Marriage is . . .

CONGRATULATIONS! 😀 Now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, there are many new engaged couples walking around in premarital bliss. As the lady shows off her beautiful diamond, she’ll probably receive many superficial compliments about her husband to be based on the size of the stone and shiny platinum setting. She will be swept up in conversations about the details of the wedding while he will probably go on with his life as usual. In the midst of all the planning, my prayer is that they have people in their lives that will impart godly wisdom regarding the actual marriage.

People mean well when they give advice, but sometimes it does more damage than good. For instance, one piece of advice that’s been handed down to quite a few women is to hide money from their husbands which is referred to as mad money. Hide money just in case. Just in case what? If you feel you have to hide something from the person you’re planning to spend the rest of your life with, perhaps you should consider postponing the wedding until you figure out the issue. Men are often told that innocent flirting is harmless and completely unnecessary to tell the wife. Would the husband  feel the same if his wife was the flirtee? And what deep issues does the husband have that makes him desire the attention from another woman?

I remember when Antoine and I were preparing for our big day and long life together, people would tell us that marriage is hard, a lot of work, fun, good, bad, etc. We were warned that eventually the lovey-dovey phase of the first or second year of marriage would fade leaving us with the reality of marriage. Which is what? Antoine and I decided a long time ago that our marriage would be different and nothing like any that we had ever seen.

While I am the first person to recommend premarital counseling to any engaged couple, I encourage them to make their own reality. It’s nice to ask for advice, but you cannot and should not plan your marriage according to someone else’s experience. How can you? Your significant other is unique and so are you. Even if you have a lot in common with another couple, it’s still not enough. Your reality is your reality. Tolerance levels are different. What another woman or man may tolerate may be intolerable to you.

Marriage is . . . it depends on who you ask. Marriage to me is the best experience of my life and I look forward to the years to come in the Lord. I see my husband as a blessing from God. No he isn’t perfect, neither am I. One of my main goals in life is to be the best wife I can be because that pleases not only my husband; it pleases God.

Marriage is what you and your spouse make it. Remember, these are my thoughts. I’m just blogging them out. 😀

Oh and HAPPY MONDAY!! 😀

BLACK HISTORY FACTS: http://www.blackfacts.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When They Are, But You’re Not into Valentine’s Day

cropped-blog-logo.pngHappy Valentine’s Day! (Eve, eve. 😀 ) It’s no secret that my husband and I aren’t into Valentine’s Day at all. I’m talking Valentine’s schmalentines.  For the record, our feelings towards this hallmark holiday has nothing to do with deep rooted bitterness that stems from a past experience. We’re just not into it. I’ve always been the girl that march to her own drummer. Status quo who? LOL I’ve never been into flowers, dressing up, make-up, and days set aside to celebrate love. I couldn’t stand when we were forced to pass out those silly VDay cards in elementary school. However, I assure you if either of us were into it, we would go all out for each other, which is what this blog is about. My husband and I go waaaaay back. We met our senior year in high school so that’s eons ago. Okay, that’s a ridiculous exaggeration, but you get my drift. We’ve been married for almost 17 years and this year is the first time we are actually doing something for VDay. And that’s only because it’s an event that was organized by a couple at our church. We like to show our support.

Of course I have a story before I get into my point. One year around Vday many years ago, there was this guy who was digging me in one of my classes. He was a nice guy, but I had just became a Christian and wasn’t interested in dating. My main focus was Christ and finishing college. I never showed any interest in the guy, but everyday after class he would ask me if he could give me a ride. I would politely decline and then hop on the bus to go to work. One day when I got to work, my supervisor said I had a visitor which was very strange. When I got to the lobby, the guy from my class was standing there waiting for me with a bouquet of flowers and a box of candy. The ladies in the office went nuts while telling me how lucky I was that my “boyfriend” was so thoughtful and sweet. Okay, so here’s where I differ from my fellow women peeps. My first reaction WAS NOT awww how sweet. I had a hidden reaction in my mind behind a smile, “whatchoo doing here foo?” There’s no denying that the gesture was kind, but to me there was definitely an added creep factor. After thanking him, I asked how he knew where I worked. He said he followed me to work a few times. Ummm gulp and ZOINKS! LOL Of course he left because I had to get back to work. My coworkers didn’t seem bothered by the fact that he had been FOLLOWING ME!! I’ll just leave this right here. 😀

I have three points:

  1. If your spouse wants to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but you’re not really into it, DO IT ANYWAY AS IF YOU ARE SO INTO IT THAT YOU WOULD LOOK OVER A CRAZY STALKER DUDE TO GET CANDY AND FLOWERS. LOL 😀 Don’t say how stupid and lame you think it is because that’s like saying you think your spouse is stupid and lame. Valentine’s Day is on the same day every year. Don’t wait until the last minute to buy him or her a gift just because you’re not into it. There’s a book called the 5 Love Languages. One of the love languages mentioned is receiving gifts. Your spouse’s love language may be receiving gifts. If you want to know more about the 5 Love Languages, click on the following link: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/
  2. Please remember that Valentine’s Day is not a big o band aid for your relationship. If you’ve upset your spouse and haven’t resolved the issue, giving candy and flowers or going out to dinner will not make your situation better. Not even jewelry, even if you go to Jared. LOL Now if you go to Tiffany’s, it will buy at least a week of peace. LOL I jest! 😀
  3. Don’t base your relationship on what he gives or not give you for Valentine’s Day. Love each other everyday like it’s your last. 1 Peter 4: 8 says, Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. If you really love VDay, communicate with your spouse in love. Tell him/her what you want, what you really really want. (Spice Girls LOL)
Satan wants so badly to destroy your marriage. Don’t let him. And take it easy on those of us who aren’t into VDay. It’s my opinion and I’m . . .
Just blogging it out . . . Oh and HAPPY FRIDAY! 😀
BLACK HISTORY FACTS: http://www.blackfacts.com/

 

 

 

Guard Your Mind

Shortly after I woke up this morning, I allowed a few thoughts to dangle around in my mind longer than I should’ve. I don’t even know where those thoughts came from really. Well, actually I do. The enemy likes to throw things at you to see what he can use to distract you from more fruitful activity, your purpose. When I realized I was pondering over something the enemy had served, I snapped right out of the unproductive cognitive misadventure. LOL We have to make an effort to renew our minds or the enemy will take over.

Philippians 4:8 & 9 says, And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

God’s power trumps all negativity even if it’s smacking us in our faces. There is nothing bigger than God. N O T H I N G!! Sometimes we can’t control what pops up in our brilliant minds. 😀 However, we can control what stays. Let’s kick the enemy’s butt with the word of God together. Guard your mind from foolishness!

Just blogging it out . . .Oh and HAPPY THURSDAY!

BLACK HISTORY FACTS: http://www.blackfacts.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Fear Not

Do you remember Glum, the Lilliputian, from The Adventures of Gulliver cartoon? He wore a green top and a tan hat with a feather that drooped over his forehead. He was short, but I guess all the Lilliputians were. 😀 During their adventures, while Gulliver and the gang tried desperately to escape the clutches of some villain, Glum would say in his monotone, nasally voice, “It’s hopeless.” or “We’ll never make it. Never!” or “We’re done for.” or “We’re doomed for sure.” LOL From what I remember, the gang never listened to Glum. They kept running, swimming, or whatever they had to do to get out of trouble. If they had listened to Glum, the cartoon would’ve ended after the first episode. 😀 What’s even funnier than his perpetual pessimism is the fact that he never stayed behind. He always ran with Gulliver and the others even though he thought, “we’re all gonna die.” LOL

Do you have any Glums in your life? I know I’ve had an encounter once or twice or hundreds. Unfortunately, there were times that I was influenced by the doubt and fear of others. Yup, I would question my well thought out plan because someone said I couldn’t do it. Sad, but very true. What I found out later was that glums don’t believe they can do what you’re trying to accomplish which is why they speak against your plans. They’re saying, if I can’t do it then there’s no way you can do it. Or maybe they tried and failed. Whatever it is that’s fueling their fear, we shouldn’t let it affect us.

Okay, it’s a fact that fear is a human emotion and we’ve all experienced it, right? Denying that we’re afraid of something doesn’t make fear go away. Trusting in God’s promises instead of allowing fear to hinder us is where the victory lies. Focusing on God’s word instead of the opinions of others is a great way to get over our fears. Psalm 56:3 & 4 says, But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?

We should seek God’s direction in all of our plans and know He will lead us to where we need to go. Stay focused on Him!

So the next time cousin Glum, friend Glum, mother Glum, father Glum, coworker Glum, sibling Glum tries to contaminate you with fear by saying, “you’ll never make it”, remember they’re displaying their fear. They may need encouragement.

Just blogging it out . . . Oh and HAPPY WEDNESDAY! 😀

BLACK HISTORY FACTS:  http://www.blackfacts.com/

 

Part Deux-What If Divorce Was Not An Option?

Today we experienced a tragic event that took both my husband and me by surprise. As always, we will continue to focus on the Lord and keep moving forward.

Yesterday I posted a short rant called, What If Divorce Was Not an Option, but I didn’t really make a point. So here’s part deux . . .

Marriage is definitely not for the squeamish and even strong people have challenges. If you start off thinking that you have an out, you’re starting off on the wrong foot. Have you ever taken one of those mandatory personality surveys for a job where you’re supposed to choose the best answer out of four choices that aren’t really good choices at first glance? Even though it takes longer, you read the choices over and over again until you finally realize that you actually have something in common with one of them. And then there are surveys that gives you four choices plus “other”. If after reading the four choices we’re not able to relate, we quickly choose other without rereading the four choices. The latter example gives you an out so that you won’t have to think about the other choices.

Okay, here’s my point:  If divorce was no longer an option (other):

  • Single people, would you settle for someone that you’re hoping will change later?
  • Married/Separated people, would you take more time to get to the root of your problems?
  • Divorcees, would you consider the fact that you were part of the reason your first marriage didn’t work out? Perhaps, take time to deal with yourself before marrying again.

Marriage takes a whole lot of effort, self awareness, and JESUS. As I said in my post yesterday, my marriage isn’t perfect, but our desire is to honor God with our relationship. I’m not passing judgement or any other negative thing you can think of.

I’m just blogging it out . . .Oh and HAPPY TUESDAY! 😀

BLACK HISTORY FACTS:  http://www.blackfacts.com/

What If Divorce Was Not an Option?

Hear ye! Hear ye! From this day forward, DIVORCE IS NO LONGER AN OPTION! Now go . . .

You’re either single, separated, married, widowed, or divorced, right?

Single people (dating or engaged people are technically single.), would you be in such a rush to get married if divorce was no longer an option?

People who are separated, now what? You can’t get a divorce, EVER!

Married people, you’ve threatened your spouse for the last time. The divorce talk is ideal chit chat, literally. What are you going to do now?

Divorcees, you’ve been divorced before, but you always thought you would get married again someday. No more divorce, though. Will you ever take the plunge again?

What exactly is the point of this post? I’m not sure yet. 😀 Antoine and I have received all sorts of comments about our marriage, good and bad. We’ve even been accused of being phony a time or two. My answer to that is, there isn’t one person walking around on this earth that is worth us putting up a façade. I mean really, why? LOL What’s sad is those people are saying they don’t believe a married couple can actually be happy.

Our marriage is far from perfect, but we decided a long time ago BEFORE we got married to keep Jesus at the center of our relationship and divorce is never an option. Our INDIVIDUAL goal for our life is to honor God. If you please God then your spouse will reap the benefits. 😀

What’s the point of this post? I still don’t know. LOL Maybe I will come up with something tomorrow. I guess it’s one of those days. LOL

Just blogging it out . . . Oh and HAPPY MONDAY! 😀

BLACK HISTORY FACTS: http://www.blackfacts.com/

 

TO GIVE, OR NOT TO GIVE, that is the question

The two things I remember about going to church when I was kid, which wasn’t often, was getting the best sleep of my life 😀 and deciding if I would actually put the money I was given into the offering bucket. 😀 😀 Torture, I tell ya. Torture! I mean come on, give the money to some people I didn’t know or go to the candy store. Well, believe it or not, I always chose to put the money in the bucket even though I did not understand why. LOL There was this one time, the adult that took me to church gave me like $3 that morning. So, when it was time to give, I gave the $3. After the service was over, we went to the store. The other kid had money to buy stuff, but I didn’t. So the adult said, “Where’s your money, Tan?” I said, “I gave it to church.” She said, “All of it? You should’ve kept some.” womp womp 😦 Needless to say, I was confused about the whole concept. If she had explained tithing and giving an offering, I would’ve kept $2.00 for myself. (.30 tithe and .70 offering.) LOL 😀

Of course now I totally get it. It would’ve been so easy to give that dollar because I had $2.00 left over. Back in the day, penny candy actually cost a penny and candy bars were only 25¢, 35¢, 50¢ at the most. (100 pieces of candy and 4 candy bars. Now that’s a Sunday after church snack. LOL) But what if you don’t have extra money? Does God really expect us to tithe and give an offering if we’re barely making ends meet? Yes, but read on anyway. Money is ALWAYS a touchy subject. <In my Yoda voice> Gentle I will be, but truth I must tell.

For years, my husband and I have been praying for God to bless us so that we can be a blessing to others. I find that the more we give, the more God gives us. During my time with the Lord this morning, I ran across this scripture, 2 Corinthians 9:11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. Giving to others is showing gratitude for what we’ve received from God. It’s not always moola, you can give your time, skills, a listening ear, etc. It’s easy to give when you have extra, it’s a real sacrifice when your reality tells you you have nothing to give.

Luke 6:38 says, Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.

Considering everything we have is a gift from God, it doesn’t make any sense to me to place limits on what I give anymore. I’ve never had a problem with giving money, but I have been stingy with other things. Now that I know better, I have to do better. Obedience is better than sacrifice.

Just blogging it out . . . Oh and HAPPY THURSDAY! 😀

BLACK HISTORY FACTS:  http://www.blackfacts.com/

 

IT’S ALL THEIR FAULT! Or is it?

Isn’t growth in the Lord amazing? A long time ago in a galaxy far far away . . . Okay, not really, but about 14 years ago, I had a bad experience while directing my first play in Southern California at our church at that time. <In my Charles Barkley voice> It was turrible, just TURRIBLE! LOL Really it was. The day of the play, the associate pastor called me early in the morning telling me about somethings that were brought to his attention from the cast. He didn’t tell me what or who, so I had no clue what he was talking about which made things really awkward for me. Was it one person or the entire group? Was it a bunch of things or just one? I thought I had established a good communicative environment meaning they were able to say anything to me at any time including complaints. The conversation with the associate pastor was particularly disturbing because I felt I was the one who had A LOT of reasons to complain, but I never did. Folks skipped rehearsals without notifying me, and when they did come they were late; they didn’t pay attention in rehearsal causing them to miss cues; they didn’t know their lines; they didn’t follow through with their commitment. Long story short, after that experience I uttered these very words, “I WILL NEVER DO ANOTHER PLAY WITH CHRISTIANS EVER AGAIN!”

Yup, I sure did and I didn’t . . . for years. And IT WAS ALL THEIR FAULT! LOL Or was it? It is so easy to focus on what other people do. It took some time, but I finally realized what my part was in that situation. When we’re faced with difficult situations, we have absolutely no control over the other people who are involved. We only have control over ourselves. Since there are no do-overs in life, I had to learn from that situation with an emphasis on Bible principles, not my own. My idea of a lesson learned was, “I WILL NEVER DO ANOTHER PLAY WITH CHRISTIANS EVERY AGAIN!” But the bible says in Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” BOOM!

Did you feel that? Maybe it’s just me. LOL Seriously, if we’re honest with ourselves, there’s always something we could’ve done better in those less than ideal situations. When we focus on God and His word, we tend to handle things better or at least get up faster after falling. 😀

How on earth did I allow that situation to make me walk away from my purpose? Because I wasn’t focused on the Lord. Colossians 3:23-24 says, 23Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

You know how we have at least one person that we find hard to work with, there’s someone out there saying the same thing about us. LOL

Just blogging it out . . . Oh and HAPPY WEDNESDAY! 😀

BLACK HISTORY FACTS:  http://www.blackfacts.com/

“We Were On A Break!”

The title of this post was actually said by Ross Gellar, a character from one of my favorite sitcoms, FRIENDS. If you’re a fan like me, you know the reason why Ross shouted that line while reading a handwritten 18 page letter (front and back) from Rachel Green. LOL Long story short, he fell asleep while reading the letter, but didn’t want Rachel to know so he haphazardly answered her question correctly which rekindled there relationship.  After he finally read the entire letter, he realized Rachel was blaming him for there break-up and that answering her question meant that he was taking full responsibility for everything. He shouted a line that became a running joke until the end of the series, “WE WERE ON A BREAK!” LOL 😀

I had a moment similar to that. After reading a few lines of a very long correspondence, I decided to give a quick general response with plans to read it in its entirety later. (That was stupid, but I assure you that was a rare occurrence.) When I finally read it, I was surprised at the content and immediately regretted sending the quick response. My response pretty much agreed with everything. I literally felt like Ross because like him, I struggled with an agonizing tug to retract my quick answer and DEFEND myself.

I have spent a lot of time defending myself whether it was for my actions, my words, a lie that someone told on me, people holding one mistake against me, and the list goes on. As  a child, I would get really upset when I was accused of doing something I didn’t do. I would start crying and yelling, “NO I DIDN’T!!!” to the false accusation. My mother’s reply was always the same, “Well, if you didn’t do it, why are you crying and carrying on?” Although I’ve gotten a lot better, I still find myself in situations where I explain myself too much, without the crying of course. 😀

What’s my point? I decided not to defend myself or retract my quick answer because it really doesn’t matter. My mother’s response makes so much sense to me now. I’m not saying there’s never a time where you have to address a situation. I’m saying sometimes it’s more effective to stay silent and let it be. And by all means, don’t be like Ross and me, read your long letters (front and back 😀 ) completely before responding so that you know exactly what you’re agreeing with. Our Lord Jesus Christ loves us even when we mess up. If you’re ever feeling down about yourself, remember what Lamentations 3:22,23 says, “The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”

And you can also visit my blog anytime to read about my mistakes to help you forget about yours. LOL 😀

Just blogging it out . . . Oh and HAPPY TUESDAY! 😀

BLACK HISTORY FACTS: http://www.blackfacts.com/

SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE AND FLOW!

I’m blogging a bit later than usual today because our beautiful German Shepherd, Scout, had a little ear issue that needed to be taken care of. I spent more time than I should have thinking about how the trip to the Vet wasn’t in my daily plans and how far behind I was going to be on my to do list. I had a couple of unproductive thoughts: (1) Why do they give you an appointment time, but not see you until an hour later? (2) Hey, I was here before that lady and her little fur ball with legs. 😀 Then I took a deep breath and said to myself, “STOP TRIPPING & FLOW.” That’s something I learned from my pastor a few years ago during a training for my first missions trip to South Africa.

Proverbs 19:21 says, You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail. It’s always great to set goals and to make plans, but if things don’t go exactly the way you think they should, getting upset isn’t the answer. If you find yourself somewhere unexpected like the Vets office (LOL), try asking God why you’re there. That’s something else I learned from my pastor. It’s a lot less stressful to talk to God than being upset about something you have no control over.

I got a lot done despite my time at the Vet because one of the young ladies offered to keep Scout for FREE so that I could run a few errands. Before she offered, I had decided to postpone my errands until tomorrow because I had to take Scout home first. I’m so glad I kept my pie hole (big mouth) shut about the lady and her fur ball with legs. 😀

Just blogging it out . . .Oh and Happy Monday and it’s BLACK HISTORY MONTH!! 😀