A Fighting Stance

Last weekend I went to the movies. That same week I was meditating on whether or not I should open myself up in a way I hadn’t in the past. While watching the movie I heard this quote –

“You can’t love with both of your hands up, covering your face.”

When I wrote my New Years Eve post, Lessons Learned in 2018, I wrote that I had taken some risks. One of those risks was online dating.

I had a bad experience with online dating years ago but when a good friend suggested it, I figured it was time. So I signed up, uploaded a couple of pictures, and gave it a go.

I met some guys and went on a date but it didn’t work out. So, I tried another site. I didn’t put any pictures up for a month. I reached out to guys I saw who had qualities I liked but didn’t get very far. After all, I was covering my face – afraid of that level of vulnerability.

Then, on January 1st 2019, I got some courage and added some pictures. The same day, I paid to keep them private.

Typical me.

My rationale was – I could let people see me only if I wanted them to and everything was still on my terms. While I met and went out with a couple of guys, I was doing all of the looking and getting nowhere fast.

Then, about a week ago, I made my profile visible and as a result, I’m being found.

Now, all attention isn’t good attention (trust) but I do expect to meet some good people this way – and it’s all because I took my hands down and let myself be seen. I got out of a fighting stance and allowed vulnerability in.

While this may or may not be the way I meet my future husband, I’m learning to be open to the possibility that God wants to bless me this way.

A couple of friends were shocked when I told them I was giving online dating a try because it’s so unlike me but I figured I’d try something different and possibly get a different result.

I don’t know how you’re navigating the dating world but I will say, lowering your hands and opening your heart is the best way to invite someone in.

If you’re navigating through life with a fighters stance, you’ll always be ready to fight but not quite ready to love.

Online dating might not be your thing – it may not be my thing either – but the point is, let your guard down a bit. Then, when you’re ready, collect your courage, lower your hands and let love in. Love is waiting for you!

Happy Waiting!

You’re Not As Strong As You Look

While debriefing with my personal trainer he said, “you’re not as strong as you look.” His voice trembled a little when he said it. It seemed, he was trying not to hurt my feelings.

He didn’t.

Although I knew he was talking about my physical strength, deep down inside I knew I needed to work on my mental strength, my thought-life.

My strength only goes so far and then fear checks in. One of the reasons why I started personal training was to have someone there to push me past my personal limits. If it were up to me, I’d do the same exercises over and over again, I wouldn’t increase the weight knowing I could go harder and I’d go home and wonder why I wasn’t getting results. My strength mentally was only taking me so far.

This mental block would keep me from doing a lot of things. God has given me so many great ideas over the years. And now, since I haven’t acted on them, I see them on TV and it’s devastating. I had those ideas 10 years ago and never did anything about it because I was afraid of the work or afraid of failure. There are many things I have wanted to do and try but I’d consistently talk myself out of doing or trying any of it.

Lately, I’ve been feeling a push to strengthen my thought-life. To be more in control of my thinking. To be more intentional about what I watch, and what I listen to….even what I say.

I’ve done this work before but lately I’ve felt myself getting off track. And now that I’m going into a new season, this work is more important than ever.

Are you like me? Are you trying to get control of your thought-life?

Oftentimes what we think colors what we see. Our minds are a powerful playing field and if we don’t get control over our thoughts, everything in life will become more challenging, be less fulfilling or we’ll miss out on great opportunities.

We, yep you and me, have to decide to think about good things and to have faith and trust God always. We also have to check fear at the door. If we get control over our thoughts, He will change our lives! It’s a lot of work but we can do it – together.

So, are you down? Can I count on you to do this work with me? Let’s be stronger mentally, physically, and spiritually and let’s watch as God does his BEST work in us!

Happy Waiting!

Check On Your Strong (Single) Friend

Not long ago there was a Huffington Post article with the title Don’t Forget To Check On Your Strong Friend. After a series of events, this blog post was inspired by that article.

A few weeks ago I was having a really bad week. There were some things that were out of my control and everything was coming at me at the same time.

Within 48 hours of each other, two friends reached out. Both were folks I hadn’t talked to in a while and said I was either on their mind or showed up in a dream. One thing is for sure, that week, I really needed a friend and a reminder that God sees my hurt and will send people to check in on me.

There was a particular day that week that was really hard. I don’t usually let myself cry but in-between both conversations I cried. I mean it was an ugly mess up your makeup kind-of cry.

I’m really good at putting things up on the shelf and leaving them there until I’m ready to deal. But one day, sometimes years later, I’ll break down and cry.

I had a conversation with a friend about what it’s like to be single and not have someone lay eyes on you everyday. There have been times when I’m really going through it and I call 3 friends and no one answers. With no fault on their parts, everyone is busy, what happens when I really need someone and can’t find anyone to share with? People assume that when you’re single, you’re just out living your life when in reality, you could be at home in a puddle of tears.

This is why the title of this post is check on your strong (single) friend. We need to know there’s someone out there thinking about us, praying for us, and checking in on us. Lay eyes on us and make sure we’re ok. Even those of us who are “strong” get weak and could really use a friend.

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!

It’s Still a Blessing

After you’ve prayed and waited a long time, and God finally gives you what you’ve been praying for, although it may come with obstacles big and small, don’t forget that it’s still a blessing.

I bought my house 4.5 years ago. For the first 2-3 years I would sit on the steps, in the dark, and thank God for this magnificent blessing.

This year, I’ve had more things break than ever before. The microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, vents, vacuum cleaner…I’ve had pipes back up and water leak… if it wasn’t one thing it was another.

My blessing isn’t so shiny and new anymore. It has been all the way broken in. I found myself feeling burdened instead of feeling blessed. My source of comfort had become my source of pain.

But…when I really think about it, it’s not that bad. Everything can be fixed.

Prior to buying my house, I put in offers on 5 different homes. Before the offer was accepted, I laid face down on the floor and prayed. I wanted this house. How foolish of me to ever treat it as less of a blessing.

Think about the things/people you prayed for that came to pass. Are you treating them as a blessing or a burden? Are you recalling the good or the bad? You get to decide.

God’s Word says to think of whatever is nobel, true, praiseworthy… think of all of God’s blessings this way. He’s got so much more in store for you. But first, you have to be grateful for what you have now.

Happy Waiting!

Who You Gonna Eat With?

Tonight while talking to my 3-year-old niece she asked, “who you gonna eat with?” I was a little taken aback so I asked her to repeat what she said.

Just as lively as ever she again said “WHO YOU GONNA EAT WITH!?!?”

You see, I was at home and attempting to get off of the phone to have dinner. She didn’t understand that I could be eating alone since she eats with at least 2 people every time she sits down for a meal.

I asked her if it was ok for me to eat alone and she said “No, you have to eat with someone.”

Can I be honest? I’ve been eating alone for a long time. I’m ready to eat with someone.

January and February were, in some ways, transformational for me. I realized I was filling my singleness void by adding extra responsibilities and opportunities. It was easier to digest a lack of dates if I was working towards a particular life goal – be it education, career, or other personal goals.

Ultimately, I wasn’t prioritizing it. I wasn’t prioritizing meeting someone. It seemed pointless. I can count the number of dates I have been on in the last several years and still have fingers left.  I was ok with keeping the same routine and seeing what happens but I realized the only way I can make something happen is to put myself out there.

So I started varying the places and events I go to. I started going to brunch on weekends alone – this was a tip given to me by an older woman. I started switching up my routine and in someways yeah, I met some guys. I didn’t meet THE guy but I met and was asked out by some. This didn’t amount to anything but I am giving it a shot.

I don’t want to eat alone and as my niece said, it’s “not ok to eat alone” (well… it is but you get my point). So she promised she would keep an eye out for someone I can eat with and while she’s on the look out, I’ll be putting my best foot forward. So the next time she asks WHO YOU GONNA EAT WITH? I can give her a name.

Happy Waiting!

 

Alone But Not Lonely (Most Of The Time)

Last week I had a range of emotions. I was starting to feel like I couldn’t catch a break.

Then, I learned that I did well on my yearly evaluation at work! I was so excited and thankful. That morning I knew something important was going to happen and that God was preparing me.  All of the songs I listened to that morning were about victory. The order of the songs was perfect. I left the house feeling strong!

After learning I did well, I decided I wanted to celebrate. This is always a tough one for me since more often than not, I celebrate in private. But this time, I wanted someone to be there to help me celebrate and there was no one.

Now  yeah, I could have called someone and tried to meet up to have a celebratory drink but sometimes you want to do those things with a significant other. I haven’t celebrated something with a boo since…….. I don’t even know.

While I know you have to play the cards you’re dealt,  and be thankful for what you have, it doesn’t take away the fact that celebrating with, spending time with, and being held by a significant other…… is nice.

One of my students asked me if it was ok to be and live alone and I told him it is possible to be alone but not lonely. But honestly, this single life can be quite lonely. What’s the solution? Fill it with friends and experiences. Usually when I feel this way, I haven’t properly planned outings with my friends. I’m setting up a few things now.

But most of the time I’m good. It is possible to be alone but not lonely.

Being lonely is not a death sentence, it won’t last always. It’s an opportunity to reflect and draw near to God because He’s always there. Maybe that’s the point. To direct your attention back to the One who will never leave you. While it’s difficult, there’s one thing I know for sure.  This feeling  shall pass.

Have a blessed week!