Today’s musical selection brought to you by the fine folks at… well, I don’t know where they’re from. But, it’s a message that everyone needs to hear. Forreal!

What does this have to do with Wholly Single, you might ask? Well, it just reminded me of the So You Think You Want to Get Married class we took last year. Our facilitators strongly recommended that after you get married, deactivate your facebook for at least two years after you get married (they really said forever, but still).

And I kinda like that advice. What say you? Would you give up facebook (and all social media) for your marriage?

At first thought, it’s like well, sir, your marriage didn’t work. Why would I take marriage advice from you? But then you think about it some more and realize, hindsight is 20/20. It’s so much easier to look back and explain as opposed to making sense of the mess that you’re currently in. That said, this is some amazing advice from a divorcé after 16 years of marriage. Wow. Like, some bookmark, print it out and laminate it, read it once a month type advice. Head on over to the Love Story from a Male Perspective Blog to read “Beautiful Advice from a Divorced Man After 16 Years of Marriage.

Some of my favorite pieces of advice that he gives are that “It’s not your job to change or fix her” and to “Fill her soul every day” while topping it all off with the ultimate challenge: Commit to being an EPIC LOVER.

And although he’s addressed it to husbands, there were parts where he was talking directly to me. As if he were all up in my business, tapping my phones, spying on my thoughts. Sigh. I hear ya…

All of that to say, heck yeah I’d take marriage advice from a divorcé – or at least this one anyway. So go ahead and see why; click here to read the rest.

Image from the Original Post – go on over there!

Just finished reading Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman, so I want to share a few nuggets with you. Ironically, the first thing I’m going to share isn’t actually a quote by Kyle Idleman but by Larry Osborne. And it has to do with the way that we see God’s role in our lives. Many of us see him as a consultant and someone we go to as a “helper” in our lives as opposed to as the Lord of all in our lives. Now, God is many things. But consultant is not one of them. Listen up:

Now, a consultant is someone whose wisdom we highly value and listen to, but at the end of the day, we make the final decision. That’s why they’re called consultants. Here’s the problem: God doesn’t do consulting. Never has. Never will. He does God. When we treat him as consultant, he simply stops showing up for the meetings.

Well, ok, then Larry.

Feast on that folks. Happy Friday!

Once upon a time I was a voracious little reader. I would devour books. Finish them in days, with a never ending “to read” list.  All types of genres, all types of authors. Laugh out loud, self-help, travel-related, autobiographies, fictional dramas, all of that (loved me some Jodi Picoult). And then, one day, in came this monster known as… grad school (dun dun dunnnnn). Well, let me tell you. I don’t think I read a book not related to international education, organizational theory, or social change in the last two and a half years. So you don’t know how happy I am to be back reading. So happy in fact that I can’t read just one book at a time. Noooo… I am trying to do the absolute most. There are currently 4 books sitting on my nightstand. And I’m about to pick up another one from the library tomorrow. The most.

My current nightstand situation

My current nightstand situation

So here’s what I’m #nowreading:

1. Operating Instruction: A Journal of My Son’s First Year by Anne Lamott – LOVE the way this woman writes. I laugh out loud just enough to find it funny but not distracting (can funny ever really be distracting though?). I think the funniest part of all is that these are all true stories (this is about her figuring out how to raise her son – stories I’m sure many moms would be embarrassed to share).

2. Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman – Ok so I actually just finished this one. Awesome book that helps you distinguish between being just a Christian and an actual disciple of christ – “fan vs. follower.” Very insightful. I may have to share a few things from this one. (Started reading this one as part of the Starving Christians Online Book Club – check it out!).

3. Successful Women Think Differently: 9 Habits to Make You Happier, Healthier, and More Resilient by Valerie Burton – This book is good. And practical. I actually don’t remember how I discovered it, but I don’t think I was expecting it to also include tenets on faith and scripture (though not a lot). Loving the coaching aspect of the book – especially as I prepare to enter this new season of my life professionally (details coming soon!).

4. The Circle Maker by Mark Betterson – I have been “reading” this book for weeks now. Which means it didn’t catch my attention from the first pages. I have been reading everything else except this one. But I hear it’s powerful. I am going to get back into this one soon! Or at least before it’s due back to the library….

Oh and the one I’m going to pick up tomorrow (not pictured):

5. The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer – Y’all know Priscilla Shirer is my homegirl in my head. More like my really cool young aunt. But I have heard such phenomenal things about this book that I am going to start it immediately – even though I am still reading these other books. Don’t ask me how that’s going to work….

And of course every day, I’ve gotta get some Bible in there! Along with my Discerning the Voice of God Bible Study. So yeah, that’s what’s going on in my reading life. What about you? What is everyone else out there reading? Also, add me on goodreads so we can share book ideas! If you’re not on there, you should be!

Honor the Lord with your wealth 
and with the firstfruits of all your produce”
-Proverbs 3:9 ESV

Tithing. It can be a touchy word for some. It definitely shouldn’t be. If you’re maturing in Christ and preparing yourself for marriage, this is one of those disciplines that should be fairly easy to get control of (unlike something like, oh I don’t know, selfishness). And if you’re interested in someone, and they’re not tithing regularly, it might just be a red flag. That may seem a little extreme to some, but if you can’t obey a command that’s a clearcut and simple as this one, I don’t even want to know what else is going on.

God desires our first fruits. First of all, it’s his anyway. But it’s not because he needs them (umm hello, He’s God). It’s because when you tithe, you are showing your obedience and your trust in Him. And all of that equals you showing how much you love Him.  Plus I’m totally of the belief that the more you let flow thru you, the more you’ll find flows to you (but you don’t hear me tho).

But what if He wasn’t just talking about our income? What if God wanted the first fruit of our time? What if, before we decided about anything else we were going to do for the day, we earmarked some time to give back to God? What if all God wanted was a little bit of our quality time? I mean, he created time, so it is his. What if, we were able to wake up in the morning, and start our day off with God? And if you are not a morning person*, I’m not talking about those first rotten fruits when you’re all grumpy. I’m talking about after you’re awake and alert and ready to really start your day. What if we started our day with Him? Can you imagine if we were commanded to tithe of our day? Like a real 10%. That’s almost 2 1/2 hours every day. What if God was like the IRS and commanded you to back-tithe – how much back-tithe would you owe? Scary.

And that may seem like a lot, but I think we should give Him even more. Even if it means just being a superstar employee full of love, mercy and forgiveness on our jobs. Or perhaps it means listening to songs that worship him for who He is instead of the Steve Harvey morning show in the morning? Or what about taking an opportunity to pray for someone else throughout the day? I think moments like these, and others, could easily add up to that 10%

Tithing of our finances is easy, but what about the tithing of our time? Even if it’s not ten percent of our time, let’s try to give God just a little bit more today. I’ll hold you accountable if you promise to hold me accountable.

*Also. Stop saying “I’m not a morning person.” Words have power. The more you say it, the more you believe it, the harder it is for you to break that habit (don’t mind me, just giving myself some advice here).

I’m all about being purposeful. Being intentional. And being transparent. Unfortunately, a lot of that has been lost in present day “dating” as we know it. Sometimes, I wonder if people even know why they are dating. Or if they’ve ever even asked themselves the question. So to help you clarify whether or not you should be dating in the first place, just answer this question:

If you are not dating with the intent to evaluate the other person in order to be married, then why are you dating?

If you are not dating with the intent evaluate whether to be married, then why are you dating?

If you are not dating to be married, then why are you dating?

If you are not dating ready to be married, then WHY ARE YOU DATING?

Please, someone answer this question. And you wonder why the other person needs you define the relationship after “dating” for 6 months. Chile. I ain’t got time.

But we will discuss this more at a later date. Right now, we just need to take it all the way back to the basics.

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Who’s back in the saddle for Awesomely Luvvie’s #31WriteNow Challenge?? Yep, that would be me. Let’s go!

One of the things that really weighs heavy on my heart is the state of families, communities, marriages, etc. Especially black families, black marriages, and black communities. I mean, if we don’t care about our own, who will, right?

I think many times, it’s as simple as people just don’t know any better. If they’ve never seen anybody in their extended family get married, let alone make a marriage last (and I’m not even going to throw “happy” in there), how will they know it could be any different? Sometimes I struggle with how much I should share about my relationship on these here innanets. On the one hand, I think it’s really important for examples of relationships that were founded in Christ to be vocal. Let other people see what it means to be in a Christ-centered relationship. But on the other hand, y’all nosey! And you definitely have to keep something for yourself. So until I uncover that balance of how much to share, I’m going to share other peoples’ marriages instead. And really, I’m not sharing them, but it’s the good folks over at Black and Married with Kids (better known as BMWK) who have answered the call. Bookmark this site – started by Lamar and Ronnie Tyler (they are hilarious by the way!), you will want to visit it often. Follow them on the twitter, like them on facebook, all of that. Share the stories with your friends. Let’s just blow them up so that people know this thing is real and that it can work.

Black & Married with Kids

Black & Married with Kids

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Barely holding on to this #31WriteNow Challenge – Can’t even blame it on being sick anymore!