Being Single, Dating & Relationships, The Best Of CTheLily, Uncategorized

Dying, He Saved Me

[retweet][/retweet] [stumble][/stumble] [digg][/digg]

[facebook][/facebook]

I don’t think it’s strange that the anniversary of my first blog post is on Good Friday, the day they crucified Your son. I was so discouraged this time last year and needed an outlet. For some reason Good Friday has always been full of sorrow and grief in my personal life. But, Lord, to write this… to tell THIS story almost seems You’re asking too much.

 

I don’t understand it, but I will obey. Because when I consider where I was two years ago today and four years ago today, I can’t help but thank You for keeping me.

 

Four years ago April 6, I made the choice to end my marriage. I knew things weren’t right. I wasn’t even emotional about it because I’d done so much crying before. Divorce was the only option because I didn’t want hate him. Even now, I know I made the right choice, but the journey from that place to where I am now has been…

 

Indescribable… but I will obey.

 

Two years ago, another promised that he loved me. I didn’t believe him. He was one of those guys that just played games. He wanted to do right, but his arrogance and jacked up experiences with women wouldn’t let him. Yet he pressed and pushed his way into my soul. And because I was lonely, I let him.

 

I remember going to church and hoping that the pastor would preach something profound and powerful enough to keep me from dating this guy again. We’d been at it before. I didn’t want to go back down that path, but I was still entangled. And that damned loneliness…

 

His tall and statuesque frame intrigued me. Straight lust… might as well call it what it is. His face… ehhh. Not particularly my type of guy, but all the other ladies loved him. So surely I should be glad he wanted me. By the world’s standards he was a good man, but something just wasn’t right for me.

 

Lord, I didn’t know my worth. I couldn’t comprehend that Your love for me exceeded what he could ever offer. He made me feel good. I can understand how David felt with Bathsheba. I think all of us have chosen someone or something over You at some point. The fact that I had grown so much, yet I still turned my back on You frightens me. I could mess up again… but I trust Your grace to cover me.

 

That night… he didn’t call. We’d made plans. He asked me to move with him. I’d said no, but he insisted that I must love him. He insisted that he loved me. I could’ve made it work with him. I certainly wouldn’t have had any concern for money. Do you remember my prayer that morning? I asked if he were the one for me. And if not, then show me.

 

You told me to get dressed. And I did. I got in the car and drove. You led me to drive and…

 

There it was.

 

His bright blue, tricked-out Chevy Malibu. At a hotel. I couldn’t have missed it if I tried.

 

I had a choice. To take the Jasmine Sullivan route, or to be patient and wait for answers. Either way it would be crazy. But I knew I had to stay. Because this would be the LAST time he’d force his way into my life. He needed to see that I was done. I prayed that whatever woman he was with had already left because I couldn’t handle a two against one battle. I was already weak.

 

So I called… cleverly left a message that I was headed to the gym which was conveniently located right next to the hotel where he’d lodged. And like roaches scatter in the light, he came scurrying out.

 

He saw my frustration. Saw my pain. Dropped his head. He refused to respond to my questions. Instead of listening to those raging voices in my head, I drove away.

 

I died that day. I was crucified by my own choices. My soul was cast down. I could not hope in You because I had turned my back on You.

 

And, Lord, I couldn’t hear You, feel You, discern You. My faith took a fatal blow and my spirit man had been all but torn asunder. Satan’s minion had taken his sharpest sword and nearly sliced my soul in two. His demons tormented me and consulted me to plunge from my bedroom window to the ground below.

 

I searched for You. You were there, but I couldn’t find you.

 

And, therein lies the problem with sin. I didn’t consider that when I got up from the bed of sin that Your presence had departed from my life. It didn’t occur to me that my faith had been so damaged that I wouldn’t be able to approach Your throne.

 

I watched the window for a good 20 minutes, even looked down. Lord, it must’ve been you that said “It won’t do the job.” I’d just end up with a broken bone or two… definitely not comparable to the death I felt inside. So I got back in the car and drove…

 

It was Sunday and usually I wouldn’t miss church, but the night before I had been tormented. Even more so now…

 

I was consumed with grief, self-hate, anger. You led me there, and Your people consoled me. They loved me and dried my tears. Oh, God! I remember how so many ran to my rescue. Some said it would be ok…I knew that wasn’t true. Lord, I knew that if I didn’t get this right in my life, I’d be condemned to hell here on earth and in the afterlife. Yet, I was thankful for their kindness and consolation.

 

I made it back home in pieces and rested. I did not eat for days. I read my Bible and listened to one song over and over. My soul, God, was thirsty for You. I could only fight to regain my peace in hopes that my faith would be restored. I needed to be in Your presence.

 

Your Word came. It was heavy and hard to receive. It discouraged me emotionally, but my spirit cleaved to it. Anyone who knows You understands that a rebuke from the Lord is like a feast compared to never hearing Your word at all. Just the fact that You spoke… I thank You.

 

How unsightly I must have been… to have known You and chosen something lesser that only intended to destroy me.

I’m sorry. 

To have given myself to someone so undeserving. He didn’t even know You.

I’m sorry.

To presume that he could offer me a portion of what Your presence provides.

I’m sorry.

 

But looking back, Lord. I understand now that the rebuke you sent gave me a choice. The scripture says that You will not put on us more than we can bear. But I had put this on myself, and it was certainly more than I could carry. You gave me a choice, at that point, to face my brokenness and transform my own suffering into Your suffering. One would work a brighter future for me, while the other would render me helpless and hopeless.

 

…For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

 

I chose Your suffering. Because if I suffer with You, I’ll reign with You. That’s Your promise, and You’ve never lied.

 

And, so today, Good Friday, April 6, 2012, I can confidently say that I stood against each of his three advances since that time. I can say that I’m no longer on life support, but I’m living and loving. I can say that 2011 was the last year that April 6 would destroy me because I’ve discovered Your resurrection power. No longer am I entangled or even enticed by these lusts… My heart belongs to You.

 

I cannot imagine surviving this life without You. So many, Lord, are heart-broken and tormented daily. They cannot hear Your voice. And, it is my prayer that as I share my shame, someone who identifies with my pain will turn to You because You are surely there with them. Some have stories much worse than my own, and some feel there is no forgiveness for what they’ve done. I pray that they would come to know the truth!

 

With great joy and victory, I thank You! No longer am I heartbroken, sad, or lonely. You’ve filled my heart with promises, and my faith and peace in You grow everyday. I ask, Lord, that You do the same for my brothers and sisters, and for those who don’t yet know You.

 

Let this story, as unpleasant as it may be, bring glory to Your name because You are faithful…. You saved me. Thank You!

 

In Jesus’ name,

 

Amen

 

Being Saved, Dating & Relationships, Family, Uncategorized

The Art of Submission: What You Won’t Do

[retweet][/retweet] [stumble][/stumble] [digg][/digg]

[facebook][/facebook]

 

I grew up thinking men were the only people to ever do wrong in a relationship. By the time I was 25, I was fully convinced that men were incapable of loving a woman the way that a woman loved a man. I thought that men only felt a little something, maybe admiration, but nothing substantial or lasting.  I thought that those who were married were destined to cheat, leave or stay and cause unhappiness. I thought the only men who did right by their wives were those who were weak or motivated  by fear.

What a cock-eyed way to view the world… But don’t judge me. You’ve got some cock-eyed ways too. Nevertheless I can’t help you get the spot out of your eye with the beam in my own.

But that was my experience. My experience now isn’t totally different, but I definitely don’t think this of menfolk any longer.

After developing some genuine friendships with good men, I’ve come to learn that women also do HORRIBLE things to the men that love them. These stories, in some ways, were more shocking to me than the usual “girl-he-cheated-and-had-a-baby-by-another-woman” story. So at this point, I feel compelled to write to the ladies regarding what a submissive woman won’t do to her husband, or any man that she cares about.

Before I begin the customary list (if it ain’t broke…), I will say this. As women we have overcome tremendous challenges, and many of us are doing great things. We’re making six figures, running corporations, caring for babies, building businesses and ministries… We. Do. It. All. So as empowered as we are, why can’t we say and do as we please? Well, you want to keep your man, don’t you? Don’t you want him to be happy with the relationship? Or would you run him to the arms of another?

I know you answered “no” to that last question, because you’re still reading. These, ladies, are the things we must stop doing to our men… with a little anecdotal evidence of course.

  1. Harboring unforgiveness and anger in your heart. We are all guilty of this in some way. Any time two lives are shared with any degree of intimacy, feelings will become hurt. But just he as makes mistakes, you will make them also. An old wise man once said “Keep a short account with God and man. Quickly repent. Quickly forgive.” Holding on to unforgiveness will cause you to become bitter and resentful, and anger will eventually be displayed through one of the following actions and sickness in your body. Forgiveness TRULY is not about letting the other person off the hook. It is about keeping your eyes on the cross and allowing God to move you forward regardless of their actions. Forgiving is not easy, but it is simple. It starts by making a choice. I shall blog about this more at another time.
  2. Talking down to him. Even if a brotha needs a rebuke or to be tightened up a little there’s a way to do. Never attack his masculinity or refer to him as a child to make your point. You might address character flaws, but let a man have his pride. If you take that away, he is bound to get it elsewhere. And if you know the devil like I do, he’s already got the right one lined up to step in… If you’ve got a sharp tongue, ask the Lord to bridle it and deal with your heart issues. Over time you will be able to speak the truth in love. Until that happens, it’s best you keep quiet.
  3. Doing the opposite of what you’ve agreed to do. I’ve been on the business end of this, and it’s no fun. If we agree that we won’t visit the homes of our single friends without each other, then don’t do it. Your story as to why you thought I’d be ok with it is irrelevant. Every relationship has boundaries. Boundaries are good, healthy, beneficial. If you and your boo have agreed to do (or not do) certain things then ABIDE by it! If you’re calculating what you can get away with or predetermining what the “punishment” will be, then you’re immature and are unlikely to maintain a healthy marriage. A double-minded woman is unstable in all her ways. .
  4. Being selfish and ungrateful. I’ll admit. This is common among women. We’re programmed with the “take-care-of-me” gene and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if we love the man, and not what he has, then we must live within the means provided. A quick fix for ungratefulness is thankfulness. When my children start to complain, I have to shift their thinking. As we go through our day I ask them to think about the things they’re thankful for and yell them out. So wherever they are… grocery store, park, car, at home… they’re forced to think through a different filter. And there’s power in the spoken word. When you hear yourself say what you’re thankful for, a heart change begins to take place. So start saying “thank you” to the Lord aloud, and then to your husband. ‘Thank you” is truly something you can’t say too often.
  5. Denying him. I don’t understand why married women are still doing this. Unless he’s abusive, cheating, or degrading to you, it’s your duty to pop that… let me chill. If you’re smart about it, you can win an unwieldy man with your womanly charms. If he has a tendency to look at other women, then show him WHY his eyes should only be on you. Outside of sex, I think it’s important that a woman also meets the other needs of a man. For example, if he needs an ego stroke… “Oh, sweetie, your arms are so strong. Teehee!”… then DO IT!!! Get over yourself, and do it!! If he needs a hot meal, don’t hand the man a sandwich. You’ll quickly drive him home to mama for a meal and to the computer for a quick sexual fix. And while we’re on the topic of sex, BE FAITHFUL!!
  6. Talking bad about him to others. We all need to vent, but daaaannngggg! Some of ya’ll are telling so much I’m contemplating whether I ever want to get married again. Some of the stuff that happens in relationships needs to stay there. Other things you may want to discuss with a close friend, but be sure it’s someone who won’t judge you or tell your business. But I was bad about this, and I’ve learned. And the scriptures tell us that the power of life and death is in the tongue.  A wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands. You shall have what you say.
  7. Usurping his authority. We’ve all heard the sermon. God took woman out of man’s side to be his equal. But the concept of submission is that one must come under the other so that order can be established. You, woman, have been appointed the submittee… There is no shame in this role when you realize that you had to be equal to (or in some cases above) to be placed under him. So know who you are, and recognize who he is. Taking away your husband’s authority is the worst thing you can do to your family. Love, honor, and obey. Don’t talk about him or argue with him in front of the children. If he’s wrong (and they can be wrong about a lot of things), address it privately. Your children won’t remember the one time daddy made a mistake, but they will remember that you called him on it and added a few nasty names to it as well. Yikes… how often we forget to be kind to those closest to us. By the way… your pastor is not the priest of your home. Your mister is…

 

I sincerely hope the menfolk feel vindicated at this point. I don’t think one would argue that they are proud of our accomplishments, yet many wish their wives would come home and be just that. One more submission post may be in me, but we shall see. I have so much to share! And I pray you enjoyed reading…

 

If this post has incited you in any way, please comment below or send me and email for more personal items. Also… if I haven’t asked enough… please join my email list or subscribe to the RSS feed. I’d hate for you to miss any of the good stuff I’m going to write. And… oh…it’s juicy!

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for the future,

 

Alana

 

Photo Credit:

By Richard ‘Tenspeed’ Heaven

Dating & Relationships, Family, Uncategorized

The Art of Submission: Anecdotal Evidence

Last Sunday, I left you hanging…

On purpose.

I know it’s a cold thing to do, but there was a method behind my apparent madness. The teacher in me wanted you to draw your own conclusions before I placed further ideas into your head. It is my sincere hope that you, my cyber sister friend, have considered my last few points regarding your relationship. I hope that you’ve asked yourself if your significant other is really loving you the way God intended, if he is handling business as the leader of your home, and if he is one to whom you can submit.

So many “good, Christian girls” marry in hopes to actually be able to submit to a man of God only to realize he’s not half a man and has even less of God. And so we don’t know what to do because we think that in order to please God we must please our unplease-able husbands. But I laugh at the enemy… There is a solution to your problem.
At the risk of bearing too much of my past, I’d like to revisit my previous points and support them with anecdotal evidence, some of my own and some of someone else’s.
  1. He’s your husband, not God.  Yes, we must honor, love, and obey, but there must always be a place that you preserve for you and your God alone. Elevating anyone, children included, above the place of the Almighty will open you to heartache and disappointment. I remember being torn between my relationship with God and my relationship with my ex-husband. It seemed I couldn’t maintain my walk with Christ as long as I was trying to please the other. I would imagine Adam felt the same ambivalence when he watched his beloved taste the forbidden fruit. Imagine what he must have thought in that moment. She knows this is wrong. She knows this will separate her from God. So will it separate her from me too? But I LOVE her. Icannot live without her… But God loved me first, and I love Him! God or Woman? Woman or God? So he ate the fruit. He chose Woman over God, and as a result all of mankind fell. What if Adam had not eaten the fruit? Would God have allowed him to redeem the woman he loved so much keeping our heritage in Eden intact?Could God redeem your spouse as a response to your faithfulness to Him?Absolutely! Could things fall into place should you decide to focus solely on the other person? It’s possible, but not likely. I wish you well either way.
  2. If he doesn’t demonstrate Christ-like love for you, be careful about submitting. It could cost you more than you’re willing, or even able, to pay. The Bible says that a man must love his wife as he loves himself. So if he hates himself……………. Oh ok. A self-loathing person is bitter, self-destructive, angry, manipulative, and unforgiving. If these devices are demonstrated in your husband’s interactions with you, do what you can to keep order in the home, but anything that is detrimental to you and the family or feels out of sorts, you MUST stand your ground. I’ve known women who had unfaithful spouses that felt obligated to sleep with their husbands. Don’t lay yourself down under a man that you know (or even with legitimate reason, think) is being unfaithful to you. Don’t leave bills unpaid that could affect you in the long run because he’s “got it under control.” Do what you know is right to do when it’s time to do it. You’ll have pay later. I had to pay later when I could’ve stepped up and handled things when I knew he wouldn’t.
  3. If his life is out of order, he cannot be your head. Don’t allow someone who lacks self-control to control you.Two big points here… It seems this would be common sense, but how many of us chase behind brothers who lack any restraint in their personal lives? The purpose of a relationship is to build something. You cannot build with a person who chases thrills, emotional highs, or any other high for that matter… Strangely enough, folks who lack self-control attempt to control everything around them. Don’t be that kind of victim.I wish a brotha would ask to see my grocery store receipt to calculate my drivetime home. I have a Chemistry degree, and I know how to use it.
  4. Submission is mutual. He needs to submit to you as well. I laugh when I hear stories of young grooms demanding their brides to do as they say because the bride must submit. Submission,in its finest form, is mutual. He should think enough of you to discuss matters before making a decision. I can’t think of one woman in her right mind who wants to be the man and take full responsibility for a family, but I also can’t think of one who wants all the decisions made for her without consideration for her needs. The pendulum swings both ways, folks… both ways. Menfolk would do well to allow us to take the lead from time to time.
  5. If he is not submitted to God and your pastor, don’t expect him to submit to you. The strongest, wisest, most prosperous men on this planet answer to someone somewhere. If your boo-bah-dee-boo-boo claims to love God but won’t submit to a pastor, don’t expect him to submit to you. The concept of respecting authority eludes some people. So not only do these misguided fellas lose jobs and underperform at work, but they also fail to walkin the proper authority as the man, husband, and father. Men at their best when they are accountable to other men.
  6. You don’t have to agree or even take his advice for yourself. I looooove to wear make-up. Love love love! I don’t wear a lot, nor do I wear anything crazy, but I do like to highlight my features. Well, when I wasmarried it was strongly suggested that I stop wearing make-up. In fact, it became a source of tension between us, particularly if I was going out to the store without him though he neeever wanted to go along. That’s another matter altogether. But the tension remained until I made it clear that I wasn’t going to stop wearing it. Before long, he’d just stare at me while I put it on… in awe of my beauty of course. He learned to respect something small that mattered to me. See– *pulls out church lady glasses*—folks have the tendency to project their own insecurities on others. There is no need for me to feel unattractive because you have an issue. If I love you, make-up won’t make me cheat. If I don’t love you, nothing short of God’s hand will stop me. Ladies, you can comply if you so choose, but make sure you choose to do so for the right reasons.
  7. If he’s not pleased with you now, then he won’t be pleased with you after you do everything he claims he wants you to do. That’s not your issue…it’s his! Bigger boobs, longer hair, more/less make-up never changed an unfaithful heart. Ladies, some things we just cannot compete with. Some things we should not have to compete with. If he truly loves you, then he will learn over time to keep his eyes only for you. Don’t expect this to be an overnight process, but cover yourself in prayer as you fight the battle against insecurity and low self-esteem. But in the meantime, you don’t have to do,wear, or behave as some fantasy woman who has no emotion or need. You don’t have to bare it all like women on television. We don’t have to be overly outspoken to be heard, or wearing a nappy fro to be appropriately Black. (Oh gosh… did I type that? Yeah, I did. Team relaxer, baby!)  But let me qualify this… Some of us DO need to lose weight. Some of us DO need to grow our hair out. Some of us DO need to find out what it means to be feminine. Some of us DO need to learn how to cook and clean a house.
I think I’ve picked enough on the fellas, don’t you agree? I mean all the good menfolk are screeeeaming at me wondering why I’m talking about these bad dudes when there are bad women out there too. Don’t worry… that’s the next topic. So I’ll see you same time next week?? *raises eyebrows looking for your agreeable smile* I look forward to it.
I look forward to reading your comments. As always please tweet, post, share, email, SUBSCRIBE! Let me know you’re out there! I’ve made it to the other side of the planet a few times now, so send me a cyberwave if you please! Until next time…
With love, sincerity, and hope for the future, 
Alana
Photo Credit: By SidewaysSarah on Flickr
Being Saved, Dating & Relationships, Family, Uncategorized

The Art of Submission: Serving Two Masters

This entry is for the married ladies and those in serious relationships. For several reasons, I’ve neglected to write about my experience as a married woman. The Bible says a poor man’s wisdom is despised, so I thought no one would want to hear how you should or shouldn’t interact with your husband from a woman who doesn’t have one anymore. There’s no shame on my end, but certainly, people have said they didn’t want my opinion because I failed at it. 


But where I may have a void in your eyes, I’ve got a wealth of experience and understanding in my own. So take it or leave it… just read it, and decide later. 🙂


Life, for me, is better on this side. And some of you ladies are married to a man with the same or similar *ahem* demeanor as my ex-husband. You need to know how to handle him whether you choose to stay with him or not.


I’ve spent some time in my singleness wondering how this love thing is supposed to go. After applying the truth to my failed experience(s), this is what I believe.

A man and woman meet and become friends. Their friendship grows and neither person expects more from the other than they ought. They’re simply getting to know each other. Because they like what they find in each other, they decide to enter an exclusive romantic relationship where they can grow together with the future possibility of being one. As the couple becomes more committed to one another, the intimacy between them increases. They protect the relationship by never allowing the intimacy to exceed the level of commitment. In doing so, the man expresses his sincere, heartfelt, “I’ll die for you” type of love for the woman in constructive ways. Once she knows his love is real, she learns how to demonstrate her love for him. The couple marries, and the woman, as her expression of love to the man, willingly submits to him. She knows she is safe, that he won’t harm her, that he will always protect her because he has already demonstrated this WITHOUT marital benefits. So if he did it then, surely he will do it now. Woman says “I can trust this man, so I will love him and submit to him.”



Hindsight is 20/20. And you’se married nah….


Looking back to your courtship may help identify where things didn’t go quite the right way, but doesn’t tell you how to fix the situation you’re already in nor does it tell you how to change the future. You’ve exchanged those til-death-do-us-part’s and you meant them. But you may often feel that submitting to him just doesn’t feel right. You know you’re supposed to let him lead, but his leadership abilities may be in question. But first, let’s chat about what submission looks like.


Or better yet, what it doesn’t. Submission is not doing everything he says, being everything he wants you to be, giving when he demands that you give, and taking whatever he demands you take. It is not compliance, nor does it force one to become a doormat. You are an adult women with your own sensibilities, personality, and goals. Submission simply means you support his mission for building a life for your family. In submitting to your mate, you gladly defer to him and support him as the leader and protector of your home. 


At the risk of writing a blog that’s entirely too long, I will make the following statements and allow you to dissect them for yourself. 

  1. He’s your husband, not God.
  2. If he doesn’t demonstrate Christlike love for you, be careful about submitting. It could cost you more than you’re willing, or even able, to pay.
  3. If his life is out of order, he cannot be your head. Don’t allow someone who lacks self-control to control you.
  4. Submission is mutual. He needs to submit to you as well.
  5. If he is not submitted to God and your pastor, don’t expect him to submit to you.
  6. You don’t have to agree or even take his advice for yourself. (I’ve got a story for this, but I’ll save it.)
  7. If he’s not pleased with you now, then he won’t be pleased with you after you do everything he claims he wants you to do. That’s not your issue… it’s his! Bigger boobs, longer hair, more/less make-up never changed an unfaithful heart.
Final thought!

Churchfolk tend to get submission wrong. Don’t mind them… It’s what mama’nem were taught by some passa generations ago. Passa couldn’t read, so he had to take his passa’s word for it. But now it’s time to get these things in order. 

Submission is not the laying down of your life. It is an attitude of gratitude, a natural response, to one who has already laid down His, and his, life for you….

Selah.

And with that, I wish you all a happy Sunday. Please post, share, tweet, retweet, and email if this has helped you! I look forward to reading your comments below! Take some time to fish through my previous posts as well… I’m as nutty as I am serious. 

Happy Sunday to you all!


With love, sincerity, and hope for the future,


Alana 

Photo Credit:
Being Single, Being Smart, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

How to Break-Up and Stay that Way
Some of us are in bad relationships. If this is you, check out  “Entangled” & “He’s a Good Man, but…” before you read how to break up. Those posts may help you sort your emotions. Others of us have made our way out of bad relationships only to be seduced into flirtations and manipulations after the commitment is long gone. This blog is especially for m— you.

This may be the only time I call myself an expert, but yeah… I am THE break-up expert from both ends of the spectrum. And from my experience, I have learned a single overarching truth.

They always come back.

Always, always, always, always! Even if you were dogged and dragged through the mud, they will come back ready to take you for another ride. But, here’s how you can break up the right way and minimize the foolishness:

  1. Make up your mind before you open your mouth. Emotions need to be dealt with apart from the other person. Seek counsel and comfort from those who love you. Cry, snot, sob, and yell until you get it out. After you’ve dealt with your feelings, make an objective decision. Sharing your feelings with the break-upee before you really know how you feel will open the door for emotional games.
  2. Your decision is NEVER contingent on what the other person will or won’t do. Ultimatums are a no-go. You don’t need anybody to change for you. If you’ve been in a relationship long enough to see that a person isn’t interested in growing together then you have more than enough data stacked against a possible “happily ever after”. If you try to stay to make the person change, they will resent you and you will still be unsatisfied. Make a choice based on what you can or cannot tolerate, not on what they might or might not do.
  3. Tell the truth and shame the devil. This is hard for me. While I am honest, I do not like confrontation. Partake in a confidence-boosting activity (prayer, hardcore rap, push-ups, etc.) before sitting down to have the talk. But when you do have the talk, be direct and clear on your decision. The reasons are less important to express unless the other person asks for them. In that case, I give my personal heartfelt opinion of what didn’t work for me while NEVER passing judgment on them. My way is not the right way, so I just highlight that compatibility is lacking.
  4. Don’t promise to be friends. Not only is this often impossible, it’s just downright dumb. If you’ve slept together, hurt each other, betrayed trust, etc., you can’t be friends. Don’t waste your breath. Let life take its natural course so healing can begin in both of you. You may cross paths again, and at that point in time, you may decide a friendship is appropriate. If you can be friends because you kept your intentions clean, then make the genuine effort to maintain the friendship. Kudos to you for doing things the best way!
  5. Ignore any texts/calls/emails until you are OVER it. You can’t get over the disappointment if the person’s constantly in your thoughts. After you’ve been hurt, your first duty is to forgive so you can heal. People who continually nag and pick at you are predatory in nature. Block them if you must. They other party is responsible for handling his or her own emotions at this point.
  6. Not responding is often the best option. Sounds a lot like the last, but here I am over a year after a (minimal) break-up and receiving surprise texts. I’ve even received a few FB inbox messages and one text from an unknown number. While I’ve responded kindly to some and ignored others, there’s really no need to respond. It’s alright to be mean when it comes to saving your soul. Plus, is it really mean when you know their intentions are wrong?
I write all this in hopes that my loves find their way out of misery and emotional torment and into a safe and secure relationship where you are free to give and receive love as God intended. Never believe the lie that no one will love you or that only one person is right for you. There are many people on this planet with which you are compatible. Think enough of yourself so those options can be presented.
With that said, I hope I don’t have to use my advice again, but if I should, I’ll be less krazy than I was when I didn’t know these things.
I wish you all the best. If you enjoyed this blog, please share, text, email, re-tweet, and post it EVERYWHERE you can! I need more readers! 🙂 I’m also eager to read your comments.
With love, sincerity, and hope for the future,
Alana
Attribution Photo by by EliJerma
Being Single, Dating & Relationships, For the Brothers, Uncategorized

A Woman Would Rather Be Single than to Date…


You.


Yep. I said it. This might hurt a little, but I’ll offer you a cyberhug when you’re through reading.


I see so many good-looking, single, well-paid brothers living the same type of life year after year. Some of you want to get married soon, but you’ve yet to find a good woman that will take you seriously. You keep meeting the same super needy, whiny, self-deprecating, manic-depressive nutcase with a cute face, small waist and booty that almost makes you forget her aforementioned flaws… until, of course, she opens her mouth.


That specimen is far cry from a good woman, and the only reason you’ve attracted her is because there are little tidbits in you that keep the good ones away. 


I hate to tell you this, but good women– we turn our heads away when we see you coming. You’re handsome, intelligent, well-dressed, have some promise of a great future, a good man… but there’s that one little nagging thing you do that screams “Stay away from me. I’m just going to play with your emotions.”


Don’t believe me? I invite you to take a look into the cybermirror of introspection. Go somewhere private and grab a tissue… 

  1. You have unrealistic expectations. There is NO SUCH THING as a party girl that dresses to show off her 36-24-46, cooks and cleans like your momma, pays all her bills on time, makes your toes pop three times a week, AND serves the Lord faithfully on Sunday mornings but let’s you stay home to watch TV. If you want that party girl, then go get one, but if you want a wife you’ve got to look a little deeper than her Facebook photos.
  2. You have feminine energy. Nah, dog… don’t skip past this one just because you’re not effeminate. Feminine energy is something TOTALLY different. If you’ve ever found yourself saying “I just want a woman to take care of me, chase me, sweat me, make ME happy” that’s feminine energy. A man is supposed to cover, protect, and care for the woman, not the other way around. Yes, there are some things we tend to as women, but those things are benefits of committed relationships… not dinner and a movie. And to be totally honest, it’s downright girly of you… Man up.
  3. Everything is about sex! Are we really still doing this? Fellas, you’re in your 30’s now. There is no need to EVER say “I’ll have you addicted to me.” That’s the fastest way to lose a good woman. We don’t care to be addicted to anything, and if it’s soooo good (*rolls eyes*) shouldn’t you have someone already? Oh wait… you still have that crazy chick calling and texting you everyday that’s two days away from busting out your car windows. No thanks! If a woman tells you that you can’t have her cookies, but you know you want some cookies, don’t try to change her mind. Get your cookies elsewhere and lose our numbers on the way.
  4. Your interest is feigned, and/or you’re inconsistent. I really think this comes from insecurity issues. Bless your broken heart, brother. But don’t lead a woman on just for your ego’s sake. A good woman will quickly forget the inconsistent caller. 
  5. BIG OL’ EGO! Tiny little huevos. If you find yourself crafting your words very carefully, chances are you’re afraid of rejection. You don’t want to make a woman say “yes”, but you don’t want to hear a “Heck-no-negro-get-out-my-face” either. Understood. We all hate rejection. But sometimes you all get a little too goofy. If you don’t have the confidence to ask a question directly, then don’t ask until you do.    
  6. You are bossy, critical, or judgmental. Do you want a woman like that? No?! But you just said I should go out more, take more pictures, wear my hair up, paint my living room red, not buy my kids those toys but pay extra on my credit card instead, AND eat a salad for dinner. Stop it. If a woman doesn’t interest you, it’s not her responsibility to change for you. Accept her, or choose to part ways. 
  7. And here’s the big one…. YOU LACK DISCRETION!!! Many of you are starting to want a wife which is so beautiful and precious. So when you ask a woman out on a date, do it privately. And when you ask another woman out on a date that same week, do it privately. These activities are NOT for social networking sites because said women seeeeee them! We are not blind. We are not going to take you seriously if you click “like” on every half-naked woman’s photo (the FB ticker tells all) and subtweet another woman about how wonderful last night’s conversation was. We can tell the difference between the comments that are just for fun and those that are real.  And most of you have realized that checking in on FourSquare while on a date is a BIG no-no.
Now ease yourself out of that cybermirror of introspection and inquire within… Would you have a relationship with a woman who participated in all this foolishness? I’ll wait… because one person said “It wouldn’t bother me… She can do whatever she wants.” You, sir, should not be dating anybody.

I wish you all well. There will be wonderful love stories in Spring 2012 from at least a few of you, so choose wisely, protect the love you foster, and leave the aforementioned foolishness behind.

I’m hoping and praying for your best!



With love, sincerity and hope for the future,

Alana
Being Saved, Being Single, Dating & Relationships, For the Brothers, Uncategorized

Letter to the One that Got Away

It ain’t you, so just read the blog and don’t worry. LOL!

(Truth be told, he’ll never see this unless I send it to him.)

Dear Sir, 

I remember the first time we met. You were charming, and somewhat handsome… I was quite taken by your inner swag though I could’ve passed on your sense of style. No one, and I mean NO ONE, should’ve been wearing their hats two sizes too big. But just the same, you were very smart and very much a gentleman, and what woman isn’t drawn to confidence?


I don’t recall what we did on our first or second dates. If I did I probably still wouldn’t write about it. Those days…sheesh! (My readers are judgmental. Don’t mind them. Thank God for the blood of Jesus!) We had so much in common… both having passion for faith, family, and business. You were much further along in life than I was. We attended different colleges, so that drive up and down 64 was a killer. You had a good family background which was rare, and I held you in such high regard. We never made a relationship of it, and part of that is my fault… but it would’ve helped tremendously if you made it clear how you truly felt about me in a timely manner.


I remember sitting beside you on your sofa. We had just finished dinner. I rubbed your chest (always a sucker for a big chest), and you told me about your future goals. I thought for a bit that I could be happy settling down with you, but there was always something nagging at me. Most of the time you were gentle and kind, but sprinkled in were moments of insensitivity, almost to the point of cruelty.


In short, you reminded me of my father.


I remember the last time we went out. Another guy that was competing for my attention called while you and I were together. You urged me to answer the phone, so I did. You must have thought I was going to end it with him and choose you. 


Honestly, between the two of you he was better looking. And between the two of you, he was funnier. And between the two of you, I knew how he felt about me. But one thing you both had in common… You both were jerks! LOL… But I didn’t end it with him that night. I didn’t end it with him until four years ago. So that night, you left in a fit of rage which surprised me to NO END! And by no end, I mean I regretted that night for YEARS! But I eventually let go… Well, you got away.


No one should ever find out a person’s true feelings that way. Things could’ve been different. 


But I’m so glad they aren’t.


You are married.. happily… finally. Your wife is gorgeous. Honestly, if you didn’t have all that swag there’s no way you could’ve gotten her. I hope you keep her. I can’t imagine any other woman putting up with your biting sarcasm. For the year you two were separated, I pray our conversations helped you realize how blessed you are. Your children are beautiful and smart. Your business goals will come to pass.


I had fun seeing you from time to time… just friends checking in. Whenever we walked into a place, people treated us like we were made to be together. It was the strangest thing… But God kept us from doing anything shameful. I’m grateful.


The fact of the matter is I love you like a brother. I don’t miss you, and I don’t wish we had stayed together. I just wanted you to know that I appreciated you.


You see, some men today don’t respect a woman’s choice. Despite the fact that you were the better man, you walked away with your dignity and left me with mine. I learned a lot about a man’s heart that night all of which I had forgotten until a few moments ago.


You love just as hard as we do. You hurt just as much as we do. 


And if… for some reason… any unforeseeable reason at all… I mean it’s very unlikely… but just in case the ish don’t work out between you and your wife….




You need to find somebody else! Because when I let go, it’s for good…




“Platonically” loving you from a distance,


Alana

 

Photo Credit:

Harry Rowed. National Film Board of Canada. Photothèque. Library and Archives Canada, PA-112824 /

 




Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Dating Site “Whoa’s”

…what I really mean is woes, but to be totally honest, I’m shocked at the foolishness!!

Yeah, I joined one… even paid some money. (It’s not one of those big, commercial sites that advertises on television. Don’t ask because I won’t tell.) Apparently those sites have few men of color on them, and since I prefer color, I decided to go elsewhere.

Why did I do it? Sheer, freakin’ boredom! I guess I felt like I wanted to talk to someone instead of going to bed at the moment. So on the advice of a close family member, I input my credit card number (should’ve used hers) and started browsing right away.

Here’s what I found…

  1. Gross misspellings of names that are being passed off as creativity…. If you’re from Houston and you want to express that, then the proper name would be HoustonBred not HoustonBread.
  2. Sexual references in names…. I thought this was a CHRISTIAN site. Yeah, I’m sure Christians love handling lots of chocolate and 69’s as much as everyone else, but should we advertise that? Ewww… You’re not the man you claim to be.
  3. Old and gold… Any person from a metro area knows exactly what I mean! My preferences are set for gentlemen between 27 and 40. Dude, you’re 50 with a gold tooth messaging me daily and responding angrily because I haven’t expressed interest in you. Go back and read my profile again… thanks! (Perhaps I should include a “no gold teeth” clause.)
  4. Then there’s the ever-present income question. Yes, it’s important, but should it be public knowledge? Not in my opinion… And, sir, if you only make $25k-$35k, you should NOT be comfortable publishing that. And Mr. Big Money… you’re just asking for a gold digger by posting your six figures. Then again, maybe that’s what you want.
  5. The PICTURES! In the words of a good girlfriend, OH MY! LOL… Bathroom mirror shots don’t bother me so much… but the pics with the mess and clutter in the background? And the ones with a former significantchopped off? And the flexing photo sans muscle? And then there’s the fella who’s boldly cheesing in the camera laying on his stomach with his hands under his chin and his feet cocked up in the air like a teenage girl… Sir, are you sure it’s a lady you’re looking for?
  6. The ego bruise… I have to admit that it kinda ticks me off when an ugly fella views my profile (yes, I can see the viewers), and he then DOESN’T send me a flirt. Dude, who do you think you are? I am fine! You should be honored to flirt with me! But then I realize he may think I’m too good-looking for him in which case he’s probably right. Then, I’m not so bothered. (Don’t take me seriously… just joking here!)
  7. After a week, you’ve exhausted all the profiles. Seriously, there are very few people on this site. Folks have viewed and re-viewed my profile, and I have done likewise. You start looking at their pics sideways saying things like “Well I guess his eyes aren’t tooooo far apart…”
  8. And my BIGGEST qualm… You mean I can’t cancel? What if i meet the right guy and get married? The only account settings I have control what’s sent to my email. As far as cancelling goes, there’s no 1-800 number. No “deactivate account” button. Nothing… guess I’ll be cutting up my credit card at the end of the month and requesting a new one.
Sorry for the silliness… but I had to let it out. Perhaps there’s a silver lining in this cloud even if it’s nothing more than wisdom gained.
Love ya lots… and off to bed I go.
With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,
Alana
Photo credit: 
Attribution
 Some rights reserved by Don Hankins
Being Single, Being Smart, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

The past week, I’ve been dreaming like crazy. More often than not, my dreams have significant meanings… usually something I must pray for or against, as needed. But a few slipped past my prayer radar, and I mistook them as the aftermath of eating way too late at night. At the risk of opening a window for you to peek into my soul, I will share one with you… hopefully to your benefit.

So I walked into one of my favorite lunch spots thinking I’d order my usual. I didn’t even bother to look at the menu when I confidently announced that I wanted Japanese Pan Noodles with Shrimp and extra veggies. The cashier looked at me with a scowl and said “We don’t serve that anymore. Our whole menu has changed.” Naturally, I considered leaving the restaurant, but since I was hungry and I believed in the quality of food the place served, I decided to at least look over the new menu. NOTHING seemed to be the same. I consider myself to be an adventurous eater, but most of the items on the list seemed… well, out of my tastes or bland. The cashier glared at me and said, “Well… are you gonna try something new?”



For YEARS I’ve been eating from the same menu. I love a big, juicy beefsteak kinda guy with bulky muscles, high testosterone, and a ego that stretches to the sky. Typically I prefer brown to dark-skinned fellas, but I wouldn’t pass up a cutie with a lighter hue. Before long, I realized one thing. No matter how different they seem to be, the guys I chose were all the same.


The conversations were the same. They spent hours talking about themselves in the most shallow contexts… parties, favorite models and celebrities, and high school sporting events.


The silly games were the same. They would pursue me tirelessly, and despite my reservations, I’d give in… Then of course, their interest waned.


The results were the same. I could accurately predict the next move a fella would make. I knew when the confession of love would come, and the imminent disappearing act. 


They really were all the same!


That’s not to say that all men are the same. I would never make such a heartless and foolish generalization. I am saying, however, that my lack of self-worth and fear of being alone rendered me a repeat offender in bad date selection.


And doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result is called… say it with me… INSANITY!



So, really who’s to blame? Those cocky fellas whose egos are still in tact, OR me? Put your hands down! That was a rhetorical question… Don’t be so quick to exonerate them. 🙂


I’m not going to delve into the steps needed to change your tastes because I don’t have them. What I do know is that there is another type of man out there that is confident, humble, and faithful at heart…. That’s the type of guy that will earn my affections. As it stands today, my tastes have changed enough for me to recognize that these men come in different packages. Unless I’m totally repulsed by that package, why not give someone who’s honorable an hour or two of my time simply to discover?


One more thing… all the dating books say that we should write a list of the qualities we want in a mate. I totally agree with that, but I’m going to “one up” the books. The list should be a living document. Revisit and edit it every so often. I’m a fairly quiet person, and after a date with a guy who talked for 3 hours straight, I prefer to be with someone who’s a little less chatty (read “insecure”). When I do, I plan to organize those qualities into two different categories: non-negotiable and negotiable.


The non-negotiable things have little to do with my appetite for a muscle-y man, but EVERYTHING to do with his character. I must be with a man that loves and hears from God. His belief system must be similar to my own… That, for me, is non-negotiable.


Now that I’m a little older and much wiser (I have the gray hairs to prove it), I don’t feel so drawn to the man with JERK written across his t-shirt. I’ve set myself free to enjoy some new, more satisfying personalities. This is the area in which my appetite needs some changing. But like I said before… this journey has only begun. 


So sorry… no satisfying written conclusion here, but maybe a reader or two will have a story to share?? But in the meantime….


Are you going to try something new??? 




Your cybersister,


Alana

Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Entangled: The Reason You Can’t Let Go

 

Notice that in the title I used the word can’t… not won’t…. because one literally lacks the power to break free.

Let me paint a picture for you.

Imagine a beautiful, colorful butterfly floating freely in a meadow. It dances across the tops of lilies and violets fulfilling its purpose in life without any care or concern in the world, but one… the search of love. In its course of duty the butterfly crosses the path of a dark, mysterious spider who weaves a silken web of words and deeds to win the butterfly’s heart. Butterfly, naive as it may be, is still cautious of getting too close to the spider… after all flies get trapped with those things. Not beautiful butterflies! Nonetheless, butterfly is intrigued by spider’s enticing and glistening web. What’s more is that spider has eight arms with which to hold our floating friend…. and many eyes to see the need in butterfly’s longing soul.

Spider entices butterfly to lean in for a kiss, and weakened by the words and gentle caresses of our savvy antagonist, butterfly finds itself trapped in spider’s web. For a while, it seems nice to have another close by… But as spider closes the space between them, butterfly finds itself even more stuck in spider’s web. Butterfly enjoys the feeling of security. I mean, who wants to fly freely when you can be so deeply and passionately loved and appreciated? Relishing the feeling of being wanted, butterfly spreads its wings to embrace spider and finds itself completely and overwhelmingly entangled… 

Butterfly croons “This must be love.”



Notice in the tale above there are no “he’s” or “she’s”. I realize that most of us will associate butterfly with a female, but I’m just using it to illustrate the well-meaning, but weak character who longs for love and will settle. Guys, if it makes you feel better, you can be a dragonfly.

Spider, well… you get that! Spider is the charmer that reels you, tells you all the things you want to hear, and gets you trapped! What’s more is that a spider will leave you stuck in the web, build a web elsewhere, trap some other well-meaning insects, then come back to feast on your self-esteem when it’s hungry.

So are you a trapped member of the lepidoptera phylum? (Nerd speak… sorry.) This entry is for those entangled and unable to let go of someone who only creates hurt and shame. Am I speaking of romantic love? Possibly… but I feel that entanglements can happen in ANY relationship. At the moment, I can say that I have female friends with which I’ve become far too entangled in their affairs of life. Instead of being a support system, I’ve become the source of life… They suck me dry!

But romantic relationships are, by far, the trickiest. How can you tell whether there’s real love in place versus an unhealthy attachment of souls? Let’s go back to our characters and study their habits.

  1. It feels like it’s meant to be even when everything goes wrong. It can feels so good to be attached that we nurture the feeling instead of the relationship. Butterfly and spider have a natural and powerful connection in nature, but theirs is a predator-prey relationship… not a partnership. Discern your purpose in spider’s life. It’s never to get caught in the web.
  2. You think spider’s trapped in the web too, but you realize he/she is much more adept at handling sticky situations than you are. Remember that spider weaved the web. While you may think he or she is as in deep in love as you are, take note to how easily they side step when you need them. I knew a guy who would tell me a thousand times over the phone and text that he loved me, but would NEVER say it to my face. Talk about a side-stepping somebody…
  3. Spider won’t leave you alone… for long. I asked this same person to leave me alone SEVERAL times. For months I didn’t contact him or respond to any of his advances. He persisted all the more. I gave in for a short time, then quickly came to my senses. When I told him where he could go with all his crap, he sent me back a polite “No.” LOL… Took some time but I think he’s gotten trapped in his own web. What matters most is that I’m not in it with him!
  4. You think of them, and they contact you. You can feel the stringy web start to vibrate your wings as spider stealthily approaches the web. ]You can literally feel the person thinking about you. Your soul knows it, and your body knows it.  Usually these kinds of connections come from sexual contact, but if you’ve ever made a promise to “love forever” you’ve opened yourself to that soul tie. Then, at times, that still small  voice may warn you to prepare yourself… because that still small voice knows that you’re entangled.
  5. You start weaving a web of your own. Quite possibly the most convincing evidence anyone may have of entanglement is that you become like your predator. You learn their tricks and start trapping a few empty souls of your own to feast upon. Natural animal response, right? But you’re not an animal. God has equipped you with a conscience and sensibilities. Your broken heart does not permit you to break others’…
  6. You miss your floating freedom, but you don’t want to let go. A true loving relationship won’t stifle your inner peace and freedom. I remember sitting beside a guy and watching a movie and thinking “I wish we would just end this.” I felt so boxed-in, but not because of anything he did in particular. We had just moved too fast (and this was without sex), and I felt forced to keep up the charade. When we did part ways, it was UGLY! But at least I’m free… at least I think I am. (I really am pondering this…)

I doubt that anyone who’s read this can honestly say they’re free from ANY entanglements. Naturally, some are good, but we must relieve ourselves of relationships that leave us empty and unsatisfied. Some of us are entangled in more than one web which truly explains why we have no inner peace or confidence.

 

I didn’t write all of this just to leave you dazed in your circumstances… but the first step to freedom is acknowledging that you are, indeed, entangled, and not in love. Love gives, not takes away.

 

So how do we become free? Well… I need more time to think about that. Until then, let’s all investigate those closest to us and figure out who’s got the wrong kinds of strings attached to our wings.

 

 

Love you all… and with that, I bid you goodnight.

 

 

 

Your cybersister,

 

 

Alana

 

 

P.S. Special thanks to my Jiminy Cricket who gave me an idea of the butterfly and spider relationship…