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Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

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How has God redirected your life

Resolve to Receive

I had some really great post ideas yesterday and then I got busy with the everything of life and I completely forgot what I wanted to say.  It was a worthy opponent for my attention though. I shared laughs with my son and songs with my daughter.

So I was determined to still post something today because it is the first year of a new year and why not. It’s what bloggers do isn’t it? I mean we write about stuff associated with themes, holidays, trips, and travels, right? Well, I cannot say that I exactly have writer’s block, but something more interesting is going on in my heart and mind at the moment so I’m just sort of flowing.

So the title I realize now was not exactly meant to be a title perhaps. I believe it was a simple directive. It was definitely from my Father and specifically intended for me. However, as nature would have it, I share. I’m generous so at times I give what’s been given to me before I have the time or patience to digest it. So my amnesia of sorts gave me the time required to ponder the statement before handing it over for your perusal.

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I, like so many other people have begun new things and ideas today. Yet, by next week over half of those intentions will be left unsaid, undone, unfulfilled by many.

I’ve decided that won’t be my lot! So I’ve considered my list. You know the list we all have for our supposed Mr. or Mrs. Right, but then we end up checking off two of the 20 items we desire for the sake of having Mr. or Mrs. Right Now instead. I’ve determined not to settle for less another day in my life. I realize my worth and I know who God has is going to treasure me for me.images (15)

I understand now how important my ability to receive is to my destiny in this moment. So it is my prayer that I don’t take this moment or the many moments that follow for granted…that I make an active effort…to be receptive of the right things and people going forward. I’ve decided that I trim more weight by eliminating unnecessary people and places rather than skipping desserts.

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I love to cook and bake so it’s pretty pointless to say I will completely eliminate sugar from my life this year or any other year. Still whether on my plate or in my relationships, I finally know my limitations. I know my boundaries. I’ve learned to disconnect wisely and proceed with caution when necessary.

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Before I’m sure my fight or flight switch was broken. Now my discernment is heightened. I know it is only because I have resolved to receive the wisdom My Heavenly Father offered. So gone is the stubbornness of my youth and the contention of my heart to “overthink” every step regarding relationships. I know I hear God’s voice clearly. I know more that He loves me too much to allow me to be distracted again by nonsense so for this day…this year….and the years to come, I’ve resolved to receive my covenant partner, my position, and my destiny.perfect love

 

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved

Give it a Year to Produce!

Pump your emotional brakes! When considering courtship, understand time is on your side. Watch out for those who try to convince you to make a quick decision! We know better typically when we consider a large purchase like a car or a home, but for whatever reason when it comes to dating or selecting friends, we tend to rush our judgement! Why is that?

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I’m not condemning you! In fact, had I actually followed the advice I am giving you now, my then would have been mightily different. But of course I don’t mind that matter. I wouldn’t be able to help you do better had I not done the contrary so trust I’m good with my past…

Moving On…

Give it a year! The first step of making a good decision with regard to whom you will allow to join you on your journey to destiny is that you must be whole!

If you’re whole you are free to proceed…

However, just in case you are not sure if you are whole, let me explain who a whole person is…

Above are just a few details…of course there are many more, but you get my drift…

Just in case you are not there yet…this is for you:

Don’t just pump your brakes…Pull over and get off the road! You need to spend quality time with the Lord so that you can get your emotional, spiritual, and mental health in line with God’s intention for you.

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Now, in case you are where I am and beyond…let’s use a gardening analogy for a moment…

…on giving it a year…When you give yourself time to allow the relationship to organically grow, you are not left with blind assumptions on the fruit expected!

That said, a year gives you the opportunity to observe the fruit in all seasons! How else are you going to know whether your investment is the right choice?

For example: We all have off seasons, but in the natural if the fruit you desire to receive is oranges, the last thing you want to do is get lemons…

Get this…agriculturally lemons and oranges grow in the same areas, produce fruit, and have lovely leaves. They are even similar in appearance! Yes, both of these bad boys produce lovely white flowers.

However, if you taste an orange and then a lemon, you definitely know the difference…AM I RIGHT?

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Oranges are sweet and are consumed as “fresh” fruit while lemons have a strong, sour taste and are best consumed in small quantities, if at all. However, lemons can be still be appreciated because they also have the ability to bring other flavors (circumstances) together.

Yes, both have important uses!  So before you allow a permanent scowl take residence on your face and in your heart, consider the intention of the thing.

What Does That Mean???

Well,  ladies and gents, you can’t have lemonade without lemons so now is not the time to regret who you have dated or befriended in your past because they left a sour taste in your mouth in a prior season. Consider what those relationships taught you about YOU.

Yes, I meant YOU.

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When you focus on what the relationship taught you about the other person involved, you miss the lesson!

Frankly, if your pattern has been one of shopping for oranges and you keep getting lemons, the issue is not the fruit or its source. After all, the fruit is doing exactly the only thing it can do…Be fruit…Consequently, you are the one who needs to change your perspective.

Don’t Be Misled by the Outside!

As mentioned earlier, in the natural, lemon trees and orange trees produce similar-looking flowers and leaves. Agriculturally, however, there are still a few distinct features to be aware of so there’s no confusion. Lemon trees grow less than half the size of orange trees. What’s more is that Lemon trees have thorns!

download (11)Consider this question: Are you so focused on the exterior of a potential partner that you failed to even question the kind of fruit that he or she will produce? Better yet, have you taken the time to ask the manufacturer for verification BEFORE you invest?

Basically…

  • Have you prayed about him or her?
  • Have you waited for a response?
  • Have you heeded the warning?

If you cannot answer yes to those three questions, then unfortunately it is likely you will continue to receive the wrong fruit. Remember, insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results. You simply cannot make a lemon sweet just as you cannot make a broken person whole. Only God can do that!

Newsflash: YOU ARE NOT JESUS JR!!!

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Your best bet with dating or when exploring a new friendship is to observe the prospect for at least a year to ensure you are getting what you desire. Otherwise, you will be forever trying to make sweet what was ultimately not designed for your consumption. That said, since God allows us free will, in His doing so, He allows us to encounter some sour experiences in relationships occasionally.

Nevertheless,  even these were not meant to discourage you from abandoning your efforts. Rather, the sour experiences you faced before were meant as a part of the process. Regardless of your relational status now, before you invest in a relationship, your chances of receiving exactly what you expect is best when you wait long enough to see the fruit your choice has produced rather than taking a chance on ending up with another sour situation.

©2016 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Delays and Detours: Not Now Doesn’t Mean Not Ever!

Single Lane Ramp…Use  Caution! Lane Closures Ahead…Expect Delays…Merge Now!

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You might have found yourself involuntary acquainted with these signs on the road. I simply must add an additional half-hour or more to my commute to make it wherever lately. It’s been a frustrating, yet necessary daily process that the “powers that be” deem will make the rest of the journey a lot smoother so I endure.  I couldn’t help but consider this situation through a relational lens though.

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The way you embrace your season of singleness has a way of shifting your perspective on a lot. That said…Not now doesn’t mean not ever!

I have learned to gracefully accept this notion.  My delay has been for my own good. God was protecting me…FROM ME!!!  And if I’m more honest, He was also protecting my future spouse from me too. Yes, I said that and meant that. Honesty is a beautiful thing!  Since I’m brutally honest anyway…

Stop counting the days! The weeks! The years! The others who have gotten married although you feel like you’ve been dropped on the island of misfit toys! (Yes, Grammarians, I know those are fragments…moving on…)

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What we deem as “long enough” may be in God’s estimation, “just getting started.” I’m not trying to discourage your dating exploits. Rather, I want you to get to the root of the matter of “you.” After all, of the failed marriages and relationships you may have experienced, there is one common denominator:

YOU!

I’m not calling you out without considering my own journey now so don’t get it twisted…I have had to get reacquainted with myself too…And yes, I’m still single.  While I know my own single season is coming to a close soon, the difference between my now and my then is that before I was just healed.  Now I am healed and whole! There is a difference!

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Yes,hurt people hurt people, and even healed people heal people.  Regardless, even a whole person CAN NOT make another person whole! Only Christ can fill the voids in you so you are suitable for the man or woman He has designed to complement you.

That means the issue here is not how long you have experienced a delay in your “wait” for a mate. Rather, God’s concern is whether you are whole and whether the person He intends for you is also whole. The detours and delays are there merely because construction is in process and until the roads are clear–meaning both parties are emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and yes even physically ready to receive one another– your safety and the safety of others requires you to take alternate routes at times. And yes, just like in traffic, it will take a little longer to get to your destination than you may have originally intended.

Have you allowed God authorization to reconstruct you?

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Detours and Delays!!! Who needs ’em? Who wants ’em?

In a way, we all do and don’t. No, I’m not contradicting myself…just take the meat and spit out the bones. What I mean is that though we generally do not want to be delayed in any process, especially relationships, detours are necessary sometimes to ensure we actually complete the process safely. If a bridge is out and there is no lane closure, the results would be catastrophic! It’s not very different from the results of a romantic relationship that lacks boundaries. So the next time you see the sign to detour when considering a potential dating partner, make the decision to take it with grace and expect delays knowing that not now does not mean not ever.

©2016 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

Love Blindly: Glimpses Through Tears

Yesterday I was reminded of “Glimpses” all day. Perhaps the reminders really began the night prior when I considered the manner to which I would do certain things from now on…whether I would really amp up the action behind the faith I claimed to believe. A message before I arrived at church mentioned how God is not too liberal with the details. Rather, He provides us “glimpses” of what’s to come…our promise…the next step.

I’ve been inundated with glimpses a long time…At least 8 years have passed since I was first introduced to the glimpse of a stage set…the atmosphere was right…I was in my element…Yet, yesterday I almost allowed the last few pieces to not fall inline…

I paced for too long…so long I stayed up too late…I almost allowed myself to be a no show to destiny…but God has a way of snapping us out of our voluntary idleness doesn’t He? And He reminded me of Grace…undeserved…no compensation required…

It’s taken some time for me to get used to this “receiving thing” I suppose if any excuse would suffice, “I’ve tried this love thing before and failed miserably!” And I recalled the message given the night prior, “Not Again.”

Still, even then I tried to make things logical. I tried to further question God’s decision and whether I was hearing Him at all. So He loved me so much He sent an Angel to tell me flatly what I needed to hear. I had already been overwhelmed with emotion because of the song that literally was stuck on my phone the night before, “Covered by Grace” by Israel Houghton…It wouldn’t stop playing…

So I wasn’t expecting to get the response I had to all the questions only God and I could have known were swarming in my head, but He sent her anyway. I was just doing business as usual…desiring to pay someone a compliment…because their energy had encouraged me…Her talks about joining the choir struck me…her reasons for doing so reminded me of my own…how I had been longing to sing again for years, but that God pulled me from my position several years ago to focus on my family. I was obedient then so when the statement arose to just join…I realized that I technically was not a member.

To think it would seem that I was even afraid of committing to a church…in favor of lingering around instead…Kneeling with the concern of a mom she said, “You’ve got so many things going on in your mind. You’re worried about your kids and how this and that is going to work out. Keep it Simple. Know that God has got you covered. You are where you are supposed to be”

And the Dam Broke…I’d been doing okay during the service and worship songs evoke tears from everyone so I wasn’t alone. Yet, with all the fuss after service I was still crying. I said that my tears were of joy, however, I know that it was a mixture of joy and fear of going forward with what my heart couldn’t seem to “turn off” despite my logic.

“Love Blindly”

In that moment…I considered the directive…

Hadn’t that been my problem all along. Hadn’t I given my heart to the wrong somebody too often…hadn’t I risked vulnerability for nothing before?

How do I teach myself to love blindly when I’ve been forced to realize that the love I decided to give to others before had never been reciprocated. Loving blindly got me embarrassed before. Loving blindly hurt before. Loving blindly hyphenated my name twice. In retrospect, I know why I could never really commit to the full name change…I knew neither marriage was right…since the demise of those, I’ve learned at least that much about my decision. I said a few years ago I’d never do that again because who God has for me will be worth the transition and I knew I would be ready because God had been transforming me even then.

I had to come to terms in recent weeks that I had been in love with my ex-husband. I wanted to believe that maybe I’d made up that love in my mind because the peace was never really there. Yet, this love…I know he won’t intentionally hurt me or betray me. This love has been perfected in Christ. I want to receive it, but I really don’t know how.

So why do I still fear the next step? Why am I all of a sudden nervous around him? Why am I all of a sudden speechless…note the irony…

Yet, knowledge has perhaps been my problem. I’m used to having a plan with details…I’m used to knowing the outcome…I’m used to falling in love quickly, but this thing has developed as a slow simmer that I hadn’t even noticed myself until a few months ago.

It would be so much easier to disappear, but his heart deserves better. So I’ve been directed…invited…admonished to love blindly…as long as Christ is my guide, I will make the effort.

©2016 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Keep Pedaling, You Can’t Adjust the Level.

Well, today God showed me with His great sense of humor that I cannot go back to a lower level once I’d decided on my direction. You see I was on an exercise bike and though I’ve worked out regularly, I’ve been eating everything sweet I can get my hands on the last two weeks so my workouts before had been lazy at best.

Today I was on that bike and instead of picking manual as I had before, I picked “fat burn” and I decided that I wanted to get my heart rate really pumping so I was ambitious with the goal. Four minutes into that level I was already exhausted and I had a long way to go…so I tried to lower the level…four times I tried and each time it would only allow me to pause the session and pick right back up where I left off.

I was so tired I drank nearly all my water in ten minutes. The thing is this. This bike was stationary, but I’d chosen a distance and pre-set accomplishment to shed the weight.  I was unable to backtrack my level in the middle of the work out. And honestly, I was too embarassed to ask for help thinking that the machine was malfunctioning…

Basically, I learned two things from this situation. First, on the road to destiny sometimes it is necessary for you to sit still and say yes to the pre-planned coordinates to get the benefits the manufacturer knows you desire and need. Second,  you must also realize that once you’ve started taking the steps in the right direction, there is a point of no return…you cannot turn back…In fact, I only was able to briefly pause my workout…Yet, even those pauses worked against me because then the resistance seemed stronger. I say “seemed” because it was merely a perception error. Though the level had remained the same as it had been when I decided to take my first unscheduled break, it seemed as if the level had gotten harder with each pause.  In retrospect of what I exposed of my heart yesterday, I admit that even while working out I had been fighting whether I should receive after all…whether I am really ready for romance and beyond…whether I should continue to go it alone…

I stalled my progress and made my attempts to continue more painful in my workout  and I was preventing my leg muscles from properly adjusting to the new level because I essentially had been resisting the process. I don’t want that to be my story for love and divine partnership. I suppose this was God’s way of letting me know that now that I have taken the steps to decide to believe in love again that I couldn’t go back to the prior level without more pain so regardless of the fear, the courage He’s provided still gives me the strength to just keep pedaling.

©2016 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Reconstructed for Purpose

I’m sure I’d heard of the term “reconstruction” before, but when the gentlemen I spoke with the other day mentioned it referring to several home remodeling projects in the area, I understood things intimately. I began writing a post some time ago about being under construction.

However, if I’m honest, it was completely cliche and I just couldn’t bring myself to post it because I simply don’t fit the bill of “ordinary” by any sense of the word.  So I scrapped it. Nonetheless, the word struck me still.  I had been receiving words for a few weeks that I would be building my next home.  Yet, really, I was receiving confirmation of the remodeling project that has already taken place in my life I suppose.

God reminded me in those few minutes of conversation  about the wall around Jerusalem that had been torn down by years of attacks and neglect both from within and without…how even those who belonged there were forced into bondage because over time, there was little or no attention paid to the One who alone was able to protect them.

Life had torn me down physically, mentally, emotionally, and most recently financially.  I sit here typing and I can’t help but smile at the finished product unfolds.  I am beautiful inside and out. I am incredibly intelligent and gifted. I always had been, but my walls were broken down and I was robbed of my true self before. I could blame so many people including myself for some of the things I’ve endured, but who I won’t blame is God.  He has truly never left me nor forsaken me.  I, however, time and time again have turned my back on Him.  Even within this year I have.  I had no idea how many idols I’d built in His place: bills, men, loneliness, marriage, relationships, friendships, and even my children…

Still, today’s sermon reminded me that I, like Peter, needed to learn how to receive His grace for the mistakes I’d made…that in doing so I would then be able to strengthen my “brothers”…in my case…my sisters…

Had I possibly considered that what He showed me in a vision nearly eight years ago was coming to pass now, I would like to say I would not have failed Him.  However, all the pain was necessary after all. How else would I be able to teach anyone else how to fish if I refused to take my own rod and reel to the lake.

Like the rebuilding process involved in literal reconstruction, what I witnessed was how an older and smaller house had been torn down, but in it’s place stood a grand structure fit for a kingdom.  I realize now I’m fit just fine as I am now and even as I was then.

So no I’m not under construction anymore people, I’ve been reconstructed for purpose.

©2016 Nadia Davis. All rights Reserved.

 

Finally Thawed

For the last month or more, my daughter has been somewhat “re-obsessed” with Frozen’s Soundtrack . I admit I used to like the song myself, but only when I heard Demi Lovato sing it. Yesterday morning on the way to church she decided to belt out the lyrics of which I’d heard enough of…or so I thought.  I’d never considered the lyrics until this morning. When I walked into bible study, I had no idea how the words of that song would dictate that I’d finally been able to accept God’s permission to receive. The message “The Gift of Letting Go “ preached by Danny Cosby coupled with the reality of the churning that had gone on in my heart for at least two months were all that was needed to actually have me speechless for a change. I couldn’t stop crying.

It wasn’t a bitter cry. More of a battle cry after the victory has been accomplished if you will. I realized I too had built walls around my heart and mind over the years. And my heart was still frozen so there was another surface to penetrate after  the walls of my mind and heart had been diminished. A few months ago I began to understand the necessity of allowing God to tear those walls down so that my future husband wouldn’t have to do so. I realized that every time I’d said to myself, “I believe” and set out to do an outlandish deed in line with God’s direction, fear would have me reconsidering whether I was as in times past “doing too much.” I was taking the very bricks God pulled down and trying to replace them myself. So for the last few weeks I’ve been considering and reconsidering my motives.

It’s Time for a New Set of Bricks…and A New Partner to Build together…The Plans have changed…The Wall is not to be around our hearts, but around our union…The purpose already mirrored one another…

It’s melting…It’s melting!!!

I can’t help the way I feel now and I’ve tried. I tried to rationalize whether he would be capable of loving me like I asked God of my future husband in journals years ago. Over and over again I made excuses. I considered the exposure…I considered the danger of vulnerability…I considered my purpose…I didn’t want to make a “relationship” an idol…but the more I think about it, I realize it will only bring more glory to God as His hand has directed out paths to intersect as it has…so today I surrender…

To the desires of my heart…the desires of God’s heart as I understand now why my urge to pray for him is so urgent at times…Even still until yesterday, I had been praying amiss at times too…praying that God prevent me from loving him…that He prevent me from caring…that I not get distracted by trivial things like loving a man or marriage…Fear led those petitions.

Prayer works definitely, however, when God flatly tells you, “Why are you pushing away what you asked for?” you realize that you can’t exactly “undo” a prayer inline with His will. I’ve been forced to answer that question regardless. For a time, my answer had been a long list of what if’s and reminders of how wrong I’d been before. Time and time again God has revealed how love at first sight doesn’t exist, but that the spirit of the one He has chosen as your partner in purpose is what draws you…that is, I admit what drew me…what still draws me…as if I’m a magnet and he iron…time…distance…attitudes…words…for whatever reason…I’m still drawn…perhaps the draw is so we sharpen one another…I’ve tried to disconnect myself, but denial that his words and deeds are intricately connected to the passions God placed in my heart long before we ever met is useless. I can’t be in God’s will and continue to deny the possibility of expanded purpose with him by my side.

I’m still afraid. Yet, my Father reminds me that though He did not give me the spirit of fear, He provides me courage in spite of the fear. For a recovering control freak, chartering unknown territory can seem daunting, but I know God has led me back to Memphis for a reason…that I had to experience the bad so that when good arrives I would be able to welcome him with open arms and an open heart. So I’ve avoided the possibility of something filling the space…I’d learned to be okay without. As a whole woman, I surmised I’ll be okay without him whomever he is, but my heart knew better even in its weakened state at the time of our first real encounter.

For a time I thought that maybe I had never loved the others and that I merely assumed it was love and it all was infatuation. I was okay with that lie for a while, but in the last week God has revealed in more ways than one that I had indeed loved before…that my only mistake was that I love those who didn’t have the capacity to receive the love I desired and tried to give. I used to think that because at the time I didn’t actually love myself so perhaps I had been unable to love another. Yet, again God has shown me how wrong my assumption had been…that my love for them had been pure, but malnourished. That because I’d allowed myself to lead with my heart and because I left my head before… tossed my pearls before swine  that I was unable to make the “right choice.” I even found myself resorting to old methods of applying who I know now God has promised for me to another.  Genuinely happy for what I considered their union would be, secretly later I felt some kind of way…did not want to know why…

And God has revealed to me the heart of one worthy of my presence. I’m drawn to him though I’ve tried for at least a year to remove myself from the scenario. God still has a sense of humor. I can’t deny how God has re-written my story. When I consider the many transitions I have endured within the last two years, I have learned that my obedience to the voice of God is best. I had to learn the hard way in many ways. I’d carried baggage for years and though I’d heard the voice telling me to “leave it there,” I was almost conditioned to drag it anyway. Thankfully, that’s not my stance now. I realize the additional baggage stalled my progress, kept me unorganized, and weighed me down…

It has taken me a long time to unpack…confronting the reality of “me” has been every bit the daunting task I expected. Still, I regret nothing. It’s easier to walk now. I have perfect peace with God’s decision and finally even with my own. The surgery God performed on my heart and head was delicate and time-consuming, but so necessary. Now that the walls are down, my heart is finally thawed enough to receive the love I desire.

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©2016 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

An Ear to Listen

I had no reservations about revealing my past before that moment in class yesterday.  Perhaps it was hearing words I’d never written before…I’d never even thought of before sent me to a place I hadn’t visited either. I remembered.

I revealed my disconnection with self…why I was drawn to being “needed” by others…why it was so easy for me to allow people to drain me without much protest. The silence between my mother’s rants taught me to embrace my own version of peace.  The peace in my head…I shut out the world when I couldn’t flee literally. Now I see how I could be present, but still not there.

I needed someone to listen to me then, but I didn’t know what to say when I actually received it.

Now I know why God had allowed me to meet a the young lady in Walmart the other day. She’d just lost her husband and her words, “I just loss my husband and it’s been hard,” broke my heart.

I offered to pray for her before she revealed the reason she appeared so torn between working and giving up. I offered to wait, but I ended up just writing my phone number and a my disclaimer: “I’m not expert on grief, but if you need an ear to listen…”

I left there with a concern, but content that in a small way I’d lived up to my name.

I entered my first class yesterday morning and noticed my friend was absent.  My professor revealed the reason was that she too had experienced loss.  Her mother passed the night before. Immediately, I took out my phone to send a message.

I composed and erased.

I tapped and before sending placed the phone in my purse instead.

I said to myself I would wait until break. At break I erased again and thought about calling her, but I considered I didn’t want that before.

So I was honest.

After typing “I don’t know what to say. If you need an ear to listen call anytime.  Love you,” I hit send.

I needed someone to listen to me when my mother passed, but I didn’t know what to say.  So before God’s ear alone was the chosen receptacle.

Perhaps, allowing me to tell my story aloud was the first time I really felt heard by people. Maybe that was the reason for my tears.

Regardless, if nothing else, in that moment I realized my frailty.  Though I forgave her nearly two years ago, became whole mere months ago, I still have places in my heart to be mended. She loved me the best she could. I’m learning to love a little better with each passing day and I know I have a ways to go, but it’s still nice to have an ear to listen.

©2016 Nadia Davis. All rights Reserved.

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