Live Now!

 ‘Never put off till tomorrow what we can do today’.  Lord Chesterfield

Although we often say we want to live in the moment, it is amazing how easily we can go through days, weeks, months and even years only to suddenly realize that we are no longer as young as we once were – we almost miss our opportunity to be and to do the great things we have in our hearts.

I used to be sixteen, then suddenly I was twenty-one then in a flash I was thirty! Oh how quickly the years go by and it is now that more than ever I’m coming face to face with the possibility of being eighty-five with a depressive garland of regrets around my neck. I do believe however in another cliche that says, ‘better late than never’.

I therefore think it’s time for me to re-evaluate my life and make room in my daily activities to ‘do’ & to ‘be’ great. After all, tomorrow waits on no man and life is short, so I must live now!

So since ‘you only live once’, here I come!

Y.O.L.O!

Why Marriage? Companionship

GOD said, “It’s not good for the Man to be alone; I’ll make him a helper, a companion….So GOD formed from the dirt of the ground all the animals of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the Man to see what he would name them. Whatever the Man called each living creature, that was its name. The Man named the cattle, named the birds of the air, named the wild animals; but he didn’t find a suitable companion. GOD put the Man into a deep sleep. As he slept he removed one of his ribs and replaced it with flesh. GOD then used the rib that he had taken from the Man to make Woman and presented her to the Man. The Man said, “Finally! Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh! Name her Woman for she was made from Man.” Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife. They become one flesh. The two of them, the Man and his Wife, were naked, but they felt no shame.  The Message Bible, Genesis 2:18-25

It was God who decided that it was not good for man to be alone. As our designer, He determined that in order for us to function as He intends, it would be best that we be partnered up with a suitable counterpart, that we not be left lonely. A primary reason for marriage is therefore simply, companionship.

Marriage left to grow or nurture and water itself without the dedicated input of the spouses involved, will not deal with the loneliness issue all by itself. Marriage, after all, is merely a tool or platform if you will, on which two people can make the choice to ‘leave and cleave’, nurture and support each other in pursuing the greatest love and source of ultimate fulfillment.

Marriage means not having to travel through life alone. It can and should be a beautiful thing.

The Storycorps guys depicts this fabulously here…

xx

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Love: Color Blind & Ageless?

Love in Color iiI confess, I don’t know what the protocol is so I just snatched these images from FB… all credits to the designer, whoever you are.

I saw this just now and snatched it as they put into words a thought that has been whirling around my mind lately. Having had relationships of all sorts with men across the age spectrum and geographic hemisphere, within Christendom and without, I have come to one conclusion, ‘age is no guarantee of right actions, attitudes nor perspectives’!

Love in Color

Neither is color, race nor ethnicity!

When panning for gold, the only thing that really matters is, ‘Is there a nugget of gold left in the pan?’ It is then up to each of us to determine what size nugget is worth our life-time commitment.

So to panning I go…

Sparks!

4 Wives

I love this for two reasons:
1. It gives wise counsel &
2. As women, we could aim to be ‘all things’ to our husbands and in return get it all – he publicly professes his love, lavishes me with all things fine and beautiful, confides in me and cherishes my opinions and even have me wait on him hand-and-foot???!

However, when it’s all been said and done, it is my job to nurture my own soul. No-one else can do that for me! It’s the only thing I truly have for all eternity.

So Spark on…

Black, But Lovely 2

Depression and discouragement are not life-giving so here is the follow-up to my previous post.

The most eligible warrior prince of all times…and eternity inspired a book just for ‘dark girls’. It’s called The Song of Solomon! It’s a story of love – leading to marriage between a King and a BLACK girl…she is Dark But Lovely, just like you! It’s about dark girls – however you define darkness – whether physical, mental, spiritual – imperfect, whatever! We are all included in one way or another!

See for yourself – it’s about YOU!

She

How right they are to adore you!

English: Heart shaped shadow cast by a ring on...

Dark am I, yet lovely,
    daughters of Jerusalem,
dark like the tents of Kedar,

    like the tent curtains of Solomon.[c]
Do not stare at me because I am dark,
    because I am darkened by the sun.

My mother’s sons were angry with me
    and made me take care of the vineyards;
    my own vineyard I had to neglect.
Tell me, you whom I love,
    where you graze your flock
    and where you rest your sheep at midday.
Why should I be like a veiled woman
    beside the flocks of your friends?

Friends

If you do not know, most beautiful of women,

    follow the tracks of the sheep
and graze your young goats
    by the tents of the shepherds.

He

I liken you, my darling, to a mare
    among Pharaoh’s chariot horses.
10 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings,
    your neck with strings of jewels.
11 We will make you earrings of gold,
    studded with silver.

She

12 While the king was at his table,
    my perfume spread its fragrance.
13 My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh
    resting between my breasts.
14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
    from the vineyards of En Gedi.

He

15 How beautiful you are, my darling!
    Oh, how beautiful!
    Your eyes are doves.

The Song 1:5-5, The Message Bible

Besides, let us not be conformed to this world, but rather, let us make the choice to be transformed by the renewing of our minds in order that we may prove that which is the good, pleasing and perfect will of God – after all, it was His desire to design such a rainbow-coloured humanity.

I am dark, but lovely.

DivineSpark!

Black, But Lovely

Having recently moved house, I had the great privilege of spending time with the ‘Founder and CEO’ of the Welcoming Committee of the local Restaurant Quarter – read, neighbour noticing my recent arrival asking my out on a ‘let me show you around the area’ date. I humored him and surprisingly he was good company and a perfect gentleman throughout. No, this is not a blow-by-blow of the night’s happenings – that would be in bad taste, wouldn’t it? Rather this is a report of a most distressing piece of information or ‘fact’ as he calls it.

Acknowledging that ‘John’* was good company and seemed open to serious conversation, I took the opportunity to ask the following question that I know has been on the mind of many a single, black female for …well, 19when…

English: Black and white icon of a question mark.

‘In your opinion, what is it about black women that makes white women the preferred choice to so many black men?’

 

The Answer?

 

It was his – single, black, 33 yrs old, self-employed, father of 1 – opinion that

 

  • Black women are untrustworthy, in that they will ‘be with’ a man purely for what they can get – the money, the stuff – even though in their heart they know they ‘don’t love him’ and all while cheating on him. He reasons that a white woman would not do that. Why, you ask? Because the mere fact that she is with him indicates that she actually wants to be with the black man, so it’s not about the possibility of accumulating stuff!
  • White women end up in relationships with black men because they love their ‘blackness’. That is the primary attraction. The black woman however does not appreciate – in my own words…the magnificence of their man’s blackness – the man and therefore takes him for granted and or treat him badly …and cheats on him with another black man who had more ‘stuff’! He hastens to add that he knows that black men also cheat and that they cannot even trust themselves but still, ‘if the woman doesn’t want them she should just leave them and not play games.
  • In an argument, black women will throw ‘anything’ she gets her hands on, she can break every plate in the kitchen just because she’s upset however a white woman would not do that sort of thing!

 

Suffice to say after having had a good night so far I suddenly felt, not only sad to the brink of tears but sick to the stomach that any black man would categorize the vast majority of black women in this way. After all, I am a black woman – and happily so, but he was not by any stretch of the imagination describing me so obviously I asked if he was joking!

 

It went downhill from there as he clarified for me that these are the ‘facts’ of how black women behave and that of all his black male friends with black girls, none of the girls are any good!!!!! Immediately I remembered a statement I heard some time ago suggesting that our magnificent black men are attracted to, will happily love and absolutely pursue sleeping with the magnificent black girl but would often prefer the white girl for marriage and family.

 

…and something got stuck in my throat. I still hasn’t moved.

What Men Want

The now fabulous ‘Reality Expert‘ says ‘Men want women to be nurturing, supportive and gentle’.

“Ladies we get it…you are more than capable of making your own money, running your own businesses, making your own decisions, and negotiating your own deals. That’s not the question…the question becomes do you really WANT to have to pay your own bills, cut your own grass, take out your own trash and fight all your own fights? If your answer to that question is “yes” then more power to you, but I’m more than willing to bet that most women would not mind having a partner to help share the load with. ….Maybe it’s time men chose we before me and women chose family over feminism!” Blog post, I am Feminist Hear Me Roar

Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women'...

When I read the above paragraph from the post I immediately knew where I stood but I couldn’t help but wonder ‘which woman, under what circumstances would rather be woman-all-BY-herself? But then, we all have the potential to be the result of our individual or collective experiences and unfortunately, sometimes that ‘result’ is merely a reaction to a negative rather than a CHOICE. But that’s a talk for another day. Today, I would rather clarify my own position.

So here goes.

As an unattached female, I am certainly capable of making my own money, setting up and running my own business and doing all – and more – mentioned above. I am also wise enough to acknowledge and joyfully embrace my Designer Desires – the desire to share my life in its entirety, from the uttermost to the innermost with another is wired into my DNA. It’s a designer thing! And regardless what anyone says, every living, breathing human being has a Designer Desire because we were all designed to receive love from God and to give love to God. This insatiable hunger finds its manifestation in humanity is various ways – our desire for intimacy, for sex or for some other ‘fulfilment’ – some have tried more shoes, more branded items, faster cars, more money, bigger, better, more. But the hunger is insatiable if God is not the number one choice.

Having said all that, I put my hand up and openly confess that I want to me married – not because I need him to pay the bills or cut the lawn..but please honey, do cut the lawn… but more importantly, I want to share my life with someone, who loves God and who desires above all things to hear God say ‘well done!’ I want to be intimately involved in helping him become all that God designed him to be and for him to willing be that for me. I want to be vulnerable and naked – yet unashamed – to be challenged and buffed and polished. I want to be iron rubbing up against iron. I want to face the challenges of life with someone who is one with me. I want to be there with him in every and any situation, good, bad or ugly – to stand as one in the face of whatever storm we need to face.

So I’m content to be seen as a disappointment in the eyes of the ‘feminist’. I can live with that because beyond individuality, there is the higher call to unity. Singleness has however taught me to see how easily our unfulfilled need for partnership can force us to become hardened, firm, determined, self-reliant and self-preserving. It is therefore understandable how when a man suddenly darkens her doorway her firmly established battlement and highly developed self-protecting instincts often result in the clash of thunder and lightning of the feminist’s strength – and no date, no marriage and continued need of self-reliance!

No! Not for me. I will happily wear the trousers when I need to set up and run my businesses and the like but I have every intention to leave my trousers at the door when I come home. I have no desire to be KING in my home – it’s hard enough just being woman!

Sparks!

Marry Me For God’s Sake!

“If you want to be free to serve Jesus, there’s no question—stay single. Marriage takes a lot of time. But if you want to become more like Jesus, I can’t imagine any better thing to do than to get married. Being married forces you to face some character issues you’d never have to face otherwise.” Sacred Marriage by Gary L. Thomas

As such, I think I am perfectly poised to fill this vacancy in your life for the following reasons:

  • I am still a work in progress therefore I am constantly growing, changing and on a journey to becoming whole.

    Obstacle

    Obstacle (Photo credit: The U.S. Army)

  • I am well equipped to buff, polish and shine your own personality and to help develop character, resilience and patience thus helping you in your journey towards reflecting Jesus more and more each day.
  • My various idiosyncrasies, though diminishing…multiplying in flux, will provide an ample supply of challenges to contribute to the sanctification process, the Potter’s wheel and the refiner’s fire that are so necessary in your journey toward dying to self.

I believe I come as a full package capable of advancing your ultimate goal to be holy, to love God first, most and best and to love your fellow-man as yourself. Marry me will accelerate the sharpening and polishing of your character, heart motivations and your ability to grow in understanding of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

Did I say I’m not perfect yet? According to Sacred Marriage by Gary L. Thomas, that makes me perfect for you!  So, this is my case for marriage. Do you have any questions?

My thanks to the Institute of American Values for their Literature Review of the Consequences of Marriage for African Americans. It is a good read. Go check it out for the full review.

Marry Me: I’m Good for Your Health!

In continuation of my series on the consequences of marriage, I welcome you to part 3 of my journey to prove my nubility. This series is based on ‘A Comprehensive Review of Literature on the Consequences of Marriage for African Americans’ – which for my purposes I will classify as people of African descent.

In an effort to not bore you with statistical evidence that marrying me would have a positive effect on your psychological well-being, I offer in stead the findings – see the review’s link above for details – from numerous studies  over the years which conclude the following:

Calm Lake

Calm Lake (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

  • married ‘people of African descent’ report being happier,
  • feeling more satisfied with life,
  • report fewer emotional problems than their unmarried peers,
  • are less likely to commit suicide or express support for suicide and
  • are more outgoing.

The research in this area indicates that in my usual-female-self-sacrificing-way marrying me will do more for your psychological well-being than it will do for me – but I’m just a saint really.

It is my opinion therefore that if marrying me will do all this for you as well as save you from killing yourself, then there really is no reason for you to continue to jeopardise your psychological well-being and your life any further.

…uhm, is this a good reason?

Divine Spark 🙂

PS – There is more…

Marry Me For Social Prowess

Black family tree

Black family tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my previous post , ‘Marry Me For Money’, I made a clear presentation of my economic skills. In this second post in my series based on the consequences of marriage for African Americans – for our purposes let’s say people of African descent – I present to you my social and familial skills.

Partnering with me will result in:

  • a significant increase in the rejection of illegal and unethical behavior,
  • a significant increase in spiritual pursuits,
  • more positive interactions with family members compared to unmarried peers
  • greater satisfaction with family life especially for you

…and going beyond the call of duty, marrying me

  • makes you less likely to be involved in criminal activity …!?@£&@# ? …let’s re-phrase this one – provides mental and emotional stability, thereby promoting a greater sense of inner calm and restraint – that sounds much better.

So economically and socially marrying me brings fabulous benefits and I’m not done yet. Next, I would like to share with you the psychological benefits I can bring to the party – if I am invited!         …next post…

Divine Sparks!

Marry Me For Money!

A comprehensive review of literature and surveys on the consequences of marriage for African Americans – for the sake of argument let’s just say people of African descent – have summised that marriage promotes the economic, social, familial, and psychological well-being of both men and women.

2010 OHNY: Tom Otterness Studio - Marriage of ...

2010 OHNY: Tom Otterness Studio – Marriage of Money and Real Estate (Photo credit: wallyg)

Over the next few posts therefore, I think it only prudent and fair that I take this opportunity to make my case. This is purely academic!

In this post I will therefore present to you my economic skills, or as I like to call it, my wealth-creating powers. Marrying me will bring the following results:

  • Increased earnings,
  • higher levels of occupational prestige than our unmarried peers,
  • protection from economic trouble as we will be significantly less likely to suffer from material hardship such as insufficient funds to pay bills and
  • increased chances of owning a home.

I believe so strongly in over-delivery, going beyond duty and in wealth-creation that I go further to ensure that marrying me will also result in:

  • us earning 13-18% more than our never-married peers and
  • you, if you partner with me – or any other woman of African descent, will be 30% less likely to fall into poverty.

…and of course, if we become parents our wealth-creating powers will go into overdrive!

Please be aware however that in spite of my wealth-creating party favors, I am still subject to economic downturns, recessions, stock market crashes, acts of terrorism, acts of God, death and dis-ease like and any and all situations and conditions which are out of my hands. I am however resilient, determined and able to adapt!

So from an economic standpoint, this is what I bring to the party and I would now like to present to you my social and familial prowess… next post!

Read the entire Comprehensive Review of Literature on the The Consequences of Marriage for African Americans

by The Institute of American Values

Sparks!

Words Create

English: Think you already knew the old saying...

English: Think you already knew the old saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Think again. Let’s ask Andy and see what he says… What’s your explanation? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What if you were told that your words had creative power and that they had far greater impact in your life than you thought?

What if you had the power in your mouth to determine or at the very least contribute to the outcome of your life?

What if by simply exercising a little self-discipline you could empower yourself and become more positive in the process? Would you?

“Do you know anybody, maybe even yourself, who loves to use phrases like: “This only happens to me”, “Life’s a b*tch“, “I caaaaaaaaan’t!”, “Never!”, “I just can’t win”, “I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t”.

The biggest problem with these phrases is not that they are negative or self centered, it’s that they stop you from taking action. Phrases like this paralyze us and fool us into thinking that we have no power and no choice. Which is nonsense.

What if our words always made us and who ever we are talking to feel inspired, empowered and re-energized?

I’ve created a list of some of the top five words and phrases you might want to delete from your vocabulary. I also included some replacements!

1. I can’t

You’re right! If you say you can’t, it’s over. Just that simple. The door is closed and locked. However, maybe you’re right. Maybe at this moment you can’t run 3 miles at once, maybe you can’t complete the project in 3 hours, maybe you can’t immediately forgive someone. With that said, you must learn to. I must learn, I will learn, I’m preparing myself to...is a much more empowering phrase that will propel you to take action, take risks and grow.”

Read the entire post by the fabulous Jeff Moore at My Everyday Power Blog

Related Stuff
As A Man Thinketh Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, so what’s in your heart? Are you thinking right?

…and click this one, it’s a must get!

Divinesparks x

Singleness in the Black Church

only the lonely
Image by bandita via Flickr

I came across an old article in the Voice from February 2010 which brought to the fore for me again the issue of the level of singleness within the Black Church, especially among women. As a single woman myself, this is a point of sadness…disappointment…no, concern. In response to the article one woman made the comment that some single Christian females opt to ‘date’ non-Christian men and sometimes get pregnant in the process. She goes on to suggest that this is ‘the reward they get for being faithful to God’ with some scepticism.

Whereas I can understand and even identify with much of what she says, this is where I take a different path as pregnancy is NOT a ‘reward for faithfulness’. That is like saying that because I have been faithful for ‘xteen’ months or years, this one time that I, of my own volition, make the choice to indulge myself in the potential joy of sexual intimacy, God owes it to me to protect me from becoming pregnant! Whoa!

God loves us. He desires the very best for us and wants us to make the choices which will lead to life, full and complete in Him. However we cannot and should not allow ourselves to be lied to by the enemy when he whispers, ‘See, the one time you ‘slip and fall on it’ He makes you get pregnant!’ First of all, let us be brutally honest. Did I really ‘slip and fall on it’? or did I allow myself to walk down paths with obvious potholes and dark, intimate corners for me to stumble into. Is it not that I agreed to play games with the truth to see how close I can get to the edge of sin without falling into it…when I fell?

Wisdom dictates that we must accept that the Devil does not have our best interest at heart and will always find glorious ways of enticing us into death with his ‘after all, ‘what’s wrong with going to that 6’4″ hunk of a man’s house after dark in my attempt to evangelise him?’ REALLY???? Let us choose wisdom…heck, common sense says if he’s gorgeous and ticks my nubility list then it is up to me to guard my heart AND my feet lest I fall, whether he is a sweet guy with a wonderful personality or the son of a Preacher man!

Although singleness is NOT an enviable position as far as I am concerned, it is still up to every single woman to STAND, and after you have done absolutely everything you can…still STAND, even if you have to do it with tears running down your cheeks and a whimper on your lips!

And if you stumble, fall or swoon in the process…get the hell up, run to Daddy-God, accept your error, expect to bear the consequences sista girl and STAND…again!

Relationship Laws

“If you have endured broken relationships and are in the process of becoming whole, it is very important to realize that you must have boundaries in which to live by in order to maintain the wholeness that you have received.  The Relationship Laws for Ladies Who Love God are specific, detailed confessions that help capture the essence of your newfound personal wholeness and how to go about maintaining it.  These “Laws” are intended to help you discern your motives for being in particular relationship, whether or not that relationship is

Captivated by the hidden beauty of the bride...

Captivated by the hidden beauty of the bride… (Photo credit: Hafsa Nabeel)

consistent with your godly values, and most importantly, whether or not a relationship would enhance your wholeness or cause further brokenness.

1. I am rooted, grounded, fixed and founded in the Love of God, not a position, title, having “Mrs.” in front of my name, not money, my looks, being cute, being smart or being seen.

2. I respect myself enough to lay boundaries in all relationships personally and professionally.

…  Read more at Whole Magazine by Maria Breeden”  The Fulltime Girl (proper crediting for a great article)

Related Stuff
Be Captivating by Setting Boundaries This book by the fabulous John & Stasi is fascinating and well worth the investment and time to acquire, read and digest. It will re-inforce your sense of self and will help the male reader to understand the very heart of ‘every’ woman. It will definitely help women understand their own yearnings and enable successful boundary setting. Suggesting? Read the rest of the article then get Captivating.

Sparks!

Never Once

In spite of the challenges we face each day or year we are never really alone. Hugs & kisses to ya’all.