I Already Have A Crown

I was having a conversation with someone recently and they said I was a queen and needed a crown. In true Tiffani fashion I said (because I do), “I already have a crown.”

You have to know who you are.

I learned this more than anything last year when my identity was challenged in all areas of my life – my views, my ways, who I was and where I came from. I remember people saying “no you’re not” after I had explained who I was.

It’s easy to believe what people say about you if don’t know who you are.

It’s also easy to get trapped in a bad situation when you haven’t fleshed out your values and don’t know your worth.

Don’t let someone else determine your worth. Know it for yourself. So if someone comes along and doesn’t know your worth, they stand out like a puff coat on hot day.

Knowledge of self is so important when determining who could be a potential life partner. While no one is perfect, there are people out there with good qualities who still aren’t a good fit. Knowing you means knowing what works for you and what doesn’t.

Stay strong during this love season. Don’t feel pressured to move in the wrong direction just to have someone on the day.

Choose you. Decide what want, become that, and hopefully it’ll come your way soon.

Until then….dust off your crown! Put it back on and don’t let anyone define you. You define you. Be your best self and watch God’s blessings overflow in your life!

Happy Waiting!

The One

There was a point in time when my confidence was really low. I may have looked pulled together on the outside but I was constantly scoring myself against the other women in the room – how they looked, what they said, how they carried themselves…and I never measured up.

So, I prayed for confidence.

Initially, I didn’t know how else to get it – but over time I learned that accepting myself and loving myself the way God made me, helped my confidence to grow.

Now, I affirm myself everyday. I don’t wait for someone to tell me I’m beautiful, I tell myself.

I also take care of myself – I eat right, exercise and try (really hard) to lead a good life.

When people talk about The One, they’re usually talking about finding (or being found by) that special person they’ll spend their lives with. But in this case, I want you to shift your idea of who The One is from a significant other to You!

You’re The One! You are The One you’ve been waiting for! You’re The One who can change everything in your life! You can decide to be (and pray for) more confidence, you can choose to take risks – to learn, to grow – it’s all on you! And guess what? You don’t have to do it alone!

You have Someone who is ready, willing, and actively trying to lead and guide you.

So, before you look outside of yourself for love and validation, look inward and then, most importantly, look up! Not only are you The One, God is THE ONE!

Abide in Him and He’ll comfort you. He’ll make you brand new! He’ll bring you the desires of your heart.

God can (and will) change EVERYTHING if you let Him. He can make you a better YOU! Let God transform you. If He did it for me, He’ll do it for you too!

Happy Waiting!

Cherished

A couple of years ago around this time I met a guy – a really nice guy. He was kind and caring, considerate and attentive – just an all around good person.

One day in particular, after we got off the phone, I rested in my thoughts for a minute thinking, ‘what is this feeling?’. After mulling over it for a few moments I realized what it was.

Cherish(ed) – verb

To protect and care for (someone) lovingly.

Synonyms: adore, hold dear, love, care very much for, feel great affection for, dote on, be devoted to, revere, esteem, admire, appreciate. – Dictionary.com

I felt cherished.

It was a feeling I hadn’t felt in a very long time. It was through dating him that I learned what it meant to be treated really…..really well.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’d dated other guys in the past who had a host of good qualities but this was the first time I was cared for in this way. He didn’t objectify me which was important especially since I was waiting. He listened and was patient with me. He truly cared for me and showed it through his words and his actions.

That standard of care changed the game for me.

Years ago a friend of mine was talking about her now husband. After dating him for a while and then getting engaged she said something like, “I can’t believe I let myself be treated so badly for so long”.

Oftentimes people treat you the way you allow them to, or people treat you the way you treat you.

With that said, if you don’t step your you game up no one else will.

Some years back I had to have a very necessary talk with a family member about what I would and would not allow. How I would and would not be spoken to. And while it took a lot of courage to have this conversation, I haven’t been treated that way by that person, since.

While talking to a friend recently she said, “there’s the gold standard of care – treat people how you want to be treated. And there’s the platinum standard of care – treat people how they want to be treated.”

Love languages fit here – And treating people how they want to be treated fits here because everyone experiences love in different ways. Share how you want to be loved and as long as it’s not hurtful, love others the way they want to be loved.

Everyone deserves to be cherished. You deserve to be cherished but you have to start with cherishing yourself first.

So get real with yourself. Do you want to be doted on or discarded? Loved or loathed? Criticized or cherished?

You get to decide.

And once you decide, make sure you treat yourself that way. It all starts with you.

Happy Waiting.

Don’t Rush

While taking an Uber home from the airport over the summer, I was getting a little impatient. I had just gotten off of a 10 hour flight and was ready to eat and get in bed.

While riding in my Uber, I noticed the driver stayed in a lane where traffic wasn’t moving. I asked if he could get over into a lane that was moving. He did and eventually moved to the fast lane.

There were a few close calls. He had driven so close to the car in front of us I was sure we were going to crash.

Luckily, seeing that he was getting a little too close, he apologized, self corrected and kept a better distance.

Then, about 10 minutes later, while sitting in the back seat on the right side of the car, I looked up and saw a Penske truck attempting to merge (crash) into us.

With a median to the left of us, there was no where else to go and at that moment, the Penske truck side swiped us.

We got off of the highway and the drivers exchanged numbers. I called another Uber, it arrived and I got in. As I adjusted to my new ride, all I was thinking was, ‘wow, I was in a rush to get home and we could’ve died.’

One thing is for sure, as soon as I got in the 2nd Uber, I told the Uber driver to go slow. I was shaken up and didn’t need any more close calls.

Over the last 7 days God has been speaking to me about dating and relationships. He’s been reminding me through devotionals, sermons and people to go slow.

Today my pastor said sometimes those of us who are single, and have been for some time, rush to the next step in a relationship. As a 30-something year old, I get it. If you’ve been waiting years to find or meet the one it can be difficult to wait additional months or even years.

But, there is growth, revelation, and strength in waiting. God reveals things over time and getting to know your future spouse is very important.

So don’t rush. Take your time. God’s timing is perfect.

In the meantime, work on becoming what you want to attract. Redefine who you are and wait for God to bring you the man or woman of your dreams.

Happy Waiting.

Where There’s Smoke…

Thank God for the smoke.

When I look back on my dating life there was a lot of smoke I ignored. I might as well have been fanning the flames. Even when things caught on fire, I still looked the other way.

Oftentimes red flags come early. Flags don’t have to be serious things. Red flags are any reasonable thing that you know won’t work for you.

While at a singles event a few months ago, we were asked to tell someone our non-negotiables. I heard everything from liars to cheaters to kids. Yes kids. That was mine…

Now there are others but that was the first thing that came to mind. You have to decide what your non-negotiables are and stop negotiating.

As we get older it becomes easier to relax our expectations just to be with someone. But what if relaxing your expectations puts you in bad company or situations you can’t reverse…

A wise woman once said “take your time, do it right.” I’m not talking about sex, I’m talking about choosing. You’ve waited this long (I think I’m ministering to myself) and now you have the opportunity to make a good choice. Don’t throw it all away.

Pay attention to the flags. It’ll save you lots of time and heartache.

Happy Waiting!

Prepare

I want to be mentally, physically, and spiritually prepared for what God has for me. I can’t do that in a week or two weeks, a few months or even a year. It takes years and years of preparation.

Yesterday while at church my pastor told us the sermon was going to be about parenting. My first thought was ‘I should’ve stayed home’. I’m not a parent yet and didn’t feel like I needed the information.

Then, I thought about this blog post. I actually started writing it in January and decided to finish it today – mostly because my pastor’s sermon triggered something in me.

So, instead of tuning out the message, I sat up and took notes. One day it’ll be applicable and in the meantime, I’ll have a better idea of what I want my future family life to be like.

I view this time – my time as a single person – as time spent preparing for what’s next. I’d hate to get to the next level and find myself totally unprepared. So I’ll let God do His thing and get out of the way.

Now, preparation isn’t always pretty. It can come with lots of waiting and uncertainty. It can also involve discomfort but wouldn’t you agree it’s worth it? Think about the job, the degree, or the athletic event you prepared for. Didn’t it feel good to show up as your best self? To know you put in work ahead of time?

One thing is for sure, if something doesn’t go well or turn into something long term, I’d hate for the reason to be a lack of preparation on my part. So, I’ll keep learning, growing and stretching until that time comes. Knowing God, they’ll be more stretching, growing and learning after that. I hope you’ll come long for the ride! I’m sure God has some work He’s trying to do in you – let Him – so you can show up fully prepared and better than ever!

Happy Waiting!

Why I Took a 6 Month Break From Dating

While dating someone last year I fasted and prayed about the relationship that was developing. In many ways he seemed like the perfect guy but I didn’t feel peace in my spirit about it even though I really wanted to.

So I fasted.

One day while on my way into church, during the fast, I said to myself, ” I don’t know how to date.” I’ve never been the kind of girl who dates multiple guys. One guy at a time is more than enough for me. I’d much rather be with one guy and in a relationship. Dating sucks.

While in the bathroom at church I heard a woman crying. I asked if I could give her a hug and we talked a bit. She told me about her husband and how he had passed away years ago. She also told me about someone she had started dating recently and that she realized she didn’t know how to date. She literally said, “I don’t know how to date”.

I was shocked.

That was the SAME thing I said to myself as I walked into church. While sharing that I thought something similar walking into church she said “God told me to buy these books, I think I’m supposed to give one to you.”

The following Sunday, we met at church and she gave me the book. As I sat in church waiting for the service to start I began reading. Three to four pages in it said to commit to a six month break from dating to focus on myself and my relationship with God.

I wanted to throw the book out of the window. What?! 6 months?! Why? How Jesus? Again – I had taken a 3 month break the year before. The book also had different activities at the end of each chapter.

While I was reluctant at first, I did it. I took a 6 month break and here’s what I learned.

1. Make Room

I’m really good at staying busy. I was an opportunity addict. Something would come across my email and I’d apply even if I knew I was already overwhelmed. I was filling the time just in case there was nothing in the future to fill the time. So my yes’ started to become nos and I stared reclaiming my time. There really wasn’t room for anything else. I had to purposefully and intentionally make room.

2. Get Your House in Order

I bought my house and with the hustle and bustle of life, along with a new job, grad school and other opportunities I was so exhausted I couldn’t even hang a picture on the wall. Getting my actual house in order was something I had to do. I also committed to joining and joined a new church. I had been attending for a little over a year and it was time. On the last day of the dating break, I received the right hand of fellowship at a new church. I had reached a level of spiritual maturity that required a different kind of preaching, worship, and praise.

3. Self-Care

Once I finished my degree, I began intentionally engaging in self-care. I began working out more often, getting back to my healthy eating routine and spent more time doing the things I loved with the people I loved. I became more intentional about personal boundaries at work and removed myself from troublesome situations. Above all else, I’ve been praying more and praising more and more frequently. Joy doesn’t seem so out of reach anymore.

4. I Stopped Caring So Much

A good friend of mine use to say “If everyone cared as much as you do…the world would be a better place.” Truth is I can be a bit of a perfectionist. Deep down I believed if I was perfect nothing would go wrong but I have 1,000,000 examples of how untrue that is! I learned it’s ok to be imperfect and that life will still go on.

5. I Learned How to Have (More) Fun

Okay so I had some fun over the last few years but I didn’t allow too much fun. Why? Because I had to write a paper, read an article, write a lesson plan, post to blackboard… now, weekends aren’t catch up sessions with books and papers, it’s fun! I didn’t know how much I missed it.

6. I Realized What Was Important

Family and friends are important. Spending time doing the things I love with the people I love is important. Jobs come and go, yesterday is not like today but each day is a gift and should be treated as such. Yesterday I walked into a classroom to talk to a teacher and she said “what’s going on with you? You look so happy!.” I was and nothing in particular had happened to spark that. I had just reached a point of contentment with myself and the things around me.

Ultimately I think this journey was about becoming what I wanted to attract and intentionally investing in me. There’s no use looking for something or someone who is the complete opposite of who you are. If I’m honest, I spent a lot of time looking for the qualities I lacked in the guys I dated. That was wrong. I had to learn, know, and be true to myself and become the woman God wanted me to be. Now, not all of this happened in 6 months, it’s definitely a process but I’m farther along than I’ve ever been.

Through this process God wanted to restore me, to teach me a few lessons, and to return me better than ever! Now, I’m not perfect (no where near it) but one thing is for sure, I’m better now than I’ve ever been. I’m expecting God’s greatness real soon. But in the meantime…

Happy Waiting!