Saturday, February 14, 2015

8 Tips to Avoid the Valentine’s Blues…


I remember Valentine’s Day back February 2011.  I received a special Valentine’s gift of about ½ dozen chocolate covered strawberries from a guy I was dating at the time but I didn’t think anything really was coming from that friendship.  We were not friends with benefits, we were not in a relationship, we just liked talking to one another from time to time and we had a lot in common.

He lived across the country so needless to say we did not spend Valentine’s Day together but even if he was local I am not sure we would have anyway.   However there was an awkwardness that I believe we both felt. Do you know that feeling, when you are dating a good guy but you get the feeling that he is not the right guy for you?  Well, that is exactly what I was feeling.

Knowing that my Valentine’s Day would be quiet, I had planned to go to a meet-up group for a special Valentine’s event but I ended up staying home and having a private Valentine Day with me, myself and I.  I decided to do a good old dinner and a movie.  On that day, I remember feeling a sense of loneliness, wishing I had went out of the house to mingle but I made the best out of my situation. 

Besides the Valentine’s gift I received from my friend and a few phone calls from him, I had no real indication that he was trying to choose me so I decided not to wait around to be chosen and I decided not to choose him either.

September of 2010, I had made a vow to myself that I would never wait around to be chosen but rather I would exercise my right and power to choose freely. 

Up until that point, most of the guys I dated, were a direct reflection of the places I went or the places I lived.  Growing up, I did not live in the best neighborhood so all the guys in my neighborhood were drug dealers and then when I went off to college, I always found the cheapest places to live so not many quality men there either.   

Oddly enough I did not date many guys at my college.  So besides my neighborhood, I met guys at clubs, gyms and at least one at church and in-between that I did try on-line dating once before.   Now I met some weird guys on-line and a few normal ones but none marriage material.  In the past with my on-line dating, I just posted my profile and waited to see what happened.  In that moment, I was convicted that doing that was still waiting around to be chosen. 

So the day after Valentine’s day, I decided to give on-line dating another chance.  I joined the free membership level.  I created my profile then I decided to browse a few.  At this point, I was very clear what I "needed" in a man and I was even more clear what I did not want and what I would not tolerate. (*needed* meaning to have a healthy happy relationship that led to marriage but not meaning to have a whole or happy life.)

I came across this one profile.  This guy not only was extremely handsome, he possessed all the qualities I needed in a man, from being a Christian to enjoying extracurricular activities like white-water rafting like myself.  (I loved to jet skiing).  I also noticed that he was a family man which I picked-up from a couple of family pictures that were uploaded on his profile.

From his profile, I was like, this guy is too good to be true.  Then I noticed he was frugal and clever. He put his email on the profile display with spaces so anyone could contact him without signing up for the service.  Despite my stinking thinking, that he was too good to be true, I stepped out of my comfort zone and sent him an email with a little about me and I asked him a few questions.  We talked on the phone once or twice.
(*Note I initiated the conversation but I was not about to chase him or make something happen from it.)

We both were going to an upcoming speed dating event, so we agreed to catch up with one another there.  We met, we talked and then soon after we had our first official date.  Nine weeks later he asked me to be his girlfriend and a year later he asked me to be his wife. 

I share all this with you to tell you, don’t be discourage about your current situation.  Don’t feel like you have to wait around for a guy to make his mind up about you.  Doing so makes you feel like you aren’t good enough (which is a lie I dispel in my upcoming book “Be the Best Version of You! Dispelling the Lies and Uncovering the Truth of a FABULOUS You)! and less than the valued woman that you are.  Don’t fall into the Valentine’s Blues.  Make a decision today to start living a fabulous single life because you are indeed

F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S.

F= FAITH.

I had no clue what God had in-store for me or why after planning for at least a week to go out to this Valentine’s Day event that I decided at the last minute to stay home.  I had no idea that this was going to be my last Valentine's Day as a single woman.

I encourage you today to have FAITH.  Trust in God with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding.  Know that although God maybe operating in silence, know that His plan and purpose is still actively working in your life.  Trust that God will give you the desires of your heart.

A= AVAILABLE & AUTHENTIC.

Yea, yea I get it, the Bible says that a man that finds a wife, finds a good thing.  I believe this to be true but as a woman, you need to make yourself findable, available and lovable. As Bishop Harry Jackson says it, "date widely".  Leave your options open.  Just because you open a dialogue with someone does not mean you are looking for him to be your husband or boyfriend for that matter. During your singleness, be open to meeting new people, men and women alike.  Build sisterhood with other women and friendships (or small encounters) as the spirit leads you with men.  Make sure to show up authentically as the best version of you!

When you are dating widely, you do not have to (and I recommend you don’t) have any physical relationship with these guys.  Just go out in public places and have conversation and connection through extracurricular activities.

B=BALANCED.

Make sure you are taking time out for yourself.  Get the right physical and spiritual food.  Don’t allow yourself to be starved from family, friends, fun and faith.  Drop in on a boot-camp or a dance class.  Not sure where?  Google “things to do” just add your city.  i.e. "things to do San Diego" or check out the schedule at a nearby fitness gym.  Invest time in your family, take an elderly woman or someone special in your life (mother, sister, son, or daughter) out for a special Valentine’s brunch or early dinner.  Also check with your local churches as many of them host special valentine's events for singles.

(Valentine's 2010, I took my auntie to lunch at Red Lobster.  I gave her a nice card and some beautiful flowers.  We had such a great time! Unfortunately I don't have a pic.  She passed away from cancer May 2013.  I mentioned this to say, take this time as an opportunity to spend with your love ones.  You never know how much time you have left with them).

U=UNIQUE.

Rather than allowing this day to be a day of loneliness, dare to be something different and dare to do something different.  You and a girlfriend can go out and have a spa day.  Or if your girlfriends are not available go for your own spa day and then treat yourself to something you love afterwards, like frozen yogurt, ice cream or cheesecake.

If you don’t have any money, pamper yourself.  Have a Do-it-Yourself Pampering Party.  Use your tub if you have to do your own pedicure and then get a nail-file and nail polish and go to work.  When you embrace uniqueness it means taking your flaws or things you don’t like about yourself or your life internally or externally and using it to distinguish yourself or your experiences  from everyone else.

L=LOVEABLE.

Have fun now! Be fun loving!  Having fun, is just allowing yourself to be a kid again, even if only for a few moments, minutes or hours.  It is necessary for you to have a healthy happy life and to establish a healthy happy relationship.  (Click here to checkout my videos of me dancing on vacation in Jamaica.) 


O=OPTIMISTIC.

Get rid of any stinking thinking. Start believing that things will work out on your behalf and everything is working out for your good.  Start speaking favor over your life and your situation.  You deserve the best so start expecting the best.  You have to set the standard of what you want in your life and how you want other people to show up in your life by how you show up for yourself.  Show up as a Fabulous optimistic woman of God because you truly are!

U=UNSTOPPABLE.

I use to make the mistake of dating or being friends with one person at a time.  As I look back, I was voluntarily taking myself off the market, when no one asked me to and with no real level of commitment for a relationship.  Doing this is one of the biggest time wasters me and all my overly conservative sisters do… Don’t get hung up on someone else’s uncertainty, partial interest or lack of interest in you.  Just keep it moving!

S=SELF-ASSURED.

Being self-assured is being confident in who you are.  This is loving yourself just as God created you to be.  Start declaring and believing the things God says about you.  He has already called you into greatness.  Your relationship status is not a reflection of your value.  Declare that you are precious and beautifully made in His image!  Declare that your life prevails, your family prevails, your ministry prevails, your business prevails and your finances prevail. Declare that you are decisive! Declare that you speak with boldness and authority!  Declare that you are blessed and highly favored!

Don’t allow yourself to dwell in a place of discontentment or feeling like you need a man to be fulfilled.  Embrace your singleness, embrace this time of Freedom! And create the joy in your own life today!  Don’t wait for a relationship to start living a fabulous life, start today!

P.S. Checkout these videos.  Just me having fun with the family.   Sharing the LOVE. 

My nephews, hubby and I eating lunch before headed to the movies (me laughing in the background)

Me Dancing at my girlfriend's wedding Aug 2011 (I am in the black workout pants..lol)

Dancers in Jamaica getting it in!

Jill

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Bio: Jill Bulluck is the founder of Detour Movement Inc. & a Christian Relationship Success Coach who helps women break the patterns of unhealthy relationships and prepare them for healthy happy love that leads to marriage. Download free MP3 player “Making the Right Choice”.

 

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

You Will Never Measure Up so STOP Trying!!!

You Will Never Measure Up so STOP Trying!!!

Titus 3:5-8 “3-8 It wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this.” (The Message Bible Version)

I believe as Christians many of us have become accustomed to following a bunch of spiritual rules and because of that we often place ourselves in one box and those that we feel don’t measure up in box all by themselves.  I know this is something I struggled and still at times struggle with.  In hindsight; it is basically having the same level of expectation for others as you have for yourself, but it may project differently to others.  This was/is huge  for me; not necessarily because I wanted to condemn those Christians who didn’t get it, but I simply desired for others to live a God centered life consistently.  What I failed to really pay attention to is that living a God centered life is not about spiritual rules.  It is so much more than that and if we only pay attention to how many rules are followed; we will miss out on seeing God actually live in and work through ourselves and others for that matter.  Those of us who share this same passion often find ourselves in this awkward place of discomfort and what we fail to realize is that regardless of where we are in Christ or in life, being consistent vice following a lot of rules is what we should strive for.   We already know that none of us will equate to perfection but working on being consistent should be our focus.  This is not a disclaimer for us to fall by the way side, but more so for us to reevaluate our own lives and activities to make sure we are being consistently constant in our walk.  I know life throws a curve at times and some of our lives are very demanding hence being able to do what Sister Julie does on a regular may not be ideal for you and I, so no need to  feel condemned or as if you don’t measure up. 

There are many things that you do every single day that represents your spiritual walk, growth and life in God, but many don’t realize it.  For instance; my mother who is 74years old takes care of my aging 92 year old grandmother who has dementia.  So ideally, it isn’t as easy for her to go to worship service or bible study every week or spend hours studying her bible and in prayer because she cares for my grandmother around the clock and that alone takes a great deal of energy, strength and continuity.  Can I let you in on a secret?  This is service unto the Lord and God is pleased with this type of spiritual activity.  If I can remember correctly, the bible does say that we are to take care of those that are sick, clothe the naked, visit those in prison and so forth and so on.  Well, this is exactly what she is doing in caring for her aging mother.  To bring it even closer to home and maybe more relatable for many of you; a single mother with small children who works or perhaps going back to school to create a better life for her and her children may not be able to meet all the spiritual check points in the same way a single woman or married woman who has no children or further obligation, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t saved in the same way or that her life doesn’t measure up as a Christian.  What we tend to focus on are the works or the rule book per say and not the spiritual activity.

(Vision board party from our Empowerment Seminar with other sisters in Christ.. this is spiritual activity. Habakkuk 2:2 "says write the vision and make it plain"..we were assisting others in doing just that, so that they can pursue their purpose in Christ)

The point I am trying to make is that there are many things that we do daily that contribute to our spiritual growth and walk.  It may not be as evident to some as it is to others, but when you pause and reflect on your life and are able to connect the dots to see how what you do daily is in hindsight spiritual activity, you will be relieved of some of the pressure in measuring up. Try to stay away from comparing your walk in God with that of others because this can become detrimental to your spiritual growth and maturity.  In fact, when you compare; it can kills spiritual growth.  None of us will ever be on the same spiritual level and that is ok, but that does not mean that because your life does not look like my life; you are not spiritual or the right type of Christian for that matter.

We cannot view external behaviors and devotional practices to measure our spiritual health or level.  Some will always measure how early they get up to read and pray and how long their quiet times are or how often they attend church.  That is a part of it but that is definitely not the end all be all of being a Christian.  I believe more importantly being consistent in our walk with God and allowing our Faith to inform our life, as Christian artist, Lecrae puts it is what counts.  If you are a Christian; your lifestyle will reflect that!!!

(Spending quality time with my son, Gee.  This is spiritual activity and service unto God. When you display love toward your children; it counts as spiritual activity.  I am showing him the value of spending quality time with those you love.  Our children are heritage from the Lord - Psalms 127:3-5)

(My son, Gee and I working out together. He understands the value and importance of taking care of his temple, so that he can operate in his God given purpose.  This is spiritual activity in our obedience to the Word as it relates to taking care of our temple and in teaching our children accordingly- Proverbs 22:6; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Be encouraged in knowing that your service to God stems from your heart not a rule book or checklist of activities. Spiritual growth is moving toward God’s best version of who you are.  It’s about your relationship with Christ, not rule-keeping!

~Treal Ravenel












(from left to right: me, my mother, sister,Sharron and sister, Karron)

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