Phenomenal Woman Series: 5 Things Christian Women Should Know

So yesterday I decided I was going to keep a journal of entries and prayers for my future husband. So that when we get married I can show him the booklet and how I honored him throughout the years… and well if I don’t get married I have a nice keepsake for myself! 

While I was writing in it I realized how much I have learned about relationships and maintaining healthy relationships. So I decided that I needed to write a article on 5 things Christian women should know. This is an advice from what I have learned and want to share with you.

1. Your man will NEVER complete you

If you put your value as a human being in a man’s  hands your up for a roller coaster. Although I’m sure men are sweet and mean well they are human. They cannot read your mind, they don’t know the perfect thing to say and ultimately they won’t always treat you like a princess. Your value comes because God made you in His image. That’s why you have value, because you have God  as a transcendent giving you your value.

Until you can find your meaning in Christ you will hopelessly search for men to complete you and you will come out empty handed every. single. time.  Men are to be your equal partners and you will be a team with your husband, but you  cannot expect them to fulfill your greatest desires, they are only human.

Also too many times women assume the man has to be perfect and they can just lie around and be the damsel in distress. Not true! Women, start being who the person the person you are looking for is looking for. In other words don’t just look for the right person, BE the right person. Work on yourself today for your relationship tomorrow.

2. If he doesn’t love Jesus it will never work

Now some Christian girl hates me right now but please listen. I’m not saying that your Non-Christian boyfriend isn’t good to you. Nor am I saying that every Christian boyfriend will treat you amazingly. What I am saying is that if you make a base of a relationship on anything but Jesus, and you are a believer either you are going to have to compromise your convictions or compartmentalize your Jesus to Sundays. Sooner or later that is going to blow up in your face.

What fellowship does light have with darkness? Besides, sooner or later the romance will die, will he still be accepting of your views after time has passed? Think about it.

Also it is really hard to maintain purity when someone is always trying to push the envelope. Unfortunately some men view purity as a “challenge” to get women in bed rather than a commitment to honor. Not all men, but some of them. So be discerning in your relationships and choose wisely.

3. If he likes you he WILL respect you

Ok, this is a girl to girl talk here. If a guy likes you He will let you know! Too many girls run after the guys that treat them poorly or call once a month in hopes that he will change. HE WON’T! If he is treating you like crap at the start it isn’t going to get much better.

Now both genders are capable of treating each other poorly. What I’m saying is if a guy really cares for you he will show it. Now you’re saying that not every guy is going to treat me amazingly, that’s true. But you don’t need every guy to treat you amazingly, you just need one. This man needs to love God, love you and have character to lead your family. So stop wasting time with jerks and actually look for these qualities in others.

Ok now on a more serious note. Seriously girls you can’t change guys. You can’t, so stop trying. If a guy is addicted to porn or drinks too much you won’t change him. If he wills to change on his own he definitely can change. But it’s not your doing so pray for him and  MOVE ON.

Also  Christian girls we need to step up. If a guy is texting you inappropriately or is making it very clear that honoring your body isn’t his priority you need to take a stand. Don’t giggle about it, don’t reply flirtatiously. Tell him it’s not appropriate and that you’re looking for a man not a boy. Don’t settle and listen to a man degrade you. You don’t need to be rude, but you need to be firm and clear on your position.

4. Singleness is not a curse

Singleness is just another season to serve God. A different season, but still a season that ultimately is for his glory. God wouldn’t keep you single for his own amusement. There is a role that you have to play for the kingdom. Now there is nothing wrong with desiring marriage, but don’t let that blind you! Enjoy your life now and pray for your spouse.

Don’t be overwhelmed in your singleness but just trust in God’s time and keep your eyes open for possible candidates. But don’t get so overwhelmed in your thoughts of marriage that you miss out in the lessons that singleness has to offer. Love God and do everything in his glory, despite the season!

5. Men have feelings too

I know that men find it tough to ask out women, but I never understood how tough. Now I know. One time I was with a girl and a person who was interested in this girl started to sing a song as a joke. Now the joke was actually funny but the girl bluntly said, “That was lame.” I was speechless. I couldn't believe she could be so rude when he was just trying to be nice.

Also this is no surprise some women lead men on, shamelessly. They like having a man that fulfills their every desire and strut about taking advantage of them when they have no intention of a relationship with them.

Women this is selfish- despite what cosmopolitan will tell you- you don’t need every man lusting after you. Treating men badly hurts them just as much as it hurts us when men treat us badly. I know its common sense but we always overlook this. Don’t aim to make a guy your lapdog or want you. It’s not fair for the man and you’re ruining your character. (Yes the subtle flirting counts too).

So there it is. I would add the dress modestly, but women hear that so often that I hope they have it ingrained in their heads.

Day 10,The Love Dare: Love Is Unconditional

 Love Is Unconditional

God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Today’s Dare: Do something unexpected and out of the ordinary for someone today to show your unconditional love. Reach out to someone, forgive someone, lay down your life for someone as the Holy Spirit leads you and see how He will change your life, your heart, and the hearts of those around you.

This is one of those days that The Love Dare has a lot to say. . . and that’s good because this is foundational information. I believe that loving unconditionally is something that is easier to do if you grew up with it, but something that we all need to do better. And since it is so close to the heart of God I believe that He will help us every step of the way in our feeble attempts . . . it’s that important to Him.

Love is unconditional. What is it you love about your spouse, your friends, your family? Is it the way your significant other looks or smells? Is it the way your friends listen to you? Is it the things your family does for you?  What if all of the things that you love about the people in your life stop happening? What if your significant other loses his good looks or his wit and charm to a disease? What if your friends are just too busy to listen to you? What if your family just up and decides to stop doing things for you?  Can you still love them anyway?

That is the challenge of Christian love:  loving anyway, loving irrespective of , loving despite of.  Christian love is loving “because He first loved me,” and understanding that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” showing us the ultimate love. And then walking out that understanding in our daily lives by loving others, sacrificing for them, providing for them, giving to them, despite how they treat us. It is the acknowledgement that we never have and never will be able to deserve God’s love– He just gives it to us freely! Therefore, how can we withhold that same pure love from others based on what they deserve? We can’t without being total hypocrites.

Most times we are surrounded by family who know exactly how to try our patience more than most, let’s not give people what we think they “deserve.” Let’s free ourselves from the bondage of judging others and just love unconditionally, knowing that our reward will be that we are an ingredient in the Almighty God’s happiness. (And what could be more awesome than the thought that WE could make the infinite God happy based on the small acts of obedience and sacrifice that we do?!) John 15:13 says “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Let’s lay it all down today and sacrifice for our friends, showing them what is really the greatest love of all.

The only way love can last a lifetime is if it’s unconditional.  The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.

In every relationship, perfect or unconditional love is possible and yes, it does exist.
We humans can strive for perfect love, but we are imperfect people. These imperfections makes the possibility of a total and complete unconditionally-accepting relationship impossible except through Christ.

Unconditional love is hard to explain. It’s something that has to be understood and experienced. If you can give up on your wants and yet feel happier, just watching someone else happy, then that’s unconditional love.
If you can selflessly love someone else, not to get something back in return, but to genuinely make someone else happy, that’s unconditional love.

If that isn't unconditional love, what is?!

Sometimes, heartbreaking and unforgivable things can happen in our lives which will test the depth of unconditional love in our hearts. For example, if you are a man and your wife commits adultery with another man, how will you react the very first moment you hear her confess to you? If you forgive her, how will you react if she repeatedly disrespects you? The story of the Prophet Hosea and Gomer in the Bible is indeed a story of unconditional love in marriage.

Lately I have come to realize that I do not need to have people by my side to love them. I do not need to have them even like me, or be friends with them to love them. Even when they hate me, or do not want to have any contact with me, even then I need to still continue to love them and live for them. 

Day 9, The love Dare: Love Makes Good Impressions

Love Makes Good Impressions

Greet one another with a kiss of love. –1 Peter 5:14

Today’s Dare: Love Makes Good Impressions. Greet someone today in a new way that lets them feel valued and appreciated and determine to greet everyone you meet with kindness. 

You know what the hardest thing about The Love Dare is? Doing it as a single means NOBODY is doing it with you.  That means when you’re “dying to yourself,” and “putting other people’s needs above your own,” and LAYING UNDER EVERY SPEEDING BUS THAT ROLLS YOUR WAY, nobody else is reciprocating. It’s just you.  And it gets very frustrating. And it’s also called “Christianity,” LOL, and that’s the path I've voluntarily chosen.

As Christ said, in Matthew 5:46-48, “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 I am learning that there are circumstances in which you can and should defend yourself in a godly way. There are also circumstances in which, for the sake of peace and out of sincere love, you should just let that bus run you over.  The Holy Spirit will tell you what battles to fight and what battles are His alone to forge.  Life is hard. LOVE is hard. Being a Christian that’s really about that life is HARD. But we “can do all things through Christ that strengthens me”!

Let’s roll this bus on to day 9!

Reading today’s assignment might have been the first one that really gave me pause. For the first time, it was really in my face how skewed I have allowed the reflection of my feelings towards other people sometimes. Why have I never noticed that when I greet a distant friend or any other relative that I always greet them with love? 99% of the time, I greet them with a kiss and a hug and yet, for those I am close too…. none of that.

The Bible has more to say about greetings than you might expect.  The apostle Paul took time to encourage his readers to greet one another warmly when they met.  In fact, near the end of his letter to the Romans, he asked fellow believers to greet twenty-seven of his friends and loved ones for him. He even took time to list each one by name.

It’s not just about your friends, however.  Jesus noted in His Sermon on the Mount that even pagans speak kindly to people they like.  That’s easy for anyone to do.  But He took it a step further and said that being godly included being humble and gracious enough to address even your enemies with kindness.

When someone communicates that they are glad to see you, your personal sense of self-worth increases.  You feel more important and valued.  That’s because a good greeting sets the stage for positive and healthy interaction. Like love, it puts wind in your sails.

More often than not familiarity can breed complacency. Back home, sometimes  my dogs are usually the happiest people to see me when I get home. Without fail they come up to me with their tails wagging, bottoms wiggling and big doggy smiles on their faces. It doesn't matter if I have been gone for a week or at the store for an hour. People need to be more like dogs. This is my resolution when it comes to my greeting others.

Remember, love is a choice.  So choose to change your greeting.  Choose love.

Day 8,The Love Dare: Love Is Not Jealous

Love Is Not Jealous

 “Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.” Song of Solomon 8:6

Today’s Dare: Love is not Jealous.  Yesterday I made a list of someone’s negative and positive traits. Today, I’m supposed to discreetly destroy the negative list created and celebrate someone’s success.

Jealousy is one of the strongest drives known to man.  It comes from the root word for zeal and means “to burn with an intense fire.”  Scripture pointedly says, “Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, but who can stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4).

There are actually two forms: a legitimate jealousy based upon love, and an illegitimate jealousy based upon envy.  Legitimate jealousy sparks when someone you love, who belongs to you, turns his or her heart away and replaces you with someone else.  If a wife has an affair and gives herself to another person, her husband may have justified, jealous anger because of his love for her.  He is longing to have back what is rightfully his.

The Bible describes God as having this kind of righteous jealousy for His people.  It’s not that He is envious of us, wishing He had what we have (since He already owns everything).  It’s that He deeply longs for us, desiring for us to keep Him as our first love.  He doesn't want us to let anything take precedence over Him in our hearts.  The Bible warns us not to worship anything but Him because “the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24).

With this established, we will shift our focus to the illegitimate kind of jealousy that is in opposition to love – the one that is rooted in selfishness. This is to be jealous of someone, to be “moved with envy.”

We all need to admit that we struggle with being jealous of others sometimes. Perhaps your classmate is more popular, so you feel hatred towards her.  Your coworker gets the promotion, so you can’t sleep that night.  He may have nothing wrong, but you became bitter because of his success.  It has been said that people are fine with our succeeding, just as long as it is not more than theirs.

Jealousy is a common struggle.  It is sparked when someone else upstages you and gets something you want.  This can be very painful depending upon how selfish you are.  Instead of congratulating them, you fume in anger and think ill of them.  If you’re not careful, jealousy slithers like a viper into your heart and strikes your motivations and relationships.  It can poison you from living the life of love God intended.

If you don’t diffuse your anger by learning to love others, you may eventually begin plotting against them.  The Bible says that envy leads to fighting, quarreling, and every evil thing (James 3:16, 4:1-2).

There is a string of violent jealousy seen throughout Scripture.  It caused the first murder when Cain despised God’s acceptance of his brother’s offering. Sarah sent away her handmaiden because Hagar could bear children while Sarah could not.  Joseph’s brothers saw he was their father’s favorite, so they threw him in a pit and sold him as a slave.  Jesus was more loving, powerful, and popular than the chief priests, so they envied Him and plotted His betrayal and crucifixion.

You don’t usually get jealous of disconnected strangers.  The ones you’re tempted to jealous of are primarily in the same arena with you.  They go to your school, church,  run in your circles … or live in your house.  Yes, if you aren't careful, jealousy can also infect your friendship.

When we realize that love puts the needs of others above our own, we can refuse to let jealous creep into our hearts and we can refuse to invoke jealousy in others by bragging. Let the successes of your friends and loved ones draw you close together and let your own successes draw you closer to God by acknowledging His hand in every good thing in your life. But if selfishness rules, any good thing happening to someone else can be a catalyst for envy rather than congratulations. 

A loving husband/wife/friend/sister/brother doesn't mind the other person being better at something, having more fun, or getting more applause.  We need to see them as completing us, not competing with us.
It is time to let love, humility, and gratefulness destroy any jealousy that springs up in our heart.  It’s time to let other peoples successes draw us closer together and give us greater opportunities to show genuine love.

 My role is not to tally things up. It’s to love others like Christ loves the church. If he doesn't tally my horrible record against me, then I can’t do yours (which is actually not bad at all).  I have no right to keep records of wrongs.

I have a right to talk to people about things that upset me, but I am not the person to sit and judge.

Day 7, The Love Dare: Love Believes the Best

 Love Believes the Best

 [Love] believes all things, hopes all things –1 Corinthians 13:7.

Today’s dare: Love Believe the Best. Get two sheets of paper.  On the first one, spend a few minutes writing out positive things about someone.  Then do the same thing with negative things on the second sheet.  Place both sheets in a secret place for another day.  There is a different purpose and plan for each.  At some point during the remainder of the day, pick a positive attribute from the first list and thank the person for having this characteristic.

Today’s reading hit awfully close to home.  When I first started dating, I could find no fault with the person I was dating.  It’s true.  He was absolutely perfect, the perfect man, perfect for me, and perfect for life.  Even after the first couple of months together (dating), he was still awfully amazing.  We had a few differences, but that’s all they were–not problems, just differences. Then I don’t know what happened.  One day I realized that he couldn’t do anything right, and I felt like he was feeling the same about me, and we broke up as a result.  (Obviously, there was more to the story than that, but this isn’t the time or the place to get into that.)  We decided it was better to figure out how to live apart than to try to live together.  SO glad we made that decision.

When you don’t like someone, it’s easy to interpret every single thing they do as ill-willed and hateful. Likely, that is just a projection of your own feelings toward that person and it is most definitely not love.  Love does not jump to conclusions.  Love is not easily offended

When you make a transition from negative to positive thinking, you can actually focus on the things you like about people — even those who are difficult to be around.  As you make a habit of positive thinking, hopefully, you will begin to genuinely love the person, emotionally as well as with your actions.  But we must remember that we focus on the positive side of people because it’s what God requires, not because it’s what they deserve. If God dealt us the hand we DESERVED, we’d all be in a world of hurt. Let’s take a moment to thank Him for unmerited 

Let’s get down to the real issue here.  Love knows about Depreciation and does not live in denial that it exists. 

But love chooses not live there.

I must decide to stop thinking the worst about people and lingering there after every frustrating event with them.  It does me no good and drains the joy out of any relationship.

Love chooses to believe the best about people.  It gives them the benefit of the doubt.  It refuses to fill in the unknowns with negative assumptions.  And when our worst hopes are proven to be true, love makes every effort to deal with them and move forward.  As much as possible, love focuses on the positive.

It’s time to start thinking differently.  It’s time to let love lead my thoughts and my focus.  The only reason I should glance in the door of Depreciation Room is to know how to pray for every other person.  It’s time to move into the Appreciation Room, to settle down and make it my home. 

I was thinking about my lists all day. I actually did not feel good about making the negative list as I really didn’t want to feel or think about the negative today; Some time between last night and this morning I considered ending the love dare. I never really got to the point of seriously considering it as I am sure that many people go through these same emotions. It is at this point of the dare for me that I realized that the Love Dare is about changing me and not changing someone else.

I do have really close friends who I care about and really do like. I do my best to say/show how much I care about them. There are so many songs that remind me of her that i can't help but listen to the radio as much as I can. They make me smile on days where I would rather be depressed. Talk to me when I feel like I have nowhere else to turn.

I was going to share my lists, but this is not an anonymous blog, I feel like they’re a bit too private to show the entire world.  I did find that there are WAY more positive things about the people in my life than there are negative things.  I also discovered that many of the negative things started with “sometimes” or “too,” which means that they are subjective.  They are in my opinion.  They are not character flaws.     

I pray that God changes me more, so I can begin to see the best in everyone.

Day 6, The love Dare: Love is not irritable

 "Love is not irritable"

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.  -Proverbs 16:32

 Love is hard to offend and quick to forgive.  
 To be irritable means “to be near the point of a knife.”  Not far from being poked.  People are irritated are locked, loaded, and ready to overact.

 When under pressure, love doesn’t turn sour.  Minor problems don’t yield major reactions.  The truth is, love does not get angry or hurt unless there is a legitimate and just reason in the sight of God.  
 If you are walking under the influence of love, you will be a joy, not a jerk. I always ask myself, “Am I a calming breeze, or a storm waiting to happen?”

Why do people become irritable?  There are at least two key reasons that contribute to it:

Being easily angered is an indicator that a hidden area of selfishness or insecurity is present where love is supposed to rule.  But selfishness also wears many other masks.
Love will always lead you to forgive instead of holding a grudge.  To be grateful instead of greedy.  To be content rather than rushing into more debt.  Love encourages you to be happy when someone else succeeds rather than lying wake at night in envy.  Love says “share the inheritance” rather than “fight with your relatives.”   In each decision, love ultimately lowers your stress and helps you release the venom that can build up inside.  It then sets up your heart to respond to those around you with patience and encouragement rather than anger and exasperation.

Love is not irritable; I, however, am irritable.  This could be bad.  I have good days, but then I have not-so-good days where the slightest little thing just sets me off.  Sometimes these days correlate to my monthly cycle; sometimes they do not.  Often they are just random days where the smallest little thing irritates the poop out of me for no clear reason.  I am quite sure that no one around me likes these days, but still they are AMAZINGLY patient with me regardless.

Reacting with love instead of irritation is hard.  And it was hard all day long.  I don’t think I did very well.  I was definitely irritable.

Wrong motivations I need to remove from my life:
I guess pride is definitely there.  I have found over and over again that I hate saying no to tasks/projects because I don’t want people to think that I can’t do them.  I need to remember that no is not a sign of weakness; great leaders have to know when to say no.

I have been thinking a lot lately about my motivation for doing whatever I do.  I want to be sure my heart is in the right place; I need to be sure that I am doing everything for His glory, not mine.  If it doesn't glorify Him in some way, I don’t really need to be wasting time on it.  That’s hard to remember sometimes.
I used to struggle with lust. Never thinking i had a good thing when I really did. Thinking I needed better, was always a problem for me. Greed wasn't always a problem. I'd ask for help with money but I'd never want more than I asked for. I used to be very prideful, however, how can one be prideful when their reputation went down the drain? I'm trying to be more of a peach, making sure the results are still sweet even though pressure is building.

     I suffer from being a lemon though. It's life, I try and make lemonade from the lemons thrown at me but it fails when I get pissed off. I want balance in my life, i don't want to continually run in circles. I don't want my escape to be a laptop. I'd rather be able to hang out with friends.

     It's time to sign off this for right now. I'm just wanting to talk to people instead of Blogging about it. Although, I will say it's easier to vent to a blog 99% of the time because it can't argue back. It can't tell me that I'm wrong. It has no argument, It's a website that was created to be vented on.

Day 5, The Love Dare: Love Is Not Rude

Love Is Not Rude

 “He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him.” –Proverbs 27:14

Today’s Dare: Love is not rude : Ask someone to tell you 3 things you do that make them irritated with you. Don’t try to defend yourself, just listen to their perspective and work on those three things.

Nothing irritates others as quickly as being rude. Rudeness is unnecessarily saying or doing things that are unpleasant for another person to be around. To be rude is to act unbecoming, embarrassing, or irritating.

No one enjoys being around a rude person.”  But sarcasm is included in the description of rudeness, and so I instantly know this is a hard one because I tend to be sarcastic a lot, especially in school. It’s not about how the person doling out the sarcastic quips feels, it’s about how the person is making those on the receiving end feel (again, “love is not selfish“).  The authors say that bottling up one’s sarcastic nature (or any other irritating habits such as a foul mouth and poor table manners) sends a message to your loved ones that you value you them enough to practice self-control around them and that you “want to be a person who’s a pleasure to be around.”  

People should not feel stupid, or less-than, or insignificant after they’ve had a run-in with you.  Not if love is leading your actions. And strangers shouldn’t be on the receiving end of your good behavior while your loved ones get the relaxed, unrefined you.  Treat others as you want to be treated, and give your loved ones your absolute best.

The bottom line is that genuine love minds its manners.

Embracing this one concept could add some fresh air to our relationship with others. I want to be a person who’s a pleasure to be with.” When you allow love to change your behavior—even in the smallest of ways—you restore an atmosphere of honor to your relationship. People who practice good etiquette tend to raise the respect level of the environment around them. I want to be that person.

For the most part, the etiquette I use at home is much different than the kind I employ with friends, or even with total strangers. I may be barking or pouting around the house, but if the front door chimes, I open it all smiling and kind. Yet if I really dare to love, I’ll also want to give my best to everyone. relationship will suffer for it.

There are two main reasons why people are rude: ignorance and selfishness. Neither, of course, is a good thing. A child is born ignorant of etiquette, needing lots of help and training. Adults, however, display their ignorance at another level. You know the rules, but you can be blind to how you break them or be too self-centered to care. In fact, you may not realize how unpleasant you can be to live with.

I fully believe God places people in your life sometimes so that you may minister to them, and somewhere along the way, you are ministered to, that can only be achieved when you get rid of rudeness. 

 I have come to realize that I need more response from family and friends on how I act. I know I haven't been the best friend or family member, but I'm trying to fix everything with everyone.

     I am only human and make mistakes, I am not perfect. I never want to be perfect in anyone's eyes other than the one I'm married too someday. My imperfections to everyone else will be what makes me perfect in one person's eyes someday. All I can do is pray that you will all be honest with me and help me grow into a better person.

Day 4, The Love Dare: Love Is Thoughtful

Love is thoughtful

How precious also are Your thoughts to me. . . . 
How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, 
they would outnumber the sand. —Psalm 139:17–18

Today’s Dare: Be thoughtful. Contact someone today for no specific reason to find out how they are doing, and to see if there is anything that you can do for them.

What does it really mean to be thoughtful?  It is defined as demonstrating thought or careful consideration; demonstrating kindness or consideration for others.  Seems simple enough – right?  Yet, it does appear that this is an area where many of us fall short.  Every day life tends to consume us, whether it is our job, the kids, our friends or even the bus driver.  We just don’t have time to really think about what it means to be thoughtful. 

When was the last time that you did something for someone else with no regard to self?  Just sitting down and listening to them tell you all about their hectic day. We flawed humans have some peculiar ways of expressing ourselves, and often it is not in the most thoughtful or sane way. When we are thoughtful, it opens up positive doors of communication and we are able to bridge the gaps in our relationships by just being considerate of our partners. 

We all struggle with how to really show the people in our lives that we love them, how about starting at just being thoughtful and listening without regard to what is brewing in our own mind.

Love thinks. It’s not a mindless feeling that rides on waves of emotion and falls asleep mentally. It keeps busy in thought, knowing that loving thoughts precede loving actions.

When you first fall in love, being thoughtful comes quite naturally. You spend hours dreaming of what your loved one looks like, wondering what he or she was doing, rehearsing impressive things to say, then enjoying sweet memories of the time you spend together. You honestly confess, “I can’t stop thinking about you.”
But for most people, slowly things begin to change.  Sparks of romance slowly burn into grey embers, and the motivation for thoughtfulness cools. You drift into focusing on your job, your friends, your problems, your personal desires, yourself. After a while, you unintentionally begin to ignore the needs of your mate.

But the fact that life has added another person or people to your universe does not change. Therefore, if your thinking doesn’t mature enough to constantly include this person or people, you catch yourself being surprised rather than being thoughtful.

If you don’t learn to be thoughtful, you end up regretting missed opportunities to demonstrate love. Thoughtlessness is a silent enemy to any loving relationship.

Let’s be honest. Men struggle with thoughtfulness more than women. A man can focus like a laser on one thing and forget the rest of the world. Whereas this can benefit him in that one arena, it can make him overlook other things that need his attention.

A woman, on the other hand, is more multi-conscious, able to maintain an amazing awareness of many factors at once. She can talk on the phone, cook, know where the kids are in the house, and wonder why her husband isn’t helping . . . all simultaneously. Adding to this, a woman also thinks relationally. When she works on something, she is cognizant of all the people who are somehow connected to it. Both of these tendencies are examples of how God designed women to complete their men. As God said at creation, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18). But these differences also create opportunities for misunderstanding.

Men, for example, tend to think in headlines and say exactly what they mean. Not much is needed to understand the message. His words are more literal and shouldn’t be overanalyzed. But women think and speak between the lines. They tend to hint. A man often has to listen for what is implied if he wants to get the full meaning.

Love requires thoughtfulness—the kind that builds bridges through the constructive combination of patience, kindness, and selflessness. Love teaches you how to meet in the middle, to respect and appreciate how the next person uniquely thinks.

When was the last time you spent a few minutes thinking about how you could better understand and demonstrate love to someone else? What immediate need can you meet?

 Love actively thinks about another person’s needs. This is easy during the exciting courtship stage of a romantic relationship or when you’ve just started to build a new friendship. But after a while, we get busy, caught up in ourselves, and the loved ones dearest to us can get lost in the shuffle of everyday life. But how amazing is it that the God of this universe thinks about US every single moment?  The Psalmist is simply blown away by this realization and writes in Psalm 8:4 “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” God’s thoughts about us outnumber even the sand, the Psalmist tells us! Therefore, our thoughts about His people ought to be the same.

 Thoughtfulness is a proactive act of love and lets another person know that they matter to you.

Day 3, The Love Dare: Love Is Not Selfish

Love is not selfish

 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; 
give preference to one another in honor. —Romans 12:10

Today’s dare involves trying to be unselfish, and I didn’t feel that I really had a good chance to be unselfish.  Selfishness is definitely something that I struggle with.  It has been an uphill battle for quite some time for me; as much as I love taking care of everyone and everything around me–especially my friends and family–I have some pretty distinctly selfish wants.  I’ve been trying really hard over the past few months to move away from my more selfish desires and replace them with the servant’s heart that I should have, and that I know I have buried in me somewhere.  It’s hard, but progress is being made.  After all I can’t be acting out of real love and selfishness at the same time.”

Part of being unselfish for me is to think more of the stresses and demands placed on others and trying to relieve these, instead of thinking of the stresses and demands that others are placing on me.
We live in a world that is enamored with “self.” The culture around us teaches us to focus on our appearance, feelings, and personal desires as the top priority. The goal, it seems, is to chase the highest level of happiness possible. The danger from this kind of thinking, however, becomes painfully apparent once inside any relationship.

If there were ever a word that basically means the opposite of love, it is selfishness. Unfortunately it is something that is ingrained into every person from birth. You can see it in the way young children act, and often in the way adults mistreat one another. Almost every sinful action ever committed can be traced back to a selfish motive. It is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves.
Why do we have such low standards for ourselves but high expectations for others? The answer is a painful pill to swallow. We are all selfish.

When we put our interests, desires, and priorities in front of our loved ones, that’s a sign of selfishness. When a wife constantly complains about the time and energy she spends meeting the needs of her husband, that’s a sign of selfishness. But love “does not seek its own” (1 Corinthians 13:5). True love looks for ways to say “yes.” One ironic aspect of selfishness is that even generous actions can be selfish if the motive is to gain bragging rights or receive a reward. If you do even a good thing to deceitfully manipulate another person, you are still being selfish. The bottom line is that you either make decisions out of love for others or love for yourself.

Love also leads to inner joy. When you prioritize the well-being of others, there is a resulting fulfillment that cannot be duplicated by selfish actions. This is a benefit that God created and reserves for those who genuinely demonstrate love. The truth is, when you relinquish your rights for the sake of others, you get a chance to lose yourself to the greater purpose of Love.

Whether we like it or not, we have a reputation in the eyes of those around us, especially in the eyes of our loved ones. But is it a loving reputation? Remember, they also have the challenge of loving a selfish person. So determine to be the first to demonstrate real love to them, with your eyes wide open. And when all is said and done, you’ll be more fulfilled.

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).

Day 2, The Love Dare : Love is kind

Love Is Kind

"Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you" Ephesians 4:32

Today’s dare is to do one unexpected gesture of kindness for someone.

Are the people I am usually the least kind to the very people I should show the most kindness?  The people I love.  The people who love me.  Why?

Am I more likely to speak harshly, or sarcastically, or sharply to the people I am closer to than others?  Why?

To truly be kind, I need to be aware of my basic selfishness and die to self, so that I can live for the good of others. This is really hard; I think we are by nature selfish. I think that I have a high degree of empathy for other people, but I still need to fight with myself to *do something* about it. Especially when that “something” involves some sort of sacrifice on my behalf.

An act of kindness.  That’s easy right?  Except that’s not what it says.  It says an unexpected act of kindness.  That means it needs to be something you don’t ordinarily do.  Or take the time to do.  Either way, effort would need to be made.  I do try to do thoughtful things or say thoughtful things, but I decided it would need to be something I don’t do to be effective. 

 Kindness is love in action. If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance. Patience avoids a problem; kindness creates a blessing. One is preventive, the other proactive.

Love makes you kind. And kindness makes you likable  When you’re kind, people want to be around you. They see you as being good to them and good for them.

The Bible keys in on the importance of kindness: “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man” (Proverbs 3:3–4). Kind people simply find favor wherever they go. Even at home. But “kindness” can feel a little generic when you try defining it, much less living it. So let’s break kindness down into four basic core ingredients:

Gentleness: When you’re operating from kindness, you’re careful how you treat others, never being unnecessarily harsh. You’re sensitive. Tender. Even if you need to say hard things, you’ll bend over backwards to make your rebuke or challenge as easy to hear as possible. You speak the truth in love.

Helpfulness:  Being kind means you meet the needs of the moment. If it’s housework, you get busy. A listening ear? You give it. Kindness graces us with the ability to serve one another without worrying about our rights. Kindness makes us curious to discover each other’s needs, then motivates us to be the one who steps up and ensures those needs are met—even if our needs are put on hold.

Willingness: Kindness inspires you to be agreeable. Instead of being obstinate, reluctant, or stubborn, you cooperate, you stay flexible. Rather than complaining and making excuses, you look for reasons to compromise and accommodate. We can end thousands of potential arguments by our willingness to listen first rather than demand our way.

Initiative: Kindness thinks ahead, then takes the first step. It doesn’t sit around waiting to be prompted or coerced before getting off the couch. A kind person will be the one who greets first, smiles first, serves first, and forgives first. They don’t require the other to get his or her act together before showing love. When acting from kindness, you see the need, then make your move. First.

Jesus creatively described the kindness of love in His parable of the Good Samaritan, found in the Bible—Luke, chapter 10. A Jewish man attacked by robbers is left for dead on a remote road. Two religious leaders, respected among their people, walk by without choosing to stop. Too busy. Too important. Too fond of clean hands. But a common man of another race—the hated Samaritans, whose dislike for the Jews was both bitter and mutual—sees this stranger in need and is moved with compassion. Crossing all cultural boundaries and risking ridicule, he stops to help the man. Bandaging his wounds and putting him on his own donkey, he carries him to safety and pays all his medical expenses out of his own pocket.

Where years of racism had caused strife and division, one act of kindness brought two enemies together. 

Gently. Helpfully. Willingly. Taking the initiative, this man demonstrated true kindness in every way.

It is difficult to demonstrate love when you feel little to no motivation. But love in its truest sense is not based on feelings. Rather, love determines to show thoughtful actions even when there seems to be no reward. You will never learn to love until you learn to demonstrate kindness.

OK.... clearly I have some work to do.  I've gone through life, believing I was mostly a kind person.  Kind enough...  

But is "kind enough" enough?  Would I want someone to treat me "kind enough?" If I'm being honest - no, probably not.  So why should I expect that to be good enough for another person?  Simple answer: I shouldn't.

  I cannot do this without the Holy Spirit changing my heart, and I am so grateful that He’s inspired me to continue to ask Him to do that.

Day 1, The Love Dare: Love is Patient

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, I am embarking on a 10-day love project with the end goal being that God will soften my heart to be able to unconditionally love all people.  As I explained yesterday, this would be the clearest example of God’s miracle-working abilities in my life. I am excited about the possibilities!

As you can see, I survived Day 1, even though it cut me all up.   In the book, The Love Dare, Day 1 is entitled “Love is patient,” and requires the participant to: Resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It’s better to hold your tongue than to say something you’ll regret.

As I mentioned yesterday, since I don’t have a spouse and am working on strengthening my relationship with Christ, I resolved to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to anyone, today.  Let me tell you, the temptation arose.  But, I am happy to report that meditating on the scriptures put me in the right spirit to persistently ask God to grant me patience.  As Stephen and Alex Kendrick wrote in The Love Dare:
Love is built on two pillars that best define what it is. Those pillars are patience and kindness.  All other characteristics of love are extensions of these two attributes. And that’s where your dare will begin. With patience.

Love will inspire you to become a patient person. When you choose to be patient, you respond in a positive way to a negative situation. You are slow to anger. You choose to have a long fuse instead of a quick temper. Rather than being restless and demanding, love helps you settle down and begin extending mercy to those around you. Patience brings an internal calm during an external storm.

Patience helps give permission to be human. It understands that everyone fails. When a mistake is made, it chooses to give them more time than they deserve to correct it. “More time than they deserve.”  I’ve been internalizing that in every situation, God gives me more time than I deserve everyday, and I hope He never stops!

 You know how hard it is to live with an impatient person. We all know how it feels if someone overlaps on the road and cuts you in, or someone jumps the queue (unless she was aged, sick or expectant). We wonder what is wrong with that guy. In some situations unprintable words can be hurled at him or her.
You also know how it feels when you have queued to order your Pizza then a guy shouts from behind, ‘Chicken periperi , medium size!’ and the cashier goes ahead and serves him.   Now imagine living with such an impatient person. Huh! Now imagine for once, that you are that impatient person (as described above). 

1 Corinthians 13: If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

This was exactly what I was dealing with.  It doesn’t matter if the words you speak are true, if God gave you the words to say, if you’ve sacrificed everything to get the message across, if you speak without love, it means nothing and it profits nothing.

The truth is, love is a decision and not just a feeling. It is selfless, sacrificial, and transformational. And when love is truly demonstrated as it was intended, your relationship is more likely to change for the better.

One day down, nine to go! Day 2: “Love is Kind.”

The Love Dare: Embarking on a 10 Day Journey of God Given Love


So, I came across this book on amazon called “The Love Dare.” It’s a step-by-step challenge to married couples to help them meditate on God’s word and have a spirit of unconditional love for each other.  You may still have guessed: I’m not married. How could I complete The Love Dare alone, you ask? Quite simply: the most important marriage one can have is the soul’s marriage to Christ.  With marriage and commitment to Christ, come the necessary obligations of obedience.  Jesus summarized the Ten Commandments with two simple decrees: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all of your soul, and with all of your might,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22: 37-40).

It is pretty easy to love a perfect being.  God, with His infinite wisdom and power and goodness provides us with every good thing we need. He is always there, He never changes, and He loves us madly.  Yes, pretty easy to love, indeed.

People, on the other hand. A great deal.  People don’t treat themselves well, so why would we expect them to treat us well?  For these reasons alone, I can’t love people easily because of the way they treat me or the way they make me feel — even the nicest among us don’t always treat everybody right and don’t always make everybody feel good.  It’s human nature. Thus, it has to be a love of God for always being good no matter what and always showing kindness to me no matter what I do that I gain the ability to love myself when I mess up, and love people who will inevitably do the same.

This is not a new revelation — I've always known that my impatience for dumbness couldn't last.  I do dumb things, too, and only because of God’s grace and mercy have I not suffered the consequences of all of the dumb things I've done.  Some people are dead now for doing less than I've done.

Thus, in full acknowledgment of my need of a heart change toward the majority of people, I am embarking on the 10-day “love dare.”(This is actually suppose to be for 40 days but because of exams, I wouldn't go that far for now).  I will blog my progress daily, under the category “The Love Dare.” Please pray with and for me as I ask God to soften my heart and open me up to the completely foreign concept of unconditional love.

Phenomenal Woman Series: A Journey to Becoming the Proverbs 31 Woman

I feel funny writing this, because as off the chain as I can be at times, people don’t realize that I do strive daily to be a better woman and servant. It’s hard when you have people provoke you, you allow yourself to be stressed and fazed, or you feel overwhelmed. It’s easier to go crazy, to snap, and to lose sight of why you’re here in the first place. However, lately I’m finding that my only sense of peace comes from knowing that I diligently pursued happiness by any means necessary. I’m only content when I believe in my heart that I pleased my Creator in some way by being the best person I could be to the people around me. I keep saying that I’m not perfect; I do have my “ratchet” ways at times, please don’t make me mad. Lol. Nevertheless, growth and progress comes from knowing that as you go all-out to be a better woman on a daily basis, similar to exercise, you will see that “ratchetness” occur in your life less often. I think that’s all God wants anyway, for us to at least try, not judge, but try to be better people individually. So, while we attempt to improve our own lives, hopefully people can be inspired by that and make every effort in their own lives as well.

What is a Proverbs 31 Woman?

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot in church, from my parents, from my mentors, and other ministry leaders about the Proverbs 31 Woman. So after doing some research and studying the BIBLE, I found the Proverbs 31 Woman very interesting to say the least.

Interesting enough, a Proverbs 31 woman is no wimp. I would consider her a "DIVA" :). She is a super woman. She represents a role model that any family woman should strive to emulate.

It is also interesting to know that the book of Proverbs is a book of wisdom. We learn how to handle our family, money, and how to work.

How to represent yourself as Proverbs 31 Woman.
(Proverbs 31:10-31) KJV

A Proverbs 31 Woman is an excellent wife with noble character. She is far more precious than jewels
"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies."

A Proverbs 31 Woman is Trustworthy to her husband
"The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil."
"She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life."

A Proverbs 31 Woman is a hardworking lady and she does not complain
"She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands."
"She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar."

A Proberbs 31 Woman makes sure that her family and servants are well taken care both day and night.
"She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens."

A Proverbs 31 Woman is physically strong
" She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms."

A Proverbs 31 Woman has hope and integrity
She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

A Proverbs 31 Woman is determined to accomplish her goals. She conquers the many obstacles that she is faced with.
"She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff."

A Proverbs 31 Woman helps the poor and needy
"She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy."

A Proverbs 31 Woman takes care of her family, making sure they are always warm and comfortable when it is cold. She is a confident woman.
"She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet."

A Proverbs 31 Woman dress nice and clean with what she have.
"She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple."

A Proverbs 31 Woman husband is well known and has a good reputation because of her
"Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land."

A Proverbs 31 Woman is a Businesswomen. She is a MOMprenuer :)
"She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant."
"She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard."

A Proverbs 31 Woman is strong both mentally and emotionally
"Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come."

A Proverbs 31 Woman has a positive attitude. She teaches others her wisdom and knowledge
"She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness."

A Proverbs 31 Woman puts her family first and has values and morals about herself
"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness."

A Proverbs 31 Woman is blessed and her family praises her
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

A Proverbs 31 Woman is determinded and is fully persuaded.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

A Proverbs 31 Woman is genuine and fears God
"Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised."

A Proverbs 31 Woman is blessed and highly favored amongst many
"Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates." 

In summary, a Proverbs 31 Woman is strong, smart, kind, wise and ambitious. Not for personal gain- but for the purpose of taking excellent care of her family and to bring good to others and be an overall good person- out of her respect and love for God. Who can find a Virtuous Women?

A Proverbs 31 Woman sets an excellent example for any of us to follow. 

Now which one of you wouldn’t want to be this type of woman?

Exactly! I’m working on trying to inspire myself and other women to be more of an example for other women. People will get angry and say we’re stuck up and bourgeois (bougey) but we know whom we are. Inspiration can come in all forms, so as people talk crazy about for living as if we are worth more and we’re blessed, they’ll eventually start to conform and see that blessings are coming our way. Therefore, they will begin to convert in the Proverbs 31 type of woman as well.

Check out this video from Janette “31 to be Exact” 31 Status Spoken Word

I’m excited to go on this journey and allow you to rock with me. No judgement! We are imperfect human beings, but our love and desire to please God is unyielding.

Love and Awesomeness,

Random Ramblings to My DFH

I know that you are a man of God and will love me no matter what I go through, and God only knows that I need someone to help fill me with the Lord. You will need me just as much as I need you, not only in life but in my spiritual walk with God. I can only pray that we will have a strong relationship with the Lord and that I will lift you up as much as you will lift me. I know that I should not be consumed with one person. And I pray that I will be consumed with the Lord while we are in this relationship. I pray that you love Him over me. And that the love that you have for Him will be ten times more than you have for me. 

I know that everyone has their quirks, but I, dear future husband, have some very particular oddities that I need you to sign off on before you commit the remainder of YOUR ENTIRE LIFE to being with me.
In no particular order:

GOD- You must love him, body and soul. And that involves reading the bible and praying together every day. No Compromise!!!

CHURCH is a exceptions..unless we are sick or on a journey :)

NO MATTER HOW EARLY IN THE MORNING, WE WILL ALWAYS DRIVE EACH OTHER TO THE AIRPORT.- As far as I’m concerned, that should be in the wedding vows :)

A RATIONAL, INTELLIGENT ARGUMENT- I don’t mind having one. I don’t even mind losing one. I only mind if you don’t know how to make one.

TRAVEL AND VACATION- are not the same thing.

BUBBLE WRAP- You’ll have to take it away from me, because I will never stop popping it.

CITIZENS OF THE WORLD- Our kids will speak multiple languages. They will have passports before they have driver’s licenses. They will be cooler than us.

GO AHEAD. ASK SIRI HOW TO CHANGE A FLAT TIRE- I will never let you forget this moment for as long as we both shall live.

GIRLFRIENDS- Treat mine well. They know more about you than you could possibly imagine.

YOUR LADY FRIENDS- Have all the female friends you want but if they start telling me how you like your eggs in the morning I’m gonna have a problem with that.

YOUR NAME-is not my computer password, because not only is that easily guessable by hackers, it’s super lame. 

A BURRITO?-Yeah, I could go for a burrito.

EVERY DAY, I AM THANKFUL- That you’re not one of those people who says “for all intensive purposes” or misuses the word “literally” like it’s a catch-all intensifier.

DON’T EVER STOP calling me “the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen”. It may or may not be true, but even when we’re old, I’ll never get tired of hearing that.

IF I HATE SOMETHING OF YOURS so much that I’m tempted to “accidentally” let it fall behind the washer & dryer, I promise to first buy you a replacement to ease your separation anxiety.

LET’S AGREE- We won’t spring new nicknames on each other in public. Stuffs like that should be work shopped behind closed doors until we’re both ready and willing to unleash it on the world.

PROTECTING ME- If we’re out together and a stranger makes inappropriate advances or comments toward me, please don’t hit him.  I’d prefer that the two of you avoided fisticuffs and instead worked through your disagreement via a freestyle poetry battle. Lol….bottom line, don’t fight!!

MUSIC-When i like a song i play it over and over until my mind is satisfied. You have t get used to that

BINOCULARS- We are getting one. I would love to look at the stars with you.

GUITARS: I think it would be the most wonderful thing if you could play the guitar. Not a necessity, I just love the sound of the guitar.

READ: You have to be able to read!! Otherwise how are you ever going to read all the letters and ramblings  I have written to you.

FOOD- I can cook so don't be scared, at the same time don't expect me to cook for you everyday of my life. When I cook, you will be there to keep me company and occasionally I would love to come home to a meal made by you. It's the thought that counts!

HONESTY-Complete and total honesty in ALL things is required. 

FAMILY- I want my kids to have a daddy who is there for his kids 100% of the time. family is number one :)

TEMPERS: Please tell me you don’t need an anger management class? I hate tempers…they are worthless and terrible.

AND LASTLY? Love me forever till the end of time. Let's be so in love it couldn't ever possibly fade. Always in love till forever and beyond.