Saturday, August 19, 2017

Part 1: I Just Got Back from Vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and It Made Me Think - What Makes People Happy?

After over ten years I finally had the opportunity to visit Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! We stayed at the Sunset Plaza Resort. 

The rooms were spotless, no buffet, everything is made to order fresh, room service at no additional cost. Upon arrival we received a cold hand clothe and a glass of wine which is pretty typical for all inclusive resorts.  I don't drink alcohol so I passed on the wine but later I had a virgin Miami Vice and it was everything!
From the butler to the housekeeper, everyone was super courteous and accommodating.  And the  view was just to die for!  The big downer is the soliciting of timeshare presentation from the time we arrived at the airport until day 2 of our trip.  My hubby don't play that. No we don't want to waste three hours of our vacation or life with pushy sales people to save $50 bucks.  Thanks but no thanks!

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Over six days, we only had one planned excursion for an ATV tour in the city that I later learned was a private tour!

Private tour uh?  Well, actually I couldn't help but think who in their right mind would take an exclusive private tour in a foreign country with a stranger through the city on back roads up through a juggle?

Well me and Kelvin clearly.

The things my husband get me into.

After I admitted my thoughts around our private tour to the hubby, we took a little detour, and we got to see a view of the city.  Now that was pretty cool!

We also sneak in a little Jet ski time.  I was a little afraid however, I pushed through since I had cut the hubby ATV exclusive tour a little short.

Each day before we got out and enjoy the sun, I had to get some rest.

The crazy thing is nearly everyday I slept until 9 AM local time aka 10 AM EST!

This is totally unheard of for me because generally, I get up 4:30 AM or 5:30 AM each morning.

That is just evidence of how much I needed some rest and relaxation. 

While on vacay, I had a chance to start reading one of my favorite authors', Valorie Burton's book, Successful Women Thinks Differently, and in her chapter on "Get Off the Hedonic Treadmill," she disclosed that women today are on average less happy than we were 40 years ago.

As my girl Beyoncé likes to say, HOLD-UP!

Women have more income, more career opportunity, more career advancement,  bigger houses, more shoes, more clothes, more gender equality, more racial equality,  hell, even more, sexuality equality and some even have more sex, and yet we are less happier!

How can that be true? First thing is we are horrible at estimating what actually makes us happy. We think getting the new house, car, job, degree or promotion will do it but truth-be-told that wears off pretty quick.

Secondly, happiness is indeed related to the happenings in our life and specifically the expectations we put on ourselves and the expectations others put on us that we accept.

Eric Webber explains it as "Happiness equals reality minus expectations."

Let me break it down for you again

Happiness = Reality-Expectations

So essentially you have two choices: increase your reality or lower your expectations.

Most women try to kill themselves trying to do the former.  I know I was indeed one of them.  But once I started to feel it at age 33, I jumped off that hamster wheel, and EVERY DAY I have to fight the urge to continue...

Truth moment: It was never God's desire for women to work this hard.  If you find yourself working or doing something nearly every moment of the day, if your health is declining i.e. experiencing premature menopause (may be evident by missed period not pregnant, high flashes, suddenly unusually period) before the age of 40 according to doctors and I would say even before 45 years old, diabetes, prediabete, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure or other health challenges then I would say examine to see if you are doing one of two things:

Here is the Bottom Line is... 

1.) Avoid working yourself to death.  This means night and day, you are hustle and you don't have to be on anyone street corner to be a hustler. You just have to work  more than 10 hours a day or more than 50 hours a week or running from place to place getting less than 7.5 hours of sleep a day.

2.) Avoid eating yourself out of health.  I am not just talking about in terms of quantity but also in terms of the quality of food you are putting in your body.

Here are my 3 Step to Stop Overworking aka ABCs aka:

A=Ask God to bless you. Jabez is noted in the Bible as being the most notable of all of his siblings, and I believe it is because He trusted in God and not in himself.  I Chronicle 4:10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.

B=Believe that He will do it.   You cannot conquer the world on your own so stop trying! Surrender to God.  Luke 9:23 "The [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Bottom line this means, not pursuing your agenda and plan and get aligned with God's plan. Of course, easier said than down, but it starts with you asking God to bless you to do His will and then believe He will do it.

C=Contentment in your current season. Be content where you are with the belief that this is your current situation but not a final verdict for your life.

No doubt I would recommend a couple or family to go to Sunset Plaza to experience an amazing vacation.  On a scale of 1 to 5, I would give it a 4.6 but if you go there unhappy and discontent; shortly after you return, you will be the same way.

From all the pics and excitement in my email, you may think that being on vacation made me happy and up to a degree, 10% that is, it is true.  10% that is all you get.

Here is what is going to blow you mind!

A whole 40% of your happiness comes from how you internalize the situation and choose to respond to it and 50% well, it is genetics believe it or not. At the end of the day, everything is what you make it, and you have the choice to choose how you respond to every situation or circumstance in your life.

Join me next month, as I share my testimony as God is healing my body once I stopped eating myself out of health and started seeking healing through praying and fasting.

Be sure to subscribe to our and blog leave a comment below, letting me know what you think.What do you do to keep experiencing happiness and joy in your life each and every day?

About the Author: My name is Jill Bulluck and I am the Millennial Dating Mentor | I Prepare and Position Single Professionals to Create a Life they Love & Attract and Keep Healthy Happy Love that Leads to a Lasting Marriage through Virtual Workshops, One-on-one & Group Coaching, Retreats and Conferences.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Don't pull the covers OVER Me. COVER ME - Part II

Last month’s blog entitled “Don’t pull the covers OVER me. COVER ME” – Part I,  we talked about covering and the importance of a man being in a position to cover his wife/bride.  We also talked about the  FIVE qualities he needs to possess.   If you haven’t read Part I, please stop, go back and read it before you read this one so you can get the full picture. If you already read it, carry on.  Here are the five qualities your potential husband should possess:

1 - Worship: Those that worship God must worship him in spirit and in truth. Check his worship meter. His ability to worship, not just during church service but daily will help you make the decision if he is fit to be your King.

2 - Prayer: And when you pray, pray our Father, who is in heaven, hallow (holy) be your name.  Can he pray? Does he know more than "Jesus wept" from an Easter program? Sista girl, if he can’t cover you in prayer, he can't cover you in any other area.

3 - Pastor (shepherd): Is he capable and fit to lead you in the word?  Does he understand the scriptures and are applying them to his life? What have you observed thus far? If he is doing a horrible job in leading him, he sure can't lead you.

4 - Protector: Is he in a position to protect you?  This is physical (natural) and spiritual protection. Is he gentle with you or harsh and insensitive? Can he pray on your behalf and intercept the devil's plan for your life? If he isn't observant, aware, and cautious; he can't protect you.

5 - Provider:  The man should do the heavy lifting, literally and figuratively. If he can't provide for you, he is not in a position to marry you.

The word of God tells us that where there is no vision, the people perish. Men are positioned to be the visionaries of their home, but if they do not possess these qualities, where or how are they getting their vision download?   I know the desire and need for women to get married is increasing daily however, I also know that the separation and divorce rate in the church is increasing daily as well. The common denominator is flesh. Women/men are choosing the wrong mate or at the wrong time or simply allowing their flesh to lead their relationships and marriages rather than the word of God.  When the going is good, God is the head, but when the going is not going, God gets pushed to the back.

You can’t desire a Godly relationship and remove God out of the equation. Marriage is a God idea and in order for it to work, you have to use God’s roadmap which is the word of God.  Ephesians 5: 25-28 says Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.  – The Message version. 

How can a man do any of this without God leading him 100% of the time? How can God lead him 100% of the time if he is not spending isolated time in worship or prayer?

Let’s expound a little bit on the five qualities so you can see why these areas are so important for your future covering to possess.

Worship – it is the most vulnerable place that you can be with God. In time of worship, God will show your husband who he is and will also show him what he needs to be for you and toward you. Worship allows him to be naked and unashamed before God, withholding nothing but gaining everything he needs to be empowered, equipped, and encouraged as a husband, father, and leader. David was a worshiper. Despite his flaws, insecurities, and faults, he knew that a life of worship was a necessity not only for him to be a great king/leader but a great man, husband, and father.

Prayer – a life of prayer allows God to give him daily instructions and guidance on how to lead his wife and family. Prayer is talking to God. It is a two way conversation despite what you have been told. Prayer is the entry way to God’s heart and it provokes God to move on your behalf.  Prayer is more than rambling off request and demands, it is the ability to hear from God and to gain insight and wisdom on what to do next.

Pastor (shepherd) – if a man is unable to lead himself in worship and prayer, he most definitely will not be able to lead you or his family. A house divided against itself cannot stand and how can two walk together unless they agree. Ladies, if you are dating an unbeliever and you are a believer, you are unequally yoked. If you are dating a believer and you two are on a different spiritual level, you are unequally yoked. You should not be the one leading him to God or in prayer and worship, he should be in a position to lead you. Look at his lifestyle as a single man. Does he live a life of prayer and worship outside of weekend and weekly worship. What is he doing in his spare time? What does he spend most of his time doing? A Pastor (shepherd) is someone capable of leading you spiritually. Can you he do that?

Protector – can he protect you spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically? Does he possess qualities of a protector or does he possess qualities of an abuser? This isn’t necessarily physical abuse but it isn’t exempt. A protector is someone who can protect you from a person or thing that is trying to harm you, this includes the devil, hence why the above three qualities are vitally important.  Pay attention as to how he protects the other women in his life as well as those he claim are important to him. How he treats others is how he will treat you.

Provider – this should be a no brainier but let’s go here anyway. Listen ladies, if a man is incapable of taking care of himself, he is in no position to take care of you and a household. I know people run into hardships. I have had my fair share as well but at no time should he depend on you to carry him or the load in a dating or courting relationship. If he is not in a position to provide, he should not be seeking marriage. Marriage is a partnership and we are called to be each other’s help-meet, that is financially and otherwise. It is irresponsible for a man to date recklessly and then marry someone knowing that he is not in a position to provide or at least contribute to the welfare of his wife and children.  Allow him to get his affairs in order or at least be working toward getting them in order before you make a grave mistake in marrying him prematurely. Finances is one of the #1 reasons couples are getting divorced. Break the cycle!.
I pray after reading Part I & II of this blog series you will have a better understanding of what your covering should look like. It is easier to prevent then it is to cure a sickness or disease. I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of seeing marriages in the body of Christ separate and end in divorce. 

Let’s start making better decisions so we can starting seeing better outcomes.  We, the body of Christ, are the called, chosen, and example to the rest of the world as to what marriages should look like.

Treal Ravenel, The Wife Coach

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