Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Do Something to Be Proud of. Be Proud Of Yourself. (#TheSW30) Day 12

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Today's blogging challenge is to write about my biggest accomplishment.  There are so many that I thought to mention.

As God would have it (not luck) I had a very motivational personality from the start.  Despite my constant dating and partying in college, I manage to graduate undergrad in three years.  Up until my I had my son I would have said that this was me biggest accomplishment.

But then I had my son, on my own, and it changed my life. Once I had my son it is like something clicked in my brain that told me that I needed to be a better person.  I know it sounds cliche but it is true.  I first switched jobs which lead to me path to of counseling.  I decided to go back to school FULL TIME and obtained a Master’s.  I might say that this was my biggest accomplishment.

But then I remember that moment I bought my first home that was built from scratch, when I wrote my blog, or I think about writing my book. Some would say that this is my biggest accomplishment.

As I was talking to a friend the other day she told me that she was almost done with her Bachelors degree.  She started this degree well before I started my Master’s program.  I was equally excited to report to her that I was the same distance way that she was from finishing her bachelors that I was from getting my PhD.  Fun fact I learned from a professor is only 4% of the population has a PhD.  This alone would lead me to think that this was my biggest accomplishment.


Then I think of myself as a person.  This may sound very vein but I like myself.  Like alot.  But what I define as myself is a bottle of accomplishments and life experiences that made me into the person I am today.  This in conjunction with advice from the good Lord has really shaped me into a person that I love to be around.  Where I am with God, I would have never thought I would be.  I am closer to God than some older people who say there are Christian are closer to God.  This is not to brag, but to highlight another accomplishment that I am proud of.

There are so many things that I worked hard for and there are still more things that I want out of life.  I think to pull one accomplishment out of my life would be to down play the others, and so I will put them all together and make them into an accomplishment of their own.

My biggest accomplishment is being me.  It is being and becoming the person that I feel God created me to be.  During the course of my life I always had a choice to make bad decisions, sometimes I did.  But luckily for me that I made all of the right decisions where it really mattered, and because I did, I feel like I am a pretty awesome and unique person.  And I am proud about that.

There would be time where I would pick myself apart listing all the things that I wasn’t  and made a list of things I needed to be who I wanted to be.  But all of a sudden, it did not matter, I did not want to be conformed into what the world wanted me to be, but what God wanted me to be and with that came satisfaction.

I think so many people young and old are lost in the sauce of life.  They have not found themselves, do not like themselves, and because of it they punish themselves.  They settle for relationships, friendships, and the bare minimum out of life because they feel they do not deserve better.

This is why you can understand why my accomplishment is being me, because so many people do not get to that level.  They are too concerned with what other people think or are too afraid of success.  It takes alot to get past those two things, but once you do it makes you unstoppable.

It gives you the bravery to go after whatever you want out of life, and even if you fail at one thing, you keep going.  You keep going because you know yourself, and you are confident in what you were created to do.  Therefore, being you, and being comfortable with it is an accomplishment on its own.

Without this accomplishment, you may be doomed into a life in which you run around and stumble (click my here for me blog on stumbling through life) around without doing anything that ever matters, to anyone.

I feel, if we had to chose something to be proud of, be proud of yourself.  For the person you are and the person that God has made you.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Look Like It For Less.

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I have this thing I like to do that consist of going onto Pin interest, finding outfits I like, and try to imitate them with what I have in my closet.  I think this is so fun because it keeps me open to trying new things and colors with my fashion.  Plus I do not like spending alot of money, so I always like creating a fashionable look that doesn’t cost much.

Trying new colors is what I had in mind when I imitated Kate Middleton.  First I would like to say that I admire her style.  It is so good to see a woman, wife, and mother that looks both stylish and classy.

I had all of the things in my closet that I created the look with.  I got the jeans from the thrift store and I know I did not pay any more than $7 for them.  The jacket and shirt I had for many years.  I kept trying to throw the black jacket away, but for some reason it keeps creeping back into my closet, and I don’t know how.

The scarf that Kate is wearing I love and wish I could find it.  Since I did not have one like hers, I chose a stripped scarf that I had in my closet.  I got if from the thrift store for a $1 I think.

My look is not too shabby for already having these things laying around in my closet.

The next outfit I wore to church.  The shirt that I have on is actually a very tight fitting dress.  Since I needed a black strip pattern I used the dress as a shirt and then put a black skirt over it.  I sometimes think I should have grown up in the  60’s.  I really like the whole style of that era.  For this outfit, my dress shirt was taken from my mother’s closer one time when I was visiting and the skirt was given to me.  So the total cost of this imitation for me is free.

I recommended looking around your closet, you never know what new looks you may be able to create.  Also, if you ever see an outfit that you love but cannot afford, always check your local thrift store.  The clothes are affordable and you can find some imitation pieces that come close to the more expensive outfit.

Through every Bad date is a Learning Experience. (#TheSW30) Day 11

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I wrote about this date one time before. ( Click here for that blog).  But I feel this date was so bad that it is worthy of an honorable mention for the blogging challenge.

Just to give you a brief background on what happened before the date includes I met him online on Black People Meet.  He was a lawyer, a Christian, attractive, and seem to be everything I thought I wanted  He lived in Maryland I live in Richmond and so we decided to meet in DC halfway.  We Skyped and had a fair amount of conversation before meeting. So I felt comfortable meeting him.

We decided to met at Pentagon Mall.  I arrived at the time that was agreed upon by both of us.  It should have been a sign that he was not on time and I had to wait for over an hour for him.  I decided to go into the mall and look around.  When he finally arrived he met me on one of the floors.  For some reason or another my date wanted to go to Forever 21 to shop for himself.  It was in this store that I realized that the date was going horrifically wrong.

My date went in the store about his own business.  He looked like he was in the store shopping for himself.  I had to run to catch up behind him because he was walking through the store like he was not even with me.  While in the store we got into a crazy argument about a hat he wanted me to get that I did not want.

Then I made the suggestions to go somewhere in the mall to eat.  This stemmed another argument.  He wanted to get coffee and I wanted to get food.  I made a joke that in the Starbucks in DC they did not like to put enough sugar in their coffee.

This did not go over well.  He accused me saying I was too lazy to put my own sugar in my coffee.  When we finally did decide to get something to eat in the food court we could not decide on a place to eat.   What we did decide on was to find separates places to get our food and we would sit together.  He made it clear that we were paying for our own separate meals.  As I noticed us going our separate ways I noticed him looking around.  I did not think much of it though.  That was not until I got my food, sat down, waited a few minutes, and saw that my date was gone.

It was so embarrassing.  I had never in my life been left on a a date before.  I did not even want to finish my food.  I mean the date was going bad, I agree but at least finish it out.

I really should have seen this coming.  There were so many signs before hand while we were talking that signaled to me that he and I were not looking for the same things.  I would have loved to let go and let God, but not without letting him know about himself via text.  I did this because he did not answer the phone.  After I finish laying him out in a respectful not tacky way, I said God bless you.

This practice is something I always try to do when ending on a bad note with people.  Not only do I say it, but I try to mean it.  Here is an excerpt from my book detailing the rest of my date

  ‘“After I said my peace, gave my traditional “God bless you,” the Lord gave me strength to continue. The next day, as I vacuumed, I half listened to Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural.  I thought that I was never going to meet a good man, get married, and that even the men who proclaimed their Christian faith turned out to be sheep in wolves clothing.  As I finished with the vacuum cleaner, my attention refocused onto Sid Roth.  I did not listen to the  show the whole time it was on, but in the last few minutes of this episode my attention turn to the screen as I heard Sid Roth say:
  ‘There's a young person watching right now and Hollywood has convinced them that if they get married they will be happy. I guarantee if you're unhappy before you're married, you're going to be unhappy after your married. It's not changing scenery. It's getting rid of the influences in your life, in the invisible life, that you're not even conscious of.’

  No one on television has ever spoken to me, but I knew this word was for me.  Sid Roth was reaffirming God had not forgotten about me and that He saw my grief.  I admit my disappointment because I knew the message meant more waiting.  But Sid was right.  There was some junk I had left over from past relationships that would keep me moving forward.  He was also right at the fact that I glamorized marriage and did not understand its true meaning or purpose. God’s was pushing these men away from me because I was trying to force something with them that was never meant to be. God made sure that any man that was not the one, He would rip them from my life.   So much so that the relationships could never be repaired again. I am honored and graced that God is not going to allow me to end up with anyone. He has someone for me and he will come in time.  When you pray for God to bring you His best, the one He has for you, then God is going to take that to heart.  He will spend time forming you, and forming the one for you, into the individuals He wants you to be.”’

This was the worst date of my life but yet and still there was a reason for it.  The reason being that I was trying to force a relationship with a man that obviously was not thinking about me.  And the worse thing is there are always signs.  There were so many signs that I looked over because he was a lawyer and a Christian.  But glad to say that I recovered and it was through these types of dates that I learned to stop punishing myself and stop getting into these types of situations.

Like Sid Roth said, it was not until I learned to be a happy being single that I realized that I could be a happy un-single person.  Because it is not about my relationship status to define me but how I feel about myself.  I feel that when you do not feel great about yourself men sense it and they use it as an excuse to treat you like crap.  This is why in a way I was setting myself up, because I should have not even been on the date with him in the first place.

But I got over it and can now share my lovely experiences with all of you people.  Through every bad date is a learning experience.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

What's In A Name? Living Up to Your Name. (#TheSW30 Day 10)

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My name is Sophia.  According to the internet the meaning of my name means:

“Wisdom; wise.”

The funny thing is I already knew this before I even looked it up.  It was when I was in the 8th grade and was taught the meaning of “Soph” meant wise in greek. It is crazy to think that this fact would have remained with me all this time.

I am a person who believes that names are very important.  I feel the Bible clearly shows us that.  He changed Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah. Simon to Peter, and well as others.

The reason that God does this is because He wants to give people names that they are going to live up to.  When Simon was given the name “Peter” God said, “and on this rock I will build my church.” Matthew 16:18  Because Rock meant Peter.

Even when naming my son I named him Gabriel because it meant something, it means:

“ God is my strength.”

Some thing that my pastor taught me and I can agree with, and that is there is power in words.  So imagine every time I call out my son’s name I am saying “God is my strength” speaking this into his destiny.

With my name meaning wisdom I think the name is very befitting.  I tend to be the more focused and serious one compared to other people my age.  Often times when I introduce myself people will give me the meaning of my name.  They always say “ Your names means wisdom.” And then soon my friend or someone that is with me would say “Claim it.” (Meaning claiming the idea of me being wise).

If God thought so much as to change people’s name depending on what they will become or sometimes even choosing a name for them from birth; then I think God knew that when someone speaks your name and it has meaning, the meaning is being spoken into existence over you.

I do not know if it is the name or if it was me.

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” James 1:5

The best part of this verse is that I can recall reading this at 14.  I was inspired to pray for wisdom.  I remember afterward I thought I would be smart right away. But God did answer my prayers like that.    The wisdom that I have now God has He bestowed on me as I got older through situations and relationships, and still gives to me still through different life lessons I have gone through.

I find it prophetic in a way that the idea of wisdom and being wise has played such a huge part in my life.  I thirsted after it at only 14.  It seems all the more reason that the meaning of my name also means wisdom.

Just a random fact, when I was younger I was not able to find my name on a key chain because it was not at common.  Then someone down the line, my name became the number 1 female name in the nation.  I find that funny in a way.  

I am proud of my name, it is pretty, strong, and it has meaning.  And that is something that some people cannot say.  It feels good to know that your name means something, and it is by your name that you are known to others.

I think I live up to my name.  But because I want to sound humble, I will say I will continue to live up to my name and strive to be wise (which is true).

“Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil” Proverbs 3:7.

No matter how wise we think we are, we always have to remember to be humble about it.
Wisdom I feel it is a foundation to many things.  Solomon was the wisest king and with it came power, wealth, and honor.  Not saying that this is the only reason why I want to be wise, but the fact that these things are associated with wisdom says something.  Solomon asked God for wisdom instead of wealth and because he did not ask for wealth God gave him both. Solomon was known throughout the land for being wise, even that he caught the attention of the Queen of Sheba.

“When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions.  Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind.  Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built,  the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at[a] the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.” 1 Kings 10:1-5

When I read this verse, this is the type of wisdom I strive for.  The kind that leaves people amazed.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tackling Unhealthy Single Behavior ( #TheSW30 Day 9)

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If you have ready my blog, (Tackling Your Relationship Demons) then you know I spoke about aspects of my character that may not go over so well in a relationship.  There is something that I feel should be a new mental health diagnosis in the DSM V that I have thought of and suffer from.  And that is “ the only child syndrome.

As I got to know myself more there was something that I came to realize. I really do like my own space, my own private time, and I really prefer to live alone sometimes.  Sometimes when I have company over my house, even family, I count down the hours that they can leave.  It is not that I do not love them, but I just prefer to have time and space to myself.  I figure that this must be some thing that other only children suffer with.  We have had to learn to play with ourselves and entertain our self because there was not anyone else around to play with.

My hypothesis from observing my own behavior is that us only children have adapted to keeping ourselves happy and do not always want to be bothered with other peoples needs.

Or at least this is my problem.  There are times when I like to use my home as my sanctuary. I walk around looking any kind of way, dressed any kind of way, my hair looking any kind of way, and no make up.  I would fear if my future husband was to see my like that then he would run away never to be seen or heard from again. Sometimes I think, what am I going to do when I am married.  I cannot tell my husband to get out of my face and go away for a few days because I need some time on my own.

When you are able to point out single behaviors that can affect your relationships with other people, you will be able to manage them better when you get into relationships.

I am sure that when I met someone and get serious about them to the point that we are talking marriage, he will need to know that I do not need him to be in my face all of the time.  I Like my own space and freedom to think.  My future husband will need to know if I do not get that me time I will be a miserable mess that can make his life miserable.

With this knowledge of myself  I know that when dating the “clingy can’t live without you” type of man is not for me. No one is perfect and in each person is imperfections.  I do not want to change my imperfections in anyway.  In fact I have come to like the things about me that stand out.  But the key is for me not to change myself to be with someone but rather to find someone who likes or is able to deal with my shortcomings. That is the true meaning of unconditional love.

I think the biggest mistake we tell ourselves is that we can change for someone, then when we find ourselves in a marriage or relationship, we complain because we have changed so much for someone else and we are not even happy about the person that we have become.

Why go through all of that? Why not just learn, understand, and accept all the stuff that is wrong with you and realize that any person who wants to be in your life for the long run will have to learn to function through your stuff.  That is why it is so important for us to know other peoples; “stuff” before we get involved with them.  This way we can determine if their stuff is acceptable to us or if it is something that we do not want to deal with.

The same thing should go for your stuff.  That is not to say that you should never have to compromise.

I could spend a whole day watching movies laughing and making jokes to myself about what is on TV. When the time comes for me to share my space with a husband, I think there will be some comprise  needed.

Another person is living with me and sharing my space.  I would have to assume that I my not be able to have as much alone time that I was used to. And so I have to learn to give a little. And who knows, once I get used to sharing my space with someone, you never know, my alone time disease may get cured and I may not desire to spend to much time alone.  But one thing positive I can say, is that my single person behavior for the need to have my own space helps me cope with being single and not get to bent up and out of shape about it. .

I know many of us have seen those women who do not under any circumstances want to be alone.  They get into relationships with anyone no matter if the person is good for them or not.

So while I am single and alone I am free to have my home to myself, my closet to myself, spend time with myself, and I am happy doing it.  Finding out what behaviors you do while you are single, teaches you to cope with your singleness and the behaviors that are apart of you that your significant other may not be receptive to.  I feel, it is better to recognize  certain behaviors now so you can know how some of these behaviors may affect your relationship, this way you can deal with them effectively.

Friday, October 17, 2014

5 things that are Most important In a future mate (#TheSW30 Day 8)

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As I have gotten older and counseled married couples I have come to learn that most people do not look at marriage like a contract.  By a contract I mean that when you get married you are joined to that person forever.  Before you get married to them, you have to ask yourself, “are they good for me? Do we have things in common?”

You would be surprised at how many people miss this aspect about pairing with someone for life.  Of course you want to love that person but you also want to see how they fit into your life and purpose.

If you look at my blog here. You can see how God has put many people together in order to fulfill their purpose.  But I think you have to know what your purpose is in order to know what to look for in someone else.

Five things that I have learned to look for in a future mate include:

  • Must like kids and wants kids.  Obviously I have a kid so it is essential that they like kids and want more children.  
  • Must be a Christian.  My religion is such a huge part of who I am, and I want someone who has the same values and can raise our families as having the same values. 
  • Financial security and career stability.  This does not mean I have to date a millionaire.  But I want someone that is not at risk for being evicted and is responsible with their money.  I also want some one who is motivated career wise and know where they are going in life. 
  • They must be attractive.  I know this may sound vain, but I cannot get with someone  I am not physically attracted to.  To some people looks are not that important.  I am not one of those people.
  • Must be accepting of my son.  Since he would have to be around my son, I know I would want someone my son can look up to and treat my son as his own.  The last thing I would want is to be with a man that treats my son like an outsider.  

These are the things that are important to me.  I do not feel my expectations are too high I just feel that this is what is needed for me to have in a man I am going to marry.  It took me a long time to look beyond the physical and actually look at what type of person they are and if they would make a good husband.  I think having my son caused me to be more serious about the potential man I bring in his life.

So if I were to met a man who did not like kids and did not have a job, I know not to give him the time of day because he does not match the man I want.

I think every women should make a realistic expectation list of things they want in a husband. Every time you met a man look at your list and see if he meets what you want.  It will save you a lot of time wasting your time on men who will not be a good fit in the long run.  And make it easier to recognize the men who are better husband materiel.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Where I Envisioned Myself Being Versus Where God Has Brought Me (#TheSW30 Day 7)

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I am not where I thought I would be at this point in my life, I am actually farther.  As I have gotten older the goals and expectations I had of myself have changed.

If you were asking the 18 years old me, I would have said I would have seen myself married, I would have thought 30 was old.  But now that I am 30, I feel that it is perfectly okay that I am still single and see 30 as being young.

I did not see myself going back to school to go a master’s let alone a PhD.  But now that these things have happened I am happy that I chose to get education and experience at a young age .  When I was younger, I wanted to be a fashion designer.  But that did not happen.  I changed my major to Criminal Justice in undergrad.  I got a masters in marriage and family therapy, and I am getting a PhD in human behavior.

I was never the person who was really into going to school so it is a shocker that I would go to get so much education.  I will tell anyone that I felt like God told me to go back and get my masters.  And counseling is something that I was naturally good at. It was something that I didn't even know I was good at until I did it.

So where I am now career wise is no where near what I thought I would be, but I feel it was just a different direction.  A better one.

No I am not where I thought I would be relationships wise, but for me that is a good thing.  I got a chance to go after some career and educational goals.

I also came to realize that it is okay to be 30 plus and not have been married yet.  What matters most for me was that during my time I did things that made me a more constructive person as oppose to moping around about the things I did not have.  I learned to be happy with the things that I do, I did not want to be one of those women who put their life on hold because they did not have a man.  And because of that mindset, I felt I got more accomplished.

Being a single mother is not something that I envisioned for myself either.  My son was an unexpected surprise that made me want to do better.  When I became a mother I wanted to give my son everything of a two parent household with no excuses.  I am able by the grace of God to be able to send my son to private school and to own my own home.  Had I not had a child I do not think I would be as focused as I was to get more stability in my life.

I have also grown so much as a Christian.  Because of my religion my entire personality has changed for the better.  I am no longer afraid to tell others about God nor am I ashamed of my religion.  I have a personal relationship with God and have a better understanding of who God is.

I feel God knew the person I was meant to be, everything He has done for me, instilled in me, and has made me into the person He wants me to be.  Therefore I am not upset at the fact that I am not exactly who I pictured myself to be, God has made me better than what I had in mind.

I still have big dreams and aspirations for myself. I have a clear vision who I want my future self to be.  Since I am now older, I know that with hard-work I will reach my goals, dreams, and be the person I was meant to be.  The only difference now is I know that I work with God and allow Him to shape me into the person He wants me to be.  I know from experience that, the person God wants me to be is always better than what  I envisioned for myself.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Every woman has the exact love life she wants or Do Women accept the love they think they deserve? (#TheSW30 Day6)

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 When I think about the quote that says “Every woman has the exact love life she wants.”  I think that this is completely and utterly false, to an extent.  The love life that I want involves me sitting in mansion somewhere, with a man that worships the ground I walk on, and is willing to give me anything in life.  Obviously I do not have that.

I will be fair and say that some women deserve the love life they get.  I have seen women who are continuously doing the same dumb thing time and time again and wonder why they keep getting the same type of man.

Therefore if you are the type of woman who allows a man to mooch off of you, take your money, sleep with you and run....and you keep going through the same pattern, then guess what you deserve that.

Granted the first time you may be being a fool, but after a while of doing the same thing over and over again and your love life stills sucks then you do have the exact love life you want because that is the one you created.

Now for single women like myself who want some prince charming to fall from the sky and sweep her off her feet.  I feel a woman plays a bigger part in creating a dysfunctional relationship pattern for herself than a functional one.  Take me for example, I used to be completely dysfunctional and used to breed the dysfunctional relationship pattern.  But now that I have worked on myself I no longer have that dysfunctional relationship pattern, in fact I have no relationship pattern at all.

A woman is not entirely in control of it all.  The men of this day and age are not men ( I am not talking about all men, just talking in general).  As times shift men do not take pride in taking care of their women, children, or themselves.  Many find it acceptable to use and leech off of women, most of them even take pride in it.

So for women like myself who think back to the Boaz’s of biblical times (see my blog here) there are not so many of them to choose from..  So even though I am emotionally ready for a relationship many men my age are not.

So no, I do not feel like I have the love life I want.  I know plenty of good woman who do not have the love life they want either.  But to answer the question fully, I do think that women play apart in the type of love life they get.

The men I date now are not the same men I would have dated 8 years ago.  This is because I have changed and therefore what I accept has changed.  And when I get a love life, I am sure that will be changed as well.  As a matter of fact God has shown me this in a recent event.

I am a single mother with a son who is 6.  When I was 24-25 the way my son’s father spoke to me was very disrespectful, and most of the time I did not really even know the difference.  I just kind of accepted it.  Flash forward, I asked him a simple question and he began to drop the F-bomb for no reason what so ever.  What was acceptable at 24 is not acceptable at 30 and I had to let him know that.  As a matter of fact I often have to let him know how to speak to me, his excuse is that is just him.

Well that may be him but I no longer have to accept the verbally abusive him, I can just walk away and I did.  He can save that craziness for someone else.  Now if I would have stayed then I deserved that jacked up form of love that he was showing me.  Being spoken to any type of way.  But I learn to walk away from that and men like that.  Now when I see any hints of it in a man, they can go.

I learned to accept something different, and when I do get the right man I feel that I deserve the love that I get because it took me to learn what love was and what I deserved, even if I do not have that love life now.

Does that makes sense?

I think A better quote is, "Women accept the love they think they deserve."

Reading is Fundamental- 365 Very Veggie Devo Book Review

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“I believe in training up a child the way that they should go and when they are older they will not depart from it”. Proverbs 22:6  This is why I feel that from the very moment that your child comes out of the womb it is never too early to teach them about God.  The earlier the better.  The wonderful thing about the world in which we live is that there are so many resources and books that can reach out to your child in a way in which they would understand.

Veggietales has come up with a book for boys in which they have devotionals for each day of the year.  As I read the book with my son I must say that it is really good.  I mean there are some lessons and prayers in which could be applicable to me.  Even as I read the devotionals to my son, I learn something for myself.

I like this book because it is very direct.  For each day it gives a title of the devotional, Bible verse, and how these Bible verses applies to your child.  At the end it has a prayer after each day that the child can say that is applicable to the Bible verse.  I feel this is relevant because all children need to learn to pray.  And not just those little prayers that we say not really knowing what they mean.  I mean those prayers are great and all, but instilling true Christian values in your child is beyond just saying prayers before meal time and bed time.  In fact this was Day 1 lesson in this Veggietale book, making time for God.

I think children can comprehend more than what you think.  I enjoy this book because it does not tip toe around Christianity but rather confronts it and teaches it to your child head on.  Which to me, is what you want.  I do not want my son being one of those people who say they are Christian but have no idea about the Bible, what it says, Jesus, or the importance of having a relationships with God.  I feel this book addresses all of this.

Since my son is only six, once we have done the devotionals, I plan on starting over.  I cannot really say the age range for this book seeing as how I can read it and still feel like I can get something out it.  In fact, some of the advice hit home for me too, which it why reading this book with your child can assist you in your Biblical knowledge as well.  And the prayers can also be applied to adults.

On some devotionals they have tips to start your day or tips in which your child can apply the lesson for the day.   I read it with my son at bedtime especially since there is a prayer with each devotional.  I feel this is the perfect day to wine down for us.  Since I have the devotionals for boys, some of then speak directly to males.  I do not think anything is wrong with that.  Boy need to be taught how to be men any way, Lord knows there are so many grown men running around still acting like boys.

I recommend for every parent of a child to get this book.  If will come in handy for a long time and you can expect it to deliver on teaching good Christian values.  In case you do not have a boy, they also have one for girls.

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Common Misconceptions and Misunderstandings People Have About Being Single (#TheSW30 Day 5)

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A few weeks ago I was speaking to my son’s father.  For this particular conversation we were having a rather heated discussion about something that I cannot exactly recall.  What I do recall is that after the conversation he told me that is why I was still single.

At the mention of this comment I actually found it laughable, and told him as much.  I think so many men and women who look at single people seem to think that our life is somehow incomplete because we are single.  And that the mentioning of our singleness is going to put us in some type of rage because well, being in a relationship is important.

Since I am not the type to hold my tongue.  I told him that his relationships was laughable to me.  It is really not a real relationship, I see it as two people who really do not know what they want who have gotten together all for the sake of not being lonely.  Just from conversing with my ex, he and and his girlfriend want two different things.  She wants to get married he doesn't, she wants kids he doesn't, I mean why are yall even together?

But somehow he felt the mention of my singleness was suppose to to hurt my feelings.
Here are a few misconceptions that he had about my single life that he does not understand.

  • I am single by choice because I choose not to be with just anyone. 
  • I do not get in relationships with people who do not want the same things as me. 
  • I am completely happy in my singleness. 
  • I rather be a happy single person than a miserable and lost relationship person (been there done that). 

But the misconception that he has about me being single is the same misconception that most people have about being single.  And that is that there is no possible way that I must be happy because I do not have a man.  When you really think about this reasoning, it is very crazy sounding.  That is because in order to be happy I must have a man and if I do not have a man then I must be unhappy and therefore my happiness is contingent upon my man.

But this is not the case for me nor should it be the case for anyone weather they are in a relationship or not.  I have noticed with my son’s father and many other people that I know that they are afraid to be alone.  They bounce around from one person to the next.  Every time they get ready to end a relationship they have someone on the side so that they can bounce to that person when the relationships ends.  And they somehow find fulfillment is all this.

Why do so many people associate a single life with a depressed and unfulfilled life?

I have had family, friends, co-workers, and strangers asked me why I am not married yet.  And the look they have on their face when they find out that I am not married is pity.  I can recall after seeing a distant relative after a few years telling me that they hope the next time they see me I will be getting married.

Forget all the other accomplishments I have in my life.  The only thing that seems to define me as a person is weather I am married.

That is crazy to me.

As a single person I have misconceptions about married people and those who are in a relationships.  Not all married or relationships people, but some.  Some I just see as needy people who have no direction in life unless it is given to them by a significant other.  This is especially true for women.  I had a friend who is divorced, and she told me that the next time she gets married she was going to get married for love.  I wanted to ask what was the first reason she got married in the first place.

This ideology makes no sense to me.  This is because so many people rather be in a loveless marriage just to say they are married then actually be content in their singleness and wait for the one that God has for them.

On the flip side, I have seen and counseled many married people who thought once they got married all of their issues and problems will come to an end.  They thought being single was the root to all of there problems and when they ended their singleness then their perfect life would be waiting for them on the other side.

As a result, those married people long to be single again.  They see that all the misconceptions they had about being single were false and they should have enjoyed their single life when they had a chance.  One married women told me as she was headed for a divorce in less than a year of being married:

“ I just miss being by myself, I miss having my own space and doing my own thing, and just wish I could go back.”

I can recall that it was through counseling married couples in turmoil that everything that glitters in marriage is not gold, and all the things that I hated about being single, they missed.  This is when something clicked in my brain and told me to enjoy sing life because it really is not that bad.

Misconceptions about being single are just that, misconceptions.  They tell us that us being single and alone somehow makes us incomplete or less than everyone else when it really does not.  Being single is just a season like any other season in our lives and I am sure that if we embrace our singleness, and learn what we need to learn during that season this can actually enhance our relationships, when we are ready.

In closing, do not pay attention to what other people say about you being single.  Do not beat yourself up about it thinking something is wrong with you.  Like me, I am not only waiting, but I now have my pick of those that I want to date.  I do not feel pressured to date just anyone all for the reason of changing my relationship status on Facebook.

You can be single and be happy or be in a relationship and be happy.  But your happiness depends on you not the person you are or are not in a relationships with.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Single Life a sound off on sex, dating, and the church

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I found this post on Christian Today (click here to view).  These questions were asked to four single Christian women.  When reading the questions I found them to be interesting and wanted to answer them on my own.  I think each single Christian woman has their own view on being single and their own struggle.  I encourage you to view the post listed above to view other women’s answer to these questions as well as to think about your own personal answers to these questions.

Do you struggle with being content in your singleness?

In all honestly I used to.  I used to struggle a lot with being single, so much so that I think it kind of compromised my mental state a little bit.  This is because I was not able to have a realistic point of view on relationships and made the idea of a relationship more than what it was more like an idol.

Now I am content on being single (see my blog here on how I got that way).  I think I have come to learn that I should not desire anything more than I desire God.  I learned that if I am doing what I feel I am called to do in life and with my relationship with God, then I am content with being single.  I learned to be more complete on my own and not expect another person to complete me.  This was a big lesson that I learned and how I got to be  so content with being single.

What do you see as your role in finding a husband?

I do not feel that it is my role to find my husband.  I feel like “he who finds a wife finds a good thing” (see my blog here) not the other way around.  With this being said I do feel there are some things I can do to prepare myself for a husband.  This includes being emotionally stable, knowing myself, and knowing what to recognize in a future husband.  I think preparation is the main role that I have when finding a husband, not necessarily to go out and chase one down. I think that if I am in the right place in my life, my husband will find me.

How do you deal with sexual urges and temptations?

Well a big push for me to fight my sexual urges was when I went through a situation with a man in which I got played out in a big way (see my blog here).  From there on it made me reevaluate what sex was really for and  I got an understanding on how having sex outside of marriage sets me up to be used and abused my men.  Now I try not to put myself in situations where I would be tempted.  Also, I have cut way back on dating. The temptation is not that great when you do not have people around to be tempted by .

How do you keep from feeling isolated, especially at church?

I do not felt isolated at church.  I go to a pretty mixed church.  There are single people and there are married people.  Sometimes people my age or younger announce that they are getting married or I see them getting married , and then I feel a little isolated, but for the most part those situations are very far and few.

As for in my personally life.  I tend to keep myself busy.  I am not busy just for the sake of keeping myself busy so that I do not feel lonely, but I am not doing it for that reason.  I am doing things because I feel that God wants me to do them as well as to further my career and to provide security for my son.

I am getting a PhD, blogging, have a job, and even more.  So I try to keep myself busy so I am do not get into a place where I feel like I am wallowing in self pity about being single.  I keep myself busy so I feel like I am always moving forward.

These are the answers to my question.  I would love to hear your answers as well.

And Where is God?

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I think that it is about time to admit to myself and the outside world that lately I have not been in the best place with God.  I know at this point your mouth is dropping down to the floor shocked by my revelation.

But I think it is time to get real with my self and to get real with God.  In fact there really is no getting real with God because He already knows everything.  He knows my frustrations, fears, pain, and He knows that I am not in a good place with Him right now.  Therefore why try to trick myself into thinking that I can hide this fact from God.

If you have read my book then you know some of the struggles that I had to face in recent years.  However the struggle continues in different areas.  I am overly educated and extremely underpaid.  In fact it seems like the more educated I get, the less money I make.  And this is not supposed to be.  Due to changes in the mental health field as well as the economy people expect you to go work for pennies on the dollar despite your education and experience.

This is an area that I am frustrated with God with the most.  Back BEFORE I finished my Master’s degree I used to make $15,000 more than what I make now.  This is a huge deal for me because my mortgage and lifestyle is based off that income.

It would seem that despite my constant prayers that I am always struggling just to make the bare minimum of things that I need.  As Christians we say that we can always pray to God in whatever situation that we are going through.  But what happens, when God is not answering those prayers?  When you are still left struggling?

This honestly is just one aspect of my life.  A few months ago my cousin (who is like my sister) lost her 3 month old baby.  It really did go beyond that.  He had so many unprecedented complications that only happens to 1% of babies.  He spend all of his time in the hospital, he was around doctors that felt it was best to just unplug him and let him pass away as oppose to having faith.

During that time my family prayed so hard, we believed even harder, there was nothing in our mind that doubted that he was not going to be healed.  And then he died.  Why did God do this? Why did He not hold true to His word in which he said He would heal, answer prayers, and with the faith of a mustard seed anything could happen.  We did all of that, but this innocent child still died.

God promises to never put more on us than we can bear, but what happens when you feel like He is putting more on you then you can bear?  What happens when you feel like you cannot take any more and God just keep giving you more?  How should you feel then?

Sometimes you just find yourself saying where is God and why is He not here for me. And then it gets to the point that you do not even wonder where God is and just accept the bad things that are happening.  You have tried praying about it, talking to God about it, reading the Bible, and then still nothing gets better.  So like me, I just come to accept the things I cannot change and roll with the punches even if they hurt.

I have found myself questioning God, wondering if He is my father then what type of parent would continuously hurt their child.  But true to God form He points all the people over time that has suffered for Him.

Joseph, Job, Paul, all of the disciples, and even Jesus himself.

But true to human form, I tell God I am not them.  I am not in the Bible and I do not want to suffer.  I tell God I do not understand His ways, why would He want to make someone who loves him suffer.  I could feel the direction of my life getting in the way with my relationship with God.  It would get to the point that I would actively push God’s voice out of my head.  I did not want to hear His voice, His reasoning, His rationale, I did not want to hear any of this because I felt that He was not enough anymore and life was getting the best of me.

I am sure I am the only person that has ever experienced this and everyone else out there are all picture perfect Christians.

Even though I am still in a storm so to speak, my hardship has taught me some things.

It has taught me not to worry.  Between not having enough money, food, being underpaid, and worrying about it I realized that my worry was not doing anything to help or change my situation.  And so I stopped.  And guess what, even though I don’t always have enough and still have some life problems, everything seems to be working out without me having a panic attack about everything.

It has really gotten to the point that I just to do care. Me not caring, cause me to get rid of fear.  I figure what ever is going to happen is going to happen good or bad.  I have been through worse, am going through worse, and in some weird way I think this is what God wanted me to learn.  Whenever you go through hardship after hardship and feel that things cannot get any worse, you just stop fearing what can go wrong because things are already going wrong.

And as things move from bad to worse and in each situation it somehow works out, then you build faith.   I am still trucking along and I have not gone without anything.  I do not know how. But I can attribute this to God taking care of things, even though the in the physical realm things seemed impossible.  And knowing that when things are beyond our control and God take the reigns and magically fixes everything this grows our faith.

There are somethings that I will never understand.  I do not understand why my little cousin had to die.  Or why any child has to die before their time.  I do not understand why God does not answer perfectly good prayers that are completely and totally unselfish.  I do not know why God allows really bad things to happen to really good people and I do not know why some people have to suffer more than others.

What I am told as a Christian, is the only thing we can go on is that somehow some way God is suppose to see us through, no matter how crappy things are.  Even if you are living in a cardboard box on the side of the road,you are suppose to trust God has a plan.

What people do not tell you is that the plan may not be to get you off the street.  The plan may be for you to live in a cardboard box for another 3 years. I wonder why some people are homeless for a year have a miracle and they are millionaires.  And why others are homeless all their lives, and end up murdered on the street.  The only real explanation I can have to it, is that when Adam and Even fell from Eden, the world sort of became a crappy place.  With sin, death, and violence that falls on everyone indiscriminately.

I have also learned that God loves everyone.  Sometimes I wonder why this not so nice or religious person is being blessed beyond their imagination while I am stuck in a rut, it is because God loves them just as much as He loves me.  And therefore He will bless them as He sees fit.  Sometimes even if they are not Christians.  He loves us all the same and He puts each and every one of us in places that He wants us to do His will, even if we are none believer and even if we do not know it.

Sounds kind of unfair huh?

The point I wanted to make with this post is to talk to people  who have followed God, trusted God, and done the things that God has told them to do but still experience pain, hardship, and do not understand why.  People who have cried out to God for some relief from life problems and the relief never comes.  And so then we begin to wonder, where is God?

This is my encouragement to you to still keep the faith and know that God is there for you.  You have to look beyond what you see and somehow trust that everything is going to work out according to God’s plans.  And even more so, you have know and understand that God’s plan may not be your plan, and so accepting His plan no matter what and letting go of your own is key.

I know this is not what people want to hear.  But I do not want to fool anyone into thinking that just because you are a Christian you are going to skate through life perfectly and not go through any hardships.  I do not want Christian’s to think that every prayer is going to be answered.  If you start to see God in that way, then you are going to move away from God at the first sign of hardships because you feel that God’s love equals you getting what you want.  And it does not work like that.

In case this post sounds a bit morbid, what I am convinced of is that God only sees our life on Earth as a fraction of our time.  And if we fly right, then we can live out the rest of our lives in complete and utter perfection in heaven.  So do not pay attention to the pain and hardships of this world, whatever they may be, it is not forever but only temporary.