{GUEST BLOG} A Single Girl’s Guide to Surviving the Holiday Season

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I love the Christmas season and ALL that it entails… The scarves, the mittens and hats… the sparkly dresses… the cookies… the cakes… the extra weight that I gain.

Wait! Strike that last one.  I do not, I repeat DO NOT love the weight gain.  And this year…feels harder than ever.  I’ve gained roughly 20 pounds in the last 18 months.  My 90-year-old aunt delights in telling me that I have never looked fatter – which she oddly thinks is a compliment.  Trying to figure out what to wear that feels fun and festive AND looks good leaves me wanting to curl up on the couch in my PJs. 

It’s hard enough being 40 something and single…add chunky to the mix and you might as well add a few cats too.  I was feeling a little down and Alanis Morrisette-y when I randomly remembered the Message.  The Message of the Man Boobs. 

Man Boobs (as I’m sure you are aware) are a very odd place to garner wisdom and confidence… but wisdom and confidence are what I found. 

Several years ago, I was sitting in my office gazing out the window when a man caught my eye.  I can't remember what I noticed first:  his thick legs, slightly chunky hiney or... his man boobs.  He wasn't large and in charge but he was definitely ... thick!    I see men of all shapes and sizes on a daily basis.  Very few cause me to take a double look... but this guy... had my attention because even with the butt and the boobs... he had swag! 

 I sat and watched him walk down the street with complete confidence and found myself drawn to him because of it!   His confidence overrode all of the “flaws” that I noticed at first.  The truth is that I only saw them for a second.  His confidence was attractive... alluring even.  Truth be told, I even thought about giving his little man boob a squeeze.

For years I have read the articles about confidence being one of the most attractive qualities an individual can possess but it wasn't until I saw the man boobs with swag that I understood it! 

Confidence is the magic ingredient that makes the ordinary... extraordinary! So this holiday season, if you wear nothing else, wear your confidence and wear it well and if your 90-year-old aunt tells you that you’ve never been fatter, smile and say “Thank you!”

Sara Munyan is a cupcake connoisseur and strictly runs on coffee. She loves the sun, sand, and surf and shares her gift of teaching with 120 fourth graders in Arizona. With her infectious laugh, Sara's humor and real-world view of singlehood will have you grabbing your side and wiping your tears as you experience her wonderful charm.

WON'T HE DO IT!

The past few weeks, I have heard and witnessed many significant "WON'T HE DO IT!" moments! Let me explain, a "won't HE do it" moment is when God shows up in your life unexpectedly without warning or notice; but with a whole lot of POWER, LOVE and CERTAINTY . . . gently reminding YOU that HE is in total control!

We may think we are controlling our life, and in some ways, yes, we have free will to choose, however, those who are willing to trust God with their life, their fears, their worries, their situations and circumstances, God has something for ya!

A few weeks ago, one of my Godsisters shared a "won't He do it" moment where God provided all of the training she needed to be certified . . . FOR FREE! Another Godsister shared how God brought back together two people who were once engaged, broke it off, married other people, got divorced and a few weeks ago after years of not communicating, got married!

"WON'T HE DO IT!"

This week after feeling like I was in a spiritual and mental fog, I kept forgetting things, losing my train of thought and feeling like a deer in headlights! All I could do was REST. Nothing extra, nothing more, all I did was just, "BE!"

Yesterday, I saw a few random letters on my dresser face down, one was junk mail and one from Blue Cross Blue Shield.  I thought, "that's weird, I haven't been with Blue Cross, Blue Shield in years." So, I opened the junk mail first and then opened the Blue Cross letter. There was a $1200 insurance refund check in it issued 3 months ago! "WON'T HE DO IT!"

I shook my head, praised God and thanked Him for always coming right on time!

God is in complete control of your life! He is just waiting for you to trust him completely and get out of His way, so HE CAN DO IT!

Please share YOUR "Won't He Do It!" moment below in the comments!

 

IT'S GAME TIME!

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not to your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in ALL your ways and He will make your paths straight.
— Proverbs 3:5

This election may surprise everybody else . . . but not God! I believe Tuesday's election is a total set up from God for the body of Christ.  God has been working in and through His sons and daughters for centuries. He desires us to trust Him above all else, by gently moving us out of our own way, so that we can truly start learning how to rest and receive - letting God be God. For so many of us, we believe the old saying,"it takes a lot of hard work to be successful, or the harder we work, the more successful we are." Actually, I think we may have gotten it backwards.

God doesn't need our help to carry out the visions, desires and dreams He has placed on the inside of us. He doesn't need us to take the initiative, overachieve or forcefully make our dreams come true. We have been spinning our wheels, scratching our heads and wondering, how did I get here? Why? Because we want to know the plan, and we want God's Promises to fit into our schedule, routine, and daily to-do list!

Tuesday was just a small reminder of how uncomfortable it is for us as a nation to be blindsided, unprepared and totally caught off guard, even after experts ran the numbers, entered the data and predicted the outcome. Guess what? We are not in control . . . God is!

The last few years has taken us out of our comfort zone and forced us to look at ourselves honestly, truthfully and with humility. We are nowhere near as mature as we think we are. We smile in people's faces and talk about them behind their backs, we judge people for their courage and boldness, as we continue to hide behind the mask of fear. And we ignore what is really going on, because we really don't 'feel' like taking ownership or responsibility to bring change, because we have too much on our own plates and it's so much easier to just complain.

We are the body of Christ and we are not ONE! We don't know who we are in Christ because we don't know who God is. Being a Christian isn't a fashion trend, it is an inheritance. God has given us an assignment and He has given us chance after chance to see Him in the details of our lives. . . and we have totally missed it! We ignored the clues and avoided 'the call' for as long as we could.

We pushed the envelope and now the time has come. It's GAME TIME and it's time to suit up!

We can't "fake it" anymore. We have no more time outs! It's time to accept your inheritance, rise into your calling and take responsibility for what you have been assigned to do! No more procrastinating and no more making excuses! This is the season that God has appointed you to walk in your purpose!

The nation needs you!

It's time to come together, respect one another and be the change you want to see in the world. The nation is depending on you to show them what faith is, demonstrate what love feels like, show them how to forgive and be the leader you know how to be!

Ready? . . . BREAK!

 

 

 

GOD IS ON A MISSION! #OPERATIONONENESS

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GOD IS SAVING MARRIAGES! 

He is on a mission! #operationoneness

I know things have been tough and you may have even contemplated throwing in the towel, but I wanted to encourage you to . . . HOLD THE LINE!

DO NOT RETREAT!

God is coming and HE IS THE CALVARY!

Marriage is God's idea. He created it so that we could experience love, intimacy, friendship, unity, and life's deepest joys. Which is why it is also fiercely opposed by the enemy. Satan's primary goal is to steal, kill, and destroy every aspect of your life--especially your marriage. 

But our Lord is a mighty warrior! There is a war between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Darkness. This battle rages most ferociously in marriage because you, your spouse and your family have a specific purpose to advance God's Kingdom and bring Him glory!

So in order to engage in this battle, you need to be equipped! Some of you have laid down your swords and stopped fighting. Some have fallen on the battlefield wounded and hurt and some keep trying to stay in the fight, but are so weary, your efforts are faint and faithless.

Don't despair, things are about to turn around!

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
— Hebrews 11:1

When we are discouraged, disappointed or in despair, it's usually because our faith is faint! Be encouraged! As a daughter or son of the Most High God, you have access to exactly what you need to experience the marriage relationship you desire . . . and the one God has prepared for you! How? By activating your FAITH . . . RELENTLESS FAITH!
 

FAITH

. . . is the confidence

you must believe without a shadow of doubt

. . . that what we hope for

that whatever you desire in your marriage, your spouse or your situation

. . . will actually happen

that God CAN restore, increase, rescue, save, and heal . . .

. . . it gives us assurance about

by operating in the integrity of what you believe

. . . things we cannot see

completely surrender to and trust God fully! Faith is an action! Faith never quits!

Search your heart this week. What do you REALLY believe about God? about His Word? about your spouse? about your marriage? Does what you think, say and do align with what you believe in your heart? If not, decide to change it! Align with God's Word. Start activating your faith for what you REALLY believe and watch God move in your marriage BIG TIME!!

WATCH OUT! GOD'S ON A MISSION! It's called #OPERATIONONENESS

YOU AREN'T FAT, YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL!

I grew up in beautiful, sunny Santa Barbara, California, one mile away from the beach, within walking distance to the Santa Barbara Mission. I could not have asked for a more beautiful place to live. I was popular, I had amazing friends and loved my school. There was only one thing wrong. I didn't love MYSELF! I grew up as the "token" Black girl rocking size 8 jeans among my beautiful blonde and brunette friends who made every effort to let me know that they wore a size 0. 

I always felt like the "big girl" of the group and my self-esteem began to spiral before it even had a chance to start! Dieting was the topic of all of our conversations. Before I knew it, I started to believe that I was fat and ugly. I was barely 14 when I had asked my best friend how she stayed so skinny. She took me into her bathroom and showed me how to make myself throw up! She said that she eats whatever she wants and throws it up afterwards, so that the calories don't stay in her body!

I believed her. For the next year, I tried my hardest to be like my friends . . . skinny. I tried her system of binging and purging, because I wanted so desperately to be a size 0. The harder I tried, the more I felt like a failure. 

I remember getting on the scale and being so excited because I was at an all time low . . . 121 pounds! I thought I looked great! I was jolted quickly back into reality when a someone told me that I would "really" look great, if I lost 10 more pounds! 

Devastation took over and I was no longer the same. I struggled for many years after that moment by comparing myself to other women and longing to look like someone I could never be. 

It wasn't until I turned 30 that I intentionally started the journey of loving myself. Only 4% of women worldwide think they are beautiful according to a study conducted by Dove. Too many women are less than happy with their appearance and spend countless hours comparing themselves to someone they are not supposed to be. 

Seventy-five percent of women look in the mirror and do not like what they see. We are bombarded with images of beautiful women in magazines, on television and in the movies, but we never think about the team of people it took to get them looking that way. 

So today, I want to challenge you to CHOOSE to love yourself from head to toe, regardless of how you feel in your skin right now, and despite the 20 pounds that you have been trying to loose . . . forever. Be intentional! Stop comparing yourself to others. It's time to discover your beauty . . . deep within. Embrace your unique shape, color and size. There is no one in the world that is made like you! You are one of a kind! God spared no expense at creating you just as you are! Celebrate today! You are wonderfully and marvelously made!

Posted on October 21, 2016 .

THE POWER OF DECISION

The definition of DECISION is
: the ability to make choices quickly and confidently

Why do so many people hesitate to make even the simplest of decisions like what to order at a restaurant or even which movie to see at the theater? In today's culture, we are faced with so many choices, it leaves many of us overwhelmed, overworked and numb. Choices tend to make people anxious and make some feel like they are closing the door to other possibilities and opportunities.

Good decision-making is a skill that can be learned. And once it's learned and practiced, making decisions can bring the peace of mind and comfort that we're looking for. So, here are some quick tips that will help you to stop stalling and turn procrastination into positive action!


1. YOU CAN'T HAVE EVERYTHING! Think about it . . . you can't get married and then still live the single life! Choices are necessary! The better you get at making decisions, the more confident you will become and the less anxiety you will feel. Keep practicing!

2. STOP OVERTHINKING YOUR DECISION! The worst feeling is to buy a plane ticket and find the same flight 30 minutes later for $300 less! STOP LOOKING! Trust yourself, make the decision and move on!

3. DON'T DELAY IN YOUR DECISION-MAKING - unless you need more information to make the decision, you are giving your power away to the fear of making a choice! When you hand over your power, you lose control of the situation and it's over! DONE DEAL!

4. TRUST WITHIN and DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP! - Sometimes things just don't go as planned. Oh well! You made the best decision at the time you made it! You can't always take responsibility for the outcome, your job was just to decide.c The beauty of it all is, if things don't work out . . . you have the opportunity to make a different decision!

CHASING STILLNESS . . .

Six Weeks

Healed Heart

Love Received

Purpose Revealed

Promise Given . . . WHAT IS THERE TO DECIDE?

www.chasingstillness.online

 

 

LETTING IT ALL GO!

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to let go of all of of your personal pressure, cares, and concerns? All of them?

Have you ever had that feeling when you GO-GO-GO so hard to meet a goal, fulfill a desire, live a passion, or finally experience your dream? But, as you forge ahead and keep pushing day after day and year after year, the goal, desire, passion or dream never seems to come. . .  it feels like a never-ending uphill battle! 

And then, one day . . .

In only a flicker of a moment, you imagine letting everything go . . . in your mind, your body and your soul.  And for 30 seconds, your conscious wanders thinking of how free you would be letting it all go! "Should I cut bait and roll out? Start over or just give up and forget about it all?" "What would happen if I stopped climbing? What would happen if I stopped everything and let it all go? Would anyone care? Would it even matter?

The answer is, Yes! It would matter.

God has given each one of us a grand purpose to be fulfilled and carried out here on earth until our last breath. So, why do we think our amazing gifts and the responsibility to use them should come easy? I could get super-spiritual and say, "it is easy!" But then, real talk . . . if you don't KNOW what your gifts are, or don't even have a clue about your purpose, then you won't realize there is a responsibility to use them, share them and give them to as many people as you can.  

It is only when we spend time being still and listening to our soul's whispers and following through with them, that a whole new understanding of who you are emerges.

There are many distractions pulling at you from all different directions, trying to steal your attention and take you out of the game, but you must stay alert! As a star player, it is critical that you pay attention to each "play" you're given during practice. Take good notes and study them long and hard, so that when it's "game time," and God calls your number, you are truly prepared and ready to go!

 

 

JUST DO IT . . . AFRAID!

A few days ago, I was thinking about a few years ago when my family went to Adventure Dome at Circus, Circus in Las Vegas. It was an exciting time for us because it was the first time all of my children were tall enough to get on ALL of the rides. Now, they are all almost taller than me! As soon as we walked into to Adventure Park, there stands a "free fall" ride called The Sling Shot. When you climb into the chairs on the bottom of the ride, it shoots you up to the top like a sling shot, pauses for 3 seconds and then releases you to free fall to the bottom. Whew! Scary, right? Well, Blaze, my now 11-year-old, was only 7 years old at the time and has always been very brave. He wanted to go on the ride immediately and convinced his then, 6-year-old brother, Hayes and 9-year-old sister, Skye to join him.

Hayes eagerly got in line with his "big brother" and after watching the ride "in action" a few times, quickly finessed his way out of the crowd with tears in his eyes yelling, "Mommy? I don't want to go on this ride!" I came to his rescue and wiped his tears whispering, "it's ok, baby." Adrian abruptly interrupted our moment with, "no way! Un-uh! Let's go, Hayes! You can do this!" He takes Hayes' arm and what felt like pulling him from my grip, directed him back to get in line.

My heart jumped and my teeth clinched as only a mother could relate, as she watched her child do something that they were petrified to do.  

Hayes could barely climb into the seat. After a few attempts, he strapped himself in, pulled down the harness and through crocodile tears gave me a terrified gaze. I held his gaze with the biggest, Mommy-really-isn't-scared smile and mouthed, "you can do it!" Before I could finish, he was shot into the air and all I could see were his size 2's dangling from the seat. I counted, "one...two...three!" My breathing stopped . . . I heard screams blended with the mechanical sounds of the ride's hydraulics. In less than 10 seconds, Hayes was back in front of me, wearing a smile of pride and relief. I screamed and cheered as onlookers couldn't help but smile and join in the celebration, as I congratulated by "baby's" first major roller coaster ride! He exited the ride with a grin that I will remember for the rest of my life! It was a grin that humbly, yet confidently became a fundamental piece of his subconscious beliefs; something I knew in that moment he would pull from for decades to come.

"Hayes! You did it! And, you did it afraid!!" I hugged him and cheered and squeezed him as tightly as I could without cutting off his circulation. I looked right into his eyes, and whispered, "I AM SOOOOOOO PROUD OF YOU!"  

In that moment, I realized that this lesson wasn't only for Hayes, but for me.

I have had many opportunities at doing life afraid. I have even gotten in line . . . grad school, starting a new business, leaving a job, getting married and having a baby!

As a business owner and new CEO, I watched and studied other successful entrepreneurs, waiting for my turn to experience success! Comparison, impatience, insecurity and fear would often show up uninvited and I would quickly shoo them out the door by reminding myself of the reason I got in line in the first place.  Discouragement and distraction would knock, but I dare not open the door, in fear of the possibility that I may not get back in line.

Numerous times, I thought about getting out of line before it was my turn. Sometimes, I even talked myself out of experiencing the thrill of the ride, in an effort to comfort my paralyzing fear. I was tempted to duck under the rail, when I allowed the voice of distraction or discouragement to become louder than God's gentle push and a soft whisper, "you can do this!" But, over time, I became more confident and clear about the reasons why I was even in line in the first place.  I realized that I was in line for a bigger purpose and it had nothing to do with me! I was supposed to be in line, because God placed me there and He had something in store for me to learn, experience and share!  

In the past few weeks, fear has reared it's ugly head! I was quickly reminded of how I felt at the base of The Sling Shot ride several years ago.  

Here's what I learned . . . 

  1. Pursuing your passion is a decision and walking in your calling is a choice.  
  2. Fear will always try to distract you from experiencing the thrill of God showing up
  3. When we decide to do something afraid, we have to really trust God with our process and get out of the way!
  4. We have to remain faithful and maintain the courage to get on the ride, strap in, pull down the harness and hold on while holding His gaze.
  5. God believes in you and is always cheering and screaming for you every step of the way!
  6. At the end of your journey, people who watched from the sidelines will be inspired and encouraged to stay in their own line and wait their turn.

What "line" in life have you gotten out of because of fear? Getting a degree? Writing a book? Having a baby?

Take courage! Get back in line. Get on the ride. Strap up and keep your gaze on God. People are watching you! Make the decision to . . .  DO IT AFRAID! YOU CAN DO IT!

TOP 15 SECRETS EVERY HUSBAND MUST KNOW ABOUT THEIR WIVES TO GET HER IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE!

For over 13 years, I have worked with women, engaged couples and married couples in crisis and I have learned a thing or two from working with both men and women.  

NEWS FLASH!

Men and women think and act very differently, consequently God has created them to live, thrive and act as ONE in marriage.  Don't get me wrong, there are many days when I feel like God is laughing at me striving to become ONE with my husband, who is completely opposite of me, but on the days things can't be anymore aligned, I hold on to them for as long as I can.

After working for years with married women, I have heard similar frustrations, disappointments and violations of her expectation from married women of all ages, nationalities, races, and cultures. 

There is an attack on marriages from the enemy to cause division, distance, and distractions, so I thought I would help my brothers out by making it as easy and plain as I can, when it comes to connecting physically, emotionally and spiritually with your wife! I have gathered the top 15 need-to-know secrets every husband must know about his wife to get her in the mood for love! So, here we go...

1. It's okay to say, "I'm sorry!" She won't think you're "soft." In fact, your apology may be the best method to help her change her attitude!  

Secret #1: Fighting to be right will only send her in the wrong direction.

2. Be nice to her throughout the day, NOT just before you want some! Come on, guys! Really? Don't you know that being loving, kind and attentive to your wife throughout the day is the best practice to having a wonderful evening? Okay, I have heard one too many guys say, "that's too much work!" Ummm...so why did you get married again? You couldn't possibly think that the work you put in to "get us", wouldn't be necessary to keep us, did you?

Secret #2: Your wife wants to be pursued again! Put in the work, she's worth it!

3. When your wife asks you to do something around the house, please don't wait weeks to get it done! Make it a priority to you because it's a priority to her!

Secret #3: Your procrastination really does get on her nerves!

4. Don't go to bed without kissing her goodnight! This goes for both spouses! 

Secret #4: This may seem like a small gesture, but it's an awesome display of affection towards her, especially coming out of conflict. Your gesture quietly lets her know that you love her and you are committed to her, no matter what!

5. Make her feel like WHO she is is important to you! Ask her how her day was...and really listen! Don't just ask to check off the box!

Secret #5: Getting to know your wife's heart is very important to her. Women are very relational and feel closest to those who "SEE" her for who she really is.  You are the closest person to her, spend time learning, recognizing and acknowledging your wife's strengths and God-given gifts and talents.

6. Engage with her emotionally! Put the phone down, turn off the tv or computer and give her your undivided attention!

Secret #6: Don't be surprised if your wife loses her train of thought when you give her your undivided attention. Many wives are used to having to compete with other things that are important to their husbands! So, when you acknowledge she's a priority, she may just look at you with nothing to say, because she had to stop to take it all in! LOL 

7. Learn her LOVE LANGUAGE and practice it DAILY!

Secret #7: Everyone gives and receives love differently, so if you are loving your wife the way YOU want to be loved and NOT the way she wants to be loved, we've got a problem, right? Well, thanks to Gary Chapman, you both can take a simple and easy quiz to find out your love language! TAKE TEST NOW!

8. When you see your wife running around the house cooking, cleaning, checking homework and washing clothes, don't just sit there thinking about how grateful you are to have a great wife and mother to your children...OFFER TO HELP HER!!!!

Secret #8: Please, DON'T wait for an invitation!!! This behavior is guaranteed to send your wife far, far away from "being in the mood for love" because she's too tired from doing everything! 

9. Tell her she's beautiful often and mean it!

Secret #9: Hearing you are beautiful NEVER GETS OLD! Especially from your husband, just make sure it's genuine.

10. Treat her like you did when you were heavily pursuing her before she was your wife!

Secret #10: Don't ever take your wife for granted, she is valuable and precious. When you make her feel like you value and adore her, watch how much changes in your marriage!

11. Plan a weekend getaway within the next 90 days, even if it's a staycation!

Secret #11: Reconnecting with your spouse is essential to your marriage. It's not healthy for your marriage to keep grinding and just surviving, without taking a break and refocusing on what's really important...each other and your family!

12. Get back to having fun! 

Secret #12: Life happens! Don't allow situations and circumstances to pull you off balance from thriving in your marriage and in life! Get out and have some fun immediately!

13: Take her on your journey!

Secret #13: Your wife wants to be included in the details of your life, share with her what you're thinking, feeling and dreaming. This sparks instant emotional connection and will most likely get her in the mood for love. Easy-peasy!

14. Love her like God is watching you every minute!

Secret #14: Talk about accountability!?!?! Wow! You will have a NEW wife and a NEW marriage if you adopt this practice as a lifestyle! PROMISE!

15. Celebrate your wife in front of your kids!

Secret #15: When you celebrate, love and cherish your wife in front of your children, your sons will know how to treat their wives and your daughters will know how to be treated! The power of influence at its finest! 

 

This list is just to get you started! I found that many of these things apply to the majority of marriages. To hone in on the secrets that have a personal application for your marriage, start with this activity:

  • Take this list and go through it together, pin pointing which secrets apply, create a common definition between you and put together an action plan to put these best practices to work.

Share with your married friends! It takes a village...to stay happily married!

What changes can you make in your marriage this week to get things back on track? Please place a comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts!  

WIFE INFLUENCE

A wife’s influence creates powerful change within her husband!”
— Christy Little Jones

When I first became Adrian's wife, I really didn't understand the magnitude of this position.  I realized that we would be together til death does us part, but in the beginning, I really didn't understand the position, power, authority, and responsibility that came with being a wife! The position a wife holds has amazing influence towards your husband. I never realized how significant my daily example, personal confidence, and character was observed by him.

Along my journey in wifehood, I discovered . . . 

When I completely trust my husband's decision for our family, it reminds him to trust himself; which elevates his desire to lead! Wife Influence!

When I respond to my husband with honor and respect, it reminds him to stay humble and serve others with love.

Wife Influence! 

When I seek to reconcile after a conflict over the need to be right, it reminds my husband that I AM on his team.

Wife Influence!

Simply telling my husband that I love being his wife, reminds him that I appreciate him and he made the right choice!

Wife Influence!

Wives, you have the power to affirm and elevate or hurt and discourage your husbands with your words and actions. Wife influence is a skill that must be developed and used to encourage greatness and leadership in your husband. 

Wife influence is a beautiful expression of love and support towards your husband. Today you have a choice, and you can choose to:

FOLLOW

your husband's lead by supporting his decisions.

SUPPORT

your husband by reminding him of his own strength, resilience, and commitment to you and your family.

AFFIRM

your husband through your words, initiative and actions. 

By understanding your position as a wife, you have the ability to influence your spouse in a positive and compassionate way. You have the ability to uplift and transform you, your spouse, your marriage and your entire family! It's a WIN-WIN!

What choice will you make today?