All posts by courtnye

Enough Reality (why I ditched reality tv)…

My girlfriend looked at me like I had two heads the day I told her I stopped watching Real Housewives of Atlanta. ‘What is wrong with you?’ She asked deeply concerned almost as if I had just announced I had an incurable illness. “Nothing, it just got to be too much for me” I shrugged and went on to briefly explain the reasons I had ditched reality tv. Now, I must confess, I was a reality television addict! From the Kardashians to any real housewife from any state, I watched them all. Most nights I was plopped in front of the television and if not you better believe my DVR was set to capture all the action. Seeing the fights and arguments then dishing about them on Facebook or the phone with friends that shared my love of drama was a highlight of my evening. I knew I used television as a way of escaping the monotony of my own life. It provided a false sense of excitement that was lacking in my own everyday. I also knew I had to stop using tv as a crutch, so about three years ago I stopped cold turkey. At that point in my life I was going through a difficult time, I had lost my job and had to move back in with my father. Getting lost in reality tv made me forget that I felt like a failure in life if even for a brief moment. I had two degrees and somehow still found myself curled up on a couch night after night. Although I was grateful to have a place to lay my head, it was a devastating blow to my ego.

Honesty, I can’t tell you exactly what happened or what switched but one day I just didn’t have the desire, I couldn’t stomach the arguments and it was sickening to see grown women (and men) act like a bunch of catty schoolgirls for ratings. This is no dis to anyone who watches this type of programming, but I personally had had enough. It was at this time that I started watching more Christian centered shows, I watched a lot of Daystar and other stations geared toward spirituality. Also, since I wasn’t working it gave me plenty of time to delve deeper into my in my bible study and relationship with God. I learned a lot about how what you see and hear affects your inner spirit. In Psalms, David states that he would set no wicked thing before his eyes (Psalms 101:3). I’m not saying the women on these shows are wicked, because who am I to judge their hearts? But I will say that some of their actions are not those that I would want to take in on a consistent basis. And they definitely aren’t anything I would emulate, although I must admit I did and probably still will have my moments as God makes progress with me. But for audiences that are easily tricked into thinking that the eye rolling, popping off at the mouth, tell it like it is no matter who they hurt women they see on television are people to fashion your life after, I would challenge them to read Proverbs 31 and Titus 2:5, portraits of biblical women.

In proverbs 21:19 (NIV), it says it is better to dwell in the wilderness than to live with a quarrelsome and nagging wife, seriously the wilderness ya’ll! I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to waste watching argumentative women, I value my girlfriends and if they acted that way I would definitely have to love them from a distance! There is nothing that I can learn or gather from those shows except how to be quarrelsome and that is the opposite of what I want to become so anything not within the focus of where I’m headed had to go. I truly believe that just as you should guard your heart, your eyes and ears should be guarded as well especially since the eye is the light of the body (Matth 6:22). If we are truly living to keep our bodies healthy we must also include that which we hear and see because it truly does affect us. Although I do listen to secular music I try to draw the line at lascivious music. Music can definitely affect our moods, it can help put us in a state of worship or a state of lust. Here is a link to a research article in science daily that discusses music and mood changes. Simply put, everything we do is about choices and in most situations we can choose what we put into our bodies. Will it be something that helps us grow or keeps us stagnant, the choice is always ours.
Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Here’s to a purposeFULL life
Court

20140704-204817-74897519.jpg

Advertisements

Single and patient…

I was speaking to a friend today and she was filling me in on her marriage woes. Without getting to deep into anyone else’s business, it’s a fairly new marriage and they are more unhappy than not with each other as they attempt this life long journey of growth together. In the midst of her complaining about him, I found myself express, “OMG, I am so glad that I’m not married!” Now, In hindsight, I realize that was a little selfish as many of my friends use me as a sounding board and I would never want to make any of them feel alienated. Secondly, I should have stated that I am so glad that I’m not unhappily married as we can speak life or death over our situations and lives (Proverbs 18:21). But it even shocked me when I felt it come over me, because I truly meant it with everything in me. This was a new feeling as I had been so focused on wanting a relationship that I had rarely taken the time to thank God for saving me from the wrong unions! I have no desire to deal with the drama, arguing and pain that comes along with a union to the wrong person (not saying that was my friends situation at all). I came to the conclusion that I would be much happier single and at peace than married and constantly at war. My relationships in the past have been full of drama, abuse and pain, although there were definitely good aspects to each I could have done without the negative parts. Granted, the negativity was because God was not the head of our unions and partially a result of my insecurities and actions which I can now take accountability for. But as God instills in me the patience to wait on His best I grow more and more overjoyed in the fact that I haven’t made the mistake of marrying the wrong man. Or on the flip side that I haven’t scared off my Adam because my heart wasn’t prepared for a union that would glorify God.

Because I am currently doing a bible study on self control, I was reading about the Stanford marshmallow experiment. This experiment was done many years ago by a psychologist Walter Mischel. In the experiment, children were offered a choice between one small marshmallow immediately or two marshmallows if they could wait and practice delayed gratification. In follow up studies the researchers showed that the children that were able to wait longer tended to have better life outcomes. I know that with living in such a now centered society the thought of practicing patience and delayed gratification may seem archaic; But what if God wants to give us as many marshmallows as we want and were settling for one measly marshmallow because we can’t control our own desires of immediate indulgence. What if God has His best for us, but because we simply won’t wait for His timing we forfeit it all because of impatience or we have to wait even longer like the Israelites out in the wilderness for forty years on a journey that should have taken them 11 days! (Deuteronomy 1:2) As children of God how long must we go around this same mountain of singleness because of complaining, wrong thinking, frustration or impatience? And I say we because I include myself and need reminders every now and then as well! If we practice patience in this one area of our lives I believe it will also enrich other aspects of our lives and be well worth it in the end.

One huge perk of singleness is the time allowed to renew your spirit, ready your heart for a partner and grow in God, so take advantage of it. We can rest assured and be at peace because we know that if God placed the desire of marriage in our hearts, he will fulfill that longing, exceedingly and abundantly beyond what we can probably even imagine as long as we believe and do not ask outside of his will (Mark 21:22 & James 4:3). We can rest in the fact that our life long partners are either being prepared for us or waiting on us to grow ourselves up enough to have a thriving marriage truly made in heaven! So what are you waiting for? Get to work!!!
Here’s to a purposeFULL life!
Court

20140719-222755-80875761.jpg

Single and lonely (part 2)…

Six ways to combat the feeling of loneliness…
1. Learn to depend on Him: Don’t call that friend, turn on the television or go to the mall to make yourself feel better or be around people. If you try to numb, ignore or tune out your loneliness it will most likely still be there after you get off the phone, the TV show is over or you finish shopping. Instead, work it out with just you and God, pick up your bible or read your bible verses that you wrote out for times like these.
2. Have an attitude of gratitude: I know that this is quite cliché, but it works wonders! When you focus on the things that are right in your life you don’t have much time to focus on what’s wrong. The majority of the time you will realize you are more blessed than not. Even though you may not have a significant other at this time, there may be other people that God has placed in your life to love on, so be grateful for them!
3. Get it out: Allow yourself to feel the frustration of loneliness, cry, write about your feelings and pray to God about your situation, then get quite before Him and listen for a response. Give your loneliness to God; He knows how to heal your brokenness.
4. Adjust your focus: God tells us to focus on things eternal and not seen (2Corinthinans 4:18), in the long run those are the things that will prove to be important. Instead of focusing on us and what our flesh wants in the right here and now, focus on why God may have you in this situation to benefit the kingdom. Could it be to have time to help others, volunteer, start or help in a ministry, write a book or just to become a better you?
5. Think of the alternative: In my times of loneliness I think of what my life could have been like had God given me my hearts desires in the past when I wasn’t ready. For me, I could have married my first boyfriend but I’m quite sure it would have been a horrible marriage. Think of the ways God has saved you and what He kept you from instead of focusing on what you believe He may be withholding. He wants you happy and you deserve the best, His best. Hopefully, you believe that’s worth the wait.
6. Feelings are fickle: Realize that what you feel is just a feeling and most feelings are fickle. Usually, most feelings soon leave for another. You won’t feel this way for the rest of your life, maybe even the rest of day. Rely on what you know to be truth, that God is not a man that he will not lie and that he fulfills His promises (Numbers 23:19). Know that this too shall pass.

I truly hope this helps someone in their time of loneliness!
Here’s to a purposeFULL life
Court

Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

20140705-205935-75575070.jpg

20140719-212020-76820305.jpg

Single and lonely (part 1)…

If I can be totally transparent, I am 36, childless, and single. LIFE GET’S LONELY! I try my hardest not to compare my situation to anyone else’s and hold on to the faith that God will fulfill my desires of a family, but at times I stumble. This evening as I was sitting in bed working on my book a good friend called. She began updating me on her Fourth of July weekend events, mishaps and adventures with her family and as she was speaking a wave of sadness washed over me. I tried to remain totally focused on what she was saying but no matter how much I tried to suppress them all types of thoughts began to pester me during the conversation. The main one being, will I ever have a family of my own? This thought I knew was of the devil and had to be taken captive immediately. I was being double minded in my thoughts, I doubted God and His will for my life, in which case I would receive nothing! (James 1:6)
I write this with tears in my eyes, because I truly do long to hear the sound of tiny feet running down the hall and have a wonderful husband to snuggle up with on nights like this when storm clouds are forming in the sky. But I have to learn to accept my portion in life at this time and be content with all the beautiful things God has given me. In times like this, I have to make an effort to remind myself that I have a wonderfully family, supportive and loving parents, great dogs, a freedom in life that I truly enjoy and a bed all to myself! Usually after saying a prayer and focusing on the things I love about my life I feel sooooo much better. In the past I have been in a place where I allowed the fog of loneliness to linger and I know that if it does it will draw me in more and more until it becomes despair and eventually depression. I have to believe in God’s promises to me, he promised me anything that I ask, if I believe (Matt 7:7).
One thing I have learned through my studies is that God wants to capture our hearts more than any man in this world. He doesn’t want us to hurt, be lonely or sad in the time He is taking to mature us past this point but there may be some growing pains. Fight through it and trust in Him. My advice is to get verses of scripture that can speak to your heart in times of loneliness. Write them on note cards or save them in the notes section of your phone, as long as you have them on hand when the time comes. One of my favorites is Proverbs 3:5-6. From my experience, if you make God the love of your life, you will love this life so much more regardless of your relationship status!
Here’s to a purposeFULL life
Court
Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Court

20140705-204532-74732276.jpg

Farmers Market…

So, I’m (re)starting my healthy eating habits and a couple days ago I was able to check out the local farmers market. I got kale, some wonderful fresh strawberries and onions. Now, I don’t know if it’s all in my head, but honestly everything taste sooooo much better than what I purchase from the store. Each bite of a juicy, ripe strawberry was like a burst of fresh in my mouth! Is that a bit much lol? Well, let’s just say everything was delish.

It is a smaller market (only about 7 vendors) but there were a variety of options from fruit, veggies, flowers, jams and soaps. I was proud to support local farmers and small business, the only downfall is price. The eggs I bought were $6, which was a little pricey for me, but other things were just slightly above regular store prices. Plus a lot of farmers markets are now taking public assistance cards. I think I’ll make it a habit!
Here’s to a purposeFULL life!

 

 

20140704-190322-68602298.jpg

Single Sister Series…

Although I don’t know much about being married, I could write the book on being single or worse the perpetual girlfriend! I am starting a short series on singleness and some of my stories of singlehood today. As I learn what it means to be in a committed relationship, to love a man in the way that Jesus commanded and how he is to love me (Ephesians 5:22-33, Matthew 19:2-9); I can honestly see why my past relationships have failed. Although I don’t have all the answers my hope is to help women as they go through the dating (and even better courting) phase of life.

God Bless
Court