Faith, Life Coach, Love & Marriage

Sistah Take A Seat: Don’t Dull Your Shine 

I’ve been sitting on this Ayesha Curry Twitter rant for a minute, waiting to see how it would play out. I wanted to see who would come to her defense and who would drop her like a bad habit. Seems like the bipolar social media hounds are at it again with the teeth gnashing and the petty behavior.  One minute they were loving her quirky videos, her choice in clothing, her propensity for all things “domestic” and next they were hating her for having an opinion and actually sharing it. 

Some can argue that she should have tempered her words and avoided implications of coming against the NBA-her husband’s boss. After all, she did say that the NBA finals were “rigged.” Raise hands if you didn’t agree with Ayesha. Birds chirping. I thought so. I’m not here to belabor that. But I am here to explore the whole, women keep silent whilst their men go out and slay the dragons “gar-baj” I see is alive and well in 2016. A rather verbose sports commentator decided he wanted to go further and compare Ayesha with Savannah (Lebron James’wife). He essentially asked, why couldn’t Ayesha just sit at home and bake her cookies and stay out of man folks business? Well, that’s all it took! 

Disclaimer. I don’t ascribe to everything that feminism expounds. But I want my equal pay for my equal efforts. And I want you to “put some respect” on me as a woman who deserves to sit at the table where the plans are being drawn and the decisions are being made. My faith in Christ has already gained me equality in His eyes. I was fearfully and wonderfully made from day one and no amount of social media perceptions of women as objects can change that. I don’t operate in fear (most days) because my mind is sound and I am able to do all things because he gives me a soul deep type of strength. Regardless of what man has done to try and make me cower by the use of “religion” to magnify himself and minimize myself has failed.  I know very well that Jesus’ appearance on this earth cancelled out inequality among the sexes. Don’t get me started on where women stood in his ministry. That’s for a face to face. Just not tah-day. 

Back to Ayesha. Back to women at large. There’s a secret relationship book out there that says women should look pretty, act polite and keep their mouths shut. They are allowed a college education but not necessarily apply it. They are allowed to earn an income but not hold an opinion or share it. I mourn for the countless of women who have drank the “inferiority juice” and found their light slowly dim to a dull glow. I mourn for the women who died with dreams unrealized. I mourn for the women whose brilliance was never known while they were yet living. 

This was and should never be about the battle of the sexes. Our womanhood is not a handicap. It is a gift we give our men. They are the ones who “found a good thing” when our lives connect. Our wombs bear children. Our minds bear dreams and visions. When I’m blessed to find two individuals who decide to call their union a commitment in marriage, my silent prayer is always “Lord please let my sister remain true to herself, please let her never lose sight of her own purpose on this earth.”

For my sisters who seek that lifetime companion, seek one who will value your worth. One who will sit at the table late nights and go over the finances together. One who will call you first before he calls anyone else for decisions. One who will not become anxious when it’s your name that’s on everybody’s tongue. One who will recognize you as his “ezer kenegdo” his “strength and power.” One who will not shrink at the brilliance of your shine. 

There is plenty of room for the Ayeshas and Savannahs of this world. One likes to talk and be quirky and doesn’t mind being at the forefront. One is low key likely making waves that she rather not have promoted or shared on the public front. One should never make the other feel less of a person for the choices she’s made and the journey she’s chosen to take. 

Yet neither should ever, ever, ever let any man dull their shine. 

Advertisements
Current Events, Faith, Life Coach, Love & Marriage, Uncategorized

Sistah Take Seat: Upgrade Your Man

When Michelle LaVaughn Robinson saw Barak Obama pull up for their first date, I’m sure she didn’t envision secret service agents would be one day tailing him. What she did see was that huge hole in his car and may have had all sorts of thoughts running through her mind. Is this dude for real?!  I would like to think she had second thoughts. After all, she was his MENTOR! Their recent recounting of this first date ended with Michelle saying “I upgraded him!” FLOTUS didn’t walk away from her feelings of curiosity about this lanky young man with the cigarette dangling out the side of his mouth.  She went out on a second date and ultimately the longest date of their life.  

A lesson for all women be you single, dating, engaged, or married. Upgrade Your Man. 

Accept the flaws you’re willing to work with. You’re not perfect so don’t expect anyone else to be. You think men enjoy seeing hair in the sink or make up and other what-nots strewn about the counter? You think they don’t wonder about that odd personal habit you have? Let’s face it, some women can have some rather odd bordering on downright nasty habits. And their men love them nonetheless. Get over your need to point out his flaws which in the long run are truly minor. I can’t say what those are. We all have our own tolerances. Point is, stop sweating the small stuff. Is he responsible with his personal finances? Does he love his mama? Can he keep a job? Is his credit good? Can he drink in moderation? Can you take him to a dinner party and not be embarrassed? Girl, work out the rest. 

Focus on the bigger picture. We get so caught up in the doldrums of life that when we look over to our partner, we tend to forget how to remain optimistic. Wives are more susceptible to this. You’re years in, a few kids in tow, the dog bringing up the rear with the mortgage, college savings lagging close behind. Big picture thinking says, you are raising future leaders who are going to impact God’s Kingdom with all you deposited in their lives.  In the dating phase it may show itself in getting easily frustrated with personality differences, different levels of education, or minor differing philosophical viewpoints.  You got two degrees and he has half of one. His swag needs some improving. You knew that going in. Big picture thinking says you stand as an encourager for not who he is right now but who he will become tomorrow. 

Upgrade, upgrade. We live in a world where it’s expected that you set aside something once you are bored with it. Those shoes don’t fit. Set it aside. That hairdo isn’t au courant, then switch it up. That man isn’t living up to your expectations. Next! Single ladies, I am not saying to remain with a batterer, alcoholic, drug user, or ill tempered man. You are not Jesus Christ cause He is the only one who saves. Drop that “Mother Theresa” act and save your life! What I am saying is to take stock of what is working and what is not. In your journal write the Grows (areas that need improvement) and Glows (areas that are going well) in your relationship. Then sit back. Reflect. Pray. God will send that still small voice to whisper truth into your ears. And when He does, please heed His words. Unhappily married women everywhere plead that you do! They ignored the whispers, and ultimate screeching and have a heavy bag of tears to prove it. 

I look back fondly at those times when my husband and I would take the local bus to the movies. Or the time he bought a car that didn’t need a key to start it. Or the Scooby Doo van we rode around town in. Or the times he had to borrow a car to come get me late at night from work. I miss those “one car days” cause we started out our days together. Never belittle humble beginnings. Upgrade your relationship. Don’t be in such a hurry to trade it in. 

Life Coach, Love & Marriage, Uncategorized

Sistah, Take A Seat: Don’t lose your mind over Valentine’s

There is a ratchet photo circulating along the meme highway of a group of Black women rolling into Red Lobster’s on Valentine’s Day looking like they were the cast offs from the Mad Max Thunder Dome movie. No bueno. Yet another ploy by the media demons to dissuade single women from being perfectly okay with the fact that they are not attached on the one day of the year where society says you NEED to be attached. 

Don’t believe the hype. I know, I know. Married woman telling single woman it’s okay to be alone on this of all days. Married woman telling single woman she can do bad all by herself. Well it’s true. You can do the baddest, be the baddest all by your self. 

Field Trip, Road Trip. It’s a long weekend this go around. Plan on going somewhere that doesn’t include long lines with people waiting for tasteless meals. Take the squad who can pay their own way and don’t mind splitting the check. If you don’t have them type of friends, there’s a blog coming soon for that too. Back in the day, me and my girlfriends would get dressed up and take our own selves to dinner. And trust!  We looked nothing like them ratchet chicks on that meme. We did look more like cast offs from SWV! Lol! Fierce I say!

Treat yourself. It’s okay. You will realize that as an evolving woman, the obligations of life will cause you to place yourself on the back burner.  Being married. Having kids. Caring for aging parents.  Being a professional. All roles that will have you thinking less and less of yourself. In this season of solo-living, enjoy the privilege of buying the things you don’t need to fill a purchase order form for. Trust when I say, you got it good when you’re the only one minding your own finances. A tech savvy husband who knows when you swiped the card at the Pandora store is not what you want in your life right now! Buy those diamond stud earrings. Who says you have to wait on a man to buy them for you? Diamond rings are worn on any finger you know. Want a ring? Buy it? A puppy? A pair of shoes that will never go on sale? That eyewear that comes in the pretty blue box? Girl, you  want it buy it. Just don’t break the bank while doing it. Another blog on that coming soon too. 

Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Yes being romantically attached is the best thing since corn bread! But being unattached doesn’t mean you are somehow inadequate. Do not allow the enemy to come in the form of depression to take hold of your mind. He comes to tell steal your joy. Kill your dreams. And destroy your God-esteem. He comes in the form of naysayers, folks who keep asking you the idiotic “when are you?” questions, and especially as a dark voice oppressing your conscience. Keep busy in God’s work. Find a cause and volunteer. Mentor a young girl. Cultivate a culturally rich existence. Go to the opera. Try camping. Read a book. Travel. 

This is not where I promise you that your Knight in Shining Armor is right around the corner. It is where I say that you are in a season of your life that can never be duplicated. That will be some of the best memories of your life. That will be what you think of wistfully and hopefully with no regrets. 



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/

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. 

   
    
    
    
 

Family, Life Coach, Love & Marriage, Uncategorized

Luv Is Not Love 

I can be down with the word abbreviations and slang every now and then. “Turnup” being one word instead of two. “On fleek” used as much as you use hot peppers on your submarine sandwich–very sparingly. Fo’ sho instead of for sure has a nice clean ring to it. It’s definitive, it’s fo’ real. Yet my mentor brought up a good point the other day in our conversation about one word you just shouldn’t fool with. Being in love and being in “luv” are two different things. 

“It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking…”

In luv means one person is in it for the benefits, and the other is in it hoping the benefits will lead to commitment. Being in love means you have both decided to throw your gifts, talents, faith, time energy into this thing called a relationship. There is no me and mine at this point. There is only ours. You ride the waves of life as a unit not as one person waiting for the other to fail. You look good, we both look good. 

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”

In luv there’s plenty of room for manipulation and deception. If cell phones are always in pockets and purses, Houston we have the beginnings of a problem. If there is this unspoken agreement to live separate lives and connect only when necessary (for sex, paying bills, going to church on first Sunday together) well you could have just hired an escort two weekends out the month! Being in love, is about transparency and acknowledging faults and failures in each other. Hiding your true intentions in a relationship is just delaying the inevitable. 

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”

In luv means it’s ten years later and you’re still stuck with a person that’s not hungry for the things you are hungry for. They’re stagnant in their faith, their life goals, their way of thinking. You’re stifled in this muck called a relationship drowning every day. In love means, you’re growing together and when one stumbles along the way, the other is there to encourage, console, or just be there until the rainy weather ends. 

Don’t be fooled! That luv mentality has found its way in dating life and dare I say even marriages. Only difference is one couple didn’t spend gobs of money to sit in some hot mess of a failed relationship! One of you can walk away. One of you well…that’s a blog for another day. #HowToDivorceADeadBeat (jk) 

It is the complacency that comes with settling. Settling for a life without Jesus at the center of it. Settling for two-bit excuses about why he or she won’t just do right by you. Settling for mediocrity.

Moving from that luv to love mentality isn’t easy. It takes some serious soul searching to identify the whys and how in the hell did you get here type of self-analyzing. It takes some special kind of praying to be released from the bonds that threaten to choke you.  It takes you sitting on someone’s couch and bawling your eyes out in between gasps of finally telling your truth.  It takes you realizing that yes you screwed up but there is still hope of redeeming your sanity, of redeeming your life. 


Faith, Love & Marriage

First Lady Woes: A Silent Sisterhood

I thank God everyday that no one has yet to invent the mind-reading machine. For every church member who would blush, cringe, and run from reading their First Lady’s thoughts–it would be the end of the Christian Church as we know it. 

God aligned the moon and stars for me to recently hang out with some pastor wives. All professionals in our own right, making time for a meal or a gathering takes time and effort. One sister, I had never met. Two I had met on occasion. At two different times of my day I was able to bless and be blessed by the simple encounters of their spirit. Our husbands are great buddies, and we ourselves decided to dash that old adage of competition among women, and get to know each other better. I have been identified as the seasoned pastor wife. At fourty years old, seventeen years married, eleven years as a pastor’s wife and six as a youth pastor’s wife–I guess you could call me seasoned. 😳 #LeSigh

We talked. We laughed. We talked some more.  We high-fived. We nodded our heads in empathy. We raised our glasses in agreement. Yep! Some of us do #drank. We reveled in the awesomeness and burden of our sisterhood. Our closest friends, as best as they can, as much as they would love to, can’t truly empathize with the role we wear. 

I. HAD. NO. CLUE. WHAT. BEING. A. PASTOR. WIFE. WOULD. ENTAIL. 

God knows why He kept me in the dark! 

It is a sisterhood of women who have mastered the art of “grin and bear it” for weekly service. Of women who are either over rated or under valued. Of women whose husbands are revered and they are reviled. Of women who miscarry one Sunday and are in church the next. Of women whose esteem is so low, their purse/shoe expenses are so high. Of women who seethe quietly in the pews with stiff backs and cold hearts. Of women who leave challenging jobs to sit in a service thinking of what’s on their agenda for tomorrow. Of women who feel the pressure to be something they can never be. Of women who have to clothe, bathe, feed, educate children and make it look easy. Of women who are stay-at-home moms and regarded as being lazy. Of women who are working professionals and regarded as being too ambitious. Of women living that damned if you do and damned if you don’t type of life. 
So the next time you glance over to your pastor wife in service, say a silent prayer for her well being. Pray her sanity remains intact. Pray her personal relationship with Jesus is an everyday experience. Pray her husband and her children receive her very best. Pray that God provides her with an outlet to be herself. 

Pray that she doesn’t cuss one of these triflin’ members out…

 JUST. PRAY.