financial aid committee is reviewing my file and it should take about an hour for a decision.  After 3 hours of sitting in the computer lab, he comes back and asks has anyone spoken with me yet.  I told him, "No, I'm just sitting and waiting".  He goes and checks everything out and comes back with news.  He says that they have given me an additional $4,000 dollars for the year, which makes me responsible for a little over $1,100 out of pocket ($500+ per semester).

Do you know how GREAT that is??!?!  I can handle that.  I nearly leaped out of my chair in celebration and gratefulness to the Lord.  He has provided for me again!!  Things did not look good at all, but my faith in what He has said has not changed.  If He has called you to do something, OBEY!  He will provide.  If I haven't learned anything else from this journey thus far is that God is faithful to His word and He will NEVER leave us nor forsake us.  My word may not always be good, but His is!

You won't believe it!

I can't say anything just yet, but I feel like I am about to burst from the inside out if what I think just happened, happened.  For now, I'm just waiting for the final confirmation.  More to come shortly!

Need more money!

Yesterday Pastor Jenkins challenged everyone at the 12noon service to rise up early to seek the Lord for one solid week and watch what He does in your life.  I decided to accepted the challenge.  I set my alarm clock for 6:15am (that is totally rising early for me) and wondered if I would hear the alarm.

I wake up and am ready for quiet time only to's 3:15am!!!  Is this even healthy to be up this early in the morning?  I decided to stay up and I'm glad that I did.  It helped me be prepared for the disappointment of the day - still no additional financial aid funds.  I received a notice that my bill has to be paid by Thursday in order for me to attend classes.  I felt a little sad because I don't know how it's going to work out, but confident because I know that God will work something out.  For a split second I asked myself, "Did you make the right decision?" but it was literally a second because obeying God is always right, ALWAYS!  When Abraham was walking up the mountain knowing that he was about to slay his son, I'm sure he asked..."Are you sure?" but it was literally a split second question because he trusted God more than himself.

Tomorrow I have an appoint with the financial aid office.  Stay tuned for how the Lord will work this out...I pretty excited!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Welcome to Tulsa, OK (kinda long)

For years, I prayed that the Lord would give me a new beginning.  I’ve made a boat load of bad decisions and choices of which I’ve had to suffer the consequences for (just because we may be a believer, it doesn’t mean that we are exempt from consequences).  Over the past two weeks, I have had parties and farewell celebrations with family and friends as the date to leave the DMV (DC, MD and VA area) swiftly approached. 

Monday there was so much that was still left to do, but once again my family and friends came to my rescue.  They not only helped me finish packing, they then packed up my car so that I could get some sleep.  The plan was to leave at 3:00am Tuesday morning.  It was hard to sleep because my phone rang off of the hook.  I wasn’t upset though.  I was honored that so many people wanted to talk to me see be before I left.  Although our feelings are real, a lot of times our feelings are not true.  Earlier in the day I said to myself,  “You know no one really cares about you, right?”  In that moment, that was my feeling, but it was the furthest thing from the truth.

Tuesday morning I woke up at 2am.  I had to clean the bathroom, wash up and double check that I packed everything up.  Before leaving my room at 2:40am, I gave it a once over.  At that moment, a wave of sadness washed over me because that was the last time that I would be living in that room in that bed watching that TV having access to that bathroom.  It was the last time that I would live with May, Anthony and James and that made me a little sad.   There was a pleasant surprise for me when I got downstairs though – FRIENDS to see me off.  Now that is love – when someone gets up out of their bed at 2something in the morning to say goodbye. When Daniel arrived, we hit to road.  The fog was dense and the car weighted down by all of my worldly possessions that would fit in the backseat, trunk and roof; but, the breeze was cool and the company great! Our first stop was in Morgantown, WV.  We drove through West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri to finally arrive in Tula, Ok.  The trip took about 19 hours.  We stopped a few times to get gas and a bite to eat, but we kept in moving.  I did get pulled over at one point because I was doing 85 in a 65, but again God’s grace spared me from getting even a warning.

– We spent the night in a hotel because it was too late to check into my apartment.  Although I was grateful we arrived safely, I was not ready to get started with the day.  All I wanted to do was sleep, but there was too much that needed to be done.  I was able to get the keys to my apartment and check out the place that I would be calling home for the next few years.  When I opened the door, my jaw dropped to the floor in disappointment.  How do people function in spaces this small was the only thought rolling around in my head.  I’m so glad that Daniel was with me because he offered some perspective and I got over my disappointment.  The Mission: Make my space work!  We unloaded the car and ran errands.  We had to get cleaning supplies and basic stuff.  While I cleaned, he lined the shelves.  The day ended with a great dinner from Joe’s Crab Shack and awesome conversation.

Thursday – Daniel’s flight was at 5:52am, which meant he had to be at the airport around 4:30am.  When I hugged him, I nearly begged that he would stay, but he said “NOPE, you’ve got to do this!”  I slept most of the day away because I was so tired, but there was one thing that had to be done – look for a bed!  Mission accomplished, I not only found a bed, but also was able to have it delivered today.  I was just so happy that I wouldn’t have to sleep on the floor for one more night!  I found the Apple Store and decided to have it fixed.  There were no more appointments, so I scheduled to take it in on Friday but me being the great conversationalist that I am ended up chatting up the manager.  I shared with him that I applied online a few weeks ago.  He told me to expect a call from his general manger.  Do you know how great that would be, especially since it seems like my job with Macy’s has fallen through.  I don’t know that as fact, but considering I keep calling, leaving messages and have yet to hear back from anyone speaks volumes to me.

Friday – The goal was to unpack as many bags as possible.  I must admit - I did pretty well.  I did have to do some shopping though.  I needed hangers and other odds and ends around the house.  I spent most of the day in the house however.  One of my biggest concerns has been storage.  I went back and forth on should I or shouldn’t I have a dresser.  If I got one, were would I put it?  If I didn’t get one, where would I put my stuff as it couldn’t reside on the floor.  The conclusion?  I used my linen closet!!  I don’t have much linen, so the different shelves are for different things.  This solution is creative and cost effective.  The only thing that I did have to get was a basket for my socks & tights. 

Saturday – I woke up at 5:15 am with a runny nose and chest congestion.  Great, I can’t afford to be sick on an importantly huge day.  Today was New Student Orientation and Move in.  Although I was not moving in, it was important that I complete my registration process and just be apart of the festivities.  All I wanted was my bed in Maryland!  But since that was not possible, I went back to sleep for a few hours.  Because Oral Roberts has a dress code, I put on a dress so that I wouldn’t look like the odd man out.  I get to campus and you won’t believe it – everyone has on t-shirts, shorts and flip flops!  Not only am I older than everyone else, I’m TOTALLY overdressed.  To top it off, my financial aid does not cover all of my tuition so I have to come up with an additional $2,600 by Thursday in order to attend classes.  With a runny nose, upset stomach and a headache, I headed home and put myself to bed.  God is my ultimate provider and it doesn’t take Him much time to work, but how is this going to work out?  When I woke up, my eyes were running and it was official – home sickness is starting to set in.  I had been having problems setting up my WiFi, but I didn’t care what it took, I was getting it setup and I did.  Finally, I have the ability to connect to “my community”.
Sunday – I was able to watch both First Baptist and Zion Church services online and it was great.  It was like I wasn’t far at all.  I decided to go on a mini road trip to see Tulsa first had.  I drove up E.71st Street into the mountains and saw dude ranches, cows, lama’s and my new community.  I also drove into downtown Tulsa.  It wasn’t what I expected.  I’m really glad I live here I live. 

My first couple of days in Tulsa, Ok have been filled with some ups and downs.   Even though it’s not comfortable, I know that this is the beginning to my “new beginning”.   Let’s see what the Lord does!

Friday, August 3, 2012

The time to respond is...NOW!

I found this old devotional.  What are your thoughts?

"Lord, let me first go and bury my father."  Matthew 8:21 (NKJV)

In Bible times, Jewish people were expected to do the honorable thing by caring for their elderly parents until they died.  So when a group of would-be disciples pledged their allegiance to Jesus, one man's family obligations immediately began to compete with God's call on his life.  When He said, 'Lord, let me first go an d bury my father' Jesus replied, 'Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead' (Matthew 8:22 NKJV).  Was Jesus being insensitive or uncaring?  No, He knew the man's family situation and no doubt had a plan to take care of it.

Usually our dilemma is not deciding whether or not to do God's will, but when to do it!  It is easy in theory to commit to following Christ and doing whatever He asks of you; but timing is everything!  When God tells you to do something, it is usually a call to respond immediately.  Jesus said, '. . . those who want to be my disciples must . . . follow me . . . And . . . the Father will honor them' (John 12:26 NLT).  God-given opportunities generally come with a limited shelf life; they can be lost if you do not respond when He speaks.  When Jesus called His disciples, the Bible says that 'immediately' they left their nets and followed Him.  Didn't they have responsibilities?  Sure, but none more important than this!  So, if God interrupts your schedule today and tells you to pray for somebody, or call and encourage them, or help them financially, stop whatever you are doing and get in sync.  When He speaks, the time to respond is - NOW!

Another Last

Today is my last day as an employee working at First Baptist Church of Glenarden.

When I woke up this morning, my head was pounding and my stomach hurt.  I laid for a while trying to figure out what in the world was going on.  But I get it.  With today being my last day, it makes things more real.  I have worked here for over 15 years in different roles and capacities and this will be the the first time in my adult life that I will not be connected to FBCG from an employee aspect.  I'm nervous but confident at the same time...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

...are you EXCITED??

That question is the million dollar question right now.  The answer is a surprising no.  I'm not really excited because although I know that everything happening is real, it doesn't feel completely real.  I signed the lease to my apartment yesterday, the electric is on, my mail has been forwarded, internet is waiting to be installed, I have insurance (renters and car) for my Oklahoma address and I am about 70% packed.

After I received my acceptance letter to ORU, I became focused on getting everything in order that I could so that the transition could be as smooth as possible, while wondering slightly if I would really go through with it.  There have been a number of challenges that I've had to work through, with the most recent one being funding.  My funding has not worked out the way that I planned, so now I am about $6,200 short for the school year and my job has not been secured.  Am I worried about it - YES and NO.  Yes because who wants to be in a not good financial situation?  But absolutely NO I'm not worried because I'm not confident in my ability, but the Lord's ability to provide when we obey.

Faith without works is dead.  I believe and know that God spoke and told me to go to Oral Roberts University, I have been accepted into Oral Roberts University and I am leaving Tuesday morning at 3am to go to Oral Roberts University.  I'm not excited just yet, but I am very confident!