Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Is it Pride?

Over the past few days, the idea or word "pride" has rolled around my head the same way clean clothes uncontrollably roll around in a hot dryer.  What is pride?  How is it demonstrated?  What's the opposite of pride?  Is pride rooted in my heart?  Can I be permanently free from pride or is it something I will potentially struggle with for the rest of my life?  The questions go on and on as I ponder the word.  
Wait...pride isn't all bad, it can't be.  I've been thinking of it from a negative aspect, but that's not healthy.  I had a paper due today and after some help, I submitted a really good paper that I'm proud of.  It's the achievement of continuing to conquer my fear with the help of the Holy Sprit that I'm proud of and that's not bad.  Maybe God and my community are proud of me - who knows.  That's the positive perspective.  But pride can be negative.  Pride keeps us from acknowledging our need for help.  Help spiritually in needing a Savior to redeem us.  Help naturally with the ups and downs of life.  After thinking about it more, I can see how pride can be displayed spiritually, naturally, physically, emotionally, etc.  In every area of our life we can walk in pride.  My pride has really kept me from asking for help.  I don't wanna appear needy or dependent so rather than ask, I keep my mouth shut because I can handle this by myself.  I just said to myself, "Well that's stupid Rochelle!"  

None of us can operate in this life alone, that's why we develop relationships - to support and be supported.  If all we do is support, then that's not beneficial, it's harmful.  If all we do is look to get, then that's not advantageous either because others miss out on receiving our gifts and talents.  I have to repent because I haven't done a good job of balancing pride and humility.  

I can have as much faith as I want to have, but silently griping certain lies can kill me.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blessing in Vulnerability

I was in class today and had this overwhelming desire to talk to my dad.  When class was over, I give him a call.  He was in the gym and I tell him that I'll call him back.  He says no, let's talk now.  We have the best conversation ever!  I was honest about my thoughts and how I was feeling (I'm not normally that honest with him because I don't want to bother him with my world).  He spoke life to my soul.  He challenged me to trust God regardless of how things look and what others may think and then prays.  It's like what I needed to hear today.

Exposing my vulnerability today both encouraged & blessed me.

Disappointing Day

Today I was scheduled to interview with at a company (name excluded) as a Customer Service Representative.  I spent all day Saturday (well two and a half hours) completing the interview, assessments and the call center simulation.  I must admit, I did pretty good.  I was excited about the interview because all of the information that I read said that the hours were flexible and they were looking for people around the clock.  In my eyes, that's perfect because my class schedule doesn't allow me to work traditional 9 to 5 work hours.  I get to the interview 30 minutes early (I believe in being early) and fill out paper work.  One of the papers said that as an employee I couldn't request leave for 90 days.  In my head I thought that that is a long time not to go home.  But, I need a job so I complete and sign all of the forms.  The receptionist gives me a piece of paper that lists the hours that they are looking to fill and to my dismay, I need to be available Monday thru Friday from 9am until 7pm.  I was then told that they don't work around school hours and they would hold my resume on file for 60 days.

I drove home in silence not sure what to make of my experience today.  All last night and even early this morning an idea ran through my head.  This is TOTALLY not going to make sense based on our culture and how we function, but what if I'm not supposed to work while I'm in school.  The bible is clear that if a man doesn't work he doesn't eat.  But there are plenty of other scriptures that support the notion that when doing the work of the Lord, one does not have the time to continue their profession and the Lord provides.

IF that is the case for me, then faith has to supersede my fear.  Fear of what?  Fear of being homeless and hungry sleeping behind a building with no one knowing where I am.  Fear of having to depend on someone's help in order to survive.  It kinda sounds like pride too, huh?  Faith is the substances of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. I'm still praying, but I guess I have a decision to make, huh?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Job Interview

I must admit, as September goes on, I get more and more concerned with how to pay my bills at the end of the month.  I've applied and applied to various positions to no avail.  No follow up calls, no interviews, no offers.  This is foreign concept for me as I've never struggled this hard to get a job.  Earlier in my working career, temp agencies use to call me their "super star".  I wouldn't stay too long at one place in hopes of finding something "bigger" or "better".  But the honest truth?  I didn't know who I was and I wanted to identify with something.  My mom's death was still really fresh and recent at the time.  I didn't have a husband or kids, but I could have a work history like hers.  She didn't stay places long at all.  But she was good at what she did and was an employee that most employers wanted.

Wednesday I have a job interview at 11am.  I really hope that it works out.  If not, I know something will (and that's not me trying to convince myself).

Friday, September 14, 2012

Weekend Activities?

Thus far, each weekend has been filled with a giant ball of nothingness.  Friday after class I'd go home.  Saturday I wouldn't leave the house.  Sunday I'd go to church and then come home.

But boy oh boy is this weekend going to be different.  Tonight, I am going to a movie night with my classmates from my Beginning Sign Language class.  Saturday, I'm going to a poetry reading jam and then hanging out with a few people from my english class.  Sunday, I'm trying out a new church called GUTS and have been invited to dinner with a new potential friend.  We've talked off and on, we both like artsy stuff and usually we go to church together on Sunday.

I'm trying to keep my cool, but I'm really excited.  This will be the most engaging weekend to date.  I'll have to give a status update after each days festivities.  Ohhh, I was talking to my english teacher yesterday and I told her that I needed a table for my tv to sit on (right now it's on the floor) and she's giving me her folding table tomorrow too!!

Isn't this great!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Yesterday I said that I would be intentional today and have a conversation with someone in each of my classes; and, I DID IT!  It was absolutely great too.  They weren't fake or superficial conversations, they were authentic and totally me.  You know what else?  It felt GREAT!!  Talking is not just something to do.  For me, it is a necessity and when I don't do a lot of it, it impacts my mood (it's probably why I have been as sad as I've been).

This is how the day went:
Beginning Sign Language - I initiated with two classmates
Spirit Empowered Living - I had great conversation while walking to and from class
Hebrew I - I initiated a conversation with a guy who I hadn't talk to before.
English - I initiated with a classmate who I spoke to, but today it was a good conversation
Spirit Empowered Living Discussion Group - one of the guys in my class is from DC and we talked about the Redskins game (so great!).  At the end of class my professor said, "Great discussion today.  You have wonderful ideas and concepts...I hope to hear more from you." In my head I said, if you only knew.
Health/Fitness Lab - I was the comedian of the class before it started (I guess I was feeling loose by this time).  Until today, I hadn't parted my lips in this class other than to say, "here!"

When I got home I was greeted by the smell of overly ripe bananas, so I decided to cook something with them.  I made banana bread for the first time from scratch.  It turned out pretty good, but I think I need more sugar or something.

Today was a great day

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Honesty rests in our stillness

When I'm asked the question, "how are you, how are things going?" my response has been, "I'm doing fine, things are ok".  Someone called me today and asked the question and I gave my answer, but her response sent a shiver up my spine.  She said, "YOUR LYING!"  Long story short, I start crying (in the library no less, but it's good that I was in a secluded location) because I'm not fine.  I haven't been true to me.  I've kind of withdrawn into a tortoise shell to escape everything happening around me.  My home is my refuge now.  As soon as class is over, I bolt home because it's there that I'm in control over what happens. I don't have to wonder what someone thinks of me, I don't have to make friends, I can just be.  But I didn't travel over 1,300 miles to be withdrawn.  I have too much life within me to remain silent just because I don't have any friends or can't control every situation.  That never stopped me before, why is it stopping me now?

I'm sitting here on my bed and the room feels still (excluding the clicking of the keyboard keys as I type).  In our stillness, we get clarity and direction.  The clarity for me?  Be true to who you are Rochelle.  Talk, socialize, fight for what's right.  I may not know every step to take associated with this journey, but I can't stop moving all together.  Tomorrow I have six classes.  I'm going to have a conversation with someone in each one of them and let you know what happens.  Pray with me.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

One Month In Tulsa

Tulsa has been my home for the past month.  The journey to get to this place took courage, faith and boldness. The Lord really wanted me here because doors opened that I totally could not open.  I was accepted into school, I got an apartment, utilities turned on and financial resources to support the journey.

My Plan
Before I came out here I started the process of applying to jobs so that I wouldn't experience a lack in financial resources while here (that's responsible, right?!).  Not only did I apply, but I received a verbal agreement for a job.  I felt great because it seemed like all of my "ducks were in a row".  Traveling out here was full of adventure and excitement because I was taking steps of faith to obey what God has called me to do.  That's actually a boat load of excitement!!

A month in and this journey has proven to be harder than I thought it would be.  Did I think that everything would be easy.....honest....I kind of did.  I thought that maybe there would be challenges here and there, but not to the degree that it has been, because God said "GO" and I "WENT".  Being obedient has to have some perks right?  Yes, but not the way that I thought.

God's Plan
I was at Target getting some kitchen stuff and I started pouting because I needed a toaster, but that with groceries would be too expensive and I said, "..this sucks!  God how come I don't get anything that I want?"  LOL, that was really extreme and unappreciative because I do get things that I want.  When in the thick of things, it's easy to focus on the negative aspects of the situation.  But that is not living in truth.  Things may not work out according to my plan, but God has made everything work out.  The finances associated with school have been taken care of for this semester.  My bills were paid up through September, I've been able to put gas in my car and I have not had to skip a meal.  He has supernaturally provided through every challenge

The 15th is a few days away and October bills will be due.  With no job, I don't know how it's going to come together.  But Friday I came to terms with the fact that through this journey, my confidence is in God's plan and not any plan that I could develop for myself.  I'm off to write a paper that's due tomorrow on Les Miserable.