Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What Do You Want God To Do For You In Your "Singleness"?


Big question right? We all think we know what we want until someone actually asks us to verbalize our thoughts and/or feelings on the subject.

We have a singles ministry in our church, like so many other churches do. We meet once a month and discuss various topics or just hang out and fellowship. We were about to end a night of fellowship when the group facilitator walks around and asks each of us in turn, to think about the question, "What do you want God to do for you in your singleness". I sat there for minute, some what stunned. The first thing that I wanted to say would have been right on point for a Christian singles group, "I'm fine with being single! My relationship with Christ is all that I need!"....the problem was, that was a TOTAL LIE! That wasn't how I really felt AT ALL!

Here we are a few weeks later and I'm still pondering the question, "What do I want God to do for me in my singleness?" The truth is, I want him to bring me my Boaz already! Sometimes I find myself thinking how long am I going to have to wait? It's been 6 years already and I'm definitely not getting any younger.

Ok, let me give you quick and dirty re-cap of my relationship life, married for 19 years, with the same man for almost 21 years, we get divorced, I dated someone for about two years (didn't work out, it really was that rebound thing), and I've been by myself ever since. The stats are not in my favor, 52 year old, single, African American female, four children (3 of them adults, still living at home, and a 19 year old), taking care of my mother and my sister, who also live with me. Full plate right?

I was talking with my Mom about my single situation and she said to me plainly, "You have a lot of baggage. I think that will scare most men off." She didn't mean any harm, but you know, I think she's right. I also think that if God has someone that is meant for me, that my baggage and his baggage would get along just fine.

I guess if I were to break this whole single thing down into it's smallest parts it becomes a bit easier to digest. Do I want to have a special someone, yes.  Would I like to get remarried, yes.  Are these things vital to me being happy with my life? Will either of them help me to become the best person that God intends for me to be? No on both counts.

The first time I had to take a good hard look at being an over 50 single in the face, it was a tough pill to swallow. My emotions have run the gamut, from feeling like I had been somehow cursed to be single the rest of my life, to the "Who cares, I'm better off alone". Truly, I think peace falls somewhere in the middle.

Let me start by saying, singleness is NOT a curse, it's simply one of the many states of being. I am not defined by my singleness, just like I wasn't defined by being married. I think that was the majority of my initial problem, I allowed myself to be defined by being married rather than me helping to define the relationship of marriage. So when it was over, I felt bereft, void, I had very little identity; however, slowly over time and with the love and patience of God, I've grown much stronger. I'm slowly, but consistently evolving into the woman that God would have me to be.

So back to the original question, "What do I want God to do for me in my singleness?". I pray that He continues to help me love who I am in Him, that I continue to learn how to love my life (the good and the not so good); to laugh and to love.

I think that will be enough.

Much Love~




Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day Survival For Those On The Single Tip!

So today's the day! The ONE day that's globally dedicated to what? Love! Which, by the way can be the singular worst day for someone that's single. Between all of the Happy Valentine's Day and the "Look at me and my Boo!" social media posts, those of us living on the "Single Tip" just may find ourselves fighting the urge to throw up. Be not dismayed! Valentine's Day can still be your friend.

Make Valentine's Day About Friends And Family - First let's start with the obvious, the major plot point of this particular day is love between couples, that's what has been stressed by holiday marketers every where for ages. (Ok, it does kind of go along with the very inception of the holiday and all of that, BUT it can be so much more.) Buy a box of those kiddie Valentine's Day cards and give them to your family and friends! Let them know how much you love them and give them giggle at the same time!



Plan An Outing With Other Singles - Get together with other single friends to celebrate friendship, NOT to highlight the fact that you're single. Good food, good fun, and great friendship will go a long way today and every other day. All love is not Eros love, there's also Agape love. While we might want the Eros kind, it's the Agape kind that makes the world and our lives better for sharing it.


Be Your Own Valentine - That's right! Treat yourself!! Take the day off from work, check into a Day Spa and have some serious me time. Or, one of my all time favorites, treat yourself to that pair of shoes that you've been eyeing! Some people say diamonds are a girls best friend, but I beg to differ, I say its shoes. But, that's just me. Do for you whatever floats your boat, but do something for yourself!!




Prepare Your Survival Kit - Last but not least, when all else fails make sure you have your very own survival kit prepared. What's in mine you ask!! Let's see, there are very few things in life that are better than a good romance novel, some times, just sometimes a "Book Boyfriend" is better than the real thing (They don't snore or leave dirty clothes around the house).  Second thing would be my all time favorite, a nice bottle of Marsala. What would a Valentine's Day be without a really great wine. Last but not least, my trusty blanket. That's right, tuck myself into that thing and then Houston It's A Go!!


Most of all, just remember that this day can hold no power over you other than what you give it. Don't hate on couples publicly showing their love for one another, genuinely wish them well and move on. Enjoy YOUR Valentine's Day!!!

Happy Valentine's Day and Much Love,

Pandora

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Be Still And Know...


One of the most difficult things that a person can be asked to do is wait. I can say personally that waiting has never been a strong suit of mine. Anything that required me to think it through and make the best decision possible seemed a herculean task; not because I didn't have the intelligence, but because I made my decisions from my heart rather than my head.

Heart versus head, it's an age old battle, there are countless examples in literature, fiction and non-fiction. I think all of us can gives examples from out own lives, some more than others. The question I ask myself is when will I ever get it right?

My personality as a child was filled with contradictions. On the outside I was shy, painfully so, but on the inside I wanted to do and see everything! How do you reconcile those two parts of yourself? As I grew older, I knew that I should take my time and give serious thought to life's decisions, but try as I might, I would lean towards the impulses of my heart. Making decisions like that is always going to be a crap shoot, sometimes it yields a positive outcome and sometimes not.

I've had to learn that I needed help, that I need someone that I can trust implicitly to guide me in my decision making, that someone is God. It's awesome really, when you realize that God created our intellectual mind AND our emotional heart; then you realize that only God can reconcile how they work together.

Psalm 46:10 - Be still, and know that I am God: 
I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.


But first we need to be still...stillness, patience, and waiting.....they're all connected.

Psalm 27:14 - Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

In those timeless words of Invictus, "I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul." This implies that we are in control of our lives that the outcomes are the direct result of what we alone choose to do. I know, you think I'm going to say that this is false, that as Christians, our lives are in God's hands, but first we have to choose to put them there. The word says, "Choose you this day whom you will serve." Once we do that, then we yield to His will, this means that sometimes we're going to have to wait for His answer, or for Him to show us which way to go. What does this mean, it means hands off! 

When we try and make decisions without God's direction, we're either going to over intellectualize, or we're going to just jump into something because of our emotions. God knows the desires of our hearts, but He also knows what we need. God's plan for us will not only fulfill us emotionally, it will be the path that's in our best interest in the long run,

Look, I know it's tempting. We want to take charge and meddle, we try and push God along....but what happens? Inevitably we screw things up! THAT's why God says, "....be of good courage." It might be daunting, but the rewards will be matchless!

So what ever your waiting on, just know that you can thank God in advance because He's already worked it out. Embrace the process and trust.

Much Love,

Pandora





Thursday, September 8, 2016

Remnants Of An Evolution


Time....it can't be tasted, smelled, touched, or heard; but it can be seen if we know where to look.  We can see the sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle trail that it leaves behind. When we still ourselves long enough, it can be felt, not by our hands, but by our souls.

Mirrors have always held a fascination for me. I have no clue why they just did. Before I was tall enough to stand and see myself in the bathroom mirror, I would shimmy up and sit on the sink. I would sit there and look at myself for what seemed like hours. I don't think it was about vanity, it was as if I was studying myself, trying to see beyond the outside of myself. I would stare into my own eyes, memorizing them, the imaginings of a child racing through my mind.

I would also watch my Mom when she would be getting dressed for work and would be looking in the mirror. In my child eyes my Mother was the most beautiful of all the Mothers on the planet! Isn't that how we think as children? As time has moved on I've watched the changes in her face and in her physical form, just as I have watched the changes in mine. I watched her once bright eyes turn slightly blood shot, the ever darkening circles under her eyes, gray  hairs, wrinkles. I'll be honest with you, I found myself thinking, "I don't want that to happen to me".

Now, we are years down the road and I am a mother myself. Today I look at my mother and she is just as beautiful to me as she was when I was a child, even more so. I understand now that every change to her physical form is simply an outward manifestation of the blessings that God has given to her.

Her blood shot eyes came from years as working as a nurse, 11 pm to 7 am, coming home to get us ready for school, grabbing a few hours sleep and then going to school herself to work on her BSN degree. In between all of that she found a way to take us to dance classes, cheer leading practices, and track practices. My Mom never complained, she always had a smile for us, and the patients that she cared for.

Then came the grey hair, her beautiful silver white hairs. My Mom always says that her grey hairs are symbols of the "wisdoms" that God has gifted her with over the years of her life. (She'll be 83 this year. She wouldn't mind me telling you.) Then there are the wrinkles, facial road maps of her emotions. When you look at her face you can see remnants of the first smile that she had when she saw her babies for the first time, when she saw us take our first steps, when we graduated from High School and College, when she became a Grand Mother. There are worry lines as well...worrying about us when we started hanging out with friends, when we started driving, dating *laughing*.

I look at myself in the mirror and I see the same changes in me that I saw in her. At first I thought what little physical appeal I may have had was fading, that I just needed to accept it and move on. Now, I know that I have been blessed. I am running the race that God has set my feet upon and the changes in me like those in my Mother are simply the physical manifestations of that race. I know why my eyes are always a bit blood shot and have bags under them that won't go away, why I have silver white hairs that are starting to take over the front of my hairline. But more than that, I realize that the beauty that I see in my Mother I will someday see in my own reflection.

Much Love,

Pandora