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The Super (Wo)man Syndrome

I know that one way God speaks to me is through other people. Since I’ve heard the same message three times within the past week, I think someone in heaven is definitely trying to get my attention! Once at church, once on Kerry Shook and again this morning at a conference I’m attending. Although the latter was centered around prioritizing life based on work and gardening (yes, I said gardening) not spirituality it still hit home for me. I can only hope no one else noticed that luminous glow a top my curly hair when someone switched the lights on and that light bulb shined accordingly! As Oprah would exclaim, I had an “A Ha moment”.

The messages were all very different, but had one central point, the importance of prioritizing your life. I’ve heard before that if we try to do everything, we usually wind up accomplishing nothing and as i ventured back to my hotel room after the session I came to the conclusion that I had been accomplishing little to nothing in so many aspects of my life.

I don’t have the issue of not being able to say no like others, it’s that I have the Superwoman Syndrome. I literally want to do it all! Even though my plate is already filled to capacity, I find myself taking on new ventures with friends or colleagues. I’m wanting to start a not for profit, develop another business, pursue a new class, write new blog post, volunteer for the new ministry, start a new ____________ (insert activity, any activity). I’ve had so many people look at me and ask if I was crazy or tell me that I need to slow down and focus on one thing. But in true superwoman syndrome fashion my thinking was screw that, I’m doing it all!!

I’m in no way saying that we shouldn’t take on multiple task or endeavors because in this day and age it’s difficult not to. But focusing on one thing at a time has its perks, the main one being not driving you to drink or crazy! Even if you do have a lot to accomplish, by giving your all to one thing at a time you will probably end up with a much higher return on investment. This is especially important since you’re investing one of the most valuable things you own, your time!

Currently, I’m in the pruning process as we learned today at the session. I’m cutting away fruitless task and finishing off what I can so that I’ll be able to focus on the most important things. I won’t drop any of my current projects as I have committed myself to and understand the strength of my word. But I but will delegate when possible and won’t take on anymore task no matter how appealing.

Eventually, once some of the endeavors I’m currently working on begin to grow and flourish I’ll return to others, but going forward I’ll be more selective about what I commit my time to. My goal is to reap the rewards of a job well done, not half done!

What needs pruning in your life?

Here’s to a purposeFULL life!
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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

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YaY for New STUFF!

I finally made it to Whole foods as I’ve moved and haven’t had time to research a health food store. But I picked up a few of my staple favs and a couple new products. The olive oil and green tea extract Shea butter from Nubian Heritage smells heavenly and the reviews aren’t in on the simply bright facial grains as of yet. I’ll try it for a couple weeks and see how I feel about it.

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What to do with a broken heart…

I honestly believe that everyone get’s over a broken heart differently, there are a myriad of ways. But one thing we should all do is to give that brokenness to God. Recently when I was going through a breakup one of my friends told me that ‘brokenness makes room for God’ and that is true. In this situation (as in many) it ultimately did bring me closer to God. I gave my heartache to Him in exchange for His peace and the security that everything would work out for my best. I had to trust Him. Therefore the first pointer for getting over heartbreak is to focus on God and his will for your life. It could be that that person was just a chapter in your story and their part is over it could also be that you need some time apart and the relationship could rekindle later. But regardless, God wants you to draw closer to Him and he will draw closer to you (James 4:8).

Give it up: Give your brokenness to God. Read his word so he can comfort you, reach out to Him so He can hold you, pray to Him so he can speak words of love to your heart, cry out to Him so he can protect you and praise Him so He can bring you new joys into your life. Yes, He alone can turn your mourning into dancing so allow Him to do so.

Mind over matter: get your mind off of the matter. I know that it’s easier said than done and it can be extremely difficult not to think about that person but you have to get your mind off of them. Your mind has to be trained to not focus on things you don’t want to, try not to rehash conversations over and over in your mind.  When these things pop in your head make it a point to drown it out with something constructive.  Of course, I don’t recommend doing anything that would cause you to back slide or be detrimental to your well being like drown your sorrows in drugs or alcohol, overeating or go in debt while shopping your sadness away as I used to. I learned the hard way that those things only lead to further frustration and complications in the long run. Instead, find beneficial ways to keep those thoughts at bay. Read a book (or The good book), watch positive YouTube videos, talk to friends, do something you love like writing or dancing.  What helped me was writing, I journaled, blogged or wrote in my book.  If you find something that you are passionate about many times this will consume much of the time you would spend pondering about your past love.

Ditch social media: or at least that persons social media sites for a while. This can be hard to do but I would almost say it’s a must! Trust, You will want to know how they are doing or if they’re seeing someone else but ultimately you are only torturing yourself! And if they are not mature or are petty they may post things just to get under your skin because they know you can’t resist the urge to peek. Plus Facebook stalking is just not cool, do yourself a favor and stay away!

Do not reach out and touch: When we break up with someone we can find every reason in the book to reach out to them. If we see a piece of their hair on the floor we’ll want to call to ask if they want it back. But you have to be strong, remember all the reasons you broke up, the reasons it did not or could not work. Know that communicating or seeing that person will make it even more difficult to let go and will probably cause more heartache in the long run. If that person has asked for some space be respectful and give them what they asked for.

Dump the memories: Relationships are messy and usually there is no black and white. Sometimes it can be a break up to make up type of situation, but if you know for certain you are over make sure you get rid of things that will remind you of that person. You don’t have to burn or dump it (unless they don’t want it) but the post office delivers so give them a try.

Forgive them: Ultimately you will have to forgive that person for anything they did to you and you will have to forgive yourself. Understanding that hurting people hurt people allows you to eventually let go of that pain without excusing them from their wrongs.  Think briefly about why they may have done what they did; ask yourself if how they were raised, or treated in past relationships may have contributed to their actions. People are only human which means they are flawed, none of us get it perfect so unforgiveness is not an option.

Get on with your life: Go out with friends, volunteer, work out, travel, become more active in your church, if you have kids get more involved with them. Whatever you do learn to enjoy your life and the place where God has you at this moment. One year from now your heart won’t ache and you may not even be thinking about that person, know that trouble does not last always and choose happiness over despair.

Help others, especially those in your situation: There are people out there in your same situation, everyone in the world has or will experience some type of heart break in their lives. Many times it is said that the best way to get over your situation is to help others through theirs, so reach out to hurting people and if this isn’t a possibility definitely pray for them.

Focus on the gain: Instead of focusing on what you lost, think of all the things you have gained by letting go of this relationship, especially if it was a toxic one. Yes many of us long to be tied to someone in a relationship, sometimes to our detriment, but right now you have freedom and there are many perks to having it!

Look at the bright side: Know that all things will work out for your good and that the best is yet to come. God has got this and now that Mr. or Mrs. wrong is out of the picture, it makes room for Mr. or Mrs. right to come on in. So take this time to ready your head and heart for their arrival!

Seek counseling:  If you feel yourself spiraling into a depression or a deep sadness I would recommend counseling.  Seeing a professionally trained counselor as well as a spiritual counselor can help tremendously in these situations.

I would like for us to pray for the lonely, the brokenhearted and those that feel hopeless. For them to know that God will always be by their sides and that they will allow His love, peace and joy to fill their hearts. I also pray that they understand that Jesus is the lover of our souls and our ultimate soul mates and if it is His will that God fulfills all the desires to have earthly mates as well.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit (Psalms 34:18).

God Bless,

Court

Ways to prevent falling for a wolf…

Although nothing is fail proof, here are some things we can do to combat tying ourselves to the wrong person?
1. Get Godly counsel about him: If you are serious, introduce him to your pastor and other members at your church. What do they say and think of him? If he attends a church visit his church as well.
2. Get to know the people in his life: How does he interact with them? What do they have to say about him? The more you all are together around others, the more comfortable he will become showing his true colors if initially only his representative was showing up.
3. Be observant : Is he a man of his word? Does he do the things he says he will or does he say one thing and then do another?
4. Seek God: Ask God for discernment and wisdom, which God gives freely to those that ask (James 1:5). Seek to know his heart more than what you see physically as his outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7 & Romans 8:27) and ask God to show you if the relationship is within His will.
5. Have him meet people that love you: Spend time with people you know and love together. Ask people whose opinions you trust and that truly have your best interest at heart. Although they should not be the final or ultimate decision makers you should definitely take their thoughts into account especially if they have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with him.
6. Trust your intuition: Intuition is one of the ways God directs us, it is that small nudge we get from time to time when you just know something isn’t right or when you should continue on your current path.
I hope these pointers help, happy courting!

Court

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Wolves & Sheep

Sometimes when dating we find ourselves entangled in wrong relationships which can lead to the creation of unholy soul ties and unnecessary heart ache. (you can read more about soul ties here). Many times we trust what we see and hear with our worldly senses and ignore God’s voice or our spiritual senses. A wolf in sheep’s clothing can seem to have it all together a nice home, car, be a tithing member of a church and be able to spout bible verses like he himself wrote a couple chapters But as we all know even the devil has biblical knowledge and just because he is able to quote the bible like the back of his hand does not mean he is a man of God. Many people can speak or hear the good word and never put into action the things they know or even have the desire to truly walk the walk.
Here are some questions to ask when you are trying to figure out if you’re dating a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What are his actions showing you? Does he truly value your walk with God or does he do things that poke fun at your devotion to God? Is he truly exhibiting Christ like characteristics and attempting to abide in Christ? Does he say he understands your desire to wait until marriage to have sex but then constantly pressure you about it? Does he say you all will pray or attend church together but never follow through? Does he understand the true consequences of sin (Romans 6:22, James 1:15)? Does he know that sexual immorality is the only sin we commit against our own bodies (1 Corinthians 6:18) and that sin creates a rift or separates you from the most high God (Isaiah 59:2). James 4:22 (NIV) says that anyone then who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. Would you want to date someone that ultimately brings you further from Christ, someone that will draw you closer to the world and not to God? God said we have a choice to make and it is either Him or the world (1John 2:15 and James 4:4) choose wisely!

Also in all things we must make sure that our hearts our in alignment with what God would want, so make sure you are upholding your standards and conducting yourself as a woman of God. Pit your character and qualities against the questions asked above as well to make sure you are not causing your brother in Christ to fall.

Happy Courting,
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Unequally Yoked – Part 2: My story

I can remember going out on a few dates with this guy that was tall, dark and F-I-N-E! He seemed to have his life together financially, had two cars a house and he loved animals as much as I did. We had a bunch of things in common, our love of travel, adventure sports and skating to say the least. When we were out people would compliment us and tell us we made a cute couple and every time I would go out with him I would wonder if this could be it, could he be the one! But let’s pump the brakes here, because two things did bother me about him: 1. He drank a lot in my view and 2. Although he was Christian he had no desire to grow in his walk with God. I would say things to myself like well, I have to accept people where they are and you never know sometime in the future his desire to know God may begin to grow. But no matter how much I tried to rationalize it, I knew that we were not equally yoked at this point in time of life. I wanted someone that was crazy about God, recognized His importance in their lives and would passionately pursue Him.
The night he asked me if I wanted to take our relationship further and become exclusive, I had visions of us going to church together, praying and studying together, but in real life he didn’t even want to attend bible study with me! This ladies, is where we sometimes allow ourselves to view things the way we want them as opposed to as they really are or think we can by some magical power change this man into who we want. It isn’t fair to him and it rarely works out for us! But there I was, about to delve into another relationship that I knew would leave me unfulfilled, unhappy and once again able to claim the not so prestigious perpetual girlfriend title. I knew in my heart that our relationship would look great from the outside but on the inside I would never be satisfied. My cousin that had met and liked him thought I was crazy when I stated that I wouldn’t keep seeing him in that capacity. Although he was raised in a religious house hold he wasn’t concerned with growing closer to God at this time and that would always be a problem from me. If I became yoked with him there was the possibility of me moving further and further away from Christ and my goal was just the opposite. Now it is possible that I could have drawn him closer to God, which would be the best scenario, but am I going to bet my future on the possibility of something happening that he didn’t desire at the time? And I say my future because I do not date just to date, I date with the purpose and intention of marriage.
In the end, we still text every now and then to catch up, but I know nothing more will come of our relationship at least right now and I’m fine with that because I know that I want a husband that will push me closer to Christ. This is in no way an insult to him, because we all move closer to God in our own timing. But I would like to date and eventually marry a man that knows what it means to be the godly leader of a house hold and practices the biblical principles of a marriage. Someone that I won’t have to fight off every two seconds because they don’t understand the impact of fornication or moving outside of God’s will (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). A man that will be able to minister to our family and wash me with the word of God. (Ephesians 5:25-27 & 1 Corinthians 13:4-7). It will be impossible for him to do that if he doesn’t know God or have that desire for relationship with Him. Sometimes even when we don’t want to, we just have to keep it moving and know that as long as we walk with God, He will illuminate our paths as we do (Psalm 119:105).
Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 6:14 – Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
Here’s to a purposeFULL life!
Court

Unequally yoked – part 1: breaking it down…

It is found in 2 Corinthians 6:14 that we are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Let’s take a minute and break this verse down with a brief look at the definitions (Webster) so we can gain a clearer understanding of what this really means. ‘The phrase “unequally yoked together” is the translation of just one Greek word, heterozugeo, which is a compound word that means, “to yoke up differently; to associate discordantly; unequally yoke together.” It is used but this one time in the Bible.’ (bible-truths.com)

-unequally: not like or not the same. Badly balanced or matched
-yoke: to become joined or linked
-unbelievers: a person who does not believe something; especially : a person who does not believe in a particular religious faith
-fellowship:common; the relationship of people who share interests or feelings

So, looking at the definitions we can determine that we are not to be linked to people or have intimate relatioinships with those who do not believe in God.

In my opinion, I believe being unequally yoked does not only apply to being bonded to atheist or nonchristians, but also those that don’t have a passion pr a mind for Christ. Here is an article that breaks it down a little further.