Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Welcome To The Wives Club

There was a time in my life when someone trying to humiliate me via a public platform like social media would have made my head turn in 360 degree spins as I retaliate via my own verbal onslaught of expletives and clever jabs meant to silence my opponent once and for all. (In other words, your girl did not play that. I would go from “keeping it cute” to “keeping it ratchet” real quick). If you scroll back far enough, you can get glimpses of my once-toxic reactions to any negative word or deed. Lately though, I cannot say that I have the time.

One of my top priorities in life (probably second only to growing in Christ) is making my husband proud of me. I love the way he looks at me. I love that he cherishes me and thinks highly of me. I know these things to be true because he tells me and proves it continuously. When someone attacks my character, persona, intelligence, looks, whatever – my response to them is constrained by two things, my love for God and my love for my husband.

My love for God requires me to respond in a way that will make my Heavenly Father proud. Whether that is speaking the truth to dispel their lies, or learning to turn the other cheek, or doling out the same measure of grace that I pray for myself when I go to God, I try to be Spirit-led in my reaction. Many times though, I go to God after the precursory “OH HECKS NAW” moment has already transpired in private (lol). I then pray for the grace that is necessary to be gracious in my reaction and ask the Lord to guide me.

Secondly, I think about how the incident could affect my husband, not just in the privacy of our home but in the public eye. I do not know when I learned the following verse but I have always had it in the back of my mind when it comes to how my actions may affect my husband.

“Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land” -Proverbs 31:23

My hunny is a private person by nature. More often than not, before I post about matters that are sensitive to our lives, I get  his okay. So it is no surprise that I always think about how my actions and reactions to others will affect him publicly. Anyone who knows my husband has only amazing things to say about him. He is just a genuinely wonderful person. I would never want anyone to look at him negatively because of my role in his life. Therefore, when someone grinds my gears enough to extract a reaction out of me, I consider my husband in my response. Will giving this person a piece of my mind strain valuable ties between them and my spouse? If my response became public knowledge, would my husband be embarrassed?

If the answer to either one of those questions is yes, I bite my tongue (hard, if I have to) and thread carefully, sometimes delaying response until the beau and I have sat down to hash it out.

Over the years, I have developed the habit of taking stock of my growth on a regular basis. A regularly scheduled character evaluation of sorts. I rejoice in my growth, take stock of my weaknesses and make note of the issues that seem to be recurring and commit to getting the help I need to overcome them. One of the areas that I am still growing in is maintaining quality friendships or more specifically – being okay with one-time friends becoming anything less (sometimes strangers, sometimes distant associations). Those whose rejection once stung me to my core have it harder in my heart for me to overlook or forgive their shortcomings.

I know the need to forgive past hurts and by grace I am able to practice that (sometimes kicking and screaming). The difficulty arises for me when these forgiven folks show their humanity once again and I glimpse their own areas of weaknesses. Oh, the shade I want to throw! The quickness with which I want to scream “See? You were throwing me under the bus this whole time when you have your mess too!” Because I am no longer a single woman, my associations are no longer independent of my husband. If I have a friend, then we have a friend. Maybe that is why it irks me to my soul when I lose a friend yet they do not disappear from my husband’s life. My response to folks in this category now goes back to the aforementioned process - I must honor Christ and I must honor my husband.

If for any reason my husband needs to retain those ties that have been cut on my end, I have to learn to be gracious in my interactions.

“She does him good and not evil all the days of her life” – Proverbs 31:12

DISCLAMIER: THIS POST WAS NOT WRITE BY ME. THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY http://naijabeauty.wordpress.com/


You can find more of her work by clicking on the link or following her via twitter @attorney_of_luv [I loved her post so much I had to share. This is my truth and there is one word I would change that she wrote. Sometimes we have to focus on the bigger picture instead of the temporary anger].

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Importance of Support #MyOverseasDiary



SUPPORT can be defined in many different ways and aspects. Support can be the foundation a relationship is based on. Support can mean assisting someone's financial needs. Support can be enduring a situation with patience, strength and endurance. Support can also be a stronger shoulder to rest on. Regardless, of how the definition fits your situation, everyone needs some type of support.

In the process of strengthening my relationship with God, I was invited to join a bible study group. This group meets once a week via video chat as we discuss a chapter from our current reading [Discipline for a Godly Woman]. We use the information from the devotional and apply it to different aspects of our daily life. It's a two-hour meeting where we all have the opportunity to be open, vulnerable, understanding, learn and grow together. Even though, I stream my home church [Higher Dimension] service once a week during their live service, it's nice to fellowship with these ladies. These basketball wives may be in different countries and enduring different situations but once a week we provide each other with SUPPORT, as we are living abroad and supporting our men.


Which brings me to my next topic. Please don't underestimate the hardship it takes to be a wife, fiancée or girlfriend living abroad. These women deserve a standing ovation. Yes, you see the nice pictures but that is only a small piece of the life style. There isn't a way to capture the hardship of anxiety, depression, loneliness and/or uncertainty. As a woman packing your life in a few suitcases and moving overseas to SUPPORT your significant other's dream is the toughest and most selfless sacrifice one can make. You continuously remind yourself that you are doing what is best for your family. You are willing to bear all mental hurdles to keep your man happy because you know this opportunity won't last forever. Amongst many other things, you also struggle with your identity and defining who you are in God's eyes. At some point you wonder "what was all the years of schooling for" and/or "what we're all the years building this career for" ... if I was only going to be a stay at home wife overseas. That's when I remind myself daily,

God created the woman to be a helper to her husband. This is not an easy truth to swallow for a modern woman.  Our culture makes this role out to be demeaning or weak. But there is power in knowing who you are in Christ and fulfilling the role that God created you to be. Lord, thank you for trusting us with each other's hearts. We have an opportunity to love each other unconditionally and sometimes that is hard to do. Please show me how to be a joyful, compassionate, humble and truly understanding wife. I pray for your wisdom and guidance. I am determined to make my marriage blossom as I step into the role that only I can fulfill in my husband's life.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Placing One Foot In Front Of The Other


In my opinion [and penalty of others who would agree] KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. When you stop learning, you stop living. Your lack of knowledge places limitations on your future. I am not saying college is for everyone because for the longest I didn’t think it was for me. An educational institution is not the only place information is obtained. I will however say that it’s a great place to start. A university/college will supply you with the necessary essentials to create a better life. Whether you obtain a degree, certificate or a trade, it’s a great start to improving your future.

Despite everything on my very full plate, I decided to enroll in Japanese Learning Classes. I attend a regular classroom setting class twice a week and one-on-one time with a private tutor once a week. I felt learning Japanese would not only help assist me in my current living environment but also afford me the opportunity to speak two different languages. One item that was listed on my visualization board (http://www.pinterest.com/msjaymichelle/visualization-board/).

 




Learning a new language will require discipline and organization. The topic of discipline and organization were discussed in our Asia Wag Bible Study last week [next week’s blog topic]. I find myself to be a very organized person but I lack the discipline aspect at times. I can create a goal and/or schedule but the follow through is my major problem. So, with taking on this new task, I am forced to follow a strict schedule because I refuse to allow this opportunity to hind anything I already have going on. I must manage my time appropriately without neglecting my time with God, spiritual growth and my wifely duties. I want to be the ambitious woman but I want happiness first.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Perspective Struggle #MyOverseasDiary


As many of you know I take my spiritual growth seriously. My relationship with God is one that I cherish and hold on a pedestal. My faith alone has been the ONLY reason I've survived my first month overseas. Being honest with myself, yes living abroad can be an amazing experience but it requires the right attitude and perspective. As much as I enjoy the one on one time with my husband, being stripped of your norms is difficult. In the last four months: I've purchased a house, left my job, got married, watched my niece enter this world and now living overseas. A lot of change in a short period of time that had me feeling overwhelmed. Yes, all these things are blessings but when your world makes a total 360 in such a short time, any girl will fold. That's when I relied heavily on my Lord and Savior to help rebuild this puzzle of mine.


I've made the one-month mark of living in Japan. I can honestly say with the help of T.D. Jakes, I had my first successful week. I had no "struggle days" as I tend to call them. I challenged my attitude in two ways:

[1] Is my perceptive destroying and/or placing limitations on my experience?
[2] Is my perceptive turning a blessing into ungratefulness?


When it all boils down to it my attitude towards this experience determined my reality. The more open-minded I became the easier it was to adjust. Yes, Japan isn't America but that doesn't mean you can't create new norms for yourself. God has given me this opportunity for a reason. He has stripped me of the things I am accustomed too; therefore, I can focus on what is important. Starting with the growth within me, which will in-turn will strengthen my marriage and help produce a strong-minded business owner. I know that I may fall short of a perfect week sometimes but I will never stop trying. One successful week down, twenty-four more to go. I am a work in progress.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Transformational Instinct - Knowledge is Power


Okay, so here I go again trying to force you all to watch another thirty-minute video. I am a firm believer than you can’t lead unless you read or watch informative documentaries. There is free knowledge all around us. I am simply trying to help you access the information quicker. I am committed to spending at least an hour a day stimulating my mind outside of school and business work. I believe these steps will help prepare me for a great 2015. I use to waste more time than that on social media. [I am always setting goals for myself]. I want to be the best form of myself possible, in order for that to happen, I have to change my daily process.

The video below is part four of a five part series called “Transformational Instinct” by T.D. Jakes. If you enjoy this video below, you can find the remaining parts on YouTube. Yes, I watched all five parts before selecting the one I chose to share. Part four was an eye opener, not only to enhance myself but my marriage. I look at it as a two for one special lol.



KEY POINTS

Iron Sharpens Iron

There is nothing more powerful than the word of God

There is a thin line between Parasites and Friends

The Law of Selectivity

Garbage Can Vs. Refrigerator

Sacrifice [my favorite part in the video 17:25]

Intimacy = Into Me See