Tag Archive | Love

Beginning to Bloom

Tis the season for transition.  For moving.  For meeting new people.  God is opening my heart.  He is opening me like a flower that is blooming.  The season is changing.  There are lots of prophecies coming forth.  Lots of confirming words.  Lots of things to look forward to.  I share my struggles with my sisters.  With my roommate.  With our cat.  I’m going to miss him when I leave, but I’m grateful they will not be too far way.

After five years I’ll be saying goodbye to my landlords.  The same ones who came to my 30th Zumba party and my first book release party and gave me a job when I was laid off.  Such love.  Such favor.  Such family.

I’ll be saying hello to the woman who raised me.  The woman who needs me in this hour.  The tables have turned.  I am honored to be there for her.  I recognize the sacrifice that is shown on my part.

Sacrifice displays love.

There is a sacrifice of another sort in my belly.  It has been there for quite a while.  He has been there for quite a while.  And even in the messy way I have responded to the sacrifice, He, like a loving Father moves towards and not away.

At His nudging, I practice opening my heart.  I practice having conversations and being open and letting new people in.  I do this because I realize the only way we can receive a gift is to open our hands to receive it.  Open our hearts to receive it.

Hoster-Flower_Blooming

It is almost June.  It is almost summer.  The season for blooming is here…

Father give us grace and courage to be open.  Give us grace to bloom.

SHALOM

Soulmates & Singleness


Last night I had a good conversation with a dear friend.  We talked about one of our most frequented topics: singleness.  We reminisced about the times spent walking out this path we never thought we’d face and how much we’ve grown since those early days.  Where had the time gone?  We wondered.  I remembered an old video on black women finding love after 40 and some who never “found love” at all.  My friend had also watched that video way back when and shared her sentiments on it.  “It’s depressing” she said.  I can see why she would feel that way though I don’t remember having that perspective as a 20- something watching it.  I only remember thinking, “That won’t be me!”  Even if I didn’t verbally say those words, I feel that message was ingrained deeply in my heart.  You see at that time in my spiritual walk I didn’t understand that God could (and would) use time to work out some stuff that would hinder purpose and identity from being manifested through me.  I certainly didn’t see the stuff I needed working out at that point so of course I didn’t think He would need to do too much work on me.  Ah, to be young and naïve again😆.  My timeline was that of the culture’s timeline and even now I struggle against that mindset.  But what I have learned in the time that has occurred between then and now is this: Father knows best.  I now understand that when God says, “no” it is in my best interest whereas back then I only saw one side of the coin (when God said “no” He was just being mean).  So watching that video back then I interpreted it through that lens.  The one-sided coin lens.

Since I’m a little older now and am actually closer to the age of the women who were interviewed, I decided to re-watch it through these new-more mature lenses.  When I did, I felt grieved for the women who wanted love and for one reason or another did not find it.  I did relate to how they cultivated a full joyful life outside of a relationship.  And I did understand their desire to please God in a life of celibacy that they never envisioned in their future.  But there was one subtle question my heart was asking as the statistics of single, black-educated women rolled on the screen. How healthy are these women?  I wondered.  You see in the last few years I’ve had a lot of revelations as to why I needed singleness and everyone of them had to do with the fact that I myself was very unhealthy.  I wouldn’t have known a healthy relationship if it hit me in the face.  And I’m sure there were good men around me who avoided me like the plague because of my red flags.  Thankfully I had the Holy Spirit who guided me and pruned me and created something a little better than what existed before.  So I watched half of the video and felt their pain and empathized with their cup that I myself am also drinking from, but I also know that we can be limited in our understanding of God’s ways…

Statistics are statistics and I can’t say that I am exempt from them.  Maybe some of the reason I am single is because black men are incarcerated and gay and not educated.  Maybe I am affected by these facts.  But my experience trumps statistics.  And my experience is that I am chosen and God has been very intentional with me to deliver me and heal me and restore me (He is such a good Dad).  He has been very intentional with me to set me apart, teach me and grow me.

I don’t know my future, but I do know my past.  He is my past.  He is Father and Maker and Friend.  And most importantly He is trustworthy.

Job 13:15 (KJV)

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him…

I hate that we are called to very difficult things.  That sometimes we don’t have the answers this side of heaven.

But sometimes we do have the answers.

I have found many answers hidden within the crevices of my heart (Ephesians 3:11).  And often, almost too many times, He has confirmed those answers through dreams and prophecy.  I have lived my life this way for the last 15 years, and I am encouraged by the Spirit of the Lord within my heart that no matter what the statistics say, no matter what another person’s story is or perspective is, I need to stay true to what I know inside.

He has intentionally set me apart for such a time as this and for my own good.  And He will give me the desires of my heart as I have first delighted in Him.

SHALOM

Lessons From A Cat

Yesterday my roommate left for Africa.  It has been a long awaited dream that is now being fulfilled and I bless God for that.  She has been preparing Ben-Samuel all week long for her departure as best she could.  With limited understanding between species who knows how much he actually understood when she told him frequently she would be leaving for a while.  Though I care about Ben he is really her cat and so she does all the heavy duty stuff for him.  When he was sick she took him to the vet.  She changes his litter, buys all his food and is his primary caregiver.  He has also gotten into the habit of sleeping in her room most nights.  For that very reason I have been a little concerned about his response to her departure.

When we got Ben it was clear he was suffering from abandonment and really enjoyed people. He was so excited to be in our home that he made sure he was apart of every conversation and even made it a point to sit at the kitchen table to join us for meals!  I have never seen such a cat.  When we are lounging around the house he easily climbs on our laps and even computers just to snuggle.  But lately I have noticed he has gotten even more attached to my roommate and thus I wondered how would he respond to her absence?

I can’t help but see a parallel of this season with God and Ben’s relationship to my roommate.  She made sure to spend extra time with him, love on him and even tell him that she would be gone for a little while, but if Ben is anything like me, those things would fail in comparison to the seemingly never ending absence.  You see, I can look back on this prior year and see how God was preparing me for the season of “silence”.  I can see how much He was overwhelming me with feelings of His love.  I felt it everywhere and wondered at people who did not.  I can see how He was revealing Himself to me and who I am to Him in my heart and mind, flooding me in every waking moment of this revelation.  I can see now it was all preparation for the darkness to come.

I tell myself cats are like kids and are resilient.  I tell myself Ben will be ok and though he doesn’t know it, her leave is only for a short while.  I must also believe these things about myself.  I am learning resilience these days.  I’m learning to be secure in a love I most days no longer “feel”.  I’m learning to trust the Word over my emotions and I’m learning that though I may still desire a sign a sign has already been given.  Many signs in fact.

Right now as I type this post Ben is sleeping on my leg.  He has joined me for an early morning snuggle after trying to eat my cereal.  For some reason he likes people food…

And in that picture I am shown the need to adapt.  And the need to seek out other ways to have our needs met.  And I am grateful for this picture which I’m sure is given from the Father of all creation.

family-picture

SHALOM

His Mercies Are New

windowlight_1

 

This morning I got dressed in another fabulous outfit. I know they are fabulous because my roommate tells me so each morning right after our greeting 😉. We made chit chat about the upcoming election (apparently it is not on Nov 4th the way I’m pretty sure it has always been), the game last night that we were slammed in and of course the one and only Ben-Samuel😊.

I then made my way downtown and into the little cafe across the street  from my job. “Well we’ve gotta win it tonight!” I say to the Owner. He knows exactly what I’m referring to because the city is a buzz by the fact that after 50 years we have a chance at the World Series. “Yep!” He quips. “We’ve got no choice now!”  Well, that’s one way of looking at it, I thought.  At one point we were 3 to 1 and so close to holding the title as champions for the 2nd time this year and suddenly it slipped through our fingers. But instead of focusing on the loss the Owner and I realized we must take it in stride. We must see it as a challenge that we can–once again–overcome.

I talked with my boss this morning. I shared my fellowship is praying for him and  invited him to our next meeting.  He too came in the office with a fresh outlook. The business is struggling and we are at a loss as to what God is doing.  All we know is today.  The mercies that are given today.

And they are new mercies.

And all we can do is walk in them…

SHALOM

Blog Series: Encouragement From Marrieds to Singles (Kandis Taylor)

Hi guys!  The following interview is our final interview for this blog series “Encouragement From Marrieds to Singles”.  Enjoy!!!

 

Me: How long were you single?

Kandis: I was single for about a year before I met my husband. We met when I was 25 years old and he was 27. We married 4 years later.

Me: When you think back on your time of singleness what is one word you would use to describe that time and why?

Kandis: During my singleness I wasn’t exactly looking for “the one”. I had two serious relationships prior to meeting my husband and some “flings” in between to fill the void. So I guess my my one word would be “restored“. I wanted to have a feeling of peace and love that I knew I wasn’t receiving with my past relationships.

Me: What were some of the hard times of your singleness?  What were some of the great times?

Kandis: The hard times were sometimes feeling like I should settle and just go back to my ex. But I knew deep in my heart that God had different plans. I felt alone at times but again I knew that I wanted restoration and peace and I wanted real love.  The great times would have to be the process of moving on and not having any regrets and just enjoying life without the need to be in a relationship with someone

Me: What is one important lesson you learned in singleness?  In marriage?

Kandis: Getting to know yourself during singleness can be tough but at the same time fulfilling, having that time alone allowed me to discover myself. I discovered that I wasn’t adjusting my personality to suit the person I was with at the time. I discovered that God had a plan and purpose for me and in marriage it’s such a wonderful feeling to be with someone who helps you to grow spiritually and stands beside you while you’re fulfilling God’s purpose.

Me: What advice would you give to those who are waiting on God’s best and desire not to settle in their relationship choice?

Kandis: My advice would be to enjoy life, travel, serve others, listen, learn something new, find you, remember God has a plan for your life! Listen for HIS voice. Don’t settle, God is preparing HIS best for you!

kandis

Kandis Taylor is a wife, mom, sister, lover of God and faithful friend.  She enjoys serving with her husband and making sure her daughter has a good chance at running for president one day!

A New View on Dating

Hello!  Check out my guest post A New View on Dating!  I have received so much from Candra’s blog “Abundantly You” and it’s always a blessing to be featured on her site!  She is truly a woman that has lived a life of surrender, waited on God’s best and received His promise.  Enjoy!

 

SHALOM