Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Good People in Search of Good People (part 3)

 This person, or type of person who you believe would be good quality, or marriage material, what do you think they would require of YOU before they would consider you marriage material or good quality?  It's easy to talk about what's missing in everybody else but, what's missing in YOU?

If any of us were asked to make our list of must-haves in a mate, we would have no problem creating our Christmas list of characteristics that this person must possess in order for us to deem them worthy of our love and affection.  But guess what?  Just like you have a list, they have theirs. 

Even if we are as honest as we say we know how to be when admitting to our shortcomings, I'm sure that someone else could come along and mention at least another handful of "changes" that could stand to be made.  My point is, yes it's wonderful to have a sense of self-worth, and a healthy dose of self-esteem, but none of us are above and beyond the need for growth and nothing grows you up like being in a relationship with someone.  Everything in life that we overcome leaves room for something else to come along and be conquered.  Life is full of challenges and for the most part,  if we are honest, we are often our own biggest challenge.

Knowing or admitting this doesn't mean you are not good enough or ready.  It just means that we are all works in progress and it is totally unfair to yourself and to anyone you come into contact with, to always point the finger and shine the light on what they could or should be doing differently without taking into any consideration that you too have a part to play in the success of a relationship.  It's about two people coming together, not two people coming along with one driving the other with a whip of expectations that can never be met.

Go ahead and decide what you want and don't want.  Be clear about what you desire.  But please understand that no matter how attracted you are to some type of individual or how drawn you may be to them, if you don't possess the qualities that will draw them to you just as're gonna be single for quite some time.

Good People in Search of Good People (part 2)

 I have a few questions I want to ask.  I believe that finding the honest answers to these questions can help quite a few of us break some cycles that keep repeating themselves in our relationships. Taking an honest look at the real answers to these questions may just be eye-opening for some.  I know it was for me.

Is your TYPE keeping you from finding the man or woman of your dreams?  Do you have a certain image in your mind that you have carried around for so long that you can't imagine the right one being anything but that?  Do you automatically write a person off because they don't fit a certain image?  How has that been working for you?

Let me share from personal experience what I mean when I ask, "Is your TYPE keeping you single?"  It dawned on me a few years ago that if you took every man I've been seriously interested in and lined them up next to each other, you would have 2 types.  

The first group  of men would all be about my complexion, my height.  They would all have very similar body build, not big or muscular, not too slim, medium athletic build.  They would all have similar hair cut and mostly all have similar noses and lips, and a certain look in their eyes.  I can think of 3 of them right now that if I were to stand them next to each other and tell you they were all related, you wouldn't doubt it for a minute.

The second group of men would all be dark-skinned, as tall as I am or maybe a couple of inches taller, slightly larger build, southern or more old fashioned.  As far as personalities, they were one extreme or the other, either very friendly, talkative and open, or somewhat distant,or what some call "emotionally unavailable". These have been my two "types my whole life, and I can tell you that none of these relationships lasted  and some never started (that's another blog) .  But the bad thing is, I never found any other type attractive enough to be interested in. There are some that I find more physically attractive but I never considered them, or that type as relationship material. I kept falling for the same kind of men over and over and I kept getting disappointed. 

So I had to really look at myself and ask myself what was really going on.  It couldn't be that all these guys were jerks because none of them were.  I was very attracted to what I saw in their personalities, how they behaved, even toward me.  One thing for sure was that the common denominator in every equation of my broken heart was ME, not the guy.  Each guy was different but I was always the same.   

  I had to come to understand that something about my picker was off.  It had a magnet on the end of it that kept drawing me to the same types of men, with the same types of personalities and even the same kinds of physical features. 

Once I realized this tendency within myself, I began to pray to God and ask Him to help me to let go of some of what I've been holding on to because obviously it wasn't working.  I surrendered my type to God and opened my heart up to the possibility that maybe, just maybe the person I am meant to share my life with may not look like the ones I've always fallen so hard for in the past. I had to open myself up to the idea that a wonderful man might come in a package that's a little different from my usual type.

I know a man who is physically what I would normally be attracted to... dark skinned, about my height, kinda strong willed, (quite strong-willed actually..turn off) but I know I'm nowhere near what he would find interesting because he likes women with big butts and short hair cuts.  That's his type.  And can I tell you that I've seen him in about 4 relationships that didn't work.  Each woman had short hair, a smaller waist, and either a big butt or wide hips, or both.  I know another man whose current wife is nothing more than a younger version of his ex wife.  When I saw the two of them, I thought he just went and found his wife again, only he found her before she changed, aged or matured to a certain point.  If the two stood side by side, they would look like an aunt and a niece. I know another man who wanted his ex wife back and couldn't get her back so he married someone who reminded him of his ex wife.  She is so much like his ex wife that it's actually the reason someone introduced them.   She is just like his ex wife was before she reached a certain level of maturity.  This current wife looks nothing like the ex wife, but when you are in her presence you can feel her spirit and personality are very similar to how the ex wife was years before.  So we can be stuck on a physical type, or an emotional, mental, or personality type without realizing it. 

So with that in mind I ask you to look at your history of failed relationships and find the pattern, because there is one.  You may not have noticed anything but your back to back disappointments and broken hearts but those are the results of a pattern.  You need to find the pattern, but you won't find it in the other people.  Even though there are similarities in all of them, they are simply a result of a pattern that exists within you.  The pattern is within YOU and your tendencies to make the same choices with different people.

I'm not saying that it's wrong to like what you like.  We all have our personal preferences.  What I'm saying is that once you take an honest look at what has been going on, you might want to try opening up to something slightly different.  Give yourself permission to believe in the possibility of falling in love with someone who doesn't look or act like what you would normally fall for. 

Good People in Search of Good People (part 1)

I think I might have gotten fed up with the talk of men not being able to find a good woman.  In the Black community it has been said for years that there is a literal shortage of men. The man/woman ratio in our community has been way slanted for quite some time.  Several women to one man has been the issue for years.  So when I hear about our men saying they can't find a good woman....I'm not buying it.  

This started out as a facebook status, but it grew into a Note, and now I'm making it a few blog posts, series if you would, and I'm wondering if it will even be a book, an ebook if nothing else.  Please share your thoughts but please don't be disrespectful.  Relationship talk usually gets deep and can go on and on, but at 48 I've learned a lot and quite frankly I feel like I have something to share that would really help a few people. 

Considering the fact that there are way more single (Black) women than there are single (Black) men who desire long term relationship...I'm convinced that if you're a good man, in or out of church, and you desire a long term relationship, and you're 5 or more years looking and haven't found it, the problem is YOU, not the women.  As the millionaire matchmaker puts it, "your picker is OFF". There are way too many good women out here.  I'm completely convinced that if you want a wife and you're truly seeking one, and you've been looking for more than 5 years (some men even 10 or more), you really don't want one.

All this "where are the good women?" talk has gotten really old really fast.  (Black) men have way too much to choose from to be complaining about not finding a good woman, and women need to stop falling for the okey doke and letting men make them responsible. Men and women all saying, "where are the good ones? "  with the women saying just as often, "all the good ones are taken...or gay". 

It seems to me that there are a whole lot of "good" people out here who are walking past each other every day, even talking with each other, but can't seem to "find" each other.

My belief is this, "You attract what you are.  Not what you pretend to be.  Not what you even aspire to be.  You attract what you ARE.  What and who you are at your very core is what will reach out and pull someone toward you".  If you put on a facade and you snag a good one who fell for it.  They're a fake too.  Because if they were really what they appear to be, they would have seen through your "game".   So if you're such a good man and you can't find a decent woman???? Does that mean that all the good women you encounter don't consider you "good quality" or "marriage material"????  If good men and good women can't seem to get together, then that tells me that there are a whole lot of "good people" out here who aren't as "good" as they think they are. Or maybe, as the professional would say, "you're a great catch, but YOUR picker is off".

I have found that when people are really open and honest about what they are really looking for in a mate, THAT is usually the problem.  THAT is why you can't find it!  Half the time people are looking for something that doesn't even exist!  At least not all in one person.  We have these pictures in our minds that won't go away, male and female, and nothing in real life will ever match up to our fantasies. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Giggles With God

This morning my ride to work didn't call by her usual time so I took to the pavement, getting my first 15 minute walk in for the day.  She called after I was about a block from home and told me she was running late.  It was okay.  I have some good prayerful thoughts when I'm walking. 

When I rounded the corner, among other vehicles was a large truck with some huge round thingy on the back of it, like something that would be filled with some type of liquid. The driver had to stop at the light and I had to walk right past it.  I was bracing myself for the smell of exhaust or gasoline, but just as I got to the rear end of the truck I smelled what was more like garbage, or a slight hint of a landfill.  I looked away and squinched my nose up for the smell, then I smiled to myself. At that moment I experienced what I have heard people talk about over the years.  I experienced God giggling with me. That moment I felt Him smiling with me and saying, "I knew you would smell that.  You were expecting to smell gas but it smelled more like garbage".

I thought about the others who have testified of the giggles they've shared with God, or moments when they fell out laughing and they heard Him fall out laughing too.  They testified of the God who has a sense of humor. It's really true.  God will giggle with you.  Then I thought about the people who will say, "God has a sense of humor", but they aren't even smiling when they say it. And I thought about people who are so serious and "deep" that they would never c0nsider something like this to be possible, as if God doesn't have time to simply enjoy the company of one of His own.  But why wouldn't He? He's in relationship with us.  He not only loves us but He is also very much in love with us. Not only does He love us but He likes us.  He likes what He made.  He knew what He was doing when He put us together piece by piece, every inch, every facet of who we are, every bit of our personality...all of it handcrafted by Him. 

He knew you would be born with a crooked finger.  Or He knew about the accident that would happen that would leave your finger crooked.  He knew how tall or short you would be, what color your eyes or hair would be.  He chose the continent you would be born on, each of your parents, and whether or not you would have siblings. He shaped your personality, your likes and dislikes, your tendencies and vulnerabilities.  And for those like me who love a good laugh or a good joke, He gave us our sense of humor.  Why would a God, THE GOD, who handcrafted me with a hefty sense of humor, not want to share at least an occasional giggle with me?
And then I thought, maybe that's why He allowed my ride to run late today.  Had I been in her car sitting on her leather seats, I would have missed out on not only a much needed walk, but also my first morning giggle with God. It reminds me that it is important to keep the lines of communication open with the Lord, so that anytime He wants to share anything with me He can without any hindrances or distance between my heart and His.  Whether it be a word about my life, instruction, strategy, a heads up about something one of my children might be up to, or simply just to smile with me about something. He's the lover of my soul and His heart aches to share all of life with me.

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Friday, July 13, 2012


My post for today is taken from yesterday's installment in my journal.  Yesterday started out as a very rough one and I had been feeling down for a couple of weeks.  I had begun to wonder if maybe I was in some sort of mid-life crisis.  It resulted in a very powerful teaching moment for me, and as I learn, I want to teach. 

Have you ever felt like you were so much bigger than the life you were living? I feel that way. Very heavy, like I'm in a mid-life crisis. I have felt for so many years that I was supposed to have a great big life. In recent years I have felt like I'm bigger than where I am but not big enough for where I'm going or am supposed to go. Now I just feel like the life I am supposed to be living, I have missed it. I feel like a great person, a big person, living a small life and I don't know how to get out of my small life.  I had developed a sort of motto at the beginning of the year, "I'm taking the world by storm, one raindrop at a time".  But now I feel like my "one raindrop at a time" has turned into simply just "one raindrop".  My plans, my inspirations, when they first hit me, they feel HUGE. But once I execute them they just feel like one little drip, when I actually thought it would be a flood, and when what I needed and even hoped it would be a flood. I don't know what to do.

About 20 minutes later:
I went for a walk and cried and talked to God, and then God talked to me and explained something to me. My feeling "bigger than where I am" does not have as much to do with my physical location as it does my mental location (state of mind/mindset) and the choices that I make that create and shape my life. The reason that I feel like I'm "bigger" than the life I'm living is because I'm stronger than than how I'm living. If I didn't have the strength and ability already in me to live a bigger, better life it wouldn't bother me that my life is the way it is. Something great and big IS inside of me and it is crying out to be allowed to live. It is asking, begging, pleading with me, to live from my strength and not my weaknesses, like I have been doing most of my life.  Living weak is normal and automatic for me but it also keeps me disgusted with myself.  My soul, my spirit, my real life is crying be lived. If I feel like the life I was created to live is greater, bigger than the one I'm living, then I need to start LIVING BIG.  I need to learn to live a GREAT BIG LIFE.

I said to someone a couple of weeks ago, "Everything you desire, IS YOU".

I say to myself today,  "Everything I'm not, I really am, because I desire to be".

Lord, teach me every day how to live a GREAT BIG LIFE!

A Shot in the Arm

I want to share with you something that my niece Deidre wrote to encourage us in the Women in Leadership Group she heads up.  I really needed this and she gave me permission to share it here with you.  It's like that shot in the arm you get that hurts and burns at first, but will keep you healthy and strong.

She says:
Stay motivated and have a certainty regarding what your passion is-meaning, don't be easily swayed by others and/or yourself to stop pursuing your purpose. It's not enough to do online research and talk to people and call that pursuit...YOU HAVE TO MAKE MOVES and be fearless in it! REAL support doesn't caress you, stroke your ego, hold your hand. REAL SUPPORT challenges you, and if you break down, they challenge you to get up and keep moving!!!

Lastly, stop sharing your dreams with "dream snatchers" and find someone who celebrates you like Mary and Elizabeths's babies began to leap in the presence of each other.  It's real out here-everyone isn't for you...#make it happen.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

His Promise is All the Proof You Need

I was recently reminded of a Sunday School class I was teaching a few years ago when I began to talk about holding on to the Word of God. I was teaching that when God makes a promise to us we make the mistake of looking for Him to come behind the promise and give us something to hold on to while we wait on it.  But I heard myself saying out of my very soul and spirit, "He's not going to give you anything to hold on to.  His WORD is what's going to hold you!  The very word He spoke to you is what's going to hold you together while you wait on that very word to manifest.  The power is in the word itself." 

I became so inspired by what I was saying that as I was teaching my eyes were welling up with tears.  There was such a powerful conviction upon me. The words I was speaking, I knew were coming straight from God for someone. I just didn't know who. Turns out after a while that even if it was for someone in the class, it was also definitely for ME. I have walked this teaching out since that day over and over and I will be honest to say that my faith in the Word has been tried to the hilt.  But now I see so much more clearly what God wanted me to see and I now understand that only by the Spirit of God can it be seen in the proper perspective.  

The word itself is the proof of what He said.  Yes, what He said, is proof of what He said. You may get a glimpse by way of a dream where you may be blessed to "see" something, but when you wake up, you still have to wait on that Word, that promise to manifest.  I'm a dreamer so I can say for certain that having dreams doesn't make it any easier to hold on to a promise.  Once you wake up it's very easy to second-guess or doubt and think that maybe you dreamed it because of such n such. No matter how God shows you what He plans for you, or no matter how He gets Word to you about what is to come, the bottom line is you're going to have to trust what He said and allow what He said to hold you together until what He said comes to pass.

We live in an age where if you want to tell what someone did or said or if you want to prove to someone that something happened, you can pull out your cell phone and not only take pictures but video record it. You can upload what you recorded or took a photo of and make it available for the whole world to see.  Maybe this is why it can be so difficult for us to simply take God as His Word.  Everything else in life provides a means for us to comfort our curiosity with something tangible or something caught on film or tape.  But the Word of God tells us that our Faith IS the substance of what we HOPE to have.  Our Faith IS the evidence, of things we DON'T  see.  It's sounds crazy and it sounds like something that will drive you crazy if you think about it too much, but it's the truth.

I was talking to God one day about His promise to me.  I was telling Him about my desire to see something or have something to show others as proof of what He had shown to me and said to me.  And He simply answered me, "My promise IS the proof."

The simple fact that He said it, is proof that He said it.  
His promise is all the proof you need.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Paving the Way

When I first saw this pic the first thing that came to mind was, "Just because it's never been done before doesn't mean YOU can't do it". And then I tweaked it to match what my pastor said a few weeks ago, "Just because YOU'VE never done it before doesn't mean YOU can't do it".

I look at this pic and  I wonder if he feels crazy for what he's doing or if he's doubting that he heard from God. But then I noticed that there is an automobile that is already travelling on the road that is being laid by this man. And I wonder if he even knows the car is on the road behind him. He already has a faithful follower.   Whoever this person is behind him, they have so much faith in him that they are following him and he hasn't even made it to the destination. They are following him and they have no guarantee that the road will even be finished. 
And it made me think...

Somebody sees so much in you, has so much faith in you, that they are waiting for you to start moving so they can follow you.  They are waiting for you to get up and start moving so they will know where to go, and how to get there.  They're not even waiting for you to arrive, but right now, they are watching you, shadowing you and being encouraged by every step you take. Watching you move forward is keeping them encouraged to keep moving forward also. They notice you when you don't realize they do. They whisper prayers to God for you so that you will keep going, and stay strong. They admire your courage and your ability to walk by faith. You may be feeling isolated, thinking that you're all alone in the world,  or wondering where your friends have gone.  You may feel discouraged or doubtful about carrying out what God has put in your heart to do. You may have drifted into spending more time second-guessing yourself than believing what God said. But take heart because somebody has your back! 

We usually speak against looking back.  But what I see here is that sometimes we need to look back, just so that we can see that we are not alone.  Someone is following us, supporting us.  They may not be following very closely, or may not say much, or anything at all, but they are right behind you and they believe in you. There is a saying that, "A leader without any followers is just a man taking a walk". But realize that when you follow God's instruction to do anything, someone will follow.  They may follow in silence, and if you give up, they will be discouraged in silence. They may never tell you they believe in you  and they may never tell you that you let them down. But it doesn't mean they are not there.  This is another perspective to walking by faith, because it concerns the people we influence.

Many times the reason we get discouraged when we're walking by faith is because we tend to only see what WE are going through or we only see how things are affecting US.  But here, I see that if I quit, somebody behind me is gonna be stopped in their tracks. My quitting can cause someone to run off the road or skid into that pond. I am not as alone as I think I am, and I am desperately NEEDED.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Your greatest failure will precede your greatest success. God allows you to have a winter because He knows that spring is coming. Understand that your down time is your prep time. Imagine how the devil would be defeated if you used every down time as prep time. Having down time does not mean that you have been denied. It simply means that you have been with time to make sure that you are better prepared. 

It's an absolute blessing that it didn't work.  God will give you down time to prep you for the pressure of what He's about to release into your life.  Because when you come into your season it's too late to start stitching (preparing).  You been feeling like you're in a state of failure but God has really been giving you a time for preparation. ~jakes

Monday, July 2, 2012



In my mind I see You reaching out to me
Beckoning, "Come. Come away with me

Come with me and I will take you where
Something so special with you I'll share

You don't even have to close your eyes
Before I give you this pleasant surprise

Come away, come away with me
There is something beautiful I want you to see"

I follow and wonder what it could be
I'm amazed to find, it is the beauty in me

You invite me to take a few steps more
Something else You have in store

In a secret place I stand in awe as I see
Painted on Your heart, a portrait of me

And a note handwritten from You to me
That said, "With all my heart do I love thee"

Poem is and excerpt from The Parchments,
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Sunday, July 1, 2012

There has to be a reason to get up in the morning.  There has to be something that drives you, that pushes you when everything else is trying to lay you down.  There must be something that ignites your passion, and fills your body with exhilarating exhaustion.  Aside from good paying jobs, nice things, and all the things you know how to do, there must be a PURPOSE for your living. Without purpose, what would be the point?