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.

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HAS REAL LOVE BECOME PREHISTORIC?

Today, my parents celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. As I celebrated this occasion of love and longevity in marriage, I began to ponder how one can grow up in a household filled with so much devotion, loyalty, and commitment, yet still not be able to stumble across real, mutual love, as if this type of love has come prehistoric to my generation?

IT’S PRETTY SIMPLE HOW THIS COULD HAPPEN ACTUALLY…

THE HISTORY OF MY PARENTS

My dad had been previously married–the details of that marriage shall remain family information only; however, it unfortunately lead to the dissolving of that marriage. That marriage, birthed my brother. As a single father {TAKING CARE OF HIS RESPONSIBILITY}, my father didn’t give up hope on finding the love that he desired. Like a true man, when he stumbled across that which he knew he wouldn’t find again–he didn’t hesitate, regardless of the parts of his past that remained. He would soon find that a blessing that occurred in his past, would graciously be accepted into his future.

My parents met at  funeral some time in about 1977. My mother wasn’t really feeling my daddy at first. She wasn’t really excited about him, but yet, he didn’t give up–he persevered. After about 3 months of dating, he experienced enough of what he desired to make a SOUND decision to spend the rest of his life with her. By month 6, they were married.  Truth be told, he actually knew before he asked her to marry him that she was THE ONE. 

ONE BEING THE OPERATIVE WORD

It didn’t really take long. I always wondered how did he know so suddenly?

After studying the history of my dad’s relationship, I finally got it. He experienced so much of what he did not desire in his previous marriage, that it was easy to recognize not only exactly what he wanted, but exactly what he needed.

The problem in society today is that we are so OVERINDULGENT. There are so many options available, I had quite a selection of synonyms I could have used for that very word!

It’s hard to tap into what we really desire, because it’s so simple to appease our appetite settling for the things that birth momentary gratification. Everything is so easily accessible these days. If you don’t feel like cooking, all you have to do is step outside of your yard into any main road and have access to a plethora of dining facilities that will surely meet the needs of your hunger. Technology is ever-changing. A cellphone or computer that you obtain one month ago, pretty much becomes obsolete after a few months–no longer satisfying the need you had when originally purchased. Can’t find a man/woman in the “real world”?  DON’T FRET!  There are a plethora of dating sites available to meet the needs of what you most desire–interracial dating, single mom, black men who love white women, white men who love black women, bromance…

YOU NAME IT–IT’S AVAILABLE!

Dating has birthed a buffet mentality–having access to a smorgasbord of “goodies” without investing much to get it. Golden Corral Relationships-For a little of nothing, you can have ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT!

SO WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO SETTLE DOWN THESE DAYS WITH SO MUCH ACCESS TO TEMPORARY FIXES?

I reminiscence on the many times I’ve gone to buffets of the sorts, and typically my eyes are way bigger than my stomach; however, just because I have access to it–I continue eating. Finally, which satisfaction hits, I’m stuffed, not wanting to look at food again for a good while. Actually the sight of food sickens me when I’m stuffed at that level.

Dating, has become like this. We overindulge in the variety that is available, that the simple pleasure of sitting back and savoring a five-star opportunity that is palatable and just enough to satisfy that hunger is non-existent.

I received a text message from a close guy friend today, who sent encouragement, not even understanding the season I was in–a season of deciding not to date casually–almost nearing giving up the hope of the possibility of something fruitful. I share this to encourage someone who feels like, what they have inside of them is constantly over looked for “situations” of momentary gratification.

“Ms. Spyies, you have the spirit of pouring into a man and don’t ever take it lightly. I know we’ve had many discussions about you being tired of pouring into someone and it not being reciprocated, but please believe that at the end of the day someone will catch on. Better than the fliest outfit, the fliest makeup, the best smelling perfume, the greatest cooking, or the most mind-blowing sex, the greatest gift I believe a woman gives a man, is in the way she ministers/prays with him through his stormy seasons and her undying loyalty to him–but ONLY a “MAN” will recognize this! BE ENCOURAGED”.

SO, HAS REAL LOVE BECOME PREHISTORIC?

I truly don’t think so. You can’t expect a man/woman with a “buffet” mentality to be able to appreciate the investment in a “five-star” man/woman. That’s just the truth!

What’s written above by a man  is highlighting the character of a five-star woman. Many of your are that FIVE-STAR PERSON!

At times, I truly believed that the ability to obtain such a pure relationship such as my parent’s marriage had become ancient history. But then an unlikely source pours into my spirit–MY HOPE IS RESTORED.  I look at my parents marriage and MY HOPE IS RESTORED. I return to the Word of God and review His promises unto me and again, MY HOPE IS RESTORED.

My parents marriage is a ministry to me and to many others. It’s like opening a history book, just to remember-how everything begin. Their wedding album like historical artifact–evidence that true love can happen and is still alive and well to date. It’s not prehistoric…real love is historic! I BELIEVE IT! #readytomakehistory

My Encounter with God: 5/16/12- God’s Novocaine for Heartache

Today’s word of the day for me is \numb\:

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To deaden or place in a state of sleep, whereas to be conscious about what is going on around you, yet not feel pain.

Not necessarily a Webster’s Dictionary definition, but as I began to ponder on this word and definition that was placed in my spirit today, I began to see more and more of the character of God.

When I woke up this morning, I didn’t think this was the greatest place to be. For about a week now, my tolerance has gotten REALLY low. The things that used to make me sorrowful, I began to take on the feeling of “it is what it is”. I began to clean out my address book, delete old emails/texts, just rid myself of all of the non-productive interactions that I’ve accumulated over many years.  God began to reveal to me this morning that I’m not necessarily going into a place of where I don’t care, but instead going into a place where I place the burden upon him.

He gave me this vision of my cousin who is a dental surgeon.  For the longest time, I hated going to the dentist, because I was mistreated by one in the past. I went in to this dentist when I was about 21 years old to have a cavity filled. The dentist began to start the procedure and did not numb me all of the way. I told him that I felt the pain. He didn’t care and kept on drilling. Tears streamed down my face. I felt violated in some way, as if what I felt didn’t matter. Shortly after the procedure started, the secretary came in and told the dentist that I was no longer covered under my father’s dental insurance. When the dentist found this out, He told me that unless I could pay for the charges out of pocket, he would not be able to complete the procedure. Here I was, this 21 year-old, completing college, not making much money on the little full time job I had. Here I was vulnerable, trusting this professional to take care of a problem that was causing me pain. He started the job, only not to finish but leaving me in more pain. It took me a very long time to trust a dentist again.

Ironically, I’ve been to this dentist over and over again in my relational life. Meeting individuals who say they are qualified for the job, but only to leave me hanging in deeper pain than I was before I encountered them. BIG WOW MOMENT!

As time went on, my cousin had now became a dental surgeon. My problem had gotten so bad that I couldn’t go on anymore without assistance. I had to get the source of the problem examined. When I went to my cousin, he had a still calm voice that relaxed me. He explained to me what was going on and proceeded with the procedure. He numbed the general area in which he was going to work and said, “okay, you’re going to feel a little prick”. I jumped just a little, but after a while, I said to myself “was that all”. “Okay, you’re going to hear and see some things going on around you, but don’t be alarmed”. I sat there calm, conscious of all that was going on around me, even felt a little pressure. As he injected the novocaine my heart raced and I became a little anxious about what was going on, but I understood that I was in the hands of a person who loved me, who cared about me, and who was going to do everything in his power to help me not to feel anymore pain. As I relaxed and placed the burden of my toothache in the hands of someone I trusted–all went well, he was able to start and COMPLETE the work left by someone else.

Eventually, I no longer felt pain.

God reminded me of this very thing experience this morning. I had been feeling as if I was becoming numb to the thought of a relationship. I’ve had really no huge yearning to spend my time meeting someone new. Had no tolerance for starting something only for it to leave me into disappointment. I haven’t really felt bitter, but more so, “I just don’t care anymore”. As I stated before, I thought this was a bad place, but now that I’m writing, I am understanding that this is such a great place to be.

When God numbs your heart and mind–he’s not numbing your emotional entities to cause you to become nonchalant or indifferent or closed to possibility of falling in love one day.  He does it so that He can have the ultimate control to do what he needs to do to fix them from the aftermath of life. Life hurts. Our interactions with people can sometimes hurt. THIS IS A REALITY.

Though we are aware of what is going on around us, his spiritual novocaine shields us from feeling the things that would cause even more pain. It places our heart in a state of numbness, so God can go in a clean out all of the sources of heart, betrayal, aggravation/irritation <—all the things that if not handled can be responsible for making us irritable and bitter individuals.

So today, I’m embracing the numbness. It’s just a reminder that I’ve placed my cares upon God. Though I’m well aware of what’s going on around me–people developing new relationships, transitioning to new stages in life, getting married, having children–all the things that I do desire, there’s great comfort in knowing that everything is taken care of because He really does cares about me and everything concerning me.

There are some other people out there experiencing this very numbness. Understand that this is a GREAT place!  Embrace it!

Love, peace and many blessings,

B.

Cast all your cares {burdens, desires, anxiety, thoughts, behaviors} upon God, because He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7

WEATHER THE STORMS

Earlier today, I had the pleasure of fitting a man with hearing aids for the first time. He had be living about 50+ years in this “bubble” of silence, disconnected from the world.

I watch a slight smirk peek from his lips, as he listens to sounds emerge that were once in hiding. His wife witnesses that he’s hearing things again, and she says in a soft voice, “I love you”. The eyes of this burly man turns to the direction of her voice, looks at her and says , “I love you too”. Trying to be professional and hold my composure—being the mush that I am, I asked him how long they had been married. “40 years”, he replied. “Excuse me?”, she corrected… “What? We have been in business for 40 years”, he stated. “Turn, your hearing aid up! She asked, how long we have been married?”. The patient laughed and corrected himself, saying, “ohhh, 48 years”. I chuckled at them, and asked what the secret to their longevity was?

He simply said, “WEATHER THE STORMS”.

I took a mental note, only to come back to reflect on it during lunch.

I decided to look up exactly what this idiom meant–my favorite definition was:
TO EXPERIENCE GREAT DIFFICULTY AND SURVIVE IT.

I re-evaluated my relationships and even friendships over the years…some have been really rocky, those who I consider the closest to me have known me for a while and we have had to do exactly what he suggested.

It doesn’t amaze me that on a more regular basis I have come in contact with couples that are walking testimonies that longevity in marriage still exists. Of course because the marriages are so long, it typically is seen in the older generation.

I ADMIRE THEM!

The whole “STICK WITH IT, TIL DEATH DO US PART, THROUGH THICK AND THIN” mentality in the younger generation is almost non-existent these days.

OF COURSE IT TAKES TWO!

In my quiet time, I began to think about rocks. Most are jagged and rough to the touch. A rock can be so sharp and abrasive, it can create some of the deepest wounds. Yet, no matter how jagged a rock is, in time, weather conditions can even break down the oldest, largest, immoveable ones. They can become some of the most beautiful stones–used to decorate or to adorn.

All good relationships are not without difficulty–YOU WILL experience some stormy times. Variable winds (mood swings), rain (tears), heat (disagreements), and ice (stubbornness/coldness) are just a few conditions one may experience.

You have to keep in mind that not all storms are meant to be weathered. There are some the will force you take an evacuation route immediately! I’m not referring to them. Some individuals God will not grant peace when you try to walk way. He wants you to ride out the storms to access a greater purpose. But to do so you must keep your focus on Him. In time, if you don’t give up, these rocky roads will become beautifully smoothed stony paths that lead to greatness.

in my humble opinion…

Prime Relational Real-Estate: Searching for the Place to Call Home

House hunting can be exciting and nerve racking all in the same, but ultimately, when you lay your eyes on the very domain that you’ve been praying for, believing for and searching for there’s a particular feeling/peace that comes with knowing this is exactly where God wants you to reside.

It may not have exactly everything you want–but has enough character, enough warmth, enough accessibility for you to feel comfortable calling it home. You have to ask vital questions to ensure that what you see is align with what you need and what you can afford–or would it ultimately be a liability.

Depending on the type of person you are and what you are looking for, will define the type of house you’re looking for…some are more concerned about the aesthetics of the house, some about the character, some about feel of the house, some about the work required to maintain the house, some concerned about the environment that surrounds it, and some about the affordability. Most individuals are concerned about the cumulative qualities of the house and when it’s right, they are willing to put forth the effort it takes to make a peaceful investment in what they want.

Though I don’t own my own home (YET), I have been involved in several house hunting experiences with friends and relate it to the process in finding an appropriate mate.

No matter how desperately one wants to dwell in something they can call their own, it’s important NEVER TO SETTLE OR IT BECOMES A LIABILITY.

We all are a work in progress, but everyone who purchases a home doesn’t have the patience for “fixer uppers” and wind up in a situation where though access to the relationship was easy and required little investment initially, but the effort required to make it presentable, cozy, warm, comforting is exhausting or on the other hand they don’t want to put forth the effort, so they end up in a relationship that’s a hot-mess and when other’s peer upon it, they can tell.

There are others searching for a relationship that appears to be “all-that” from the outside, but if people took a deeper look on the inside–they would see that the upkeep is taxing, pretentious, stiff, and lifeless.

Have you ever walked in a home where the place was decked out in white and you were afraid to step on the carpet in fear of leaving a mark and the owner getting upset with you?

These relationships are like walking on eggshells and a person never really feels comfortable or at home. These relationships require alot of energy and in the end the owner feels as its too much of a cost because they can’t be themselves!

On a different note, there are these relationships that seem a little “ugly” at first–perhaps it took a little working on the outside and inside–but the owner took time to do so. They didn’t feel that it was effort or an obligation–they took the time to make sure the relationship was the best that it could be. They invest in something that seemed not to hold much value and flipped it to make the value appreciate. These are transitional relationships–relationships in which you see through the “stuff” that other people run from, decide, it’s worth the investment, put forth the effort, and increase the value of that person’s life. Transitions take time, effort, patients, care to detail. Not all have the patience for it, but for those who do, it can go two ways, it can be the most beautiful relationship ever or again you can find you settled and it becomes a liability.

Lastly, there are others that just prefer a relationship that is move-in ready. They don’t want to go through alot of difficulty, don’t want to put up with the transitional changes, the effort of of high-maintenance relationship or dealing with the effort it takes to “fix” someone up. They want to see it, have peace about it, move in and call it home.

Though move-in ready, doesn’t mean you can’t add a little of your own touch to that relationship–but many aspects of it are already in place. Not much work is needed, if any at all. Just because it’s move-in ready, doesn’t mean you won’t hit a wall from time to time, but because of the majority of the aspects of the “home” being in a good place–it takes off a lot of stress in the relationship. This is the type many desire–forgetting that all relationships take some level of work.

Recently, I thought, we have to hold individuals to a higher standard than we have been doing. God has designed a particular layout just for you when it comes to your relationship. You must ask vital questions to help determine if what stands before you is aligned with the blueprint God has set for you. “Does it look like God, sound like God, feel like God, love like God”? If the answers to any of these questions are no, then perhaps it’s not God’s best for you to reside and it’s okay.

THOUGH EVERY CREATION IS FORMED BY GOD, NOT EVERY CREATION IS FORMED FOR YOU.

The opportunity will come to explore another lay-out, you just have to open to observing different places and keeping everything in perspective. Eventually, you are destined to come across a place that you can so peacefully call home.