Journaling, Uncategorized, Women

My Life is Not a Telenovela

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My life is not a telenovela and yours shouldn’t be either. I got tired of telling my friends stories of this guy and that guy. I also got tired of hearing their stories about this guy and that guy.

Did I tell you about X?

Did I tell you what happened?

Did I tell you what he text me?

Did I tell you what he did?

Did I tell you what he said?

Re-hashing whatever happened two weeks ago, bringing me up to date on what happened last week, and telling me what happened this week.

So he text me this.

I texted back that.

Then he said this.

So I said that.

Showing my friend text after text or just handing over my phone to let them read the entire thread themselves. Watching their face in anticipation.

Over analyzing every text, word, move from the flavor of the month guy.

So he text me at 8:52pm. So I saw it but didn’t reply until 9: 26pm. Then he said that. So I texted back and said that.

Over and over the same story lines, the same play by play rhetoric.

Still single.

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After reading Don’t Let Your Journal Turn Into a Soap Opera Drama from Girl Defined, I decided to look through old journals and find good examples of my stories. Though I have numerous journals through the past 10 years, 2008 was filled with drama and endless details of it. In 2008, I was 22 years old and had quit my job at a restaurant. I had been on a “break” from school and just spent my time going to parties and bars. Hopefully some of that explains a percentage of the drama. Remember my post, 21 Before 21? Yeah, I didn’t know any of those things yet! The following entries centered around three fellas over a two month time frame. I blacked out names of all involved to protect their identities.

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I had one thing right, “I’m crazy.” Shake your head because I’m shaking mine too. I actually blew up someone’s one phone at 3 am. I don’t remember that. I was “so mad cuz he didn’t try 2 come over” ???

I read these pages and more- shocked. I cannot believe I used to be that girl. I remember a lot of stories but apparently I don’t have enough storage space in my brain for al the other stories. I must be remembering the main headlines, the highlights, the bloopers. Pages and pages of who’s and when’s, the tiniest details of anything that happened. He didn’t call back. He didn’t respond to my text. He didn’t go to the party or that bar. Sad to say these stories did die down but just continued at a slower rate up until 2-3 years ago. Maybe you’ll think its lame but I can’t remember the last time I had a story to tell.

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These years have been the most peaceful years. I’m not worried or stressed about some guy, what hes doing or not doing. I’ve got no time to become a detective or private investigator. Investigating, scouring the internet to “figure” him out. I can no longer analyze a picture posted on social media and decipher text messages. I can no longer decode a guy’s behavior to “figure out” how he feels about me. We’re definitely not called to be play special investigator even though we make great ones!

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God wants our eyes on him. If we are playing detective on some guy, then our eyes are not on God. If you consider yourself a Christian girl or woman, you should not be obsessed [and don’t use your own judgement to discern if you are obsessed or not]. You’re just going to rationalize every move you make. Talk to a mature friend and ask her if you’re a bit obsessed, even just a little. God deserves our full attention and a full-time relationship. I don’t judge you, I struggle with this myself. But we have to stretch our understanding of relationship and love. It’s not just a Nicholas Sparks novel. Whether its God or a guy.

Here is 20 Important Bible Scriptures About Priorities-http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/20-important-bible-scriptures-about-priorities/

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When it comes to relationships and love I have a new set of standards and guidelines, Proverbs 18:22 is verse that I firmly hold onto.

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.

He who finds a wife….  I don’t need to be out searching my city for a man. I definitely need to be prepared to be found!

not She who figures out a man will get to marry him,

not She who finds a husband.

He who finds a wife… I need to be asking God to prepare me to be wife.

not he who finds some chick,

not he who finds some girl that figured him out, that solved his inner mysteries.

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Instead of filling our journals with endless and mindless details of who’s and when’s, let us allow God inside those pages. God is thee author of all things. He created us and knows who and what we need in our lives. He is not the author of confusion! If we have to spend hours deciphering the hieroglyphics of texts messages, online messages and overall messages that are being communicated by a guy- most likely God is not involved in that situation. When you leave God out of your relationships, you also leave out his protection and provisions. When you act as if you can figure it all out with God and continue towards unstable relationships, you will not have the appropriate foundation that will be a long-lasting, fulfilling relationship. Sure you may have a relationship, but it won’t be from God’s design or have  his co-sign and it will not be blessed. You’re out on your own, leaning on your own understanding. We are told to lean NOT on our own understanding in Proverbs 3:5.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Trust in the Lord…

definition: one having power and authority over others. Welcome His authority over your life and know that you won’t have to strain and strive so hard for the right guy.

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Related Reading:: http://www.girldefined.com/journal-turn-soap-opera-drama

Related Music:  Write Your Story by Francesca Battistelli – https://youtu.be/ecV1NHmELuA

P.S. Don’t be this girl!

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Transformation, Uncategorized

21 Before 21

As the year comes to a close in just a few days,  I thought I’d share 21 things I wish I knew before I was 21. What would I tell my younger self?

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1. Cockiness is not Confidence. Humble yourself.

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2. Don’t spend money you don’t have (credit cards, buying things before paying bills).

3. Guys will use you,

4. If you let them.

5. The bad boy is not who you want to marry and have kids with.

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6. You will need your friends.

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7. Trust God, not the world.

8. You don’t have to try so hard [titles, status, guys].

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9. Don’t give away your power. The worst times in your life are a direct result of giving away your power.

10. Feminism is a lie. An imitation. True female empowerment comes from Heavenly places.

11. Living solo is great.

12. There is a plan. God’s plan. You’ll take many detours, but God will always redirect you.

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13. Stop hiding your feelings

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14. and Stop trying to play it cool.

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15. You can depend on others, it doesn’t mean that you’re incompetent. Ask for help.

16. You’re ENOUGH.

17. You do want to get married, stop lying.

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18. People like you for you. Stop thinking you’re weird.

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19. Don’t let anyone come between your peace and joy.

20. God is not afraid to hurt your feelings.

21. When it doubt call Mom or Dad.

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In case you forgot what 2005&2006 felt and sounded like, here’s are some of my jams from back in the day! Proceed at your own risk LOL!





*Bonus* All you need to know about the old me can be experienced in these two albums!
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I could have saved this girl a lot of trouble… 5/15/06
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I’d love to hear from you! What would you tell your younger self?

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Men, Women

Doing Single Well

I’m not an expert in relationships. In fact, I’m sure a statistician could create a formula and generate some numbers to show that statistically speaking, I’m bad at them [relationships].

I haven’t been in many. They haven’t always lasted long. They’ve always failed. The guys? Umm… See Am I My Brother’s Keeper- I mention them briefly.

I’m not putting myself down. I’m being honest. I’m being Real. I’m not in the business of covering up my messes, my HOT messes. My walk with Christ in the most recent years, has revealed that those relationships/situationships were doomed from the beginning. Before they even started. Before a first kiss, a first glance. Doomed. Destined to fail.

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Since getting serious with God about three years ago, I have not been in a relationship. I have been single since May 2012.

I’m writing this piece as an expert at being single. A professional singleton. Here are my main tenets for being single, especially a “Christian” single:

  1. Know Yourself

Outside of and apart from some dude or chick, who are you really? Outside of trying to impress a potential lover. Apart from trying to win the affection and validation of another person. Visualize your life in the future or even now. What do you want in it?

Eventually and God willing, I want a husband. I want the boyfriend that will be the fiance, that will the husband, that will be the father of my children. I’d like to move out of my city to a smaller community on the outskirts. I’d like to home-school my children while they are young. I’d like to have a home that is accommodating enough that we can invite friends and family over for holidays and special occasions. I’d like to continue serving Christ and have a husband that does the same. I’d like to raise children against the grain. I’d also like to become a foster parent of older teens.

This is me. This is what I want for my life. You either want the same or you don’t.
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What don’t I want? Dysfunction. I detest dysfunction. I need someone that is just as committed as I am to living a life free of dysfunction.

If a guy doesn’t want to be my husband or the father of my children, he is not for me. If he is not committed to destroying the dysfunction in himself, he is not for me. If he chooses to not give his heart to Jesus Christ, he is not for me.

I’m seeing too many people trying to Churchify and Christianize some dude or chick they’re fooling around with. If you’ve already sinned with this person, what makes you think you can flirt or seduce them into coming to church with you and that somehow makes it all Right? Your attempt at fooling God is futile. He sees your deeds and sees your heart. Stop trying to validate, justify and impress yourself with all your church dates.

Some ladies need to know there are guys that will come to church with you as long as they think its one step closer to getting in your bed.

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God says that He knew you before you were born. Jeremiah 1:5

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

“I am God’s child.
Galatians 3:26

I am Jesus’ friend.
John 15:15

I am a whole new person with a whole new life.
2 Corinthians 5:17

I am a place where God’s Spirit lives.
1 Corinthians 6:19

I am God’s Incredible work of art.
Ephesians 2:10

I am totally and completely forgiven.
1 John 1:9

I am created In God’s likeness.
Ephesians 4:24

I am spiritually alive.
Ephesians 2:5

I am a citizen of Heaven.
Philippians 3:20

I am God’s messenger to the world.
Acts 1:8

I am God’s disciple-maker.
Matthew 28:19

I am the salt of the earth.
Matthew 5:13

I am the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14

I am greatly loved.
Romans 5:8”

http://www.christianitytoday.com/iyf/faithandlife/devotionals/what-does-bible-say-about-me.html

You are who God says you are. Not what some dude or chick said. If your ego is getting fluffed up by “You’re hot” and “Hey Sexy,”… You Are in Danger. If your love tank is getting filled up by fornication, You’re On Your Death Bed.

I tell you this from experience. See The Purge. I tell you this to help open your eyes Wide and snap you into reality. God is on His way back to Earth. What do you want to get caught doing when He arrives?

Confession: In God’s strength, I have been abstinent for over two years. It can be done. I’m serious about waiting until I’m married.
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2. If Its Not From God, I Don’t Want It

Nowhere in the bible does God, Jesus or anyone else guarantee you a husband or wife. You’ll have to prepare yourself to live a solo life. I ask God for a husband, but I don’t feel entitled to one. I ask God to prepare me to be a wife. God knows exactly who I’d like to be my husband. I pray for that person but I also tell God, “If its someone else, I’d be happy with that.” I preface a lot prayers with “If its your will…” I have relinquished all my Proverbs 7 ways. Look it up and read it well.

I continue to let God direct my path and move within me. I ask Him to mold me and shape me. Yes, guys catch my eye. Yes, I fantasize a little bit with the “what ifs” but I always stop myself and give it to God. I’ve apologized to God, “God, I’m sorry if I’m wanting [ fill in the blank guy] more than I’m wanting you.” You’ll have to get in the habit of giving people, fantasies, thoughts, feelings and ideas to God. Get in the habit of relinquishing your fleeting “control” over to the Master. You’re not entitled to a man or woman, not entitled to have sex. We are to be living pure Holy lives. So get used to denying your flesh, dying to yourself. If you believe its your Right to have a “physical release” you’re mocking God. Eve thought she had a Right to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.

I continue to give moments to God, continue to press into Him. Continue to do things His way not mine. Mine leads to Heartache, Confusion, Insecurity, Rejection and Darkness.

3. Be Smart

I describe myself as a strategic person. The steps I take, no matter how small will lead to my end goal. Each step is leading me in the direction I want to go. Where are your steps leading you?

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If you want a job, you get up, look and apply for jobs. You go to the interview, accept a job offer, then show up when you’re supposed to. However, some people think jobs fall out of the sky while you lay on the couch in your underwear watching the Steve Harvey show and eating Lucky Charms.

Being smart, means taking responsibility for your actions and choices. At some point, you’re going to have to accept responsibility for your poor choices. You chose to have sex with someone not committed to you. Someone you’ve known for about 5 minutes. Someone that is not seeking Christ. Someone that doesn’t take your choices seriously. You’re upset because they don’t care about your relationship with Jesus? You’re upset they don’t see the point in honoring God? You’re upset because they don’t care to understand the turmoil you feel when you sin? You chose to sin with them and are upset they aren’t upset? And you wonder why they look at you like you’re crazy!

I firmly believe there are times you can only love certain people from a distance. You may “want” this person badly, and even for the Right reasons- to Glorify Christ in the final Outcome. Lord, if we ended up together, Lord, if he gave his heart to you- it would be for your Glory! Happily Ever After, The End.
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Not always. Not exactly. I will continue to choose Jesus day in and day out, despite getting the things or people I want. There’s more to life, than lovers and spouses. I choose to honor God in not coveting what isn’t mine. If you’re longing desperately for some dude or chick, check you heart. Is you’re longing for that person replacing your longing for your Creator?

I do my best to keep drama away. I do my best to play it smart and make sure I get the results I’m looking for. I no longer have the energy to confuse myself with my poor choices and want the other person to “understand me.” God knew sex was deep stuff. He knew it was binding. He knew it was powerful. He knew that outside of His protection (marriage) it could destroy people. It could cause chaos and emotional havoc. If you continue to be unhappy single and feel entitled to have “someone, ” to engage someone sexually- you are not playing it smart.
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These are my tenets. Lessons I’ve learned in terrible ways. I sharing this with you in hopes it will make sense to you and you will get your heart Right with God.

 

 

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Men, Transformation, Women

Playing House

“Why Living Together Before Marriage is a Bad Idea”
By: Kristen Clark

via Girl Defined at http://www.girldefined.com/

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I’ll admit I went back and forth on this one. I read this post and fervently agreed with every word, I decided to answer the questions. Then I decided not to. I didn’t want to offend anyone. But again today, I have decided to answer the questions. I haven’t cared thus far if anyone out there is offended or not, so why start now? I take it as something I must do. I am after all, speaking from experience. Not from a place of judgment. I just won’t be at peace if I don’t speak on this. So here ya go.

What do you think about couples living together before marriage?
What do I think about couples living together before marriage? I think first this is an issue of whether or not each person believes (stands by) marriage. For a lengthy period in my life I did not believe in marriage. I thought just because you get married doesn’t guarantee you anything. Your partner can still leave you and desert your family. They could still cheat on you, lie to you, abuse you, and hurt you and a million other things. On the other hand, just because you are not married doesn’t mean you cannot build a home and family with someone. You can still love someone and be committed to them. I used to say “If someone comes along and *inspires* me to be married, then I would do that.” Now, it sounds like I was quite full of it! I believe this belief I was holding, influenced my last relationship. He and I lived together for exactly one year. Funny thing is, he is married now. But most definitely not to me. How could he want to marry someone that professed not to believe in marriage? We weren’t on the same page from the beginning. I had only moved to his city to continue building our relationship [my definition of temporary]. He envisioned me assimilating to small town life and living happily ever after, I guess. We were living together just because we had done long-distance for what seemed like forever but really it was about 6 or 7 months. We had grown tired of seeing each other once or so a month, for only a weekend at a time. I thought occasionally, “Would I marry him, if he asked?” I never knew the answer. I thought I knew a way to finding out the answer. I wrestled internally with wanting to move back to my home –city. Our two discussions lead to hurt feelings, confusion and fear. For me it was just awkward. I thought if he is willing to move with me, or move somewhere close by just on the outskirts then maybe, just maybe, he’s the one to marry. He chose not to be that one. My heart was broken. To add salt to the wound, I was the one to move out. I will always remember that Saturday morning waking and packing my things. Him asking if I needed any boxes. *No Thanks* Him asking when he could get the key back. *Um, when I get all my things out* Him leaving me a note in the mailbox with the math done for my share of the bills for those 19 days. *Mind.Blown.*

I realized we ended up like most couples that live together. We were not committed to one another like we thought we were. When we hit a crossroads in our relationship, someone bows out. They throw in the towel and say I didn’t sign up for this. They decide you’re holding me back, I can get much further in life without you. They cut you loose. I think I was both. I was ready to keep moving forward with him, and at the same time, I was ready to cut him loose. I wanted to move back to my home-city, find a decent paying job with my newly completed degree. I knew the time would come that I might have to let it go. I know this is not all couples that live together.

Do you know some Christian couples who think it’s okay?
I don’t think I know Christians couples that think it’s okay. I do know there are Christian couples that are having sex outside of marriage. I know at least one of them feels guilty. It’s usually kept a secret. I know that it’s hard to stop something, like sex, once you start. Once you have established that as the norm in your relationship it seems preposterous to stop. Especially, if you and your partner are not on the same page spiritually and in your walk with God.

What standard will you choose to live by?
After my own experience, I knew soon after that I would never just live with a guy again. The next man I lived with would be my husband. I have to really love you to not call it quits after you snore in my ear all night long. Or put my clean clothes in my dirty clothes basket. Or put my shoes that were next to the couch [the side you don’t even sit on] in the closet that we never use. Or wash the cup I was drinking out of just because it was on the counter. Or think when I say I’m going to bed-goodnight, that’s its an invitation. Or be disgusted at my long hair in the shower or sink, when your shaving cream globs sprinkled with millions of tiny hairs are stuck on the shower curtain. Or eat all my mini rice cakes.

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Related Reading:
http://www.girldefined.com/why-living-together-bad-idea

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Q&A

Makeup, Sex & Clubs

This morning I read a blog post from Girl Defined. I decided to share it and answer their follow up questions.
http://www.girldefined.com/popular-lose-respect-girl

Are you enticed by the culture’s message to “flaunt what you’ve got”? If so, why?

Yes I am enticed. One day I was getting dressed for Sunday service. I had tried on a few different tops, changed my pants numerous times. There were clothes everywhere. I was late. AGAIN. I had finally came upon an outfit to which I said out loud “I look cute.” Then it hit me. I look cute for what? For church? To be seated for about an hour? I look cute to listen to the pastor preach a sermon? Why was the look I was going for “cute” or “attractive?” Why cant I leave my apartment until I look attractive?
Having a very large bust with a 4’11 frame is interesting to say the least. If I don’t look modest I look erotic. If I wore a turtle-neck I’d still feel exposed. As a teenager and younger adult, I did have guidelines on how much skin I allowed myself to bare. Now almost 30, I have commandments *no pun intended* I feel naked in a tank top, in shorts above the knee, in a swim suit. Being so clothed I have still had the eyes of men on me. While wearing denim capris and a polo shirt, a very macho male coworker’s eyes were all over my calves. He said “what do you call those?” Capris I answered back. He gave me googly eyes and a smile and said with authority, “YES. capris, I like those.” I consider that man a friend but with firm boundaries. He is definitely not at all a docile man born and raised in a different country, one that accepts hyper-masculinity. I just shook my head and realized I could wear layers and layers but I’m uniquely feminine. I do not welcome attention to my body and body parts anymore .I haven’t for a long time actually. I used to walk into a club or party and revel in the amount of eyes on me. I’d apply my lip gloss at the exact moment some lustful guy was in my line of sight. Being short, I had the advantage of the “looking up at you-bat my eyes-maybe you can see down my shirt” move. I thought I was a pro. A VIP of something. The attention fed my sultry ego. To walk into a room and automatically have all eyes on you feels a lot like power. Men reaching out to touch your hand or hip to get your attention as you walk by as if you don’t see them. That was a good feeling for a budding 20something girl. GIRL. Those *Johns* were never in it for the long haul. They wanted something seductive to make them feel like Men. The quickest way for a man to “feel like a man” is through sex. There were plenty of times it made me “feel like a woman.” To be wanted by a man, makes you feel like a woman. In a time where gender is seemingly negotiable, there’s something to be noted here. This powerful exchange between a man and woman (even if strangers or acquaintances) barely touches the surface of the Missing Part of our relationship with one another. If “flaunting” IT, got me closer to that powerful feeling,I did it.

In what ways are you tempted to “allure” guys with your beauty?
I’d like to say that I’m not tempted to allure a guy. I am tempted. Every once in a while I recall those times I mentioned above. In recent years I thought I still wanted that. But it’s not the same. The essence of that person is gone. She moved out and I haven’t seen her since. She took her pompous attitude with her too. I see magazines, online articles, internet memes that are straight to the point. With big long lashes, plump lips, long shaved legs, voluminous hair, and every list of so called “tips” to getting him to notice you. I’m tired of following lists. If he didn’t see me and walk up to me, speak words to my face, then I truly don’t care. I still require that my eye lash game be on point though. Guys remember eyes. Or so I read on the internet somewhere.

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Do you view modesty as a tool that places value on your most intimate parts?
I do view that modesty places value on my most intimate parts. When your body is exposed people feel comfortable to make comments regarding your body. Two years ago, a friend posted a picture of us from an event we attended. A “facebook friend” messaged me a very bold statement regarding my “bust” but he didn’t say bust he used a different word. Not disrespectful on its own, probably said by many 6th grade boys. I’m sure it was similar to a knee-jerk reaction to see something with his eyes and then let me know what he saw. I felt offended. His comment was out of line, unnecessary, unwanted. I know what every inch of my body looks like. I didn’t need him to send me an obnoxious message spotlighting my body parts. “Some things are needless to say”—I Said. He apologized. “I’m just a boob-guy.” NEEDLESS TO SAY. STOP. SAYING. THINGS. He made a few more intended apologetic sentences but I could tell his brain was functioning in a different capacity. The messages ended there. I realized again, modesty is for the best.
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Since your body is God’s temple, in what ways should you respect it?
I should respect by practicing modesty in how I dress and in my behaviors. I’m not wanting male attention towards my body parts but me as a whole. Me in my entirety. Men fall in love with their eyes, and their eyes are everywhere. Call me beautiful once, but do you KNOW if I’m beautiful? I’ve begun to divert attention away from outward beauty by saying “It’s just makeup” “It’s just Covergirl and Maybelline” “It’s just whitening strips” “It’s just shampoo and conditioner.” It gives suitors a quick LOL. You like what you see but would you like what you haven’t yet seen? My face with no makeup, my hair with no products, my body with no clothes? I don’t trust the average guy to answer me honestly. Everyone looks good in the dark at 2am. I have been respecting my body as God’s temple in that I no longer allow others to have access to it. There’s a cover charge and the Holy Spirit is the bouncer.image

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my mascara face & the photo I edited because “too much” was showing (2012)

http://en.gravatar.com/that1liana

Related Reading:

http://www.girldefined.com/clothes-on

http://www.girldefined.com/4-ways-raunch-culture-lying

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