Tag Archives: relationships

Without the ring

Bridal portrait.

When you’re dating sometimes the lines between acting as a girlfriend and a wife without a ring can get quite blurry. I’m not speaking exclusively of sex, but also the simple things that as nurturing women we want to do for our significant others. Oftentimes we don’t recognize that we are giving husband privileges to a boyfriend that hasn’t earned them. Although the bible gives us a glimpse of a godly wife, there are no hard and fast rules about biblical girlfriend-hood.  I’ve been in a relationship where it seemed the guy wanted me to be his wife in every aspect except the vows, the license and the ring.  Amongst other things, he wanted submission and of course sex, but wasn’t quite ready to take that walk down the aisle and I perpetuated it by allowing it to continue.  Many times we choose to believe words that hold the promise of a ring instead of believing the actions that ultimately will sell a person out.  I’ve learned a few things while in long term relationships (6, 7 and 3 years), so here are five big rewards or acts that in my opinion should be reserved for a husband that actually put a ring on it and not just a promise to do so.

  1. Sex: This is an obvious but extremely important point. The direction to flee fornication may oftentimes seem more like a punishment than the gift it is. I know from personal experience I cannot have sex with someone without becoming attached because for me there must be a deep connection already woven into the relationship. Unfortunately, through premarital sex I’ve formed unhealthy soul ties in the past with boyfriends because I thought it was okay since we would one day be married. Had I used the wherewithal to wait on God’s best and until marriage to take our relationship to the next level this may not have been an issue and I could have saved myself a lot of heart ache, disappointments and stress.
  2. Household responsibilities: In my twenties I lived with my boyfriend and found myself playing house every since then, simply because I thought that was the way it was supposed to be. I recently had a guy tell me (yes, tell me) that I would have to make him dinner because he wanted to make sure I could cook.  Now, when I want to, I can be a culinary (crockpot) guru, but have grown to a maturity level where proving my cooking skills to some random isn’t in my realm of desires.  I am eager however to cook for my husband and ensure that he enjoys every bite. In fact I have begun to cook more at home in an effort to add meals to my repertoire.  Things like cooking regular meals, ironing (which I despise anyway, a spray bottle filled with water and a dryer are my best friends), cleaning and other household chores are reserved for my home, if there happens to be a husband in it then he will definitely reap those rewards. If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, that’s great news, because the only man’s heart I want is my husbands and he is the only one I want to cook (or order) dinner for every night!
  3. Changing churches: In past serious relationships, the issue has not been that we are unequally yoked concerning being Christian, but that we weren’t attending the same church. I don’t see much purpose in changing my church home until God has spoken to us and we are actually on the road to marriage. I do plan to attend my future husband’s church for counseling reasons and to be of equal accord, it just isn’t necessary while dating. The idea didn’t sit right with me the big one being because I wouldn’t feel comfortable in the case of the relationships demise; and If I based my decision about a church on who I’m dating at the time there’s a possibility that I would be a consistent church hopper.  If you are seeking a church home or already attend the same church those are very different circumstances.
  4. Combining finances:  I usually refrain from even discussing specifics about my finances (or his) early on in a relationship including what I make or what I have in savings.  Also, I have never been asked, but cosigning (read proverbs) on things or mixing finances would not occur while dating, joint bank accounts are reserved for marriage in my eyes. I do however think it extremely important to discuss how you each spend money, is his style thrifty or frivolous, does he save money regularly, are bills paid on time, is he in debt and vice versa. It’s been noted that many marriages fail due to monetary differences or struggles, knowing these types of things prior to engagement is crucial.
  5. Submission: Submission is intertwined into many aspects of our lives even if we choose not to see it. As a child you submit to your parents and as an adult to a boss, coach, pastor or another head. The bible tells us that as wives we are also to submit to our husband as unto the Lord.  That being said, I have yet to read where it states a girlfriend is to submit to her boyfriend, if you find it let me know!  Even though we may practice submission daily as brothers and sisters in Christ, until we have become one under God I would not consider any one I’m dating my headship.  As a single woman I submit to God and am still under the umbrella of my earthly and heavenly fathers.  I would however, expect him to exhibit leadership qualities and to have respect for the decisions he makes in his own life.

Just my two cents 😊

God Bless and here’s to a purposeFULL life!

Court

Advertisements

Through the flames

I got a text from my ex yesterday, that although it shouldn’t have, caused me a great deal of sadness.  I think it’s because it solidified the fact that we weren’t getting back together, and although I thought I had totally let go, there was this little piece of me that was still holding on.  While we were dating, I honestly thought he was the one, we discussed marriage, having a family, and he told me (although I never saw it) that he had gone ring shopping.  I thought he was the man who God had for me and we were going to live happy together for the rest of our days.  Unfortunately, there was a curve ball thrown and that didn’t turn out to be the case.

I won’t go into detail about the text but it was enough to send me running back to feeling as if we had broken up more recently and there was such an internal pain that it was almost crippling.   I didn’t want to see or deal with anyone, but since I received the text in the middle of doing something I had to push on and wait to open the flood gates until I got into my car and a safe distance away from the building.  I confused myself, because  I was dealing, coping or at least I thought I was until I found myself falling back into the anguish of sadness that seemed to come out of no where and so quickly that it was impossible to dodge.  I fell back into questioning the things that happened, wondering if I had made the right decisions. I found myself questioning God, asking Him if I would ever have love, did I miss my chance and why am I here yet again?  I found myself holding onto heartache more than happiness as I dwelled on the fact that I was 37 and without prospects.  I wondered if I would have to do the rest of my life without a mate and if so could I be okay with that?  I forgot to remind myself that just because I didn’t see big things on the horizon, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.  Since, I’d been here before in my twenties I knew that if I stayed one of two things that would happen.  1. I would fall deeper and deeper into sadness and eventually depression and 2.  I would  fall further and further away from Christ.  So I prayed and prayed some more between sobs.  It was a long sleepless night of guarding my tongue against words the enemy would have me speak over my life and asking God for strength, faith and vision to see beyond this point in my life and also for contentment while in the season.

Today after almost two months of my ex and I officially parting ways, I let go.  It was difficult, because I wanted to hold on, but I deleted the numbers, emails and text.  I released the dreams of meeting him at the end of the aisle on our wedding day and us growing old and wrinkly together.  I let it all go, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt, it means that through the pain I must hold on to the faith that all things will work together for both of our goods and release the fear that it won’t.  It is not a fire of consumption but of cleansing, so I have to thank Him even while walking through the flames.

Whatever your issue is, if you find yourself taking a couple of steps back, remember it’s normal.  Blame it on our humanity.  No one and no situation is perfect, some days it’s easy to roll with the punches and sometimes you feel like you got knocked off of your feet.  Fight the good fight and remember God is there for you, He will help you, believe that.

God Bless
Court

Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  (ESV)

1 Peter 5:7 – Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (ESV)

Genesis 2:18 – Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (ESV) – God will bring someone great into our lives if it is His will, he made us for companionship.

If you need to speak to someone: The Samaritans 24-Hour Crisis Hotline (212) 673-3000

Giving up on love

Love always endures is what 1 Corinthians 13 tells us, but when you come to the end of a romantic relationship that has been torn apart by carless words and actions you have to wonder is it always true?  After getting to know someone for months or years they can become so entrenched in your life that when it’s all over and done there’s a crater sized void in your heart and a million questions in your head.  Where did the dreams, the joy and the love go?  Your norm was hearing from them or spending time with them daily, consistently loving, laughing and living with them.  You shared visions of a future, meals and tv shows together.  So, when it all comes to an abrupt halt and you have to make the choice to live in your new norm of doing life alone, everything in you may fight against it.  For most it is a hurt that you never want to feel again.  At some point we all desire to throw in the towel and build that wall of protection around our hearts, brick by tedious brick.  After all, if you never allowed love in again, you wouldn’t feel the sting of another failed relationship, the foolishness of falling for an unfaithful partner, or the ordeal of placing your heart in someone else’s hands only to have them leave or abuse that trust.  Trust me, I know how you feel.

Break ups are akin to going through withdrawals.  You miss that familiar connection and there are periods of ups and downs where you may be looking forward to meeting someone new but then again you miss the comfort of them terribly.  You may be happy one minute and crying like a baby the next, emotions (and hormones) are strong things.  Some of us may do a better job at controlling how we deal with emotions but they come with being human, so allow yourself to feel and grieve the loss of the relationship.  These feelings will persist until they are no longer a part of you, until there is no twinge in your stomach when their name is mentioned or sting of regret when you see them.  But be grateful for the fact that there is an until because the feelings you have for them will change and eventually your heart will heal and won’t beat for that person.  You just have to go through the healing process.   Truthfully, it sucks and hurts like hell, but the wholeness that you receive on the other side is well worth it.  The most difficult part is letting them go, while holding on to the hope of everything that love brings.  Let go of the what if’s because they were just dreams and embrace the reality of a bright future and new loves. Let go of the you that wasn’t your best with them and embrace self-improvement through retrospection and diligent work.  Most importantly let go of the lies Satan will tell you of how you will never find true love and embrace the truth in God’s promises, that He will never leave nor forsake you and will always love you.

We throw the word love around today as if it were some flimsy, obscure, meaningless word, but there is power in our words and strength that comes with confessing that you will trust God’s plan for your love life, even in it’s absence.  God is love and our charge is to love each other as siblings in Christ, point blank.  Ultimately I believe that the type of love you have for the person must shift from Eros to Agape. It may take a while to come around, but forgive them, pray for them, genuinely wish them the best and take your lessons like a boss so that you become better not bitter.  Ask God to soften your heart and reveal and heal any hardened parts so that you don’t block your blessings when your chance to show love comes back around, because ultimately it will.

Don’t give up on love, it always trusts, always hopes and always endures.  Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:7-8)

God bless
Court

Holy Shift

I have a beautiful wardrobe if I do say so myself and I collect shoes as if I’m gearing up to open a mini Macy’s.  But after taking inventory of my internal status I’ve noticed that over the years I’ve collected some pretty ugly qualities.  I’ve added some bad habits, stored a bunch of negativity, indulged in a little moodiness, picked up some double mindedness and threw in a bit of emotional instability just for good measure.  In other words my heart isn’t always so pretty.  Now, I’m always roughest on myself and I have taken tremendous strides in my walk with Christ but I still have a looooong way to go.  I can quickly throw the fruits of the spirit out the window and revert to my former ways of pessimism, not speaking in love or sinning in anger at the drop of a hat if things don’t go my way.

Today I had lunch with two girlfriends, one is recently engaged and the other has been married for years and they have just decided to enlarge their family.  As we updated each other on life events, marriage, babies, trips etc it came around to me.  I eagerly discussed some of the exciting things occurring in my life that I’m extremely grateful for including a new home.  I was genuinely happy for them but once I got home I began to reflect on where my life was headed and wondered if I would ever have something as monumental as an engagement to the man God had for me or the arrival of my first child to divulge.  Quickly God answered,  He asked me why I thought He should bring my husband right now when I’m a mess inside?  I realize no one is perfect and after marriage and motherhood some flaws remain, but I could work on preparing  myself a lot more than I have been.  Yes, I have a house, but my finances are shot because of poor credit card choices in the past, I’ve held on to soul ties from previous relationships, my emotions can be all over the place and in times of anger I allow them to lead me instead of the Holy Spirit.  I also get easily irritated by small things like slow drivers or my dog’s barking and I throw spiritual temper tantrums when I don’t get my way.  I’m still eating that mushy baby food and sometimes God has to revert to milk with me.  I wonder if the angels look down on me shaking their heads wondering if I’ll ever learn and just how many times do I want to make my way around this same old mountain!

If you are eager to have a significant other, a child or some other life altering event, have you checked yourself lately?  Would God ask you why He should oblige when you aren’t ready to receive the blessing?  I guess, if I look at it from Gods’ point of view I am a little happy that He hasn’t given me my way because I would definitely ruin a great thing.  One of the women in my small groups bible study was speaking on the talk she had with God about a month prior to meeting her husband.  She asked God for one of His son’s and God told her she had to be His daughter first.  Meaning, she would have to forgo focusing on a man and focus on The Man, Jesus! Shifting your entire focus isn’t easy to do when people around you are getting married or popping out babies like candy dispensers while you sit alone watching your biological clock speedily tick, tick, tick away.  It’s difficult, especially when the world, from your doctor to strangers on the street (yes this has happened to me) are constantly attempting to instill the fear of perpetual singleness into you.   I consistently pray for freedom from people bondage because honestly there are so many other things to focus on, the main one being God’s will.  I’ve given up trying to shift my focus on my own because it doesn’t work and have since started praying that God changes my thoughts and keeps my hand’s off the wheel.  After all, He is the one with the directions! Be blessed & live purposeFULLy Court

A little inspiration

From time to time I need a little inspiration. I find it in many places, but often watching inspirational YouTube videos encourages me to stay on track and keep the faith. Here’s one for the single ladies that I enjoy watching. I find it inspirational because I can relate to what Erica says especially with her being 38 at the time and going through clinging to relationships that should be cut off. I can also relate to the discontinuity in a relationship, the roller coaster relationship experience, the constant crying, sadness and absence of peace or trust. Some of these feelings are my issue but I also have to accept that part of the them may be God telling me that the man I was with wasn’t the one, no matter how much I want him to be. I’ve been in a place of knowing I should let go intellectually but my heart viciously rebels, in fact I’m there now! It hurts like heck and is extremely and utterly confusing, but we all know that God is not the author of confusion. So, what’s a girl to do when she wants nothing more than to be with the counterfeit or someone she isn’t sure about? The answer is simple but so very difficult and is always to listen to and give it to God and make the choice to follow His guidance, no matter how much it hurts.

Erika shares a wonderful and uplifting testimony (she also has an awesome pregnancy testimony) for anyone that wants to be a Godly wife to a Godly husband but is afraid of letting go of a current ‘situation’. Although all of our stories will be different, I pray that we all have wonderful testimonies to share with others in the upcoming chapters of our lives!

God bless & here’s to a purposeFULL life!
Court😉

Part one:

 

Part two:

 

 

How I know He loves me

Happy Valentines day!!!  I love holidays and V-Day is no different.  Although sometimes touted as a ploy to get people to spend ridiculous amounts of money, I’m just as happy making gifts and spending it watching movies with that special someone.  This V-day I don’t have a significant other, but I will be spending it with someone extra-special to me!  All this talk about love and relationships, got me thinking about the most important relationship in my life, my connection with God and how He shows his love for me. These are some ways that I know my heavenly father loves me (and you).

He provides: In the bible God tells us that He will supply our every need and that I need not worry about what I should eat or wear.  Granted I am a shoeaholic so I do find myself obsessing about these things, but I don’t have to and I know that I shouldn’t!  There have been days where I’m extremely low on funds (I’m talking $1 in my account low) and I’ll get a free lunch or someone will give me money they owe me, once I even received an unexpected check in the mail.  Although I’m not weatlhy by any stretch of the world, I’m rich because I’m blessed to have a heavenly father that provides the necessities of life and then some. (Matthew 6:26, Philippians 4:19)

He protects:  There are many examples in the bible of God protecting the Israelites and from what I know He will do the same thing for us today as His children.  God tells us that He will fight for us and He will even send angels to protect us if need be.  I can remember once when I was stuck on the side of the road, as cars whizzed by I was extremely apprehensive about getting out  but not even two minutes after pulling over a tow truck came to help me. I hadn’t called anyone and didn’t have to worry about a thing, God had me and sent one of His angels to protect me.  (Exodus 14:14, Romans 12:19, Psalm 91:1-16, Psalm 34:7)

He chastises: This one is a hard pill to swallow because who in their right mind likes to be chastised?!  But usually when I do something wrong, tell a lie (I’m not a great liar anyway) or am into something I shouldn’t be, I’m usually paying the consequences fairly quickly!  The bible tells us that God loves those that He chastises because those are His children.  When you were a child and did wrong your parent or guardian would have probably scolded or at least let you know where you went wrong out of concern and love.  Our parents were put here to love us by God so it’s easy to see  how much more does God love us. (Hebrews 12:16, Proverbs 3:12)

He says so: I can remember a time when I didn’t read the bible for myself and believed whatever the priest (I was raised Catholic) or someone else told me about God so I didn’t know my father.  But since reading for myself, Gods love for little old me has becomes more real to me every day (if that makes sense).  It has become an easier concept to take hold of because there was a time when I didn’t even know that I could have an intimate relationship with God as a father or lover of my soul.  To me He had been this great unapproachable being that ruled with an iron fist and I was just trying to get through this life to heaven by being a perfect person that did not wrong, or at least tried to most of the time.  When I did do wrong I would beat myself up worse than either of my parents could punish me.  I didn’t realize that I didn’t have to be perfect for Him to love me because He knew I wasn’t, after all He created made me that way!  Through reading His word I’ve learned so much about the type of relationship God wants with me and what He has done to have that connection with me.  It is still astonishing and sometimes hard for my brain to wrap around the fact that such a great God would deem me special enough to call me daughter.  That to me is a miracle in itself and I thank Him. (Romans 8:35-39, 1John 4:16, Luke 12:7)

He rewards: of course we get the ultimate reward when we get to heaven, but until then the earthly rewards are more than enough.  If we continue to reap we will be rewarded.  There are also times when God wants us to be still and know.  If we listen and submit to God’s will we will see the fruits of listening to our heavenly father. I can remember going through a period of waiting for a job, it was 8 months before I got one.  I went through depression, anger and eventually acceptance.  Although I never stopped submitting job applications, I held on to the fact that what I was going through at the time was God’s will.  I studied my bible, watched shows related to getting to know God and practically nothing else (that may be excessive but it was what I needed at the time).  When I got a job I was so ecstatic because it was just the type of job I had asked for, God always comes through!  (Hebrews 6:10, Galatians 6:9)

He forgives:  God sent His son to die for us, Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and washed away our sins.  God is quick to forgive us and because He is love and love keeps no records of wrongs, our slates are clean once we repent (confess and turn away from that particular sin completely). Many times we have a hard time forgiving (at least I know I have), but we must as followers of God so that He can forgive us as we do others.  (John 3:16, Romans 5:8)

He never give’s up on us:  I have been a wishy washy Christian for a lot of my years here on earth (I wrote about that here).  But whenever I return to God, He is there.  He is not angry with me, He doesn’t push me away or make me feel bad but He embraces and loves on me.  I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a situation where someone let’s you know that ‘they told you so’ or turns their back on you because they feel like you walked away from them, it’s a horrible feeling especially if all you wanted was acceptance and love.  But human’s make horrible gods obviously, so thank God for our heavenly father who will never leave or forsake you! (Deuteronomy 31:6, James 4:8, Luke 15:1-7)

Also take note that all the ways God shows His love are ways that we can show others love as well.  Have a happy valentines day and love on:)

God bless,
Court

He hit you, so what NOW?

It is estimated that one in four women will fall victim to domestic violence and that about 2 million men per year beat their partners.*  As a woman these statics are scary but as someone that has experienced abuse at the hands of a significant other  it is painful to know that there are so many women and men going through such trauma.   In my case our arguments and fights escalated, from verbal ridicule to me lying at the bottom of the stairs being repeatedly kicked in the stomach wondering how in the world I got here.  I’m sure this is a question that many women (and men) ask themselves when they are stunned by the blow of physical and emotional violence.  It’s confusing when the person that you love and that claims to love you is the one that hurts you the most.

My experience came with my first real relationship which only lasted six years, but scarred me for many more.  I learned to fight dirty and adapted a take no holds barred attitude, which I carried with me to other relationships as I was determined to remain in control.  In my baggage I also toted a lot of unforgiveness, mistrust, hatred against men, anger and resentment.  Needless to say, I was bitter for a while and I do believe that it contributed to one of the reasons that I have been single or in perpetual girlfriend status for so long.  I simply would not allow myself to be loved.  In some instances I even noticed that I became the abuser verbally as I can be vicious with my words.  Hindsight truly is 20/20 and I wish that I knew the things I know now about letting go of the past, practicing forgiveness and loving yourself while going through that experience.  So, these are six things I would have told my younger self and anyone currently in an intimate violent situation.

Get out NOW: Run like the wind, I know it’s cliché but I mean this very seriously!  If nothing else to put some distance between you and the aggressor until they can seek the help needed.  Even then watch their actions closely before returning.  As someone who experienced it first hand, I can truly tell you that unless help is sought most likely things will only get worse.  Recognize the fact that you can make the decision to leave, there are women all over the world that don’t have that option or aren’t given the chance.

Better yourself, NOW:  Don’t wait for years to pass you by, if you have to get therapy do so, there is no shame in seeking help.  Don’t worry about what others will think and do what’s needed to become a more complete you.  I spent six years in a horrible relationship and the next nine to ten engulfed in bitterness and an attitude that was truly counter productive to the life I said I wanted to live.  That’s approximately sixteen years of my life wasted in useless practices.  Don’t make that mistake!

Seek out support, NOW:  If it’s good friends, a family member or a domestic violence support group definitely don’t go through it alone.  Do not remain isolated and think that you have to do everything on your own.  Seek out supportive people that you can lean on when you’re weak and that you know will be there for you through it all.

Take back your power, NOW:  Going through some of the things I have in the past with men, it was easy for me to blame them and use those experiences as excuses for my current actions and problems.  I became extremely comfortable playing the victim role.  Having a victim mentality only served to place me further into an unproductive state and allowed those instances to form an even stronger hold over my life and future.  Yes, being in a violent relationship can be extremely traumatizing but eventually you will have to move past it if you want to live an empowered and victorious life.

Get to know God, NOW: I’m sure had I been where I needed to be on my walk with God, I never would have placed myself in such a horrible situation.  Even if I had, I would have had a foundation needed to recuperate in a healthier manner.  Reading the bible has helped me become a better person and the standards of God’s words are priceless when put into action.

Practice forgiveness, NOW:  In my case it took me a looooonnnng while to totally forgive and honestly this would still be a hard one for me to do immediately.  So maybe this is more of a now or later piece of advice, but either way somewhere down the line forgiveness must be extended.  What helped me finally be able to release and forgive was to recognize some of the reasons he was prone to exhibiting anger in such a violent manner.  I also had to take responsibility for my role in the reason we interacted so explosively as a couple.  Some people say it helps to picture that person as a hurting child and tackle it from that perspective.  Maybe they had a horrible childhood and violence was all they knew or they have some deeply imbedded insecurities.  While not excusing their actions, recognizing their flaws and possible reasons for the reactions may assist with making forgiveness an easier process.

be light, be love, be blessed
Court😄

Useful domestic violence links:

*National coalition against domestic violence and U.S Justice Department

2015/01/img_7306.png

Single for the holidays: Combating the holiday blues!

As an unmarried 37 year old woman I realize that I may have to accept that fact that God could never send my Boaz.  It’s possible that marriage and motherhood are not for me and that I have other things to do with my life for His kingdom.  Which most days I’m fine with, however, being single through the holidays has never been easy for me and can sometimes be down right depressing.  Although, I do love seeing all the happy families, newly engaged couples and baby bumps it doesn’t make handling the fact that I am once again single during a time that is best spent with those you love.  Now, don’t get me wrong I do have family which I’m grateful for, but there would be nothing better than waking up to a loving husband and the pitter patter of little feet eagerly racing to open Christmas gifts at the crack of dawn (and I am far from a morning person).  But it isn’t my story nor is it the story of many of my friends, so it’s been on my heart to write a post about combating the holiday blues and these are some of my weapons of sad destruction to help you gear up for the season!

Prepare yourself for the onslaught of affection:  There are four months out of the year that can feel like a quadruple gut punch to a single person and Thanksgiving is usually the holiday that starts it all! There’s at least one holiday each month from November to February that is best spent with those you love. Tis the season of holiday festivities, cheerful thanksgiving, gift giving, decking the halls and of course over the top PDAs. There seems to be an exorbitant amount of kissing going on in these couple of months, under the mistletoe on Valentines day and even when the clock strikes midnight.  Unless you lock yourself in the house without television, there’s just no escape. Which, if you’ve got no one to kiss, could inadvertently result in an inordinate amount of eye rolling, sighing and gagging!  Make sure  you prepare yourself by refraining from social media if possible or just telling yourself you aren’t going to let it get you down.  Sometimes if you already know what’s coming at you or what to expect it’s easier to dodge those moments of sadness that can catch you unaware.  Try to be genuinely happy for those that are receiving love, congratulate them and pray that they receive even more.

Get your arsenal of answers ready:  If your family is anything like mine, the minute you step through the door of any holiday festivities alone is an open invitation to let the questions about your love life (or lack there of) begin rapid fire.  Although, we know these questions are coming from a good place after hearing it for so long it eventually begins to be kind of annoying. It used to make me feel like a failure and slightly incomplete as a woman, like there was something wrong with me and in my case it would be on my mind for at least half the night. Unfortunately I’ve found myself ill prepared to answer the questions, especially when they’re asked in front of everyone and all eyes are on me. It’s still awkward till this day but now I make sure I have my arsenal of answers ready to shoot back.  I’ll tell them that I’m happy single, Mr. right hasn’t come along yet, I’m not up for settling and my favorite is I’m dating Jesus now! Most importantly, remember to speak the truth in love. Unfortunately, many people equate being in a relationship with happiness and singleness as being unhappy, which is often times not the case. But more than likely your friends and family are just showing concern and want you to be happy just as much as you do!

Don your festive fatigues:  No matter how down you feel, don’t look it!  If you’re invited out to a party, get off that couch, stop wallowing and start living while definitely dressing the part of someone having the time of their life.  You never know who you’ll meet while out, it could be the love of your life or it could just be some really awesome person that you bond with for an hour, but you’ll never know unless you go!  Go without the expectation of meeting someone and just have fun!  Act goofy, dance like people are watching (because most likely they are), laugh until you cry but most importantly live.  People are usually more attracted to smiling happy people a lot more so than someone who seems like they’re trying out for the role of Oscar the grouch.

Mentally prepare for the challenge: Once you’ve altered your mindset, your battle is half done.  Up until this day I’m sometimes negative about my love life and if I’m not consciously impeccable with my words can speak ungodly things over my life in a moment of sadness.  I do believe that words truly have power and try my hardest to speak life over my situation, although I’m not always successful.  When you’re down in the dumps the last thing you’re thinking is that things will shift in your favor because all you can see right now is what’s in front of you.  But there is more life to come and although being single during the holidays can suck at times, especially if you really didn’t desire to be partnerless, it can be an awesome time in your life if you prepare yourself ahead of time!  Before you even step foot out the door be prepared to see other couples wherever you go, especially for valentine’s day and New Years.  If a relationship is something that you truly desire, it may be hard but keep in mind that your time will come and be happy for the couples you see.  Try not to compare your life to those of others, because that is one of the most unhealthy things you can do at this time and have a meditation scripture to focus on in moments of sadness to bring you back to a place of wholeness in Christ.  I put five below, today I will keep on my mind ‘He will not leave you or forsake you’ and repeat it as much as possible especially during times of sadness or frustration to remind myself that even thought I don’t have a physical husband, God is always by my side.

  • Matthew 21:22 – And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive
  • Proverbs 30:5 – Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
  • Psalms 37:4 – Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
  • Psalms 126:5 – They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
  • Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Apply your camouflage: Have you ever heard of faking it until you make it?  Well it may be beneficial in this instance, not necessarily being phony or lying but you can let people know how you feel but still resist the urge to dwell on negative feelings even if you want to.  When someone ask you how you are, be honest if you’re feeling down about being single but remind them (and yourself) of all the great things you have to be thankful for in life.  Every conversation shouldn’t be an opportunity to drop a sad bomb.  Take the time to think of some things you’re grateful for now, your health, your children (or in my case my dogs), family, a job there are so many things.  Reminding yourself of the fact that this too will pass and that you still have a full life without a mate can sometimes work wonders on keeping you in a positive place.  Recite and repeat as often as necessary.

Thank God for winning the small battles: Christmas and Valentines are a great time to spend money and blow a budget if you’ve got a significant other so thank God that you don’t!  You can choose to stash the money or splurge and give yourself a gift.  But whatever you do is totally up to you and no one else, which is one of the perks of singlehood.  Treat yourself to a movie, throw a party for your single friends, buy a new dress or a trip if your budget allows.  Besides doesn’t sitting on a sunny beach somewhere, toes in sand and drink in hand, sound much better than trudging through the cold and snow!?

Always remember what your Commander-in-Chief said:  If we look in our bible it tells us that it is good for single people to remain single because at this time in our lives we are able to devote so much more time to the Lord.  I am guilty of not using my time as wisely as I should but whenever I am intentional about spending time with God I always, always feel better about my situation.

1Corinthians 7:8 (ESV) – to the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.

1 Corinthians 7:32-35 ESV : I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

God bless and Have a wonderful holiday (single) season!  You’re in my prayers and here’s to a purposeFULL life!

Court 😉

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/7d4/70577885/files/2014/12/img_6636.jpg

 istock photo

The 9 ‘R’s to getting your happy back after a break up

Relationships are inevitable, we date and breakup all the time, especially if you’re doing it the worlds way. I have been in a relationship that ended horribly and one that ended pretty amicably, so I guess in essence I’ve done it the wrong and right way. With one of my ex’s I’ve wallowed in the never-ending sadness of what if’s and in another I rejoiced because I felt as if I could breath for the first time in years! I understand that every break up is different and every tactic may not work for everybody, but my hope is that if you are going to a rough time right now this post may bring a little relief to your situation and a little joy to your pain, because I know it all too well.

1. Remove: The first R is to remove any and everything that might remind you of your ex, delete numbers, text, and get rid of mementos. This isn’t to say you have to toss everything, try storing items in that dark corner wayyyyyy in the  back of the garage or giving them to a trusted friend.   Let go of  it until you can look at the items without a flood of memories or regret washing over you.  And who really wants to see their ex with someone else so do yourself the favor and block or unfriend them from social media, if only for the moment.

2. Release: You have to let go of what could have been, because it probably will never be.  The only time we have is in the present, the past is history and the future will never come as you expect it. So, give it to God and let it go. Of course you will be hurt and sad by the loss of a relationship, but eventually you’ll have to stop crying over spilt milk. Release the idea of having that wedding or what your kids would have looked like so that you can usher in a new and brighter future whatever it may be.

3. Retrain: Your brain that is.  You have to start thinking differently about the person. It’s always when we break up with someone that they become the best thing since sliced bread. But many times, we’re giving them way too much credit. Not to say that you have to degrade or down the person, but the relationship had to end for some reason.  Was the person too sloppy, annoying, a poor communicator or did you guys just not have any compatibility or commonality.  Whenever you’re tempted to remember  how great the relationship was retrain your thoughts to remember the reasons you’re in this predicament now if you have to write them down.

4. Renew: In the bible it states that we are transformed by the renewal of our minds with the word of God. (Romans 12:2). This is so very true, because the word of God is alive it has the ability to change us from the inside out. Use this time to give your all to God, read the bible, pray and study. Date Jesus, he already loves you enough to die for you and is waiting with open arms. He will never, never reject you so run to him and not into the arms of another man.

5. Revive: Was there something that you really enjoyed doing, but in the chaos of life got lost somewhere down the line. Do you have dreams that are near death or passions that could use a little resuscitation? Well, now is the perfect time for a revival of all things you! Think of three things you enjoy doing or have always wanted to do and begin researching how to get started.   Research mentors, community organizations, near by classes or if it’s something you can do immediately like writing get to it!

6. Rekindle: Remember that friend you kind of, sort of neglected whenever you were with your boo? Call them up and let them know you miss their company and apologize for being MIA. One thing I’ve learned is that having (true) friends is one of the most important things in life. Usually you’ll find that they are right there when you need them regardless of the distance or time spent apart. But once you get a new boo (and I’m quite sure you will), don’t kick your friends to the curb please!   Always make time for them in your life.

6. Refocus: If you look at the lessons instead of the loss changing the way you look at the break up can help tremendously. How has the relationship developed you? Do you know more of what you don’t want in a partner? Have you come closer to realizing how to love someone or even what love is? Did it force you to be less selfish? These are all great life lessons to learn that unfortunately only relationships and heartache can teach. The best thing about a break up is that they can make you a better you if you. Sometimes, you become more perceptive of red flags, less judgemental, a tad more mature, increasingly sure of what you do and don’t want or are willing to accept and less selfish. Allow the break up to make you better and not bitter.

7. Rethink: Do your thoughts seem to shift back to that person not matter what you’re doing? You could be at work, reading, or surfing the internet and something always seems to trigger a thought about them. unfortunately these thoughts may continue to cross your mind for a while but the trick is to not let your thoughts control you. It’s as simple as thinking about something else or putting your all into what you’re doing. When this happens try closing your eyes and focusing on the breaths that you take and nothing else or meditate on a memorized scripture which is even better.

8. Regift: Right now you feel awful, but guess what you aren’t the only one. People go through break ups all the time. Instead of internalizing everything, you can use the pain as a gift. Pray for people going through similar (or worse) situations, join an encouragement page on Facebook or support someone you know going through a tough time and if you are able to volunteer somewhere to help others do so!  There truly is nothing better than to be of service to others and knowing you are the reason for the smiles on their faces just might bring one to yours.

9. Rehappy: Yes, I just made up a word because one of the most important things you have to do is take your happiness back! I know it’s cliché, but happiness truly is a choice. Choose to be happy, elated even about the fact that God got this counterfeit out the way so that He can bring you the love of your life, now that’s something to get ecstatic about!!   You can choose to sit and wallow in saddens or you can choose to start living your life knowing that this time next year you may not even remember why you were so sad in the first place.

 

2015/01/img_7292.png
A friend of mine and I on vacation, yes we were happy! 🙂

Six things you won’t have to do when the right man comes along

Sometimes the things that happened in the bible can read like a modern day reality tv show. I enjoy taking stories from the bible and connecting them to the modern day world and below I highlight six things you won’t have to do for the right man with some biblical examples.

1. You won’t have to manipulate him: let’s just take it from the top with this example and start with Eve (Genesis:3). Technically the serpent or devil manipulated Eve and she in turn got her husband to eat of the fruit. Prior to this incident Adam was just chilling naming animals and going about his business. Granted he had a choice & wasn’t innocent, but he had some trust in Eve as his wife and partook of her offer. Look where that got Eve (and all women to follow) kicked out of paradise, painful childbirth and enmity between women and men!

As humans we can sometimes have a tendency to be manipulative, especially to get our way. But not only is this human characteristic unattractive and not fitting for a Christian, being manipulative will most likely backfire. Manipulation can come in many forms, through conversation, psychological, actions and even the way we dress. Women know that men are visual creatures, so don’t play the role of a temptress if you know he’s trying to live right! Yes, he should be able to control himself, but why try to purposely throw him off? Obtaining the affection of a man based on manipulation will ultimately fail because usually once he finds out, he will eventually recognize your manipulative tactics and take you for being a disengienuine person Tricking someone into being with you or doing what you want isn’t a great way to begin a relationship, but it is a sure fire way to end one!

2. You won’t have to lie about who you are: Lying goes right along with manipulation. Let’s look at the story of Leah (Genesis 29:21-35, Genesis:30). For me the story of Leah is a sad one, not only did her father have lie about who she was to get her married off, no matter what she did or how many sons she bore, Jacob would never love her the way he did Rachel. Although, she got what she wanted (marriage) it was far from a happy union for her.

Now today we aren’t totally hiding our faces from our grooms on the wedding day so he’s totally clueless. But we can still pretend to be someone else, even you choose to lie about little things like enjoying sports when you don’t know a red from a white sock or being deceitful about that meal you ‘cooked’ just for him while the take out boxes sit in the trash. Yes, there are so many worldly things that tell us we have to play this game and possibly tell little white lies to make him fall for you. But guess what, if you’re lying about who you are, he isn’t falling for you, he’s falling for the woman you pretend to be. Then you have to either keep up the charade or come clean about the reality of you, lying will always hurt the relationship in the end. You should feel comfortable and confident being yourself around a person you’re interested in. If you have to lie to keep someone’s interest, is it really worth keeping?

3. You won’t have to chase him: We’ve all heard that women are hunters and men like women who are aggressive in pursuit or she that chase down a husband findeth a good thing, right? No? Me neither. Ask any man, seriously ANY man and he will say he wants to pursue a woman not the other way around. Let’s look at Joseph and Potophers wife (Genesis 39). Potophers wife was all over Joseph the minute he stepped foot in Egypt. She literally chased him down, ripping a piece of his clothing! Nits pretty obvious to most that if you have to do all that to get a man, he don’t want you. It can be difficult waiting patiently for the man God has for you, which in Potophers wife’s case was her husband as is the case for you, God willing, you just haven’t met him yet. If a man really wants something or someone in his life he will go after his desire. We are ladies worth pursuit, so if you have to chase after him most likely he doesn’t want to be caught. Chase after God and if it be His will, the desires of your heart will undoubtedly be fulfilled.

4. You won’t have to abandon your values: This is a tough one for some of us, myself included. As someone that isn’t a virgin and struggles with remaining celebaite until marriage, I recognize that sexual sin can be a beast to conquer requiring much prayer and fleeing from temptation. In addition to sexual sin, there are a ton of other thing you shouldn’t have to bend on with someone worth having in your life including your walk with God, finances and your relationships with friends or family. The woman at the well (John 4) was in the predicament of having five ex-husbands and was in an unholy relationship with what I suppose would have been her boyfriend. After a talk with Jesus, she recognized or accepted the error of her ways and was changed from that day forward. We all need to have regular talks with Jesus through reading His word and not only recognizing but repenting of and correcting our actions when we step outside the value system set in place for us as Christians. I also recommend you decide what your core values are, jot them down, discuss them with your guy and if he can’t or won’t respect your them then you probably need to have a little talk with Jesus!

5. You won’t have to play second fiddle to another woman: This one is pretty much a no brainer for some, but for those that live in a world where being a side chick is all but glorified it remains a gray area. Take a look at the story of Hannah and Peninnah (1 Samuel 1: 1-7). Granted, during this time it was common to have many wives, but Peninnah reminds me of so many women that set out to hurt the other woman, by taunting her or taking pride in their position as the mistress. Peninnah tortured Hannah to the point of depression, but still Elkanah loved Hannah and always gave her more than he did Peninnah. Although she had Elkanah as a husband, she would never truly have his heart, as is the case in many love triangles.

In today’s society being a mistress is touted as an honor on television and in music lyrics, it’s common to accept (and enjoy) playing the role as it becomes more overt. But honestly, if you are dating someone that refuses to make you a priority why keep him around as an option? There’s no better feeling in a relationship than having a man that loves you and only you! Why sell yourself short? There should be nothing to make you accept a role as the other woman especially not money, material possessions, jealousy, lonliness or insecurities. Allowing yourself to be disrespected and used in this way speaks volumes about your own internal confidence.

6. You won’t have to force him to commit: Although I don’t have a specific example of a man not wanting to commit, I will use the story of Michal and David. (2Samuel 3:12-16). Yes, Michal loved David initially, but after years of not hearing from him she had moved on to her second marriage with Pal’ti-el. When David took her back, it was clear that she and Pal’ti-el were not easily parted. She seemed bitter and upset going forward with David, even to the point of scorning him. Usually forced commitments only breed resentment and inevitable unhappiness.

Unfortunately, in today’s world titles seem to be passé. Some men (and women) don’t want to put a label on a relationship and their partners are fine with it. Ultimately, the relationship remains in limbo and allows for easy outs and countless excuses, because hey if you never officially stated you were in a committed monogamous relationship it isn’t technically cheating. I’m not condoning these actions but it is how some people think. Even if a woman is in denial about it, we all know that if he wanted to be with her, he would make it known, not only to the woman but others as well!

Here’s to a PurposeFULL life!
Court

20141124-215000-78600529.jpg