Cheating On My Husband

sb10064861z-001 As you all know, I am not married. Yet. God is still preparing an imperfect man to match up perfectly with my imperfect self. He’s taking His good ole time, too. At any rate, the simple fact that he (whoever that may be) hasn’t “put a ring on it” yet doesn’t releive me from the responsibilities that I have, as a future Christian wife.

As a single woman, it is my current responsibility to do whatever I can to feed into my future marriage. Any step I take in a positive direction toward my physical, mental, or emotional health is a way in which I can feed into my marriage. Also, taking care of my finances, learning and creating new recipes, and generally taking care of myself are all ways in which my husband can benefit. This is what I like to call, “preparing for rain” which is a reference I am totally stealing from the movie Facing Giants. The illusion used by the head coach in this movie goes a little something like this:

There was a drought, and two farmers were desperate for God to bless their crops with rain. Both prayed to the Lord asking for this blessing. After praying, one of them went out and plowed his field. This farmer was preparing for rain.

It’s the same way when you’re praying for a future spouse: you pray for it, and you need to prepare for it.

The reverse of preparing for your spouse, in my opinion, is called cheating on your spouse. Ladies, don’t get offended; men, hear me out! If you believe that God has someone special planned just for you, and you spend time in prayer asking God to send this person to you, then it’s safe to say that any intimate time spent with ANOTHER man or woman- who isn’t your husband or wife-is cheating. You’re robbing from your marriage because you’re giving time, effort, and emotions to someone; you’re stepping outside of your future marriage, trying to find comfort and affection in someone who hasn’t been chosen for you. Think of it this way: you want your future husband or wife hugging up with someone else right now? I say HECK NO! That man needs to get it together and get HERE with me quickly, because he’s already trying my nerves LOL.

And I have to be honest, I want to wait for him. Sure it gets lonely, but if I were to take matters into my own hands, things would not be good. God knows me, and my heart, and I really have to make the decision to trust Him on this husband issue because that’s really my only option (in my eyes). I don’t see myself snuggling up with a temporary boo, or going on random dates with guys just to feel pretty, desirable, or loved. I am not knocking people who do this AT ALL; matter of fact, I wish I could! But at the end of the day, I have to remind myself that my husband is (eventually going to be) my partner (in crime, love, etc.) and I personally feel like he deserves all of me when we meet. I don’t want to drag anyone else into my marriage, no matter how desirable a boo sounds right about now.

Bottom line, I don’t blog this to sound judgmental, or to point the preverbal finger. I simply want to get you thinking a little more about your actions and emotions. What or who are you feeding into? Whatever you feed will grow. Keep this in mind when you’re lonely at 10pm on a Saturday night. What is your future spouse doing? Stay patient; God will reward you for that. I say it, and I believe it to be true.

Much Love,
Danni

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30 Foot Waves

wavesI started my new job last week, as most of you know. Though I’ve been teaching for 3 years now, it feels to me like this is year one all over again. I know I am more equipped now than I was 3 years ago, but for some reason I am fighting a mental battle about my abilities and talents.

My mentor has been a key member of my much needed support system. She is someone who helps me see what is happening in my life on a spiritual level; she helps me to make sense of my mess. My current mess is this: I have been praying for, fasting for, battling for a teaching job in Georgia since January of 2009. Even while I was still employed in Florida, I made an effort to find employment in Atlanta, knowing (to the best of my knowledge) that God was sending me here at the end of the school year. I felt overwhelmed with this battle and often wondered if I had made the wrong decision in moving: much like the Isrealites who questioned leaving their bondage in Egypt. Then, at the very last (and I mean LAST) minute, God came in and blessed me with my “plan A” job (24 hours before I was set to start my “plan B” job). I felt like I had won; I felt victorious and I felt like I was entering into an easier, more relaxing season.

I was WAY off.

A new battle started last week, as I entered into a lion’s den. My 150+ students have had a long term sub for the past 2 months; basically a vacation for them. Now, I have to step in a “break” them into my routines and rules and the enemy is trying to convince me that I’m not able, I’m not capable, and I’m certainly not equipped. I know these to be lies though, because God put me in this situation, knowing I was fully capable of being successful: why am I doubting myself? Better yet, why am I doubting God? I was seriously on the verge of quitting last Tuesday (seriously) after one day. That is not like me at all, to the point where I called my mother and she said, “what happened to you? Where did all of your confidence go?” Indeed, where did it go? Why am I polluted with self-doubt on the brink of a break through? My mentor tells me this is normal, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about it.

She told me a story about people who travel to Hawaii to surf each year. A group of people save up all year to surf on 6 foot high waves. These waves are an adventure for this group of people and they are dedicated to being successful on the 6 foot waves. A different group of people go to Hawaii during a different season, when the waves reach up to 30 feet. This group of people is equally dedicated to being successful on their 30 foot waves. My mentor tells me that God has graduated me to a 30 foot wave. The same tactics I used on the 6 foot waves aren’t going to fly. I am going to swallow some water, feel like I am drowning, and at some points completely feel way over my head. But, God knows I am capable of surfing a 30 foot wave, so therefore, I am.

I have leaved a little about the changes in my wave class over the past week and half. The students I am teaching now are different than the students I taught in Florida. I have had to change the way I say and do some things in my classroom. I have already been called out on something that I DID NOT DO, but am being blamed for. I have had fear of losing a job I didn’t even know I wanted. I have been verbally attacked, cussed at, lied about, and so much more. Did I mention I have only been here 2 weeks?

The point of telling you all of this isn’t to complain, but to remind you (and myself) that even when a blessing happens, we still have work to do. Unfortunately, this life was never meant to be easy; but our flesh was created to SEEK what is easy. Doesn’t that confuse you? God made us to crave comfort and familiarity, yet He continually calls us to live a life of change and earthly uncertainty. The only comfort and familiarity He promises is that which He can provide. This is tough to remember on a daily basis, but it’s true. Each day I want to stay under the covers and ignore my responsibilities, even though this is what I prayed for for almost a year. Each day my flesh seeks an escape, and my mind fantasizes about being somewhere else, doing something else, with other people. These fantasies aren’t real, but My God IS.

Bottom line, this season in my life is about learning, adapting, and growing. It hurts more than I could ever imagine. I have questioned my purpose, position, and priorities more times in the past year than ever before in my life. My heart physically hurts some days when I think about all that God has brought me through, and how much more I have to endure before I see His face. Life is rough. Don’t ever let anyone fool you into thinking it isn’t. What’s easy? Death.

I hope to blog regularly about what is going on in my life. I pray what I say can bless and help someone else who is going through their own season of growth and change. The only thing that is getting me through the days is the reminder that God has me in the palm of His hand, and that “This too, shall pass.”

Much love,

Danni

Father, Please Forgive My Lack of Faith

prayer114I love to pray. I absolutely feel the fire of the Holy Spirit in a room when God allows me to pray out loud over or for a group of people. I love the feelings of not knowing what the Spirit is going to use me to say, and personally gaining a revelation from the words God places in my mouth. Prayer is SO powerful, and I try to tap into this power as often as possible.

I am a hypocrite.

Though I strongly believe in the power of prayer, I find myself cowering in the corner of fear and doubt minutes after a powerful conversation with the Lord. It’s like I didn’t just claim the victory, repeat God’s word to Him, and rejoice in knowing that I am covered by His Grace and Mercy. It’s like right after I verbally tell God I believe in Him and His abilities, I run to the door labeled “Open Me if you don’t believe in God or His abilities.” I have opened that door too often, and justified doing so by saying that my mind just uncontrollably runs wild over possibilities. You what is unhealthy and a waste of time? Thinking about what COULD happen. I am guilty of doing this more time daily than I can count. As a matter of fact, I think I am doing it RIGHT NOW, even as I type this. I am fairly certain this is a disease of the mind, and I am equally certain that it is in my power and under my control to change this.

I want to be the person who prayer, and believes, and leaves it at that. I want to know the bad things that could happen, but choose to focus on what I want to happen. I want to believe in God’s abilities so much that even though something COULD go wrong, I stand firmly on the fact that whatever happens, God’s got me in His palm. I want to be this person, I need to be this person. How do I become this person? I don’t want it to be a thing I do for a few days. I need it to be what I do for the rest of my life.

Where and How do I begin?

Danni

Dates With Jesus

mtl set up for dinnerAt the beginning of 2007 I ended an unhealthy relationship with a man who would never give me what I needed. I consider this to be the beginning of my journey that has lead me here to Atlanta. Sparing numerous details, I want to focus on one aspect of this journey: discovering that being alone right now is better than being with someone who isn’t for me.

I spent WAY too much time trying to date after that break up. I was looking for “love” online, in bars, and anywhere I thought I could find it. The major problem with all of this was that I truly didn’t like myself, much rather LOVE myself, so finding someone else to love me would have been impossible. That didn’t stop me though. I made the same mistake more times than I care to count right now. I was depressed, lonely, and lost. Eventually, this heartache was what lead me back to the Lord.

When I first came back to Christian living, I asked God to give me a year of alone time. I was done messing around with boys and wanted time to get to know myself better and to develop a love for who I was, alone. Well, God has given me more than a year. I have had a decent amount of time to get to know and love myself. Though I am not fully were I want to be, I am getting there. What helps me the most is the time I spend alone, With Jesus.

Most people think going out alone to dinner, movies, etc. isn’t ideal. Well, you’re right, it isn’t IDEAL, per say, but it IS refreshing. I CHOOSE to spend some dinners by myself because that is time that I have to commune and break bread with the Lord; time I won’t have when God sends my husband and children into my realm of existence. I cherish this time, and though I sometimes feel that empty seat is a sign of me lacking something, I am well aware that to me, it really means I am complete, and lacking nothing because God is sitting there.

The best advice I can give single women is to enjoy a meal out in public completely alone. You might feel uncomfortable or lame, but in doing this, you are truly liberating yourself and allowing God to take your relationship to a whole notha level! Personally, my dates with Jesus have been the best dates I have EVER been on. He’s a gentleman, He listens, and He always pays the tab. There is no confusion about how He feels about me, I can always plan on a “next date,” and He doesn’t ever forget to call. In truth, when my husband does come along, he’s got some BIG shoes to fill (one’s that he won’t be able to… but I will love him anyway). 🙂

So, take the plunge! Let Jesus treat you to dinner… what the heck? You can even start with just coffee! Bottom line, you are symbolically allowing God to step in and fill the void that is there because you are single. You’re fabulous alone… but with God you could be SO MUCH MORE!

Blessing,

Danni

Man says NO; God says ABSOLUTELY!

Back in March I contacted an old friend who already lived in Atlanta. I was still living in Florida and trying to get advice about the best way to find teaching gigs in the A. I really wanted to teach in Fulton County. As a matter of fact, I was dead set on ONLY teaching in Fulton County. Over time, I ended up applying to ALL the local counties in Georgia. Anyway, back to this conversation. I asked my friend for advice, and her only advice was this:

” No offense, but unless you have a special certification, you WONT be teaching in Fulton County next year.”

I remember laughing at her statement and telling my best friend, ” I am going to trust MY GOD, and not what someone tells me.” I wasn’t discouraged, I wasn’t put off… I was determined. I was going to do anything it took to teach in Fulton County to prove how amazing God was… and that’s what my prayers were about for a while.

I forgot about those prayers until today, when the Fulton County HR office called me. I will be signing my contract tomorrow morning and all I can say is…

LOOK AT WHAT MY GOD DID!