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

 

Being Smart, Uncategorized

Are You a Social Media Superstar?

This photo is a screencap of my Twitter mentions.

I cannot begin to point fingers in this arena because I have played a guilty part in overindulging in social media. For the late-70’s and 80’s babies  our lives have become embedded in smart phones and other devices that keep us synced to our “friends” and “followers.”

Social media is ever-evolving, so we must adjust accordingly. Facebook was originally purposed for college students. NOW, we have our grannies and nieces and nephews online with us. Annoying, right? Since the audience has changed, so should the content! Each social media site also serves a different function and so what we place on one site may not be right for another. I’m partial to Twitter where I can follow individuals who tweet about things that I enjoy… like food, love, Chemistry. (They fit together nicely, no?) Google+ indulges my geeky, giggly side, and Facebook is where I go for the warm fuzzies. That’s just my use, and if I should do any mixing— nah. That can’t happen. However you use your “superstar status” remember that it represents YOU, and you will be jud–critiqued– according to your posts.

Over time, my addictions have waned, and I’ve come to find the fronts of Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ somewhat of an annoyance through no one else’s fault but my own. I doubt many of you would share my sentiments regarding your own behavior (no one likes to self-assess), but at the very least, you can reconsider a few points. Maybe?

  • The more friends you have, the broader the network. Share purposefully. Your network is broader than the couple hundred (or thousand) folks you call friends. The news ticker, subscriptions and sharing options of Facebook now make your influence reach farther than you may want. So make your posts count! People should look forward to reading what you have to say, and not skip over because they know it’s another vague and emotional “life lesson.” You are truly free to post what you want, but remember that it’s not YOUR page. Like it or not, it’s all public. You own nothing but the right to withhold your thoughts which should be exercised liberally. Copy/paste functions and screen caps greatly abound. I’m guilty of using them myself when I see foolish things. (One of you is lucky I didn’t make your silly posts my featured photo.)
  • As far as photos are concerned, LESS IS MORE! My Facebook friends’ list at one point only consisted of family and close friends. Now my friends list has a slew of people I don’t know, plus a handful of folks I strongly dislike. So while two years ago the baby pictures of my children were acceptable because aunties and cousins were enjoying them, they are are now totally inappropriate. And can we just talk about folks who have 100 headshots? Multiple angles. Multiple do’s. Multiple eye colors. Still the same you. I don’t have the heart to tell you that your bountiful photo albums serve as a beacon to predatory daters. I’ve deleted quite a few of my head and body shots and have many more to go. The number of likes I receive has no bearing on my self-esteem as it once did, so there’s no need for me to share 50 gazillion shots of my pretty face and… nevermind. Plus I don’t want someone fishing through my photos to determine if I’m right for their “agenda.” That’s nothing but bad business.
  • Add a little sugar to it! A wise woman (your momma) once  said “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” I agree with this statement 99.999% of the time. Every so often, I need to write something about a controversial matter, but I do so in a positive way. So I put a little sugar on it. With every comment, I respond with a little sugar. You can literally say anything to a person and communicate your point, no matter how controversial if you filter it through love and respect… maybe not for the person, but at least for the Almighty. Sometimes I just type in the Holy Ghost because in and of myself– I just can’t.

The fact of the matter is that social media is a record for you, or against you. Every tweet is recorded and heads to the Library of Congress. Your posts literally are RECORDING history!!! (Can we say primary sources?) Only you can decide how it will be used. If you approach your posts with the mind that EVERYTHING that goes up can be shared, it should bring a pause. Plus your stardom may only exist in your head.

I know this post offends a core group of individuals who feel that any change or derivation from your natural impulses is not being true to oneself. I’m not telling you to NOT be yourself. Be yourself, just smarter.

 

[quote]A wise man once said “It’s better to remain quiet, than type with your thumbs and remove all doubt.” Well, that’s kinda what he said. But you get the point.[/quote]

 

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana

Being Saved, Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

How I Got Over (Him)

[dropcap style=”font-size: 45px; color: #55cfbb;”]T[/dropcap]hose closest to me know the kraziness that has occurred in the past few days. I cannot recount the tales because of the concern I have for one involved party. The other can kick the biggest darn rocks one can find in Central Virginia, and I may offer him some via stoning should God be willing. But many times, in this situation and others, I’ve been asked “How did you get over him?” People seem to think I have this uncanny knack for recovering from bad relationships, and they’re right. I have LOTS of experience getting over these situations… (snickering at myself). When I’m in the trenches, it’s ugly. But once I’m out, that’s it! I’m not going back.

I laugh… With fullness of joy and confidence, I laugh at the enemy and every lie he’s trying to sell you. You cannot imagine the defeat I’ve carried in my soul for years thinking that I was unlovable, unattractive, unworthy to be treated with respect and kindness. Every predator within a five mile radius could smell the stench of my bloody, broken heart. Vicious cycles greatly abounded in my life.

So yes, I “got over” every last him… The ex-hubby him, the him who used my heart to wipe his–, and this last him who may find a few pebbles flying at his head when our paths cross. I’ve shared about forgiveness and grief recovery, but I guess this is the missing link. This post embodies the transition from a place of pain and guilt to a place of rest and promise.

Here’s how my ashes were changed to what I’d like to think is beauty.

 

I submitted to God’s will.

We can want something sooo badly that we totally negate God’s will for our lives. We might even convince ourselves that it is God’s will for a person to be a part of our lives. When your desires supersede God’s will it’s easy to be deceived. This is why we’re dreaming about these menfolk and our possible futures with them as if the Spirit is leading. Be ye careful. These are tactics the enemy uses to create soul ties even when sex hasn’t come into play. Anything you hunger for more than God can and will be used to exploit and harm you. A simple “Your will be done prayer” can change things overnight.

I repented.

It doesn’t matter how badly he treated me, how much he lied, the fact that he cheated, on and on… I did something wrong too. And more often than not my error was making the choice to date the person in the first place. I won’t even dig in to the conversation about red flags. No need to revisit those things in your mind if you’re intent on moving forward. Just repent and get back in a place where you can hear from God. And stay there!

I suffered.

It’s childish to think that after repenting all consequences will be revoked. It just doesn’t work that way. If Christ really is the LORD of your life, then you’ll have to endure some suffering. If He’s not, then you’re likely to go the opposite direction and either sink into sadness and depression or act out your pain with reckless behavior. I chose to endure the suffering and allow Him to prune me so that I could become fruitful again. During these low points I battled with loneliness and horniness. (Was I not supposed to write that? Oop.) But I learned that those feelings come from an empty place that can easily be filled and overcome with worship. Think of the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You’ve done more for lesser men. So why not lift your hands, sing to Him, dance before Him, talk to Him freely? All the intimacy I longed for with him, I found in Christ. Eventually the lack of body became irrelevant. Suffering doesn’t seem so bad… now does it?

I fell in love again.

This is the best part. I feel, even now, as though the Lord is courting me. Some days I just need to feel loved, and whether I ask or not, something significant happens in that day that reaffirms His love for me. And how can I not love Him in return? Just Saturday I felt His presence engulf my being while I was changing a trash bag. I know we fantasize about how great it will be to have a Godly husband, but truly… There is no physical body that can completely surround you and cover you from every angle. Only the Spirit of the Lord can do this. And how can you know the love of another unless you first know God’s love? We’d be much more cautious of the men we chose if we used God’s burning compassion and favor over us as the standard. So, yes, I’m in love with Him. But I’m also in love with me. Not the vanity type of love, but I have confidence and love every part of this bottom-heavy frame with which I’ve been endowed. My Twitter followers know this well as I’ve coined the term #LoveThighSelf.

I closed the doors.

As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool to his folly. You ever wonder why they ALWAYS come back? Dogs can’t help it. Whatever they chew and spit up, they go back to lick it up. Nasty, right? So metaphorically-speaking, don’t continue to be vomit. Now let’s turn the tables, and say… I don’t know… maybe you are the dog, metaphorically-speaking of course. Do you really want to go back to that? Who cares how wealthy he is? How many inches he’s packing? All the stuff he said about getting married and making babies? IT’S ALL VOMIT!!! Here are a few options to help you.

  • Change his name in your phone to something like– oh, I don’t know– Asshole. Serves as a great reminder that he’s NOT who he claimed to be. Don’t delete him, however. You’ll get sucked into a “Who is this?” conversation.
  • Send all emails, calls and texts to Spam if you have Google voice or block them altogether. The last thing you want is a random “I miss you” to jar you in the middle of your workday. Until you can control your emotional response, put controls on your SMS, etc.
  • LISTEN to the spirit. They always come back. You hear me? ALWAYS! ALWAYS! ALWAYS! But God will warn you. And this, in fact, is a blessing. Over time, if you’ve allowed healing to take place, you’ll find that the pull he has on you will become weaker and weaker. God will warn you before he pops up… sometimes weeks in advance and sometimes hours.
  • Whatever you think you’re feeling may or may not be you. I’ve found myself “missing” someone only to realize I really felt them missing me. Women are sensitive to things like this, but be wise enough to know if it’s your emotions talking or his. Either way, a simple prayer of “Lord, redirect him to the nearest hoochie” should solve that problem.

So there it is. The quick-and-dirty of how I got over not just each individual, but the mentality I had which has drawn these piss-poor quality men to me. I now find that folks who’ve wronged me have a hard time looking me in the face or even contacting me. I’m different. I’m not available to be abused. I’m not open to manipulation. The very presence of God in me convicts them of their wrong, and so they’re faced with a choice to remove themselves from my presence or sincerely apologize for having wronged me.

One last point… God doesn’t take it lightly when His children are mistreated. However, until we behave as His children He is unable to defend. Yet in His mercy and lovingkindness, He permits us to be neglected by those who we think should love us. He’s jealous for you! And when you see the entire situation through that lens, you can’t help but thank Him for bringing a bad relationship to an end.

Selah.

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana

Family, Uncategorized, Video Blogs & Podcasts

Out of the Mouths of Babes: Parenting Advice from B&B

[dropcap style=”font-size: 45px; color: #55cfbb;”]I[/dropcap]’d be remissed to not give Brandon & Briana an opportunity to speak on parenthood. I will warn you. I was hoping for profound, thoughtful revelations, but I ended up capturing something that looks more like that popular TV show where kids tell all of what they think they know. Ah, well!

You get the point!

 

 

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for lots of giggles in your near and distant future,

 

Alana