Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wondering Out Loud

No, I don't live in the ghetto. I do tutor there though. I'll say that there's hardly ever a dull moment in that part of town, but today was beyond interesting.

It started off with a large, drunk black man coming in the house. He was cussing and being crazy, he yelled at the ladies in the house for a little while and eventually I didn't hear him anymore, which meant he had left. When he was there though, I sat in the back bedroom tutoring one of the girls, texting a friend telling him I was so scared and praying so hard in my head.

Then, as I sat in the girls' room (I'll give you a description: it consists of a mattress without any sheets which is covered in food crumbs, clothes covering the floor and piled in plastic garbage bags and a broken desk. That's their room. The two girls share it.) on the mattress reading a book with one of the girls, I watched a black mouse scurry across the floor about a foot from where I sat.

Later, the girls' grandma came over and talked about how her kids had just been taken away from her and how she had just gotten finished being "locked up" for a few days because she got caught with drugs. I just heard tons of screaming amongst all of the females in the house (the house is all female, actually) and the grandma proceeded to tell her daughter (the girls' mother) ways around getting caught if she were ever to be drug tested.

As I finished my tutoring session, the girls' two year old cousin who had been sitting next to me was playing with my whiteboard. I needed it back as it was time for me to go. The girl's sister grabbed it from her and said, "You just gotta take it...she don't be nice." The two year old....the TWO YEAR OLD said, "fu** you" to me and threw a toy at my head. TWO YEAR OLD.

And then I left. And as I drove away I couldn't help but wonder aloud, "God, where are you? Where are you in all of this? This is just ONE house. One house in the midst of this ghetto and it's this insane." Clearly, I'm still here for a reason and I'm beginning to lose so much hope, but it's times when my friend reminds me that I'm probably the only light that they have in their lives and times when I see all of this shit that these young kids go through that keeps me wanting to press on even if I am uncomfortable most of the time. Time for bed now, prayers for me as I continue this journey and these girls as this is the life they live every day are coveted.

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand." -Isaiah 41:10

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gaining Trust

If there's anything I've learned over the past few days, it's that trust is a hard thing to gain. It can be lost in an instant, but to get it back...that's a whole other story.

My job responsibilities at FPU have changed a little bit. Instead of working at the front desk, I now am an assistant to the admissions advisers. In a nutshell I follow up with new students, or with students who have maybe slipped between the cracks to see if they're still interested in applying to DC and if there's any questions that I can answer for them regarding the application process. In a sense, I'm the mediator and the filter because our advisers are SO busy. Plus, a situation happened and now I'm doing some clean up work as a lot of students in a certain area haven't been taken care of as well as they should have been. Anyway, I started that new job this week and I've only made about 15 phone calls or so to check up on students, but many of them have said things like, "I haven't heard from anyone in a long time..thank you so much for calling." or "They canceled on me and I never heard back from anyone....that really concerns me about your university." The first comment makes me sad, but happy because I feel like I'm genuinely helping them...the 2nd comment makes me sad, but it also makes me think.

"...that really concerns me," makes me realize that in a sense, we've lost some of their trust. It makes me realize that my role in this new job is to regain that trust and I know that that's not always the easiest thing to do. Even though I might not always feel like calling the students (I hate talking on the phone...I'm so awkward), I know that my phone call has the capability of playing a HUGE role in being able to regain trust with that student.

Another example, when a boy's mom leaves him or hurts or a girl's dad does one of those things, that boy or girl will take that pain and transfer it into their relationships with other people someday-especially their girlfriends/boyfriends/wife/husband. And you want to say "JUST TRUST ME!" but I know that it's not that easy. I know that it takes a lot to get back whatever that person took away from them. We're human and we're fallen and it's in our nature to screw up and present ourselves as untrustworthy and it's unfortunate sometimes.

But how awesome is it that we have every reason to fully put our trust in God? He will never do anything to hurt us or break that trust. It's hard because in our humanity we can't see what he sees. We can't see that our current trials will bring blessings and joys down the road, or that certain hardships are just molding us into who he wants us to be for his glory. It's still hard to trust in God because it's in our nature to doubt, but unlike some people, God will never leave us or forsake us. The Bible is filled with the word "trust," especially the Psalms. I thought I'd leave you with just a few verses.

"Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." -Psalm 9:10
"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation." -Psalm 13:5
"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple." -Psalm 19:7
"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song." -Psalm 28:7

Monday, April 12, 2010

If We're Being Honest....

If we're being honest, I'll tell you that I'm sick of school. I'm so burnt out. The nice thing about the Degree Completion program is that I'm finishing my degree a semester earlier than what I would've been....the not nice thing about it is that the reason why I'm finishing a semester earlier than what I would've been is because I don't get a summer vacation. Which initially seemed like no big deal, but right about now...crap, I could use a summer vacation. If we're being honest, I'll tell you that right now my motivation level is so low that I really just don't care about school work anymore. However, if we're being honest, I might as well tell you that I'm too Type A to completely not care about my school work which results in major procrastination followed by a stressed out Bri and ultimately A-worthy homework. (This technique probably isn't helping my burnt out rate too much.)

My job description is being slightly altered at FPU due to various reasons, but I'm absolutely stoked about the change! I'll be doing light admissions advising stuff so I'm super pumped. I can't start my new duties until I'm finished with my tutoring stuff though-which won't be until May. And honestly, I'm sick of tutoring. I'm mentally done with that too. I know that my girls need me, but really....I'm somehow supposed to finish 25 hours with both of them by May...and as of right now I only have 7. Yeah...uhhhh, no. I'm just really frustrated. Tutoring takes so much out of me and out of my day...and out of my gas tank. I'm just over it and I would rather stay in the office at FPU than deal with crazy kids. Honestly though, the thought of leaving those girls just breaks my heart.

I guess that's enough honesty for one night. Time to go switch my wash...hopefully by the time I come back, I'll have gained enough motivation to work on a smidge of homework.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


This will be quick because I am a busy girl...BUT a recent conversation with a friend of mine inspired me to write this post.

I'm really close to my family. I tell people that when I meet them, and they will either respond with "I'm not" or "Yeah, I totally got ya...I am too." If they respond with the latter of the two (I think I spelled 'latter' incorrectly...) then I smile and nod and assume that they have no idea just how close my family is. My family is everything to me. My mom is my best friend, my dad is my ultimate security and my brothers...well, I can't live without them. Then we have my cousins...if I'm home and my cousins are home, I guarantee you that I'll be hanging out with them and I assure you that we'll have a great time. We love hanging out with our grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles. Hardly anything makes me happier than an event at Grandma's house. My family is more like a super tight knit group of friends. It's filled with unconditional love, goofiness and a foundation that's firmly built on God. I think that's why my family is so solid...we're going off of generations of people who loved the Lord and chose to build their families on Him.

Make fun of me if you'd like. Shake your head at me and try to figure out why I like to spend time with my family so much. I can't really explain it. You just have to experience a day with my family and maybe you'll understand. I'm thankful for my family though and no one can ever replace them. The end.