Tuesday, August 11, 2015


It's is true that God will make up for lost time, but remember: Making up for lost time doesn't mean that you magically just show up in your place of destiny. It doesn't mean that God just wipes out all that is required of you and passes you through. 
Just like in school, when you have to make up for lost time, it means there will be some CRAMMING. In order to make up for time lost, you may have to do double work for a while. There will be more reading, more studying, less free time, more obstacles to overcome and things to learn in a shorter amount of time. You still have to pass certain required tests, and prepare for those tests, only now you have a lot less time to do it. Can it be done? YES! God will give you Grace. But you still have to be committed to the process.


When it seems that worry is waiting for me to wake up in the morning, and attempts to ride my back throughout the day, I've learned to use my weapon of worship.
Worry says, "Do you know what could happen?"
Worship says, "BUT I KNOW WHO GOD IS! And I know where my help comes from!"

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Things to Consider: An Unfair Advantage?

Years ago I heard someone define jealousy has “having the belief that someone has an unfair advantage over you”. When I thought about the times that I have felt jealousy towards someone that is what it boiled down to every single time. Somehow I felt that life circumstances, or God had given them an advantage that I didn’t have.
I have learned that the only people who have any kind of advantage over anyone else are the ones who simply put God first.  HE is the only advantage that any of us can really have. If we have an advantage over someone else it is only because we are taking advantage of Him while others are not. It’s not that God likes them and dislikes you or likes them more than He likes you. His love is no greater toward one than it is another.  God has no respect of person. What He has offered to one, He has offered to all, which is Himself. The issue is that all will not take advantage of what He has offered.

We are often so busy people watching that we become offended by other’s success or happiness.  We tend to focus on what others are doing or accomplishing, and not who has helped them to do or accomplish it. We look at what people have and it causes us to feel that somehow God made them better than us. Because our focus is on people and not God some of us have trained ourselves to believe that in order to get what we want we have to take advantage of and use each other for our own purposes.  Meanwhile, the one who has fully and freely given Himself to us for this very purpose sits by, unused. His heart breaks for us while we hit one brick wall after another, fall into one pit after another, lose one good relationship after another, whether it be friend, business, or romantic. His heart breaks for us while we sit and do nothing, feeling sorry for ourselves because we have taken the success of someone else to mean that we are not capable of success.

If everything you need is placed in front of you, and everything I need is placed in front of me, I can’t feel slighted or overlooked because you take advantage of what’s in front of you while I don’t do the same with what’s in front of me. I cannot allow my fascination with what’s going on with you, to override my fascination with discovering and walking in all He has created me to be. There are advantages in God, but He has given no one an unfair advantage. He has simply offered Himself to all of us. Those who take advantage of Him and all that comes with Him will reap the benefits. Those who do not take advantage of Him will not see the manifestation of many things that they desire, can imagine in their hearts, and even some things that He has spoken, because some things that God has spoken require some action or obedience on your part.

What I’m about to say may taste bitter in your mouth, but will be sweet in your belly if you receive it. When you do feel that the Lord is extending favor to another and not to you..when you feel that He is slipping them helpful notes under the table right in front of you...when you feel that He is sharing secrets of success with them that He is not sharing with you…it could be that that’s exactly what’s happening!  If you consider the fact that He has made Himself available to them as well as to you, and they have taken advantage of it and you have not, what would you expect? Would you honestly expect their life and their outcomes to look like yours? That my friend is what would be unfair and unjust of God! He has promised that those who seek Him will find Him. He has promised that if we call unto Him He will show us great and mighty things that we don’t even know about yet. He has promised that when we have searched for Him with all our hearts we will find Him. He has promised that while we are yet speaking, He will answer us. He has even told us that He is able to exceed our wildest dreams. So if you are seeing nothing great, receiving no answers to prayers, have not seen any expectations exceeded then it is time to take an honest look at yourself and what it is that you could have taken advantage of but for whatever reason chose to ignore.

The truth about jealousy is that it is an after- the-fact smoke screen. Although it has been known to be the cause of horrible things, it’s more of an affect than it is a cause. It is a result of your blurred vision and lack of understanding of how God operates and who you really are in Him. It comes into play after you have passed up opportunities to take advantage of the fact that you have a God you can pray to and receive answers.  If you didn’t feel that someone had an unfair advantage over you, and if you took the time to seek after God to find out who He created you to be and what His plan is for your life, jealousy wouldn’t be an issue.  If you allowed Him to reveal to you all the wonderful gifts and abilities He placed in you, you would never feel that someone else has more or better to offer than you do. You would not measure what you think is great favor on them by what you feel you are lacking.  You would be too busy enjoying the life that He has ordained for you to live. So what do you say?  How about we get busy enjoying that life that God has ordained for us to LIVE!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

When I Got Tired (pt 2)

I filed for a legal separation so that child support payments could start right away. It wasn’t much, but my point wasn’t so much about how much child support would be, but about being one step closer to divorce. Quite a few people thought I was crazy for leaving him and the things we had and even thought that I was lying on him when I would talk about what it was like living with him.  I guess that like him, they were caught up in the image.  Didn’t they know that I created the image they saw?  It didn’t have to be real.  It just had to be what I created.  But because of what they saw from a distance and the outside, they concluded that I was crazy or as he put it, under the influence of witchcraft.

I chose to go to my mother’s house. She later told me that when she saw me coming up on her porch I looked like was running from the “pure dee devil”. Me and my babies slept in her extra bedroom for a few weeks until my brother came and took the bed because he said he needed it. I wondered if part of the reason he did that was to try and force my hand, figuring that if I had to sleep on the floor I would take my butt back home to my husband where I “belonged”.  Church folks do stuff like that sometimes.  They take it upon themselves to put you in positions to do what they think you should do. Well, all I have to say about that is, “Sike!” I took quilts and blankets, pillows and sheets and I slept on my mother’s living room floor with my babies for 3 months.  My mother told me that I “slept like them babies on that floor”, so I couldn’t have been lying about the things I said I had gone through with him. She said if I had been lying, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep so peacefully.  I had no idea that she would come in sometimes during the night and sit in the chair next to us, watch us and go back to sleep. I did wake up a few mornings and wondered when she had come in and sat in the chair.  I guess I was “sleeping like them babies” not to notice someone coming into the room and sitting over me in a chair.

From there I went to a roach infested 1 bedroom apt. When I say roach infested that’s exactly what I mean. I only put a few can goods in the cabinets and when I would go to open the cabinets, I would have to step back because whenever I opened them, roaches would leap out. There was also a mouse that traveled back and forth between the first and second floors, and plumbing that flooded the hallway right outside my door. But I was at peace.  From there we moved to a 2 bedroom apartment with horrible LOUD neighbors (who I knew from a church I used to go to). My babies had to get used to the noise without thinking that something bad was happening. My entire living room and hallway was flooded at least twice because the neighbors on the two floors above me put the wrong things down their garbage disposal. But I had peace. In the mean time I had to file bankruptcy because of so many bills that had been accumulated during the marriage. I didn’t realize at the time that when he was encouraging me to have credit cards in my name, it was insurance for him in the event of a divorce. From there I bought my first home on my own only to end up in a bankruptcy and foreclosure, to a duplex, back to my mom’s house where I’d slept on the floor for 3 months. Only this time it was after my mom had passed and I had bought it.

When you get TIRED, you’ll get the hell out.  It won’t matter how much he buys you, or what you have to walk away from.  You’ll go to a shelter, a one room studio, move in with someone and sleep on their floor, sleep in the bed with your babies, put up with roaches for a while, anything to have peace of mind and safety. When you get tired you’ll change your mind about what’s worth fighting for. You’ll come to the conclusion that YOU are the thing that’s worth fighting for, and if you have little ones, they are worth for, not some image that you’ve created for the sake of keeping up appearances. When you get tired of dying, you’ll choose to live.

When I Got Tired (pt 1)

After so many years, pretty much the entire marriage, of doing everything I thought I should do to be enough for him, I finally realized that I wasn’t the one who was crazy. Maybe I was crazy, but I wasn’t the only one who was. The difference between me and him, I discovered, was that I wanted to be better. I wanted to grow. I felt like there was more to life, like there should be some happiness. I guess he was happy with things the way they were and couldn’t understand what my problem was. I suppose that whatever he envisioned for his life, either we had it, or we had exceeded it, and he was completely satisfied. But I was dying and it was because that marriage and my overall environment was slowly killing me.

When I was 7 months pregnant with our baby, he was frustrated because I had only let him touch me once since my 3rd month.  I had shut down.  I was constantly thinking about how to get out. I had planned to leave sooner but when I found out I was pregnant, I felt it would be better to stay with him until after the baby was born. I was extremely depressed, and I didn’t know how high my blood pressure was due to him worrying me so badly.  One day I was sitting at the breakfast bar in the kitchen and he was in the family room. We were having another disagreement, probably about money, and I felt the atmosphere change again and began to get quiet.  This angered him more and he said, “Let me get out of this house before I have to hurt somebody”.  Excuse me?  Ain’t nobody here but you, me, with your baby in my belly, and our 1 year old daughter.  Who the hell are you gonna HURT!!!!   Your pregnant wife?  Your unborn child?  Your toddler? WTH! When he said it he walked past me to leave, and with one hand he did a huge sweep and everything on the breakfast counter went flying all over the kitchen floor. I froze.  And that moment I said to myself, “he just gave me my way out”.

You might wonder why I felt like I needed a “way out”.  If I wanted to leave, I was a grown woman.  Why not just leave?  My answer is upbringing,  environment, religious teaching.  We were taught that women didn’t leave their husbands.  It wasn’t even an option or something to be brought up unless the woman was being referred to as a Jezebel type, or a woman who had walked away from God.  We were taught to stay there and pray and try to do all the right things and wait on God to work it out. Because of my upbringing it was embedded in me that I was responsible for making it right. So I’d concluded that what I needed was for him to give me a “reason”, and this incident became my reason, my grounds.  What I’d really wished for years was that he would cheat on me or at least get caught cheating on me.  But I guess if I was going to use some kind of sexual misconduct as grounds for divorce I should have done it years before when he behaved inappropriately with a few family members.

He came back a little while later (for some reason I was still sitting in that spot, probably petrified) and stood next to me and asked what I wanted.  Did I want to separate? (as if that was a standard question to ask at that time)  I wanted to separate because I knew it was my avenue to divorce.  But I thought against saying it at the moment because he was still angry.  His eyes still had that slightly crazed look in them, and the atmosphere around him hadn’t shifted back just yet.  I didn’t say anything and decided to wait until he calmed down. To be honest, I believe I heard the Holy Spirit advise me not to say anything until he was completely calmed down.  It took a few months but it finally happened.

You see, I didn’t need to tell him that I wanted to separate from him while he was angry. That wouldn’t be safe. I had to wait it out. That one blow up let me know that it would only be a matter of time before I would have my moment, my open door. I was also still considering that I wanted to wait until after the baby was born. I went through my last two months of pregnancy, labor and delivery, and when she was about 4 months old it happened. The newness of the baby had begun to wear off, and there had been more frustration with me not allowing him to touch me. The first and only time he tried, I pushed him off. I decided once and for all that if I’m not going to let him touch me, I should leave. I thought it would be downright cruel to live in the house with a man and refuse him sexually, especially since we were married.

One day we were riding in the car, having just left my brother’s house and he asked again what I wanted to do and if I wanted to separate. I was still cautious until I could clearly hear his tone of voice and sense the atmosphere in the car. It was interesting how he was saying all the things that it seemed he thought he should say at the moment.  It was like he thought he was playing the role in a drama that he had seen other people play, and he had it down pat. I didn’t feel that he was reaching out to me from his heart.  I felt like he was going through all the lines he knew he should say, and then I would say what I was supposed to say, and then we would make up, and then he would get to go to church and preach about it.  But he had no idea. When he stopped talking I quietly said, “I want to separate”.  He also had no idea that my statement that I wanted to separate was loaded.  I knew that for me, separating was an automatic first step to getting my divorce and finally being free of him. It seemed as if he was both surprised and not so surprised when I told him I wanted to separate. He still knew the next set of lines he would need to say, so he began to ask me questions about how long we should be apart, and did I want to go stay with my mother for a few days, or maybe his mother. Not once did he volunteer to leave, especially considering that the babies would be with me.  This was the first sign that as much as he wanted to make me believe he loved me, he loved something else a lot more. Throughout our whole ordeal of separation and divorce he had no clue that I was listening to his statements and responses and coming to understand that he didn’t love me nearly as much as he loved his image with me, the image we created together, or better yet, that I created of us, and the things he’d been able to obtain as a result of being with me. His first love wasn’t me or even God, it was money.  So I figured, “Fine.  You can have it. The house, everything. But you’ll never touch me again”. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

You Be Able!

The job I was hired for...I saw it online but didn't even consider applying for it. After 7 years of searching for permanent employment, and hardly ever even getting called back for interviews, I applied for what LIFE had left me believing I had the best chance at. But after I was interviewed I was selected for the very position that I didn't think I would qualify for. When I saw my official title I almost cried.

Life has beat some of you up so badly that you've picked up the stick to finish the job on yourself. But if you pray and ask God to lead you in the direction that HE would have you to go,  and give you what HE wants you to have, He will take you further than you believe you can go, which might just be right back to that thing you passed by because you lacked confidence. This may not be just about a job for someone, but I want to let you know...
You DO qualify.  You ARE capable and ABLE to do it. Yes, you are worthy and you are worth it. Somewhere someone is waiting and watching for you and they will be glad when you show up.

Moment of Transparency: You Will Regret Not Doing It

This pic shows the look you just may have on your face when you see someone doing exactly what you know God told you to do, but you made excuses not to.

There will be a season of grace from God that He will give you to use what He has given you. After that season is up you will begin to see it and hear it from others. This is going to hurt your heart. No matter how small or insignificant it may seem at the time that you put off doing it, once you see someone else going forth with it, it may just mean the world to you, because as small as it seemed at the time, you did acknowledge God  for giving you the idea. You're going to remember the notes you wrote on it, the plans, all of it...all of the strategies that He gave you that you did not use. You're going to remember the times that you kept it to yourself for fear that someone would "steal" it, and you're going to wish with all your heart that you had done what you were supposed to do. Coming along after the fact and saying, "God gave me that years ago" or "months ago", makes you look like someone who is all talk and no action (which might actually be true). It won't do anything but prove that you didn't move forward in faith when God clearly gave you His blessing to do so. You need to understand that He gave you His blessing when He gave you the idea and the plan. Once you're clear that He's doing the talking, be clear on the fact that He's got your back. You waste precious time waiting for people to come along and support you without understanding that when God gave it to you to do, He was letting you know that you had HIS support, And if God be for you.... (Romans 8:31)

Saying, "What God has for me is for me", is not always true. Some things He has to do because it is a matter of helping you to fulfill His ultimate purpose in you. Other things He will promise only  as a condition of your obedience to His instruction or leading. In those cases you can't walk in disobedience and still lay claim to the blessing that was a condition of obedience.

Many years ago, as I was going through one of the hardest times of my life I began to write poetry. The Lord let me know  that His plan was for me to publish books of that poetry. He gave me the name, The Parchments, and the scripture that I based the title on (I Timothy 4:13). I was also to publish a book of romantic poetry, but The Parchments was supposed to be published first. The Parchments was going to be a ministry tool to help and encourage people. I was excited about the idea of publishing but I had to wait on God's timing.  In the meantime though, in order to keep me from becoming relaxed about what I was to do, the Lord gave me a dream. I dreamed that I was watching television, and saw a man being interviewed about his project, The Parchments. In this interview he was talking about the things that the Lord had given me to do! My heart sank! I realized that I hadn't done what God had given me to do and now God had given it to someone else who had taken it and run with it, and here he was on television talking about it! That was supposed to be ME! When I awoke from that dream I still had that sinking feeling, but  I was determined that no one would get a chance to go forward with something that God had given me but I refused to go forward with.

More recently though, it happened in real life. There was something that the Lord had given to me years ago when I thought I was going to be over a particular ministry. I had come up with the name and the slogan, had made plans for activities, meetings, discussions, all of it. For whatever reason that didn't happen, but I still had the slogan which, although was originally for that ministry, could be used in all of life. I never used it or shared it. Honestly I felt small compared to so many others and felt that it might be taken and used by someone with more notoriety. You see, I knew it came from God. I knew and know that my gift is strong and that I am anointed by God to do it. I know that there is power in my words. I just felt that my platform was too small and that any following I'd have would be too small, or just big enough for someone more popular to get hands on it and get "credit" for it and leave me sitting somewhere  saying, "He/She got that from me". So for years I held it back waiting for the time when I thought I could go forth with it without having someone more popular taking it from me. (Did I not say this was a moment of transparency?) 

Years passed and then one day it happened, I heard someone on the radio using it.  Now let me be clear; this wasn't someone on the radio in another city who I didn't know. The Lord gave it to someone close to me, who I hadn't shared it with. The next time I saw it somewhere was online. Someone in my connections  who I hadn't spoken to about it (remember I was afraid to share it with anybody for fear that it would be taken) was using it while talking about their new project. Again, not someone I didn't know. It goes to show that the Lord will let you see how He doesn't have to go far away from you to find someone who will focus on doing what He gives them and not who will get credit for it. The truth is, HE gets credit for it. The glory is not ours, but HIS. Is He not the one who gives the idea and strategy in the first place? So my attitude was all wrong anyway! I was a vessel trying to make sure I got credit as if I was the creator. Upon seeing this, I was reminded of many other things that God has given me to do and was also reminded that I'd better hop to it because you know, this is not a good feeling.

There are many of us who are born and chosen of God to be leaders in all we do. The calling and anointing is there. The gifts are there, and the favor of God to support those gifts is also given to us. Some will do all that God has placed in their hands to do while others will do only some of it, and others still will do nothing but make excuses. For everything that God gives you and for every excuse that you use not to do it, you will come to regret it. He will give it to someone else, and He will allow you to see it.

No matter what you may have to do to make it happen, just remember something that my oldest brother said years ago while he was preaching, "THE POWER TO SUCCEED IS IN THE COMMAND TO DO". This means that even if you don't have the ability or the means to accomplish something, the moment God speaks to you to do it, the power and means for you to get it done are in His words and if you agree with His words, they will not return to Him void, (Isaiah 55:11)but they will be accomplished. God cannot lie, so if He gives you instructions, your ability to carry out those instructions are in His instructions.

God has promised to prosper what you do, so Whatever He
is giving you to do for the kingdom, do it. (Psalm 1:3)

Refer to Matthew 25:14-30, especially vs 28

1. You’re bigger than you think you are.
2. People you admire and look up to admire and look up to you.
3. You may feel unimportant, but people are waiting with bated breath for you to speak or do whatever it is that you are supposed to do.
4. People with lesser talent or ability will be used by God because of their willingness while you, with greater ability, sit on the sidelines criticizing them, all because you made excuses.
5. You are waiting for the “right time” when in actuality, the right time is now. The Lord will always let you know when you need to wait a while. If He doesn’t say WAIT, you need to be MOVING.
6. REMEMBER: Just like the Lord gave it to someone else because you didn’t use it, He probably gave it to you because someone before you didn’t use it.
7. You, the created vessel should never try to take credit for something as if you are the creator.
8. God won’t give you anything that can’t be a blessing to others and that He can’t get the glory out of.
10. What God gives you to do is great. It is a big deal. It is important. People will want to use it and share it, because it is good. That’s the whole point!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Receive BETTER!

If you are holding onto to how good something USED TO BE, and you keep trying to revive something that died years ago and has returned to the dust form whence it came...PLEASE LET IT GO! 

I understand about keeping the faith. I understand about not giving up. But there are times when you keep brushing off the feeling that maybe you should look elsewhere, expand your vision, and allow yourself to see things from another perspective. You keep brushing God off even though He's asking you to give Him a chance to show you that He has more than one way to BLESS you and that what He wants to give you now is way more than the corpse you keep trying to revive.  

You're trying to be noticed again. You're trying to be appreciated again. (if you ever really were) You're waiting for the people you've always dealt with to forget about the stuff they "heard about you", and it's never going to happen. You're trying to be good enough, prove yourself, you're studying and rehearsing what you're going to say. You're trying to dress right, look right, you're second-guessing your responses and beating your head against the wall trying to figure out how to regain what the LORD BLESSED YOU TO LOSE. 

Somewhere along the line, because of how good things USED to be you convinced yourself that it could never be better than that, so like a junkie or crack addict, you continue to waste months and years chasing that original feeling. You're afraid that no matter where you go or who you deal with they won't be able to make you feel the way that dead thing used to...BUT THAT'S NOT TRUE. Ask God to enlarge your borders. He really does have something greater for you. Open your hand to receive the answer that the Lord is trying to give to you, and not what you are trying to hold on to. Open your mouth and begin to speak by faith, I RECEIVE BETTER. 

The Lord will exceed your expectation. He will give you what the others NEVER would have considered giving you!
If you receive better by faith, you will RECEIVE BETTER in your life! 
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Thursday, July 23, 2015


I've noticed how some people LOOOVE to talk themselves up by saying that the Lord has been showing them that they need to cut some people loose, mainly, and usually, because according to them God said, "They can't go where you're going" or something along the lines of one's level as opposed to their level. Though this is true at times I would like to give you something else to consider...

It could be that the Lord is nudging you to cut back or cut ties with someone and it has nothing to do with levels or where you're going that they can't go. It could be that it's because what YOU don't know that GOD KNOWS  is that they really don't want to be bothered with YOU half the time. They tolerate YOU. People put up with things and other people all the time that they hate for whatever reason, and then eventually there is a blow out that could be avoided if you would only obey the Lord's leading. Consider that He's trying to spare YOUR feelings, because if you don't, you just might wish with all your heart that you did. Sometimes people hurt you out of jealousy, but sometimes people hurt you because they simply don't like you and the only way THEY know how to be rid of you is to hurt you bad enough to make you leave. They are better at causing injury than simply doing what the Lord is leading YOU to do. Don't concentrate on being stabbed in the back. Consider that people stab you in the back because they don't like you to begin with.

Avoid the blow up. Avoid the betrayal. Avoid that thing that will seemingly come from out of nowhere and break your heart. If the Spirit of God is leading you to back away, BACK AWAY, for your OWN sake and protection. Eventually you may see very clearly why you needed to distance yourself even though the Lord probably won't give you those details in the beginning. But for now, don't get caught up in the "they're not on my level" cliche`, and just obey God. It's not always that deep, but if you disobey, it might end up being deeper than you want it to be.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Life Lesson: Your Delay

I got to my drug screen appointment at 9:30 but I forgot to drink water ahead of time.  Who does that? Anyway I had to drink water and wait...30 minutes...45 minutes...two cups of water and NOTHING. There was just me and the lady who works there. 50 minutes later a young lady came in with her little boy. She was told he wasn't allowed to be left alone. She said she won't be able to come back. She was going to go put him in the car to wait for her. The woman told her, "You can't leave your baby in that car.These people will call the police on you." She allowed her to get him situated so she could get her screening done. She told him to come sit next to me which I didn't mind.
2 or 3 minutes later she's done and they are on their way. Then it occurred to me. The Lord already knew that had I remembered to drink water, I would have been "ready" as soon as I got there and long gone by the time that girl got their with her son. She would have been sent away, unable to get her screening done for her new job. What's my point?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Single Life Series: Your Desperate Need For Me

Whether I was having a good day or bad days there was one thing that I wished for: a husband. When things seemed to be going well, or better, my immediate thought would be that I wished I had someone with me to share it with, to celebrate with me. When things were not going well I would always think that it would be more bearable if someone was there for me to talk to, or cry on his shoulder and hear him tell me it was going to be okay.  That was on the surface though, but God knew the very intent of my heart in those times of thinking that having a husband with me would make things better or easier. I also used to complain about the fact that I had to go through so much hard stuff alone. I really was surprised at how hard life could be on me, a single mother. I don't know. I guess I assumed that my trials would not be as strong as the trials of a man and when the weight of the things I was going through would sit on me, I often said to God, "This feels like something a MAN should have to deal with!  I'm a WOMAN and a woman shouldn't have to deal with this kind of stuff! This is too much!  I ain't no MAN!" I couldn't believe the Lord was allowing things to happen to me on the level that they were happening. And then to top it off He didn't even give me a husband to help carry the load?! This was some bull!

But one day the Lord answered my cry for help, or complaint, whatever it actually was, maybe both. He said, "Having a husband won't diminish your desperate need for me. You think that if you have a husband you won't need me as much but you will, and so will he.  As a matter of fact, he needs me as much as you do and when he marries you and takes on you and your daughters he will feel that he needs me even more because he becomes responsible for more. He will be crying out to me even more. No matter how anointed he is he will still need me desperately as you will. When you get married your husband won't always be there for you.  He may be at work when you need him or he may be away with ministry. He might be right there with you and still not understand what you're dealing with or how you feel, so you will still need me."  
Well shut my mouth. Wow.

Is there something or someone that you are hoping or wishing for, because you think that when it shows up, you will suddenly have to pray less, or spend less time seeking after God? Do you believe like I did, that a good husband or wife, will ease your need for God? As much as we all need money to run our households and take care of our families, do you think that a big enough income will lessen your need for God? Or as He put it, "your desperate need" for Him?  Look at this definition of the word, desperate.

DESPERATE: 1. reckless or dangerous because of despairhopelessness, or urgency 2.having an urgent need, desire, etc. 3.leaving little or no 
hope; very serious or dangerous:

This is how serious our need for God is.  Without Him guiding and protecting us our lives would be reckless, hopeless. Our need for Him is always urgent and a serious matter. This isn't something that a human can come along and love you enough to do away with. There is comfort to be found in human touch, friendship, and companionship, even the love of a faithful spouse. But for all that they do they will never "diminish our desperate need for God". We must never make the mistake of believing that something or someone can serve as a substitute for the real thing. How many times have you hoped, wished, prayed for something, only to receive it and feel like something was still missing? This is because of the void, the hole that God placed in our hearts for Himself when He created us. It will never be satisfied by anything or anyone other them Him. We must never forget or become confused about where our help comes from. Our help comes from the LORD!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

somebody almost ran off with all of my stuff

I think it might be my all time favorite poem or performance of any poem.
Was it really the devil that stole your stuff or was it some person? (because men get their stuff taken too)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

SINGLE LIFE SERIES: Why Would God Send You Back?

By the time I walked out of that marriage I felt like the Lord was standing at the door next to my bags, waiting to escort me out. It was this experience that taught me that the as long as I was willing to stay, He helped me and gave me grace. When it became clear that I was the only one really putting forth the effort to try and create a truly healthy marriage, and I felt released to leave, and I decided I wanted to live instead of continuing to die that slow death, He supported me and gave me grace. I have told people that when I left I was running for my life. Not because I had been being physically abused but because I was dying on the inside. The life and strength had almost completely been drained from my body.

Even so, because of my background and upbringing, I still had this fear that "God will make me go back".  I knew how I was raised and what our beliefs were. I was well aware of the teaching I had sat under my whole life. Even in my separation I was subjected to things being said in church services that were directed at me personally. I was spoken to more than once about going back, but I knew I couldn't if I wanted to live. It was very difficult for a while but like I said, God gave me grace to go through it. Even with the grace that had been extended to me to make it through I would have thoughts of "What if God tells me to go back? I'll have to do it if He tells me to!"  It worried me to the point that I even had nightmares about it. The feeling of dread and doom in those dreams was so real. I was so glad to wake up after each one! 

I sat in my pastor's office about 3 months or so after the separation and I expressed this concern to him.  He said something to me that set me free from that fear. He said to me, "Why would God send you back into a situation that hasn't changed?" I received so much validation from this. It let me know that whatever he believed at first about my separation, he had seen enough to know that nothing had changed for the better, and certainly not enough for me to feel like I could or should go back.  It let me know that I wasn't alone. Somebody saw me, and at some point had gotten a good clear look at what I had been dealing with. 

Well that conversation took a load off my chest and helped me to stop worrying about whether or not I would find myself having to walk back into that house. It let me know that I didn't have to and that doing so would return me to what I had been set free from. I will be very honest with you though, and tell you that it took years to stop having those bad dreams. I left that house in 1999 and I'm pretty sure that it was about 2013 or early 2014 before I had my last nightmare about it. Mind you, he remarried several years after our divorce but the bad dreams continued even past that point. 

Many people were raised in an environment similar to mine, that taught that you work it out or work on it no matter what.  In many cases it leaves one person doing pretty much all the work to salvage a relationship or create a healthy one while the other one continues to do whatever it is they've been doing.  It is so frustrating and hurtful to want more out of life and to be bound to someone who feels like whatever they have at the moment is enough.  This can create such a tug of war in the home and in your mind and emotions.  It can cause one to be very suspicious of the other. It can bring every insecurity to the surface and it can literally be a source of torment for the one whose heart and soul is crying out for more. Not to mention if there is some form of abuse happening.

I just want to share with you what was shared with me. I don't care who may be butting in where they really don't belong.  I don't care what they've seen before or what is going on or has happened in their own life. They are not you and their situation is not the same as yours. Even if it is very similar, you are different people, so they are in no position to tell you to "go back home", or to keep trying, or what you ought to be doing.  One person can only do so much without the help of the other to make a peaceful home. 

Some people will even lie on God by putting Him into what they are trying to convince you of. They'll even have dreams and feel that they need to share with you what "God showed them about your situation".  This is why it's very important to quiet yourself so that you can continue to hear Him clearly.  Shut out every other voice and stay before Him so that you can grow in your sensitivity to Him and His leading. You may be dealing with what I dealt with, people saying things publicly directing their comments toward you. One man in particular who did this to me didn't realize that his own wife was watching me, admiring my strength, and filed for divorce from him just a few years after my divorce. He had no clue that his own house was torn in two while he was throwing instructions to me in the microphone from across the sanctuary. Another young minister sat down with me sharing with me how the Lord helped him to love his wife after he had felt like they shouldn't be together. Some years later I found out that they were no longer together and I'll leave it at that. Don't be deceived into second-guessing yourself by people who may not realize that their own marriage is on life support.

Don't fall for the okie doke. Look at the situation and see it for exactly what it is. Don't see it for what you hoped it would be, what you know it should be, what it started out as, or even what the bible says it's supposed to be.  See it for WHAT IT IS and deal with it accordingly. If you know it hasn't changed, ask yourself the same question that was asked me, "Why would God send me back into a situation that hasn't changed?" Did He not rescue you out of it? Have you not felt Him holding you together when you would have fallen apart without Him?  
I'm not saying that no separation can be worked out so that the relationship can be saved and even made better. I know two couples that were divorced for up to two years but the marriages were healed and restored when the necessary changes were made for the better. They are more in love now than ever. Many couples have survived affairs and other types of abuse.  But it wasn't without major change. Whatever you do, don't look at it and see the same behavior that sent you packing, and still go back for whatever reason. And please don't blame God if you do, for He has called us to peace.

There is a saying, "Your ex is your ex for a reason." Even if you're tempted to go back for whatever reason, think about why you left and ask yourself if it's worth it to go back to the same situation. God doesn't operate in fear so if you're afraid that you might have to return to it, let that be a sure sign that it's NOT coming from Him. Walk in your freedom. Enjoy your peace of mind. Allow Him to complete the work in you that He started that work before you even walked away from that unhealthy relationship. That season ended but a much better one has begun. Let Him show you!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

SINGLE LIFE SERIES: The Kind of Man You've Asked Me For Won't Tolerate That

Often when you go to God and ask Him to help you with something, or ask Him for something, He will begin to talk to you about things that seem to be completely unrelated to what you asked Him about or asked Him for!  He's not crazy. He didn't change the subject. He heard you. He IS answering you.  He's trying to teach you that there is a LOT more involved than what you may think, and until you allow Him to reveal those things to you, you will never be in a position to receive what you've asked for. This is especially important for Single Christians to learn.

I've had my "list" as I'm sure most other singles who desire marriage have had. Attractive. Sense of humor. Certain height. Certain build. Love God. Respectful. Strong communicator. Romantic. He has to be this or that, or not this and certainly not that. He should at least do or have this or that. I need him to be able to do such and such at least sometimes.  These are pretty generic desires that if you were to look at every woman's list, they would be on it.  As I grew in my relationship with God and learned more about Him and myself, my list changed and so did my "type".  Some things ceased to be as important to me as they had been before. I even became more specific about some things that I hadn't thought of before, because I didn't know myself as well.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who has made adjustments to my list over time. Then again there may be others who made one list and never had to change a thing, and you received the desires of your heart. Whether you write it out and tuck it under your mattress like one young lady told me she did, or whether you sleep with it under your pillow, keep it in a notebook, or whether you carry it around in your bible or carry it in your heart, you have your "list". 

I believe that a major mistake many people make is that after we make our list, we set about finding someone who only fits that list.  We think that if he or she shows up and we see something that we didn't list, that must not be the right person. We even go so far as to keep telling ourselves and each other not to settle for less than what we asked God for. Let me pause and say this as a reminder to those of us who believe: When God answers prayers He never stops at just what we asked.  Even the scriptures refer to Him as the one who "is able to to exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20) so that should be enough to let us know that when the answer to prayer shows up it will always be more than we imagined when we prayed, and actually may not look quite like what we imagined. People are often accused of being too picky when it comes to choosing who they feel is right for them.  The sad thing about our pickiness is that it can have the opposite effect of what we think. Being too picky sometimes leads us to settle for less when we think that we are not settling at all by holding out for the better. Being too picky keeps us more narrow minded than we believe we are.  It actually keeps us from the "exceeding abundantly above" that God has for us in a mate. We limit ourselves to our list, not understanding that the person who fits God's plan for our lives is that list and a whole lot more. 

We limit ourselves to specific characteristics not understanding that a whole person is a person of a certain character. People don't operate in individual characteristics. Those characteristics pour out of a full character, a whole person who is living a certain way of life. This brings me to the next thing that I want to share with you that God said to me. 

I had been talking so much to the Lord about what I wanted in a mate.  I was so specific about everything I could think of, not wanting to leave anything to chance. I was also very stubborn in my heart toward God because of my frustrations with Him. I had a habit of back-talking Him about what I felt about how He was handling things for me.  I always seemed to have something to say before I got around to doing what He wanted. It was easy for me to express my disagreement with His process, to let Him know that I'd expected more from Him than what He was doing. I'd had my ideas about how my life would and should look and I'd always expected Him to make it happen, and when I wasn't seeing what I'd always imagined, I let Him know that I was disappointed in HIM.

One day while I was doing some of my good back-talking He said to me, "The kind of man you've asked me for won't tolerate that." He was talking about my strong will and my attitude toward Him.  I've said in another post that your relationship with God will be a mirror of your relationship with your mate.  He is the one who teaches us how to relate to one another by how He relates to us, and showing us the truth about how we relate to Him.  The Lord knew the kind of man that I found most attractive so He was actually trying to help me out.  He didn't say that he "won't like it" or "won't appreciate it". He said he "won't tolerate it". So basically, the teaching moment was saying to me that if a man like that was going to be in my life, I'd have to make some adjustments to the way I communicated and responded to situations. 

What I love about God is that He didn't tell me that I couldn't have someone like what I wanted.  He didn't tell me I wasn't good enough. He just let me know that if I desire to be with someone like that, I would have to be someone that someone like that would take notice of and be attracted to and it had nothing to do with my outward appearance, but with my behavior. Even if he was drawn to me for my appearance, once that behavior showed up, he'd be turned off. This was an opportunity for growth in how I communicate my feelings and thoughts, even when, and especially when I'm disappointed or am not in agreement with something. Understand, that for many men, the way I behaved up until that point wouldn't be an issue. They might be able to love me right through it, work their way around it and never leave me. But I wasn't asking God for many men. I was asking Him for specifics and He just let me know that these particular characteristics in him won't tolerate these particular characteristics in me.

What I love about God is that He didn't tell me that I couldn't have someone like what I wanted.  He didn't tell me I wasn't good enough. He just let me know that if I desire to be with someone like that, I would have to be someone that someone like that would take notice of and be attracted to and it had nothing to do with my appearance, but with my behavior. Even if he was initially drawn to me for my appearance, once that behavior showed up, he'd be turned off. If he thought I was the prettiest woman in them room, one conversation could make me the ugliest. If he didn't think I was the prettiest woman in the room, a conversation with me might heighten his attraction to me because of who I show him I am on the inside.

You see, we are good at making lists and laying them before God, but we don't always realize that a person like what we described is attracted to certain characteristics in a mate.  If you don't possess those characteristics that person you are looking for may never cross your path or if they do, may never look at you twice.  You may notice them but they may not notice you. You may even have a conversation with them and hear everything you've prayed for, but if they don't hear the same from you, they will be fine not to ever speak to you again. People who live on a certain level or who are of a certain character don't like some things. They like other things. They aren't comfortable in some places or may be comfortable in places that make you uncomfortable. They behave differently, and live every single day, a certain way. They have pet peeves, likes and dislikes. They have things that they can deal with and other things that they absolutely will not tolerate. This principle is true in choosing a mate as well as in choosing a career.  You can't go just anywhere and behave or even dress just any kind of way, and then say, 
"This is just the way I am and they just need to accept me for who I am" or "If you love me you'll accept me and love me for who I am". Though that is true, it is only true to a certain extent.

What have you asked God for?  What's on your list?  Does it seem like God is talking to you about everything except what you have on your list? Well of course He is!  The list has already been established. Now He needs to teach you about the supporting cast to the list, all of the other characteristics that you didn't think of that make up the whole person. For instance, the kind of mate you've asked God for may need a clean kitchen. Do you keep a clean kitchen or do you just clean once in a while? Or it could be the opposite. You could be preparing by learning to keep a spotless home but when the one you've asked God for comes, it may be that he does most of the cleaning or cooking. I know a few women who don't have to cook at all! In a situation like this you may find yourself lacking in an area that you didn't know you needed to prepare in.  God knows everything about everybody so when He seems to change the subject on you, it's best to follow His instructions. 

Understand that just as you have a list, that person, your type,  has a list also.  They are asking God for certain things too.  This is not to discourage you into giving up on your desires but to encourage you to allow God to develop you into a better version of yourself.  This is not to say you're not "good enough" per se, but we are all constantly growing and as you allow Him to grow, mature, and stretch you, you will be a happier more fulfilled individual with or without that certain person in your life. Believe it or not, this is God's desire for all of us, to be whole happy, and fulfilled whether someone else is there or not. I'll call this His ulterior motive. It is ALWAYS to better YOU for YOU FIRST.

Our true desires come from the One who is able to fulfill them. But just as you have to prepare yourself to have a certain kind of career by educating yourself, it's the same with preparing for the kind of mate you desire. If you truly desire to have a certain career, you don't find out how much education and training you need and then say, "Oh I'll never be good enough to be that".  Instead you choose to do the work, go to school, get the education and training so that you can have the fulfillment of that desire.

We go to school and take so many courses that we say we will never use in real life.  But those courses are necessary and even if you may not use those specific math problems ever again in real life, you need to understand that you will use the skills you learned in those courses. You learned to reason. You learned to see patterns. You learned to solve problems. You learned how to research. You learned how to think a certain way and it is those skills that you will go on to use in everyday life. Those courses helped to shape your character.

To my fellow Single Christians I say, whatever life courses the Lord has you taking right now, trust that they are needed, even if they seem totally unrelated to what you have in your heart.  Preparing for marriage is about way more than learning to cook, keep a clean house, keep a job, who will handle the money, and how you will handle disciplining the children. Submit to God's process and understand that as He prepares you to receive what you've asked Him for, more importantly at the same time, He's simultaneously, preparing you to also be able to live without it. When that person comes they will be so much more than you had in mind when you prayed. But more importantly, before they even show up or even if they never show up, you will be so much more than you thought you were.  This is also a part of the "exceeding abundantly above", for He will exceed your expectations not just of a spouse, but of yourself.

I do not own the pic used in this post. Source: into30.com 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

SINGLE LIFE SERIES: You Have a Fear of Abandonment

ABANDONED: having been deserted or cast off.

After my separation and divorce, even though I had a good paying job with good benefits I still struggled. I struggled to learn to handle finances alone and I struggled with feeling alone. I felt abandoned by the people who I felt by right should have been there for me and my girls, to check on us, to make sure we were okay, to ask me questions and listen for my answers. Instead they were listening to him. Talking to him. Hanging out with him, as if he were telling the truth, and I was lying.

I don't own the pic I used for this post, but it perfectly depicts what my heart felt like for so very long. The tears poured out of my heart and down my face so many days and nights. There was also a lot of anger and frustration with God.  I would become so angry with Him and would often say to Him, "You took everybody else away from me and You are all I have left and this is all You have for me? It's like you're on his side too! You're all I have left and this is all I get? Is this all You have for me?"  I felt like He should have been taking better care of me. He should have been there for me. Life was really hurting me and I felt like He wasn't there for me like I needed Him to be. I felt like He was allowing things that He should have been preventing. He should have been there to stop those bad things and hurtful things from happening to me. Even when I was faced with something that had potential to go sour, as I suppose all things do, I would be so afraid that He would drop the ball on me and allow the bottom to fall out from under me. So much had happened that was so painful, that I pretty much in my heart just waited for things to go wrong, and unfortunately I often got what I expected.

One day I was in my car and thinking about the things I was dealing with and He spoke to me and said, "You have a fear of abandonment. You think I'm going to leave you. You think I'm going to do to you what people have done to you."  It was true. If I honestly summed up all of those feelings I was having, that's what it boiled down to. I saw every disappointment as being abandoned by God. I had no perception of Him walking through the fire with me, holding my hand, keeping me, covering and protecting me.  My perception of Him was not based on His Word, and His promise to never leave me, but it was based on my experiences with the people who I felt had left me high and dry, just out there by myself. I thought I should be able to depend on them to at least check on me and the girls periodically to see if we were dead or alive, or if we had food, but up to that point, that had never happened and it actually was several years before anything like that did happen for me. I felt abandoned by the people who supposedly loved me and I transferred that hurt into a fear toward God. You see, until we form our own personal relationship with God, our perception of Him is formed by what we receive from human interaction. The enemy loves this because he uses it to his advantage to have many of us suffer all kinds of abuse as children even from infancy.  He knows that this will distort our view of who God is, and cause us not to trust His love for us. When we finally establish a personal relationship with Him, we see Him for who He is and this reshapes our perception of not only Him, but also of imperfect humans. Although I had been saved quite a while, I was still young in my relationship with God so for a long time I was seeing Him the same way I saw people. I was always afraid that just when I needed Him most, He would go the other way. Unfortunately it seemed to play out like that quite a bit, which fueled my frustration with Him. It made me angry with Him, for things He had not even done and actually has promised in His Word that He would never do. He was and is completely incapable of treating me the way I felt He was treating me.

The Lord is the only one who can "tell you about yourself" and bring healing to you at the same time. He truly does chastise/correct those He loves. Hearing this truth made me look at my life and see clearly how I was making God guilty of what people had done. It revealed to me that I needed yet another mindset adjustment. I needed to trust His Word and the promises in His Word. It made me have to start paying attention to my thoughts and begin to learn to think differently. I had to begin to learn to turn my fear into faith. My words toward Him needed to change and quite frankly, I needed to humble myself.  There's something about feeling abandoned that if you're not careful, can cause a sense of entitlement to rise up in you, where you might find yourself demanding answers or actions from God. Where instead of laying claim on the promises He has left on record in His Word, you instead place demands on Him about what you think He should be, ought to be, or is supposed to be doing for you.  I had a terrible episode before He spoke. It was  an excruciatingly painful experience that I'll never forget and I pray that no residue of that mindset is left inside of me.

You may wonder why this is a part of my Single Life Series.  Well it's actually very simple. We will model our relationship with our spouse after our relationship with our God. If we don't trust Him to be there for us when we need Him most, we will worry a spouse half to death with that same kind of fear.  We will see every time that they can't be there for us on our terms as being abandoned by them.  If we never learn to trust that the Lord will never leave us and never forsake us, even when it seems and feels that He's far away, we will never trust that a spouse will honor "til death do us part", even in times of few words being spoken.  If we aren't able to trust God's thoughts toward us, and His heart toward us, we will never really believe that our spouse has our best interest at heart even in times when they don't necessarily agree with or understand us.  If we are unable to trust in the faithfulness of God, why should we trust that a man or woman can or will be faithful to us in marriage? If we get angry with God for not keeping all the bad and hurtful things away from us, we will be ready to file for divorce if that spouse can't make things happen for us keep trouble from hitting our household.

Listen to your own thoughts in times of crisis and challenge. What are you telling yourself about your God and how He will handle the situation for you.  Are you afraid He won't come through for you?  Are you afraid that He's going to drop the ball? Throw you under the bus? Leave you hanging?  Do you compare Him to imperfect humans who have done those things to you? Or do you turn to Him with full assurance that He is there for you no matter what? Good questions to ask before you enter into a relationship and especially  marriage, because your answers will help you to gauge how you will respond to a spouse who can't work miracles. Or you might even destroy a potential marriage by expecting too much from someone you’re dating or courting.  The Lord wants us, His precious singles to know that He's got us. He's got our back. Not only is it true that He won't leave, but more than that, He can't leave, because He said He wouldn't and he can't lie.

Allow His promise to be the pillow on which you rest your head as He walks you through every trying situation. Allow His faithfulness to you to prepare your heart to rest in the faithfulness of one that He will trust with your heart and hand in marriage.