Monday, January 30, 2012

Single, Not Desperate

I'm single, not desperate.

If you ask an experienced runner for advice, the very first thing they will say is to pace yourself. There is no way anyone can keep a sprinter's pace for twenty miles, and it is downright crazy to even try. When you run too fast, you either end up injuring yourself or you become so worn out that you lose your desire to run at all.

Someone will catch that in a minute.

Pace yourself, work on your stride and toss that stopwatch in the nearest trash can. Whether you finish first, last or somewhere in the middle, the victory lies in getting there.

I'm single, not desperate.

Why is he with her and not with me?

Maybe it's the way she laughed at his jokes. Maybe it's the way his name sounds when she says it. It might even be because she's a Lakers fan (though I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to date someone with such poor taste).

Does it really matter?

You could write a dissertation on all the reasons why you believe he chose her, but it won't earn you the Pulitzer. Instead, you'll be rewarded with a non-stop playlist from the Trauma DJ, playing your greatest hits:

You're not good enough.

You're not smart enough.

You will never find love.

Don't fall for it. Change the channel before the commercial break ends. There is victory in letting go.

I'm single, not desperate.

In fourth grade, I was head over heels in love with Arthur Miller. I did everything to get his attention: I teased my bangs within an inch of their life; I borrowed my sister's purple leather jacket to wear at recess. I even made him brownies, though unsweetened cocoa with no sugar probably made them taste like mud pies. When none of that worked, I went to my fail-proof plan....

I chased him across the playground, tackled him and tied him up with my jump rope.

Now, we're older and wiser;yet some of us are still using the same tactics to garner the attention of the opposite sex. Maybe we're not tying people up with jump ropes, but we are tearing others down in a misguided attempt to call attention to ourselves. In the words of Dr. Phil: "How's that workin' out for you?"

Grow up. You know I'm serious because I ended with a preposition.

I'm single, not desperate.

During yesterday's sermon, my pastor-dad recounted a portion of our family testimony. As he detailed some of the darkest days in my twenty-nine years, I couldn't help but cry. I was not crying because of what I have lost; I was crying because of all that I have gained. Sometimes, you need to hear someone else tell your story before you realize what God has truly done in your life.

Like you, I'm human. There are days--and especially nights--when I struggle with loneliness. There are adventures I want to experience with the love of my life and no one else. There are times when I see couples very much in love and my heart feels like it's in a vise grip.

But then, I remember.

I remember all the many times in my life when I cried out to God and He heard me. Not only did He supply my needs, He did so in a way that left me speechless. He has healed my heart repeatedly, and even when I had to go through the fire, He made sure I came out unscathed. If God says He is writing my love story, I'm going to step back and let Him do it. Though I'm cold with a pen, my skills pale in comparison to the author of love.

The next time someone inquires about your relationship status, don't just tell them you're single. You are so much more than that! Make eye contact, smile, use your professional voice and confidently proclaim:

I am single, not desperate.

Shirts and bumper stickers will be available in March.

Be Encouraged,


Friday, January 20, 2012

I Didn't Mean To Turn You...Off

Inspired by today's blog at Check 'em out!

We are all very fond of listing the reasons why men or women should date us, but what about the things that would make someone run for the hills? If dating is like a job interview, I might as well come up with an answer for that ridiculously frustrating question: What is your biggest weakness?

I promise, I just have a few.

1. I'm arrogant/vain.

From the moment I was born, I spent more time with my dad than anyone else. When I would cry at night, he'd take me out of my crib, walk downstairs and stand in front of the hallway mirror so I could look at myself...and I'd stop crying. Seriously.

Not much has changed since 1982--I still make sure the screen door is closed all the way so I can catch a full-length glimpse of myself before I head to work. I study my walk as I pass mirrored buildings; I check my reflection in the rearview mirror more than I check for other cars.

In short, I love me. Spassusafa.

2. I'm spoiled.

I promised I would never share this, but for the sake of full disclosure, I'll let y'all in on a little secret. Every morning, Shayla makes me coffee. I don't mean just turning on the machine...I mean she makes it, pours me a cup and brings it to my room for me. Of course, that makes her a completely awesome sister (LOVE YOU, BESTIE), but I realize it's rather abnormal. Okay, and it's kind of selfish too. I can't really expect my husband to bring me coffee in bed...can I?

If you're willing to do that, send me an e-mail, text, Facebook message, Twitter DM, BBM or a note tied to a pigeon. Thank you in advance.

3. I'm cheap(ish).

This has been well-detailed in previous blog entries, but I am the GREAT bargain hunter. If it's not on sale, don't even bother talking about it. If it is on sale, and especially if it's on clearance, you've got my attention. There are few things in this life that bring me more joy than seeing a red slash on a price tag.

But I will pay full price for some things. Like....uhhhhhhh......hmmmmmm......

Let me get back to you on that.

4. 96% of rap music makes me ill.

Try to see it from my perspective, folks: words are my life. I can't get so wrapped up in the beat that I fail to hear the ignorance flowing through my speakers. It doesn't move me the way a song from Ledisi, Kem or John Legend does.

I do like that new Big Sean song though. Brings out the latent chickenhead tendencies in me.

5. I'm not a night owl.

I get up at 5:00 to exercise and I never take naps. Contrary to popular belief, I can stay up past 11:00--it's just that you'll see a very different side of me late in the midnight hour. The censor button is off, and...well,I won't ruin the surprise for you.

6. In spite of it all, I still have love for the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Pistons.

Need I say more?

So, if you ever see me walking down the street with some man--and I'm holding a steaming hot mug of coffee and wearing my Pistons t-shirt--go ahead, give him a head nod. Pat him on the back. Start a slow clap. He will have earned it.

Be Encouraged,


Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Instruction Manual

For Christmas, I received a bunch of new much so that I finally had to add a wireless network to my cell phone package.

At first, things were going well. I added the network to my new tablet and soon, I was downloading all the games, books and music I could handle. The network even showed up on my cell phone. But for some reason, I just couldn't get my laptop to jump on board. I tried everything--a reboot, a diagnostic check of my wireless card, even disabling all other connections except the new network. And yet, I still saw the red X next to the internet connection. It became the bane of my existence.

In a last ditch effort, I rummaged through my junk closet and found the box for the router. Inside was the instruction manual, still in pristine, untouched condition. I fumbled through the pages until I found a section on laptops. As I read the words and followed the illustrations, I had to suppress the urge to slap myself on the forehead.


I had spent nearly three weeks trying to figure this out on my own; three minutes after I read the instructions, my laptop was up and running at lightning speed.

You know I'm going somewhere with this, right?

Everyday, we do the same thing. We depend on our human intellect to help us wade through the murky waters of depression, relationship woes, major career decisions and financial setbacks. We've got all the answers we could ever need in our minds; we say "no thank you" when help is offered. We've got this.

And yet, we remain frustrated. Perplexed. Confused.Stomach rumbling. Teeth grinding. Head aching. As the clock rolls toward 3 in the morning, we're sitting on the edge pondering that age-old question: Why isn't this working?

The answer is simple. It (whatever "it" is in your life) is not working because you haven't read the instruction manual.

Go find it. Maybe it's in your junk drawer or in the trunk of your car. Perhaps it's on the mantel in your living room, collecting dust bunnies. I'm not judging. Wipe them off and start reading. There's even a troubleshooting section in the back if you're not exactly sure where to go. When that connection is established (or reestablished), please don't facepalm. Just remember the next time you find yourself in a situation far bigger than you, you have help. You have the instruction manual.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.
--Proverbs 3:5-6

Be Encouraged, y'all.