An Accurate Appraisal

I know very little about owning or selling a home. In truth, I don’t know what escrow is, nor can I tell you what to expect when it comes to closing costs. I have never owned a home and the idea of a mortgage intimidates me more than I can explain. One aspect of home ownership I am aware of is that of obtaining an accurate appraisal for the property. Buyers and sellers both are recommended to have a trained professional view and analyze the entire property, and quote an accurate appraisal or the value or worth of that property. In knowing what something is worth, knowing the accurate value, one would be less willing to settle for less than that value. As a matter of fact, one would be hard pressed to accept an amount lower than the appraised value, know the accurate worth and knowing that a better or closer offer was likely to come along.

I realized today that it might be necessary for me to start approaching my own worth and value in such a way.

Let me be honest: I have, in the past, entertained the “potential” I see in a man, even if he isn’t currently showing me anything special. When I see an attractive man, I entertain the idea of him being “my man.” Nothing stalkerish, most of these thoughts are fleeting and last less than a minute, but the fact that my mind is so open to letting just anybody in (even in thought) is a reflection of how little I am currently appraising myself. So what if I eliminated my own perception of worth and got a professional appraisal? What if this appraisal instead came from my Author and Creator, my Beginning and my End, My Savior; God?

I know I have value and worth. I know I am beautiful and deserving of all that God promises me in His Word. I know there is someone out there who will love ALL of me and appreciate even the areas of me that need to be sanded down and painted over. I am aware of this, yet I still find myself acting (or at least thinking) in a way that isn’t reflective of that value or worth. So, how could I change this area of my life and truly begin to walk in the accurate and Godly appraisal? How can I know my worth and continually refuse to settle for any offer that comes in that falls short?

It’s simple:
Ask God who He says I am.

Listen to God when He answers.

Believe what He says.

Walk in His perception of me.

Wait for the an offer I simply can’t refuse……..

What does a relationship (with God) look like?

It is a wonder to me how many lessons I have learned in my short 26 years. I am a good journey away from where God plans me to be, but I am an equally distant journey from where I was when I was trying hard to DIM (do it myself). When it comes to life lessons, I often feel as though others catch on much quicker than I do. I find myself repeatedly making the same mistakes and poor choices when faced with the SAME situations until I (quite literally) feel a slap in my face and understand that this is a stumbling block and a lesson I need to learn in order to move forward in my purpose with God. Yesterday, I realized my financial choices have been repetitive to the point where the slap in my face came while I was in tears with my payroll department. Learning to handle my finances will be another blog post, though. The lesson I am most impressed with learning is the one that has to do with matters of the heart; my heart, to be specific.

I began reading “When God Writes Your Love Story” by Eric and Leslie Ludy this week. Knowing that I want and pray for a healthy and loving marriage, I have often found myself reading literature that can prepare me for the process and actual journey of marriage. If you know me, personally, you know that I am constantly trying to make the right and Godly decisions, and often find myself stressing about even little choices because I just don’t want to get it “wrong.” I am a recovering perfectionist and in the process of trying to get things right all the time, I still make poor choices and wrong moves. That’s life. It’s inevitable, and I am slowing learning to deal with my imperfections, one at a time. However, the one area in my life that I am certain God needs me to “clean up” right now is the area of my heart.

In Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse 5, the Bible says: “Love the Lord your God with all your HEART, with all your mind, with all your soul.” I began to ask myself last night if this was something I had mastered; is this something I do? Sadly, the answer is NO. I know that my value comes from the Lord and that I am only whole with Him. I know that no earthly man can satisfy me the way that God wants to and can. I know that if I listen to what the world says about me I will fail and prove them right, but if I listen to the Lord and allow him to feed into my self image, I will succeed and prove Him right. I know all of this, yet I have not successfully found a way to have an intimate relationship with Jesus. I want an earthly husband. I want an intimate relationship with the ONE God has for me on Earth, not just anyone. However, God is continually sending me the message that until I get my relationship with Him in check (mentally, emotionally, spiritually) He can’t send that man to me. So no matter how ready I feel mentally (or physically, for that matter) if God isn’t satisfied with our relationship, He isn’t going to bless me with a marital relationship. I can understand why.

If I don’t know how to intimately share my life with Jesus (allow Him to court me, love me, comfort me) how can I let a human man do all of that. I will continually settle for less than what God has planned if I don’t allow Jesus to show me what it means to properly be loved. The author of LOVE itself wants to show me how it can truly feel; who am I to forsake this? However, I have been forsaking it for quite some time. I have allowed myself to feel the pain and loneliness of being single and often feel self pity because I don’t “deserve” to be alone. I have known God was asking me to allow Him in (more than I already have-to a level I can’t even begin to explain) and I haven’t accepted His invitations. Instead, I have tried to DIM (do it myself) by doing a lot of stuff alone (embracing my singleness) or by doing a lot of stuff while lonely (scouring at my singleness). At the end of the day, though, I have turned my back on my true love and wasted some time when I could have been feeding into my relationship with Him.

I asked God, in a simple prayer last night, to show me what a relationship with Him looks like. “I don’t know what to do, or how to proceed. If you want me to do this I am going to need you to show me what this looks like, because I have no idea.” It was a brief, but powerful prayer. This morning I awoke feeling genuinely refreshed and today I feel as though I can honestly say I am taking steps toward harvesting this relationship with Jesus. My eyes are open and I am imagining and praying about what He could possibly reveal to me. In truth, my mind can’t comprehend the Love he plans to show me because I have never experienced it before. In short, I am excited to see all that this encompasses.

What do I hope to gain through all of this? The list is endless. But, most importantly, I hope to gain a better respect of myself and a tougher skin when facing the world. I hope to truly hear Jesus telling me my value and worth and accept it and walk in it on a daily basis. I hope to grow as a woman of Christ, a wife, and a mother. I hope to strengthen my relationship with God and myself. I hope to grow and be moving in the right and Godly direction. I hope….


Walking Away

Have you ever found yourself in a position that warranted (for whatever reason) the BEST solution would be to walk away? Also, in knowing that you needed to walk away, was it easier for you to do so?

I would venture to guess that your answers to the above might look like this: ” Yes. Heck NO.”

It is rarely easy to walk away from any situation, unless something drastic has happened and you truly have no choice. But if you’re in a situation (be it work, relational, educational) and you just know you’re not operating at a healthy level, but on the surface things are enjoyable, it’s difficult to walk away.

Why is this?

I would venture to guess it’s because sometimes, being responsible isn’t easy. Sometimes we try to justify our actions and convince ourselves what we’re doing is acceptable and “okay.” When in truth, we’re really just wasting time and delaying the inevitable.

My advice to you (and I know I am being VERY vague in this post) is to walk away when you know you’re not in a situation that is healthy for YOU. It doesn’t matter what other people deem healthy, it’s about YOU. What you’re willing to tolerate is often going to differ from what other people are willing to tolerate. This doesn’t make either of your wrong; this doesn’t make either of you “bad people.” The important thing is that you are mature enough to recognize your own limits and STICK TO THEM.

At the end of the day, it’s about YOU and no one else. In the words of the darling Carrie Bradshaw:

“But the most exciting,
challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the YOU that you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”

Friends or Fools?

I have recently been in numerous conversations about what I am about to share with you. It seems that as Christians (and heck, even as regular old folks) we all form opinions and beliefs about the expectations of relationships. Let’s face it, in your mind, you know what you expect to happen in a healthy relationship (be it friendship or more) and what you would consider to be wrong or unhealthy. We enter into every encounter with our own preconceived notions, our own wants and desires, and our own needs.

In the past, I can be honest with myself and say that when it comes to dating relationships I have made my fair share of mistakes. That being said, I do have a strong desire to strive for what I think is right in my future relationships, most importantly the one I will have with my husband. I have prayed for him, our future marriage, and our friendship. I have desires to share our strong testimony with the people we minister to. I know what I want. However, I also know what can happen.

The question I want to pose to all of you is this: Is is possible, or better yet, How can a man and a woman be mutually attracted to one another but still operate as friends until they both either have a peace about moving forward to a dating relationship or a peace about just staying friends?

The argument is that two people should stay in the “friend zone” and get to know one another exclusively as friends before moving into anything else. This is ideal and it’s something I want to experience; however, my question is: how can you 100% view someone as just a friend if you see future potential with them as a mate?

I have never wanted to hear your comments more than I do right now!!!!