Monthly Archives: January 2017

Preparation 

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Preparation 

“Who can find a virtuous woman?” ~ Proverbs 31:10

Recently I was speaking to a friend about marriage and that my desire is just not to be a wife, but to be a wife whose husband is proud of her and whose friends pat him on the back and say something like “well done.” I told this person that my desire is to not just be a wife but to be a virtuous wife; a wife who is her husband’s crown. I explained with passion that I desire to be the kind of wife that speaks life to her husband. The type of wife that encourages her husband. The wife who wakes up everyday thinking of ways to make her husband happy. My friend looked at me rather oddly; as though I were speaking in another language and I gathered by the silence that what I was saying was foreign…a concept that she had never even considered. Or maybe found silly, outdated, or even subservient. And quite understandably. The world that we live in does not teach us to be this type of wife. And most of us weren’t raised by women that exemplified this type of wife. I can testify that I sure was not! But as I’ve matured and grown I’ve come to understand that this is the type of wife God wants me to be. 

I remember many years ago a dear friend told me that being chosen to be a wife is a gift from God and she took her role as her husband’s wife seriously. Admittedly, I was taken aback by her statement that being chosen to be a wife was a gift from God, but I admired and respected her sentiments. And it was in that moment that I knew I wanted to feel that way about my marriage. I knew that I wanted to take my role as my husband’s wife seriously. And I knew that I was not going to learn it from the world. 

And so I’ve made it a point to learn what God says a wife is and what a wife should do. I’ve sat at the feet of married women and fed off every word they’ve shared concerning marriage and how to do it God’s way. I’ve taken notes and prayed and cried and prayed and cried and prayed and cried asking God to break in me what needs to be broken and develop in me the characteristics of a godly wife. I’ve asked God to develop the Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) in me. I immerse myself in books and bible studies and in conversations about marriage (good, bad, and ugly) to help me prepare or at least lay a foundation upon which I can stand when God bestows his gift of marriage upon me. It’s not something that I will enter into lightly and thus, in taking the advice of my pastor, I am preparing now. 

And so my friend looked at me and said, “ok” as she laughed and changed the topic of our conversation. For a moment I took her response personally….for a very minute moment. And then I reminded myself, God’s ways are not our ways; and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts. God’s ways are a mystery to the world. But to those who are open and poised to receive, it is a thirst quenching well. 

My husband will find me one day. And I will be his crown. 

“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.” Proverbs 12:4

Hotep 

Hello 2017! 

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Happy New Year!!!! 

This is my first blog post of the new year. I am still slightly shocked that it is 2017. In fact, it seems as though the world just welcomed 2016 last month. But here we are already three days into a brand new year. If you’re like me you have already written out your goals, made resolutions, and/or set your intentions for 2017; and the real go-getters have already begun to take action to meet the goals they have set for themselves. But before we dove head first into our goals we all took a moment (or at least should have) to bid 2016 adieu and welcome 2017. 

2017 Ice Sculpture Carnival Liberty

Normally my New Years Eve finds me in one of two places: (1) Church attending Watch Night Service, or (2) Home in my PJs waiting for the ball to drop in Time Square. Rarely am I at any other place than the two mentioned previously. But for this NYE I found myself aboard the Carnival Liberty’s lido deck partying like it was 1999. Well, maybe not quite like it was 1999, but close.  The atmosphere was electric! The temperature was perfect! And more than 2000 fellow cruisers were counting down to the new year under the stars, somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean! It was truly a wonderful night and I am so grateful to have been apart of it all. 

New Years Eve Celebration Carnival Liberty Lido Deck

But not only was that night wonderful, my entire vacation was wonderful….from beginning to end, and I did exactly what I wanted to do….ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! This trip was all about rest and relaxation. A time to simply be still and reflect on my successes and failures of 2016 and to consider and strategize on the goals I have written out for myself for 2017. It was a time to listen for that still small voice while allowing God to restore me so that I may be prepared for the journey that lies ahead. 
But as is said, all good things must come to an end and thus my cruise vacation ended today. However, not before teaching me an important lesson and reminding me that God is present in every moment.

On the flight home there were quite a few children and they all must have taken naps earlier because they were doing what children do. One child in particular, who looked to be about two, was quite fussy. He did not want to be confined to his daddy’s lap. He wanted to get down and move around freely. It also appeared that said child was fighting sleep which more than likely intensified his fussiness and that brought on the crying. I was completely enthralled in the book I was reading, but the sound of a crying baby has the capacity to make even the most stoic lose concentration. And as I listened to the cries of the baby and watch him attempt to break free from his father’s grip, and witness the obvious frustration on the faces of some of the other passengers who were reading or napping, I realized in that moment that we all could use a little more patience. I realized that we can become so wrapped up in what we are doing that even the slightest distraction will annoy us. And I’m not suggesting not for good reason, but as I took in that moment on the airplane I thought, crying is how that baby showed his frustration. He wasn’t able to talk so he couldn’t say to his father that he wanted to get down. He was unable to express to his father in words how he was feeling and so he communicated the best way he knew how…..by crying. 

We all at some point on this journey find ourselves in situations that frustrate us. And sometimes we do not know how to express our frustration. For some, the outlet we use to cope involves drugs, alcohol or even sex. Others completely shut down and shut the world out. Some vent their frustration through anger and lashing out. And sadly, there is a percentage that turn to violence; either against themselves or another person. But none of these are good or acceptable means to cope. We will become frustrated with the crying baby because the baby is annoying us but crying is actually a great way to release frustration and negative emotions and feelings. Crying can be healing and soothing. Sometimes after crying I feel free. Now, I’m not suggesting we start walking around crying like babies, but what I am suggesting is that we take the time to see God in that moment. A crying baby shows life…new life. A life that hasn’t been tainted by the world in which we live. Listening to that baby cry reminded me that I am alive and that I still have the ability to hear. Something that I would not be able to enjoy if I were dead or deaf. 

Let’s face it, there are millions of people who would love to hear a baby cry. So let’s not take for granted that even in that moment God is present. We just have to open our hearts to see Him. 

Nassau Bahamas

Photo Credit: Shannon Robinson

View of Atlantis From The Serenity Deck, Carnival Liberty