YOUR NAME MATTERS

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Growing up I HATED my last name. SPYIES? OMG, I have heard it all, “are you a spy”?, “Spies, like 007”?, “Do you work for the CIA”? I mean every possible corny spy joke from kindergarten until now, I’ve unfortunately heard them all, and if not, I am sure soon, someone will make up an even cornier one. It wasn’t until my I had a conversation with my late grandfather regarding our family history, where I encountered a new found respect for my last name and the legacy the name carried. It’s a name that bears roots in Cuba, France, Bahamas, and America–a name of vast diversity. It’s a name of uniqueness.  It’s so set apart that you won’t find any other family that bears the name with the same spelling. It’s a name that embraces fighting through adversities and being victorious. A legacy of hard working women and men who went after the dreams they wanted from professional baseball to a lineage of fighters for our country. I was so impressed. How dare I ever shun the last name of such uniqueness and richness?!?!

In biblical days, names held much significance. A name could depict aspects of a person’s birth, expressions of parent’s reactions to the birth of their child, it was given to secure the solidarity of familial ties, and many to show the character or affiliation with God. A NAME MEANT SOMETHING! Another thing that was very common in the bible was when a person was transitioning from one phase to the next, their name was changed–this is the type of event I think of when transitioning from the stage of singleness to marriage. It was a new name depicting a change in direction. A new name that was evidence of becoming a member of a new family or having a new responsibility, with all the rights and privileges that exists within that family/assignment. It is evidence of a new connection that embodied all of the characteristics designed for that purpose. 

 


A NAME MEANT SOMETHING!

MEN DON’T GIVE IT AWAY CASUALLY–WOMEN DON’T TAKE IT WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT’S BEHIND THAT NAME…

Ahh…KNOWING… Let’s talk about that!

In biblical days, the greek word ginosko “to know” someone had weight/value to it. They didn’t “know” someone through a friend, or “know” someone through social media. When Abraham “knew” Sarah–boy did he “know” her…

Let’s look at some definitions-

GINOSKO- TO KNOW

1) TO HAVE FACTS OR UNDERSTANDING ABOUT A PERSON
2) TO BE KNOWLEDGABLE AND AWARE OF A PERSON
3) TO HAVE AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH A PERSON
4) TO SEE OR EXPERIENCE A PERSON
5) TO BE CERTAIN OF A PERSON

Wow!!! DO YOU REALLY KNOW HIM? DO YOU REALLY KNOW HER?

What things have you learned about your significant other?
What things have you learned through family, friends and colleagues?
Have you experienced different seasons with this individual?
How do they react in conflict or crisis situations?
When you think of carrying their last name, what thoughts come to mind?
What legacy will be passed down to your children based on this name?
Outside of their earthly surname, does he/she hold the name “child of God”, “follow of God”, Man/Woman after God’s own heart? Hmmmm…

Just questions for thought.

As women, when a man purposefully proposes or expresses interest regarding you taking on his last name, there is value in there, just as there is honor in you accepting that name.

That means that he is certain about you, understands you, has seen and experienced you enough to trust the transferral of his family history, legacy, and collaborative purpose to you. He trusts you enough to unite as means of creating a new lineage with you as a matriarch. How honorable is that?

However, when a man finds a woman with a good name (good reputation), the conditions become mighty favorable for him.

Proverbs 22:1 states: A good name is to be more desired than great wealth. Favor is better than silver or gold. 

Proverbs 12:4 states: A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

Proverbs 18:22 states: He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.

Proverbs 31:10 states: A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

So often in our generation to people so casually take on the name of one person after another, not truly understanding the weight of a good reputation (good name) and the significance behind changing your last name or attaching your surname to another individual. So we jeopardize access to divine favor, all for the sake of a status update or a ring. IT IS JUST NOT WORTH IT! 

CHOOSE WISELY.

Peace, Love and Blessings,

Brandi

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LOVE NEVER FAILS: Written By: Brandi Spyies

I don’t have any regrets in life. My perspective is:

THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON!

Most of those reasons are to become better individuals in a corrupted world. More recently, thoughts of a dissolved relationship have been flooding my mind. My last exclusive relationship was in about 2004 and then the gentleman reappeared in 2006. In total, I would say we were together for 4.5 years–my longest relationship to date. We met in graduate school as I was working on my doctorate, he was finishing up his Pre-Med degree and getting ready to take the MCAT for medical school. We hoped together and dreamed together. Nothing could tell me that he was not my husband. It was one of the purest relationships I have ever experienced in my adulthood. He was celibate, I was celibate. The love that we had was based off of the pure fact of, I see your potential and I want to be apart of it. It wasn’t an easy relationship for me, because it wasn’t what I depicted my relationship would be however, he treated me like a queen. Despite the fact that I didn’t deserve the love and respect that he poured out at times–he gave it to me unconditionally and I learned to reciprocate.

Out of all of the memories that we shared, the one that showed me how much I was indeed loved occurred when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. It was my 27th birthday, and my mother and I had just received the news from the doctor. When we got back home to my apartment–everything was a blur. Though I was appreciative for my family being near–I needed a comfort that only God could bring. It was an unspoken comfort that I needed and I silently kept it to myself. My mother told me to get my journal and pray to God and write down what He said to me. I wrote down a prayer for me, and a few simple words, “He will return, but will leave again”. Not knowing what I had written, my mom looked at me and said, “He’s going to call”. I thought she had absolutely lost her mind. My relationship had dissolved a little over 2 years prior and all I knew was that he had transferred to a medical program in Grenada. I didn’t know how to get in touch with him, but all I knew, was I needed him. About 30 minutes later, my phone rang, and it was his mother. ‘Til this day, I am convinced my mother somehow found his mother and told her the story. I mean God can work in mysterious ways, but so can protective mothers :). His mother said, I have someone that wants to talk to you. Tears streamed down my face, because I knew. His voice sounded like the sweetest sound one could ever imagine. My best friend had returned. He let me know that he was home on break for a few weeks and would be coming to Maryland to help my mother take care of me. Thoughts swarmed my mind about how our reunion would be.

He made it just in time for my first chemo treatment. When he walked in the room, all I could do was grab him and kiss him. It didn’t matter why we broke up, it didn’t matter what had gone on in his world or mine–all I knew at that moment, no matter what I was about to go through, I knew I wasn’t alone.

After my first week in the hospital and my first round of chemotherapy, we drove to a remote location in Maryland and had breakfast at The Waffle House. I will never forget going down the road and seeing mountains off in the distance. I was coughing terribly, to the point where he had to pull over. I vomited in his car. Not feeling embarrassed but horrible for messing up his leather seats, he simply popped the trunk, pulled out a towel and cleaned up my vomit. He opened up to me and told me how he prayed that God would remove this obstacle from me and allow him to bear it, because he couldn’t imagine losing me. I looked at him, because I couldn’t believe someone loved me that much. I wanted to fight and live not just for me and my family, but also so I could be with him.

For about a week and a half, he stayed by my side. Things became a little complicated because he began to get into “DOCTOR MODE” and I despised it. He began telling me what I could not eat, how I needed to rest–repeating all of the things I constantly heard from the doctors. All I remember was I was at wit’s end, because all I needed from him was to love me and be present, not be another reminder that I had advanced cancer. With his feelings hurt and ego bruised, he uttered the words, “I think I should leave”. Fed up with cancer, fed up with no one understanding how I was feeling, all I remember was that I told him “fine, leave”. Not understanding that the only reason He wanted to leave was because he felt like a burden and he not knowing the only reason I wanted him to go, was because I felt like he didn’t want to be there with me anymore.

COMMUNICATION CAN BRING LIFE INTO A RELATIONSHIP OR IT CAN KILL IT.

I really haven’t spoken with him since that moment–about 6 years now. Though numerous times I’ve tried to reach out via email, not to revitalize the relationship, but just to simply say “thank you. It just hasn’t happened and I’m at peace about it, because at least I tried.

This is actually the first time I’m writing about it, and felt so compelled to write, I am recognizing that maybe I wasn’t as healed as I thought and this may be my last step to completely healing. Ironically, nearing 7 years later.

During one of my most difficult battles in life, the one person I have truly ever loved, left me and truthfully, I’ve been devastated about it. Sometimes we subconsciously hold on to old hurt that may hinder someone else from getting close. What hurt are you holding on to that is hindering you from letting someone else into your heart?

I am not casting blame on him by any means because I am just as guilty of ineffective communication, but this experience just makes me recognize that in EVERYTHING my trust should never be completely be in man (male/female) but be in God.

I know this isn’t just for me though. So many women are serial daters, going from situation to situation yearning for love, praying for love but not understanding what it truly takes to be a recipient of that type of love:

1) You must come to terms with YOUR past faults and correct them (TAKE
RESPONSIBILITY)

2) You must be ready to accept it (BE OPEN)

3) Truly understand what true love looks like (RECOGNIZE REAL LOVE)

4) You can’t be afraid of past experiences. Though one relationship
may fail, the ability to love does not. (LEARN FROM THE HURT)

5) Understand that without loving God, loving yourself and loving
others as yourself, you will never be able to tap into true
unconditional love. (BE LOVE SO YOU CAN RECEIVE LOVE)

6) Anything that you love more than God, give more attention to more
than God, WILL FAIL. You may not say it, but actions speak louder
than words. Idols are formed daily–and God is the master of
bringing them down.

HURT, HEAL, AND HOPE AGAIN
LOVE, LOSE, AND LOVE AGAIN

Written By: Brandi Spyies
10/26/12

New Shoes for a New Journey

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If the shoe fits, wear it, right? That’s what I’ve personally thought for the longest time. Finding athletic shoes was more about fashion rather than function–style rather than substance. All that mattered was that which was only appealing to the eye and the cost factor. After all, I just needed to make sure my shoes looked right with my outfit and didn’t break the bank. As I matured, I realized the importance of having just the right fit–not just in my athletic wear, but also in my relationships.

I’ve had a pair of red New Balance tennis shoes for about 10 years. They typically looked brand new, because I have never had an athletic bone in my body, so they’ve never been exposed to any real physical impact. When I decided that I wanted put forth more energy in becoming physically fit, I soon began to realize that what was once stylish, inexpensive and comfortable was no longer appropriate for the goals that I wished to achieve. I realized that exercising in the “comfort” of my own home in those “comfortable”shoes had a completely different feel when the environment changed and the conditions became more taxing. My comfort had suddenly transformed into discomfort. Aches and pains that didn’t exists previously, began to emerge. “Oh, I’m just out of shape”, I’d think to myself. Though that was true indeed, the pains felt thoughout out my body boiled down to one specific thing–my shoes.

Talking to one of my friends who had avidly taken up running, she mentioned that she was going to get her feet measured for new running shoes, after she sustained a runner’s injury. A bit ignorant to the entire idea of getting feet measured, “Couldn’t you just pick some shoes off of the rack?”, I thought to myself. She began to educate me on various orthopedic disorders one could encounter, all from participating in various activities and not having shoes that were properly fit.

After talking to her, I realized, having the fit for my new journey is so key on so many different levels. Little did I know that it would speak volumes into me examining my relationships.

WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS TO A PROPER FITTING?

1) BALANCE: Having the proper fit, will help yield the maintaining of balance. It ensures evenly distributed weight, so that you can feel the contact of the surface that you are walking on. When your sole (souls) are off-balance, it breeds more difficulty recognizing the surface changes. You began to become more susceptible to stumbling and perhaps falling when encountering challenging terrain.

2) FLEXIBILITY: Like properly fit shoes, a relationship should be flexible. A shoe properly designed to the anatomy of an individual’s foot, BENDS in the RIGHT places. If your shoes are not flexible enough, the muscles and other components of your body begin to fight against the improperly fit shoe, making the wearer more prone to injury. So it is with relationships. If you are connected to an individual not properly fit for you, you may find yourself making compromises that may subject you to more harm rather than good.

3) CORE STRENGTH: Another common thread of properly fit shoes and relationships is the condition of the middle sole. Like the middle sole of a good athletic shoe should be, the soul/heart of the properly fit individual should be as firm. If both soles/souls are too cushioned, it causes instability and causes one to sway from side to side. It’s the core that makes all the difference.

HOW DO I GET IT?

1) YOU MUST TRUST THE SPECIALIST

As a runner entrusts the specialist to adequately measure, diagnose and figure out the proper design for their foot, so is it when it comes to our trust in God relating to our mate. We must trust that because He designed us, and knows the innermost parts of our anatomy, that maybe, just maybe He has the knowledge regarding the appropriate fit for our mate. TRUST HIM!

2) ALLOW THE APPROPRIATE BREAK-IN PERIOD

Though there are varying opinions regarding if properly fit shoes require a break in period, understand that though one individual could wear new shoes right out of the box and be completely comfortable with those shoes, some break-in periods take a little longer. Similarly to relationships–just because one person’s relationship was comfortable and felt like “the one” right from the start doesn’t mean that because your relationship isn’t suitable for you, just because it is taking some time to get adjusted to. GIVE IT TIME.

Conversely, one may find that in the midst of wearing properly fitted shoes that after a few days and a few miles, something just doesn’t feel right. As I have learned from my friend, even some of the “specialist” can miss the mark at times. However, when it comes to relationships, if we continue to place our trust in He who SPECIALIZES in the creation–like Him,the relationship perfectly fit for you will never fail.

So, in closing,

There’s a common cliche that says, “EVERYONE CAN’T GO WITH YOU WHERE YOU ARE GOING”. So it was with these New Balance shoes and perhaps some shoes you own. Sometimes we need new shoes for a new journey and only God knows where this new journey may lead…

BLESSINGS ON THE JOURNEY WHEREEVER GOD MAY LEAD–YOU AND YOUR HEART.