Wednesday, March 8, 2017

don't forget your essence.

For the past few days,  I swear I have really been challenged to see my selfishness, my tendency to look through life through the eyes of flesh, and I have also been challenged as I balance many different roles.  Y'all - life is really real. Some days I just can't even lol. I am being serious y'all. 

The other day was very hard for me and my best friend (heeey Alana) reminded me to ask God to slow me down in certain areas of my life where I feel rushed. I swear I prayed that prayer yesterday in my tired state and He has slowed me down in the past day by reminding me of my essence. 

Last night my mom randomly sent me a photo of Bow Wow and I. I won a contest in 2005 to meet him and I swear it was the happiest time of my life. I also rediscovered my old Duke house key from high school, my old usb drive from high school, and an old Movie Starz pass. I remember the many assignments I completed to make it to college and my love for a movie rental store that is no longer in existence. 

From these small reminders, God was telling me to slow down and remember big and small moments like having my life-long teenage dream fulfilled or usb drive that I utilized during my senior year of high school. 

God told me today that I cannot forget the essence that is Tonyette Rochelle. He reminded me of my tenacity, boldness, and spunkiness. I am so grateful for His beautiful reminders and I take grasp of that today with every fiber in me.  I will slow it down to reflect <3 

- Tonyette

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

open hands, open heart

Open hands and open heart.  I saw this on one of my student's lunch bags the other day and I thought back to the many times I heard this message before the new year and the first of March. Yes... this is soo easy to say, however, it isn't not always easy to practice.

You see - I have been taken through a great deal of changes in a very tiny amount of time. In a few weeks, I have gotten engaged to the love of my life, planning a wedding, applying for jobs, and now I am on the cusp of studying for my program's comprehensive exams. I have felt very overwhelmed and I can't really say I've had open hands or an open heart through it all. I have been paralyzed with the thought of "what if's" "hows" and "whens". Literally, I had a mini sob session today with my classmate listening. I was rushing (which has been a norm for me these days) to my car  and I am so glad I ran into her. I have been overwhelmed because everything is happening at once and honestly, they are HUGE THINGS. I am going to be a wife to someone in literally less than 4  months and I will be responsible for a group of students. Geeessh. I can't even fathom all of these things at the moment.  

My classmate's words woke me up. She asked "how are you?" and you know what I said? " I am literally overwhelmed and not good". Wow. I could have said "I am doing fine", but you know what? I would have been lying to myself and not being true to my emotions and concerns. I felt good as we shared the same sentiments about the program and life. 

Whew. Part of having open hands and open heart is to recognize your emotions and feelings. I don't want myself to not be aware of them. However, I am learning that no matter the circumstances, the mood, the challenges in new transitions - I have joy... I vow to take it day by day. I breath in peace and love, I exhale doubt, fear, and frustration. 

Open hands and open heart.... it may not be the easiest thing in crazy busy seasons or seasons of stillness or even lack. However, I am learning regardless of the life's frustrations, through my joy in Christ - I have truly can embrace each season with open hands and an open heart...

I truly feel like I can do this. No matter the ebbs and flows. 

Open hands and open heart 💛

Sunday, January 8, 2017


Sometimes God speaks to us through a sticker during recess duty. haha.. let me explain a little later ;)

I have to be honest, I really struggle last Fall. I spent a lot of time in self-doubt and really truly feeling like I missed the mark. I honestly did not feel beautiful, I felt stretched thin, tired, and drained. I actually spoke with my dad the other day and he spit some philosophical quote about handling the jabs of life haha. You see, my dad was referring the the use of a jab in boxing when one boxer would use a jab to stun or surprise his or her opponent. The only way that boxer could miss the jab is by bobbing and weaving. My dad was reminding me that I have to not let life's challenges stun me or knock me on my feet.  We discussed how the mind and our thoughts can all too often be a gateway for distress and pain. When left to wander, honestly, our thoughts can bring us all the way down. They too can become the jabs of life if we don't have the proper tools for good mental health. 

Now... back to the sticker... As I spoke with my coworker as we were on recess duty in 30 degree weather, I spotted a sticker that stated "You Are Beautiful". I remembered that the sticker represented You Are Beautiful, which is a movement created to provide people with reminders of their worth by brightening their day.  As I smiled, she pulled out several stickers to provide me too of that reminder. 

Seeing that sticker and my conversation with my father reminded me of a verse that truly helped me when I felt mentally broken during the summer of 2012. 1 Corinthians 2:16 states “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. Yall, this verse blew my mind. While I struggled with anxiety or other's view of me or dealing with the uncertainty of life and plans.  I felt so much peace reading this verse because I realize I too have the mental strength of my Savior. Because I have the mind of Christ, it is beautiful <3 

YOU are beautiful friend. I know life's challenges can weigh us down and I know the world can make us feel like we should have it all together mentally, physically, or spiritually. Your mind is simply beautiful. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL <3
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