Monday, December 30, 2013

2014: The Year of the Ring

Welcome to my last blog post of 2013!!

I have been having the most relaxing vacation at home with my family, even though my baby girl has been battling a cold for most of it :/

Okay let’s get down to business.  I wanted to make sure that my last post of the year was something that my readers can marinate on and grow from throughout 2014.  As my sister and I were laughing over a list of funny 2014 church slogans the other day, it came to me: 2014: The Year of the Ring.  Let me explain…

God put it on my heart a while ago to pray for a specific group of women that I know regarding finding the man of God who is to be their husband.  I have prayed for these women randomly here and there, and have actually seen results for at least one.  I decided that I would kick it into high gear and make these prayers one of the many purposes of my time of fasting and prayer for 2014.   When God spoke The Year of The Ring to me, it was instant confirmation that put the biggest of smiles on my face.

This is for those women who are romantically unattached, but patiently waiting for Boaz.  My women who are attached and in the when will he ask? phase, it’s for you too!  Even my previously married women who have been there and done that, and are ready for God to send the right man, I got you!  Even if you’ve never been in a committed relationship and are as single as it gets, you are NOT excluded!  There is only one requirement: Do you want to be married?  Yes?  Then keep reading.  (If that’s not you, then just keep reading because I want you to, lol!)

So you admit that you want to get married. I understand that this may have felt weird for some of you given the messages that our culture sends to single women about marriage.  There are all of these rules that prevent women from having open, honest dialogue about marriage with anyone but their girlfriends, and what can they really do but help you sulk?  You can’t talk about marriage too soon because you will scare him away.  You can’t wait too late because you might waste your time.  You shouldn’t even be thinking about marriage unless you have “arrived” financially and finished all of your degrees.  And whatever you do, please don’t do anything else that might make you appear desperate or “thirsty!”

Well, let’s throw ALL of that out of the window.  Walking around pretending like marriage is not a priority when it really is is just not the move.  I am claiming that 2014 is YOUR year.  Forget about what statistics say about the number of single women, particularly in the black community.  Forget about the lie that being a mother makes you damaged marriage material.  (Seriously, that’s a lie from the pit of hell!)  Forget about the lie that “marriage isn’t for everyone” because unless you plan to pull a Paul and be celibate for the rest of your life, it’s for you too!  Finally, forsake that pang of fear that went through your mind when Gabbie Union finally got engaged at forty-two, and you thought Lord PLEASE don’t make me wait THAT long!  God made a man just for you, and he’s out there.  It’s time to claim him and call him to you!

Our father loves fulfilling the desires of our hearts, and this is no exception.  The idea of “waiting” for God to “send” you a husband is legit, but you should be praying for him in the process.  Here’s some homework for you if you haven’t done it already: make a list of your non-negotiables for a husband.  Think hard about this, and try to be flexible without compromising too much.  Now, add some things that may not be non-negotiable, but that you just find, well, attractive.  Post this list somewhere private where you can see it.  Pray over it, and declare that God will send you the man of your dreams who was created for you, and pray that you are emotionally and spiritually ready to receive him.  Do this on purpose, and do it often!  Yes, there is more to life than finding a husband, but this man will be your soul mate and life partner, so daily prayer is certainly not overkill.

As you pray, I will be praying for you!  I am excited to see what God will do in the 365 days of 2014.  I hope that nobody mistakes this for a “get like me” post, because it is far from that.  The bottom line is that I love y’all, A LOT!  Of all of my female friends and family, I would say that finding a man of God to fall in love with is the most common desire.  I want you to have that head-over-heels, The Notebook, Song of Solomon type of love that you deserve.  Let’s Get a little cocky, and claim it! 

I’m sorry that I don’t have more to offer to you about how to find a husband, but I have no clue!  All that I can tell you is this: don’t look around, but rather look up.  Let God weed through them for you, and be spiritually equipped to assume the wife role when the time comes. 

Thank you for being on this blog journey with me.  More to come in 2014!  If you want me to add you to my hubby prayers then feel free to inbox me, text me, or comment here.  Happy New Year!  I love you all! 

Food for thought:

Proverbs 31:10-12
A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.

Have an issue/idea that you would like to see in a future blog?  Email me at!  It’s confidential!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Breaking the Bank: Walking in God's Purpose

As I sat down to write, I decided to consult my running list of “dreams and revelations” that I keep on my phone for inspiration.  Whenever the Holy Spirit speaks to me throughout the day or I have Godly dreams during the night, I try my best to write them down immediately.  As I scrolled, I came across a childhood memory that the Holy Spirit prompted me to record a while ago.  It was one of those ordinary, dull moments in my childhood that, for some unknown reason, I never forgot.

One Sunday morning around the age of six, I was sitting in the pew at church like I did every Sunday.  I remember a lady turning to my mother and me to vent her frustration, and pulling out a bronze-colored piggy bank and a ziplock bag.  She told us that she had gotten the piggy bank from Africa, and it was very special to her.  Over the years, she had put several coins into it, and now it was filled to capacity.  She wanted the money out of the piggy bank, but it was just so beautiful and sentimental that she couldn’t bear the thought of smashing it to get the coins out.  I even remember her asking me if I could possibly extract some of the money by using my tiny fingers to pull some coins out of the slit at the top.  That’s it – a seemingly insignificant memory that just stuck with me all these years.

Before I get to the significance of the memory as revealed by the Holy Spirit, let me tell you what I understood about the situation even as a child.  The piggy bank was nice, true enough, but if she wanted the money inside, she had no choice but to break it.  She obviously needed the money (why else would she bring it to church to ask random children to try to get it out?), and what was the use of letting the piggy bank collect dust and hold her money captive just to have something nice to look at?  Didn’t she know when she bought it that the whole purpose of the piggy bank was to break it someday and spend the money inside?

Suddenly as I was reading, I understood why I remembered this experience for so many years and why the Holy Spirit prompted me to write it down.  There is an invaluable lesson embedded in this simple experience - one that God has been trying to impress upon me for months now, but I have ignored it.  That lesson is this: sometimes, in order for God to take us to the next level, we have to abandon what we think we love.  Sometimes when you ask God to “order your steps,” fear prevents you from following those orders when you realize that there is great sacrifice involved that you hadn’t bargained for.  That lady knew she needed some money, and she knew where to get it, but she was so attached to her piggy bank that she was trying to think of any other way to get the money out to avoid breaking the bank.  In the same way, sometimes God tells us to do something with our lives or our careers, and we KNOW that his vision is best, but we don’t want to give up what we have or face any risks to follow his plan for our lives.  Example: why do we expect to open a business when we are too busy making moves for a “safety” career that we know is not in God’s plan for our lives? (I’m not sure who that last sentence was for, but I feel like it’s exactly what somebody needs to hear!)

I’ll have you know that every successful man or woman after God’s own heart that I have ever known has a story that involves a huge sacrifice that was necessary in order to step into the true calling of God.  We know that his word says that he has a purpose for our lives, and that he will reveal his purpose to us as we seek him.  It’s up to us to stand up and walk in that purpose.  It is so easy to become complacent individuals who would rather dwell in the land of “good enough” than take an uncomfortable risk in order to live a BLESSED life.  I believe that it breaks the father’s heart to see his children live a life of mediocrity when he predestined us for greatness. 

To end, I have a confession.  God has given me a vision to write a novel.  It’s adventure, love, and God all wrapped into one, and it’s something that has never been done before!  (Trust me, I’ve researched lol).  I’m constantly meditating on characterization and plot twists, and I have never been as fulfilled as I am when writing this book.  (I know, I know, I’m a complete nerd.  Moving on!)  The problem is, honestly, I’m scared.  First off, the whole English-teacher-turned-author story just seems too good to be true.  Second, so many people have ceased to read novels these days, so what are the odds of becoming the next Suzanne Collins?  Lastly, I have spent years building this pretty little piggy bank of the teacher/wife/mother, and I am afraid to invest so much of my time and passion into something that makes me face my biggest fear: rejection.  On the other hand, what if it does really well? Will I one day have to make the grown-up decision of pursuing a writing career full time?  If so, why does that decision scare me so much?! 

Clearly, I still have a lot to think through and pray about on this issue.  I know that I am supposed to do it because God sent it to me in a dream and confirmed it through prophesy. I had to write this blog for me, and I hope that I blessed someone else in the process as well.  I know I have to break the bank, but I just need the confidence to swing the hammer!

Food For Thought:

Psalm 138:8 - The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands

Romans 8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Have an issue/idea that you would like to see in a future blog?  Email me at!  It’s confidential!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Wife 101: Newlywed Advice I Should Have Listened to.

I hope that everyone had a relaxing Thanksgiving break full of delicious food!  I have gotten requests from a few readers about tackling the marriage issue.  Honestly, I have skirted around the marriage thing because I am still learning so much.  After being married for 3.5 years, I honestly feel like I have just now scratched the surface of navigating the marriage waters successfully.  While I have become no expert by any stretch of the imagination, I have found myself having those moments where I am kicking myself in the rear wishing that I would have listened to more seasoned couples’ advice on some things.  In this post, I have chosen six pieces of advice that I received as a newlywed that, in hindsight, I should have taken from the start.  Whether you are married now or have a desire to be married in the future, I think that this post can help you avoid some common mistakes!

Seek help/advice as a couple, but not from your loved ones.

One of the most common pieces of advice that newlyweds hear is the good old-fashioned “keep your business in your marriage.”  The idea behind this is genuine and Godly – you want to make sure that your interactions with people outside of your marriage build your spouse up as opposed to tearing him down.  The problem is that this advice is missing a very important factor: when you need help working through problems, it is imperative that you seek help from an unbiased party.  I strongly suggest that you seek help from a spiritual leader in your church or a counseling professional with a faith-based practice.  I’m not against using a therapist who is not Christian-based, but when you are trying to make God the foundation for your marriage it is so helpful to have someone counsel you who has that same goal.

I’m sure that many of you have a lingering question: why shouldn't I seek advice from my loved ones?  This can be a hard habit to form especially if you come from a family who is as loving and supportive as mine.  Unless you are being abused, I have learned from experience after being warned by seasoned couples and counselors that it is best that you seek professional and/or spiritual help as opposed to confiding in your loved ones.  The reason is simple: your loved ones often turn into elephants who never forget the offense once you have told them, even after you are over it.  If that is not reason enough, then the fact that you are putting someone you love in the awkward position of helping you navigate through conflict with your husband should be.

Saying I love you means nothing if your actions don’t say I respect you.

As women, we are usually the hopeless romantics of the relationship.  Of course there are exceptions to this, but I can say with confidence that when God created women he gave us a complicated emotional DNA that even we can’t fathom at times.  We love to love, be loved, and even love watching other people fall in love.  We all hope that one day a man will fall in love with us in such a way that will make us “weak in the knees.”  Naturally, we often give love in the way that we want it returned, but is that the way that men want to receive it?

My husband and I recently attended the marriage conference, and one of the activities that we did asked us to identify our core fears.  These are those internal fears that hurt us the most, thus causing us to become irate and speak and/or act in certain ways that hurt our spouse.  Pretty much every fear that men had boiled down to one thing: they absolutely need respect in order to function properly in a relationship.  If you tell your husband that you love him every single day, it means nothing if you don’t value his opinion and allow him to be the head of your household that he was designed to be.  Furthermore, you have to be very careful of the way that you talk to your husband – belittling, lecturing, and scolding are sure ways to instantly cause him to feel disrespected!

Make time for the two of you to be alone.

This should be an obvious one, but sometimes life can get so busy that you and your spouse find yourselves having brief meetings at night before dozing off to sleep.  (If you are as prone to falling asleep at the drop of a hat like I am, then “meeting” might be an overstatement.) By the time you have children, it becomes even more difficult to take a break from everyone and everything else to focus on just each other.  The key here is to do what makes you all feel comfortable both physically and financially.  If you love getting all dolled up and going out, then go for it.  If your budget only allows for you to send the kids to grandma’s and have a movie night on the couch, then make the most of it!  I can tell you one thing: no matter what we might be going through, I have never regretted having alone time with my husband.  Having time to ourselves has always brought us closer.

Sex is a responsibility, not a privilege.

Okay ladies; let me start this one with a scripture:1 Corinthians 7:4-5 “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command.

There it is just as plain as day!  Sex is not a privilege that you can give and take depending upon your mood, his actions, or how much he has annoyed you that day.  Once you sign that marriage certificate, you are also signing that this man is your one and only sexual partner for life, thus it is your responsibility to do what God created you to do.  Just remember that when God commands us to do something in his word, he absolutely expects obedience.  If you, like so many women, get so tangled up in the web of your life that sex becomes a non-priority, pray and ask God to renew your mind.  I would also like to add that sometimes you can carry invisible baggage from previous partners into a marriage, and that can hinder your sex life.  Ask God to reveal and remove any and all baggage!

Self-care is crucial to a good marriage.

Again, I am borrowing from the marriage seminar that my husband and I attended.  (It was just that awesome!)  This was a revelation for me that almost brought me to tears.  As women, we are often raised to give to our families tirelessly and without ceasing.  We are often taught, whether verbally or subliminally, that your family’s emotional, nutritional, health, and other needs must be met before you dare take a moment to breathe and maintain yourself.  This is a mindset that will eventually leave you on empty most days, and after a while can affect your mental state.  Yes, it is our job to be the Proverbs 31 woman, but how can a dry well yield water?  You absolutely cannot be all that your family needs you to be if you don’t take time to care for yourself spiritually and physically.  You must make time to rest, be alone with God, and take care of your physical body.  (I SO need to practice what I preach here!)

Alright a ladies, that’s what I have to offer on the marriage tip!  I hope it blesses a wife or wife-in-training somewhere.  I’m still learning daily, so I will revisit this topic as the father reveals more to me.  Stay blessed!

Food for thought:

Ephesians 5:22 - Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

1 Peter 3:1 - Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives

Have an issue/idea that you would like to see in a future blog?  Email me at  It’s confidential!