Being Saved, Being Smart, Uncategorized

Disenfranchised 2012

I’ve never been particularly gifted in political sciences and the studies of government, but I can certainly say that Mrs. Ford from Prince George High School did a darn good job making sure I walked away with enough sense to hold my own in simple political discussions.

For example, separation of church and state… PEOPLE GET THIS WRONG ALLLLL THE TIME! The founders of our nation agreed that no church or religious body should control the government. Does this mean that we should not vote according to God’s principles? No! Does this mean the church has no say so? Absolutely not! Does this mean I should stop blogging with my radical Christian values in an effort not to tick you off? Not even close!

I remember a chart in my textbook. It depicted flags of various democratic-ish nations around the world and showed that MOST countries, particularly those in Europe, have multiple political parties. I wondered if those people had a stronger sense of belonging to their nation than those of us who are locked into bipartisanship. I wondered if more people voted in those countries. I wondered if they had a greater sense of pride in what their nation had become over time. Did the young voters in those nations feel marginalized and powerless? Or were there votes heard loud and clear? Who represented them?

I was only 18 when I had these questions. I never sought them out, but I never forgot them either. I voted for the first time that year. Bush Baby vs. Gore… I voted the way my mother told me to vote even though I disagreed strongly with her. I had to repent. Last election, again, I had to repent. These things are never easy.

And here I am, twelve years later, having the same thoughts, the same questions, wondering what the heck to do. Many believers are sitting on the sidelines undecided. Others still have made their choice and argued it down to the ground with nary a consideration of what God would have for us. This hurts my heart.

Let’s look at our options.

On one hand we have this charming, charismatic incredible leader. He’s gifted in many ways, but his policies are far from Biblically-based. He promises to take care of the poor, but with the opposing party in its place with their financial means, I don’t think Mr. President has that much power to make many changes at all. Not to mention he has ties to the leaders of the faith that is most well-known for having rigid, religious government structures. Isn’t that anti-separation-church-and-state? This man is not Moses. He is not our deliverer. I am proud of him, and I love him. I swoon when I see him, but I cannot vote for him.

On the other hand we have a character who is so far out of touch with reality, I can’t imagine how he plans to implement any of his policies. Though this party has SOME Biblical principles in place, others do not demonstrate the heart or love of God. Not to mention, this man is NOT a Christian. I’m not saying I feel a Christian should always be in office (I do think it’s nice), but surely whatever religious convictions, ties, controls he has will affect our nation for good or bad. Again, if you want to see separation of church and state go, put an extremely religious person in office and watch them fill their cabinet with like-minded, surly advisors. We will all be screwed.

I can’t help but think that we’re trapped. I’m reminded of the times when Christ was on earth and the Pharisees and Saducees controlled the government. These two parties had something of a common goal but starkly opposing views. They forced people to abandon their own convictions for the sake of choosing a side for THE PARTY’S benefit. Jesus called them “a brood of vipers.” Are these two parties in our nation not operating the same way? How dare you claim rights to me because of my color? How dare you assume that I’ll owe you my vote with your Christian-ish principles? I am thankful for those who died for my right to vote, but their lives do not supersede the death, life, and resurrection of my Savior. Should the two conflict, I choose Christ.

I have come to five conclusions regarding election 2012.

  • Neither person has the ability to really change the quality of life for Americans. It’s a good thing God is my source.
  • With either person in office, there will be stronger religious influences from faiths opposing Christianity, and thus our Constitution, in place. So unless we activate our voting rights WITH our faith leading our choices, we will lose the very thing  we’re trying to protect. Say goodbye to the Bill of Rights, folks.
  • There is no lesser of two evils, and there is no scapegoat. The first person who comments on this post will be written into my ballot should I choose to go to the polls.
  • Roseanne Barr needs to have a seat. But I thank her for the hearty laugh. You are truly a gifted comedienne.
  • I don’t want to have to repent for choosing the wrong candidate, and since they’re both wrong for me…

I am a Black American Christian female, and I am disenfranchised in 2012. What’s next, America?

 

Photo credit: Creative Commons License Todd Benson via Compfight

Being Single, Being Smart, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

The Right Way to Go Dutch

Last week some time I watched a video where the speaker proposed that women should insist to pay for their own food the first date to test a man’s character. Ultimately, the man’s ego should kick in and he should pay. The speaker then said that if a woman really wanted to make a man want her, she should pay for the first 2 to 3 dates to say “You have to earn the right to pay for my food.”

Interesting, no? While I get his point and subscribe to the general theme of inquiring into a fella’s character, I feel like the tactic suggested is a little too game-y for my personality. Some of you more liberated women might feel comfortable doing this, but I’ll need to find out about his character in other ways. Plus I’m not going back and forth with anybody… Ain’t my cup of tea.

Am I saying I’m unwilling to pay for a date? ABSOLUTELY NOT! But under MY terms. I’m a  little more old school than most women my age. I date for the purposes of finding a potential mate, not so much for fun, but it does have to be fun if I am to continue. And if a fella can’t afford to date me, then he can’t afford to provide for me in marriage. Somebody just called me a gold digger, but it’s the same woman who entertains free-loading men, so ma’am, your opinion doesn’t count here.

So back to going Dutch… let’s look at how this thing could actually work…. or not.

 

“I pay for my order. You pay for yours.”

Between platonic friends, going Dutch is appropriate. But if there’s romantic interest involved, the gentleman pays UNLESS the woman has asked him out (which is another blog in and of itself). If a man wants to spend time with a quality lady then forking over some cash is not too much to ask. He should plan a date within his means (use Groupon & LivingSocial to up the quality) should she agree to go out with him. Why do I think this should happen? Well for one, a man’s money is close to his heart. If he won’t spend money on the her, then he values himself more than the time she’s shared with him. For the fellas– if you plan a date within your means (with her desires in mind, of course) and she is disagreeable, then she’s not a match for you or she’s there for the wrong reason.

This day in age when women are so liberated and men are so— ummm— like women, it might be a good idea to clear the air before you go out. Throw in a little jokey joke… “Oh, I love their grilled Mahi dish? Do I need to bring my own $15.99, or nah?” Fellas, if you believe a woman should pay for herself, then be bad enough to tell her before you go out. Don’t wait until the check arrives.

Might I also add that it doesn’t hurt, ladies, to pick up a portion of the date. After he whips out his Black card for my Mahi dish, I may offer to pay for dessert. Some guys are perfectly content for you to leave the tip. It doesn’t hurt to offer something, but don’t let your offering be misleading. I’m not a liberated woman. You, sir, must pay for my meal.

Split the bill.

The only thing I can imagine more disrespectful than a man asking me to pay for my own meal at the table is his asking me to split the bill evenly. This was on a movie, but I can’t recall the name. The woman ordered a salad, and the man ordered a Porterhouse. He demanded they split the bill 50/50 because it was only “fair”. I would have to put my sweet demeanor away if that ever happened to me. Even if my meal cost more than his, I feel something about it turns me the wrong way though I can’t put my finger on it. A friend of mine once commented that whenever she goes out, she orders according to the amount in her purse. Ladies, until we know a guy’s willing and able to “cover” us, this may be the smart thing to do.

A positive way to split the bill, however,  might involve planning in advance. I’ll pay for dinner, and you pay for the movies. You buy the groceries, and I’ll cook. Or you pay for this movie, and I’ll pay for the next one. A beautiful partnership can develop between two people when this approach is taken. It’s kinda like saying “I’m interested in spending time with you, and I’m perfectly capable and willing to share the cost to build this relationship.” I like this method for splitting the bill, but ONLY after I know a little about his character, and I actually LIKE him.

One out of four.

Ladies, if you’re continuing to see a person and things are blooming, then it’s a good idea to pay for a date every so often. You can either surprise him at the end of a meal, or ask him out after 2 or 3 successful dates. Tell him it’s your treat. Stay within your means and plan something you’ll both enjoy. If you’re a woman inclined to giving too much, then limit yourself on purpose. Mr. Ford was right. Once a fella knows you’re wrapped around his finger, you lose! Might I add, if you’re a great cook, then it might be a good time to show that off a little.

 

If you find dating burdensome financially or otherwise, then you might join me in sitting at home on Friday nights watching Netflix and tweeting til exhaustion sets in. Dating should be an expression of your freedom and maturity as an adult, not an activity that demands others to pass a test to keep moving forward. We all have our preferences, but there’s no sense in gaming and inciting a response when everything you need to know God will reveal.

Our methods for finding a match have become far too convoluted and messy. If we could just look back a few generations when love and marriages stood the test of time and find out WHY they did things a certain way, then we may be better off for it. Be transparent. Be truthful. Be respectful. Be Christlike.

What kind of love story would you want to tell your kids?  Think about that.

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for you future,

 

Alana

Featured photo by Creative Commons License Dan4th Nicholas via Compfight

Being Saved, Fine Oil Initiative, Uncategorized

I’m Not One to Brag, But…

I’ve just come out of what was a very trying and dark season in my life, not because of my own personal choices per se, but because sometimes we have to walk through the valley with the Lord. He takes us to the depths to experience the fullness of Him then brings us out with new giftings. That’s what this year has been for me. A super long sauntering stroll through the valley of shadow of death… Some things I can’t wait to forget!

Funny thing about God, not passing is not an option as long as you continue to move forward. Even what others perceive to be failure (Peter denying Christ) causes us to experience grace when we feel least deserving. The only way to fail is to give up. And how many times did I just wanna lay down and die in the valley? Sweet merciful Father…

But on August 31st the tides turned. I was FINALLY offered a job (though I’m not sure why feet were dragged). That night I went to bed spiritually tired and inquiring of the Lord about what needed to be done next.

That night I dreamed of a gift box. I knew in the box there were 100 different gifts for me inside. I reached in to pull out the first present– a silver apple. I had NO clue what this meant, but I knew that the next day I was to drive to Falls Church, open a bank account, and look for an apartment.

Sure enough the name of the credit union was none other than… What? No Guesses? APPLE!

Not only did I open an account, I was able to get the funds I needed to make the move with NO interest, but my car was also refinanced and monthly payment lowered by $155! I walked OUT of the bank with my debit card in hand and ready to make the move.

That’s just the beginning of the blessings!

As I searched for apartments I realized the places I found online were subpar. I whispered a prayer to the Lord and made two turns (without navigation you understand) and found the rental office to a reasonably priced, homey, apartment complex. My children’s school is within one third of a mile from our home, and they have OUTSTANDING TEACHERS!

Later that week as I searched for movers, I came to a screeching halt to the tune of $1200. I snotted, cried, and prayed. Found a fella who quoted me $800. He sent his two finest young gentleman movers who favored me so much, they didn’t even charge me for the full trip. I paid $600 to move my things from Richmond to Northern Virginia. The next day two of my close girlfriends showed up to help me move the last of my things. Everywhere I turned there was a blessing down to one of them driving the ten-foot truck because I couldn’t! Listen… I know I’m not anointed for driving big vehicles, so I thank God for them!

After I moved, the position that was originally offered to me changed to the position I really wanted. Do you not understand that I stood in the courtyard and shouted after I hung up the phone? B&B did a little shout with me before even asking why I was so thrilled. God is faithful!

Everyone talks about how expensive it is to live up here. The rent is high, BUT what I paid for child care monthly in Richmond, I’m paying for the entire school year in NOVA. A full tank of gas lasts me two weeks, and I can easily fill up where it’s cheap when I take the kids to their dad. Food here is better quality, and surprisingly, much cheaper.

I have NO classes to teach so my work day ends around 2pm, but I stay longer by choice. The kids beg me not to pick them up because they’re having fun with their friends, so I go home and relax… I mean exercise… before cooking dinner, checking homework, ironing clothes, making lunches, the list goes on…

He gave me my life back!!!

Yes, I know I’m bragging. But not on me! ON HIM!!! If I had one thing to shout from a mountain top it would not be that I love Him but that “HE LOVES ME!!” And if He loves me, in all my faults and nastiness, then surely He loves you in yours. Don’t get me wrong… I stand in need of many things, but I trust Him so much more this year than I did last year. Did I mention how good it feels to be free from the limitations and expectations of other people?

I’m not one to brag, but this time I just couldn’t keep it to myself. If you’re willing to walk through the dark places with the Lord, endure hardship, and carry His burdens, the blessings He gives will far outweigh any suffering you’ve endured. Don’t believe me? Then read my posts starting six months ago…

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for you future!

 

Alana

 

 

 

Being Saved, Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Precautionary Dating Tale #5: The Man IN My Dream

I’ve been a bit unsettled the past few days, and the only reason I can think as to why is because I tend to feel the energy and thoughts of those around me. What do you word-loving folks call that? An empath? Meh. It’s not quite the right word, and I’ll tell you why.

I dreamed that a man was in my personal space so much that I could not escape him. He wasn’t abusive, violent, or unkind. He was just very very very present. I couldn’t leave the space in my dream, but I do remember finally sitting on the floor tired from trying to kindly escape him, only to have him sit at my feet. I dream in color, but this particular instance, I saw shades of sepia, black, and gray. I knew this wasn’t the guy for me.

The VERY next day, someone invaded my space over and over again to the point where I became annoyed & exasperated. For the rest of the day, I felt his energy and thoughts. Empath? Kinda. Spooky? Definitely. I didn’t shake the ickiness til Saturday morning.

So the man in my dreams was smart, motivated, well-meaning, successful– had great qualities. He was even handsome. But because I knew he wasn’t for me, none of that mattered. The man I encountered isn’t much different. Had I dreamed something like this two years ago I would’ve thought “Oh Lord, you gave me a dream about him. He must be the one for me!”

Starry-eyed, stupid, and shameless I would’ve begun a relationship with someone with whom I was supposed to avoid. My littered soul would’ve prevented me from seeking out God’s purpose for revealing this man to me. This time, I knew better.

I knew better because God has spoken clearly to me about a few things regarding my future boo that makes several candidates easy to cross off the list. Here’s what I know.

I know that God has chosen a mate for me who will see me as a gift. 

I know the time frame in which I will meet him.

I know he’s not pushy, self-serving, or arrogant.

I know he won’t be sitting at my feet like a lost puppy.

I know he will love God more than he’ll love me.

I know he’s going to be physically attractive to me, and I won’t have to squint my eyes and look at him sideways to want to look at him.

The person IN your dreams is not always the person OF your dreams if the latter even exists. Sometimes God will present us with a person to see if we really want what we’ve asked Him for and if we’re willing to wait on it. I have six months left on my dating sabbatical, so should this person ask me out, it’ll be super easy to say no. It’s just not my time.

But for those of you who are actively dating, courting, seeking, waiting– Ask God specific questions to help you navigate. If you know that your future mate will be a doctor, ain’t no sense getting caught up with the construction worker unless he’s in med school. But surely the construction worker will cross your path and you’ll have to say no to his rippling abs and chiseled arms. And when you know he ain’t the one, it should be (relatively) easy to keep it moving. Don’t stick around to find out why he’s wrong for you. This is how many of us ended up heartbroken in the first place.

 

Dating Precaution #5: Soul issues often cause us to misinterpret what God is trying to reveal. The man IN your dreams and the man OF your dreams may be two different people. They are not to be confused, so seek God before making a move. 

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana

 

Image courtesy of  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Being Saved, Being Single, Fine Oil Initiative, Uncategorized

I Moved for Love

Many proposed that I was being foolish and running from my problems.

Others thought I was being overly ambitious.

A few thought I was pregnant and hiding it.

The truth is that I moved for love.

I started packing in June and for two and a half months my children and I lived on the bare minimum while our nicer things remained in boxes. I had no money some days, and so I sold a few of my belongings to make ends meet. I did this all for love.

I quit my job before I had another. I submitted my 60-day notice before I had a new home. What kind of man would ask a woman to leave what she has to join him in another place with no certainty, no promise, no guarantees? Only trust. I did it anyway for love.

I drove to an interview and was certain the job was mine. Two weeks later– two weeks too late– they offered me a job, but not the one I wanted. He told me to come anyway. He needed to have me there. So I took the job for love.

Twelve hundred dollars was the cost for moving my things. If you don’t give me this money, then I can’t come. Someone came along and charged me six hundred. I paid them for love.

For weeks I was bound by fear wondering if He were telling me the truth. Was He being honest, or manipulative? Could I trust Him? If I moved my life… my children… my belongings… my career… my ministry… would He support me? Or would He leave me? Would He stay to mock me? I fought my fears for love.

I don’t know how many times I’ve said that I would never move for love, but here I am in a new city, my kids in a new school, working the job that I’ve wanted for years (they changed their minds), with plenty of time in the evening to do whatever I choose to do. I choose to spend that time loving Him.

And to be perfectly honest, I did run from some things. Even the animal kingdom knows that when a river dries up, it’s time to move.

And maybe I was being a little ambitious. I hate to be bored.

And, yes, I am pregnant, but not with a baby. With purpose.

And I did the thing I swore I’d never do…. I moved for love for One who is not a man that He should lie, nor a little boy that He should change His mind. He promised it, and He performed it. He spoke it, and He’s making it good.

 

Photo credit: Creative Commons License Atilla Kefeli via Compfight

Being Saved, Uncategorized

I’m a dreamer by nature, but every so often the Lord gives me a picture in my mind’s eye while I’m awake…. a vision so to speak. And last Friday, for a few moments I saw people walking around with large blockheads. Think of those blocks you played with as a toddler, make it one hundred times bigger, set it on your shoulders, and that’s what I saw.

I hadn’t a clue what it meant so I asked the Lord to show me more. He showed me these blockhead-ed folk walking towards doors expecting to go through, only to run smack into the doorposts or get stuck in between. I always think of doors as opportunities, but the blockheads had me baffled.

…Until later that afternoon when in an awkward conversation with someone, I realized that we as Christ-followers have become so conformed to the world’s way of thinking that we are in essence blockheads. Mental blocks, or strongholds, cause us to navigate our lives in an unwieldy manner. Imagine, if you will, how much your physical existence would be impacted if your head were truly shaped that way AND out of proportion with your body. You’d lean to the side as you walked… bump your head into every thing… couldn’t fit into your car. And so, spiritually speaking, strongholds do the same to our inner man. They limit our faith and make it literally impossible for us to reach our fullest potential in Christ. And we have the nerve to think we’re putting God in a box.

No! No! No! WE ARE IN THE BOX!!!

Having my own unique set of strongholds, I’ve found the Lord chipping down my gargantuan oddly b0x-shaped spiritual dome and so opportunities that I’ve never had before have been presented to me. Last year this time, I would’ve missed these blessings. I barely recognized them this year! Thank God for His grace.

In John 11, we’re told a story of a man named Lazarus, Jesus’ homeboy. Long story short, Lazarus died. And Jesus in his seemingly insensitive way didn’t run to Lazarus’s aid. Instead he waited… for four days he waited. See the folks closest to Jesus knew He could heal the worst of sicknesses, cast out the nastiest devils, and even bring a person back from the day within 3 days time. Yet their proverbial box about what the son of God could do still rested on their shoulders. And when Jesus came on the fourth day, they tried to stop Him from making a fool of Himself. They stood around and watched, the whole city you understand, as Jesus cried out to His dead friend “LAZARUS, COME FORTH!”

Can you imagine the shock, the terror and the cries that came from the people as a body they thought had begun to rot came creeping out of the tombs?  A preacher might say Jesus stretched their faith, but I can’t see where anyone actually believed He could do it. So it seems to me that He took them past the point of believing and THEN demonstrated His power. They actually thought He had forsaken them and even questioned His character. Oh, you’ve never done that to God? I have… and quite a bit in this last month.

But I digress…

Any thought process, belief system or fear that says God can’t or won’t do something for you is, in essence, a stronghold. We all have them. And if you think don’t, well your head is bigger and boxier than the rest of ours.

As it was in the days of Lazarus so it is in this day, we believe in God. We trust Him. We walk by faith and live out His Word. To a point. And when we are given new opportunities we race forward to the door expecting a great change, but our big *ahem* heads won’t let us through.

Inasmuch as we refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). (2 Corinthians 10:5)

I’ll leave that scripture there for now and ask you to think about the last time you thought that God can’t or God won’t or that you need something outside of God and His resources to fix a problem…  Those are your strongholds.

We will look at them more closely another time.

 

What blocks are on your shoulders and keeping you outside of new opportunities?

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana

Being Saved, Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Another Sneak Peek of “Late Nights on the Straight & Narrow”

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed my absence lately. I miss tweeting with you all, but I’ve focused my writing efforts on my first book “Late Nights on the Straight & Narrow.” I’m hoping the book will be finished and ready for sale by Sunday!!! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this short snippet, and the previous excerpt that I’ve posted.

Ladies Only: Are You Help Meet Material? 

…But for Adam there was not found a helper meet
(suitable, adapted, and complementary) for him.
Genesis 2:20b

And now the unveiling of the cybermirror of introspection! Look at yourself, woman of God. Are you help meet material? I’m not asking you, my sister, if you’re willing to cook his dinner, clean his undergarments, and contribute fifty bucks to the cable bill. I’m asking if you are strong enough and willing enough to stand face to face with a man of God and assist him in his calling. And are you wise enough to choose the right man who will also help you with yours?

Some macho man somewhere painted a picture of help as one coming behind you and cleaning up what you messed up. That’s not help! That’s a maid. Maids are blessings in their own right, but alas, that is not my calling. Whenever God and Adam met, they talked face to face. When God created Woman, He intended her to be that type of help that would offer wise counsel and comfort. I think of my best girlfriends who are a help to me. We talk with like minds but they bring out the best in me. Whatever I miss, God reveals to them and we both grow in the process. When Adam cried out for help, Woman would come to him, look him in the face, and say “Baby, what do you need? What can I do for you? Help you turn this soil? No problem.”

God designed you to be a strong consolation and gift to someone, but if you haven’t submitted to His plans for education, career, ministry, etc., you can’t help the man to whom you’ve been called. What will you have to offer him besides sex, a hot meal, and a hot ironed shirt? Some of us can’t even do those things.

Fellas Only: Would You Submit to You?

I tweeted once “Women aren’t that complicated.” Needless to say I was retweeted into oblivion and lambasted by men who thought I was insane. I started to backpedal, but by the time other women jumped in, my point was made. We are NOT that complicated.

Any woman who is truly in line with God’s will (and most that aren’t) is willing to submit to a man who meets a certain set of qualifications. And I’m not talking six feet tall, making six figures, with zero children and all that nonsense. I’m talking about a man who loves God and serves Him faithfully, and then, of course, loves the woman he chooses as wife. A woman knows that if a man truly loves her, he will not make a choice that will bring harm or danger to their family. It’s EASY to submit to a man like that. And should he make a wrong choice… well, nobody’s perfect!

Your demonstration of love for your future wife is a seed sown. You will, in turn, reap her respect and willingness to submit to you. So I would also ask you, brother, do you love yourself? Not in the cocky, arrogant way… but do you value who God has created you to be? The Bible teaches that you must love your wife as yourself, and so it follows that if you hate yourself—well, that’s an ugly thought. I’ve lived through a marriage where my husband did not love himself. I began to have suicidal thoughts, but I knew they weren’t from me! If you have room to grow in this area, then please allow your heart to be healed before taking a wife and making more babies.

Take a glance into the cybermirror of introspection and ask yourself the following… Are you a good leader? Are you patient enough to learn about her, or will you assume that you know her, or worse, attempt to make her what you desire? Do you make decisions based on what you think is best, or do you consider the well-being of others? Are you gentle and forgiving? Is your swag sanctified? Tell me about your character and integrity. If your wife-to-be so happened to pick up your phone, would your stomach turn inside out? Do you require a “foretaste of glory divine” before marriage even though she is kept a secret from your family and friends? Unless you live out the right answers, no REAL woman of God will submit to you. Any woman who does is silly and foolish.

[button link=”http://www.consideringthelily.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/An-Excerpt-from-Late-Nights.pdf” type=”icon” newwindow=”yes”] Download PDF[/button]

 

 

I’d love to hear your comments!!! What do you hope to read in this book? Let me know what your concerns are before I finish. 🙂

 

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana

 

Photo credit: Carlos Porto via Compfight

Being Single, Being Smart, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Getting to Know You…via SMS: The Don’ts


Earlier today I shared six appropriate actions for getting to know someone via text. I shall not belabor the intro, so here are the corresponding DON’Ts!!

  1. Text about things like goals, dream, emotions, etc. It’s super easy to say whatever you think a person wants to hear via SMS. Master manipulators will suck you into a heart-wrenching conversation via text and leave you to your emotions. There’s far too much room for romanticism and misinterpretation. Should someone do this to you, redirect the conversation until a more appropriate time.
  2. Bombard them with multiple texts or ask them why they didn’t respond. How needy are you??!! Stop it. If you notice a negative pattern, then more the likely he or she is disinterested and/or playing games. Move on.
  3. Just stop texting. I am bad with this. If a response is dry or remotely arrogant, I tend to let the convo drop. Bad business, I know. But I’m making strides to improve. Won’t you join me? Even if they don’t deserve the courtesy of “ttyl,” I’m a quality person nontheless and so I should offer it.
  4. Respond to anything meaningful with “ok” or “lol” or “that’s what’s up” or any other dry response. Despite what you may think, a lack of interest is discernible via SMS. It’s relatively cold to draw someone into a conversation, entertain them, and then go cold. Where’s your personality? Where’s your heart? If they’re excited, at least feign excitement for the moment. If you’re not interested, just say “ttyl” and nip it in the bud later.
  5. Text recklessly. You can be yourself and show your personality without being irresponsible or downright rude. Put your mobile device away until you can demonstrate maturity.
  6. Break your plans to speak on the phone via text. Call in advance to say you’ll have to reschedule. Show some consideration for the other person’s time! Otherwise you’re making it a point to show that person their interactions with you are limited to just text messaging, and no one likes to be put in the text zone unknowingly.

Let common courtesy be your guide!!!

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana

 

Photo credit: Sippanont Samchai via Compfight

Being Single, Being Smart, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Getting to Know You… via SMS: Six Do’s

I’m not sure why I’m on this social media, mildly techie kick lately but I guess my single self has the time to explore the idiosyncrasies of conversation through several filters.

I loooooves me some text messaging. Talking exhausts me, but a few swypes of my mobile keyboard can get my point across quickly and easily. But with text messaging I’m able to quickly determine whether a person is even worth continued conversation. Let’s face it… I’m a nerd and appropriate (not perfect) grammar and spelling are important to me. Cuz if yhu rite like dizzzzz… I can’t. And an even more importantly, out of the abundance of heart, the finger strokes speak! A person with impure motives won’t stay in hiding for long.

So here are five do’s for those of us who use SMS to play the get-to-know-you game… The don’ts will be shared tomorrow.

Do!!!

  1. Keep the conversation simple. SMS’s are 160 characters for a reason. If you can’t fit what you need to say in that space, then another tool would be more appropriate.
  2. Allow the person time to respond. We have jobs and families and businesses. Afford the person some grace with responding, but take note if they are only available during certain hours. This may be a sign of something “else” going on.
  3. Close the conversation with “Gotta run, but have a great day” or the like. Be gracious and show that you look forward to your next mini-chat.
  4. If answering a question, ask another one in return. For a conversation to take place both parties have to be engaged. Ask questions in return to keep things flowing. Most folks won’t ask your selfish butt five questions in a row as if you’re some demigod and not expect you to show some interest as well. (Could you hear the salt in my commentary there? Yeah.
  5. Syntax is important, but not nearly as important as correct grammar and spelling.There’s no ticking-time bomb going off in your conversation, so make sure auto-correct isn’t making you seem like a complete idiot or pervert. A few misspelled words ain’t so bad, but the there/their/they’re and you’re/your struggles are unreal. Tidy up, please.
  6. Make plans for a phone conversation.  One simple phone conversation might clue you in to the person’s mannerisms and habits. How many times have you heard the familiar Walmart beep in the background and only to hear your buddy berate the cashier for making a simple mistake? Or talked for a solid forty-five minutes only for them to have to suddenly jump off the phone with half a goodbye? Or listen to them order a #10 with a large milkshake and fries and add a few apple pies with two ice cream cones for dessert? Listen! Save yourself months of minimal emotional investment by (randomly) picking up the phone.

 

While the course of getting to know someone may begin with a few SMS’s, it certainly shouldn’t remain there. Over time the depth and nature of conversation should lean more towards phone and face-to-face conversations. If, for some reason, a person is only willing to offer SMS luhv to you, chances are, he or she is emotionally involved elsewhere.

Are you a texter? What do you love about it?

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

Alana

Being Saved, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Knowing Jesus as Savior is one matter, but knowing Him as Lord is a different matter altogether. But why would anyone turn their lives over to God? What if His plans are boring and unappealing? I’ve questioned God’s will for my life for years, not only in content but also context. Will I enjoy it? Will it be fulfilling? Will I be able to use my gifts? Though I don’t know the fullness of my calling, I do have a glimpse. And with certainty, I know that apart from living God’s will, my life will be less than enjoyable.

 

 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what
is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
(Romans 12:2)

 

Our pastors focus heavily on the first portion of this scripture reminding us to read our Word daily for transformation of the mind. So by all means, READ THE WORD! The latter portion of the scripture, however, has suffered abuse and misinterpretation at the hand of theologians. Let’s forget the fallacies and discover the truth!

Paul used three words to describe God’s will for us– GOOD, ACCEPTABLE, AND PERFECT. These are not three different types of wills should we venture off on our own. But it is an answer the heart’s silent question of “Does God really know and care about what I want in life?” And the answer is a resounding “YES!”

  • God’s will for you is good. He has planned pleasurable and enjoyable experiences for your future.  (For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Jeremiah 29:11)
  • God’s will for you is acceptable. You will find yourself saying “I can do this.” His will and purpose for your life will fit some of your natural talents, but also stretch you to learn things that are unfamiliar to you. (Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19)
  • God’s will for you is perfect. Even you can’t mess this thing up when you serve Him in spirit and truth. Seek Him first, and He will guide you, but should you miss the mark, He will redirect. (The steps of a good man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way and He busies Himself with his every step. Psalm 37:23)

And notice Paul said that you may PROVE His will. Now that’s something to shout about!!

You can find my book, Late Nights on the Straight and Narrow, on Tate Publishing’s website.

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana