All posts by courtnye

11 practical ways to make your man feel special…

In relationships I’ve made many mistakes, but there has also been plenty of right choices thrown in with the wrongs.  It’s been on my mind to share some of the little ways I’ve learned to make a man feel special.  I compiled this list from things that I’ve done or haven’t done and wished I did!   Sometimes  it’s the little things that count the most and these are all pretty simple to do (for the most part). I’m speaking solely from a romantic partnership perspective, but most of these can work in any type of relationship. 

1. Say it with a note:  Leave little notes from time to time in his pillow or in his lunch bag just to remind him of how special he is to you.  This is something I love doing with a significant other because I know finding a little ‘I love you’ note or appreciation message every now and then would make me feel awesome!

2. Send an impromptu message: Send a short text, email or Facebook message just to let him know you’re thinking of him or praying for him throughout the day.

3. Congratulate him on big goals.  Flip the script and treat him to dinner or send a token when he’s accomplished a goal he set out to achieve.

4. Be there to listen:  even if he doesn’t want to talk, embrace and love on him especially if he’s had a rough day.

5. Greet him with a smile: After years of being together the butterflies may have fluttered away, but it’s still important to greet him with a smile and some enthusiasm at his arrival.  It’s easy to get lax, I know because I’ve done so in the past, but it will only make him happy to see you in return.

4. Listen for cues: know what he is loves doing or is needing and try to surprise him with it.  Is his birthday coming up and he loves basketball?  Surprise him with tickets for the game or just cook all his favorites.  Does he need a purple tie, pick one up the next time you’re out.  Either way he’ll feel special knowing you listened and took the time to get to know his desires. 

5. Step into his world:  watch a game or two with him even if you aren’t into sports like myself.  But if it’s something he enjoys make some time to sit with him through at least some of it.  Or if video games are his thing play with him every once and a while.

6. Don’t nag:  okay I’ll be honest, this is one I struggle with immensely.  Sometimes I get tired of hearing myself and have to make a conscious effort to shut up and take a sea!  It can be extremely difficult to have the self control to say things once and see how it plays out but in the long run it’s usually worth it and saves on added frustrations possibly arguments. 

7. Pray for and with him:  one of the times I feel loved most is when someone takes the time to intercede on my behalf.  Although often times this happens in my prayer closet if I’m dating someone and we do pray together I’ll make sure to include them. 

8. Be supportive:  share in his efforts to help him accomplish goals and dreams in life.  Hand out fliers, promote his business on Facebook, tell others about his endeavors and speak on his behalf when he’s not there.  

9. Encourage him:  I speak a little bit more about being an encourager here, but make sure to build him up and speak life into his spirit!  It’s something that can so easily give way to tearing him down when we focus on the negatives or down men as a whole, these things only breed resentment, hurt and anger.  If this is an issue for you as it has been for me, I’d recommend reading Proverbs 14:1 and commiting it to memory for times when you struggle!

10. Grace him:  People are human, so of course he’s going to do somethings you don’t like because no one is perfect.  In moments where we may want to go off or berate him, think about how it might affect him and your relationship in the long run before saying something mean or hurtful. If he is willing to listen and take ownership of his faults there is always a way to speak the truth in love. 

11. Serve him:  if you’re married or cohabitating, you can do small things like draw him a bath after a long day at work, plan a romantic evening, bring him breakfast in bed every once and a while or get his car washed.  Since Jesus calls us to be servants what better place to start than in our own homes.

God bless!

Court ūüôā

How to get over it and get on with your life…

One thing about most relationships is that at some point they end.  Wether it’s due to a fall out, death or just a natural parting of ways, relationships change as we have come to know them, it’s inevitable.  But what happens with the collapse of a relationship that you didn’t expect or want to end as quickly as it did?  What do you do when you want to move on but just can’t seem to get the person out of your head no matter what you do?  Below I’ll give you 4 D’s that have seemed to work in my favor when trying to get over an ex.

Decide: the main thing you have to do is get your mind and heart to line up so that they are on the same page.  If the relationship ended because of something you did or if it’s an ex you can’t seem to get over you have to make up your mind that you aren’t going to focus on the past.  Realize that the could’ve beens and the what if’s aren’t going to happen and move on from there.  You have to create thoughts that are forgiving, of yourself for the wrongs you inflicted and understanding from that persons point of view.  I’ve been in relationships and friendships where I’ve allowed my selfishness, pride or emotions to ruin what could’ve been a great partnership.  But in the end I know that if I have tried to make up for it, be a better me and still it wasn’t enough I have to approach the decisions made from a different mindset.  Now, this doesn’t mean I’m off the hook and as we’re all striving towards the goal of perfection I recognize that I have to continually improve and grow.  Even if it’s not something you did and the relationship ended abruptly or before the time you thought it would, you have to let it go by focusing on forgiveness, the positivity of your future so that you can truly seek to understand and grow as a person.

Distance: Some people may be able to remain in a somewhat amicable relationship with a person after a major shift in a relationship status.  But usually, at least for a short amount of time there needs to be some distance granted.  This has to include the mental distancing as well as physical (if possible).  If you broke up with someone and you’re still hanging out, calling, texting etc as before it will be more difficult to break things off and move forward from the pain.  The creation of distance allows breathing space and speaking from personal experience the ability to move on quicker.  In a years time you probably won’t even be thinking about the person you can’t seem to get out of your head today.
Delete: if you have social media relations with the person and you find yourself constantly checking on them it may be best to either delete or block them at least for a short while.  The feelings that you have will continue to linger if you’re always trying to watch their every move, plus how would you feel if you saw them with someone else?  I’m guessing not so great, so why even put yourself through that torture?  Know that more than likely this is not the person God had for you and keep it moving.

Date:  I was once told that the best way to get over a man is to get under a new one.  I’ll just start of with saying that I DO NOT believe or buy into that theory although I used to.  And what I’ve learned is that usually, you just wind up dating someone for a while and still have that one person on your mind in the end or regret wasting your time on a random.  So when I say date, I don’t necessarily mean with other men you’re romantically interested in, but make play dates with your friends and family to just be in a safe place to express yourself and have fun.  Date yourself, I’m always one for going or doing something with me because I love my company, get to know you and what you desire.  And date Jesus, make am appointed time to read his word each day and try your best to stick with it.  There’s nothing wrong with getting back out there, but just make sure your heart is whole and that you are truly ready to do so.

Develop:  The important thing is to focus on you and your life.  How will you grow from here?  How will you improve?  Ask yourself these three questions: 1. How did I assist in the demise of this relationship (recognize) 2. What does this say about me and the changes I need to make and (analyze) 3. What very specific changes will I make in my life to reach this goal (rise)?  For instance, my last relationship ended for a number of reasons, but one thing I know I didn’t do was enough encouraging or building up.  I was a proverbs 14:1 woman, just the latter of the two as I often used my mouth to tear him down when I wasn’t satisfied.  So I take ownership over that. As a result, I know I need to work on being an encourager so I’ve been reading books*, watching videos and making sure that I encourage at least one person in my life a day.  It’s not something that comes naturally for me but it’s something that I can work towards developing and I’m grateful for the chance to do so. Take the time to better yourself and make that into a priority.  Someone better will come along, they always do, the question is will you be ready when it happens? 

*Becoming an encourager on purpose by Marty Celaya is one of the books that I’ve been reading that pertains specifically to being an encourager. So far so good make sure to check it out if this is something you are looking to implement! 

God bless

Court ‚ėļÔłŹ

A lifetime of Thanksgiving…

This year has been especially difficult for me, in fact one of the hardest that I’ve had to live through thus far.  I have, of course had friends and family to speak to, dole out an endless supply of hugs, spend time with or confide in when needed but I continued to feel quite isolated and alone in it all many times.  The realization that ultimately that thing, event, life circumstance is all yours to deal with can be crushing as you wonder how you will survive the aftermath.  It’s tough and no matter how many times someone says they feel your pain, they don’t, because it’s your pain.  No one else can cry your tears and in the end you are going to have deal with your internal struggles yourself.

This lesson I learned as my life pretty much crashed around me with a series of unfortunate events and diagnoses because I was (and still am) trying to make sense of it all.  It was so bad that I had no desire to do life any longer, I didn’t want to talk to people, write or go to work or class, I honestly just wanted to stay in bed and let life pass me by.   But I knew I couldn’t and life pushed forward so with a sometimes forced happy face I had to as well.

James tells us that when we encounter events that test our resolve and tribulations that torment us to count it all joy, but how? (James 1)  How are you grateful for the loss of a loved one, a diagnosis of cancer or the abandonment of divorce?  How are you grateful for that perverbial empty hole you have over a great loss or a transformational life shift? I have to apologize in advance because I don’t have all of the answers, but I can tell you what helped me get through some tough times this year and in the end give thanks for the realizations that came with them.

When you feel abandoned know that you are never alone: There were people that I thought I could beyond a shadow of a doubt depend on when the chips were down and although most proved to be dependable some showed me who they were & where they decided to stand in my life.  I found the sting of resentment rising up in my spirit against the latter, but I had to understand that everyone doesn’t have the capacity to love (I mean truly love) or to exhibit that love in a manner that’s recognizable to you.  And this doesn’t make them bad people, it just makes them unenlightened people.  Either way God will always be in our corner, so some nights when I cried into my pillow I would turn my tears into prayers.  Times when I was loneliest I decided to turn to God and read from His word, it really did make me feel better.  Thank God for people who you can call true friends but ultimately for God and the fact that He never leaves your side!

Don’t perpetuate more grief by focusing on what’s wrong:  There were times when I felt so down that my self talk was truly coming from a negative place because it was as if the bad news came back to back. I truly felt under attack, and it can be quite difficult to pull yourself out of the spiraling world of negativity, but even in the midst I would have to remind myself to focus on the positive aspects of a situation.  Someone in my family was diagnosed with cancer, but they are still here and we could love on them even more than before, so for that I’m grateful.  Life is but a vapor and sometimes the sting of the reality of death seems to wake people up to the fact that we aren’t here forever.  Thank God for the knowledge and wisdom to live in the moment and appreciate the good things in life and the people in our lives while we have the time to do so.

Focusing on others takes the pain away:  even if just for a moment.  While going through some things in my life I was a bridesmaid in a wedding I noticed that although we would spend some time focused on my circumstances, I was much happier to talk to her about the wedding or help her with planning.  It made me feel good to forget for a moment that my life wasn’t all fairy tales and sugarplums.  Getting your mind off of you and being less selfish will help you in dealing with your issues. Of course we will have times where wallowing can’t be helped as we are human but being less self-centered and caring for others is a great way to start to shift your mindset. Thank God for recognizing that selfishness only leads to increased loneliness and for opportunities to be a light in someone else’s world if only for a moment.

You will emerge from the fire:  knowing that there is another side to the anguish you feel is priority.  Most likely you will emerge stronger that before, I truly believe the adage that whatever doesn’t kill you, will make you stronger. Even if we feel as though we have nothing to be thankful for presently, we can praise Him in advance for blessings to come! Thank God for challenges in life that grow us up and make us stronger and more like him.

Be careful what you ask for: I remember saying a prayer just before I received some of the bad news for God to increase my faith because I wanted a faith like Sarahs, like David’s and Abraham.  I told God that whatever had to be done to do so and not long after the punches started to roll in.  Now, am I saying that it’s a result of that prayer, I don’t know.  But I do know that we receive test from God and we receive trials from satan, either way our response is the same and that’s to pray and pray some more while keeping focused on the optimal outcome and pushing towards Yahweh.   But with anything in life, be it kids, a degree or an increased faith walk, make sure you’re prepared to work for it and navigate your way through the test as best you can. Thank God for answered prayers and the strength, fortitude and ability to pass the test that sometimes come along with them.

God bless and Happy Thanksgiving (let’s eat)! ‚ėļÔłŹūüéČ

The freedom in letting go…

Something¬†I have been hard at work on in¬†life is not holding on to things or people that should no longer¬†be in my inner circle.¬† For me it’s a necessary step in my journey towards maturity and a relationship with God. It has been a¬†difficult task¬†for me to not grasp so firmly to some of the things I felt played a pivitol role in my life up until now.¬† But eventually I realized that I had focused¬†only on the anguish and trauma perceived in releasing the things, dreams and people that I thought I couldn’t do without¬†but¬†hadn’t¬†focused on the joy and freedom found in¬†the beauty and satisfaction of¬†letting go.¬†Many of us find it challenging¬†to let go of things, situations or people but learning to do so at any age in life will ultimately bring you more fulfillment and greater joy!¬† Below I chronicle five areas in life¬†where I have or am currently learning to release and maybe they might help you on your journey to freedom.

Toxic people: research has shown that although people in contented and fulfilling relationships are generally healthier, the same does not hold true for those in tumultuous or trying relationships. Not only do these interactions cause stress and anxiety in your life mentally but can take a toll on your body physically as well. Women are especially vulnerable to these negative effects which includes a lowered immune system by decreasing the T-cells, heart issues and sleep abnormalities. (WebMD) The studies that I found focused heavily on romantic centered relationships, but evidence also existed for other types of relationships such as friendships or colleagues. The ability to distance yourself may be easier said than done in these cases and may require more mental distance than physical. Ignoring or confronting the behavior will eventually come into play to help decrease the toll it is taking on you mentally and physically. Reducing your stress while in a negatively influenced relationship may look different for different people, yoga, meditation, exercise, journaling and praying are all viable options for some people.

Bible verses to remember in dealing with toxic people: Titus 3:10, Galatians 5:25

Clutter: I’ll be the first to admit that my ‘office/prayer room’ has slowly converted to a¬†¬†storage closet/junk room. It’s full of clutter, things I don’t need, use or wear.¬†The original purpose of the room¬†has vanished¬†amongst a pile of shoes, books and clothes¬†some with tags still attached.¬† Since I’ve been on my journey of letting go, I’ve started to slowly declutter this room by finding good homes to the things that are in optimal quality or tossing things that aren’t. By now most of us have heard that clutter can actually cause us to become less focused and can limit our ability to process information (Princeton University Neuroscience Institute) so decluttering can not only be a burden releaser but also make you more productive!

Bible verse to remember in dealing with a cluttered home: Proverbs 24:3

3. Stresses: as mentioned previously not only can unhealthy relationships cause undue stress, but situations that bring us feelings of anxiety or frustration also create a great deal of stress in our everyday lives.  The best and worst thing about stress is that most of it is brought on by ourselves!  Which means there are steps we can take to decrease the amount of stress in our lives and it can end with you.  Something as simple as clearing out your email inbox, getting more rest or not worrying about situations that are beyond your control can begin to eliminate a lot of the stress that we cause ourselves.

Bible verses to remember if dealing with worry and stress: Philippians 4: 6-7, Matthew 6: 24, 1Peter 5:7

4. Outcomes: learning to detach myself from outcomes has been a major task in my growth journey. It can be quite difficult to deal with the frustration and disappointment of not having things go as planned or the way I desired.  But learning to release these desires is a great way to bring peace to a less than optimal situation.  I discuss some ways to do so here.

Bible verses to remember if dealing with letting go of outcomes: Proverbs 3:5-6, Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28

Baggage: Carrying over baggage from one relationships will¬†definitely ruin the second before it’s begun.¬† By baggage I’m specifically talking about destructive emotions and stinking thinking including bitterness, jealousy, rage, anger, hatred, cynicism, malice, un-forgiveness, self-deprecation and vengefulness. Of course we will experience some of these negative emotions at some point in our human existence as a natural occurrence and to an extent they help us make our way through the maze of life. However, research has shown that living with them on a¬†consistent basis can be deteremental to your health with the ability to cause heart disease and a higher risk of stroke (news health.com). The goal is accepting that feelings such as anger, jealousy or vengefulness arise but are not necessarily beneficial to act upon in a salacious manner or even react to immediately instead of responding at a later time and are definitely not worth holding on to. Using your emotions as indicators and not dictators could possibly save your life!

Bible verses to remember if dealing with negative emotions: Ephesians 4:31-32, Proverbs 14:29, Philippians 4:8 and Ephesians 4:26

God Bless,
Court ūüôā

Let me tell you about my haul!

  
I am super excited about my thrift store haul today.  I don’t normally post about clothing, but this was just too good to pass up.  I’m big on shopping, but I’m also big on finding deals and using coupons.  Usually in retails stores you’ll find me making a bee line towards the clearance section, which is obviously a great way to save some cash.  But today there was no need as a couple friends and I hit up a couple of thrift stores in the area and I felt like I had gone to retail heaven with the deals I got!  It was enough it make me say I’m never shopping retail again (at least until the new year).  I purchased a bunch of items, (3 sweaters, 4 jackets, 1 skirt and 4 shirts to be exact) but wanted to share a couple of my favs with you! 

 

banana republic jacket – $12
  
 
elie tahari jacket – $12
 
 
$12
  
HD in Paris top – $5
 

4 before 40…

This weekend I turn 38.  I’m super excited to be where I am at my life, I’m a home owner, a Godly woman, I have a job I love and have the freedom to travel, but there are some things I am looking forward to.  I’m grateful for another year and thank God, although this has not been an easy year by far especially the latter half, with some health issues, family concerns and officially vowing to disengage completely with the man I once thought would be my husband.  I must admit this year looks a lot differently than I thought it would, but I’ve had to accept a lot of difficult things and accepting that life rarely goes as planned is one of them.  I know that although we may set goals there’s a great chance that they may not turn out as planned or come about as expected.  But yet and still I remain a dreamer, believe and of course planner so I couldn’t help but come up with some goals that I’d like to reach by my big milestone birthday of 40! 

Fun goal: My fun goal is two fold.  To take a trip at least once a year to an international location and the second is to get out more at home.  The latter may not seem like a big thing to some people, but considering that a fun Friday night for me is usually cuddling up in my bed and watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead or even worse getting my coupons together for Sunday shopping, it is for me.  So I want to meet new people, I want to date as much as I can and just enjoy life where I’m planted.

Bravey goal: to take that trapeze class I’ve been wanting to try for years!  Today as we walked along the pier in Santa Monica they were giving trapeze classes and it reminded me of a class I wanted to take at home but hadn’t because I didn’t want to go it alone.  I usually have no issue doing things alone, in fact I’m a bit of a loner, but for whatever reason I let that stop me when it came to taking the class.

Life-long goal: to publish the first book in my children’s book series. I’ve had the idea in my head for years and earlier this year  I completed the first book, but that’s where the successes ended.  My goal was to have a schedule to look up and submit to at least five agents per week which hasn’t happened.  So wether I go the agent route or self-pub route I want to have at minimum the first book published and in major bookstores (do they still have those?!) within the next two years.

God-sized goal:  my dream of having a husband and children has increased tremendously over the past few years.  And while I refuse to settle for the sake of a ring, i have to admit that my biological clock has been ringing loud and clear in my ear no matter how many times I press snooze!  So my God-sized goal (prayer) is that I meet and marry a man I can consider a true soul mate and at least be with child before turning 40.  I plan to date as much as possible and I’m already on two dating sites although they haven’t been used much.  I do know that this is something God himself will have to move on and it will happen in his timing, but if nothing comes from dating  other than the fact that I had fun and got to meet some cool people that would be great!

  
What are your goals before your big milestone birthday?

Be blessed

Court

Why I stayed…

We met the summer before I was to become a freshman in college, he was tall, cute and in my own words ‘an older man’ (four years older).¬† But I was intrigued because he wasn’t like the boys in high school that were immature and silly, he had a real job and his own car.¬† He would be my first everything including encounter with¬†cheating and abuse.¬† The first two years of our relationship were fine as we were long distance, but when he moved¬†to live with me things took a violent turn.¬† I can remember the first time he hit me, it came as such a shock I didn’t really know what to do, I remember it till this day, he punched me three times in the head and¬†tried to¬†pull my eye out of the socket.¬†¬†The police were called, my parents were called and I¬†was taken to the hospital for treatment.¬†¬†I still did not say good bye, but¬†after that I began to fight back and when we fought it was dirty, punches were thrown, memories destroyed and vicious words tossed around like ammunition to see who could hurt the other the¬†most.¬† We would find each other fighting like enemies and making up like lovers, it was a horrible debilitating cycle that many people find themselves involved in.¬†¬†Although the physical scars have long since healed,¬†dealing with such hatred and negativity left many internal scars¬†some of which are still slightly open.¬† I’ve often wondered why I remained in that relationship for so long and have had people ask me the same.¬† I came up with three main reasons why I and many other people remain, I’ll admit for me in essence they are all excuses for not loving myself enough to leave the situation.

Our souls agreed:¬† My ex and I were both fractured human beings for different reasons, he grew up in a household where he saw his dad beat his mom and I had come from a home where¬†my dad never hit¬†me¬†and had loving parents but dealt¬†with other issues that wrecked my self-esteem.¬†Because I didn’t truly love me Somewhere deep inside I agreed with treatment that told me I was unworthy of love and being handled lovingly. ¬†Beyond the insecurities I’d built up¬†being molested as a child,¬†years of constant bullying and a tremendous amount of self-inflicted deprecation, his words confirmed what I already¬†felt about myself. ¬†There was always someone prettier right around the corner because I wasn’t that beautiful, my body was ugly and skinny, I could never get another man to care for me etc etc.¬†¬†I ate the negativity up and it only fed my unhealthy negative¬†self image.¬†I stayed because I didn’t think I deserved better.

There was benefit: As I said my self esteem was not the greatest, I allowed people to walk over me, say whatever they wanted and get away with taking advantage of me. I internalized a lot of pain and the only time I seemed to be able to release it was when I was angry, I didn’t have (and am still working on) the tools for communicating effectively within the boundaries of a respectful and nonaggressive confrontation or argument.¬† In that situation I felt vindicated in venting through painful words and fighting back because he was just as aggressive as I was, it actually felt good to release the frustration and in some twisted way speak up for myself, it was a rush.¬† Unfortunately, it’s how I continued to handle confrontation in my relationships going forward and am now paying the consequences as I continued¬†to fight dirty verbally when angry.¬† In addition I also received sympathy from my friends, when I would have bruises or went¬†to the hospital.¬† It felt good to know people cared for me and had my back but in return I easily allowed myself to play the role of the victim which is something that’s haunted me for years.

There was comfort in the pain:¬†In addition to being comfortable with him,¬†I also believe the torment felt familiar from the years of bullying as a child by peers.¬†¬†The name calling and the breaking down of me as a person that I had allowed in the past was akin to his speech when it came to me.¬†¬†¬†After being with someone for years at a time many of us can become reliant on them being in our lives and that attachment, albeit¬†healthy or not, makes it more difficult to leave the relationship. ¬†Change is scary, I didn’t want the burden of getting to know someone else’s flaws, faults and secret skeletons that lurked behind their closet doors. ¬†I reigned myself to stay with him because I thought it was love and I knew what to expect.

The reasons people remain in abusive relationships vary vastly, there is no cookie cutter clue as to why some are willing to put up with physical harm.  If you or someone you know are in a destructive relationship I would take a look at this article I wrote on what to do to get out!  I sincerely pray for your healing, physical and spiritual restoration and release from such a situation.

God Bless,
Court

I pray for you a man…

Yesterday, I was reading an article about a young couple¬†that waited until¬†marriage to have sex and I found myself thinking¬†back to my dating life as a young woman, unfortunately my¬†lifestyle at the time wasn’t¬†on track to lead by the same example set by this couple.¬† I realize that saving your virginity for marriage isn’t for everyone, but I honestly regret giving such a precious gift to my ex and truly wished it was something I could have saved for my husband.¬† Now that being said I’m not that young anymore and let’s just say if I had waited to have sex until marriage I would be well on my way to being the female counterpart of the 40-year-old virgin.¬†¬†I’m getting to the¬†point¬†where being single has become normalcy and although I would like to¬†be married one¬†day I’m unsure if I even want to without the possibility of having children and the older I get the more my chances of doing so decrease.¬†Believe me, my doctor drilled this into my head just the other day.¬† In reading the article, I thought that it may be too late for me, but¬†there are some things that throughout my dealings with men and relationships that I learned and¬†would tell young women today (and my daughter if God decides to bless me in that way)¬†to seek and pray for in a mate,¬†this is my prayer for them.

I pray for you a man who will support you, that will be your strength when you are weak, that will pamper, console, spoil and care for you, a man who will be your strongest cheerleader and weakest critic

I pray for you a man who will be faithful and loyal. I pray that you never have to feel the anguish of a broken heart, but if you do, know that it will teach you many lessons and allow it make you better not bitter

I pray for you a man who is diligent about keeping his word and that understands the strength of it, a man who knows his foundation begins with what he declares

I pray for you a man who see’s your body as more than something to pleasure him sexually¬†and domestically or to be abused but that¬†recognizes your body as God’s temple

I pray for you a man who honors your purity and desires to present you without spot before the Lord, a man who purposes to refrain from sexual sin because he desires a relationship with God more than he does with you

I pray for you a man who can make you laugh wholehearted, deep-belly, genuine laughs even on days when you feel like crying the most

I pray for you a man who will take the time to get to know you as a person, someone¬†who¬†calls you daily, woo’s you romantically, and stimulates you mentally, a man who will not stop pursuing you even after he knows he has you

I pray for you a man who feels pain when you are hurting because he is sensitive to your feelings and hates to see you unhappy

I pray for you a man who is proud but not prideful, that is confident but not conceited and is decisive but not stubborn

I pray for you a man who see’s the value of your input and the wisdom that flow’s through you from above and I pray that his ego is able to take a back seat to your opinions, views and ideals so that he truly hears and listens to your voice

I pray for you a man who love’s conversing with you because he enjoys getting to know¬†you even after he know’s all about you

I pray for you a man who consistently acknowledges the beauty of you and will always choose to see the best in you

I pray for you a man able to find the delicate balance between the gentleness and strength required of great leaders

I pray for you a man who is mature enough to walk away if he is not ready to treat you in the proper manner  or a man who will  not hang on to you simply because he does not want to let you go but yet is not able to be the man you need

I pray for you a man who understands the meaning of relationship and that does not love in a self-serving manner, a man who is able to serve and provide for his family

I pray for you a man who you do not need, but truly want to have in your life and that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt loves and care’s about you because his actions say so more than his words

I pray for you a man that makes loving him easy even in the hardest of times and that seeks to truly and fully live out the command of loving you like Jesus loved the church

Be Blessed,

Court

Burn the highlight reel

This morning as I scrolled through my facebook feed I ran across a post that threw me, one of my friends announced her decision to file for divorce from her husband of over¬†thirteen years.¬† There are two things that caught me off guard, one was the fact that she¬†had the guts¬†to blast the news¬†all over social media because as¬†a semi-private person that is just getting comfortable with opening up to the world, I don’t think I would have had the desire to allow people into my business on that level, but different strokes.¬† The second and real thing that shocked me was that just days before I ran across¬†another post of she and her husband¬†in what looked like an extremely¬†joyous situation.¬† They were out on a¬†date night, celebrating the brief freedom from daily¬†responsibilities, taking cuddly, kissy¬†selfies and posting it all for the¬†world to see.¬† I had never seen anything on her newsfeed that would remotely point to an unhappy situation.¬† We aren’t that close and in real life we’re maybe distant associates¬†so I didn’t feel comfortable asking¬†about the situation¬†or even commenting on the status, but I did want¬†to know how and why it happened?¬†¬†Partially because I’m nosey¬†but mostly¬†because I used to long for a successful marriage and family of my own based off of the glimpses of happiness portrayed in her and a couple others¬†feeds.¬† I didn’t want to see another marriage bite the dust, especially one that I¬†looked up to from a far.

Unfortunately, it’s the tragedy of the highlight reel.¬†¬†We get to edit, Photoshop and tweak our lives into our personal¬†perfection¬†even if we aren’t¬†truly living it. ¬†I honestly don’t even think many of us do it consciously as¬†I can’t see too may people stopping in the middle of a heated argument¬†to announce, we should take a selfie!¬† Most of us¬†try to¬†keep the lowlights of our lives locked tightly behind closed doors and definitely off of social media (although I have seen a couple of pretty comical FB fights).¬†If¬†we lose sight of this¬†key fact,¬†we can find ourselves in¬†the dreaded¬†comparison trap where we are pitting our blooper reel against someone elses highlight reel.¬† I’m guilty of it and fell prey easily because I pined for a family of my own,¬†so when I looked at photos or videos of my friends sharing the brightest moments with their significant others and kids it would at times make me unhappy with where I was in my life. That’s the biggest problem with comparing your life to someone else’s, it becomes easy to be unsatisfied with the blessings God has given you.¬†¬†In turn you¬†choose to be unhappy and unappreciative¬†based off of a perception that your life would be¬†so much better ‘if’.

To be happy with our true authentic selves we must burn the highlight reel (as one of my favorite speakers would say) and stop comparing our lives whether it’s to gain a sense of superiority or to wallow in what we don’t have.¬† Always keep in mind that there are so many facets to human beings that¬†no one can possibly get every aspect of that across on a social media network and that these are just glimpses of imperfect people leading imperfect lives.¬†And¬†even if they truly are living their highlight reels¬†try to¬†set aside thoughts of¬† jealousy or envy, pray that their blessings continue to overflow, embrace your own journey¬†and keep it moving because you are needed as the star in your own movie, no one else can play that part.

Be Blessed
Court

We all fall

I can definitely say that within the past couple of weeks I have failed in some areas that in my mind were under control¬†but somehow, when tested,¬†I found myself back at square one going through the motions of dealing with the discouragement of failure.¬† I don’t know what it is for you, not keeping a consistent schedule for reading the bible, breaking a diet, drug usage, falling back into sexual sin, or blowing your budget,¬†it can be devastating to make progress but continually backtrack, especially if it’s something you’ve dealt with for years.¬† Sometimes you may want to give up completely, especially if you feel like you’ve let God or people¬†in your life down. ¬†I’ve been there A LOT, but please¬†don’t give up, continue to strive for excellence and keep pushing forward. This quote puts it perfectly, ‘failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker, failure is delay, not defeat, it is a temporary detour, not a dead end.¬†¬†To be¬†totally honest, I wrote this particular blog¬†out of the failures I’ve encountered within the past couple of weeks,¬† it helps me to move forward and I hope it will be helpful¬†on your journey to success as well.

  1. Remember that God loves you and will forgive you:¬† We serve an awesome God, who truly loves and wants a relationship with us.¬† Although sin can separate us from Him and we are definitely outside of His will when in sin, we are able to repent (read about true repentance here) and seek His forgiveness, which He has promised to extend as we extend¬† that same forgiveness to others. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you‚ÄĚ (Matthew 6:14).
  2. Forgive yourself:¬†I notice that¬†Many times after I make a mistake or fail at something important, like blowing my budget when I have a gazillion bills to pay or falling into sexual sin with my boyfriend I am the only one beating myself up about it for days or weeks at a time.¬† I can be extremely hard on myself and at times this crosses over to other people I’m in relationship with as I can force my expectations of perfection onto them.¬† But by reliving the moment I’m keeping it alive and allowing past occurrences to play a major part in¬†my present.¬† Worrying, calling myself names, dwelling on the false sense of being a failure all contributes to a feeling of being stuck and of pain.¬†¬†¬†Whereas if¬†I focus on forgiving myself and¬†recognize my¬†humanity while taking full responsibility for¬†my mistake¬†while learning from the lesson¬†it brings a sense of strength and true compassion for one of the most important people in¬†my world, me!
  3. Recognize that everyone fails at some point in their lives:¬† Scripture tells us that we ALL fall short (Romans 3:32). but through His grace and by our faith we are saved!¬† I am so happy that I have a God that truly loves me and understands that I will fail, but gives me the strength¬†and provision¬†to get up again and continue on my journey with Him.¬† Although perfection is the goal it is a continuous effort that I’m not sure¬†I will reach in this lifetimes.¬† Failures will happen, but it’s how you recover that matters the most.
  4. Right your wrongs (if you can):¬† If you’re able to return the dress you bought that blew your budget do so or if you failed at¬†practicing patience with¬†your kids or¬†speaking kindly to¬†your¬†husband when frustrated then¬†truly apologize and make an effort to search out strategies that will help prevent future occurrences.¬† Although, you can’t actually go back in time you can rectify or try to make amends for some mistakes.¬† As long as sorry doesn’t continually cross your lips for the same infraction and it’s genuine those that love you will most likely find it in their hearts to forgive and let it go.
  5. Focus on the future not your failures:  In Philippians 3, Paul tells us not to focus on things in the past but to push forward towards what Christ has for us.  This may be more difficult for some, as we have to get in a habit of controlling our thoughts and not allow them to control us.  It is an art, which honestly I have yet to conquer myself but will as I grow and practice. There are many great resources online and books on the topic, but to start off try this: when a thought comes into your head that drags you back to that failure focus on the lessons learned and not the negatives, think about something else or a positive that came out of it.  The bible tells us to think on positive things and replaying a mistake is doing just the opposite of what God told us to do.
  6. Get your game plan together:¬† Life is kind of like a game, full of obstacles, set backs, wins and successes but¬†the best players always have a plan!¬† While our plans may not always work out as we’d like, I truly believe that a failure to plan is a plan to fail.¬† In His word, God tells us that He will always give us a way out of temptation and that we have the power to resist temptation and flee the devil.¬† We have power, we just have to use it.¬† If you find yourself constantly falling into the same trap or¬†giving into the same sin make a plan to help prevent even taking that route in the future.

I hope these pointers help, what are some things you do to prevent wallowing in failures, please share below!
God Bless,
Court ūüôā