Have you ever watched any of the Tyler Perry movies? Regardless of which one, the main character is going through an event or crisis in his/her life. This event forces them into a transition. I think we've all been there. The character is faced with having to start over. Through their new found journey, there is growth, and newfound strengths and talents are discovered that were never known before. At times, they have to make decisions which requires them to take a leap of faith and try something new, but as they persereve, they soon find themselves successful, happy, and whole.
This blog is dedicated to all who that are considering starting over. Through this blog, you will find encouragement, practical tips, and just plain heartfelt truth. You will be challenged at times to change your thinking or take action towards your goal. There is greatness in you! You are made in the image of God! You greater is coming if you dare to step into your NewChapter NOW!
|Posted by NewChapterMinistriesInc on June 3, 2014 at 4:15 PM||comments (38)|
Back in 2008, God began speaking to me about leaving my home in Chicago and relocating. He gave me a few instructions on the physical move. I was to move 15 hrs. Away from home to Dallas where the only person I knew would be close to 4 hrs. away.
Like Abraham, I was obedient. I moved my son & myself and only took what God told me to take with us. I was truly starting out on a journey, a new adventure. I was excited about my fresh start, living in a new city, and its possibilities. I believed I was moving for better financial opportunities. God allowed me to go back to school and complete my Bachelor’s degree in 2008. I saved up a little money. I was ready for MY new adventure
what I didn’t understand yet was that God also had HIS own agenda. Did you know that when God gives you instructions, it’s on a need to know basis? The plan I mapped out worked well for a while. We live off my savings. I sent my son back up home to live in the dorms for his freshman year of college. I even kept interviewing in my new city. Everything was fitting into plan.
Then my savings began to get near to none. Now, what? Did I miss God? I normally don’t just pick up & half hazardly and do stuff like this. God used the time after my son went away to college, as my alone time to minister to me.
He reassured me that I wasn’t crazy. Then, we continued on with HIS journey. He ministered to me through various words. As mentioned in my previous blogs, I kept my attitude right. I despised not small beginnings. I remained thankful. I confessed daily what He spoke to me through his word that this was my DUE SEASON. While I waited for Him to do what only HE could do, I continued by faith.
Less than 2 months after moving to our new city, during Bible study, our Pastor used Abraham as an illustration. God asked him to sacrifice His son. In the end, we know that God had already provided the provision, the Ram in the bush. But, Abraham didn’t have that knowledge when He started out by faith.
I could relate to Abraham’s experience. Like him, I heard from God and now I’m all the way out here in Dallas by myself. It’s easy to begin to doubt yourself. Through this experience, I learned that I may live alone now and I maybe in a new city alone, but I am not alone. For, God is truly with me. This journey was about obedience and trust. It’s a test.
And just as it was with Abraham, I took hold of the word that God had a Ram. Pastor said, “Get ready for a turn around.” I confessed it. Just one day after that bible study, I received a job offer! God is a faithful God! I’m so thankful for the experience of getting to know God on this level. He is my Fortress, my Way Maker, my Provision, and the Good Shepard! I give Him praise!
|Posted by NewChapterMinistriesInc on June 3, 2014 at 3:25 PM||comments (0)|
If you have been reading my blog long, you know that it is dedicated to those who dare start over and make a change. A time comes in our lives when we make a decision and say to ourselves that’s time for a change. This change maybe a relationship, a career, obtaining a degree, relocation, taking better care of ourselves, etc. Whatever it maybe, our mind is made up and we begin to take the necessary steps toward realizing our goal.
Often when we start over, we have to go backwards (so to speak) and begin anew. For example, you make be a powerhouse in the boardroom at work. But you have decided to change careers. Now, you’re in school starting over and going to class with people young enough to be your own children. For every goal, there is a beginning. And in beginnings, we can often become frustrated and intimidated. If we are not careful, we begin to complain by saying such things as “My business isn’t making enough money yet”, “I relocated and don’t know anyone”. “I started a new job, but I’m at the bottom again” or “I can’t find a job”. I understand these are legitimate frustrations and I have been through them. So, if this is where you are, I sympathize with you.
I write to encourage you to hang on. Trust that you have not made a mistake when you decided to start over. Don’t give up and throw in the towel yet. Persevere just a little while longer. And whatever you do, do not despise small things. It’s the little things that matter. Be thankful for what you do have and the dream that is inside you that will come to fruition. During this time, it is easy to complain. Don’t. Keep a positive grateful attitude. If you do not give up, remain faithful, and keep pulling away, in due season, you will have the harvest you are looking for.
I believe that God blesses all who does not despise small things or new beginnings just because their situation may not be glamorous. God also looks for those who are thankful where they are no matter what. Can you get to a place where you are content, even though your life is now in transition and maybe uncertain compared to before? Lastly, as we look for our endeavor to be successful, I would advise you to look for ways to be a blessing to others. We truly reap what we sow. even major corporations have this concept down. I have been employed in corporations that have entire departments that looks for ways to give back to the community. They have discovered that in attaching themselves to others, their organization will prosper. Now, you try it.
|Posted by NewChapterMinistriesInc on June 3, 2014 at 3:25 PM||comments (0)|
My son graduated last month from college. He's pictured above. I'm so proud of him! Praise the Lord for his faithfulness! I can remember 4 years ago as he was moving into the dorms just like it was yesterday. I look back on the journey and realize all the hard work it took to pull this off. I’m blessed with a pretty good young man, grades were good, and he is goal oriented. Raised in the single-parent home, he graduated early a semester from high school, attended our local community college, and went off to college.
I speak to many parents these days who feel overwhelmed with preparing their children for college. The application process seems so cumbersome. There were so many steps from deciding on a college, the admission process, selecting classes, and preparing to move into the dorms.
This blog entry is dedicated to all the parents that are looking at send their children to college in the next couple of years and find themselves overwhelmed with the process and financial outlook.
The college selection & preparation process:
1) During your child’s junior year in high school, have them take the ACT or SAT.
2) Narrow down 3-5 schools of interests (see my blog entry – Choosing the Right College)
3) Visit the colleges- School are happy to give tours. Many schools have Open Houses.
4) Apply top 3-college choice- Fall of H.S. Senior yr. Application fees range from $25-50 each.
5) Complete the FAFSA form – completed this online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov January of the H.S. Senior yr. There is no charge for this form. It is free. You will need your W-2s and completed tax return to complete this form. There will be a section on the form where you will be asked to enter your school choices. Within a few days, you and the schools of choice will receive the results on the form. This form has many purposes. It helps illustrate your family need, family contribution and is a springboard for administration of free monies from the Federal and State Pell Grant programs. Please don’t assume you don’t qualify. Fill it out anyway.
6) Wait for College acceptance letters & their Financial Aid Award letters. For my family, the financial aid award letter was key. We were looking for what college could give the most financial aid and less out of pocket cost for us. We were blessing to have most of tuition & dorm paid.
7) Pay Admission Deposit– once you’ve made your choice on the right college, the college will require an admission deposit. This normally around $ 200. It is non-refundable, but usually applied toward tuition. Schools deadline for the Admission deposit is normally in the spring your child’s H.S. Senior year.
Apply for Financial Aid- Also in the spring of H. S. Senior yr., college have their own deadline for you to complete the college’s own forms for financial aid. First to complete the forms and any requested documentation, receive the most financial assistance possible.
9) Apply for University Housing- during this same spring on H.S. Senior yr., a housing deposit is required. Normally, it about $500 and is refundable if met by a certain deadline. This deposits guarantees a housing spot in the dorms, which goes very quickly. Please note that you child will need a meal plan, which is a separate cost.
10) Confirm your placement in English and math courses. – New student must take a placement test for English & Math.
11) Meet with your Academic Advisor and Register for classes
12) Attend New Student Orientation.
13) Obtain a School ID Card. – This card can be used for ID, washing clothes, the library, Computer lab, meals, etc.
14) Final School Transcripts. - Send final high transcripts to college.
|Posted by NewChapterMinistriesInc on June 3, 2014 at 3:25 PM||comments (3)|
Here's another entry from my journal in August 2010. Many times the adventure and excitement of stepping out on faith with God can begin to take its toll. Hardships and trials come in and we have to fight the good fight of faith to endure....
I admit. Today is a harder day for me. I have obeyed God and moved across the country by faith. It's been wonderful. However, whenever we step out on faith to do something God has called us to do, there will be opposition. But, we must keep the faith. We are on the winning team! God's already has it worked out. In the end, we will prevail!
I want to encourage you with the following scriptures. You may have step out on faith obeying God and now find yourself facing opposition. Stand firm! Don't give up! Be encouraged. God might not have revealed all the details to you of His plan, but one thing is for sure: If He sent you, He will provide & you will be victorious!
1 Pet 4:12, 13 (KJV)
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1 Pet 4:12, 13 (NIV)
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
|Posted by NewChapterMinistriesInc on June 3, 2014 at 3:20 PM||comments (0)|
Recently, I've been reviewing an old journal of mine. It begins in the year 2008. I was reading Bishop T.D. Jake’s book, Repositioning Yourself, and started to make some changes. With some hard work involved, just two years later, I was able to see the first fruits of my labor. It was all with God's help. I want to share of those accomplishments with you. I am confident that with Christ you can do all things which strengthens you as well!
Dream 1 accomplished-I graduated at 40!!!!
It’s hard to believe that just 2 years ago, I went back to school to get my Bachelor’s degree. It was scary, exciting, and challenging. I learned so much academically as well as about my own capabilities. Only two years later, I am graduating this falls with my Bachelors and, baby, I’m smiling!!!!
I also just got accepted to the graduate school of my choice. You go, girl! Lol I’m 40 and proud!
Dream 2 accomplished- Relocating to the south
Once I knew my earning my degree was set in stone, I began looking toward completing another long-term goal I have had. I felt it was time to relocate. Nothing against the Midwest, but I felt the south calling me back home. My family gave me flack. They still do. But a girls got to do what a girl’s gotta do. lol
I’m here and I love it!
|Posted by NewChapterMinistriesInc on June 3, 2014 at 3:15 PM||comments (0)|
Here's another entry from my journal back in August 2010. It speaks of my satisfaction of being obedient, like Abraham, to go to a land which God will show me.
For years, I have felt led to come and attend Potter's House. Last Sunday, I did. And the experience was priceless. It's like my entire move to Dallas from Chicago now makes sense. I knew I was in the right place at the right time. God is so faithful.
Many times he will tell us to "get up & Go" without giving us the details. But, when we get there, we are never ashamed. We are blessed. I am thankful for being obedient. And I 'm so thankful to God.
Romans 8:14 - For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
|Posted by NewChapterMinistriesInc on June 3, 2014 at 3:05 PM||comments (0)|
Now your student loans are in good standing and consolidate, how do you finance going back to school?
1) Complete a FAFSA form at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
2) Apply for scholarships at my school of choice. Colleges will give you monies based on grades, major, being a 1st yr student, etc.
3) Apply for outside scholarships – there are several great websites out there. Many scholarships are given for, grades, returning to school, ethnicity, affiliation, interests, etc. here are some great sties.
4) Most colleges also have payment plans.
|Posted by NewChapterMinistriesInc on June 3, 2014 at 2:55 PM||comments (0)|
How to choose the "right" college? This is a great question and the answer varies with individual. But here are a few things to keep in mind.
1) Size - large university or smaller college
2) Class size – large auditorium or small classrooms
3) Private/ public
5) Classroom/ online
6) Urban/ college town/ rural
9) Teaching or Research College
When choosing a college for myself, we looked at reputation, class size, diversity, & whether it fit our personality. For my son, in particular, he started out in a private urban college because of its reputation, family members had attended, and its class sizes. But, after his first year, I could not justify the strain of the cost of the tuition on this single-parent household. I’ve learned to be very practical when it comes to college.
We have all type of emotions and dreams when choosing a college. But, we must remember the bottom line is to get that piece of paper, the diploma, as efficiently as possible. This is why my family turned to state colleges. My son transferred to a state college in his sophomore year. The cost of the tuition was much lower and the quality of the education did not suffer. His entire tuition was paid by school financial aid. However, we were responsible for some of his dorm expense. I am proud to say that my son has graduated from college with his diploma earlier this month with very little school debt because of our decision to switch. He is now applying to graduate schools.
I am confident with prayer and wisdom packed decision making, you will make a great choice too!
|Posted by NewChapterMinistriesInc on June 3, 2014 at 2:50 PM||comments (0)|
It's summer. So, it's the perfect time to stop putting off going back to college and completing your degree. Here's some practical steps you can take THIS summer to prepare yourself to enter class this fall.
A few years back, frustrated with my life, I decide to start over. It was 2008, the recession here and I knew that I needed more to take care of my family.
The first thing I decided was to go back to school to get my degree. I had been putting off going back to school for years. Oh, I had all kinds of reasons not to. I talked myself out of going back for years. I even convinced myself that I didn't need a degree. Here were my "but I can't" list:
• The cost of going back
• Defaulted student loans
• I didn’t want to be in the classroom as old as I was
• I thought I didn’t have the time.
But, I got tired of being passed over for promotions in Corporate America that I was qualified to do just because I didn’t have degree. So, how do you go back to school if your student loans are in default? My recommendation is to avoid scams and go straight to the source. The government has an excellent program. The U. S. Department of Education‘s William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. They will consolidate all your loans (even the defaulted ones) and set up a payment based on your income. (Payments are not required until 6 months AFTER you graduate).
1. Here’s the website http /www.dl.ed.gov/ . Find the loan consolidation link- which will lead you to https /loanconsolidation.ed.gov/AppEntry/apply-online/appindex. Start the process.
2. Once you have done this, you will now be cleared to apply for school financial aid via https /fafsa.ed.gov/
3. Then you can apply to your school of choice from admissions.
I'm so excited for your NewChapter in returning back to school! Remember, you are MORE THAN a conqueror through Him who loves us! (Rom 8:37). I’m praying for your success!
By the way, I persevered and graduated with my Bachelors just 2 years later. I'm now entering my last year of my Master's program. Come join me!