Enjoy the Ride

As I was reflecting on my previous relationships or “talkships” the other day I realized a lot. It’s so important to reflect, because without reflection there is no growth. Without that reflection I would not have seen that I really wasn’t having fun. I was trying to so hard to find a good relationship that I was busy checking things off my list.

I had this idea of the perfect relationship and that’s what I chased after. But I didn’t find it. I would rush in because I wanted to get to the “good part” of it. I wanted cute thoughtful dates that didn’t cost a ton. I wanted And I wanted someone to tell my goals to without being judged or put down for them. I wanted someone that I could share my faith with. Someone that I could be myself with. Someone that it would just be fluid and fun with.

I know I say this all the time, but stop settling for someone that you know isn’t for you. By doing so you’re putting off the person that God has for you (and them) by occupying time that isn’t really even yours. Doesn’t mean they aren’t good people, that just means they aren’t for you. Don’t let your past make you believe that you cannot have the guy of your dreams. Nor allow your future to make you believe that if you stay with them they’ll change or grow into the person you want them to be.

So, get to know people. Dating is simply the process of finding the person you’re meant to be with. So don’t commit before you really get to know them. All their quirks, strengths, and weaknesses. A great friend of mine “No need to rush anything. It’s best to take things slow, relax, and enjoy the journey. Don’t worry so much about the destination that you forget to enjoy yourself”.

I love you and so does He,

Cherise 🙂

In His Timing?

Sometimes we get caught up in when things will happen. We want so much out of life. We want to be ambitious, successful, but most of all we want to be HAPPY. We want to be the best at all that we can. But sweetheart, it may not happen on your time schedule. And I know, you’re like me, you’ve thought about where you want to be in 5 years over and over (because they ask you at church and every family cookout). You’ve thought about the turn up you and your squad will have after you get the email that you’ve landed your dream job. You’ve thought about how you want to be proposed to on Christmas right next to the tree. I can’t forget how beautiful your apartment at 25 will be with a spectacular view of Cali, ATL, or Chicago. But what if it doesn’t happen exactly when or how you want it to?

A few days ago I found myself confused, sad, and sort of depressed. Before I came home, I had a few internship offers, a guaranteed car, a rocky sisterhood, and a game changer. When I got home, all four seemed to shift. I turned down all of the internships (except one 😉) because I knew they weren’t for me. My car was dead and I wasn’t sure if my mom and I would be able to pay the possible cost. I got a little caught up in thinking the game changer would want someone else because of distance (to think I almost messed that up smh). I felt worthless. I felt like I wasn’t walking in my purpose. I wasn’t speaking or doing a conference like last year. 

What I didn’t realize was that I was trying to operate in my timing and trust my own LIMITED understanding. I couldn’t see that on Tuesday I would start what I believe will be my best internship yet. I couldn’t see that my relationship with my “bros” would mend itself. My car would be less than I thought. That the game changer is everything and more that I could have asked for. And that God would show Himself stronger than ever – in HIS own timing. 

Is it hard waiting? YES! Do we want to give up our plans so He can do better than we ever imagined? Yes, but no. But the reason you should is because His timing is PERFECT (2 Samuel 22:31/Psalms 18:30) As you could see, mine, yours, and everybody else’s is flawed. I wish I could tell you when or how, but if I did would you really trust Him? Nah. So chill out and watch Him work. 
I love you and so does He,
Cherise 

Key Scriptures: 
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5
“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered” – Proverbs 28:26 
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” – Galatians 6:9

Are You What You Want to Date?

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, love never loses faith, is always helpful, and endures through every circumstance.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

We hear this scripture at church, at weddings, and even at engagements. It’s a universal scripture, but it brings up the question of are we really LOVING people like the scripture says or we just going through the motions of what we think it’s supposed to be? We say we want this amazing, super happy, over flowing with passion love but sometimes we don’t know how to manifest that in real time. So let’s ask ourselves, would I want to be with me? But this time, don’t look at your accomplishments. Don’t say “who wouldn’t want to be with me? I’m in school, I have a job, my own car, my own money, my own everything – I’m a boss with or without them”. Because love is not about what you have – it’s about you GIVE. And if we’re honest, a lot of us are giving attitude, anger, hurt, betrayal, disrespect, and un-loyalty to those who don’t deserve it. We can sing love is patient and kind on Sunday morning and cuss our boyfriend or girlfriend later that evening because they’re busy or by reminding them of the things they did in the past.

I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t always the best at this (I’m still working). Sometimes being the product of a single mom, you can go two ways based on what you see: not wanting a man or having crazy high expectations and expecting them to meet every single one. So I chose the second. I thought that if I had this bomb list of things I wanted in a man that he would magically appear and meet everything. I had everything from a minimum GPA to coming to church with me faithfully. But I realized two things: one, I didn’t meet everything on my list. I was the girl who said I have all I need so if I’m going to have a boyfriend he needs to surpass that. But in my ignorance, I was only thinking about materialistic things, how he could enhance me, and how he could enhance us (which I was thinking would pretty much enhance me). So I would treat the guys I talked to like I could take them or leave them. Because that way if anything happened I wouldn’t need to take time to cry and heal and all of that. I could just move on.

BUT THAT’S NOT LOVE. That is selfish, boastful, proud, self-demanding, “let me cut you as soon as you don’t seem like your attention and what not is on me”. You need someone who produces the Fruits of the Spirit and you need to produce the same (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control). So if that’s your story or if you felt anything close to it, stop now. You don’t want to lose something amazing over your pride or your past. God’s love surpasses all of that. And because God loves you with forgiveness, care, faithfulness, selflessness, and most importantly not counting how many times we’ve neglected him or hurt his feelings. So give that same agape love to the person you’re with. No its not an easy battle, but it’s worth it.

I love you,

Cherise 🙂

Running Away from Home

Have you ever had a moment where you felt like everything you worked towards just went South? Like you worked your butt off but the results didn’t match your efforts? But instead of running to God you ran to people. You ran to partying or drinking or smoking or sex because they provided the instant comfort you felt you needed. But that comfort was only temporary so you found yourself back in the same place you were before. So you keep doing it. Not because you want to, but because you just need a break. You’re tired, you’re stressed, overwhelmed, and feeling defeated. And those moments of “happiness” make you feel “better”.

But after you’re done, you feel mega convicted. You feel God tugging at your heart, but you feel so guilty… Like he can’t fix you right now. It’s kind of similar to when we as little kids ran away from home when we got in trouble. We would pack our miniature suitcases or backpacks to runaway from home. We had no clue where we were going but instead of running to the source of the person who though a little disappointed would always have our back; we ran to everything and everybody else. I’ll be honest. Second semester has been more than rough. Too many sleepless nights, too many tears, and not enough crying out to God. Instead of running TO Him, I ran FROM Him. I tried to pray, but it was like the words weren’t even in my vocab. I got tired of going to church arriving and leaving empty – so I took a week off. I couldn’t seem to focus on the Word so I stopped reading. I felt like I wasn’t ready to talk to Him yet. But what did all these things leave me with? EMPTINESS. I was running away from my Home in Him.

Some of you may be familiar to with the story of Jonah and the whale. Please don’t think that God just sent a whale out of no where to swallow Jonah. Jonah was like us. God told him to go one way and Jonah went the other direction because he was trying to run from God. (Insert: How are we going to run from God when He sees everything? Lol. He made the universe, He knows every hiding place, every drink, every type of weed, and every being we’ve ever thought about sleeping with). To make a long story short, God sends this wind over the sea, Jonah becomes a sacrifice to calm the winds, and gets swallowed by the whale. It took Jonah being in the whale for three days and three nights to realize that He couldn’t outrun God. And even though God didn’t like Jonah running, He had to put Him in a place where He could only focus His attention on Him.

Could it be that God just wants our attention? Other than tithes and offering God doesn’t want your money. He doesn’t want your clothes. He just wants YOU. He wants us to be so focused on Him that we won’t look at our problems with stress, but with excitement because of the big and powerful God we serve. He wants us to stop running away from Home. Because His Home is so safe and secure. It’s not always the most emotionally comfortable – but who wants complacency anyway?

So my challenge to you and to myself is to stop running from Him. He wants your WHOLE heart. He wants more time with you than the 1 minute prayer you do before bed. He wants to be your friend and confidant. He wants to be in RELATIONSHIP with you. He loves you.

Love you,

Cherise

P.S. If you ever want to talk or pray, please feel free to email me at ladyambitious@comcast.net. I would LOVE to hear from you and intercede of your behalf.

Who’s Your Daddy?

Most of us have probably said or heard the phrase “who’s your daddy” or “call me daddy” at some point in our lives. It essentially defines who or what has power over you. Most of the time we say it jokingly because we want to prove a point… But if we’re honest with ourselves there are so many things that have become our “daddy” in real life. So many things have power over us, most that we actively consent to on a daily basis by the words that come out of our mouths.

After having a conversation with a friend a few days ago, I thought about how much control anger used to have over my life. I could think about one situation for a split second and go from 0 to 100. How many of us have that same issue? We have allowed the situations of our past and even our current to be a crutch for us to do whatever it is we want to do. We use these situations to justify our issues. We say or exude things like “my daddy left when I was three that’s why I’m so angry…I have guy issues…I have trust issues…I don’t know how to be a man”. Or “my ex cheated, lied, and hurt me so I have a right to either treat other men bad or build up a wall that’s impossible to break down”.

So who’s your daddy? Your situation, your past, and the walls you’ve built up to “protect” yourself from getting hurt or your God? You spend so much time saying what happened to you that you haven’t even spoken LIFE into what is to come. Understand that there is POWER in your tongue. “Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction. The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” (Proverbs 18:20-21). So what are you speaking? Are speaking things that you would like to come to fruition or are you presuming the worst? Because whatever you presume will become your “daddy” so choose wisely.

We just stepped into the season of Spring. It’s a season that has a dual purpose: to wash away the things of the past and produce new fruit and flowers. It’s one of my favorite seasons because it helps me remember that regardless of what happened before, there is so many amazing things to come. So I started believing the things I want to see in my life. I believe that I’ll reap the harvest of all the work I’m putting in (Galatians 6:9). I believe that no matter how much I’ve been hurt in the past, God has someone amazing for me (Proverbs 18:22). I believe that all the goals that I’ve written out for this year will come to fruition (Habbakkuh 2:1-2). Because if I let everything I’ve been through or even things that COULD (but have not) go wrong, I would be walking around here defeated before I even fought.

Say this every morning (modify as you wish): I have power over how I feel today. Everything that happened to me before is irrelevant. I choose to be BETTER and not BITTER. I choose to be happy in spite of everything that’s going on around me. ALL things work for my GOOD, so I have no reason to worry. It’s going to be a great day!

I love you and so does He,

Cherise 🙂

Ignore What You See

A few weeks ago I blogged about the Dry Season. The dry season is a place where it seems like the productivity, abundance (money, opportunities, love, etc) dry up and you’re left feeling hopeless and discouraged. The dry season is the time for you to stay focused on God. But if I’m honest, it’s pretty hard to stay focused on God when everything around you feels like it’s crumbling right before your eyes. You’re trying to pray, but with all that’s going on you feel like your time and your patience is decreasing.

I wish I could write that it will all get easier. But it won’t. I wish I could tell you that there may not be another one of these seasons. But I can’t promise that either. I can only promise you that by looking at your surroundings and comparing your situation to others will only make it worse. Think about the last relationship you were in. You didn’t think your significant other was that bad until you saw how one of your friends, or worse someone you didn’t particularly care for, is treated by their boyfriend or girlfriend. You only want more when you see something that “looks”  like more. When in reality what you had was probably good for you in that moment. Or when you thought that 80 on that midterm was a good grade, but then once you looked over at a classmate’s 93 and felt like you hadn’t studied hard enough or taken enough time on the test.

The reality is, once you stop looking at what other people are doing – you’ll be better suited for what God has called you to do. A few weeks ago I was looking at some of my peers and I got kind of discouraged. I hadn’t been doing as well as I thought on my tests, my friend circle is having issues because our time for each other is limited because of the different activities we do, I felt like I wasn’t fulfilling my purpose, and I started really missing home. My classmates seemed to be doing so much better than me. They were getting As on the tests and they seemed to have a lot more time than I did. I felt like I was losing at life because my timeline didn’t match theirs. But if I didn’t compare myself to them the only standard I would have to go by was the one He set me for and what I set for myself.

Stop looking at what you see and focus on what you’ve been called to. Jeremiah 29:11 says “for I know the plans that I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future”. God didn’t say He had the plan to give you the plan of your friend, classmate, or coworker. He has a plan specifically designed for you and ONLY you can fulfill it. And His plans are GOOD. Yes you may be in a dry season right now where it looks like your grass is yellow and sad and everyone else’s in a healthy green – but even the bad things in your life are working for your good. I can’t wait to see what’s on the side of the tests and trials you’re going through, I know it will all be worth it.

I love you and so does He,

Cherise 🙂

P.S. If you ever need prayer, want to chat, or just need some advice email me: ladyambitious@comcast.net. I’m always here 🙂

The Dry Season

Have you ever been in a season of your life where you felt like everything just dried up? Before things were flowing. You had options on top of options in terms of job opportunities, dating, and ideas. Your relationship with God was flourishing, because I mean why not? Blessings flowing in left and right – you didn’t have to seek anything, it was just coming to you. But suddenly all of that stopped. It was like you were in a pool and all the water was just sucked up.

If I’m transparent, I’m in a season like that now. I was on top of the world, but then things started slowing down and I don’t feel as excited as I used to. I was so happy because all my needs were met, I had a guy I was dating, I was about to go to college and enter some of the best times of my life, I was making money, and I was having tons of fun. I had a great first semester, made excellent grades, made a lovely group of friends/sisters, involved in organizations, and got connected to opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise. But when I came back second semester, things don’t seem to flow as well. I’m still working hard, if not harder than I worked before, but I just don’t see the immediate results as I used to. My rewards seemed to come directly after I did something, now not so much.

But the story doesn’t stop there. The Bible talks about a man named Job. Job was living the life. Then Satan comes to God and asks Him if he can pretty much take Job out of the game. God tells him as long as he doesn’t kill Job, He’s okay with it. So Job loses everything in ONE day. It wasn’t like this happened over a course of a few months. He lost it all – his health, his wife, his friends, his wealth. The people Job depended on were telling him, God is punishing you for all the stuff you’ve done. His wife even told him to just commit suicide. Yes God wanted to humble Job, but that wasn’t the sole purpose.

Later in chapters 38-42, Job is restored. He went through hell. But God gives Job DOUBLE for all of His troubles. My favorite part of the story of Job is found in Job 23:10 “But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold”. He didn’t say he would come out just like he did before, but as pure as gold. So even though during this season you may feel like all the things you had were taken away from you. Know that God is using this season to PREPARE you from what’s coming. God isn’t punishing you, He doesn’t hate you. Diamonds are refined by cutting and heat, if they didn’t go through the fire – they wouldn’t have that shine that makes us all so inclined to buy them. If you’re being tested in this season, know that this dry season is only to prepare you for the great and amazing things coming your way.

I love you and so does He,

Cherise 🙂