Monday, January 30, 2012

"On Fire": QUOTE OF THE DAY

Donna...

She's a writer friend of mine (check out "Purity's Big Payoff/Premarital Sex Is a Big Rip-Off " or her online ministry On My Own Ministries) and after a little Q&A (and mutual article assigning), I *so dig* that she says she met her husband at 36. Anyway, I also really appreciate the wisdom that she as regarding what, in hindsight, women should consider in selecting their *lifetime covenant partner*. She shared a lot of this on X3Church.com today and here's an excerpt:

"I was 36-years-old when I met my husband and had by that time finished my education, traveled extensively, bought and sold a house and advanced in career. I was (and still am) an independent woman. I believed I was looking for a true partner – an equal in the adventure of life. Why was it then, that 'Alpha Texan' (my husband’s online dating handle) caught my eye? And why did his big broad shoulders, deep voice and imposing presence so impress me? As it turned out, much to my surprise, this modern woman actually yearned inside for a man who could be a spiritual and emotional umbrella. This makes sense to me now as I reflect on my own strong, silent father and the fact that in all of my close relationships, I am the anchor. I am plenty strong, but what I long for in a mate is someone – one single person in this world – to be strong for me."

Love it!

You know how when you're  trying to do what's right for your physical health, while grocery shopping, you're advised to *check the labels*? Juice, for instance, is a general term. Look at the calories. Check out the first ingredient. Is it *juice* or (SMH) *cocktail*? (LOL) I think we should process if a man is right for us in a similar fashion: we should look for certain details that are important to a successful longterm commitment. Because you know what else is a general term? *HUSBAND*.

Just something to think about. Oh, and you can check out all of what Donna had to say on the blog here.

ykl,

SRW

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"On Fire": How HONEST Are You...with You?

Hey Ladies...

So...as I was doing some praying and pondering about the "On Fire" gals today, it was interesting where the Spirit led me: to the subject that is perfectly encompassed in this title: "In the New Year, Be Honest with Yourself".

Yeah. I know.

It's almost (can you believe it?!?) February and so yes, I'm pretty sure that the title of the article is a dead giveaway that it was published a little while ago. 12/30/11, to be exact. But for whatever reason, it's *now* that it seems to be a priority. At least in this public forum. Hmm...now that I think about it, it does make sense. We know that next month brings about a certain holiday that some women try to act like they don't care about, but secretly do.

Maybe a bit of honestly can start there, eh?

So anyway, after reading the piece, I saw this part that I really want to encourage as many as possible to take part in. As soon as possible too:

If you find yourself making connections between something that happened today and something in the past, all the better. Most of us are creatures of habit. Our objective is to find and reinforce those habits that enrich our well-being and find and eventually put aside those that are not in alignment with who we really are.

Some possible questions:


• What did I do that made me happiest?

• Where did I feel ashamed of myself?

• What action would I do over again and how?

• What moved me to act the way I did?

• What habits or tendencies worked for or against me?

• When did I feel most in alignment with what is best in me?


Try this simple form of self-reflection tonight. And you will be practicing the art of confession, confession in its purest sense: self-confession. Just zero in on one thing that showed you at your best and resolve to be that person tomorrow. Think about one thing that you didn't like about yourself and try not to repeat it.

See how the next day goes. I think you'll find yourself stopping short of doing those things your reflection showed aren't good for you or for your relationships with others. You'll find yourself smiling as you speak and acting in your best interests — in the best interests of the person you really know yourself to be.


I really dig those questions because it's amazing how many of us want an honest relationship with someone else when we're not being *fully truthful* about who, where and why we are...not just when it comes to desiring certain things but being certain kinds of people. And so, if you get a chance tonight, tomorrow, or over the weekend, break out a journal and do some penning on those questions, with a twist: answer them *solely as they relate to your relational experiences with men*.

*What did you do in your *healthiest* relationship that made you the happiest?


*What did you do in your *most dysfunctional relationship* that made you feel ashamed of yourself?


*What action, in a relationship, would you do over again? Why and how?


*What habits or tendencies work for you in relationships? Which ones work against you?


*Which relationship did you have where you felt like you were in alignment with the best in you? How do you know that to be true? What efforts are you putting in place to be realigned in that way?

Why do I ask? Because here's the deal: I think if you do some *real soul searching* on those questions, you just may discover that if you're bound, either to certain people, certain habits or certain cycles, it's all because honesty, *internal honesty*...somewhere...is amiss. Because when you're in an honest (and open-Psalm 119:18-NCV) relationship (first with yourself), when you live in *real truth*, according to the Word, which is God (John 1:1), there is freedom (John 8:32). Therefore, if you're not feeling free to love, free to see, free to be you, *totally*, then there's a good chance that you're attracting the kind of individual who is *just as compromised as you are*. An honest love is a reflection of two honest people and in honesty, there is (preach!) "honorable principles, intentions, and actions", there is "uprightness and fairness", there is "sincerity and frankness", there is "genuine and unadulterated" words and deeds exchanged. And when that's the case, it opens up doors for the synonyms of the word: "opportunity", "power", "privilege", "sovereignty" and "God-given rights".

HONESTY MANIFESTS GOD-GIVEN RIGHTS. Like a real and loving relationship.

Whew! No wonder the Word tells us things like:

"My hope is in you, so may goodness and honesty guard me."---Psalm 25:21(NCV)

"Good people will be guided by honesty; dishonesty will destroy those who are not trustworthy."---Proverbs 11:3(NCV)

"In every way be an example of doing good deeds. When you teach, do it with honesty and seriousness."---Titus 2:7(NCV)


Honesty guides. Dishonesty destroys.

So...when it comes to you and your quest for covenant, are you feeling a little lost? *Honestly?*

Ladies, my prayer, for us all, is that we'll make *freedom* and *honorableness* (nobility, CREDIBILITY, justness) and *guidance* greater priorities. In loving God, in loving ourselves...*in preparation for loving our future Beloved*.

After all, truth resonates truth. Be it and you'll get it. Omit it and...*exactly*.

I'll be believing Adonai for your deliverance in this area. I really will. And as I've been quoting *for months now*, hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5).

Ahavah Shalom,

SRW

Thursday, January 19, 2012

"On Fire": QUOTE OF THE DAY

GET. FREE. WHEW!!!

While reading an article just a little while ago entitled, "Men's 10 Biggest Complaints About Women", in reading #7, I couldn't help but like "Ouch!" and "Whoa..." (LOL):

You fixate on what we’re thinking, when you should be watching what we’re doing (7/10)
 

You ask, “What are you thinking?” and we say, “Nothing.” You figure this must be a lie, and decide that we aren’t willing to communicate with you. The problem is, this is the wrong question to ask. We’re action-oriented. You don’t need to ask what we’re thinking, just watch what we’re doing. Coming home late every night? We’re not happy at home. Uninterested in sex, probably crushed by stress. Not calling you back even though we said, “I love you?” We don’t love you. You can save the questions about musings until you see a change in our behavior. That’s the surest sign that something needs to be discussed.

YOU DON'T NEED TO ASK WHAT WE'RE THINKING, JUST WATCH WHAT WE'RE DOING. AND NOT DOING!!!

Yeah. Gotta love when a *man* actually pens how *men* think. Straight-no-chaser. And I'm thankful for it!

Puts a whole 'new spin on "Faith WITHOUT WORKS is *dead*." (James 2:14-26)

TAKE. HEED.

SRW

Monday, January 16, 2012

"On Fire": QUOTE OF THE DAY

"If he was going to become a great partner, he would have already done so. Men don't just wake up one day more interested in you or all of a sudden in love. Men to fall in love have to think about you. A hot and cold man doesn't spend a lot of time thinking about you. Here is a hard truth about these men. His attraction for you is not that strong.

More times than not, men that blow hot and cold may not see you as his dream girl. A man would never blow hot and cold to his dream girl. He might lose her. If he blows hot and cold, you could be just an option for now until someone else comes along. A man who is a good partner would not do this to a woman he truly cares about. He would not lead her on and then disappear for days. He wouldn't call some days and go silent for others.

Some hot and cold men stay around for a long time before they disappear. I have seen men blow hot and cold for one woman and turn around and blow hot all the time for another woman. Are you the fall girl here or his dream girl?"


You can read this article in its entirety here.

GOOD STUFF.

SRW

"On Fire": When a Relationship Dies, Where Does the Love Go?

"There are three things that are too hard for me, really four I don't understand: the way an eagle flies in the sky, the way a snake slides over a rock, the way a ship sails on the sea, and the way a man and a woman fall in love."---Proverbs 30:18-19(NCV)

(Disclaimer: This is for people in a *non-married* relationship. For married people, different rules and spiritual responsibilities---and blessings---apply.)


Yes, yes.

And the fact that King Solomon, the man who is arguably considered to be the wisest man in the world (I Kings 3), is saying that he doesn't understand the way that a man and woman fall in love with each other, that should *definitely* let us off of the hook from feeling crazy (or naive or stupid) when we're baffled by it! Before, during or after. A relationship.

I have stated on here on more than one occasion that I absolutely adore the Seventh-Day Sabbath (Friday sunset thru Saturday sunset- 20:8-11) and a big part of that is because since the Word, which is God (John 1:1), tells us that it is the day that the Most High *blessed* and *hallowed*, I believe there are special revelations that are given on it that do not come at any other time (kinda like how tithing brings about special rewards as well-Malachi 3). I also believe that's why the thief (John 10:10) has worked so hard at keeping *so many people* from honoring it.

But that's another message for another time.

Anyway, this past Sabbath the Comforter (John 14:16-AMP) and I were having a conversation about love. More specifically the wounds that often develop when a love relationship comes to an end. Real talk? Some romantic relationships end because they never should've started to begin with. Others end because of poor timing. Still some end because one of the partners decides to stop participating and believe you me, it is hard to do a relationship all by your lonesome. Yet no matter what the specific set of circumstances may be, when a person truly believes that they really did their best and a part of that was giving their best emotion, LOVE, it can be really hard to move past the pain once the journey ends (or reroutes...also another message for another time). Because after all...

"When a relationship dies, where does the love go?"

This was the question that I asked the Divine Spirit. I was a bit taken aback by his reply:

"Well, not many of you do it, but you should release those feelings back to us---the Godhead."

He then provided me a visual of a funeral. And things got really clear.

Ecclesiastes 9:5(NKJV) tells us, "For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten." There's one valid argument for why dead people are not in heaven. Yet. Another is thanks to this verse in Scripture: "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord." (I Thessalonians 4:15-17-NKJV) And Ephesians 5:14(NKJV) gives us yet another: "Therefore He says: 'Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.'" The dead know nothing. The dead in Christ will rise first (if dead people automatically went to heaven, why would Christ need to come back to get people who are already there?). The dead are asleep.

When we go to funerals, it's not actually a "Homegoing Service" because *only the Lord knows* (Romans 2:12-16, I Corinthians 4:5) who will be going to heaven or not. *After the Second Coming* (although it is nice to be as optimistic as possible!). No, what we are attending is a service to honor and celebrate the life (James 4:14) that the person lived *while here on earth*. And that is because they are *dead*: "no longer living" and "deprived of life". The spirit of a person returns to the Source (Genesis 2:7), but their vessel is asleep. Until God decides to resurrect them. Until the Source decides to give them their spirit back. Yet here's the catch: that's only *one definition* of "dead". There are a few others that explain what a lot of us go through when relationships, well...*die*:

Dead: no longer in use, valid, effective, or relevant; unresponsive or unaware; insensible; lacking in freshness, interest, or vitality; withered; faded

These are examples of how relationships die. Sometimes they are no longer effective or *relevant*. Sometimes people are involved with someone who decides to be unresponsive or unaware of what is needed for the relationship to thrive. Or survive. Sometimes someone in the relationship ceases to have any more interest. Sometimes relationships simply fade away.

You know, John 4:24 tells us that God is Spirit. I John 4:16 tells us that God is love.

Do you know what the "Whoa God! Do it God!" revelation was for me? In all of this?

I thought about the funerals that I've attended (more than my fair share, *trust me*) and how I had always had a peace because I understood that the spirit of the person went back to God. Even when my fiance' died, I understood this to be true. There was nothing that I could do about that fact and I certainly did miss him, yet there was also an unexplainable peace in it all. Honestly, I always felt really bad and a bit confused and uncomfortable for the people in the funeral services who just couldn't seem to let go of the person in the casket...*literally*.

They were dead. Those that loved them, in order for them to continue living, *had to be let go*.

Then I thought about my past relationships. How, honestly, I have clowned just as badly as those folks at those funerals because I wasn't willing to accept the relational death that had taken place. And it showed by the fact that I kept loving with the same focus and fervency as I had when the relationship was *alive*:

Alive: in a state of action; in force or operation; active; full of energy and spirit; lively; alert or sensitive to; aware of; in existence

Ecclesiastes 7:18(Message) tells us that, "It's best to stay in touch with both sides of an issue. A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it." The reality check here is that when *both partners* are not being *active* in a relationship, when they both are not being alert, sensitive to and aware of one another's needs, it ceases to be in the kind of existence that a *happy, healthy and whole* relationship is supposed to be and so yes, there is a death. And yet, when you're used to loving so much and sometimes for so long, wisdom is teaching me that often the pain goes deeper after the fact all because you don't allow that love to transition. Into something else. Into the blaring fact that:

Love that is needed to keep something alive is not the same kind of love we should be expressing once something is dead.

"Shellie, just like a dead person's spirit goes back to me, when a relationship comes to an end, one of the first prayer requests that you should make is for me to give you the strength, grace and faith to give your love back to me. Love comes from me. I am the Source and only I can resurrect the dead. *Any dead*. And only if I so choose. You won't be able to let go, fully heal and move forward unless you really rest in the understanding of that fact."

Hold a funeral for a relationship to honor the life that once *was*.

Then remember that love, godly love, isn't a past tense experience. God IS love.

Therefore, when a relationship transitions, so does the love. The love itself doesn't die, but in giving it back to the Source, it is given the miraculous ability to change form so that the love isn't tainted and the heart is given real space and freedom to be restored. In order to embrace something new.

Something that's...*alive*.

Whether it's resurrecting a past relationship or embarking upon something totally new. Again, because God IS love, God IS spirit, it's something that needs to be left, totally, in his hands.

Yep. There's no tellin' how much grief, pun intended, I could've spared myself had I thought to talk to the Godhead about this *years* ago, but praise them now for *loving me*, *LOVING US*, enough to tell us in this season. At this very moment.

In life, there is death. Therefore, relationships do die sometimes. But don't let the love be harmed by it.

Give it back to God. Let him transform it and you.

And watch the kind of LIFE that comes as a result.

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."---Psalm 147:3(NKJV)

And God does it for a reason. And a purpose.

God IS love. He's *always* loving and working that love for our good. In the present. That's what "is" means.

Prayin' for the hurting this week...

SRW

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"On Fire" (and an Ounce of Prevention): QUOTE OF THE DAY

Yeah...

In having a bit of a counseling session with a male friend of mine re: a "slip up" in his relationship, this was his closing statement:

"Take a little advice from me...at this point, make sure to continue to wait. It's so not worth it. On top of all of that, it was not good...not because I didn't somewhat enjoy it, but as you well know, sex is a full body experience.  Your heart, mind and soul really needs to be into it to make it the way it's supposed to be. If your heart is convicted that it's wrong, your heart isn't into it. Therefore, your mind wants to go along but doesn't completely go along, so it's there, but it's going through the motions, not giving it 100%. Your flesh is always willing, but it's not driven, so it's half-stepping at best. From what my friends have told me, even if you're a player, you're still totally wrapped up 'in the moment' until the moment is over. None of that was happening for me...or her, really. Don't do it...not only is it not following God's best for you, it's also a waste of time."

'NUF. SAID.

SRW

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"On Fire": 10 QUESTIONS EVERY SINGLE WOMAN SHOULD ASK (AND ANSWER) HERSELF IN A RELATIONSHIP

"Now prepare yourself like a [wo]man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me."---Job 38:3(NKJV)

“Sometimes questions are more important than answers.”---Nancy Willard


I recently got hired to do some writing for a romance website. Currently, that's *really funny* to me because...let's just say that I'm transitioning and so romance is a quirky (yeah, quirky is a good word-LOL) concept for me. In this season. And yet it seems like the universe (and the God of it) has been encouraging me to press on...in this category. And so...I shall. Be ye not weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9), right? Amen. And amen.

Anyway, as I was exploring a topic to pen on earlier today, I thought about bullet point articles (you know the "7 Ways to..." and "10 Reasons Why..." kind). The many that I have read on the issue of relationships and how some of been really helpful, some have been utterly ridiculous and some...are just redundant.

As I was talking to the Comforter (John 14:16-AMP) about bullet point pieces segueing into Q&A articles, I was sharing with him the fact that I think there are a lot of matters-of-the-heart traps that single women fall into because they may read a lot of stuff in search of information, but they don't always ask themselves the right questions. The kind that will lead them to the wisdom, knowledge *and understanding* that they seek. And so, after chatting it up with the Spirit (John 4:24) a bit, here is the conclusion we came to---the 10 questions that, if single women *really sought the answers to*, it would help them to better guard their (heart), not enter into danger zones and therefore result in making more spiritually-responsible choices *before* selecting someone to date (court) so that they can maintain a high level of maturity throughout the relationship (and this is key) so that *purposeful progress* is made.

Drum roll, please (LOL):

1)  What is my *honest* reason for wanting a/this relationship right now? Is it *purposeful*? (Kingdom-building purposeful)


2) Am I emotionally and spiritually stable (i.e., healthy, self-aware) enough for a relationship? In this season.


3) How does the object of my affection (desire, attention) *add* to my life?


4) What Christ-like qualities (based on how the Word explains the nature of Christ to be) does he have and how does he model them to me? *Daily*. (List 10)


5) Does he want what I want? First, to please God (with or without me). Second, to remain sexually pure until marriage. And thirdly, to be in a marriage. THE COVENANT KIND. And did he feel this way prior to knowing me? Did he *live* this way prior to knowing me?


6) Do his weaknesses only make me weaker? In other words, do our strengths and weaknesses balance one another out? Do they help us to hold one another accountable?


7) Do I find myself making more sacrifices to make the relationship work than I should? And is it at the expense of not obeying my Father? (Remember it is better to *obey* than to *sacrifice*-I Samuel 15:22 and "more than you should" is more than you would for any other *friendship* since that is what you should be focusing on most with him at his time)


8) Am I denying the truth of the Lord's expectations of a godly relationship to remain in the one that I'm in, therefore, whether consciously or subconsciously, making this guy my idol? Am I *lying to myself* to stay in the relationship? WHAT AM I *DENYING MYSELF OF* TO STAY IN THE RELATIONSHIP?


9) In what ways have I seen my self spiritually *soar* since knowing him? In what ways am I stagnant? Or going backwards?


10) In being with this man, and perhaps someday marrying him, what kind of legacy will the two of us together leave for our future children? In other words, are we a *good* combination or is he just someone that I want to be with? Am I even looking for qualities that prove him to be a leader, a protector, a provider and a father? Is he the kind of person that can mentor a son and set an example for a daughter of what a godly man is to be?

Loaded questions. Yes, indeedy. But I think if you get out a journal and write this stuff out, it may surprise you (maybe good, maybe not so good but definitely progressive) what you discover. Sometimes, we're so busy being "in it" that we don't *really see* what we are (or are not) getting *out of it*. And if a relationship is not making you *better*, it's DEFINITELY one to *reconsider* on this side of jumping the broom. A man is to be *surplus* not a *void-filler*. No gods before God. NO GODS BEFORE GOD.

Enjoy the journey towards more discovery,

SRW

Sunday, January 8, 2012

"On Fire": Research Biblical Husbands. Discover What You Need to Feel Valued.

"The man who loves his wife loves himself."---Ephesians 5:28(NCV)


Monday, January 9 makes five years of me...not doing that married people do. In the marriage bed.

And just as I was sharing on another blog platform that I pen for, *this year*, it doesn't bring forth all of the "!!!" that it has in times past. Honestly? I'm a bit...neutral about it: knowing that it's what is expected of me as a Bible-believing single woman and yet, in being unsure of how long this unmarried status will last, I'm not clear on how to process it all. Moving forward. I do know the Word, which is Adonai (John 1:1), is true, though and since it says that in confession there is healing and with prayer there is power (James 5:16), prayer that I maintain would be *mad appreciated*. Nobody said faith was easy. Just that it's required.

In the meantime, as I was pondering all of the emotional detoxing that I've done over the past 365 days, I thought about how the "refiner's fire" has brought me to certain levels of clarity about not just what marriage entails, but what a husband should be like; *not just in general, but as it relates to me and my specific needs*. So often, especially within the Church, we are so used to repeating what we hear other people say that we don't *really pay attention to what is being said*.

Take, "I'm just waiting for my Boaz" for instance.

For one, Ruth didn't *wait* for Boaz. She worked *hard* in his fields and then, real talk, she came onto him. And, as much of an honorable man as he appears to have been, I wonder why it's often not stated that Boaz married Ruth, *partially out of obligation*. I'm not knocking the man, by any means. He *was* a good provider. He *does* appear to have been a gentleman. He *did* care about doing things in an orderly fashion---a way that would protect Ruth's character and Naomi's legacy. I'm just pointing out some of the facts that tend to be overlooked.

Personally, after doing some research on husbands in the Bible, the men who top my list (and not necessarily in this order) are Jacob for his unbreakable focus when it came to getting Rachel, Adam for the way he honored covenant *no matter what*, Elkanah for loving Hannah even in spite of her barrenness, King Xerses for his provision capabilities, unselfishness and the fact that he *listened* to his wife, Joseph for his ability to *hear and move* based on what the Lord told him to do and while it's not totally clear (to me) if they ever married, oh how I love the shepherd boy's passion in the Song of Solomon. As a poet, writer and passionate woman myself, I desire a man that digs me. I mean *really* digs me, just like the shepherd boy did the Shulamite woman.

This resolve was further confirmed when I read an article earlier this morning entitled, "Role of the Husband in the Bible". There was a line within it that says, "Husband, if you do not love your wife, you are at fault, regardless. If your love [has] grown cold, you have sinned."

Wow. IF YOUR LOVE HAS GROWN COLD, YOU HAVE SINNED.

Yep. *Hot love* is something that is biblically sound *and* the right of any godly wife!

It amazes me how many times, in times past, when it came to my interaction with romantic interests, I've overlooked this fact. It also amazes me, in hearing the stories of many women's dating escapades, how they seem to have as well. Because here's the thing: if a guy is not passionate about showing his interest in you while dating (and it really needs to be courting), why do so many women think that will change after the wedding (which really should be called a "covenant celebration")?

Kinda dating + Kinda into you = Sorta married

And a "sorta marriage", according to that article, is lukewarm and a lukewarm marriage is sinful!

And then to really drive the point home (and park it-LOL), I thought about something Ted Haggard's daughter said to him on "Celebrity Wife Swap" last week (that Ted Haggard/Gary Busey combo was fun-ny to me!). In speaking with her father about desiring more time with him, he said, "I always have time for you. When you need me, come and find me. I'll always be here." I loved her reply. She simply said, "It places more value on me when you seek me out." 

Value: relative worth, merit, or importance 

Seek: to go in search or quest of; to try to find or discover by searching or questioning; to try to obtain; to try or attempt (usually followed by an infinitive); to go to

She feels important to him when he searches for her. When he tries to discover more about her. When he makes attempts to spend time with her and get to know her better. Beautiful (and don't even get me started on why this is yet another reason why girls needs fathers in their lives...*to set this kind of standard!*).

I thought about how that applies to me personally at this juncture as well. Personally, I'm more in the "be sought after" lane because means "to be desired or in demand". See, I told y'all I was a passionate chick (LOL)! I want a man who finds me to be someone "in demand"---a top priority requirement in his life. For a long-term relationship to work, that is of *utmost importance* to me. And you know what? It's nice to *finally*, at 37, be at some "I know what my deal breakers are" places in this part of my life. Yep. I've been single and abstinent long enough to know that I'm not settling for less than being a woman who is *sought after* even once I am *brought over* to my Beloved.

And on the brink of this five-year anniversary, for all of the "On Fire" gals, I think this is my bottom line. A part of being single is becoming *whole*. Not just as an individual, but in breaking away from fragmented philosophies re: what you desire in a future covenant companion. Oh, how often so many of us *claim* to have a resolve about the kind of husband we want/need and then some guy comes along and it all crumbles. And how can you build *anything* on a shaky foundation? Ladies...*you can't*.

So, I encourage you this year to spend your own time researching the husbands of the Bible. Which ones "do it for you" and why? Spend more time deciding what you need to feel valued. Oh, and read that article that I mentioned in this blog and perhaps keep a journal filled with this information along the way. Nelson Mandela once said, "There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."

Think that doesn't apply to marriage? *Of course it does!*

Continue your quest for self and relational discovery. Embrace what you find. Receive what God reveals.

'Cause after all of this time, who wants to be "kinda sorta married"?!? Not me!

Ahavah Shalom,

SRW

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"On Fire": QUOTE (AND VIDEO) OF THE DAY

Oh these kiddies today (LOL)...

How they've missed out on *so much good television programming*. Just now, while finishing up a deadline, I heard Dwayne Wayne (you know, from a "Different World") say this in response to Freddie Brooks asking, "What's the point in praying if you're not gonna get what you prayed for?"

Dwayne (after a really great lil' story to illustrate his point): "When you pray, you can ask for things, you can yell, you can try and cut a deal. Sometimes you get what you want. Sometimes you get what you need. Sometimes you just get what you get. You know what God does? I think he helps you hang in with what you get."


Sometimes, nothing more needs to be said. ;-)

Have a good one.

SRW

Sunday, January 1, 2012

"On Fire": 2012: May You Be Blessed with a Great Pair of Jeans and a Great Man!

Hey Ministers-in-Training...

Indeed, a new (calendar) year is upon us. I really can't believe just how fast time is moving. More and more, I am learning to *really* do just what Proverbs 27:1(NKJV) tells us to: "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth"; to embrace *each and every day* as a building block for the next...to not be so focused on what *could happen* or quite possibly *will happen* that I lose sight of what *is happening*: growth...change...transition...preparation.

As I was praying for the "On Fire"...um...team (LOL), I thought about an article that I recently read on one of my favorite websites, Aish.com. It's entitled, "Stuck in the Dating Desert". It's a Q&A format piece. Here's the question:

Dear Rosie & Sherry,

I’m at my wits end. I have been dating for many years, and I still haven't found my soul mate. (Or maybe I did, but he didn't think I was his.) Either way, I'm still single and very unhappy about it.

I've tried everything. I moved to New York. I got a makeover and take really good care of my looks and my health. I have joined several Jewish Internet dating services and have met with matchmakers. I've looked at my character traits and I have been working to improve those that need strengthening.

My therapist says that as long as I'm doing the right things, that should console me. I think that's crazy. Every time I do something positive, I go to bed feeling even worse. I live a productive life – I have a good job and my colleagues and students like me – but that doesn't stop me from thinking about this… all the time.

I find myself hating engaged people and newlyweds. I avoid them whenever possible. I don't have the strength to wish them mazel tov, and I've probably hurt many people's feelings because of this.

My friends say I should "get back on the horse" and go back on the Internet sites, but I think it’s a waste of time and money. I have no hope. And I don't like what I've become. I pray to God to help me find the right person, but I can't bear it any more. I don't know what else to do. Help!

Now, if this is something that you can relate to, I'll let you go to the link and check out their advice (they had some really good insights, by the way). However, I'll share with you what the Comforter---THE COMFORTER (John 14:16-AMP)---personally shared with me about it---about how to deal with feeling like you're either in a dating desert or just...alone in a desert. You know, kinda like the Israelites: knowing that what you've left behind is no good, believing that the Promised Land is real and ahead of you, but not really enjoying the desert experience. And why would you? Just by the very definition of the word, your feelings are fully justified: "any place lacking in something".

With the emotional roller coaster ride that I have been on for the past couple of years that culminated into a sickening thud of disappointment just days before my rebaptism last September, I must admit that I can relate to wanting to find some relief. I laughed when I *finally* got some via a (Riders by) Lee jeans commercial. It's what Stacy London says in the very beginning of it: "Wear what FITS and FLATTERS" that hooked me. I've seen it dozen of times, but for some reason, *on that particular day*, it struck a harmonious chord within. Indeed, there is nothing like getting a pair of jeans that fit and flatter. Not one or the other. *Both*.

If you've been following these postings long enough, then you know that I believe that the Spirit (John 4:24) speaks to me really closely to the way that I speak. *That said*, it was funny when I heard him say, "You've lost a few pounds. Get a new pair of jeans. And while you're looking for a pair that 'fit' and 'flatter', how about you commit to settling for no less when it comes to a man while you're at it." Man oh man! Have you looked up the definitions of "fit" and/or "flatter" lately?

Fit: (adj.) adapted or suited; appropriate; proper or becoming; qualified or competent, as for an office or function; PREPARED OR READY; in good physical condition; in good (spiritual) health; (v) to be of the right size or shape for; to adjust or make conform; to make qualified or competent

Flatter: to try to please by complimentary remarks or attention; to represent favorably (by approval and support); TO SHOW TO ADVANTAGE


The first point? Flatter has other definitions as well, ones that aren't so...well, flattering. Hence the need to reiterate the purpose of waiting on someone who doesn't *just* flatter, but fits you as well.

The second point? Observation and a bit of experience have taught me that just like a pair of ill-fitted jeans, some women are so desperate just to be with someone, that they are not even willing to see that the guy they are currently with (or wanting to be with) is *not* the right fit. He's not getting prepared for covenant, which means he's not even close to being ready *and* it doesn't really reflect that being with him is *holistically advantageous* for her.

Point three: A lot of times our prayer focus, as it relates to this matter, may not be to be joined to who's *fitting* or *flattering*. We want a companion, sure, but we're not asking the Lord to bless us with who is *appropriate*, *becoming*, *qualified for the office or function*...someone who will *represent us favorably*. And again, just like a pair of great fitting jeans, that doesn't usually happen overnight. It requires patience. It requires determination. It requires *really knowing yourself and being willing to observe from all angles* who is best for you. And who isn't. *And why*. It's about being with a man who is in good spiritual health, a man who is willing to make the necessary adjustments to be a responsible husband...a man who is the right size and shape in every relevant way. A MAN WHO IS A FITTING AND FLATTERING VESSEL TO BECOME ONE WITH (Genesis 2:24-25) US. AND IT'S ABOUT BEING THE KIND OF WOMAN WHO WILL NOT COMPROMISE UNTIL WE ARE BROUGHT TO HIM (Genesis 2:22).

All of that from a jeans commercial? Yep. Can you believe it (LOL)?

And so, this will be my prayer for all single women desiring covenant in 2012. That when someone asks, "So why aren't you married?" you can confidently say, "I'm waiting for the one who fits and flatters me."

Oh! And that in those desert times, you will hold this Scripture close to your head and heart; one that is speaking to the return of Christ, but being that Scripture often speaks to Christ being the groom coming to get us, his bride, I think is fitting. And flattering:

"Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he's called you to be, pray that he'll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely."---2 Thessalonians 1:11-12(Message)

Here's to walking in faith, walking in grace, walking in love. Towards something...*greater*.

Ahavah Shalom,

SRW