Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Roommate Woes

Never in my life did I think that I would feel unsafe in my 'home'. Never did I think I would have to lock my room door at night for fear of someone barging into my room.... Now, in this instance, I am fearing the worse, because, I honestly have no idea of what to think or expect.

My roommates were showered in prayer and God blessed me with 2 out of 3 GREAT, and I am serious, roommates. Gabby and Emily are blessings beyond compare and I am so thankful for them. However, my God, the powerful, wonderful God He is, likes to show us the good through the bad. And.. roommate #3 is definitely a joy killer. Here is the story in short:

Ever since she moved in her boyfriend has been living with us. Yeah, that's right, living with us. Now, a little back information. I am the only roommate that has even MET her. She won't come out of her room to talk to the other girls. And as much as they have tried to make contact, she stays clammed up in her room, all day, EVERY day. So, keep in mind throughout this story, that even though she doesn't really talk to me, she will text and call me, but only me, because I am the only one she 'knows'.

Well, he has been doing things like washing clothes, etc, so we know he lives there and as a group we planned to talk to her and explain to her that it was unfair for us for our bills to go up and that we were uncomfortable with him staying. Well yesterday, to use an old term I learned from high school, 'The crap hit the fan..' (Now, didn't that just brighten the post a little bit! ;) HAHA!) Before Gabby, Emily and I could meet with her and talk to her about this situation, Management called her in. They had noticed him too, and suspected he was living there and gave her what the call a 'warning' telling her to get him out or be kicked out. So yesterday she started calling and texting me, I told her I couldn't talk because I was at work, and she started asking about her boyfriend 'visiting' and if I had a problem with it. She also asked me for the other roommates numbers, and I knew something had happened. So I called management and asked them what had happened, and that is when my leasing agent, Erin, told me they had caught him, called her in, and she denied everything saying he was her brother. Now, I know this is a lie because I now have a text asking about her boyfriend visiting. So anyways, I was told not to answer her phone calls or messages because it was harassment and that we had done nothing wrong. Well, the roommate got Emily's number off the fridge and started calling her multiple times, so I told Emily to call management and tell them that she wouldn't leave us alone. I received various other texts of rage... all to the effect of, she thought we complained and wondered why we didn't come to her first, funny thing, we wanted to, management just beat us to it. So, thankfully management called her back to the office and told her that none of us complained and that it was solely the management. Thankfully, that made her stop calling Emily. 

Now, it is the rule of our apartment, as stated in our lease, that we are not to have any overnight guests of the opposite sex, and if we are to, we must have a written consent turned in from each of the other three roommates. So, after the roommate learned this she began to text me asking me if I would write a letter. At this point it was around 9pm, and I was busy studying at Anne's for a test. So, I kindly replied that I wanted to discuss this with her in person, but couldn't that night because I was studying. And I then turned my phone on silent because I knew she wouldn't stop there. Honestly, I am not writing a letter, because I am uncomfortable with him there, and that is why I want to talk to her in person. I am not going to continue this childish text message conversation about something important like this. And I honestly want to talk to her face to face when I tell her no. After all, we are supposed to be adults here.... right?

So, when I finally finished studying at around midnight I had a few more text messages, of course asking why I couldn't meet her tonight, that she was home and wanted to know.. and when could I talk to her. So, I have asked to meet with her before class today... and hopefully this whole thing will be resolved.

The reason I have worried about it so much is because I honestly don't know this girl, and have no idea what she is capable of doing, or not capable of. So I really don't want to set her off, just in case she is crazy or something. So, we shall see. If worst comes to worst I will be in heaven with my Father, and there are no complaints there. ;) But in all seriousness, I think it will be ok. I will definitely post the results since I have shared this whole story. And for a final note, the roommate also told me that she would be moving out at the end of the semester... however, that is dependent on her getting out of her lease. But if the boy continues to stay she will get kicked out. So we shall see.

However, without the hard times, how would we know what good times look like? How would we be able to rejoice in blessings. So, this, as the many other trials in our lives, should be considered nothing more than blessings in disguise.

Monday, September 27, 2010

One AMAZING weekend!

Well, I wasn't very sure it was going to end up that way... I have a wonderful study buddy that God has blessed me with. Her name is Anne, and we work diligently every night of the week on homework. Anne has an undergraduate degree in business, and after working for a number of years decided that she hated her job and couldn't do what she was doing forever... So she is happily married and back in school, getting a Master's in Math with the ambitions of teaching college math.

So, needless to say, I spend much of my time giving Anne knowledge from my undergraduate background in Math. She has little to no mathematical foundation, so I am just going over the fundamentals and explaining theories and reasonings as we go over homework. Now, this isn't a one way street, as much as I help Anne through our homework, she is able to go ask our professors questions when I don't understand something. You see, with my job, I cannot go to any office hours that my professors have, but with Anne having backed off to a part time and very flexible job, she can go any time needed. So.. we are a great team.

After a long and daunting Thursday night we still weren't finished with the Numerical Analysis homework that we had started on Monday. Thankfully our teacher is so nice and graciously answers our questions. Most of the time, the methods aren't hard, just extremely time consuming. So, with Thursday being a total of 15 hours of work logged on our homework we decided to call it a night, and finish on Friday.

What's the problem? Well, I had planned since Monday to go home Friday right after work, and even worked over so that I could get off at 2:30pm on Friday. I had plans to spend time with my family before they left today on a two week vacation. I was going to attend my high school football game, and the TROY game, eat dinner with my friends after the game and do homework before the game. Thursday night was definitely a break down, and I called my mom to tell her that I just couldn't make it home for the weekend. I had too much homework, two more subjects were just waiting on me to get started... I hadn't been grocery shopping or had the chance to clean this week. So reluctantly and with many tears, I stayed in Tuscaloosa.

Friday after I got off work Anne and I worked on homework and finished around 4pm. Both of us having had terrible weeks, with tests that we spent hours studying for, and still didn't do well on... Mine was Stats and hers was Differential Equations. We were worn out, and super excited to finally to have finished oru homework for Numerical Analysis. We walked to Dr. Zhao's office together to hand in our homework with smiles on our face from ear to ear! As we handed our papers in Dr. Zhao, he returned our smiles and we high fived each other when we got out of his office. He is our favorite teacher, because he is so sweet and straightforward. I honestly never thought I would say that I little Chinese man was my favorite teacher. But hey, the University of Alabama works miracles. ;)

Well, after that Anne and I were ready to treat ourselves. Really, we had a horrible week, and worked very hard.  So, Anne being a local and knowing the town, etc. decided what we should do. We went to this wonderful little place in Northport called "Tips and Toes" and we both got manicures and pedicures!! If felt wonderful to just relax after goign 90 to nothing and then full blast. It was a great end to our week, and we actually had time to sit and chat with each other, and not have homework shorten our converstation.

Saturday I slept in a few hours from my normal 5am wake up call and then layed around the house and watched TV for the early part of the morning. I haven't turned my TV on in over two weeks... turning it on was a small victory. Then, I did what ever girl who needs a little boost does, I went shopping. I bought some cute cardigans at New York and Company, they were having a buy one get one half off sale, and bought a super soft sweater that was also on sale. This was also my first 'Wells Fargo' experience. Our bank, Wachovia, converted Saturday, and then was official today. So part of me really was just curious that my card may or may not work. The rest of the afternoon was filled with washing clothes, Alabama and TROY football, both of which were gut-wrenching games, and homework. I finally finished my stats homework around 10:30pm... that's right, I started at 2:30pm.... haha Graduate School.. isn't it lovely??

Sunday I went to church and Anne came over and we worked on our Real Analysis homework. We finished that in a record of 2 hours! Needless to say we were exstatic! So, I finished my laundry, cleaned my room, went grocery shopping, and was able to have dinner with my roommates!! It was so nice to actually be able to spend time with them... I litterally hadn't seen them in a week!

So, I had a semi-restful and very productive weekend... And I am very happy about it. I have beautiful fingers and toes to remind me of God's blessings even when at first things aren't going our way. God knows best for us, and though times may be tough and decisions may be hard, He works all things for the good of those that love Him.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Time heals all wounds. As I am learning daily that relying on God is the only answer, I am striving to make this my second nature. I desire for God to be so centered in my life that when hard times come I only think of Him and not long for the comfort of the people around me. When you place your trust and hopes in people, you will only be disappointed.

I am working through some important things this week and would greatly appreciate any and all prayer. My first test in graduate school was hard, and even though I spent all weekend studying I didn't feel prepared. Honestly, there isn't time enough in the day to devote all the time I need to studying after my classes and work are over. But God will work miracles and He will lead me through this pit.

Sometimes I feel it would be great to have someone grocery shop, cook and clean for me. I need to go to the bank and deposit my check I got two weeks ago... but I just haven't had the time, I need to grocery shop so that I will have food to eat... but I just haven't had the time, I need toilet paper, school stuff, and so many other things.

I took the time last night to relax, and watch a play called 'Screwtape' done by the University of Alabama Theatre and Dance program. I went with a girls bible study group that I am a part of. I needed this fun time in order for God to life my spirits. The play was based on the book by C. S. Lewis, which I would love to read someday.

All that being said, God will provide.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

5 days?!

Ok, so... As we have discussed many times, I am a full time graduate student and a full time employee. This week juggling 3 graduate courses and 40 hours a week has really gotten to me. Last Thursday I was assigned homework that is due today, Thursday the 16th.

Well, I have decided to be a good college student and practice stress management during my graduate degree. I'm not dumb, I can tell I have a lot on my plate. lol So I am working hard to keep the stress down. So I started Sunday, after a restful weekend at home with my family, working on this homework that is due today. So here it is Thursday, and I am still working to finish the last problem. Not to knock other majors or anything.. but who else, would spend at least three hours a night for 4 nights and still not be finished with HOMEWORK!?!?! The complex computations aren't necessarily hard... just very labor intensive and time consuming. After all, this class is a computer programming class, and we are working out by hand the things that they make computers do now... But... that's not the point.

The point is I have worked now for 5 days on this homework to finish. I am stressed to the max, staying here this weekend to study for a test that I have on Monday... that I thought I would be able to start studying for before today.... Last night, I worked so hard on this homework in an effort to finish the last two problems I didn't take the time to eat. And I still had to leave with a little work left to do. So... I am working hard trying not to stress. But God prevails and he won't give us anything we can't handle... so, I CAN DO THIS!

In the end, my hard work will pay off... or so I tell myself. And recently, I just have to laugh at people who say they are busy.... unless I know they are legitimately busy... I mean, I leave my house at 5:45 work all day and then go to class, if I get home by 7pm I immediately get started on homework, otherwise I stay at school to do homework and then get home around 10pm. But everyone is different, handles things differently and works through life differenly. So... everyone's 'busy' means something unique.

With this being said, I have to let you know that I am not by any means complaining. I am so blessed... I am blessed to walk into a job every morning where some of the crew are sitting around with their Bibles doing their morning studies. I am blessed to be able to figure out my homework and hack away at it even when my teacher doesn't instruct us on how to do the material. I am thankful for my friends and family, who, no matter how busy, or how little I talk to them, still love and support me anyways. I have lost friends for this fact, and I count it to be HUGE blessings friends who will stick with me through it all, not just the good times.

So I am blessed, life is busy, but things are great. God is working away in my life, the devil is attacking, but I have learned to count it all JOY... PRAISE GOD!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Be careful what you wish for...

A full time job, and full time grad school... I know, I know, we've talked about this before. But last night as I was sitting in my room diligently pounding away at my Numerical Analysis homework I wished that I could live my life on less sleep.

Well, God provides and I have been up since 3am.... Car alarms started going off in a parking lot next to my apartment... and apparently, I am now a light sleeper. Once, a girl who could sleep through a thunderstorm, now a daughter, falling into the footsteps of her mother; waking at the slightest sound.

I know that part of this is because of life's recent happenings and a few other things I don't really share with everyone. But hey, God is working and He will provide.

A memory came to mind after writing yesterday's blog, and I would like to share it with each of you. If you don't remember or didn't read, I talked about following God's will, and how the devil will attack when you are striving to be more like Christ.

Well, since I was 16 years old I have went on the Coffee County Baptist Association Summer Mission Trip. There have only been two separate occasions where I have missed this joyful experience, but that's not the point. In the Summer of 2008 my team was spectacular. We just had a different level of dynamic that year... we were all close and we all jumped deep into our lessons and worked hard to impact the kids who came to our bible club. The week was great, not only did we reach children for Christ but our team grew as individuals and as a team... Friday is always the last day of bible club and our big decision day push. Teams left our base church at varying times from 6am to 7:30am. Our church was rather far from our base church so we left early as usual. And on the way that morning something unexpected happened. Bro. Phil, our team leader of course was driving the Mount Pleasant van with our team scattered throughout the van, some sleeping, and the rest of us just waiting to get to the church.  

Bro Phil protected each of us, when a truck hauling a trailer began to fishtail and overturned, stretching across the road and heading straight for our van full of students. Bro Phil, with only the work of God's hand was able to maneuver the van just far enough off the road not to flip into the ditch and for the truck to only hit the van in the back near the tires.... By God's hand our van didn't overturn, and all us crazy students who were not wearing seat belts were all ok. Thankfully, the couple driving the truck were also ok, and we were able to get one out of the truck, but had to wait for the ambulance and the police because the passenger was trapped.

We were able to call the Pastor of our Bible club church, with whom Bro Phil had a great relationship. And as in all Indian cultures, they new someone who was family that could work on our van in order to get us home. We then, continued on to our Bible club, thankful that parents and volunteers were watching the children until we could get there. As we all piled out of the van we stretched out in pews and in the isles of the church. Our bodies were aching, we were in a state of shock. But we new we had work to be done. So with the work of a team led by God's grace and mercy we got up and finished the bible club with an outstanding finish. That day, they devil tried to stop us from reaching those kids. We could have easily been killed or just went back to the base church after such a traumatic experience and cancel the last day. But we, as a team, pressed on because we knew the kingdom work had to be done.

Now, I pray that something crazy or catastrophic has to happen in your life... but just know, that when you are facing hard times, God's grace and mercy is enough. Keep doing the work, keep the faith, run the race. God won't give you anything you can't handle. Trust Him, and let Him lead, even when times are tough, He is there.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My first Paycheck

Friday was payday... and I was super excited. Even though we have direct deposit here at work, your first check comes as a paper check. So, I was able to walk across the street to the next door offices and pick up my check myself. I couldn't contain my excitement.

I was so excited, until I opened it. I was shocked to see the amount and if anyone had been able to see my face I am sure they would have laughed! I quickly began to review my deductions. After a series of emails, questions and phone calls, I found the problem. I had been charged over $300 in medical arrears... when in reality I was only supposed to be charged $36. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!

Thankfully I will receive this money back on my next paycheck. So for now, I have a running joke with my mother that thanks to the government I work... but don't get paid. Thankfully my rent was already paid for this month and I wasn't depending on that extra $300 that was supposed to be in my check... praise God for His many blessings.

I went home this weekend because Saturday, September 11, was my dad's birthday. Alabama played Penn State and we all got together at my oldest sister, Beverly's house to watch the game and have dinner with Dad. September 11 is also Coach Paul 'Bear' Bryant's birthday... and ironically enough January 26, my mother's birthday, is the day Coach Bryant died. Let's just say, I was destined to be an Alabama fan. ;)

Good times with friends and family always make it hard to make the drive back to Tuscaloosa every Sunday afternoon, but I love it here none the less. I love it in two places now, my dream home, and my home in Troy. :)

I told a friend of mine this weekend that God is doing a great work in me, and He is teaching me something through all of this. Even though I may not know exactly what His plan holds or exactly where He is leading me right now... This is where I am supposed to be. Away from all things that made me comfortable and content. So that I may grow in a new and dynamic way for Christ. I believe that when you are content you begin to get in trouble... I believe we should always be striving more, always reaching for a deeper and deeper relationship. Like a ladder, or stairs, once we make it to one, don't get happy and sit there, STRIVE for the next! So, I am striving, learning and living. I am ready for the great things God has for me.

But, my friends, God says to 'Count it all joy when you fall into various trials and tribulations...' I believe that if things aren't going wrong in your life, if you aren't facing some sort of something.. and don't get me wrong it doesn't have to be something catastrophic... Then you are not in God's will. Because if you are striving to do God's will in your life then the DEVIL will be fighting back. If you aren't working for God, the devil has you in his grips, so why mess with you? So, this is my challenge to my readers I guess... Are you striving? Or are you content with the worldly things around you?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

In Memory

Today marks 6 months that a dear friend has passed. TJ was a wonderful christian guy who made a lot of people smile. Even though I didn't know him personally, my good friend Courtney's love and devotion for him has made it seem as if I knew him. We have sat countless times in silence... neither really knowing what to say about the cancer that took a young man's life so suddenly. Today I am praying especially for her, and his family that were all deeply affected by this tragedy. My life has forever been changed by Courtney, and I thank God for her every day. I only hope that one day she will be able to feel the comfort and peace that I pray over her for and that God so abundantly supplies. Strength during this hard time... Lord, she needs it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

All in the eye of the beholder.

Before I get to the main point of my blog today I want to share with you a wonderful breakfast that I now enjoy. Each morning I get up at 5am, get ready and head in to work, so the need for a quick and easy breakfast is great. So... after two weeks of eating crackers I decided to try something different... it is an idea that stemmed off of a few recipes from Mary Allison, and my love for Chick-fil-A parfaits. Now, mine is very simple... I just put vanilla yogurt in a bowl and then pour some 'Honey bunches of Oats - Just bunches' on top. Stir, or don't... it's whatever.. haha and enjoy! This keeps me full all the way until lunchtime, and that is a major bonus!

So... now for what I really want to talk about today... please, look at the picture below and tell me, or say out loud what you think this object is:

Many of you might have said....

Binder clips
Office Supplies
and other things....

However, a friend of mine once told me a story that gave me a different perspective.... 

So, now, look at this picture and tell me what you see:

Ok... what did you see? The same thing or something different? A friend of mine named CJ once told me and a few other friends... look at this binder clip, now... look at it this way. What do you see? Well I see a 'Barbie Purse' when you are playing with your barbies this is the perfect little purse to just hang on their wrist. Ok.. now I know you are looking back at the picture and you see it!! HAHA! Doesn't that make you laugh?

I shared this story with my co-worker Cheryl and she definitely got a kick out of it. What brought this memory from my mind... well my desk at the office is filled with binder clips of all sizes... and every time I look at them all I can think of is 'Barbie purses'. And every time it makes me smile. 

I thank God for making me so easy to please. I love taking joy in everyday wonders and just random things, even office supplies. I hope this post made you laugh... and potentially, I have now created a monster in you... if you see these at your work you will probably think 'oh, it's a barbie purse'. But at least you don't have to resist the urge to call it that in front of EVERY construction worker that comes into your office. :) Ahh the joys of working with all men. lol

I hope you are all having a great week. For me, it's way past my bed time... Night!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Productivity makes me so happy! Today I was a busy little bee, going to work, class and then work again. I let some work tasks overwhelm me last week and I left them for the weekend, allowing God to rest my soul, heart, and mind. When I got to work this morning I tackled all my tasks due of me, and a few new ones just added to my 'to-do' jobs, today. I also learned another task at work, entering time for our shop workers. So, I accomplished everything I already knew how to do and have things up to date, took on a new task, and learned something new. MAN! I love days like today.

Gabby and I went out for dinner, she was craving just what I wanted... pizza. :) I love when the week starts on Tuesday; things just seem to run much smoother and faster. I bought my dad his birthday present today. He will be turning 63 this Saturday, September 11. I am excited to make the drive home to see my family and hopefully I will get to stop and see a few friends. Friday night, Saturday and Sunday morning just isn't enough time to see all the people that I want to see back home.. but hey, I'll take what I can get.

God's timing is perfect... I experienced this through a friend of mines life, and then shortly after my own life this weekend. I love when God speaks.. it calms my soul like no other.

I am finally settling into my schedule and working hard to keep up with full time school and a full time job. I had the opportunity to clean my house, room and bathroom on this three day weekend, as well as work on homework and take the opportunity to rest. I am thankful for all that God has given me and the ability to have fun and work hard too.

But, I must get on to some homework now.... I try to get to sleep early considering the day starts at 5am for me now.

Monday, September 6, 2010

My first day off... with PAY!!!

So today is of course the lovely Labor Day. And I, among the other college students, school children, and many other Americans are enjoying the day off. However, this year, this holiday is a little different for me... I am getting PAID! That's right, 8 hours of pay, to sit at home, sleep in, and relax. Let's just say, I'M LOVIN' IT! I cooked lunch for myself, a nice lunch of braised pork chops and au gratin potatoes, and have started yummy dinner for my roommates and some friends. Man, do I love my crock pot! I am cooking stuffed bell peppers and they smell amazing.

So,  I woke up for work as usual at 5am this morning.. and then smiled to myself, and thought, I'm about to be paid to get a few more hours of sleep. Everything I do today comes with the thought that I am getting paid to do it. I am truly blessed with my job and I am excited that I have found such an amazing job especially in our economy.

I attended my first Alabama football game as a student this weekend. The Crimson Tide rolled over San Jose State coming out with a win of 48-3. I enjoyed tailgating for the first time with my church, Ridgecrest and their college ministry then had a great time with my roommates and their friends at the game. I am so blessed to have Christian roommates who believe in God and have a passion for His purpose. All the many prayers that were lifted up by myself and others as I made this transition to Tuscaloosa have been answered in a way that only God could do. I am blessed.

So what else shall I get paid to do today? I think I will clean my room, and then just relax... Wow.. it's great to get paid on a holiday!