I am not here for The Celebration of Dysfunctional “love”

Daily Adventures

I don’t know what it is when it comes to relationships nowadays. I have realized that it’s kind of celebrated, expected or assumed that a Black woman is to be a “ride or die” and put up with countless of non sensical things from her significant other in order to be deemed a good girlfriend/ significant other.

It’s like we have to endure pain and put up with things as if that is supposed to be part of our love stories. As if  Black women are supposed to always be constantly waiting for someone else to get their life together to love them the right way. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that love is sometimes complex so are relationships and so is life and that relationships come with both good and bad, but there has to be a line.

I understand that people make their own decisions and can decide to partake in whatever situations they choose to, but what does not sit well with me is the celebration of Black women being victims in unhealthy toxic relationships as long as the end result is marriage.  As if the unhealthy and toxic magically disappears once vows are exchanged and a ring is put on someone’s finger.

What I am saying is you do not have to accept to participate in struggle love, in “less than” love, in “once in a while” love, and in dysfunctional love because it isn’t Love. No one has to.  Relationships are to be built with God at the center with genuine Mutual love and support. You absolutely do not have to continue the narrative. Abuse, constant pain and enduring does not have to be your love story just because Black women are strong and resilient.

Your story does not have to reside in you constantly breaking your own heart waiting for someone else to finally act right. There are people out there who will love you the right way.  You do not have to carry someone else’s brokenness and dysfunction on your back. Sometimes love is you walking away. It’s also you ackowledging how God values and loves you, and honoring that by loving and protecting yourself from being devalued by others. ( thank you to Angelo G. for reminding me of this)

Love,

Lori

 

 

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“I am Waiting on God?”

Daily Adventures

“I am waiting on God” is something I hear people say all the time regarding relationships, careers, and life in general. Putting our complete faith in the Lord is something I admire and something I try on a daily basis to live up to. But, it may be problematic when we use “waiting on God” to justify other things like:

  1. Not Taking Action

Have you ever said yourself or heard people say:” God will close this door if it’s not meant to be?” or “God will give me a sign” etc. though these are not completely wrong all the time, how many times have we allowed these to keep us from acting? I remember hearing a story that went like this:”

“A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.

Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”

The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”

So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”

To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”

To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”

To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?” (Source: Here)

Sometimes we are this man. We don’t take action as if we are waiting for God to live for us or to act for us. I know this has also been me. Like “God would have closed this door if it wasn’t meant to be”, or “God will give me a sign” while I am sitting there not using the free will that God gave me to make the decision that aligns with His will. God gave us free will so I doubt that He will live for us.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 

Faith is also based on actions. If you are not asking, seeking, knocking like the verse says, you are blocking your own blessings by not claiming what God meant to do for you to begin with just like the man who was waiting to be saved, but never acted on it.

2. Not taking responsibility

Just like the man who drowned and ended up saying how God didn’t save him, sometimes we use this as an excuse to not take responsibility for us not acting or for not doing. God calls us to trust Him with everything, to give everything to Him, but He also calls us to act, to make decisions that will lead us to where He wants us to be. Faith is not passivity. Our relationship with God in my opinion should be a two-way street where we also act when we are called to do so instead of letting our fears or insecurities have us expect God to literally move us.

This got me thinking about any areas in my life where God is waiting for me to act on. Whether it be through my love life, career, academics etc. What about you? Any areas in your life you need to faithfully act on?

 

Love,

Lori

When The Shoe Does Not Fit

Thoughts

                      I walked into a store a few years back and saw these beautiful wedges. If you know me, you know heels aren’t usually my thing although I DO love them, I just always pick comfort over wearing them. I can do with wedges though! you know they are comfortable not as much of a pain as regular heels. Anyway, I saw them and instantly thought I wanted them. I wear size 6 in sandals and 7 in regular shoes, but we all know how sizing can sometimes not be accurate. I looked at the size of the wedges and realized they were a 6. I thought: “I am a size 6!” (except this wasn’t a pair of sandals). I tried them on anyway and they were super tight. They looked good on my feet, but super extra tight.   To be honest, they didn’t fit. I thought well I will make them work. I will break them in in no time and took them home.  Believe or not I didn’t only do this with shoes back then.

This behavior was all over my relationships with friends or boyfriend. I had this thing where I would realize that someone wasn’t actually meant to stay in my life or just meant to be there and I would hold on to them thinking I would/could make it work. This went on in almost every relationship I had to the point where I would bend myself backwards to “make things work” with people not meant for me to begin with.

Not loving myself and not knowing my worth in God, made me settle to trying to shape myself to fit people into my life rather than allowing the right people who fit into my life to come to me and stay. I was so bound on making shoes that weren’t meant for me fit that I was loosing sight of the ones God had just for me.

How Has This Affected My Relationships?

I wasn’t being One hundred percent myself making it easier for me to be confused about who genuinely cares and who doesn’t. As a result, it was actually hard to have meaningful friendships not based on just hanging out and joking or doing stuffs together. At the end of the day, not one of my “friends” actually knew who I was aside from things I do or superficial characteristics like “Being a nice person” or a helpful person. I was a people pleaser. I couldn’t say no without feeling bad about it sometimes despite my own well being. There is a fine line between being selfless and being a people pleaser. Selflessness comes from a place of love and service while being a people pleaser tends to come from not owning who you are.

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How  Has This Changed?

I wasn’t liking where my life was headed with this and it took time for me to actually really love myself and to own who I am. Knowing who you are makes you realize that you are not for everyone and that everyone is not meant to be in your life. And that is totally okay. Knowing myself and owning it made me not willing to make anything that wasn’t for me fit anymore. I grasped my identity in Christ and in society which led to me knowing what I want, who I want to be, and who God created me to be. That led to me not settling for anything or anyone less than what/who was meant for me. 

As a result, I have made meaningful relationships with people I truly cared about and people who genuinely cared about me. I also was willing to let anyone or anything that was not good for me go and it was totally okay with me. I am okay with saying no because I only say yes if I am not at the same time saying no to myself. I was confident in God and true to myself, beliefs, and morals. I learned to truly be selfless how God intended me while being myself.

Honestly, I prayed about it a lot. I realized so many times how it breaks God’s heart knowing that He made me and that I was not willing to be who He created me to be. I was not willing to realize whose daughter I was. God sent me people, answers, and the realization of His love through His word to help me through this. I am forever grateful.

Even though I knew in theory about all those things that God says about me and how much He loves me, I had to relearn them and fully grasp what they meant. God has made us in His image. He has redeemed us. He loves us. We can either create a temporary identity for ourselves or we can claim the eternal identity that is found in Christ.  

I am sharing this because if this at some point was/is also you, know that you are enough just for being yourself because you are “fearfully and wonderfully made”.  Find strength in God and in His word. Bring Him your worries so he may show you the way to go. You are so beautiful and loved beyond what you can possibly imagine! So whether it comes to shoes, things, people, learn to accept what is yours and what fits you and let go of what doesn’t. The unnecessary pain you get from forcing things is not worth it.

Here are some verses that I found helpful:

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”- Psalm 139: 13-14

Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”- Luke 12:7

“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”- Genesis 1:26

Love,

Lori

 

 

How I Keep My Prayer Journal

Thoughts

I have been asked about prayer journals since I have published 3 Reasons Why You should keep a Prayer Journal. I know it took forever, but I usually pray before I post anything and if I don’t “feel” it, I will not post it. Whether or not I actually know what I will write about. Anyway, I am sorry it took so long! Let’s get to it.

My prayer journals are usually journals I use to keep track of my growth with God and of my relationship with Him along with my conversations ( prayers) with Him. To be honest, it doesn’t have to be an actual journal in my opinion. It can be on your electronic devices, but I personally like to write and to have a physical journal so that is what I go for. Really, this is all about you and your preferences, but here  is what I include in mine:

  1. The date and even the Time

I didn’t use to do this, but I found it to be very useful to know the exact date and time when I was feeling a certain way or what I was talking to God about. It doesn’t matter that much, but personally I think it’s useful when looking back and realizing how God has been leading me.

 

2. Learned today Section

This is going to sound silly, but I usually write what I have learned on that day or what I have improved or not improved on. I don’t mean on an academic point of view, but about life in general. For example, I may write that today I have learned  or was reminded of the importance of humility and write how I have come to this conclusion. I have found that little things like that go a long way. I would write what God has put in my heart that day and anything that I feel is worth putting on there. That way, I also remember to thank God in my prayers for a particular improvement or pray that He helps me in this particular area so that I may be more like Him. For example, patience is a big thing for me. I have none whatsoever when it comes to certain things; sometimes even little things. So, time and time again I would write that I need to improve on my patience because I felt irritated because of this and that. It is a good way to acknowledge feelings and things that need work. I would then pray to God that He gives me the patience necessary to be able to love a little more like Him every day and that He teaches me how to do so. It is a work in progress, but I am getting there with His help.

 

3. Bible Verses

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I also like to include any bible verses or anything I read that day or that week that spoke to me or that I need some light on. That way, I can remember to ask God to open my heart and mind, and send me His holy spirit so that my mind, heart, and soul can grasp what he wants me to take away from a particular passage. I find this to also be a way to remember and keep in my heart what I have learned from reading a particular book.

 

4.  Prayer

This is my favorite part. I would make sure I read what I previously wrote down so I remember exactly what to thank God for besides the usual millions of things and I would pray about what I need to work on, where I have failed Him etc. I would also give thanks for what I have learned from a particular bible verse or what I need His help understanding.  To me, it is usually a conversation, as personal as it can get. I usually write “Dear God” to begin. This part is all up to you! Just open your heart to your father and be sure that He listens!

 

These are the four things I include in my prayer journal. Since I like to keep things organized, they are indeed in this very order, but as I said before, it is all up to you! I am sharing how I keep mine to maybe give someone else an idea. I hope you found this useful! Let me know in the comments!

 

Love,

 

Lori