Friday, December 30, 2011

The List: Yes, I Made One.

    It is very debatable whether someone should have a list of requirements before they would even consider getting to know someone as a potential mate.  In fact, I was against it for a long while, because I felt like it was a ridiculous idea to make a "grocery list" of requirements that I wanted in order to cook up a good mate. A list is for someone who thinks too much of themselves, right? Yes, I prayed to God for a good mate, but I kept running into Mr. Not Good Mate. It had gotten to a point that if I was able to go on a half decent dinner date with a clean conversation, then I was doing good. On top of the statistics (and I am not a fan of statistics) that says that I, as a black woman, will have a better chance of getting struck by lightening than to find a good mate, things were looking grim. But deep in my heart, there was still hope.  There was hope in the God that had always been there with me.

     One day, I ran across an article of a woman who had gotten frustrated about not finding her Mr. Right and how she was prompted to write a list of what she was looking for and to believe for it.  The desires of her heart were granted shortly after.  From that story, I was inspired to make a detailed list and take the same leap of faith.  So I began writing those things down that were most important to me and the more that I wrote, the more things started to flow out of my heart. I finished my list, closed my book, and did not return to the list for several months. It was during this time that what I had asked for was revealed to me. After my prayer was answered, I looked back at my list and realized that Mr. Awesome is everything on it that I asked for and I am so THANKFUL for him.  The things that were most important to me were not things that were superficial such as the type of car that he drives or whether he has a six pack or not, but were things that really mattered in the long run. After all, cars break down and so do six packs.  Some of the things that I prayed for and wrote were:

* A man who fears the Lord and has a personal relationship with God. God is #1 in his life.
* A man who knows how to prioritize me among other things in his life.
* A man who has self discipline.
* A man who will respect my wishes for celibacy before marriage.
* A man who has personal integrity with himself and those around him.
* A man with financial integrity and wants something out of life.
* A man who is disease free.
* A man who treats the females in his life with respect and integrity {mom, sister, etc.}.
* A man with a sense of humor (I truly married a comedian)
* A man who is romantic.

There are a few more things on my list of desires that I did not publish here, but Mr. Awesome has far exceeded what I asked for (and he is super handsome too).  So, is a list a bad thing? I don't think so, but I do feel that what someone expects should reflect what really matters when it comes to something long term.  The name brand of clothes that he wears is not as important as whether he reads his bible or not.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Reason For The Season

     As a template for our first Christmas together, my hubby introduced the concept of taking the commercialism out of Christmas and celebrating it for its true meaining, the birth of Jesus.  This is nothing outlandish to me as we share the same belief on the subject.  Jesus is the reason for the season and although it is nice to give gifts to others during this holiday, a lot of the true meaning of giving has been lost to commercialism. Commercialism has convinced us that we need to spend money that we don't have in order to prove that we care for someone.  Commercialism says that we must stand in a long line, in the freezing cold for hours, just to scramble for one of a limited number of hot ticket items that will be on sale even after Christmas. Do we really need to be stressed out during a time that is supposed to be joyous? Is the celebration of Jesus' birth really a good time to concentrate on strengthening a struggling economy?

     There are many great aspects of the holiday season outside of the mall and that is what we were hoping to concentrate on and our first Christmas together was a reflection of that. Although it may take a couple of Christmas holidays to work out our new traditions, I am glad that most of our concentration was kept on the real reason for the celebration. Of course we had ham, turkey and all the trimmings {between the first holiday meal that I cooked and the dinner invitation that we recieved}, but the most important part was remembering Jesus on this day and all days and I was more than happy to celebrate it with my awesome hubby and new family.

 Photo courtesy of Eclipse Photography

Monday, December 19, 2011

You Are Who You Associate With

  One of the things that I first noticed when my husband and I were courting, were the types of people that he associated with.  A lot of the people were slightly older and they were married with families.  I thought it was unique for a single man to associate with a number of friends who were not only married, but believed in the institution and seriousness of marriage. Before I could ask, he offered the explanation that he knew that he wanted to be married and that it would do him justice to absorb the knowledge that these men had so that he could use it when he got married. And I must say that it has been beneficial, but usually how many think of it that way?
     Far too often, we find people socializing with certain types of people and wonder why they can't get ahead.  How many times have we seen a group of women sitting around bashing men and then wonder why Mr. No-Good-Afraid-To-Commit-Lying-Broke-Busted-And-Disgusted keeps showing up?  How many times have we witnessed the guys just sitting around talking about everything about a woman except her mental strength and value and wonder why they attract women who only want the green in their pockets? A lot of times, it is in the company that one keeps.  In I Corinthians 15:33, it speaks about how bad company corrupts good works.  Although I knew this concept for a little while now and have had very few positive marital examples myself, it really blessed me when I saw my husband use it to his advantage.  I have been positively touched by the number of people that I have met through him who have done nothing but praise the institution of marriage and offered sound advice from a perspective of 'We are in this for life'. They never have sugar coated the level of work that it takes, but have shown us that it has and can be done.  In a society that says that you can jump ship if he leaves the cap off the toothpaste, it is refreshing to know that there are people out there who believe what the bible says about marriage and I would much rather associate with those.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

From 'Me' to 'We'

     Our vehicle was parked at the airport while we were on our honeymoon and the summer sun heated and melted some of the contents left inside, including the candles that we used to light the Unity candle at our wedding. Upon examining the candles in their newly wilted state, I couldn't help but laugh.  I found it amusing, but then realized how symbolic it was to be holding the two wilted candles while the Unity candle was not wilted and was standing strong.

    It made me think of the lyrics by Neyo, "I'm a movement by myself, but we're a force when we're together". This had me thinking of the process of transitioning from 'Me' to 'We' and all that I had learned and am still learning as we become a 'Force'.  I did not imagine how much of a force I would feel like until we said I DO, but I can only imagine how much stronger it gets from here.  However, I won't say that transitioning has been easy as my single self "wilts" in favor of the unity that we are building. Yet, the benefits have been great. Some of the biggest lessons that I have learned in this time have been:

   - Having Mr. Awesome in my life is worth the work that it is taking to make the transition 
     from 'Me' to 'We'.
  - Going from 'Me' to 'We' has shown me how selfishness has no place in Unity building.
  -Transitioning has taught me a valuable lesson in compromise.

     Transitioning has been very delightful as well as challenging, but I wouldn't want it any other way because we are building a force that has definitely been GREATER than my individual movement.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

When I Least Expected It . . . . . . .

         It came at a time that I was not expecting it. It came in a way that I was not expecting. Many prayers later and Mr. Awesome came into the picture. It was more than I prayed for and I didn't know how much I needed him until he came.  Thank God that he gave me an opportunity to love someone who has such passion, vigor, and great character.

They Want It All

         I am sitting down to a moment of peace and quiet.  In front of me is a yellow package of my favorite cookies that my husband o...