Faith, Life Coach, Love & Marriage, Uncategorized

Sistah, Take A Seat: Say I’m Sorry

Sequels to movies can either do one of two things. They can be successful or they can be a bust. So it goes in the world of blogging. I got a lot of positive traction for my “Sistah, Take Seat” blog last week. I’ve frankly been kinda scared to think about writing another one. Yikes! But one can never say (or write) enough about single women living their lives, doing big things and navigating their way through the issues of the heart. 

The hubster and I literally had to drop all commitments on our busy calendars to attend a one night marriage conference this week. It was by a well known expert on all things relationships and I’m happy we did. All I could think about while there was man! How many single men and women would definitely be their better self if they could get this stuff BEFORE they said I do?! Everyone is so hot to get in a relationship, take Facebook pictures with the googly eyes and then what? The hard work that goes into relationship building is more than a cell phone photo. Lawd knows it is! 

The speaker was a white southerner who spoke the king’s country English. Well I’m bringing it to you like your big sister, who you half can’t stand sometimes cause EVERYTIME you come to her with your problems she had the nerves to be honest and give you the business, the Fortune 500 type of business. 

Men can do some dumb things. No denying that. But let’s be honest we are no saints either. We just do better with making ourselves look good. Before you know it, dude is apologizing for something he never did! He does enough of that and you will wonder why the phone calls stop and he’s moved on to the 2.0 version of you. Bigger and better cause you wouldn’t, couldn’t learn how to apologize. 

Express regret and accept responsibility. Tell your man what you’re sorry for. Just saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t work anymore. Babe I’m sorry for not coming to you first to discuss this. Boo, I’m sorry for being out of hand and disrespecting you in public. Honey, I’m sorry for putting our business on that GroupMe chat. Learn to admit your wrong in a matter. Psalm 51:17. Luke 15:21

Offer to make restitution. It’s one thing to apologize and accept responsibility. It’s another to make restitution. That would mean you would have to make it right. Batting your eye lash extensions and rubbing his arm is NOT restitution. You embarrassed him in public, you better apologize in public. You didn’t allow him to take the lead on a decision. You better make sure you give him space to do that next time. You ignored his requests to spend time together to cause you wanted to hang out with your girls. You better make the next date night a hella good time. Make right what you made wrong

Genuinely repenting. So you have apologized. You have even made it right. Don’t do it again. Yeah. I know we’re all human. But you only got a few times to make the same dumb mistake before you get deleted off his phone and from his life. How many times you think dude is going to want to have to hear your banshee voice on the other end of the phone? Or all them capital letters on his text messages? Or the same old, “Babe I won’t do it again!” followed by some fake crocodile tears. Girl Bye! I said it before and Imma keep saying it. Cute don’t keep a man! Acts 2:38

Requesting forgiveness. The speaker said 10% of the population doesn’t ask forgiveness. This is a direct influence from how they may have been raised by their fathers. In my head I was like that’s gotta be wrong because I’m like the 1% right up in there. But he got the dad part right. Parental and life conditioning has taught us that asking for forgiveness is a sign of weakness on our part. We’re punks if we ask for forgiveness. We’re carpets to walk on if we ask for forgiveness. No, dear sistah. What we are is a relationship on its way to a glorious death if we don’t. Forgiveness is a healthy response to a sincere apology. When we have gone through the process of apologizing it is that final act that releases you and the offended party from the bitterness that tends to seep into the soul, oozing into the heart and manifesting in the form of mental and physical illness. No human being on earth is worth that kinda obligation. None. 

We think  that a beat face, three college degrees, 20 inch Brazilian hair, an extensive vocabulary, talents in the kitchen and butterfly wing lashes is what a man wants. Surprise surprise (in my Gomer Pyle voice), buddy has moved on to a woman who has got way more substance than you ever will. When you’re on your couch with a pint of Starbucks Caramel Machiato ice cream pining for that same man whose now googley eyeing with some other chick I hope you have a heart to heart with yourself and the Holy Spirit about what in the hell went wrong and what needs to happen to make it right. 

Start out small. Open your lips. And start with these three words. I am sorry. 

http://www.5lovelanguages.com/resource/when-sorry-isnt-enough/

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Uncategorized

Sistah, Take A Seat

I will be the first to say I can be THE most opinionated, strong-willed Black chick you will ever come across. My daddy didn’t raise a wilting flower and my mama didn’t raise no fool. When I got my first college degree, dear old dad asked when was I going back to get the second. My husband knew what he was getting into when he slipped that ring on my finger. Or maybe he didn’t. Lol! These past 18 years has been one helluva ride with me at his side. That same tenacity and drive that I give to building our marriage has sometimes served me wrong. I have been impatient at times. I have been harsh at times. Hell, I’ve been downright selfish at times. And trust when I say, I have LEARNED. 

So when I look around the single life landscape and I see young Black women on the rise, getting their #blackgirlmagic and #staymadabby on, I feel all warm and tingly on the inside. All with a side of apprehension mixed in for good measure. I’m a bit on edge when I see my sistahs failing at relationships that barely get off the ground. Here are my humble yet honest reminders of why you, my sistah in the faith, need to take several seats. 

Know your place. The Bible called all of us to be heads not tails. It didn’t specify this to be a scripture for men only. It was meant for all believers. Yet Ephesians 6 is very specific about the role of man and wife. As a single woman, practicing will make perfect before you pledge your vows. He’s the man. Allow him to protect you. Allow him to walk on the sidewalk. Allow him to sit facing the door. Allow him to make decisions. Some of them will be on target. Others will be totally off. He will make mistakes. 

He is called to love you as Christ loved the church. If you know what sacrificial love looks like, then just know the onus is on your partner to do whatever it takes to make and keep you happy. It’s called TRUST. 

Don’t keep mess going. Okay. You got in an argument. Hell, married life will mean more opportunities to disagree. That staying mad for weeks on end, is bad for any relationship. My husband made sure I was clear early on in our marriage about some things. One of them was no going to bed angry. Mind you, I’m the one my own mamma called “raisable” because I could hold a grudge against my brother for weeks. In our marriage that wasn’t an option. Take a breather. Think things over and get back in the ring and fight fair. Don’t call names. Don’t cuss. Don’t demean. And at the end of it all, FORGIVE. And for Pete’s sake, don’t bring it back up!

Be worthy of his praise. Be that Proverbs 31:28 woman. The kind where your man is always singing your worth and making sure everybody and their mamma know who you are and how much of a blessing you are to him. If your man can’t say two good things about you without shaking his head midsentence, Houston, we have a colossal problem. If you are more of a headache, that’s a problem. If you are more of a hindrance, that’s a problem. A Black brother got enough going on in his life today (trying to stay alive being the primary one) to have you taking up unnecessary space in his mind with worry and angst. He needs to know he’s dating and seriously considering marriage with a woman who will not pose a threat to his manhood or his livelihood. A man who worries less about the home front, is a man who can go out and conquer the world. 

So yep! Have a seat. You, you, and oh yeah, definitely you! Be cute all you want to. Cuteness don’t keep a man. Join a women’s group. Collect some new friends. Grab a hold to a mentor. Learn what it is to be a good woman before he puts that ring on your finger. And for those of you sailing in the wind unattached, keep sailing with your eye on the prize and another eye on making yourself the best woman you can be. 

Faith, Family, Love & Marriage

Marriage Made Easy

When the one month shy of 23 year old young woman and the just turned 26 year old young man stood before God and man and repeated those vows, all they could think of was jumping on each other’s bones later that evening and living happily ever after. That was me and my husband. We were kids taking a try at being grown ups and striking out on our own. Fast forward these many years later and it’s become common place to hear “You guys make it look so easy!” or “Wish my marriage could be like that!”

With eighteen notches on the marriage belt, it has been nothing but easy. Fun. Yes. Hilarious. Yes. Adventurous. Yes. Easy. Certainly not! Those marriage vows came home to roost in more ways than one. 

To Have And To Hold. We soon learned that we couldn’t just choose the good over the bad. It’s a package deal. When he got on my nerves with his laissez-faire attitude and his whatever comes what may mentality I had to have and hold it. When I irked his nerves with my strictly by the book, plan fifty years in advance staying within the lines mentality, he had to have and hold it. Two totally opposite creatures slamming into each other day in and day out made for some interesting arguments over the years. Some we laugh about now. Some with regret. 

For Better And For Worse. I didn’t sign up to be poor when I got married. After all I came from a two parent home where food was always in the fridge, the bills were always paid and our house was clean and well kept. Apartment living was supposed to be a two year stint. Not a five year one. Having one car between the two of us really tried my patience on most days. Having to live without some things I even enjoyed during my college years was the hardest part. I went from using Victoria’s Secret products to Vaseline overnight. Our combined income barely paid the bills and going to Fuddrucker’s was considered a treat! Steak sandwich, chili cheese fries, and a milk shake please! 

In Sickness And In Health. The occasional flu. Infertility. Surgeries. Parental illnesses on both sides. Caretaking roles. Our parents were hale and healthy standing as witnesses to our union then. It’s a different story these days. My dad walks with a limp from a knee surgery.  His mom is on blood pressure meds. His dad is on glucose meds. My mother is no longer with us. 

Til Death We Do Part. We joke around that in heaven we know we won’t be married. But we made a pact to at least live next door to each other. He is my best friend after all. Best friends don’t let best friends live in heaven by themselves! I shudder to think of the inevitable but know what God’s grace has done for countless of other couples before and He will do it with us. 

So Help Me God. There has been nothing easy about two polar opposite individuals living out life together. We have said some hurtful things. We have had to make it right. We have had to ask God to help us through some tough spots. Nothing we have done has been under our own volition. Going to bed angry was not a habit we kept. Not speaking to each other for days wasn’t either. Not trusting each other with our finances, our bodies, and our dreams wasn’t going to work. We confronted the issues at hand, asked for each other’s forgiveness and tried to do it better. All easier said than done. All part of what makes it work. 

Yeah. We make married life look easy. At least on Sundays. At least when we post a selfie on social media. At least when we entertain in our home. The rest of them days are all about working hard at doing right by God, ourselves and each other. 

   
    
    
    
 

Faith

Your Wake Up Call

“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”‭‭Job‬ ‭42:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

There is a point in time when we all will receive a personal wake up call. It is not a matter of if, but rather when. Separation from a job.  Loss of a friendship. Divorce. Illness. Death. We may have once sat in church listening to someone speak on their testimony. Of how God spared or delivered them. We may have read an inspiring book or watched an impactful movie and walked away thinking, boy that was truly inspirational, truly moving! 

But until we go through our own personal challenge–we will only have known of God and never knew Him. 

After all, you can’t testify about anything you have not personally gone through. Second hand stories don’t go over as well. I couldn’t speak to the loss of a parent until I lost my mother. It was then and only then I could look at another orphan and see my pain in their eyes. I couldn’t speak of struggling with infertility in one’s marriage until I had personally experienced what it was to live out life currently without children. I couldn’t speak about walking away from a job and trusting God for my tomorrow until I left colleagues confounded about my decision to leave a leadership role.  All personal wake up calls that have lead and continue to lead me to a “closer walk with Jesus.”
Your wake up call will slam you head first into God. You will have no choice but to acknowledge His presence and power in your life. To do otherwise would be spiritual suicide. You will at once go from hearing about this Jehovah with many names to knowing this Jehovah because you have seen his many names lived out in your life. 

  

Faith, Life Coach, Uncategorized

His Name Rests On My Success

The messenger of God dropped a word and left us all holding the bag the other night. In his encouragement to the believers there that evening, he reminded us that God’s name rests on our success. Oh the pressure!

You walk away from a job. Folks want to see will God indeed be your Jehovah Jireh and your banner into this new season.

Your relationship ends. Inquiring minds want to know if you are going to turn into a puddle of mess and never be heard from again.

You are struck with an infirmity. People want to see if you will continue to trust God for your healing or hide away in shame.

Your loved one has died. They want to know whether you will lose your mind and walk the streets like a crazy person.
PEOPLE. ARE. WATCHING.

They are watching to see how you survive through the seasons of lack and depression. They want to see whether you will stumble and get back up or will you lie where you fell. God cannot and should not be glorified only in our time of prosperity. His power should also be made known when we are yet at lowest.

After all, His name rests on our success. The ability to overcome that divorce. That sexual abuse. That emotional melt down. That debilitating illness. That job separation. That ____________ (you fill in the blank).

God. Is. Not. Man. That. He. Should. Lie.

He will never leave you nor forsake you. He is with you always.