Angchronicles receives Reality Blog Award

Sharla of Awakenings blessed angchronicles with the Reality Blog Award on November 21, 2012. angchronicles accepts this award with a open arms and appreciation.

When one gets an award, she must work extra hard afterwards to live up to the standards. And with every award comes rules:

1.) Show appreciation of the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in your post. DONE!
2.) Add the award logo to your blog. DONE!
3.) Share 7 things about yourself. SEE BELOW!
4.) Nominate 5 – 10 or more bloggers you admire. SEE BELOW!
5.) Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know. CHECK YOUR BLOG! WATCH FOR A TWEET!
6.) Optional questions. (This one I will forego for now to make it easier on everyone!)

Seven things about me:

  • Learning to not take myself so seriously.
  • Laughing at myself more.
  • Having fun with life.
  • Jumping of the cliff and thinking about the net on the way down.
  • Completing a novel..not Nanowrimo.
  • Falling behind the word count on Nanowrimo because I can only work on one project at time.
  • Attempting to work on one project at a time, not five. (Twice I left this draft to send an email, make a phone call, and then had to stop reprimand myself to get back to the task at hand.)

Reality Blog Award goes to …the envelope please:

Cherie, Susan, Julane, and Sara@ pagesfromstages
Morning Story and Dilbert@ Morning Story and Dilbert
Cristian@ cristianmihai
Kim Cash Tate@ Color Your Perspective
Jen @ Jen’s Thoughts
Gina@ Writer…Interrupted
Charise@Prayers and Cocktails

That’s all folks, be sure to check out the new blog post “In a place…” Each week angchronicles explores places we find ourselves in such as bitterness, joy, grumbling, peace, anger, love, thirst….

Be well, do good things, rejoice always.

In a Place of Bitterness

That's not the job I wanted.After the second interview, I knew the job belonged to me. My thoughts: give me the job; stop procrastinating. April, May and June rolled by without a call for the third and final interview. Heartbroken, I interviewed elsewhere landing a part-time job that I could perform in my sleep as well as my adjunct position. Grateful to have two part-time jobs I forged ahead.

In August, while chaperoning a four-day youth retreat, I went home on day three to get a change of clothes. Once home, I noticed a light blinking on the answering machine. I dropped my knapsack to retrieve the message. The dean of academics said: “Angela if you’re still interested you’ve been considered for the temporary lecturer position.” Ecstatic I jumped and shouted in the living room. I called my mother and my best friend. God favored me.

The following week at the faculty meeting, I learned one of the tenure track professors unexpectedly resigned.

For the next three years, a continual paycheck, medical and dental benefits were my gift of grace because teaching had not been my preference, but God’s provision. I’d rather write full-time, however in the midst of a divorce I needed steady financial support.

Three years passed quickly, I grew accustomed to having my own office and a book expense as well as connecting with students. The classroom had become my stage. I had fun teaching and talking about writing at any English level—remedial, composition or literature. Some students called me “psycho,” while others referred to my class as “101 boot camp.” Simultaneously, many undergraduates were inspired to enroll in higher-level English classes and participate in writing contest.  Moreover, my office hours metamorphosed into a safe haven for students as we chatted about writing assignments, the publishing world, divorce, Christianity, faith and relationships. They had nicknamed me Ms. B.  If I spotted a student off campus, sometimes that student would walk right up to me and give me a hug.

So at the end of my three-contract, non-renewable, two tenure positions became available. My colleagues encouraged me to apply. Not only did I apply, I also applied at another college. Through the interview process I remained humble, reminding myself the competitors possessed doctoral degrees, literary publication, and twice my community college experience.

Coworkers, friends, and students spoke encouraging words; however, I discerned flattery from truth aware that some praise was for deceitful purposes.  For example some colleagues wanted to know what I would do without this job, while others –-those also interviewing for the position–inquired how many call back interviews I had.

One interview. No callback. Two interviews. No callback. Heartbroken and bitter. Recommendations to return as an adjunct was not my preference. Instead I planned to live off my savings and write full-time.  However, when I looked at my budget I could pay the rent, but not groceries, gas, and utilities.  In addition, I had received eight rejection emails.

This place of bitterness turned rancid. Therefore I did what I knew best. I prayed. Lord, send me something to help.

A few days later, the head of the English department called and asked if I could teach two classes. I said yes recalling the adage: “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Still, I did not want an adjunct position. I questioned, God: “Are you sure? Don’t you have something else?”

God provided my needs. Cynicism coursed through my veins, like Job I loathe my life;
I vented my complaint;
 spoke  clearly about my innermost bitterness (Job 10:1). As a result, I followed the adjuncts rules: no office hours, no desk in the department, and no union or professional staff meetings.

My sour attitude spilled into the classroom. Only months, earlier students could enter my office to voice their concerns any day of the week. Now, my availability included email and class time, Tuesday and Thursday, only, not one minute extra. When class ended, I headed straight to the parking lot.

On days that I did not teach, I wrote six hours straight.  I rationalized God’s provision believing if I taught five classes, I would not have time to write. However, during the past three years, I polished a novel, wrote a play, and shopped around a nonfiction proposal.

And then I heard these familiar words: “Are you holding on to something that God wants you to let go, so he can use you?” I embraced bitterness.

The following Tuesday, I quickly walked through the department to chat with a co-worker. The next week, I purposefully waltzed through conversing and sharing my new ventures with others whom I’d shared a meal with years before.  Although I didn’t have office hours or an office, I dismissed class a few minutes early to allow students to discuss their concerns with me.

That place of bitterness reminded me: It’s not about me. And if I stood on God’s promises …[he] will meet all [my] needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus Philippians 4:19.

What about you? Has bitterness coursed through your veins?

Are You in a Place Where Jesus Can Find You?

Jesus finds woman at the well.

Twenty years ago, I found Jesus and my life changed. And years later, I continued to believe I found Jesus, until the pastor said at Tuesday Night Bible Study, “We don’t find Jesus, Jesus finds us. He’s not lost.”

I winced at those words. I heard the message, yet did not comprehend; still stuck in the notion that I had found Jesus. The days that followed, I read the gospels Mark and John debunking my belief.

First, Jesus chooses his disciples. Jesus walks beside the Sea of Galilee, spots “Simon and Andrew casting a net into the lake,” and then James and John preparing their nets.  When he says, “Come, follow me,” they immediately stop and follow (Mark 1: 16-18). They are in a place of obedience and trust.

By the lake, Jesus selects Levi, a tax collector (Mark 2:18). Levi, otherwise known as Matthew, leaves his place of business and follows.

On the mountainside, Jesus appoints his twelve disciples because he sees something special in them despite their flaws. Judas is a trader. Peter is hot-tempered. James and John overambitious. These brothers had their mother ask Jesus for a position. Ironically, after miracles, healings, and teaching when the storm hits, the disciples have little faith and hardened hearts.

How many times has my faith wavered despite miracles in my life? And when life doesn’t seem to go my way bitterness and hardened heart evident.

When Jesus set his sights on Nathanael, he says “an Israelite not a false bone in his body.” Nathanael asks, “How do you know me?” Jesus answers, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree” ( John 1:43-48). In the Bible the fig tree is a symbol of prosperity and judgment.

It doesn’t matter if our life is successful or we are under scrutiny, Jesus knows when were wearing a mask, and we should too. We have to be real.

Just as tax collectors were not the crème de la crème, neither were women or Samaritans, yet Jesus takes a detour into Samaria stopping by the well waiting for the Samaritan woman (John 4: 1-26).  She comes to the well thirsty for knowledge and truth. There he reveals her secrets, he knows her as he knew Nathanael.

No wonder Jesus found me, I’ve been bitter with a harden heart, thought I was all that and a bag of chips, full of doubt, afraid, broken, helpless, and discouraged.

However he choses us when we are: strong enough to be weak and trust Him, ready to be a servant, fall down in prayer, stop judging, ready to say not my will but your will be done and we can trusted with the things in life no matter how small.

When Jesus finds you, eventually you come running to him. And once you are with him, Jesus takes hold and doesn’t let go.

Are you in a place that Jesus can find you?

33 Days of Prayer Journey: Day 33

Dear God,

As this prayer journey comes to an end, I thank you for teaching me it is not about me, it’s about saving the lost, encouraging the downtrodden, instilling hope, and living life abundantly in you for all to see, hear, and tell. Father, I prayer that you will answer quickly the calls, cries, pleas, joys and triumphs of those who too have prayed during the 33 Day Prayer Journey. I pray victory and life: Alison, Andrea, Asejah, Catherine, Cherie, Chanel, Carol, Damion, Dawn, Fran, Fonda, Hazel, Johnny, Joan, Katrene, Kiara, Jasymn, Joyce, Leon, Min. Bopela, Michele, Pat, Sabrina, Sara, Sharla, who has posted prayers on angchronicles daily, Sharon, Shontell, Shelli, Tanekqua, Wade, Wanda, prayer warriors who prefer to remain anonymous and those that stop along the way. You know your people, you know their hearts guide them.

Lord, open the hearts of those who don’t have faith, don’t believe in Your power, don’t trust scripture or misuse your word. Amen.

33 Days of Prayer Journey: Day 30

Dear God,

I prayer for faith to believe that you rule the world in truth and righteousness; for faith to believe that if I seek you, you will provide all my needs, for faith that I will not be anxious about tomorrow and continue to believe in your past mercies; for faith that your love grows during these crazy and uncertain times. Amen.