I hate flies.
They’re filthy, disgusting, annoying, and aggressive. Maybe it’s just where I live, but the flies in the burbs of Richmond will roll up on you, light up a cig, and blow the smoke in your face without thinking twice. And these nasty creatures–I’m not sure why God created them– were gathering at my back door.
Over 30 of these minuscule beasts were pressed against the glass panes buzzing “Give us us free.” They must’ve known I was coming for them because they hid in the blinds and soared around my apartment whenever I approached. And for an hour or so, the children and I took turns until every single fly revisited that window and disappeared into the swirling suction of my lavender vacuum cleaner hose.
Like any person with common sense, I looked for the source of the problem. There were no maggots in the trash can. (Thank goodness!) No gaps in the door. No gaps in the windows. I was at a loss…
…Until last week when I cleaned out the old clothes and toys from my daughter’s room. A foot to the left of her bed on the ceiling is a vent. Directly below the vent on the carpet– dead flies.
Nasty, filthy, stinking flies crept in unaware through an area that I had not considered because it was out of my reach. And because of my ignorance, a small swarm of flith-laden creatures had defiled our living spaces. (I thank God for the makers of Lysol and Clorox Anywhere Spray.)
And the old phrase, incomplete as it may seem, came to me…. “A fly in the ointment.”
Flies are attracted to anything with fragrance. They buzz around looking for the juiciest piece of fruit, hottest piece of chicken, or your finely-fragranced body butter. If we are diligent, we cover our wares and swat the flies away. But if we turn our backs for a moment, they contaminate, and something that was good just moments before ultimately gets tossed into the garbage.
And so it is with us, when we take on the lifestyle of a Christ-follower. We. Smell. Good. And the enemy knows he cannot get us to turn back to our life of sin, so he sends in the flies.
He sends in the annoying, the nit-picky, the continual harassment from people and circumstances. There’s a buzzing of my bank account on low, the texts from the guy who won’t kick rocks like I’ve asked him so many times, the forwarded emails with Tweety bird at the end!!! They all aggravate me to the point where I meditate on the wrong things, leaving my fragrance uncovered. Then the flies settle in making whatever beauty and grace I had completely distasteful and repulsive.
Aggravated. Frustrated. Exhausted.
A few flies have crept in over the past ninety days… By God’s grace I’ve found the sources and closed some of them. I’m cleaning out the remnants of disappointment and bitterness as I type. And I’ve managed to hide myself enough to discourage them from landing anywhere near me and mine. I’m guarding my heart and my mouth to no end.
So the bank account matter… I trust Him. The texts… Google Spam works wonders. The Tweety Bird forwards… Headed to the trash before they even seen my inbox. I’ve closed the vents.
Because what good is it for me to have suffered what I’ve suffered and lost what I’ve lost and gained what I’ve gained all unto God’s glory yet I bear a bad attitude and lack discretion? Why would I allow my precious relationship with Christ to become anything but by allowing small, nagging situations to enter and remain unchecked. We all have those rough days and weeks, but we cannot continually allow these matters to settle in our heart because they take away from the beautiful fragrance that God places on his people.
After all, flies aren’t the only ones attracted to us. So are the lost and the hurting. Who will embrace them if we don’t? And what hurting person ever seeks comfort from one who bears a bad attitude?
With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,
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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.
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.
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???
For shame, for shame… I’ve found myself in the same crappy situation. Lonely and loveless, I’ve given too much, and there’s nothing to show for it but my tears and seething anger. I can’t really decide whether to be angry with him or with myself. Since I’m an introvert I turn my anger inwards and eat too much, then eat too little, work out like a maniac, sleep all day, stir all night. I envy the extroverts who speak up for themselves and beat the fool out of their men. But either way, there’s no rest and no peace because once again, I’ve been scandaLIESed.
Did I misspell that? Of course, but for good reason. Am I speaking of myself? Yeah, but the krazier me…. the one that couldn’t make sense of simple truths about other peoples’ intentions. I am no longer that person.
Too many of us find ourselves trapped by bad decisions. We’re left with the guilt and embarrassment, and often, weightier consequences like unexpected children and infections. (My personal experience is that even unexpected children are a blessing, most infections can be cured with a pill, but the guilt is earth-shaking for YEARS! But the bloood of Jesus is more than enough!! *Gotta get my preach in there a little bit…*)
When I think back to those situations, and there were many for me, I come up with the same answers. Somebody somewhere told a lie… let’s start with the first responsible party. You… Oops, I meant me.
I know I’ve left myself wide open for judgment and criticism, but the truth must be told. Everyone makes mistakes, but women are often left feeling powerless and ashamed after letting down their guard, even when we have the best of intentions. Don’t try to think like a man because you can’t. Think like a woman that has good sense. Give no room to lies whether they be from you or another person because, in the end, you are the only person responsible for your well-being.
Believing the lie empowers the liar. Be bold and confront the liar, even if it’s you, with the truth. The best liars mix deception with a bit of truth to draw you in. Rightly divide, and press on. If all else fails, hang up, delete, and block. No one can argue with silence.
Sisters, it’s time to rip off the scarlet letters that remain from jilted love and lust. There is life beyond the foolishness we’ve encountered, but you have to set the framework in truth and wisdom. No more lies. No more scandals. Open your eyes.
Two final points… not all men do these things, and some do them with good intentions. Just protect yourself from the fella with good intentions that doesn’t know how to follow through. And lastly, some women pull this crap too. I’m just learning how insane some women are, so please be patient with me as I learn to present the full picture.
Now that I’ve poured out, I want to hear from you. Talk to me people. Let me know you’re following…
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“Don’t worry, baby. I know there’s confusion. God’s gonna see us through yeah…”
I love the tune and the soulful crooning of a lovedrunk Badu, but when I break down the lyrics (i.e. overanalyze), I wonder why so many of us women end up on the other side of an ugly game. I know she’s talking about the drug game in the song, but I’m using my blogtistic license here.
It’s an epidemic. Woman meets man. Man turns on game. Woman falls for game. Man reveals that he’s playing and blames woman for falling because she should’ve known better. Woman sticks around dissatisfied, disgruntled, and disillusioned hoping for the impossible. Yeah, I know women run game too, so guys, apply accordingly.
So, ladies & gents, where do we go wrong when we meet a potential love? I could write ten steps to choosing the wrong person to love, which I’m TOTALLY qualified to do… Or I could just let Badu do the talking.
“It ain’t that he don’t have education cuz I was right there at his graduation.”
So, he’s got an education? He gets some respect for that. He works hard? That’s even better! But is he demonstrating what he’s learned at whatever level of education he’s attained? Potential is never good enough. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those educated snobs who only talks to men with the degree qualifications that meet or exceed my own. I tend to find many highly-educated men… well, boring. But nothing’s worse than a flirty brother with poor spelling, poor grammar and a lot to say. We all get those messages on Facebook that are hard to decipher. “You used to look good in high school but now you still do too.” Yeah, that’s in my inbox. I have yet to reply.
“But it’s me and baby that he hurts.”
So he loves you so much that he keeps doing what hurts you and hurts the kids too? Let me guess. He’s either doing it for you or he can’t help it. Badu needs to read “The Doormat People.” She’s an accessory to her own victimization, and the children will only resent her later.
“Because I tell him right, he thinks I’m wrong. But our love is strong.”
Sorry, Badu. Even the good ones don’t want to know when they’re wrong. That’s just the nature of a man. Even my six-year old son has to always be right. If he puts his underwear on backwards, he’ll argue with me even though he can’t find a way to pee straight. But there is a way to let a man know when things are starting to sour… that’s another blog for another day.
“Gave me the life that I came to live.”
What the heck? No, he didn’t. JESUS did that! Get your priorities straight…
“Pressure’s on me, but the seed is grown. I can’t make it on my own.”
A real man will always take the pressure OFF, and he’ll never take your power away by planting seeds of insecurity. God gave man authority, but the woman has power. Wield it wisely, ladies. Never give away what God has given you!
Let’s backtrack to when Erykah first met this fella. At some point she knew that he had some other stuff going on and decided to roll the dice anyway. Why would anyone ignore the obvious signs? Well, loneliness can get the best of us. But one thing is certain; desperation landed our beloved Badu in another bad relationship. (And when I say Badu, I mean krazy me and maybe krazy you too…) Not too long thereafter, she’s telling her boo that he needs to call Tyrone…
So how do we keep ourselves on the other side of the game? If we want love, do we have to play along? I will admit I’ve gone out with people that I didn’t really like for boredom’s sake. One guy (who’s reading from his iPad) posted on Facebook that a certain woman (me) was making him rethink his game. Just that admission has disqualified him from having a chance at spending anymore time with me. (Angry text ensuing…)
I’ve discovered a few tactics to maintaining a “game-free” life. So here goes. If you meet someone and think you might be interested…
With all of that said, there is hope for those us want the real thing. There’s no need to settle for a silly player and then ask God to bless our mess. Eventually Badu had to put Tyrone out, but only after suffering more damage than any person should sustain.
I won’t say that my transition to this point was quick or even easy. I won’t even say that where I am now is all that much fun. It’s been a while since I’ve been on a date that I’ve truly enjoyed. But what I can say is that I’m not lonely, and I enjoy possessing my soul. And when the time comes for my future husband to enter my life, I will be ready because I kept myself on the other side of very dirty and damaging game.
For those of you struggling, my heart goes out to you… Here’s some encouragement from a more positive and empowering song.