updates, starting Now!

Coronado Beach

Among a couple 2013 New Year’s Resolutions — that are neither defined, documented nor by any way am I held accountable — is to “do better” with this bloggy.  So I plan on giving quick update snippets until I find something really interesting to talk about.

Biggest News: I live in California and I love it!  Great job, abode, friends, church, and beach.  All in all, Great God.

 

Mission Beach

Navigating Indianapolis like a Pro

This is written with the intention of preparing those coming to Indianapolis for the Superbowl 46.  It’s a really great city, and now that I’ve lived here for a couple days over 2 years, I’m pretty much an expert!

1. Nobody can drive.  Like nobody.  Seriously though, many people run red lights around here.  Definitely look both ways before driving through an intersection.  There are lots of impatient drivers that will go in the off-ramp to pass you, that will cross over double-yellow lines to pass you, and go through an intersection although your light is bright and green.

2. Remember how to get to I-465.  That’s one of the things that makes Indy the “Circle City”.  It’s the main freeway that is close to everything, yet close to nothing.  You can get anywhere in the circle in 20 minutes.  If you’re anywhere outside of that, give it 30 minutes.

3. Don’t be fooled by the JW Marriott.  It is gorgeous, a good place to meet up and socialize, and the staff is really great.  However, the food and drinks are awful.  Just really, don’t even risk it unless you are really just going to chill or get a cup of cafe americano (espresso and water) because they don’t have coffee at the bar 🙁  Which leads me to #4. 

4. The private/non-chain restaurants are awesome!  My favs are: Maxine’s Chicken and Waffles (near downtown) – only get the chicken and sweet potato waffle even if it sounds scary.  You can also branch out with the sides of Fried Green Tomatoes and Grits.  Papa Roux (east side/downtown) – I always get the Smoked Sausage Po’Boy.  The east side location has bottomless sides.  I always get the bread pudding and red beans and rice, but you can taste all of them free of charge.  Monon Food Company (north side) – the BEST (strong statement) mac and cheese I’ve EVER had!  You have to get the side of it.  I pair that with the Chipotle Fish tacos.  They also feature Micro brews along with Imports, Domestic Beers and Wine.

5.  Alcohol is not sold in stores on Sunday.  Not a fan of the hard stuff, but I do like a fine wine with my Sunday dinner.  Shoot, you have to plan dinner and all beverages ahead of time so you won’t be stuck out in the cold.  For those that really need that fix, most restaurants do serve liquor, but you just can’t go to the stores or gas stations for your libation.

6. The downtown mall has the best parking, but nothing inside.  I’m not sure why the Circle Centre Mall was designed the way it is, but the aisles are small with a huge opening in the middle where you can see to the floor below.  It’s nice looking, but it is always packed on the weekends.  It’s not because there are that many people, but because there is no space to walk. Event Parking is usually $20, but if you can find $20 of stuff to buy in the mall (mine is usually spent at Chick-Fil-A), they charge you the normal rate of $1.50 for 3 hours.

 

With all of that being said, it is really a great city.  My favorite pastimes include the museums and the parks.  There is so much information and they are beautiful.  Welcome to my new city, have a great time, and come back soon!

Celebrating Milestones: Tithing

I have officially passed my 6 month mark of consistently tithing!  Woohoo!  The Lord dared me to test Him in the verse below, so I did.  It works! 

“Test me in this…and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.  I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe.  Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land.” –Malachi 3:10-12

 

Many of us I (not you, of course) tried to pull the opposition approach of:

1. Does my tithe have to be money?  Can’t I just tithe my time or something else?  Okay, honestly many of us aren’t still farmers and raising livestock for a living.  We are instructed to give the “yield of your seed“.  Back then, it was their grain, wine, oil, and livestock.  Now, we earn paychecks!  Basically, the way that you are surviving and living is the yield = money.  Give your tithe with a pure heart and don’t differentiate between good or bad.

2. But, Tithing is only referenced in the Old Testament; I’m covered by the blood.  “All Scriputre is breathed out by God and profitable.”  Either you are a believer, or you aren’t.

3. Where did the “10% thing” come from? Every 10th animal… shall be holy to the Lord.  Kings would take a 10th of people’s things to give to his staff.  Abram gave God a 10th of everything when he was blessed.  Jacob promised God a full 10thof all that is given to him.

4. Do I really have to do the whole 10%?  Is that before or after taxes?  Can I stop giving offering since I’m starting to tithe?  *Nerd alert* The good thing about a percentage is that it affects us all the same.  If you make $10 and have to give up $1, is that any easier that making $1,000 and giving up $100?   Offerings, sacrifices, tithes, contributions, vow offerings, and freewill offerings are DIFFERENT things.  Tithes are already the Lord’s, offerings are what you have chosen to give in addition.

5. The church misuses money.  It’s not up to you to decide if it is misued, they are held accountable.  The church leaders must also tithe the tithes that are given.  Find a new place to tithe where you are learning and being fed the word of God.

6. When God gives me more money, then I’ll start tithing.  You can’t wait for that.  God says that when you tithe more, He will give you more, not the other way around.  **Super Nerd Alert** This is called a Material Conditional.   Check out this post on Tithing and the Material Conditional

 Enough of me trying to prove it’s the right thing, this is MY celebration!!  I chose to obey the word of God and I’m happy that I did!  Final thought from my bff “I’d rather obey God and be sitting with Him in heaven, than to disobey God and find out later that I should have.”

Testimony > Revelation

 

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. 

-Matthew 6:33-34

 At least it's a pretty nice back.

Let me start by saying my LS is one of the beastingest people I know!  Fortunately, I can personally point out characteristics that make many of my LS’s quite THE BEAST.  But this one in particular was my first president in an organization that promotes sisterhood and service and was rebuilding a chapter from the BOTTOM!  She led us all through a time when many of us didn’t even know how to make it successful.  She is an alumna of University of Michigan and THE Georgetown Law and has passed the BAR exam!!   Other than that, she’s caring, hilarious, gorgeous, and pretty fly!

After I read her latest blog post, at first I was hurt that she is all depressed.  Then, I was really excited that I have the opportunity to witness and share my testimony with her.  I was just going to comment back on her facebook wall, but thought it was getting a bit lengthy, so below is my hip and shorthanded candid  response:

Girl, this chapter is the realest talk ever!! My first super testimony was my own experience struggling for a job.  I prayed that His will be done!  Similar to you, I had my own “revelation” moment.  After months, I finally just got content that I was staying at home for a while, and even asked my parents (first time for everything) to get me these dream boots for Christmas!  I used this time as an opportunity for me to get closer to my parents and closer to God.  I had to find out what He wanted me to learn.  Now, 2 years later, I realize that I wouldn’t have the close relationship with my parents that I have now had I not been home for those months.  It finally got to a point where I stopped stressing.  Soon after, I bought a flight that I couldn’t afford, and decided “I’d work it out”.  But, Money got REAL funny.  I thank God that a couple days before the credit card bill was due, I got my job, and they direct deposited my moving stipend in my account!

All of Matthew 6 is on point!  Give to the Needy, Pray the right way and understand The Lord’s Prayer, study up on FASTING, Serve God not money, Don’t worry about tomorrow.  Then, and only then can your testimony be greater than this “revelation” of depression.  God Bless you LS, I’ve already sent a prayer up for ya!

When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
   and delivers them out of all their troubles.

-Psalms 34:17

My Favorite Book

For real, this is my favorite book!  It has more action than Harry Potter, more drama than The Color Purple, more life lessons than Think and Grow Rich, more comedy than Act Like a Woman, Think Like a Man.  I know I talked about reading through the bible in a year with my church in another post, but I didn’t succeed with it.  But now, I’ve found the best way to read it daily and I thought I’d share (so sweet of me, i know).

First, why I didn’t succeed:

1. I am busy don’t like to sit still for a long time.  Being busy is not a good excuse, because what if God was too busy for you?

2. The way that I like to study the bible, it takes me about an hour to read through about 3-5 chapters and take notes.  (see #1) I like to take notes as I read instead of highlighting parts, then going back and taking notes because it felt like I was reading it twice.3. It’s hard for me to read in the morning because I’m trying to rush to work.  It’s hard for me to read before bed because I pass out as soon as I stop moving. (see #1)

4. The one-year plan jumped around to the different areas of the bible everyday: Epistles, The Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy, Gospels.  I learned quickly that once I start a story, I like to finish because some stuff was getting good!  I first got stuck at Job (very good if you’re going through tough times, Lesson: Stay faithful to God).  Then I got stuck at Joshua (Not only did God part the Red Sea, He also stopped the Jordan River from flowing).

[Side note: my bible is super cute]

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for!

The Method to Reading your Bible everyday

Step 1. As soon as I sit at my computer I go to my favorite bible website www.biblegateway.com (where I search everything I want to find in the bible). 

Step 2.  In the Search bar, type the chapter where you left off and scroll to the Bible Version of your choice.   I love the English Standard Version

Step 3. *Most Important*  Click the Sound Icon

I have the Narrator (Max McLean) read the bible to me as I read along with the passage!  Now, I don’t have to think too hard about the dialouge, then analyze the content (Problem 1), I can take notes and still “continue reading” (Problem 2), I’m already fully awake (Problem 3), and I can read 3 chapters in 15 minutes or whatever I have time for that morning (Problem 4).

But there is no substitute for having your sword and all of your armor with you at Bible Study, Sunday School, or in your leisure time.  I usually have mine in my everyday purse since my bible and little notebook are so compact.

Twin’s 25th Birthday

This is an interesting year for birthdays.  All of my really close friends (and me) are turning 25!!  Of course, I’m the last since my birthday is in December.  June started the festivities with my best friend Philip.  I call him my Twin because he’s the male version of me.  His girlfriend thought of the idea to have a Surprise Party and teamed up with his two other best friends and me.  The planning for it started all the way back in March.  The best part was we had contacts from his high school days, his college days, and at his current job.

We finally decided on doing at a bowling alley.  Everybody hid in the bar until he walked in.  As shown in the video, he was really shocked!  Following a game of bowling and libations, we surprised him with a party bus outside of a nearby bar, The Post.  We then rode to his favorite bar, Woody’s and partied the night away.  It was a bit complicated getting everyone back to the bus, but we didn’t have to leave anyone 😉  We got back to The Post in time to shake it for the last hour.  The night was a complete success and I can’t wait until the next party!



Does Happiness End?

Right now, I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time!  I’ve been having a steady string of favor and blessings that have come my way.

Work:  I was worried for a little while because some of my team members have been going out of their way to sabatoge my progress.  Not explicitly telling my manager of the situation, I simply stated that I need to focus my knowledge and experience on another program.  Last week, we planned an exit strategy from that project and directing me towards my official engineering assignments!

Church:  I am really loving my church and my pastor.  He recently celebrated his 15 Pastoral Anniversary and it has been such a blessing to see what he has done with families, ministry, and the community.  The way that I got involved with the church was through their tutoring ministry, T.O.Y.S (Tutoring Our Youth for Success).  Since joining in December, I’ve been a lot more involved with Bible Study, meeting more members, and even sang in the Women’s Choir for Mother’s Day!

NSBE:  I’m officially the Programs Chair on the Region 4 Alumni Executive Board for the National Society of Black Engineers!  I am the lead of the Programs Zone.  My Program focus will be mainly on NSBEpreneur, Chapter Development, and Leadership and Personal Development.  My Personal focus will be on unemployed Alumni support.  I have a personal interest in that area and want to create an want the Alumni to serve as support for those going through recent graduation, layoffs, or entrepreneurship.

Toastmasters:  I am really enjoying my local chapter at work.  Toastmasters is a speaking organization to improve communication and leadership development.  I am still pursuing my first certification for Competent Communication, but I was asked to be on the leadership board as the Vice President Education.  It is the second highest ranking officer in the club, where my purpose is to get others excited and involved in the club.  Personally, the best way to do that is by illustrating what made me come to my first meeting and stay!

Relationships:  I’m finally out of an incredibly hurtful situation, and taking it slow towards the future.  If nothing else, that gives me something to shout about everyday!  I am very happy with my current situation.  I believe that I have already experienced many of the characteristics that I like (and don’t like).  The #1 must have is someone with a compatible personality – someone to rejoice in my happy times, and cheer me up when I’m feeling low.  The #1 dislike is trying to convince someone else that your plan is correct with no room to compromise or have a friendly debate.

Everything is on the up-and-up and I’m really enjoying my life right now.  BUT for every action, there is an equal and OPPOSITE reaction, which I am not excited about (Thanks Ike).

New Joints

This year, I didn’t have a New Year Resolution, but I guess I’ve stumbled upon four ‘New Joints’.  I have joined my Indy church, joined my local gym, joined the local Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. chapter, and joined the National Society of Black Engineers – Indianapolis Alumni Extension.

I’ve been tutoring at my church since early 2009.  Once a week, after work, I tutor the kids in math (and read and play learning games with the 3 year olds!)  Around Easter, the pastor had a 3 part bible study immediately following the tutoring hours and I was encouraged to stay.  After staying for those, I was encouraged to come to Sunday service.  Almost 9 months later, I walked that aisle.  I’m really excited about my new members’ classes and reading the bible completely through in 1 year with this plan.  The main thing I love about my church is that we are trying to encourage and uplift the community while sharing the joy of Jesus.

zumba fitness

I also kinda fell into my gym.  The girls and I love Zumbathere!  I went to the competitor gym across the street and the Zumba was whack!!  There was this old lady with no spirit and didn’t really show her love of instructing.  Weeks later, I tried it out at my  gym and it was AMAZING!  Initially, we would only go about once a month.  Then, after putting a greater focus on health, we started going more often.  When proposed to join for about the 10th time, I had to do the math; each class is $10 and a monthly membership is $30.  Also with the membership, I had full access to the gym, and all the classes they offer.  Since, I joined, I have been going about 3 times a week and it’s been great!

I was initiated into my AKA chapter in 2007 and have been financially active since then.  There are two chapters in Indy usually know as the big chapter and the little chapter.  I went to the little chapter’s meeting early 2009 and I enjoyed that they were small, young, and ready to expand and help the city.  I went to a meeting with the big chapter toward the end of 2009 and personally, they seemed older and had a greater focus on improving the chapter and organization.  I went to the recent retreat for the little chapter where big things were proposed for this year and I wanted to be a part of it!

Of course, I have continued to be involved in NSBE, and was on the Fall Regional Conference Planning Committee, but I was not active in the local chapter.  I planned my life and weekend around the chapter meeting to make sure that I could attend.  At the meeting, we spoke about self-image and goals: what are they now, and how to improve them.  My plan was centered around my expectation to tutor, teach, and assist others in mathematics.  My full goals are still being finalized, but this was a great beginning.  Also, I volunteered with the chapter at a Women In Engineering breakfast for 8th grade girls where I gave them insight on the true meaning of an engineer and how they can focus their high school and college careers on that path.

All of these New Joints have thus far been a great addition to my life.  They attracted me because of their concern with people and the community.  The plan now is to continue to grow, meet new people, and enhance my Indy experience.

I’m not single, again

Okay, okay.  There has been a little confusion and lots of questions about the first line of this blog [I’m single again, doosh.] compared to my recent ones.  I was never really single.  Corbin and I did need to take a little break away from each other to figure out a couple things.  We really worked on not bringing negative things from our past into our present relationship.  I never stopped thinking about him and read numerous sites trying to deal with it.  However, it never quite felt like a break up.  My favorite site (and the guiding tool for life) is Wikihow where I looked up How to Get Over a Break Up.

I tried all of these tips on different levels, but I wasn’t happy. I did a really good job with 3. Keep your space and 6. Talk to your friends.  I talked to friends that were angry, friends that were concerned, friends that liked him, and friends that just listened.  Many things have changed since those convos and I trust that I have made a great decision.  Now comes when I need friends to support.  I am happier than I have ever been and excited for the new life to come!