“Consider the lilies of the field. They neither toil nor spin.”
Let me begin by saying Happy Mothers’ Day to all the women who love and nurture their own children, the women who love and nurture others’ children, and to the men who do it all alone. (If you fall into that final category, shoot me an email with a photo of your family, a copy of your divorce papers, the status of your children’s mother’s mental stability, and a 500-word essay describing your walk with the Lord. Thanks.)
You know by now that I have two not-so-little beauties. Brandon has just turned 9. He’s got big brown eyes, loooooooooong legs, and a strong disdain for homework. His pituitary is kicking off. Y’all pray for me. Briana is 7. She has all the confidence in the world, dances and solves math problems with the best of them, cute as a button… She still cuddles with me in the mornings, but demands breakfast after two minutes of giggling.
When I watch them I can see what I didn’t learn as a kid, but God being as gracious as He is, restores what was broken and replaces what was missing. Here’s how B&B’s love has transformed me.
They keep me laughing. Sometimes I just laugh at their laughing and other times they put on a show. Most of the time it’s in simple conversation. Phrases like “eggs are cracking inside mommy’s tummy so she needs lady diapers” will do it every time. Laughter does good like a medicine…
They make sure I look good when we leave the house. If I don’t hear “Oooh, mommy, you look pretty” then I know I need to tighten up somewhere. Brandon is a bit of a matchmaker, and he WILL let me know if I’m slacking. He’s like a son and father and step-daddy seeker rolled into one.
Their ever-increasing bellies have made my budgeting and meal-prepping skills superb. If I couldn’t make a meal stretch before, I surely can do it now. I’ve learned that if all they care to eat for lunch is PB&J or salads, then so it shall be. You want a third snack after eating 3 lamb chops, veggies, cous cous, AND naan bread?! No problem… let me whip out this gargantuan bag of popcorn and a few berries. Eat, my growing child. Eat.
They won’t go to bed until they’ve kissed me goodnight. Even if I’ve just set the fire of God upon their hindparts, my kids will NOT go to bed until they’ve kissed me goodnight. Briana has a pattern… right cheek, left cheek, forehead, chin, nose, lips, hug. If any of those things go out of order or if the hug isn’t tight enough, we start again! What they don’t know is that I go into their rooms while they’re sleeping and sneak kisses. The other night I found Brandon sleeping with a sucker in his mouth…. Boys!
I suppose I’m looking forward to this day. B&B aren’t quite big enough to cook unsupervised, so alas, duty calls. Plus it’s next to impossible to concentrate with the sounds of Good Luck Charlie, noodle slurping, and Storm Trooper helmet noises in my ears.
Enjoy your special day, ladies!
With love, sincerity, and blessings for you and your children,
P.S. I think I speak for many of us when I say miss me with the mass text messages and MMS’s. Thanks.Read More
I’m now 31 years old. I’m divorced, and I’m the main provider and caretaker for my two children affectionately known as B&B. Big B will be 9 (Jesus, take me now!) in just a few weeks, and little B is 7. They are my children. Let me rephrase that…
They are MY children.
(And one more time…)
These children are MINE!
I don’t rely on anyone else to meet their basic needs. I don’t expect anyone else to pour into them or speak into their lives. I don’t allow anyone else to have more influence than me. Because again… they are MINE! (Ok, technically they’re God’s, but He put them on loan to me for their lifetime, and one thing I don’t want to have to answer to Him about on Judgement Day is raising horrible children. But I’ve digressed…)
Many of us have birthed our children out of wedlock, while a handful were married and suffered loss via divorce or passing of a partner. Some of us are married now but have husbands who are away for work, or at home every day but absent mentally. I’ve been through all of this minus the death part, and to be honest… wait… shouldn’t write that. (B&B’s dad is involved by the way, so there’s that disclaimer.)
Whatever your situation, I want you to know that you CAN do it!!! You are NOT as disadvantaged as you think. And your children might be the ones to save your soul.
I’m going to say some seemingly ugly things in just a few moments, but they are TRUTH, and we know truth ain’t always pretty. Digest them one by one. Single dads, these apply to you as well. I want you to walk in your freedom as a parent KNOWING that our Heavenly Father has your needs in mind.
If any person on this earth deserves the best of you, it is your child. In everything you do for them, love them unconditionally and be willing to serve them while teaching them to serve others. If your kids are ornery and difficult, well… I have other posts for that, but parents are well within their rights to mold their children into becoming more pleasant and loving little beings. I had to with mine… *shrugs*
To read more about parenting, just follow this link here: http://www.consideringthelily.com/tag/parenting-advice/
With love, sincerity, and hope for your happy family’s future,
I know the movie is titled How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, but I had to mix it up a little. Plus who can compete with Kate Hudson in that gorgeous yellow gown? I couldn’t get away with that low back, but I suuuuure wouldn’t mind trying it for fun. Ahh well… a girl can dream!
Things have changed a little since this movie came out ten years ago, but alas, I’m here to help. Need to run a sorry joker away? Or maybe you’d like to taunt your boo a little to show him how good he’s really got it. Makes no nevermind to me. I’m just writing this post for giggles. Some of these ideas will work in no time flat, but the more resilient fellas will take these jabs as a challenge and go toe to toe with you for ratchedness’ sake.
So here goes…
#10 Tell him all about your favorite David Tutera episodes– scene by scene by scene.
#9 Ask him for his credit report and medical history after the first ”good morning” text.
#8 Selectively screenshot and post his texts, then publicly call him “thirsty”. (Shout-out to Lamont for sharing this one!)
#7 Ask him to swing you by Victoria’s Secret and buy five pair of the granniest panties you can find.
#6 Beat him mercilessly in Ruzzle.
#5 Gossip online all day everyday, then ask him to tell you his deepest darkest secret.
#4 Serve him a Ramen noodle sammich and a glass of syrupy sweet Grape Kool-Aid.
#3 Force feed him veggie meat or anything outside of his normal diet. For extra giggles, slather it with some Sweet Baby Ray’s.
#2 Send him nudes, but tell him he has to wait 90 days to open the cookie jar.
#1 Ask him to pray that Mellie will die so Olivia and Fitz can stop living in sin. He will, after all, be the priest of your home should you marry.
I might possibly be persuaded to test a few of these tricks out on some unsuspecting males, but with my luck, they’d enjoy the torture and stick around. Maybe your luck is better than mine. Should you choose to test drive my theories, then you MUST share the stories with me.
Or maybe you have a suggestion on how to quickly and painlessly lose a fella. I’m sure the guys could toss in a few ideas of what they HATE as well. Do tell. That’s what the comments are for!
With love, sincerity, and your future,
P.S. Please don’t do more than 2 or 3 of these items to any one person. That’s just ruthless.Read More
I am one of theeeee most distrusting people walking this planet. I question everyone’s motives all the time and can villain-ize an ironing board if need be. I blame my parents for this debilitating characteristic. They didn’t hug me enough as a child. (See?)
Can’t recall what brought this post on, but I’m well aware that I’m not the only person with trust issues. And to be totally honest, I’m really not THAT distrusting. But I do know that there is a reasonable amount of security and comfort in keeping people at a distance. Who wants to open their hearts repeatedly only to be deceived and betrayed again and again? Why not collect dust on a shelf where no one can reach you? Why not hide your gorgeous self behind a bunch of jungle plants? You’re safe there. And so am I.
For certain seasons, a cocoon is fine. God does His best work when we are at our lowest, but now that Spring is coming I really don’t care to be bound up, blocked out, or broken down anymore. I mean… Aren’t you TIRED of the same old conversations with the same old people? Wouldn’t you like a fresh perspective? And new opportunities? Isn’t the air in there getting stale?
Here’s how all of us, admittedly distrusting or not, can learn to trust (and love) again.
Spring is upon us, and I’m ready to enjoy some warm weather outside of my old brick fortress of shame and disappointment. And you, my dear reader, there is somebody waiting for you to enter his or her life. Someone needs a friend, a colleague, a prayer partner, a lover. Someone needs you, and certain things in their lives won’t happen until you arrive.
With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,
I raised a little hype about this post and caused some to believe that my Prince Charming had shown up just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Not. Even. Close.
My bad, ya’ll. All I really said was that I had a great Valentine’s Day planned… never mentioned a word about a significant other. But it’s funny how those who are constantly seeking relationships assumed I might be doing the same. We really do see the world as we are.
So now that those theories have come crashing down, let me explain WHY I’m so excited about a holiday that’s typically only shared between lovers. Simply put, I AM in love…
And I loooooooove Valentine’s Day. I refuse to let any bad memories or perceived lack of a male companion prevent me from enjoying this day. I plan to celebrate in the most shameless and singlest of ways. And should you be in the same boat, you should celebrate too. You do love yourself, right?
Here’s my game plan.
Fiiiiirst, I’m going to bake something chocolatey and delicious. I’ve recently rekindled my love affair with these beauties. They’re something like chocolate souffles with only 200 calories. If I’m feeling extra frisky, I might drop a peppermint patty or raspberry sorbet in the middle of it. If you’re not a chocolate lover like me, then make yourself something yummy and fruity. Do it. And don’t regret it.
Not moved yet? Stick with me.
So theeeen I’m going to light a Yankee Pink Sands candle and take a warm bubble bath. And what’s a relaxing bath without a face mask and some Epsom salt? I plan to soak away all the residue of love lost, bad feelings, disappointment. I may reminisce of the good times, but more than likely, I’ll imagine some possibilities for the future. My bottle of Moroccan Argan body oil will greet my skin when I’m through bathing. Every woman should have a bottle of fragrant oil. Lotions and perfumes just aren’t the same. Get yourself some good quality body oil ASAP.
After every bath or shower I take a long look in the mirror and thank God for what He created. I am fearfully and wonderfully made regardless of what I used to look like pre-B&B. Some days I offer up a shabach praise. But tomorrow, I’m going to be a little less… ummm… holy and enjoy this tune.
Kyle’s gonna sing to me. Maybe I’ll sing to me. But this song will be sang while I’m in the mirror gazing upon the fineness that mine holy Father hath bestowed upon me. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in these 10 romance-free months is that if a fella’s gonna move me out of this blessed place of singleness with God, he’s gonna have to love me more than I love myself and my God. And now that I’ve set a standard for loving myself, I KNOW that the person God has for me will exceed the standard I’ve already set.
I sincerely hope you join my quest of self-embracing, chocolate-eating, and jazz-crooning. But I must warn you. After you do all this, you might need to pop two Tylenol PM and take your butt to bed. Don’t give the devil any room by responding to texts and such after a certain hour… IF you catch my drift.
Whatever you do today, ENJOY IT! There are so many ways to celebrate love. Love yourself today, and from that place you can give your best to the people around you.
Be shameless in your singleness and enjoy Valentine’s Day 2013!
With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,
Women can get into soooo much trouble over one little teeny, tiny dinner and movie date followed by a few weeks of texting and scattered phone calls. We just can’t help it. Our romantic desires go into overdrive whenever someone might be “right.” We try so hard to secure a future with the current suitor and never consider that the initial offer might not be worth accepting.
Now that I’m in my right mind and TOTALLY unattached, I can’t make sense of why I said yes to some when I should’ve said nothing and ran for the hills. More often than not, I’ve said no because of me rather than the other person. I’ve realized that some of what is going on inside of me is reason enough to tell an unsuspecting, well-meaning suitor that a date, at this point in time, is not the best idea.
Here are nine instances when you should just say “no”:
#9 – You’re feeling lonely, bored, and/or hormonal.
Call up your girlfriends when you need some companionship and entertainment, but dating under these conditions will only render you needy and, therefore, prone to emotional abuse. It’s perfectly acceptable (and preferable) to sit your butt at home by yourself from time to time. Loneliness won’t kill you. It does go away, and eventually you’ll learn to value the time you have to yourself.
#8 - You know he’s feeling lonely.
If he only calls at the last minute, you MUST decline. A gentleman who is genuinely interested will make plans in advance because he looks forward to seeing you. Those last minute calls often seem romantic because of their spontaneity, but experience has taught me (and probably you too), that what seemed to be spontaneity really was an afterthought. You don’t have to entertain lonely menfolk. It’s not in your job description as a woman.
#7 - He doesn’t match your non-negotiables.
Being open-minded has its merits, but some qualities are requisite for a healthy relationship. If he doesn’t believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and is God and became flesh that he might die for the remission of our sins, then don’t date him, girl. You can’t afford to make that kind of a compromise. I have a few other non-negotiables, but I can’t tell everything on this here blog.
#6 - He’s involved or has recently become uninvolved.
We ALL know that one guy who texts and calls when his relationship gets a little rocky. NOT responding is the best way to address this issue. Even if he DOES break up with his boo to get with you, his integrity is lacking. His heart is unavailable, so no need trifling with things that bite and burn in the end.
#5 - He previously friend-zoned you.
If he’s ever applied zoning regulations to your interactions and you chose to remain as his friend, then let those regulations stand. Be fahn as you wanna be. Let him look, but don’t you dare let him touch. Men who go back and forth between friend and boo are looking for a toy, not someone to share their hearts with.
#4 - His recent track record with women is pure trash.
It’s ok to ask around about someone, but ask the Holy Spirit first. If you’ve noticed his last few interactions with women have been unsavory, no sense in becoming another notch in his belt. Let that joker do his jig elsewhere.
#3 – He reminds you of an ex.
#2 - You’re suffering heartache in other areas of your life.
I’ve watched my parents divorce, been abandoned by one, watched another make a crazy decision, etc., etc., etc., and all of those things have impacted my perceptions and feelings on relationships. Until you come out of the hurt involved with life’s troubles, it’s best to not become seriously involved with another person without God’s direction. Many of these trials are formative and the person you are going into them may be very different from the person you will become when you’re delivered. Financial difficulties also put a strain on us emotionally. The enemy will any sort of stress to cause you to feel anxious. Once you;re anxious, you’ll begin to feel lonely. Once you’re lonely, you’ll compromise for companionship.
#1 - He works with you.
Don’t mess in your nest. Certain areas of your life should be drama free as much as you have control over it. If you must date him, then be discreet and keep yourself in check at work.
Bottom line is this… if he is SO fine that you can’t decline respectably and reel your emotions in, then he has been sent from the devil himself. (That’s not to say he IS the devil. He might be, so no sense in testing that theory.) God is not the author of confusion, and He will not bring you a companion until you’ve reached a level of maturity and trust in Him.
I have declined a handful of dates, not only because my sabbatical has yet to end, but also because I am more cognizant of the issues that linger in me and discerning of those in others. I’ve turned down some of the smartest, finest, wealthiest menfolk for one or many of the reasons above. I will continue to do so until I’m at a place where I KNOW that I want no man or relationship more than I want my God.
No sense in wasting your time, energy or emotions… if a person’s not right for you, keep the door closed. Let God’s peace keep you.
With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,
I have recurring dreams often. The first time I’ll dream from point A to point B. The next time I’ll dream from point A to point D. Then at some point– maybe days, weeks, months, or years later my dream will finally make it to point Z.
And most times– dreams are strange things, you know– I won’t even recall having fragments of the dream until that dream has come close to the point of resolution.
So imagine my surprise this morning, when I woke up replaying a dream in which statues of foreign gods and goddesses were strewn about my home. I was surrounded by them, and they seemed to be mine. Some were small and unassuming like fine home decorations. Others were tall statues made cast of iron. One in particular had long feathered arms, a round head with a short neck, sharp teeth, and protruding eyes. I thought “Why would I buy something so ugly and violent?” The Lord spoke immediately and said “You didn’t buy it. It was passed down to you.”
I knew that these idols were not only displeasing to God but also detrimental to my spiritual condition.
Then my cousin, a sweet gentle young woman, came to visit and as we talked I found myself putting these things away… in a trash bag to be more exact. And as I tossed demonic heap into the garbage bags, she nodded and smiled in agreement. And that’s the last thing I remember when my alarm went off.
Those who’ve followed my blog long enough know that the Lord just drops Scripture phrases in my mind, and then I’ll go hunt for the reference. Well this is what I heard in my spirit today….
“And I will walk among you, and I will be your God…”
I copied and pasted what I heard into a browser and Leviticus 26:12 popped up as the reference. Nice, right? Or just meh? Yeah, I went for meh. But I know my Lord’s voice so I knew that what He was saying would be found right in that chapter, so up to verse 1 I scrolled.
You shall make for yourselves no idols nor shall you erect a graven image, pillar, or obelisk, nor shall you place any figured stone in your land to which or on which to bow down; for I am the Lord your God.
WELL NOW! Speak, Lord! But for real, Father. There are no graven images, pillars, obelisks, or figured stones in my home. You can come on walk up and through here and I promise you won’t find one! Try me, Lord! It’s not here. There is one massive obelisk just a few miles away from me, but that ain’t mine. And more than likely, Father, my Hindu neighbors have many of the idols I saw in my dream. So why would you give me this dream?
Obviously He wasn’t speaking of my physical home, but my heart. God exposed the generational crap passed down from my ancestors and the trinkets I’ve welcomed on my own. Time for it allll to go!
I can honestly pick out two of the many idols that the Lord revealed… unhealthy food and, uhhh, tweeting. Through some prayer and fasting I’ve found myself less controlled by desires for these things. I believe those were the items I put away in my dream.
CLEAN ME OUT, JESUS!
Surely I’m not the only person who has idols erected in my heart. Perhaps you’ve never considered that the benign and seemingly good (read “tasty”) things you’ve invited into your life can become idols. Here’s how you might identify those things that you exalt above Christ. (Idols can be people, objects, ideas, concepts, thought patterns, etc.)
So how many things just ran through your mind? I’ll give you a moment to reflect. Go ahead and read the list again. I’ll wait.
*twists locks of hair*
Hopefully you heard SOMETHING from the Almighty if you didn’t turn Him off. I’d be remissed to stop writing without telling you HOW to get rid of your idols, so at the risk of writing a super long blog, here goes! (Our freedom is what matters most here!)
Now that I’ve told all my business with half the detail, I’m PRAYING that you too can become free of the images and idols that impress upon your being. You are created in the image and likeness of God. Any person or thing that destroys or alters who you are in Christ must be removed for your salvation’s sake.
With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,