Saturday, April 30, 2011

IJBH: 4.30.11

Just being honest...

....If you missed the Simultaneous Revival this week, you missed a real treat! In the weeks and months leading up to the revival, I prayed that God would send a Word for the current stage in my life. Hallelujah, He answered my prayers in an overwhelming way!

I took away a lot of pearls of wisdom, but the overall theme is this: it is time for me to woman up. Lately, I have fallen back into this pattern of being Superwoman--saying yes to everything and everyone; letting people walk all over me and internalizing every blow/attack to my person. The storms have been festering within me, affecting me physically, emotionally and even spiritually.

Today, I say no more.

I'm not an arrogant person at all--I just know who I am. I am Kayla Marie Woodberry, daughter of Mike and Regenia and child of the MOST HIGH God. It's time for me to act like it.

I can show you better than I can tell you.

.....So, one of my lifelong dreams came to an end this week. And I'm okay.

In life, sometimes we give our minds too much credit. I know that sounds weird, so let me see if I can explain. We think we know what we do in any given situation. How many times have you been conversing with someone about a bad relationship or a loss and they tell you: "Honey, if that had been me....."

Don't be too hard on 'em. We do it to ourselves too.

I thought I knew how this situation was going to play itself out. I thought there were only two possible scenarios, one good and one bad. Yet, the Lord unfolded before me a third option, which was really the best outcome.

May I be really real today?

Ladies (and gentlemen, if any are reading this blog), we cannot play games with God when it comes to relationships. If you haven't figured it out by now, God is not a genie and He doesn't grant wishes....he lavishes blessings upon us.

I set my sights on this person I truly believed was "The One." I had all but picked out appliances for our home....

*ahem* A four bedroom/three bathroom Colonial with a wraparound porch and in-ground swimming pool...

But I digress.

I only saw what I wanted to see. I didn't take into account that above all else, we are friends. He's like my brother and I'm like his sister. And technically, a relationship would be pretty gross.

I always believed that if my advances were spurned, I'd be crushed. Funny thing about that--I'm not. In fact, I'm almost giddy; excited and energized by the possibilities of life and love.

I may have lost a dream, but I gained perspective and cemented a friendship.

I wish y'all could see my face right now--I am straight cheesing. Ain't that just like God?

Dear hearts, I am at a place in my life where I am learning to take the limits off. If I am to fully submit to His will, there can be no conditions, asterisks, notes or fine print. I have to trust that God is so vast--so infinite and immutable--He can add a paragraph to a book that's already been sent off to print.

God is my editor...I am relinquishing my red pen to Him. I pray you'll do the same.

Be Encouraged,


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Extinguishing the Torch: Friendship

How ironic that my last post was in celebration of friendship....

I despise conflict. It literally makes me break out in hives. If I am watching a television show and the plot takes a dastardly turn, I switch channels until things are back on even keel.

Even more than television, I despise conflict in my life.

I don't like to hurt anyone's feelings....which is probably why I hang onto relationships,particularly friendships which should have ended years ago. I keep telling myself: "This is temporary."

It's not.

These people have shown me who they are.

Time to believe them.

If friendship were an item, it would be one of those weighted scales, such as the scales of justice. For this example, let's use the ginormous version featured on Vh1's Celebrity Fit Club. When empty, the scales were perfectly balanced. But when Carnie Wilson, Bobby Brown and Kevin Federline were loaded in, the difference was drastic. Sometimes, one side would almost touch the ground while the other side seemed to be feather-light.

Our friendship(s) started out with us evenly matched. Side by side, we were equals. Then, life happened. Storms happened. I answered your phone calls and text messages; I cried with you and for you. I prayed with you and for you. The scales became unbalanced as you tossed your worries into my bowl. I dipped further; you soared higher. You came out of the valley and we celebrated.

I went into the valley and you....couldn't be bothered.

If you, like me, are going through that season where friends have become frenemies, consider this:

--You've changed. The most common reason for a dissolved friendship is simply growth. As time passes, your interests have changed; what once appealed to you seems rather trite at the moment. Pat yourself on the back, baby--that's what being an adult is all about.

--You are making room for new people in your life. Change makes my stomach hurt. Still, I've learned to embrace it instead of fearing it, especially in my friendships. By 25, I thought I had all the lifelong friends I would ever need. However, I have met some of the most amazing, humorous and loving people in the last 2 1/2 years....friends.

Indeed, change is good.

--Ending a friendship does not make you a bad person. I think this is the part I've been stuck on for awhile--getting rid of toxic friends was mean. After all, I am a Christian--I'm supposed to forgive and forget! I am supposed to "turn the other cheek!" I am supposed to "love my neighbor as myself!"

I did, I do and I will. But if I am to love all of God's people, that means I have to show love to myself.

You know what's really mean? Allowing myself to be treated any kind of way, as if that's the best I can receive; as if that is what I deserve. Holding onto bad friendships is like pressing your open palm against a stove set on high. There is only one action that is going to stop the pain...

Get your hand off the stove.

Friends, associates, strangers and everybody else, be encouraged.


Monday, April 11, 2011

(Male) Friends: How Many of Us Have Them?

I like going out/taking walks and stuff/I don't run with many girls/'cause they talk too much...
--"Caramel," City High

That's taking it a bit far, but I believe every woman needs a good male friend in her life.

Let me go ahead and clarify before we get any further: strictly PLATONIC male friends. Y'all know how I feel about "friends with benefits," so I'll save that for a future rant.

Growing up, I always wanted a brother. I was envious of my friends who had that big brother who teased them incessantly, but also had their backs like no other guy in our age group ever could. Since my mom made it abundantly clear that her shop was closed for business, I tucked that dream into the recesses of my mind.

A funny thing happened in Weatherford, America: I started to realize that guys could be friends too. I know I sounded really blonde saying that, but allow me to explain. I've always had guys who were friends, but they were on the edge of the circle...the ones I called when I missed the last few minutes of a good basketball game or needed help changing a tire.

Then, there were the ones who were my "pretend friends." Don't act like y'all don't know what I mean! A PF is the one you say is your friend, but like Biz Markie stated so eloquently, he's got what you need. You hang out, but in the back of your mind you are screaming: "For the love of macaroni and cheese, MAKE A MOVE!"

Hehe. No names, people.

At this point in my life, my male friends took on a whole new perception. They became my confidantes, waning philosophical over cold pizza and Mountain Dew. They became my encouragers, teaching me to be confident no matter what. They were my counselors, because let's face it--I knew NOTHING about dating in the 21st century. They were my protectors, 'cause if anybody messed with me....well, let's just say it only happened once.

In Weatherford, I found my brothers.

Over the years, I lost touch with some; graduation brought about a season of change and I accepted that. I still think of them and wish them well in life. Some have returned to my life and when I see all that they have accomplished, my heart is full. I'm so proud of them.

Then, there are my new brothers; the ones who know just how to make me laugh or channel my my D Dot, who pops up at random times in my life, but always when I need him the most. Or Tre, who is a constant source of ***BLANK STARES*** and encouragement.

To all of my brothers--past, present and future--thank you. I hope I've been there for you as much as you've been there for me.

To my sister-friends: don't get so caught up in the search for "THE ONE" that you overlook the beauty of a brother. Just because he does not see you as a potential mate does not mean he can't have a positive impact on your life.

Ahhh....I hate it when my own words convict me.

Be encouraged, y'all.

Your Sister,


Thursday, April 7, 2011

On Relationships

What is it about this time of the year that makes me want to fall in love?!?!?!

I blame daylight savings time. Too much sunlight.

Looking back, I notice an emerging pattern: springtime is the season in my life for making some bonehead decisions. Something in the air makes me wax sentimental about love lost; scrolling through my phone, hitting SEND on messages that probably should have stayed a mere thought.

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results, I am cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

Alas, this a new year. 2011 will be different. Now, I realize that these actions stem from fear: fear of never settling down; fear of never having little Tater Tots; fear of ALWAYS having to answer that question--"Why are you still single?"

But fear has no place in the heart of a believer.

Translation? WHO CARES?!?!

One of my favorite gospel artists of all time, Mr. Byron Cage, has a song entitled "If You Never." In it, he sings about still praising God even if you never become a millionaire or reach the pinnacle of success. I don't think it's one of his "popular" songs because it is not what people want to hear. We've been taught that we can have EVERYTHING, even when it's so far out of God's will you can almost see Him giving you the side eye.

Me? I love it. Here's my version:

Lord, if I never get to shop for a wedding dress
if I never know what it's like to have a ring on my hand
if I never have to go in Walgreens to pick up an EPT
if I never get (more) stretch marks on my belly
if I never get to be annoyed by hubby's snoring
if I never say "I do"

I'll still love You.

Clearly, I'm not a songwriter....maybe it will sound better coming from my main man, Paul:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want (Phillipians 4:11-12).

Tonight, I am praying for all of my singles brothers and sisters. And the next time fear causes you to think twice about answering THAT phone call--and you know which one I mean--tell it to kick rocks.

And for the love of all that is holy, press IGNORE!

Be Encouraged,


IJBH: 4.7.11

Just being honest...

...This week has been an emotional roller coaster. I've been sad, angry, excited, scared and even a little amorous. I have to believe there is a method to the madness; every single experience has purpose for something to come in my life. Something better is on the horizon. I smell it in the air.

...I'm beginning to have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. On the one hand, I love being able to communicate with some of the greatest people in the world. Inspiration and encouragement are just a click away.

On the other hand, it has become a huge distraction. Lately, I've been posting dozens of daily statuses--and my poor Crackberry vibrates every ten seconds. The most troubling habit that stems from my Facebook addiction is my lack of the ability to be in the moment. I can't even concentrate on a conversation without looking to see what's happening on the book.

So, I am weaning myself off. The first step is to totally ignore my cell phone when I am speaking to someone. I did pretty good today; hopefully, I will do better tomorrow.

....I am so looking forward to the revival at the end of the month! There's just something about this time of the year that renews the hope within me. Plus, I know Pastor Reid is going to deliver some spiritual HEAT!!!!!!

....Poor Appalonia. Seems like we've been all over the country in the last few months. After we get back from Wichita, I promise I'll give her a break.

....I really did consider getting a relaxer today. My hair is getting on my last good nerves because it will not do what I want it to do. This 'fro has one more week to get herself together, or I promise I'm going to get a TCB.

....I got a reminder this week from an amazing friend that my dreams do not belong on the backburner. Lately, I've been so caught up in the mundane details of life that I have forgotten what it feels like to pursue my passion. There is so much more to life than going to work and going to bed...there are stories to be shared and people to be encouraged.

Dear hearts, hold fast to your dreams. Chase 'em until you are breathless.

....Here we are at the end of the regular season and my beloved Pistons have disappointed me yet again. Oh well...2012 is our year.

....Aaron Afflalo is FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!!!! Sorry. Just had to get that one out of my system.

....God still answers prayers. That's a good reason to smile right now.

Be Encouraged,


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Guilty As Charged

This is probably as real as I have ever been....interpret as you wish.

On Facebook today, I had a conversation with several of my friends about dating within the church community. What started out as a way for me to pass the time soon became an opportunity for God to speak to me about my current situation. Though I tried my best ignore what my heart was telling me, I heard the verdict loud and clear:

Guilty as charged.

Check it: I want somebody in my life. I can try to paste on a smile and brave the world every morning, but at night....loneliness becomes my bed mate. My mind goes on a time warp, back to the days when I dated this person or such and so. I wonder: was he really that bad?

I wonder: am I really that bad?

I recall the moments when I have done things I'm not proud of....trying to force God's hand by "positioning" myself in front of someone or changing who I am to suit their tastes. And at the end of the day, I am no closer to a legitimate relationship than when I started playing "the game."

That stings.

I feel anxious. I'm standing at the corner of Bitterness and Desperation, two blocks over from the intersection of Envy and Resentment. Daily, I pray for God's direction in this matter. Daily, I struggle with the flesh rising up within me.

When is it going to be MY turn?

I've heard it all....

Just wait on the Lord!
Just love yourself and keep working on you.
He'll turn up when you least expect it.
Be grateful--you have PLENTY of time to do God's work while you're single!
You have so many other reasons to thank God (indeed, I do).

My heart is weary of another break. The scabs are still fresh.

Do I even have the strength to try again?

I try to trick my mind into not thinking about it. Some days, I succeed. Other days, I don't.

Heaven knows I can't stand whiny people. Suck it up and keep moving. Yet, here I am....

Guilty as charged....the desires of my heart....


Tomorrow will be better.

Be Encouraged,